We still have time to learn the lessons and get this right, but many strongly held beliefs (yes they are beliefs, not science) have to go out of the window, and we need much more science focus on this issue, rather than the ever burgeoning clamour for “saving” threatened species, which takes oxygen and energy … Continue reading “Letter from the Fire (well Smoke) Front”
Police say climate groups such as Extinction Rebellion are a ‘threat’. They’d have done the same for the suffragettes and Martin Luther King It’s not an “error” or an “accident”, as the police now claim. It’s a pattern.
Encouraged by the Federal legalization of hemp in 2018, Fibershed has continued research into the versatile crop this year, deepening understanding of the plant and the fiber, prototyping hemp textile production in Northern California, supporting agroecological trials, and charting a path forward for weaving hemp into the region.
Impeachment continues to dominate the news in Washington. The Senate is in session and is currently debating the rules of engagement in the trial phase of Trump’s impeachment. It will be a while yet before the actual trial begins.
The stuff we humans buy is a disaster for the planet we love. Livestock intended for human food now make up 60% of the total weight of mammals on Earth, while wild mammals make up only 4% (the rest is humans and pets). The global clothing industry is responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, … Continue reading “How We Reduced the Environmental Impact of (Almost) Everything We Buy”
Humanity and the earth is suffering from a worldview disease leading to a voracious self-destruction. It is a set of values or qualities, held with religious conviction that transforms all novelty into itself: economic growth, control over circumstances, progress, individualism, exploitation of nature, domination of strong over weak, and freedom-as-entitlement.
Prefigurative politics is the contemporary name for revolutionary strategies that take this insight seriously. It’s about shaping our cultures, norms and social relations, as well as our formal rules and policies, in the image of the society we desire.
Water scarcity is real. To ignore it, or to assume that it is only a problem of the developing world is to be blind to the errors our egos have cause. We in the Western world waste more water in a day than some families around the world would see in months. Much of what … Continue reading “10 Critical Water Scarcity Facts We Must Not Ignore”
More than four years ago, 21 youthful plaintiffs asked a federal court to rule a habitable environment a protected right under the US Constitution. On January 17, 2020, a divided three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals told them they didn’t have standing to pursue their case and that there was nothing the court could do to redress … Continue reading “Juliana v. US: Hardly Child’s Play”
Now the title to this week’s reflection may sound a bit alarmist. Intentionally so. It’s right out of a thousand disaster movies where people scream this wildly as their ship is sinking, their plane is crashing, or the tsunami is heading for them.
All species are embedded in complex networks of interactions where they are directly and indirectly dependent on each other. A food web is a good example of such networks. The simultaneous loss of such large numbers of plants and animals could have cascading impacts on the ways species interact – and hence the ability of … Continue reading “Bushfires: Can Ecosystems Recover from Such Dramatic Losses of Biodiversity?”
In these times of economic, climate and political challenges, how do we move forward toward the world we collectively long for? Undaunted by language and cultural differences, this is a story of community collaboration, with the important ingredient of persistent insistence on the goal of ecosystem restoration.
So during these seven days, we will be unveiling our Seven Generations New Deal, which is a seven point program for climate action. And we’d love for you to come and listen to see what we’re thinking and give your input, because we really want this policy to be built from the ground up. We … Continue reading “Fast for the Future”
The British sociologist Raymond Williams once wrote, “Culture is ordinary.” We could say much the same about commoning. It is terribly ordinary. Commoning is what common people decide for themselves in their specific circumstances if they want to get along with each other and produce as much wealth for everyone as possible.
Is there a way to imagine a different GND, a global Green New Deal? I think so. But it might have to start by recognizing the ecological laws of limits and a social ethic of redistribution of wealth and resources, and equality. It would argue for developmental convergence, including in energy use, between wealth and … Continue reading “Clean Tech Versus a People’s Green New Deal”
Southern Red Sands said their intended market was in Utah’s Uintah Basin 350 miles north, but a new frac sand mine just opened in the basin. “It’s almost inconceivable they’d be able to compete with them because the biggest cost with frac sand is the shipping,” said Baker. “There are some operations in the San … Continue reading “How One Utah Community Fought the Fracking Industry — and Won”
Oil prices inched up a bit last week with Brent closing just below $65 a barrel after the US and Iran thought better of going to war. Attention then shifted to the signing of the first phase of a US-China trade deal and the slowing Chinese economy.
At this crucial moment for Australia and the world, it is pertinent to take a step back from reactions to the ongoing flames and proactively revisit what happened in the Amazon—and why—before fires reignite in the dry season.
As the UK Climate Assembly is about to launch in Birmingham on January 24th, on the other side of the Channel, the French Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat has got a head start. On January 10th, 150 French citizens met for the fourth time to look at how to address the climate crisis.
Planning scholars have for years studied and criticized the mechanisms of urban land transformation that drive national economic growth. Urbanization is not the consequence of economic growth but the actual driver of it. The enlargement of cities, their number of jobs, estates and infrastructures, is a driving force behind growth.
Impeachment and the pending Senate trial are understandably sucking most of the oxygen out of Capital City. Senate committee chairs are still deciding if hearings are feasible once the trial starts. Rules are that Senators must sit in their seats for the entire time.
In 2004, cattle ranchers Tom and Mimi Sidwell bought the 7,000-acre JX Ranch, south of Tucumcari, New Mexico, and set about doing what they know best: earning a profit by restoring the land to health and stewarding it sustainably.
After more than two centuries of applauding industrialization and the growthism that has gone with it, it’s no news that we’ve currently surpassed human and planetary boundaries. And these, in turn, are calling into question the well-established mind-maps that have enabled us to get where we are at today. Allegedly designed to overcome old harms, … Continue reading “Business Beyond Shared Value”
Collapse can’t happen soon enough, as far as I’m concerned. By collapse, I mean the breakdown of the complexities of our current society. It’s not that I long for the feral world, red in tooth and claw, portrayed in collapse fiction, although I know there are those who fantasize about mastering a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Extinction Rebellion was once criticised by other activists for “love bombing the cops”, but now it has found itself labelled a terror threat. In a guide sent to teachers by counter-terrorism police, the non-violent group’s logo and activities were described to help them spot students who may be involved.
More local food is appearing in grocery stores and restaurants and even schools, thanks to a growing number of “food hubs”; but it is a drop in the bucket still, compared to the food that is trucked in from afar. What do we need to turn this around? At least four things, each with practical … Continue reading “What Will It Take to Move the Local Food Revolution Forward?”
Democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have released a detailed “memo” as a prequel to climate legislation they will be introducing under the torturous title of The Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s Future Act (CLEAN Future Act or Act).
For her part, Zavala is determined to do all she can to ensure that in this camp where she operates, everything possible is being done to assure these traumatized families a measure of dignity and a fair shot at a new life. She says, “In a time where asylum-seekers are being denied the fundamental right … Continue reading “Grassroots Aid Workers Bring Help and Healing Across the Border”
Over several decades Euskadi has transformed itself into one of the most internationally competitive, socially inclusive, environmentally progressive economies in the world. It is a polity that welcomes economic globalization as an opportunity, while reaffirming local community and cultural identity.
Indonesia’s sinking capital of Jakarta and the surrounding areas have been inundated with rain, triggering landslides and floods that have killed dozens of people.
Tensions have been high in the area since a Dec. 31 B.C. Supreme Court decision that granted Coastal GasLink an injunction barring land defenders from blocking access to the pipeline work sites.
There is much to be said about the relationship of commons to climate change, but let me offer this short glimpse into the clash of worldviews that must be negotiated. Whatever the outcome in ongoing arguments with capitalist climate-deniers, our best recourse will be to build and fortify our many commons as a failsafe against … Continue reading “The Commons and Climate Change”
As these “Farm Gardens” expand and become nodes that merge, I envision entire fields fully planted, feeding the soil, wildlife, farm animals, and us. I look forward to continuing to share this experience with you as the process unfolds.
Movement is a privilege viewed a right. Modern infrastructure in its many forms, from planes to trucking, one-day Amazon to instant Snapchat, is almost entirely built and run on uninterrupted flows of energy—which, for the past century-and-a-half or so, have been almost entirely fossil-fuel-based. In a way, it’s quite simple: throw fuel of unmatched power … Continue reading “Miracles and Tragedies of Modern Travel: a Love-Hate Story”
My team has discovered another use for microwave ovens that will surprise you.
But something else happened in Australia in 2019 which might point the way ahead for accelerating the rapid, global transition to renewable energy. Can the nation now point the way from its fire disasters to a clean energy future?
Suppose you want to make a reservation at The Restaurant at the End of the Ecosphere, one of the most exclusive destinations in the entire universe. This is not an undertaking for the faint-hearted. To have a chance of booking your place to witness the mass extinction to end all mass extinctions — an event … Continue reading “The Restaurant at the End of the Ecosphere”
It’s not the melting of the ice-caps or the burning of the forests that seem to me to be the real apocalyptic scenario, but rather the slow atrophying of our moral imaginations; not the inferno itself, but the indifference of those of us who are not yet on fire. In this sense above all we … Continue reading “Pictures of the World on Fire won’t Shock us for Much Longer”
What we have set in motion now, in the capitalocene, is likely beyond technological solutions, notwithstanding Promethean male fantasies of Mars colonies and planetary geological engineering. What we have set in motion is now, at least in part, beyond human control. That is, no re-engineering of social relationships and modes of production will reverse the biological and … Continue reading “The Limits of Capitalism”
Around here, we have a goal to produce 80% of our veg, fruit, meat and dairy within five years of moving onto our land. This is year three, and while we’ve reached that goal for summer veg like tomatoes and cucumbers (until this year’s drought), I have not had as much success with the fall … Continue reading “Fall Garden Success!”
It may come as a surprise to most, that my answer for the times is capitalism. What is capitalism? – it is the ethics of a society, whose aim is to maintain its capital – that is, spiritual, pleasurable and human assets, combined with that which maintains all those things – the undiminished vigour of … Continue reading “Reclaiming Capital”
Many of those commenting on the current bushfire crisis in Australia argue about fuel reduction, hazard reduction, use of aerial incendiaries, drip torches, ancient Indigenous techniques and western forms of fire management. But to me, these fires suggest we urgently need a new dialogue and paradigm for living in a rapidly changing world.
Brent futures slipped to below $65 a barrel on Friday as the threat of war in the Middle East receded, and investors focused on rising US inventories and other signs of ample supply. WTI closed at $59 a barrel.
Feeding off of a failed UN Summit late in 2019, the almost daily release of reports updating and confirming climate science studies, student strikes, a continent on fire, and the already prominent place of climate in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, 2020 looms as a watershed political year for national climate policy.
What does a real Climate Emergency action plan look like? The answer is defined by the science − by the physics and chemistry. Some find it hard to imagine this is actually happening. Some think it seems ‘unrealistic’. But ask yourself about the alternative of risking the collapse of civilisation, the death of billions of … Continue reading “Common Sense for the 21st Century (excerpt)”
But I do have a Plan B if George’s vision succeeds. In that eventuality, I’m going to slip the fence of his urban dystopia with my sheep, find a pleasant grassy spot somewhere, and make my living as a mammal and a farmer, surrounded by other wild creatures.
The 1973 dystopian science fiction film “Soylent Green” is set in the year 2022, just one year after a nonfictional Finnish company hopes to begin selling an artificially produced yellow protein-laden flour created by bacteria that the company says will revolutionize food production. The flour is derived from vats of yellow bacteria whose fermentation process … Continue reading “‘Soylent yellow’: Is artificial protein really a solution to food production?”
Planet-heating pollution from the U.S. oil, gas, and petrochemical industries could rise about 30% by 2025 compared with 2018 because of additional drilling and 157 new or expanded projects “fueled by the fracking boom,” an environmental watchdog group warned Wednesday.
The world is on fire. We need a global political movement in the broadest, not party-political sense. We cannot go on watching the rainforest burn, the German coal power plants produce CO2 and people as well as millions of animals die in Australia´s bushfires. We need a common and global reaction.
Work can be “shit” or it can be good. Sociologists and psychologists have developed various frameworks to explain what makes a job good or bad. And we’ve identified a few common factors. A good job is socially useful, it provides material security, it is varied and creative, and it offers us a degree of autonomy. … Continue reading “How Getting Gid of ‘Shit Jobs’ and the Metric of Productivity can Combat Climate change”