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Showing posts from January, 2011

New World Comin'

January 31, 2011 – Alright, already! So I’m late to the party! So I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT MIKE RUPPERT until last week. MY BAD. MY REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BAD. I admit it. Since it’s well past time for me to do some major catching up, maybe you’d like to come along for the ride. We’ll be visiting Mike at the Progressive Radio Network, the site of his weekly radio program, The Lifeboat Hour.
I won’t belabor Mike’s past achievements, largely because it seems they are known to everyone in this particular universe except me. I will point out that one of Ruppert’s many stated goals is to move to the Pacific Northwest sooner rather than later, in order to ride out the Transition. Which brings me to my first question/observation: Do he and Alex Smith (Radio Ecoshock) know each other? Alex lives in Vancouver. They sure ought to, old rockers that they both are. Though Alex cannot claim membership in a band (well – I don’t THINK he can), as Mike does, he does use his program as a venue for newbies, o…

Both Feet in the Past, One Eye on the Future

January 24, 2011 – The security guard where I work was kind enough to bring me the Dec/Jan issue of EcoWatch, an environmental journal published in Cleveland.I’d never seen it before, and was encouraged to find that such a thing existed in the nation’s most in-love-with-the-status-quo state. It’s the brainchild of Stefanie Penn Spear, the founder and executive director.She’s been an environmental activist for more than 20 years, and – so her “Letter from the Editor” reads – is dedicated to educating Ohioans about solution-based sustainability projects.While that needs to say “solutionS-based,” it sounds like an excellent starting point.The front page carries an article titled “What is Ohio’s Green Energy Future?”Given that a Republican governor was just elected, one who ran on a platform of – and I quote – everyone “pushing and pulling together,” the author may well ask.Ohio’s Advanced Energy Fund (AEF) will “run out of gas” if not renewed by the legislature this year.John Kasich, our…

The Art of Living and Giving

January 18 - Gail the Actuary has written a wonderful article for the Oil Drum ( I missed it the first time around, but it was republished this past Thanksgiving. Titled “Thanksgiving: A Time to Think about Gift Economies?”, Gail acquaints us with societies/economies that accord recognition, not to individuals who HAVE a lot, but to individuals who GIVE, or share, a lot. While I am forced to question her wave-of-the-hand dismissal of barter (my brother belonged to a barter organization that allowed him to, among other things, have his lawn sodded and his kids’ cavities filled), and believe it could definitely have a role to play in post-carbon civilization (along with local currency), gift economies have become so far removed from our daily existence in which everything is monetized, I think the idea definitely warrants discussion.
Wikipedia’s definition of a gift economy, which Gail quotes in her article, is a good place to start.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

January 12, 2011 – Have you heard about WaterLess Jeans? If not, you will be. Levi’s is introducing jeans that use 28% less water in their manufacture. They’ve achieved this by reducing the number of washing machine cycles new jeans are subjected to; incorporating ozone processing into the garment washing; and removing the water from stone washing. The new jeans go on sale this month, and the spring lineup promises to save 4,227,000 gallons of water. More and more vendor factories will be bringing the process online, with a major decrease in water usage the goal for Fall 2011.
Of even greater importance is Levi’s interest in reducing the need for irrigation, and the use of pesticides, in the growing of cotton. Twenty-five percent of all pesticide use is directed at growing cotton. Reducing pesticide use is critical to bringing the occurrence of cancer in this country under control.
What else can businesses do to reduce environmental harm? One environmental watchdog that works closely wi…

News on Parade

January 3, 2011 – Here’s wishing you a very Happy New Year! It promises to be an eventful one, that’s for sure. Let’s take a look at items in the news.

“Blizzard is ‘Budget Buster’ for Cities” – This is why it would have made a lot of sense not to waste money on wars that should never have been fought in the first place. This is why we need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan pronto. Cities up and down the East Coast were walloped first with snow, then cleaning up the snow, then paying for the cleanup. It was a dreadful December. Snow removal cost Danbury, CT $450K for just one storm. Apparently the fact that this major storm occurred on a Sunday made it hurt that much more: even NYC is having trouble forking out the overtime. Most cities had to put their entire public works departments out on the streets AND hire outside contractors, to boot. Cranston, RI, Ridgefield, CT, and Rahway, NJ, were all struggling to begin with, because of the recession. Big-time snow removal means no money f…