Transitioning To Resilient Sustainability – SEF News-Views Digest


SEF News-Views Digest No. 166 (3-29-17)
Clifton Ware, Editor-Publisher

Some readers are very familiar with the growing transition movement, while others may have only heard of it. But I suspect a majority of readers are not fully informed about this growing grassroots movement.

In brief, the transition movement consists of citizens who recognize and accept the potential dangers associated with a series of converging socio-economic, political, and environmental realities. Instead of complaining and agonizing about dire future prospects, they’ve decided to take proactive initiatives to form greater individual and collective resilience in their local communities. In general, they believe that only through mutual cooperation and collaboration will communities be able to establish sustainable ways of living.

In the Twin Cities area we are fortunate to have some notable transition groups, including: St. Anthony Park and West Side in St. Paul: Longfellow, Corcoran and Northeast in Minneapolis: and a group in the North Suburbs. Information about each group is available on the Transition Twin Cities website (http://transitiontwincities.org/). Citizens for Sustainability (CFS), which is located in St. Anthony Village, also functions as an incipient form of transition town.

Given the complexity and negative nature of emerging socio-economic, political, and environmental news, it’s no wonder that transition groups are becoming more proactive. So far there is no single town or city that has wholly adopted a transition approach to creating resilience and sustainability. Most likely, the first one will not be a large urban city, but possibly a small, compact city. For instance, St. Anthony Village, where we live, is a northeast first-tier suburb bordering Minneapolis that is well primed to achieve transition-town status.

The advantages of a small city like St. Anthony Village (SAV) are obvious, at least to me. Consider these positive attributes: 1) approximately 8,200 citizens, mostly middle class, from children to seniors; 2) a first-class single school system (from elementary to high school); 3) active citizen engagement, with receptive government access; 4) affordable housing for low-to-middle-income citizens; 5) modern business areas that provide most needs and services; 6) several civic-minded churches and organizations; 7) access to public transportation within the metro area, including downtown districts and most city amenities; 8) public-safety programs committed to improving the safety and well being of residents; 9) well-maintained infrastructure, including streets and sidewalks; and 10) convenient recreational facilities and parks, including Central Park and Silverwood Park, a regional park with nature paths, a lake, and attractive visitors center. But perhaps the most significant feature is an established sustainability commitment by city officials. SAV was one of the first Minnesota cities to earn the Minnesota Step 3 City status, and is now working on attaining Step 4, the highest ranking to date. Moreover, the city received the state’s prestigious Sustainable City Award in 2016.

Currently, Minnesota cities are engaged in drawing up comprehensive 10-year strategic plans, which includes defining all goals and projected projects. SAV officials are actively soliciting input from citizens, including CFS members. Some joint recommendations include: 1) increasing the number of sidewalks and bikeways; 2) making street crossings safer at high-traffic intersections; 3) promoting and organizing more home and community gardens, rain gardens, and pollinator pathways; 4) establishing city codes and programs to encourage home and building owners to make structures more energy efficient (testing, insulating, conserving); 5) creating codes and incentives that encourage solar installations on homes and buildings; 6) increasing the amount of recycling materials collected; and 7) establishing a pilot composting program, perhaps in connection with community gardens. More information about St. Anthony Village is available on the city’s website (http://www.ci.saint-anthony.mn.us).

If interested in learning more about transition towns—and I hope you are—please visit the Transition US website. Then, if you wish to investigate further, consider attending a transition event to meet and speak with some folks dedicated to transitioning to a more resilient and sustainable future.

SUSTAINABILITY VIEWS

> The Great Change: The Sheer Wall (Albert Bates).  The Commonwealth’s Workshop on Regenerative Development to Reverse Climate Change was convened in 2016. The primary result of the workshop was the consensus that there are proven techniques readily available to effectively address climate change and regenerate the capacity and capabilities of communities and ecosystems. As things stand, behaviors that increase energy consumption, extraction, production, consumption, pollution, and degradation are generally rewarded, and promoted as the basis of wealth creation. Yet this is demonstrably false. Education, information dissemination, and appropriate policy and economic incentive structures are critical in shifting individual behaviors and social ideals, to properly value natural wealth. By re-conceptualizing to circular economics and biomimetic thinking, manufactured capital comes to depend on regenerative practices.

> Open Democracy: Scorn Wars: Rural White People And Us (Nina Eliasoph). Katherine Cramer’s book, The Politics of Resentment, argues that part of the reason rural whites resent urban elites is that they think that we know nothing about them—that they and their hard work and intelligence are invisible to us and that we scorn them anyway. Once upon a time, our societies had broad, public visions like the New Deal and the Great Society that lessened the gap between winners and losers. Without those visions, rural people’s resentful conversion of powerlessness into piety makes sense since ‘your win is my loss.’ What could end this cycle of mutual scorn? First, just listening to each other more attentively across the divide could help. Second, we need to give people a vision for society that makes it clear that if one group wins, another group doesn’t lose. Fox News provides rural people a secure structure of feeling, by helping people repeat a common vision and feeling to one another of being in the same boat.

> Cassandra’s Legacy: Why EROEI Matters: The Role Of Net Energy In The Survival Of Civilization (Ugo Bardi). A civilization grows and prospers on the net energy it receives, i.e., the energy produced minus the energy required to sustain production. Question: Can transition from fossil fuels to renewables be achieved at current levels of EROEI? EROEI of oil is not easy to estimate but we can say at least two things: 1) our civilization was built on an energy source with an EROEI around 30-40; and 2) the EROEI of oil has been going down owing to the depletion of the most profitable (high EROEI) wells. Today, we may be producing crude oil at a EROE between 10 and 20, and it keeps going down. Renewables, with the present values of the EROEI, around 10 for solar, and 20 for wind, cannot support a fast growing society. So the problem is not to keep the unsustainable growth rates that society is accustomed to, but to grow renewable energy fast enough to replace fossil fuels—before depletion or climate change destroy us.

> Our Finite World: Raising Interest Rates Can’t End Well! (Gail Tverberg). A finite world does not behave the way most modelers expect. Interest rates and oil prices that worked perfectly well in the past don’t necessarily work well now. It seems to me that raising interest rates at this time is very ill advised. The economy, which looks like a type of Ponzi Scheme, depends on both rising energy consumption and rising debt. It seems to be reaching its limit in the near term. Raising interest rates will tend to push it even further toward its limit, or over the limit. Debt is used to pay participants in the economy using a promise for future goods and services. This allows the economy to appear to distribute more goods and services than are actually available. Part of our problem today is the extent of analysts’ specialization, with virtually no one understanding the full problem. The world economy is operating at too close to “stall speed”. and the financial system is too fragile.

> Peak Prosperity: Banks Are Evil (Adam Taggart). The banking system’s influence and reach has metastasized to the point where we now live under a captive system. From our retirement accounts, to our homes, to the laws we live under—the banks control it all, running the system for their benefit, not ours. Since 1999, the key trends in the financial industry have been to dismantle regulation and defang those responsible for enforcing it, to manipulate market, and to push downside risk onto “muppets” and taxpayers. Because the banks control the Federal Reserve, they have the ability to print up trillions in thin-air money and then get first-at-the-trough access, enriching themselves and their cronies. They have made themselves too big to fail, and too big to jail. That’s wrong. It’s immoral. And it’s Evil. Finally, as a society, we need to wake up and make some hard, courageous choices.

> USA Watchdog: Financial Collapse Will Trigger Civil War-Doug Casey (Greg Hunter).  According to author Doug Casey, “In the U.S. right now, there seems to be so much antagonism it’s almost like pre-Civil War . . .Now, it’s active hatred between these two groups [Republicans and Democrats]. This is not going to end well.” Casey thinks the coming financial collapse will be the trigger, but it will be more serious than just a financial collapse. He warns that financial markets are all in bubble territory, but the bond market is in the biggest bubble of them all. He predicts very high levels of inflation, and that gold and silver are the only assets not simultaneously someone else’s liability.

> Resilience: Democracy At Risk: The Terrifying Power Of Big Data (Samuel Alexander). The ‘digital revolution’ continues to change the world in profound ways. Big data refers to the collection of the ‘digital traces’ that we all leave as a result of our online activity. Essentially everything we do online is recorded, from the websites we browse and the terms we type into Google, to the purchases we make and the posts that we ‘like’ on Facebook or ‘retweet’ on Twitter. Using big data to manipulate consumers into buying this or that product is one thing, but what is far more concerning the fact that big data is now being used for political purposes in ways that few appreciate. Could big data be used to manipulate us not just as consumers but also as citizens, influencing our voting habits and political outlook? Big data is the latest challenge to democracy—and it is a threat that runs deeper than most people realize.

SUSTAINABILITY NEWS

> Grassroots Economic Organizing: The First 100 Days – Budget Week -Sawing Off The Branch On Which We Sit (Pamela Boyce Simms). The administration’s budget proposal for 2018 eviscerates agencies that could have mitigated some of the climate change devastation ahead. The evidence is in the 2018 Budget Proposal. Cuts in budgets, programs, and regulations will notably affect auto industry standards, climate-related programs, and energy-related programs, as well as others, including the arts, healthcare, and public media. If we first choose to allocate time and energy to freeing our minds from the habitual thought that landed us in this morass we have a shot, but it will require work to radically shift our frames of reference.

> The Washington Post: Finally, Some Good News For The Climate: Global Carbon Emissions Stayed Flat In 2016 (Chelsea Harvey). A new report from the International Energy Administration has found that global carbon emissions remained flat for the third year in a row, even while the global economy continued to grow. According to the report, carbon emissions from the energy sector topped out at about 32.1 billion tons last year, about the same as in 2015 and 2014. On the other hand, the global economy grew by another 3.1 percent, as it has also done over the past few years. The report notes that the two largest contributors—China and the United States—saw a drop in their carbon dioxide emissions. It’s important to note that flat emissions don’t mean no emissions—billions of tons of greenhouse gases still went into the atmosphere in 2016 and are on track to continue in that trend for years to come. And as long as carbon is being emitted, the planet will continue to warm.

> MinnPost: Uh-Oh. Ocean Temperatures Are Rising Much Faster Than We’ve Been Thinking (Ron Meador; 2-part interview with John Abraham, engineering professor, University of St. Thomas). Seawater holds more than 90 percent of the excess heat that arrives from the sun but, thanks to greenhouse gases, isn’t promptly returned to space. Because this report had been published in Science Advances, a journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, its credibility was clear. If you want to predict how fast the Earth will warm in the future, you have to know its current rate of warming. And the only way you can do that is via the oceans, a proxy for the entire planet. Understanding how fast they’re warming tells us how fast the world is warming—where we’re going to be in 10, 20, 100 years. The oceans are a buffer in two ways: They soak up heat and they soak up carbon dioxide. Abraham thinks that technological solutions might not be available. See Also: New Ocean Data May Disprove Any Slowdown In The Rate Our Planet Is Warming

> The Guardian: 19 House Republicans Call On Their Party To Do Something About Climate Change (Dana Nuccittelli). Last week, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and Congressman Ryan Costello (R-PA) led a group of 17 House Republicans in introducing a resolution that calls on Congress to develop policies to tackle climate change. The Republican Climate Resolution recognizes that environmental stewardship is a conservative principle, that policies should be based on scientific evidence and quantifiable facts, that climate change is having negative impacts and is viewed by the Department of Defense as a threat multiplier, and that we can and must take meaningful action to address these threats in a manner that doesn’t constrain the American economy. Eleven of the Resolution’s signatories are also members of the Climate Solutions Caucus, as are Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who have not yet signed the Resolution.

> Midwest Energy News: Youth Activists Score Big Climate Victory In Small Minnesota Town (Frank Jossi). Last month a handful of students convinced the Grand Marais city council to adopt a “climate inheritance resolution” that could lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the tiny North Shore hamlet, becoming the second Minnesota community to do so. A beacon for tourists and outdoors enthusiasts, Grand Marais became the second Minnesota city after St. Louis Park to pass a climate inheritance resolution initiated by students using a “report card” developed by the nonprofit iMatter. The resolution calls for three things to happen—the creation of a climate action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to begin the aforementioned plan within three months of the resolution’s passage, and to include “the youth voice” in future decisions involving the environment and climate change. [This project should influence other cities to take similar steps, allowing youth a voice in their future; see also: Teens Suing U.S. Over Climate Change Ask For Exxon’s ‘Wayne Tracker’ Emails.

> Mother Jones: The Crazy Theory About Smog That’s Gaining Ground in the White House (Emily Atkin). A 1993 groundbreaking Harvard University study of smog-ridden U.S. cities and countless research papers since then—that short-term and long-term exposure to air pollution can kill people, particularly those with pre-existing conditions. C. Arden Pope, a professor at Brigham Young University world-renowned researcher of air pollution’s impacts on human health, says “There are very few people conducting this research and publishing it in the peer-reviewed literature who don’t think fine particles pollution can lead to death.” Those who do, however, are getting louder and gaining influence in conservative political circles and inside President Donald Trump’s administration. At last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a little-noticed air pollution denial was rampant and went unchallenged. These air-pollution deniers have just one hope: the repeal of clean-air regulations that have long protected Americans’ health.

> Daily Mail: 7,000 Underground Methane Gas Bubbles In Russia (Will Stewart), Some 7,000 “underground gas bubbles” are set to explode in the Russian Arctic, say new reports. Bulging bumps filled with methane in the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas are believed to be the result of thawing permafrost. Scientists have identified the peculiar phenomenon on expeditions and from satellite images. Experts believe the ‘bubbles’ will erupt causing more large craters that have been noticed in recent years in Arctic regions of Siberia. The extent of the harmful greenhouse gases buried in this new phenomenon of jelly-like bubbles poses ‘very serious alarm’ concerning the impact of global warming, expert Alexander Sokolov warned. Recent summers have been the hottest on record in the Arctic, and scientists say the permafrostor year-round frozen groundis thawing at an alarming rate. This means gases frozen in the ground for thousands of years are suddenly released.

> Canada Free Press: Just So You Know: Total U.S. Debt And Other Obligations Now Total $69 Trillion (Dan Calabrese). Lacy Hunt, an economist with Hoisington Investment, estimated at a recent conference held by Grant’s Interest Rate Observer that debt of all kinds in the U.S. now totals more than $69 trillion. That’s more than double the $30 trillion recorded by Fed statisticians as recently as 2000. If the Hunt figure is correct, then total debt is now about 370% of GDP, up from 294% in 2000. Also, foreign demand for American debt is showing signs of weakness. [Attempts to reduce U.S. debt looks dubious, even with a Republican administration that wants to cut every existing budget, except for the military] 

> The New York Times: Norway Is No. 1 In Happiness. The U.S., Sadly, Is No. 14. (Niraj Chokshi). After placing fourth last year, Norway is now the world’s happiest country, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report, which was prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, an international panel of social scientists convened by the UN. The Central African Republic was the least happy of 155 countries ranked. The authors found that three-quarters of the variation among countries can be explained by six economic and social factors: gross domestic product per capita (a basic measure of national wealth); healthy years of life expectancy; social support (having someone to rely on during times of trouble); trust (a perceived absence of corruption in government and business); the perceived freedom to make life choices; and generosity (measured by donations). [See also Why Is Norway Tops In Happiness? Let Us Count Some Ways by Rebecca Lowen.]

SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTIONS

> Post Carbon Institute: Disengage From The Spectacle (Richard Heinberg). Maybe at least some of us are better off severely limiting our consumption of American national news just now. It’s not that events in Washington won’t affect us. They most assuredly will. I propose it only after a great deal of thought, and on the basis of two premises: 1) We are at the end of the period of general economic growth that characterized the post-WWII era; and 2) The new and current U.S. regime is adopting an essentially fascist character, and once a nation turns decisively toward fascism they ruthlessly hobble and destroy all opposition. If the regime is successful in the short term, we might get a slower crash; if it fails, we might get a faster one. Strategies: 1) Disengage from the spectacle; 2) Make a personal and family resilience plan; 3) Work to build community resilience; 4) Direct some of your resilience-building efforts toward long-term and nature-centered concerns; and 5) Take some time for the conservation of culture—arts and skills.

> Yes! Magazine: How Nature Makes Us Healthier and Happier (Kristopher Greene, Dacher Kelner). A large body of research is documenting the positive impacts of nature on human flourishing. Over 100 studies have shown that being in nature—or even watching it in videos—benefits our brains, bodies, feelings, thought processes, and social interactions. Nature experiences lead to reduced stress, and behavioral changes that improve mood and general wellbeing.

> Engadget: Google: 4 Out Of 5 US Homes Have Solar Power Potential (Steve Dent). Launched just two years ago, Google’s Project Sunroof has now surveyed over 60 million US buildings in 50 states. The results are surprising: 79 percent of all US rooftops are solar viable, meaning they have enough sun-exposed area for solar panels. Project Sunroof can give you a lot of city-wide information, including the percentage of buildings (both commercial and residential) that are solar-viable, the total electrical generating capacity, average roof space and the total CO2 reduction viability (in tons), cars taken off the road, and seedlings planted. There’s a good chance you can find your own house by drilling down more. You can see your upfront costs, 20-year benefits, total 20-year savings and years until payback. The calculator can even drill down to a detailed estimate.

> Conversation: End Of The Road? Why It Might Be Time To Ditch Your Car (Anthony James). The average car is stationary 96% of the time. A car is typically parked at home 80% of the time, parked elsewhere 16% of the time, and on the move just 4% of the time. And that doesn’t include the increasing time we spend at a standstill in traffic. The funny thing is that while we own more cars than ever, we’re actually using them less. It’s not just the car itself that’s wasted. Consider the resources and infrastructure—both private and public—needed to design, mine, manufacture, ship, sell, fuel, move, store, secure, insure, regulate, police, maintain, clean, repair and dispose of all these cars. Many urban areas around the world are seeing a rapid shift away from private cars as the dominant form of transport. Peak car is upon us, and with it comes the opportunity to choose new models of urban transport that better match our current needs for quality, sustainable living. It is vital work.

> Yes! Magazine: Small-Scale Farming Could Restore America’s Rural Towns (Sarah van Gelder). Although many rural areas are poverty stricken, some relatively prosperous small towns exist, and they often include large Amish or Mennonite populations. About 45 percent of Organic Valley’s farmers nationwide are Amish or Mennonite. Organic Valley, based in La Farge, Wisconsin serves these farmers by setting dairy prices that are enough for them to operate without harming the animals, the workers, the customers, or the planet. And instead of paying exorbitant salaries to executives or huge returns to investors, the company helps conventional farmers make the expensive transition to organics. The prosperity of these small farmers ripples out into the surrounding communities, where those who provide farm families with goods and services can also prosper. Along with farm jobs comes another possibility: the restoration of agricultural livelihoods and the small towns that support them.

> Resilience: The Struggle For Meaningful Work (Kent Klitgaard). Persuading people to live within nature’s limits will be difficult so long as their livelihoods depend upon ever-greater levels of production and consumption. Sustainability advocates must offer working people an alternative framework for steady, decent work, or risk seeing their efforts prove futile. In a sustainable society, work should be meaningful as well as steady and productive. The field of positive psychology offers deeper insights into what gives work meaning, stressing the importance of mastery and “flow” (optimal experiential state), pointing out that happiness must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended. Craftwork, which embodies the essence of meaningful work, is not just about mastering a set of techniques, but about the unity of conception and execution, all based on caring. Developing meaningful work, therefore, must be part of a broader transcendence of aspirations for boundless material consumption and an embrace of a culture of ample sufficiency.

> Ensia: Health Care May Be In A State Of Flux — But Health Care Sustainability Is Here To Stay (Gary Cohen). Today we’re seeing efforts to tackle root causes and complex, sector-wide problems like climate change and greening the supply chain—reducing health care’s impact on the environment and the environment’s impact on public health. Although health care is currently in flux, it isn’t running from environmental stewardship. Our data reveal how deep and wide health care’s efforts in sustainability are, and how embedded these kinds of actions are in the very business model. We believe health care will remain on the forefront of sustainability because it’s good business, it’s good for communities and it’s better for people’s health.

> Resiience: Food Values: What We Choose To Eat And What We Throw Away (Tam Matsuoka Wong). Americans waste about 40 percent of the food supply. “Reducing food losses by just 15 percent would be enough food to feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables,” according to Dana Gunders, Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a groundbreaking 2012 report. Furthermore, wasted food is now the largest component in municipal landfills creating 30 billion tons of waste, breaking down to produce methane gas, which contributes to climate change. Numerous grassroots organizations have sprung up to begin to address the systemic challenges; massive efforts include redistributing unused food to people who need it.  Local and home composting is on the rise. Also, learning to appreciate and consume imperfect looking vegetables and fruits is a necessary step in reducing food waste.

> The Urban Monk: Upcycling: Old Made New With Guest Tom Szaky (Dr. Pedram Shojai; interview with Tom Szaky of Terracycle). Everything in Terracycle spaces around the world is made entirely from waste. The concept came up by trying to create a social, for-profit business, but whose purpose was to solve waste profitably. The intent is to integrate more recycled materials in normal, day-to-day products, by trying to make everything much more circular, instead of the very linear way the world works today. Around 25% of the waste in the world is littered, and ends up in our marine systems, in our oceans, our rivers, especially, in the five major ocean Gyres. Landfilling is the most used method of waste disposal worldwide, and next is incineration, which results in more energy expended than created. Circular solutions allow materials to cycle over and over, so the next best is recycling. Bu the best method is up-cycling (reusing), where objects are valued for intended uses, then cleaned, fixed, and sold again.

> Resilience: Land As Insurance, Part 3: The Role Of Farms (Rob Avis). Farms are super organisms, with interconnected systems. Waste products from one system provide inputs to another in such a way that the whole farm becomes a giant food web, managed by humans at the center. Through careful management, farms can provide our caloric, energy, financial, and water needs, achieved by skimming off the top in such a way that we only consume the interest, and allowing the system to accrue natural capital in all its forms over time. Investing in a farm corporation that owns natural capital and capacity, perennial food systems, fuel and fiber production, is a great way not only to hedge against the existing financial system, but to ensure a future food and water supply, provide emergency housing, grow an aligned community, and most importantly forge the path towards a better world. A monthly investment plus small monthly dues would provide a good starting place for an individual or family to have this form of insurance policy.

> Ensia: Climate Change Is More Than A Tech Problem, So We Need More Than A Tech Solution (Martin J. Boucher& Philip Loring). There’s a notable gap between current trajectories of global GHG emissions and attaining COP 21’s goals. Numerous technological and economic strategies are currently being discussed, including transitions to renewable energy and/or nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, and cap and trade. However, we need to consider the fundamental social issues that drive climate change: overconsumption, poverty, industrial agriculture, and population growth. A problem-solving systems approach requires looking at root causes, and seeking interventions that change the negative outcomes caused by the underlying social and cultural systems committed to fossil-based technologies and unsustainable patterns of consumption, growth and inequity. More benign solutions include empowering women (to reduce population growth), adopting agro-ecological methods of producing food, decentralizing energy generation, and focusing on local sustainability initiatives.

SUSTAINABILITY EVENTS

> Citizens for Sustainability: April Forum-Meeting. Sat., April 8, 10 a.m.-noon, St. Anthony Village Community Center, 3301 Silver Lake Road, SAV, MN

> Transition Twin Cities: Events: Climate Preparedness Series—April; Northern Spark Transition Message—April, May, June; Transition Day in Northeast—May 6th; 1st National Gathering of Transition Towns US—July 27-31, Macalester College, St. Paul. For info: (http://transitiontwincities.org/).

> UM Libraries & Nature Conservancy: Elizabeth Kolbert Event (author of Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History), Thurs., April 13th, 7:30 p.m., Northrop Auditorium, 84 Church St. S.E., Mpls.

> Combined MN Organizations: Water Action Day, Wed., Apri 19, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Christ Lutheran Church & MN State Capitol, 105 University Ave.W., St. Paul. Info/Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/minnesota-water-action-day-registration-31483505011

> Alliance For Sustainability: Linking Citizens, Congregations And Cities For Sustainable Communities. See Projects: http://www.afors.org/

> Beyond Pesticides: The 35th National Pesticide Forum: Healthy Hives, Healthy Lives, Lands: Ecological and Organic Strategies for RegenerationApril 28-29, U of MN Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Mpls.

> Clean Energy Resources Teams (CERTS). MN Energy Stories & Upcoming Events, Event calendar: Calendar.MnCERTs.org

> Transition Twin Cities: General Transition Mailing List (click here to sign up). NOTE: The National Transition GatheringJuly 27-31, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN

> MN Environmental Partnership (MEP) Upcoming Environmental Events. See website: http://www.mepartnership.org/events/ (search by month)

> MN350: Climate Campaigns And Projects. For a listing of campaigns, projects, and events, see: http://www.mn350.org/campaigns-projects/

SUSTAINABILITY INFO

> World Population Balance: The Overpopulation Podcast: Episode 8: Small Family Campaigns & Incentives (Ethicists Colin Hickey & Jake Earl, with Director Dave Gardner); Listen here

Weathering The Storm, Michael Conley, Founder-Speaker-Author, Seminars & Presentations; Several offerings: News FlashNewsletterInformation ServicesOLLI Course Hand-outsBest PracticesBuy The Book (Lethal Trajectories)

> Growthbusters: Conversation Earth – Exploring Our Place on the Planet (Dave Gardner, Interviewer). This weekly Radio Series & Podcast provides surprising perspectives from leading thinkers on the most important issues of our time.

> Population Growth: Population Clock – Poodwaddle World Clock. Watch the population increase minute by minute.

> Bloomberg News: Bloomberg Carbon Clock. A real-time estimate of the global monthly atmospheric CO2 level.

> US Debt Clock: U.S. National Debt Clock: Real Time. Every aspect of the economy is documented.

Happy Planet Index. The HPI Index measures what matters: sustainable wellbeing, life expectancy, inequality of outcomes, and ecological footprint. America limps in at a thoroughly miserable 108th. About the HPI

About Clifton Ware

Sustainability Education Forum Editor-Publisher Dr. Clifton Ware is an international figure in the world of voice pedagogy. During the the past fifty years of teaching students how to sing -- both nationally and internationally -- Clif developed his signature "Efficient and Authentic Voice Technique". What distinguishes his method is its holistic approach, simplicity, and effectiveness. Siingers find that they are able to ensure their vocal health while cultivating their own unique, expressive sound. This approach stands in sharp contrast to faddish techniques that encourage mimicking the vocalism, style, and qualities of other singers, possibly limiting their own vocal imprint and even harming their vocal instrument. The "Efficient and Authentic Voice Technique" produces singers that enjoy vocal power, range, ease, individuality, and a liberating learning process.

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