Clifton Ware, Editor
CFS RECENT AND UPCOMING EVENTS
CFS JULY FORUM: PROMOTING HEALTHY LOCAL FOOD SOURCES. Sat., July 12, 3-5 p.m., SAV Council Chambers. Speaker—Amy Fields, Manager of Eastside Food Co-op. Learn about our local food co-op and its expansion plans, also about the local food movement in the T.C. area and nationally.
CFS—SAV VILLAGEFEST ACTIVITIES: Parade–Fri., Aug. 1, 7 p.m., SAV, coordinated by CFS Bike-Walk SAV. Exhibits—Sat., Aug. 2, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., CFS-related groups participate. More info: http://www.stanthonyvillagefest.org/
CFS AUGUST FORUM: SUSTAINABILTY BOOK CLUB–Decline and Fall: The End of Empire (John Michael Greer), and The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivor’s Toolkit (Dmitry Orlov), Sat. Aug. 23, 3-5 p.m., Place TBD.
EDITOR — Never Give Up!
It seems that the quote “Never Give Up” has been circulating a lot on social media in recent years. Most likely because many people need words of encouragement in facing formidable life challenges, some of which are related to an ongoing sluggish economy and financial problems. Most of us need an optimistic, upbeat slogan to help us keep plugging along, and this one has provided yeoman service.
As with most motivational sayings, however, there are some exceptions. Sometimes it pays to give up in order to stop wasting time and cut one’s losses. For example, wouldn’t it have been better for Hitler to relinquish his fantasy that Germany could still win the war, even as Allied forces were closing in on Berlin.
On the other hand, there are plenty of good reasons for not giving up, as happened with the American Colonial Army in persevering to gain nationhood during the American Revolution, an outcome we gratefully recall when celebrating Independence Day every July 4th. On a more personal level, neither should we give up in striving to provide all of our basic human needs, or in improving ourselves—as spouses, parents, friends, colleagues, and citizens.
So how does this discussion relate to achieving sustainability? Simply put, if we wish to achieve the basic needs and positive qualities mentioned above, it will require a strong collective will and a highly dedicated effort. Such qualities are especially needed in managing ongoing socio-economic conditions that will likely grow worse overtime, largely due to extremes in climate change, declining natural resources, extinction of species, and burgeoning human population.
Are people responding proactively in preparing for what lies ahead? Some are, but most people are too busy managing daily routines and struggling to make ends meet. Honestly speaking, those of us who dedicate ourselves to spreading the word and encouraging people to take constructive steps are often discouraged at the general public’s apparent lack of interest in learning about sustainability issues, and taking steps to create more resilience, as individuals and as communities.
Perhaps, like me, you are a fellow diehard who suffers the highs and lows of promoting sustainability issues. Do we ever feel like giving up? At times, yes. Throughout each week, as I devour news related to sustainability, I experience short bursts of anger, depression, and even some aspects of bargaining, covering all but one step of the grieving process: denial. Having long since arrived at acceptance of all the converging crises we’re facing, I’m way past denying their reality. Thankfully, my hopes and spirits are renewed when receiving positive news.
I also accept the reality that, until overall living conditions grow rather dire, people will not fully engage in creating a more secure and sustainable future. Meanwhile, we’ll just bide our time, try to remain patiently cool, and hope that more people will gradually get involved. So, do we ever give up? Well, we occasionally need a rest break.
The New York Times: Morality Should Not Be Priced in the Marketplace. Capitalism thrives on selfish impulses that Christian moral teaching condemns, and neo-classical economic theory mythologizes a supposedly “natural” free market that never existed anywhere.
Politico: The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats (Nick Hanauer). If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality.
Transition US: Transition & the New Economy: Reflections from CommonBound. Transitioning our economy to one that is truly sustainable requires a bold willingness to radically re-imagine how we do business. It demands difficult conversations around privilege and power, the importance of individual responsibility, and how to equitably sustain more than seven billion people on a planet with finite resources.
New American Dream: Infographics And Analysis: New American Dream Poll 2014. What does the “American Dream” mean today, and how successful are Americans in achieving it? This national survey answers some relevant questions.
CLIMATE, ENERGY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS-VIEWS
AP: Money Men Tally Cost Of Climate Change. Climate change is likely to exact enormous costs on U.S. regional economies in the form of lost property, reduced industrial output and more deaths, according to a report backed by a trio of men with vast business experience.
Minnpost-Earth Journal: As Gore Charts Progress On Climate, New Risk Analysis Paints Dire. The report’s principal focus is on “damage to coastal property and infrastructure from rising sea levels and increased storm surge, climate-driven changes in agricultural production and energy demand, and the impact of higher temperatures on labor productivity and public health.”
ENSIA: Climate Change up Close. The emerging field of downscaling is helping people deal with climate change at the neighborhood scale. Read more…
ENSIA: Business in the Age of Climate Change. Winston’s new book, The Big Pivot, clearly articulates ways for companies to become more sustainable — but are we moving fast enough? Read more…
Climate Progress: The Amount Of Carbon Dioxide In Our Air Just Reached A New Record. On Monday, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii told Climate Central that June would be be the third month in a row where, for the entire month, average levels of carbon dioxide were above 400 parts per million (ppm). In other words, that’s the longest time in recorded history that this much carbon dioxide has been in the atmosphere.
Crude Oil Peak: Oil Prices Started To Skyrocket When One Quarter Of Global Supplies Went Into Irreversible Decline. There are many reasons why oil prices went up in the last 10 years but the loss of 6.7 mb/d of production from a group of around 20 countries is definitely one of the factors.
LOCAL, STATE, AND REGIONAL NEWS-VIEWS
MinnPost: Community Voices: Rain And Climate: We Should Pay Attention To Subtle, Long-Term Changes In The Weather. In Minnesota, spring has long been known for rainy days and cherished rays of warm sun. This year, after the coldest winter in a generation, our thoughts turn more to umbrellas and sandbags. Any anticipation of summer has been put off by what seem like long stretches of increasingly heavy rain driven sideways by spring gales.
Duluth News Tribune: Other View: Broaden Debate On State’s Natural Areas. Although the agency’s vociferous critics wouldn’t agree, there were good intentions behind the state Department of Natural Resource’s controversial move to open up a very small slice of Minnesota’s vast public lands for hunting and other recreational uses
MPR: Study: Chemicals Spreading In Minnesota Groundwater. In what may be the nation’s most extensive study of its kind, a survey of 118 test wells scattered around Minnesota has found that about a third of them contain measurable levels of antibiotics, detergents, or other consumer chemicals known as “contaminants of emerging concern.”
Star Tribune: Commentary: A Water-Soaked Spring Spells Trouble For Wildlife. Record precipitation in June inundated much of the state, leaving wildlife awash. Many areas have been drenched with an astounding 10 to 15 inches or more of rain, flooding not only farm fields but wetlands, grasslands and other wildlife habitat.
MN Daily: U Project Could Use Farming To Turn Down Urban Heat. This summer, new University research will explore urban farming as a new way of mitigating heat islands and reducing heat in metropolitan areas while providing a source of fresh produce and groceries to cities.
SUSTAINABLE IDEAS AND PRACTICES
The Solutions Journal: Using Sociotechnical Feedback to Engage, Educate, Motivate, & Empower Environmental Thought and Action. In recent years a fundamentally new class of technologies – made possible by developments in hardware, software and networking and informed by social psychology – are enabling the emergence of novel forms of feedback on resource consumption and environmental quality.
GrowthBusters: New Video: Think Small. Choosing a small family will make a difference in making a loving, responsible decision to help achieve sustainable equilibrium and leave your children [and grandchildren] a planet worth inheriting – See more at: http://www.growthbusters.org/think-small-family-stickers/#sthash.EfTUS8YQ.dpuf
Star Tribune: Report: Minneapolis Leads Nation In Green Buildings. According to a new study called the 2014 Green Building Adoption Index by the real estate firm CBRE Group Inc. and Maastrict University in the Netherlands, the Twin Cities’ ranking is “remarkable.” All told, 30 U.S. cities were surveyed in the report. Seventy-seven percent of the commercial real estate space in the Twin Cities is certified as green, the study states, followed by San Francisco (67.2 percent); Chicago (62.1 percent); Houston (54.8 percent); and Atlanta (54.1 percent).
Peak Prosperity: Introducing The New (Full-Length) Crash Course. Each chapter has been completely updated with recent data, better visualizations, and a more polished look and feel. We’ve also added several brand-new chapters on important new developments to the Three E story (i.e., quantitative easing, shale oil, environmental stressors) that weren’t in the picture when the original series was created back in 2008.
Yale E360: On Front Lines of Recycling, Turning Food Waste into Biogas. An increasing number of sewage treatment plants in the U.S. and Europe are processing food waste in anaerobic biodigesters, keeping more garbage out of landfills, reducing methane emissions, and producing energy to defray their operating costs.
Union of Concerned Scientists: The US Military and Oil. The U.S. military uses more oil than any other institution in the world—but it’s also a leader in clean vehicle technology. Watch the video>
NOTABLE UPCOMING LOCAL EVENTS
Multiple TC Sponsors: Nate Hagens: “The Converging Environmental & Economic Crises: A Pep Talk for Those Paying Attention.” Thurs., July 10, 7 p.m., MCAD Auditorium, 2501 Stevens Ave, Mpls. Donations. Ecological Economist, Post Carbon Institute.
MN350: Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement. Wed., July 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Bryant Square Park, 3101 Bryant Ave. S., Mpls. Information: Patty@MN350.org.
> REDUCE > REUSE > RECYCLE!
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Thanks! Clif Ware http://www.clifware.com/
CFS News-Views Digest is published weekly (with some exceptions)