When Art and Farming Fuse


From Poets.org

[In this lovely piece of poetic review about farming and place, Wendell Berry reveals deep character among three men. Last week, on their final Farm and Garden Show, Tim Bates and Dan Imhoff, Anderson Valley, interviewed Wendell Berry on KZYX here (mp3). Thanks to Tom Davenport, Redwood Valley, who recorded it. Tom writes: “The broadcast recording ends while Wendell Berry is speaking – the recording was made automatically by a computer while I was away from home, and was programmed to run 2 minutes past the hour.  I do not know how much was missed.  Apparently the program ‘ran over’ by more than two minutes. Please feel free to pass this on to those you believe might enjoy it.” -DS]

On Hayden Carruth: A Friendship in Poetry

When I was in college and had become certain that Anonymous was not the name of a prolific medieval poet, I began to read the “little magazines” to try to learn about the poetry of my own time. That was in the early fifties. And so I must have known the name Hayden Carruth for a good many years of such scattered reading before it meant much to me.

It began to mean much to me in May of 1964. My family and I had been living as neighbors to Denise Levertov and Mitchell Goodman on Greenwich Street in New York City. Denise and Mitch had bought an old farm in Temple, Maine, where they spent their summers. They invited us to come up for a visit, and in that May we did so.

Wanting Less



From TAO TE CHING
Ursula K. Le Guin

When the world’s on the Way,
they use horses to haul manure.
When the world gets off the Way,
they breed warhorses on the common.

The greatest evil: wanting more.
The worst luck: discontent.
Greed’s the curse of life.

To know enough’s enough
is enough to know.
~
Image Credit: Rolf Hicker
~
See also Muddling Toward Frugality
by Warren Johnson, Covelo
~~

Move Your Money Local (Updated)


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

A month ago, in More Gang-Bang For Your Buck, we suggested the following: “Time to move your money out of the big national banks that are “too big to fail” and let them fail… and put your money into local and regional credit unions and banks that did not get caught up in the disastrous lending greed, or who practice criminal usury. Locally- and regionally-based financial institutions are more responsive to local communities. And with locally-owned businesses, do them a favor by using cash, checks, and local currencies instead of debit and credit plastic.”

Now comes a grassroots movement to do just that. See their video, action items, updates, and comments here

[Update: On that site you will find a listing of banks that have a rating of B and above. However, if a community banking institution has been hurt, through no fault of their own, by the machinations and greed of Wall Street and the national banks, they need our support to pull through this national tragedy.]
~
See also WATCH: Woman Documents Closing Her Account With BofA, Switching To Community Bank at HuffPost here
~~

Save Us President Daddy, Please


From digby
Thanks to Janie

Please just shoot me now. The media has gone insane. Suzanne Malveaux just asked Candy Crowley how the voters in 2010 are going to rank the president’s response to this failed terror attempt. It’s a stupid question, but the answer really takes the cake:

Candy Crowley: I think the fact that we have seen him for two days in a row is the White House recognizing that this is perhaps more important — the safety of the American people —than jobs at this point. It wouldn’t take much to rev up security moms who were so important in 2000 and 2004. So I think what voters judge is, sort of, the record. So it won’t be today, but then what did he do? How safe did he keep us?

That’s ridiculous. Did Candy wake up this morning and think it was 2003? The plane didn’t go down. Nobody died. The perpetrator is some young, screwed up loser who tried to set his pants on fire. The only “security mom” who cares more about that than the fact that she doesn’t have a job is a well paid television celebrity.

The press loves the boogeyman story because it makes them feel like crusaders for freedom and allows them to make common cause with macho right wingers. It’s far more exciting than dull stories about losers who don’t have jobs — you can see the exhilaration coming off of them in waves. They love it.

Case in point, Chris Matthews, who is ready to force everyone to be cavity searched in the ticket line:

Local Mendocino Slow Money


From E. F. SCHUMACHER SOCIETY

Lowly, unpurposeful, and random as they may appear, sidewalk contacts are the small change from which a city’s wealth of public life may grow. –Jane Jacobs from “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.”

One of the features of BerkShares [and Mendo Moola], the local currency circulating in the Southern Berkshire region of Massachusetts, is that it fosters this wealth of sidewalk contacts (www.berkshares.org).

Use of BerkShares, a paper currency, requires face to face economic exchange. The citizen/buyer must meet the merchant/owner and enter into conversation about the item purchased. In the course of these multiple transactions an understanding begins to grow of the nature of the business, how it fits in the streetscape of the town, the working conditions of its employees, availability of locally made goods, the impact of new regulations, the necessity to respond to the changing tastes of consumers, the hurdles to prosperity, the many roles the merchant plays in the community as volunteer ambulance squad member, school board official, community theater player.

When purchasing directly from a producer with BerkShares the information shared may be even more deeply sourced in the local landscape. You may learn how to detect the first signs of a blighted maple tree plaguing the maple syrup industry, or learn how heavy spring rains kept bees from pollinating the apples blossoms, resulting in fewer apples to market.

BerkShares are a “slow money” to borrow a term coined by Woody Tasch. It takes more time to process a transaction, time for graciousness, time for building connection with community of place.

“Inconvenient,” some will say. Yes, when compared to the hastiness and anonymity of an internet purchase. But rich with information needed for conducting public life. A democracy only thrives when its citizens are informed and engaged by public issues.

Where’s the Clean Energy?


From ROBERT S. ESHELMAN
The Nation

[This article appeared in the December 7, 2009 edition of The Nation. I shortened this article somewhat as much of it didn’t apply locally to Mendocino County. ~Michael Laybourn]

It was in Germany that Ed Regan realized Gainesville, Florida, was going about things all wrong. The assistant manager at Gainesville Regional Utility (GRU) was out looking for ways to boost his city’s renewable energy capacity. “Germany was a game-changer,” Regan says. Wind turbines and solar panels seemed to be everywhere. He soon learned the secret.

Before Regan’s June 2008 trip, the GRU was trying to promote small-scale renewable energy generation by offering hefty cash rebates to customers who installed solar photovoltaic panels. And it had a “net metering program” that allowed customers who generate their own power to run their electricity meters backward, thereby cutting their electric bills potentially to zero.

But the programs weren’t attracting a great deal of interest. The utility’s rebate program had yielded only 300 kilowatts of solar power capacity–roughly the amount of electricity used by 160 hair dryers–and it cost a lot of money. The difference between Gainesville and Germany was that Germany had a national feed-in tariff. Under this system, energy consumers can become renewable energy producers by installing solar panels on their roof or a wind turbine in their backyard and selling their energy to the local utility. These customers-turned-producers receive above-market prices for their energy, often for up to twenty years. With the feed-in tariff, Germany boosted its renewable energy production from 1 percent of its total output in 1995 to 12 percent in 2005. By 2007 renewables supplied 14 percent of Germany’s electricity. Denmark and Spain also have successful feed-in tariff programs.

So this past March, Gainesville rolled out its own feed-in tariff. GRU now pays twice the retail cost for every kilowatt of solar power-generated electricity. The extra cost means a small increase in electrical bills for all utility consumers, less than a dollar per month per household.

Global Warming – Fact or Fiction?


From JIM HOULE
Obama-Watch
Redwood Valley

The threat of Global Warming has become accepted wisdom in America. Between the Al Gore book and film, the pictures of polar bears leaping amongst ice flows, and snippets of data about melting glaciers and how warm it has become recently, we have become captives of this calamitous scenario. In this essay, I have tried to separate fact from forecast, to examine actual climate history rather than computer generated projections of The Cataclysm That Awaits Us from Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). Is Planet Earth really heating up inexorably? Is it because of CO 2 emissions from fossil-fueled power stations? I will lay out a few of the key questions and cite the evidence that exists. You can decide for yourself where reality lies, but first look at some of the data and arguments that question Big Al’s simplistic forecast of a warm and watery doom if we don’t change our ways right now. I hold no brief for dirty coal fired power production, and I believe that moving towards renewable power sources away from gasoline guzzling cars makes good sense. My home is fully solar powered and I’ll purchase an all-electric car in 2010.

I first became wary of ‘made-up’ climate data some years ago, while managing a large irrigation project in Algeria, We lacked sufficient meteorologic data to predict rainfall patterns and thus available water for irrigated agriculture. We were forced to ‘fill-in’ large gaps in the historic rainfall data where trees had grown over rain gauges, or where the French had inadvertently burned a valuable meteorologic station while napalming miserably poor villages in the Atlas Mountains. I was reminded of this when I began to read of the paucity of reliable information on global temperatures before the advent of satellites in 1975, and the very spurious simulating of past surface temperatures by counting petrified tree rings, by drilling ice cores and the like. We are unable to track carbon dioxide levels very far back in time, but we do know that much of Greenland’s shoreline was very warm and green in 1400 and supported herds of cattle. I have found that much of the current UN-sponsored research relies upon computer simulation to fill in their model of the environment.

The Big Lie of Mass Consumption


From NATALIA ROSE
DetoxTheWorld.org

In his 1925 autobiography, Mein Kampf, Hitler coins the term “the big lie,” which refers to a form of propaganda that pivots on telling a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe anyone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” A “certain force of credibility” runs through this big lie so people will find it easy to accept. Of course, in accusing an entire people of this falsehood, he was employing the very technique that he was describing, and would continue to do so toward the most monstrous ends.

But don’t think for a moment that any of us are safe from the machinery of “the big lie” today. This enduring, insidious force is very much alive, woven into the very roots of our society.

In our times, governments and corporations still heavily employ “the big lie” psychology with enormous success, their minions none the wiser. In fact, just about all the foundational aspects of our culture can be traced back to one of their big lies: they have convinced us of what to consume, what to put on and in our bodies, what to expect of our health, and what to expect out of life. We accept this way of life because we believe it is correct and created for our highest good, or at least the best that we can expect, given humankind’s extensive shortcomings and iniquitous wiring (which we also accept).

The biggest lie is that it’s all okay—that while our culture may not be perfect, it is the best way of life imaginable thus far, and if we just keep following this trajectory, we’ll eventually make things even better. That is THE BIGGEST LIE!

One BIG TRUTH is that we are consuming our planet at warp speed and we are very close to the point (if we’re not already there) where we cannot save it.

Mendocino County: 18th Annual Professional Pianist Concert 1/9 and 1/10


From SPENCER BREWER
Ukiah

[This is one of the great reasons for living here. Don’t miss it! -DS]

For 18 years, local keyboard artists have put together sellout concerts benefiting local schools or foundations. In January, there will be two performances in Ukiah at the Mendocino College Center Theatre (1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah): Saturday, January 9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, January 10 at 2 p.m.

By popular demand, the concert will feature all the pianists on stage throughout the concert! These popular musicians will be trading stories and songs with two pianos on stage to accommodate impromptu collaborations. Performances will feature: Spencer Brewer, Elena Casanova, Tom Ganoung, John Gilmore, Chris James and Elizabeth MacDougall. This concert is an annual sellout because of the diversity and quality of all involved. The musical selections range from classical to jazz, boogie woogie to Cuban and many more.

Sponsors of this concert are: Savings Bank of Mendocino County, Spare Time Supply, Ukiah Music Center, KWNE 94.5, KZYX & Z  and Sol Dial Sound. There will be concessions available. The concerts benefit the Ukiah Educational Foundation, Music for Youth Program and the Allegro Scholarship Program. There will be autographed CD’s and cassettes by the artists for sale in lobby. Refreshments will be provided by Ukiah Civic Light Opera. Tickets: $10/students and seniors; $15 general and $25 “I ‘Wanna’ See the Hands” limited seating. For more information call (707) 468-8910. Tickets are on sale at Mendocino Book Co., Ukiah Music Center, Watershed Books in Lakeport, Leaves of Grass in Willits and online at ukiahmusic.com.
~~

The Slow Money Principles


From SlowMoneyAlliance.org
Thanks to numerous suggestions

Principles
In order to enhance food security, food safety and food access; improve nutrition and health; promote cultural, ecological and economic diversity; and accelerate the transition from an economy based on extraction and consumption to an economy based on preservation and restoration, we do hereby affirm the following Principles:

I. We must bring money back down to earth.

II. There is such a thing as money that is too fast, companies that are too big, finance that is too complex. Therefore, we must slow our money down — not all of it, of course, but enough to matter.

III. The 20th Century was the era of Buy Low/Sell High and Wealth Now/Philanthropy Later—what one venture capitalist called “the largest legal accumulation of wealth in history.” The 21st Century will be the era of nurture capital, built around principles of carrying capacity, care of the commons, sense of place and non-violence.

IV. We must learn to invest as if food, farms and fertility mattered. We must connect investors to the places where they live, creating vital relationships and new sources of capital for small food enterprises.

V. Let us celebrate the new generation of entrepreneurs, consumers and investors who are showing the way from Making A Killing to Making a Living.

VI. Paul Newman said, “I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out.” Recognizing the wisdom of these words, let us begin rebuilding our economy from the ground up, asking:

* What would the world be like if we invested 50% of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?
* What if there were a new generation of companies that gave away 50% of their profits?
* What if there were 50% more organic matter in our soil 50 years from now?

Sign the Slow Money Principles here
~
See also The “Slow Money” Movement May Revolutionize the Way You Think About Food
~~

Recommended Books on Politics


From MIKE KALANTARIAN
The Spirit of 676 Blog
Anderson Valley

History is important, as are the stories we tell ourselves. Lately, we’ve been failing on both fronts: remiss in understanding our own recent history, while swinish ideologues narrowly frame our stories in false and misleading ways. These are depressing times.

But I believe/hope/pray the darkest days of this cycle have passed, and it is now imperative that we educate ourselves, so that facts might inform our stories, about where we’ve been and where we’re going. Toward that end, I’d like to recommend some reading…

Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture
by Thom Hartmann, July 2009
I’m listing this book first for a couple reasons: it’s the most recent, and it does a fine job pulling together the many and disparate threads of this subject in a concise and accessible manner. It’s not a perfect work, but if you read only one book on this list, there is a good argument for this being the one.
Moyers on Democracy
by Bill Moyers, May 2008
Soaring and inspired collection of speeches given over the past 30 years, all around the topic of American democracy. Drawing upon his considerable experience in both politics and journalism, Moyers has much to offer.
The Conscience of a Liberal
by Paul Krugman, October 2007
A well-written history on the rise and fall of that great American phenomenon of the twentieth century, the middle class. Roughly spans FDR to GWB, thus providing a good grounding in the recent history of our collective economic fortunes (or lack thereof).

Yes, I still display my Obama For President sticker


From Talking Points Memo
Thanks to Janie

[President Obama is not the King. He is not a Dictator. The structure of government in the United States is laid out in the Constitution. The Constitution describes three co-equal branches of government:  The national, or federal, legislature is called the “Congress.” It is made up of elected officials from each state. These officials are responsible for enacting the laws. The executive branch, headed by the President, is responsible for running the government and enforcing the laws that Congress enacts. The Judicial branch is responsible for interpreting the laws and settling formal disputes between people or between people and the government. Although I am a disappointed progressive, I am willing to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt until the next election. OMG, do you remember the previous one? That is why I still display a Obama For President sticker on my car. -DS]

In a remarkable bit of good timing, I’ve been re-reading Shelby Foote’s history of the Civil War, in particular his first volume (covering 1861-1862). It provides some much-needed perspective on the current situation with health care reform.

Like President Obama, President Lincoln was seen by many of his supporters as something of a disappointment once in office. This was largely due to the number and types of compromises he needed to make, most notably with the institution of slavery. In his first inaugural address, Lincoln came out and said that he was not bound and determined to end slavery, that the President does not in any case have the power to unilaterally change the law of the land, and that his first priority was the preservation of the Union, even if the price of that preservation was to accept the continuation of slavery. During the war, when pressed by a group of ministers about why he had not more forcefully worked to end slavery, he reiterated that his overriding priority was to preserve the Union, and added that there were four slave states which had stayed loyal and which were currently contributing 50,000 soldiers to the war effort; these, he pointed out, were states and soldiers which he could not afford to lose in a dispute over slavery.

Dreams


From DON SANDERSON
Mendocino County

A few years ago, I was associated with the Ukiah Community Center and had a reason to write an essay explaining the complexity of homeless issues. I’ve been bringing it up to date and intended to blog it shortly. It is filled with negative comments about community involvement in the causes of homelessness and behavior toward those so trapped, very often through no fault of their own. This is related to our community’s contributions to a long list of other issues in unhealthy, unhealing, ways. I’m thinking of our wasting culture: we throw away packaging, wrapping, cans, and bottles, our children, our elderly, our health, the frogs, song birds, polar bears, and blue whales, the oceans, the Earth with hardly a notice ….. who cares?  I like to leave every essay on a positive helpful note, but could find none here. This situation left me very dissatisfied, depressed.

Then, the other night, I had a dream. The setting was a large playing court, open to the sky and with high stone walls. I and my opponent were on opposite ends. The apparent rules were that one would serve the ball and the other would attempt to return it by hitting it with one of their hands before it hit the ground or wall. The ball was about the size of a softball and black. The first serve to me was over my head. Though I jumped high, not high enough. The second serve was almost straight up and was coming down directly at my head. I stepped aside and waited for it to fall to me before hitting it, and again missed. At this point, an older man, maybe my coach, stopped the game and came out to discuss the situation with me – at which point I awoke. As I did so, I was greeted with a buzzing in my chest, which those of you who know about chakras are familiar with.

Most of my dreams have the character of theater, absorbing but not worth remembering. However, a few have carried important messages. This seemed to be one such. My usual response is to later write the dream down and immediately notice the feelings generated. My feeling was that my opponent was the world, that is the human-related world filled with one catastrophe after another. It was tossing balls at me and I was not successfully fielding them. I then spent an hour wondering why so and how I might do better, how I might return each ball of the many coming my way.

Book Review: Look At The Birdie by Kurt Vonnegut


From JANE CIABATTARI
TruthDig

Occasionally from the nation’s cultural attic come rare finds—last touches of genius brought to light—like this wondrous new collection of vintage Kurt Vonnegut short stories. “Look at the Birdie” includes 14 previously unpublished short stories that were written in the years just following World War II, when Vonnegut was back home after witnessing the firebombing of Dresden as a prisoner of war.

The stories are accompanied by Vonnegut’s own whimsical line drawings, and introduced by Vonnegut’s longtime tennis partner, best friend and literary man about New York, Sidney Offit, who is involved now in compiling a future Library of America Vonnegut volume. In the 1950s and early ’60s, Offit notes, Vonnegut had a growing family to support and published regularly in The Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s, Cosmopolitan, Argosy. “Hemingway! Fitzgerald! Faulkner! Steinbeck! Vonnegut!” Offit writes. “Their literary legacies survived the demise of so many of the magazines that provided them with generous fees, per word or per line, and introduced them to hundreds of thousands, even millions of readers.”

Why were these stories, with their lean language and supercharged imaginative range, unpublished? Offit speculates they were probably never submitted, as Vonnegut was always revising. “He was a master craftsman, demanding of himself perfection of the story, the sentence, the word. I remember the rolled up balls of paper in the wastebaskets of his workrooms in Bridgehampton and on East Forty-eighth Street.”

By midcentury, when he was writing these stories, Vonnegut was just beginning to publish. In 1950 he sold his first short story, “Report on the Barnhouse Effect,” to Knox Burger, then fiction editor at Collier’s, for $750—six weeks’ pay at the PR job he had at GE.

The Underlying Causes of Cancer and How To Treat It Without Chemo


From CancerFightingStrategies.com

[A customer came in recently and told me what he and his wife were doing to fight her cancer without chemotherapy, and that she was already “70% healed… not in remission. Healed!” He said that the best on-line resource for those wanting to educate themselves about cancer was this one: CancerFightingStrategies.com. Here are some excerpts from that site… -DS]

Cancerous cells are always being created in the body. It’s an ongoing process that has gone on for eons. Consequently, there are parts of your immune system designed to seek out and destroy cancer cells.

Cancer has been around as long as mankind, but only in the second half of the 20th century did the number of cancer cases explode. Contributing to this explosion are the excessive amounts of toxins and pollutants we are exposed to, high stress lifestyles that zap the immune system, poor quality junk food that’s full of pesticides, irradiated and now genetically modified, pathogens, electromagnetic stress, lights, and just about everything that wasn’t here 200 years ago.

All these weaken the immune system, and alter the internal environment in the body to an environment that promotes the growth of cancer.

Cancer is not a mysterious disease that suddenly attacks you out of the blue, something that you can’t do anything about. It has definite causes that you can correct if your body has enough time, and if you take action to change the internal environment to one that creates health, not cancer, while at the same time attacking cancerous cells and tumors by exploiting their weaknesses.

Cancer tumors begin when more cancerous cells are being created than an overworked, depleted immune system can destroy.

The Cult of Individualism and the Desolation of the Earth


From DAVE POLLARD
How To Save The World

My friend Paul Heft sent around Derrick Jensen’s article on the need to bring down the industrial systems that are destroying our planet, and my article in response, A Serious Resistance, which argued:

It is time for us to mount a serious resistance. It is time for us to tell the world, starting within our own communities, relentlessly, unapologetically, furiously, that the industrial growth economy that is killing our world must stop — now. It is time for us to start to take back our world from the thugs whose reign of industrial, imperial, colonial terror across the globe has begun the sixth great extinction on our planet, one that is desolating the world, bringing about massive and inevitable economic, energy and ecological collapse.

In this serious resistance, we must each pick our own role, yet work in concert and collaboration with our fellow resisters. We must draft others into the resistance movement, and we must do more than just talk about how bad things are, or how we might get the regime to mitigate its horrors. We must choose and commit ourselves to real measures of the defeat of the regime and the undermining and collapse of the industrial growth systems — economic, political, social, educational, technological, and media. Derrick has listed his measures. Mine include the complete stoppage of the Alberta Tar Sands and the industrial agriculture system, especially factory farming (”confined animal farming operations — CAFO”).

One of the recipient of Paul’s note was our mutual friend Nelda Martinez, who responded with this extraordinary letter:

I have read both Jensen’s and Dave’s pieces, and while I agree that the steps they outline are necessary, they remain insufficient – there is a piece missing, and I think I know what it is.

Full article and comments here
~~

And The Rest Is Just Noise


From JONATHAN CHAIT
The New Republic

Why the health care bill is the greatest social achievement of our time

American liberals have a habit of withdrawing into cynicism and ennui at the most inopportune moments. The 2000 presidential election, and subsequent recount, was one such moment. The most die-hard reaches of the left, deeming the Democratic Party hopelessly corrupt, rallied to Ralph Nader’s fulsome populist denunciation of Al Gore’s subservience to the corporate agenda. Among more moderate quarters, an attitude of wry detachment prevailed. (“G.O.P.-lite, Democrat-lite,” sighed Frank Rich, “For the 95 percent of the country unwilling to go for Ralph Nader or Pat Buchanan, that is the choice, it always has been the choice, and it will still be the choice on Nov. 7.”) Those liberals who did see something large at stake took on an almost apologetic tone, conceding the lack of any inspired positive choice and focusing instead on the dangers of Bush.

The right, meanwhile, was engulfed in passion that occasionally flared into rage. Mobs of chanting conservatives harassed Gore at his residence day after day. Another such mob intimidated Miami canvassers into abandoning a recount then seen as potentially decisive. The left met all this with a shrug.

The denouement of the health care debate has brought about a similar moment in the political culture. The opponents of the bill are full of passionate intensity. The right, of course, is subsumed in rage and paranoia. Conservatives have been joined by fiery liberals like Howard Dean and a slew of left-wing blogs, denouncing the bill as a corporate giveaway and urging its defeat. The attitude closer to the center is more resignation and disappointment. (Frank Rich again: “Though the American left and right don’t agree on much, they are both now coalescing around the suspicion that Obama’s brilliant presidential campaign was as hollow as Tiger [Woods]’s public image.”) The endorsements invariably have a defensive tone—the bill “has some imperfections but is worthy of support,” concludes a New York Times editorial.

Go to complete article here
~~

The Paradise Imperative


From WILLIAM KOTKE
CarolynBaker.net

Humans must create paradise or they cannot live on the planet Earth. Paradise here is described as a human community that lives in perpetuity and in peace on one place on the earth, over many generations. In the modern view, generated from the Alternative Culture and Cultural Creatives, we have a permaculture design in a valley that has been ecologically restored and has added additional trees in different ecological niches to create a food forest of fruits and nuts. Under the forest canopy are tall bushes also of fruit and nuts. Under this, the lower berry bushes and vining plants grow. Lower, are the forbs: perennial vegetable plants that grow year after year and require no disruption of the soil community. Below this are the perennial tuber plants and also down in the soil are the edible mushrooms. This is a perpetual food design that will produce more food per acre than the industrial agricultural system, without digging, disrupting and damaging the thousands of species of the soil community, and at the same time, continually building soil fertility and preventing soil erosion.

Next, we add hand made housing of straw-bale, adobe, log, rammed earth, or other local material, along with attached solar green houses according to many successful contemporary designs. The humans, of course, maintain a stable population and live with a stable biological unit.

Then we add a new human culture based on aiding the life force rather than its consumption and destruction.

Paradise is obviously not a new idea. Richard Heinberg in his book Memories and Visions of Paradise says, “ We are faced with some extraordinary facts. In virtually every culture on Earth we encounter a myth telling how humankind originated in a time of peace, happiness, and miraculous power and, because of some mistake or failure, degenerated to its present condition. Moreover, nearly every tribe and nation reveres the sayings of some ancient prophet who foretold the corrupt human world will one day be consumed in a purifying cataclysm to make way for a renewed Golden Age.

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