From DAVE SMITH
Have a look…
From RICHARD HEINBERG
Post Carbon Institute
Every activist engaged in combating human-caused climate change or specific elements of the current energy economy knows that the work is primarily oppositional. It could hardly be otherwise; for citizens who care about ecological integrity, a sustainable economy, and the health of nature and people, there is plenty to oppose—biomass logging in Massachusetts, mountaintop-removal coal mining in West Virginia, natural gas drilling in Wyoming, poorly sited solar developments in California, river-killing dams in Chile and Brazil, and new nuclear and coal plants around the globe.
These and many other fights against destructive energy projects are crucial, but they can be draining and tend to focus the conversation in negative terms. Sometimes it’s useful to reframe the discourse about ecological limits and economic restructuring in positive terms, that is, about what we’re for. The following list is not comprehensive, but beauty and biodiversity are fundamentals that the energy economy must not diminish. And energy literacy, conservation, relocalization of economic systems, and family planning are necessary tools to achieve our vision of a day when resilient human communities are imbedded in healthy ecosystems, and all members of the land community have space enough to flourish.
Energy is arguably the most decisive factor in both ecosystems and human economies. It is the fulcrum of history, the enabler of all that we do. Yet few people have more than the sketchiest understanding of how energy makes the world go ’round.
Basic energy literacy
From SHARON ASTYK
Here is the single biggest question to consider about the economic, energy and environmental unwinding we are facing – what will the economy look as we go? I get more questions about this than about anything else – what should people do for work, what should they do with savings, how should they begin to prepare themselves for a lower energy world. What I find, however, is that among both the prepared and the unprepared, there’s a whole lot of people kidding themselves. There are those who imagine that there is no economy outside the world of the stock market and formal jobs – that a crash in those things is the end of the world, which means to them either that it can’t happen or they should buy a bunker and some ammo. Others have imagined themselves “free’ of all economic structures larger than the neighborhood, cheerfully providing most of their needs or bartering and never again touching cash. Both ideas fall into the realm of fantasy.
Let us remind ourselves that the informal economy is, in fact, the larger part of the world’s total economy. When you add in the domestic and household economy of the world’s households, the subsistence economy, the barter economy, the volunteer economy, the “under the table” economy, the criminal economy and a few other smaller players, you get something that adds up to 3/4 of the world’s total economic activity. The formal economy – the territory of professional and paid work, of tax statements and GDP – is only 1/4 of the world’s total economic activity.
From DAVID WHITFORD
One of the original organizers of the Occupy Wall Street movement is ready to declare victory.
Kalle Lasn, the white-haired evangelist of Occupy Wall Street, was on the phone from Vancouver, pressing me in his thick Eastern European accent. “So how do you feel there at Fortune?” he asked before I could begin my interview. “Are you scared? You feel that some sort of a heave is happening underneath your feet?”
It was late October, six weeks into a movement that Lasn and his crew of “culture jammers” at Adbustersmagazine take credit for launching. “Are you ready for a Tahrir moment?”Adbusters posted on its website in July. “On Sept 17, flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street.” Now Tahrir may have been a stretch. Even Lasn, who was born in German-occupied Estonia in 1942 and spent part of his childhood in a refugee camp, doesn’t think that America is quite ready for Tunisia-style “hard regime change.” Otherwise, good call.
But what’s next, now that winter is on its way and mayors in New York and Oakland, two of the movement’s epicenters, have sent riot squads to shut down the camps in their cities? Lasn told me during the same interview that perhaps the occupation as we know it was coming to an end. “Some heroic people will hang in there and sleep in the snow and inspire us all with their guts,” he predicted, “but by and large I think this movement
Probably 97 percent of police act professionally toward protesters. But the other 3 percent are armed and dangerous, and know that they’re unlikely to be held accountable.
Occupations across the country have born the brunt of some violent police tactics, and in a world where everyone has a camera-phone, a lot of their brutish behavior has been caught in photographs and on video.
Police work is difficult and dangerous, and the majority of officers on the street behave like pros. When it comes to controlling crowds of angry protesters, they’re often put into tense situations and ordered to do things they may not want to do by commanders who are far removed from the scene. I’ve witnessed a lot of restraint from cops, which of course doesn’t make the news.
But being human, cops are also prone to fear and rage like everyone else. A minority of cops, like a minority of protesters, lose their cool in tense situations. The difference is that they aren’t amateurs – they’re well trained and have guidelines that they’re required to follow. When a cop loses his or her cool, it can be terrifying. And when a protester exercising his or her right to assemble and speak is a victim of excessive force, it also violates the United States Constitution…
More footage here
From REV BILLY
As I type we’re hearing of the arrests at the Stock Exchange. I turn on the Global Revolution livestream & get Los Angeles shouting. Hawaii OWS is just awaking with Good Mornings Aloha! rolling down the right side of the screen.
It’s 1 PM in Brooklyn. My interview from Leah Borreomoro of the Space Hijackers in London – is put off. Savi is sending out an invitation to our Coney Island reading Saturday nite at the Freakshow. We’ll be going down to Foley Square tonight with the baby swinging in the papoose. That event – with the Stop Shopping Choir – is backed by unions and permits – but I’ll wear my Mormon magic underwear to anticipate any return to my beloved Tombs.
Arrest count in NY at 1 PM – 200. I do feel a responsibility to GO TO JAIL NOW. But on the other hand – that is one of my everyday emotions, and I have three court cases pending… just another aspect of the arrival of actual revolution, when for so long our sermons and songs sent us off to jail alone.
I have an older activist’s role in the Occupies. I travel among the tent-cities, sharing my experience when it’s asked for. Much of the talk is like this little film: how to persevere against violence (and violence-loving media) with a non-violence that is fluid and even funny and able to out-flank the phalanxes of Darth Vaders.
Mostly, we are so grateful that all of this is happening. We know that we must not let up. Revolujah!
From DAVE JOHNSON
Who gains – and who loses – when public assets and jobs are turned over to the private sector?
The corporate right endlessly promotes “privatization” of public assets and public jobs as a cash-raising or cost-saving measure. Privatization is when the public turns over assets like airports, roads or buildings, or contracts out a public function like trash collection to a private company. Many cities contract out their trash collection. To raise cash Arizona even sold its state capital building and leased it back.
The justification for privatization is the old argument that private companies do everything better and more “efficiently” than government, and will find ways to cut costs. Over and over we hear that companies do everything for less cost than government. But it never seems to sink in that private companies don’t do things unless the people at the top can make a bundle of cash; if the CEO isn’t making millions, that CEO will move the company on to something else. When government does something they don’t have to pay millions to someone at the top.
So how do private companies save money? What costs do companies cut that government doesn’t? When you hear about “cost-cutting” here is something to consider: what if by “costs” the privatizers are talking about … us?
From TODD WALTON
Someone broke into our car last week while we were in Cotton Auditorium for another marvelous Symphony of the Redwoods concert, Marcia in the orchestra, I in the audience. I left our car unlocked, having lost the habit of locking up since I moved to Mendocino from Berkeley six years ago. The thief or thieves took a water bottle, a pair of dark glasses, and several CDs. They did not steal the stereo or wreck anything, but the invasion left us feeling sad and cranky. Marcia always locks her car, and I will do so henceforth, though it pains me to feel I must.
I’ve been robbed several times in the course of my life, each robbery ushering in a time of self-review. I’ve had six bicycles stolen, each theft necessitating the purchase of my subsequent mount, along with new and improved locks and chains. And because riding my bicycle was, until quite recently, my primary mode of transport, I understand very well why we used to hang horse thieves.
The grandest material theft of my life befell me two days after Christmas in 1979. I had just moved to Sacramento and was renting a house in a demilitarized zone—poverty to the south of me, wealth to the north. For the first time since childhood, and after more than a decade of living a monk’s life, materialistically speaking, I was relatively affluent. In quick order I had acquired
From BILL MOYERS
Thanks to Janie Sheppard
During the prairie revolt that swept the Great Plains in 1890, populist orator Mary Elizabeth Lease exclaimed, “Wall Street owns the country…. Money rules…. Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags. The [political] parties lie to us and the political speakers mislead us.”
She should see us now. John Boehner calls on the bankers, holds out his cup and offers them total obeisance from the House majority if only they fill it. Barack Obama criticizes bankers as “fat cats,” then invites them to dine at a pricey New York restaurant where the tasting menu runs to $195 a person.
That’s now the norm, and they get away with it. The president has raised more money from employees of banks, hedge funds and private equity managers than any Republican candidate, including Mitt Romney. Inch by inch he has conceded ground to them while espousing populist rhetoric that his very actions betray.
Let’s name this for what it is: hypocrisy made worse, the further perversion of democracy. Our politicians are little more than money launderers in the trafficking of power and policy—fewer than six degrees of separation from the spirit and tactics of Tony Soprano.
Why New York’s Zuccotti Park is filled with people is no mystery. Reporters keep scratching their heads
From CHARLES MINGUS
1 First, you must train your cat to use a home-made cardboard litter box, if you have not already done so. (If your box does not have a one-piece bottom, add a cardboard that fits inside, so you have a false bottom that is smooth and strong. This way the box will not become soggy and fall out at the bottom. The grocery store will have extra flat cardboards which you can cut down to fit exactly inside your box.)
Be sure to use torn up newspaper, not kitty litter. Stop using kitty litter. (When the time comes you cannot put sand in a toilet.)
Once your cat is trained to use a cardboard box, start moving the box around the room, towards the bathroom. If the box is in a corner, move it a few feet from the corner, but not very noticeably. If you move it too far, he may go to the bathroom in the original corner. Do it gradually. You’ve got to get him thinking.Then he will gradually follow the box as you move it to the bathroom. (Important: if you already have it there, move it out of the bathroom, around, and then back. He has to learn to follow it. If it is too close to the toilet, to begin with, he will not follow it up onto the toilet seat when you move it there.) A cat will look for his box. He smells it… Complete instructions here
From GLOBAL GUERILLAS
…How does a resilient community build a solar farming platform? Here’s what is required (this is MUCH easier to do with new construction):
From CHRIS HEDGES
Welcome to the revolution. Our elites have exposed their hand. They have nothing to offer. They can destroy but they cannot build. They can repress but they cannot lead. They can steal but they cannot share. They can talk but they cannot speak. They are as dead and useless to us as the water-soaked books, tents, sleeping bags, suitcases, food boxes and clothes that were tossed by sanitation workers Tuesday morning into garbage trucks in New York City. They have no ideas, no plans and no vision for the future.
Our decaying corporate regime has strutted in Portland, Oakland and New York with their baton-wielding cops into a fool’s paradise. They think they can clean up “the mess”—always employing the language of personal hygiene and public security—by making us disappear. They think we will all go home and accept their corporate nation, a nation where crime and government policy have become indistinguishable, where nothing in America, including the ordinary citizen, is deemed by those in power worth protecting or preserving, where corporate oligarchs awash in hundreds of millions of dollars are permitted to loot and pillage the last shreds of collective wealth, human capital and natural resources, a nation where the poor do not eat and workers do not work, a nation where the sick die and children go hungry, a nation where the consent of the governed and the voice of the people is a cruel joke.
From JOE CONASON
At a time when nations that tax, spend, regulate and invest more consistently outstrip the United States in many measures of progress, leading Republicans speak only of smashing government and ending vital programs. In this constantly escalating rhetorical game, it became inevitable that one of them would eventually expose the emptiness of this vainglorious display. And it was unsurprising that the ultimate faker would turn to be Rick Perry.
The dim demagogue could scarcely contain himself during the CNBC debate last Wednesday night as he turned to Ron Paul, his fellow Texan whose sincere hatred of government verges on anarchism, saying: “I will tell you, it is three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education and the—what’s the third one there? Let’s see.”
With the world watching, he literally didn’t know what he was talking about. And from there it only got worse.
Grinning and groping for an answer, Perry flailed embarrassingly until Paul helpfully suggested “EPA?” But for some reason that didn’t satisfy Perry, who smirked as if someone was trying to trick him into giving the wrong response. “The third agency of government I would—I would do away with
From GLOBAL GUERRILLAS
Event: Bloomberg, the emblematic plutocrat, raids Liberty Square to drive out the Occupy Wall Street protest. In fact, looking across America, it’s amazing how irritating peaceful protest is to its plutocrats, particularly if it is directed against them rather than some useless issue (that the commerical conservatives/liberals love to waste time on).
The question this should raise: how do a very, very small group of neo-feudal plutocrats control a global population (of economic losers) in the modern context?
Right now? Lawfare and the buraucracy of the nation-state. As things continue to degrade, that veneer of legality and constraint will fade and become less effective.
In short, bots will increasingly allow a VERY small group of people (in our case, a small group of plutocrats that act as the world’s economic central planners) to amplify their power/dominance in a the physical world to a degree never seen before.
Software bots automate information dominance. They can do everything from checking purchasing habits to energy use (via smart meters)
Thanks to Ron Epstein
Other quotes from Gandhi:
Gandhi on Non-Violence (speech 1919)
I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence. Thus when my eldest son asked me what he should have done had he been present when I was almost fatally assaulted in 1908, whether he should have used his physical force which he could and wanted to use, and defended me, I told him that it was his duty to defend me even by using violence. Hence it was that I took part in the Boer War, the so-called Zulu Rebellion and the late war. Hence also do I advocate training in arms for those who believe in the method of violence. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonour.
But I believe that non-violence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment, forgiveness adorns a soldier. But abstinence is forgiveness only when there is the power to punish; it is meaningless when it pretends to proceed from a helpless treasure. A mouse hardly forgives a cat when it allows itself to be torn to pieces by her. I therefore appreciate the sentiment of those who cry out for the punishment of General Dyer and his ilk. They would tear him to pieces if thy could. But I do not believe Indian to be helpless.
From ROSALIND PETERSON
Agriculture Defense Coalition
“Climate Remediation” = Geoengineering – Global Geoengineering Governance: Currently the U.S. Government, our military, NASA, NOAA (other U.S. agencies), any city, county, state, private indivduals, corporations, foreign governments, and foreign corporations, can initiate any type of geo-engineering experiments without public knowledge, consent, government restrictions or public debate.
Rosalind Peterson is California President and Co-Founder of the Agriculture Defense Coalition (ADC). The ADC was formed in 2006, to protect agricultural from a wide variety of experimental weather and atmospheric testing programs.
Ms. Peterson also founded California Skywatch in 2002, when she began researching atmospheric testing and weather modification programs. The two websites are separate entities but are linked together by issues listed alphabetically in the “Categories” section.
Ms. Peterson was a Keynote Speaker at the 60th Annual DPI/NGO Conference on
From DAN SHAPLEY
The Daily Green
A portrait of Hardwick, Vt., which may be unique in its efforts to develop a new kind of local food system.
I wanted to read The Town that Food Saved because I grew up and live in New York’s Hudson Valley, where small-scale farming has always been a part of the fabric of life…
The book tells the story of Hardwick, Vt., a small town that the modern U.S. economy basically forgot about after its days as a center of granite quarrying ended. An influx of Canadian farmers, followed by a wave of back-to-the-land countercultural types helped maintain a local farm economy while downtown decayed into a familiar rust belt shell of itself: a strip club, a liquor store, a supermarket and a lot of abandoned buildings. Then along comes, along with a wave of wealthy second-home owners seeking the bucolic country life, a fresh crop of farmers and “agripreneurs”: Young, educated and – in some key cases – as well-suited to the world of PR as to the world of farming. Buzz builds about how the town is redefining a local food system in opposition to the consolidated
From NAOMI STARKMAN
During the 20th century, centralized forces made a long-lasting impact on the US food system. An economic and social structure of common markets supplying food produced by local farmers was slowly and steadily dismantled as food production, processing, and distribution consolidated into corporate agri-business.
These changes, on a national scale, created fundamental market barriers for small and midsize farms.
A return to roots
Today, Detroit’s Eastern Market, first established in 1891, is a revitalized food hub, returning to the historical practice of actively offering processing and aggregation support to small and midsize farmers, facilitating relationships between local producers and institutional buyers, and strengthening Michigan’s regional food system. Its evolution says much about the history of our food system and a transformation currently taking place across the country.
From the coasts to the middle of the country, people are seeking new ways to change and sustain the food system.
Nationwide, consumer demand for locally grown food is growing exponentially. The number of farmers’ markets is skyrocketing, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are on the rise, and restaurants