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Showing posts from October, 2009
October 26, 2009 – I’d like to review a very important book today.

Brown, Lester. Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization.
New York: W.W. Norton & Co. 2009.

Before I do, allow me to correct a misstatement in a previous article. I believe I erroneously referred to Brown as one of the “unsung” heroes of the environmental movement. That, as it turns out, is rather far left of the truth. I’ll quote directly from the dust jacket of this book:

“Lester R. Brown is the president of Earth Policy Institute, an organization dedicated to building a sustainable future. Described by the Washington Post as ‘one of the world’s most influential thinkers,’ Brown started his career as a tomato farmer. Shortly after earning a degree in agricultural science, he spent six months living in rural India, where he became intimately familiar with the food/population issue. Brown later became head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s International Agricultural Development Service. In 1974, he founded …
October 19, 2009 – Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of Transition Towns. I hadn’t until very recently. I’d like to share the little bit I know, because I think this is an idea whose time has come.

The idea is that people with an awareness of the changes underway in our world should begin discussions on the local level about surviving global climate change. Because members of communities bring varying talents and knowledge to the table, each can make a contribution to the common good.

To my mind, a big piece of the puzzle will consist simply of people sharing their tools and appliances with one another, rather than each household needing to own one. Carpooling trips to the grocery and pharmacy would be a good place to start. Banning leaf blowers would be a simple way to reduce a neighborhood’s carbon footprint, as would the use of non-motorized lawn mowers. Growing food organically where grass used to grow would be an improved use of lawn space. Eliminating association bans on clothe…
October 13, 2009 – October has been a mixed bag, thus far, though a few more of those bright, blue-sky days that serve as a backdrop to the colors of the changing leaves wouldn’t hurt at all.The weekend was sunny and brisk, perfect for working outside.I observed some interesting things while gardening that I thought I would share.First, and not at all amazingly, the chickadees are steady, noisy customers at the sunflower buffet.I think they’re helping themselves to Echinacea seeds, too.A bit more surprising, perhaps, is the plenteousness of bird activity I’m seeing.All the birds seem to have a lot to say these days; it’s a very songful bunch I have in the backyard.The continuing abundance of rain coupled with warm nighttime temperatures is causing some flowers to re-bloom. Hydrangea, gazania and hibiscus are the three stand-outs in my yard.My floribunda rose, Distant Drums, continues to wend its gorgeous way through the year.My most startling observation was – a grasshopper!I haven’t …
October 4, 2009 – Why is it that the American media do such a poor job of reporting about the effects of global warming, especially in places other than the United States?It is, after all, global warming, a phenomenon that is, by definition, happening everywhere.To what degree will they be held culpable, when the American people say, “But I didn’t know that … ?”While it is true that Americans have shown an appalling lack of interest in righting this horrific wrong (for which they bear an enormous burden of responsibility), can it not be argued that it is the media’s job to heighten awareness, thereby creating a climate (!) of concern and urgency?Perhaps even more to the point, how is it that the British do such an exemplary job of bringing home the really significant stories of the day?Time and again I find myself impressed by their unflinching pursuit of a story – whatever it may be about – without regard to whom it may please or where it may ultimately lead.Permit me an example:“Dus…