Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2010

Can China Get What It Wants?

October 29, 2010 – China is in the news lately because of its planned use of alternative energy.Something tells me their latest five year plan may have taken the past summer’s flooding, which displaced 38 million people, into account. In developing the country’s plan for 2011-1015, Beijing has committed to supplying whatever is necessary to put China in the lead in developing electric cars.(Meantime, the Obama administration has earmarked $5 billion in stimulus funds for the development of alternative vehicles, and the installation of charging stations in test markets.The United States intends to produce 40% of the world’s advanced vehicle batteries by 2015.More “power” to us!)China’s goal is to have 5 million electric cars on the roads by 2020.That’s not very many, when you consider China’s total population; on the other hand, I don’t know how many Chinese can reasonably expect to own any kind of car by 2020.Chances are, it will be a small percentage.Bear in mind, however, that only …

Adapting to Climate Change

October 25, 2010 – The White House released a report on the 14th of this month about climate change.The subject of the report is adapting to climate change.Not preventing, little in the way of mitigating.Adapting.Yes, I know – it’s too late for prevention.I also know that actions being taken on the city and state levels will help to mitigate some of the effects of climate change.I know that anything the federal government does is best done quietly, without fanfare.I know that the EPA is kicking into high gear (and that the Republicans only await a favorable verdict on Election Day before they act to stop it).Still: how very inspirational it must be to our international “partners” to know that we are devoting ourselves, at the national level, to adaptation. The title of the report says it best: Progress Report of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force.So much said with so few words; this title speaks of missed opportunities, of misguided attempts on the part of our govern…

The New Way Forward

October 18, 2010 – I spotted this in Forbes magazine, of all places: “The Forbes team of experts and authors predicts that by the year 2018, 20% of all food consumed in U.S. cities will come from rooftop and parking lot farms.Read that again: 20% of all food in the U.S. [sic] That is an enormous number.In addition to making our cities more resilient, the health benefits, for both our bodies and our planet, of consuming food that is grown within a small number of miles of our homes or workplaces are significant.”Somebody made a bit of a quantum leap there, from 20% of all food consumed in American cities (51 million people) to 20% of all food consumed in America (62 million people), but you and I both get the point.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * What a very different approach the French take to climate legislation than we do.Rather than permitting legislative “death by lobbying,” France’s government invited the main stakeholders to the consultativ…

Transition and the Role of Elders

October 11, 2010 – Transition and the Role of Elders. This article is a bit risky,
because it could include so very much. In an attempt to narrow the field, I’d like
to examine two groups of Elders and their approaches to “repairing the world.”
Then I’ll talk about what I believe should be the role of Elders in guiding the
world through the perilous times ahead. As should be readily apparent from its
name, one of the groups – The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers – is very organic. It came into being as the result of a shared vision,
in answer to a perceived need on the part of a wounded world. The other group,
known simply as The Elders, was formed at the behest of Nelson Mandela, in
response to an idea presented to him by Richard Branson and Peter Gabriel. They,
in turn, had looked to traditional societies for inspiration. The leaders Mandela has
called upon act in concert or independently to support individuals and groups who
work to better the world.

Elders, fre…

An Economy that Works for Everyone

October 4, 2010 – I’d like to begin by saying that September wasn’t supposed to gang up on me like that, but before I knew it, my husband and I were on our way to Paris to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. My apologies for failing to explain this PRIOR to it actually happening.

Be sure to check out a new online publication that launches today: Transition Voice.
You will find it - naturally - at I cannot claim to be a strictly disinterested party; TV is running an article about permaculture, and a book review, by yours truly. I’ve had an opportunity to peruse TV’s initial issue, and I like what I see.
Take a look.

Awhile back I wrote about degrowth, touted at the time as the opposite of growth. I notice that the Post Carbon Institute is currently featuring an excerpt from Richard Heinberg’s work-in-progress, tentatively titled The End of Growth, on their website. We’re talking about economic growth, of course, and the fact that, having reached peak every…