Earth Day—Every Day, Every Way! – SEF News-Views Digest

SEF News-Views Digest No. 167 (4-12-17)
Clifton Ware, Editor-Publisher

Given humanity’s continuing assault on Mother Nature, it seems most appropriate for us to celebrate the 47th official anniversary of Earth Day this year on Saturday, April 22nd. Ideally, we should demonstrate every day our profound appreciation, respect, and gratitude for Nature’s life-sustaining bounty. But, sadly, it seems that only a small portion of the world population is fully aware of our species’ destructive role, and even fewer acknowledge it, especially by paying homage to Nature, our precious home planet, and the source of everything that sustains us.

An excellent summary of Earth Day history is presented in the latest NPG Forum Paper: Earth Day and Population: A Missed Opportunity by Leon Kolankiewicz, a well-known ecologist and environmental consultant (see first listing in Views section). The report’s 12-pages contain a summary of Earth Day, including its high and low points. The effects of immigration policies on U.S. population growth are the paper’s main focus, including projections of population growth up to 2100, based on several scenarios.

[Note: a brief description of the article is located in the Views section; Also, I’ve written a 2-page condensed summary of the paper in PDF format. If interested, please let me know and I’ll send it to you]

Leonkiewicz identifies some of the major players associated with Earth Day, with special recognition going to U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, the brainchild behind the first Earth Day in 1970. Earlier influences throughout the 1960s are mentioned, notably Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book, Silent Spring documented the toxic effects of DDT on wildlife and humans, subsequently raising the public’s awareness of environmental concerns. President John F. Kennedy read Silent Spring and became a devoted environmental advocate.

In the early 1970s Paul Erhlich, a leading exponent of overpopulation concerns, founded Zero Population Growth (now NPG) and authored his explosive book, The Population Bomb, which raised the public’s consciousness about this rarely considered issue. For reasons explained in the paper, the population subject was widely disseminated and publically acknowledged. This was in stark contrast to our current prevailing blasé or negative attitudes. Typically, when the topics of population growth and “overpopulation” are raised in the media today (an extremely rare occurrence), the general public tends not to appreciate the pervasive relationship of overpopulation to such concerns as overconsumption of resources, pollution (air, land, and water), and, especially the increasing dangers posed by climate change. It should be noted that “bad news” President Jimmy Carter was also fully aware of all environmental concerns, especially as related to fossil energy use, consumption, and population growth.

Kolankiewicz explains that, over the past four decades, the initial impetus for moving forward in addressing environmental crises has waned, for reasons covered well in his informative paper. In recalling his initial connection with the early Earth Day era, he says: “The dominant Earth Day theme was not one of futility, fatalism, or hopelessness, but one of hopefulness. Humanity was neither doomed nor preordained to foul its nest; we had to do better”.

But did we do better? Not so much, most sustainability experts conclude. And here we are 47 years later dealing with crises that could have been ameliorated or avoided—had we acted wisely, responsibly, and timely.

With all the increasing worldwide turmoil—socio-economically, politically, and environmentally—it would be reassuring to see an increase in the number of people participating in a variety of planned Earth Day events or activities. For anyone lacking access to planned events and activities, other celebratory options might include taking a nature walk, undertaking outdoor spring chores, reading a nature book, or watching a nature documentary.

As for Bettye and myself, we’ll join with neighbors in cleaning winter’s leftover trash from around our two ponds located in nearby Salo Park. This annual event has become our community’s way of welcoming and celebrating spring, and we enjoy participating. I hope that you and yours will also find a positive way to celebrate this special day. Several Twin Cities’ events are listed online (see Events section). Happy Earth Day 2017!


> NPG: Earth Day And Population: A Missed Opportunity (Forum paper, Leon Kolankiewicz). In the 1960s and 1970s, during the era of the first Earth Day, the emerging environmental movement and America as a whole had the opportunity to adopt a brighter, more promising, more sustainable population destiny. It seemed we were on the verge of making this conscious and conscientious choice. But even as this greener vision beckoned, other powerful pro-growth forces and factors in society asserted themselves and the vision flickered and then faded from view like a mirage. Gradually but relentlessly rising immigration rates instigated by the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act–-In conjunction with America’s congenital, uncritical fixation on perpetual growth as a national mission–-the growth fetish or Growthism, overpowered the inchoate “small is beautiful” ethos before it had a chance to fully form and take hold. The opportunity was abandoned, the vision lost.

> Yes! Magazine: The Superrich Have Profited From A Broken System—And Their Money Alone Won’t Fix It (David Korten). For far too long, our economic and political institutions have managed the economy to grow consumption and the financial assets of the rich, a system that is destroying Earth’s capacity to support life while concentrating ownership of what remains in the hands of a few hundred superrich people, some of whom might face a slow and lonely death in their supposedly safe underground bunkers. Hope for the human future lies with the spreading realization that our survival depends on our acting together as a global community to: 1) Healing the Earth, by reducing our human consumption to balance with the planet’s generative capacity; and 2) Eliminating extremes of wealth and poverty, and securing for every person access to the essentials for a healthy life. The very rich must not only be giving back with their money, but also with their total personal commitment to replacing the system that so benefited them. It is called philanthropy.

> Resilience: Chemical Industrial Agriculture Is Unsustainable. Here’s Why (Alice Friedemann; a review of Chasing The Red Queen: The Evolutionary Race Between Agricultural Pests And Poisons, by Andy Dyer). Insects inevitably develop resistance to pesticides, whether toxic chemicals are sprayed directly or genetically engineered into the plants. Even without pesticides, industrial agriculture is doomed to fail from extremely high rates of soil erosion and soil compaction at rates that far exceed losses in the past, since soil couldn’t wash or blow away as easily on small farms that grew many crops. Over a 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United State (US) every year, and 5.6 billion pounds globally. I think there are a number of reasons why farmers don’t go back to sustainable organic farming: 1) Money to be made in the chemical industry; 2) About half of farmers rent their land; 3) Converting an industrial monoculture farm to multiple crops rotated, or to an organic farm takes a long time; 5) Industrial farming is taught at most universities; and 6) Subsidies favor large farmers.

> Jeremy Leggett Blog: Appropriate Civilization Versus New Despotism, Month 2, 20th February (Jeremy Leggett). Evidence of the potential use of AI and robotics for social benefit continues to lag portentous developments. With the integration of AI and robotics, the threats to social coherence compound. Google-owned robotics firm Boston Dynamics unveiled a hybrid robot capable of mind reading. Warnings are proliferating of intelligent virtual helpers that would displace human jobs, especially in customer-facing roles in banks and call centers. Large-scale deployment of such machines would quickly deepen the inequality gap, fuelling the very social divisiveness on which the new despotism feeds. In a world where your tech is drifting almost unopposed towards being perfect infrastructure for despots, wherein a new elite of breathtakingly wealthy leaders might be in danger of enhanced levels of psychopathy, the approach of the populist right to use of propaganda assumes critical importance. Tech does not appear to be helping the defenders of democracy, but abetting the aspiring new despots.

> Resilience: Beware Of The Techno-Optimists! (Gunnar Rundgren). The messages of the techno-optimists are both deceptive and dangerous as it makes people believe that most problems can be solved by technological innovation, which in turn make people passive in the political, social and economic arena. Of course, we can always improve technology, but in essence we already have (know) the technologies to feed the world’s population with healthy food in a sustainable way. The obstacles are economic, social and political. And that is where the struggle should be.

> Financial Times: The Age Of Unenlightenment (Robert Armstrong). Something has damaged our ability to talk about matters of substance, and respect those with the expertise to do so convincingly. The Internet has been blamed, but it cannot be the whole answer. An Internet search creates the impression of understanding, or even expertise, rather than the real thing. We fill the gaps in our knowledge with value commitments: healthcare becomes a matter of our attitude to government interference, not medicine; global warming becomes about attitudes toward science, not atmospheric gases. And once strong views are in place, sensible compromise slips out of reach. Technology has encouraged us to confuse access to information with knowledge, and journalists are encouraged to give their audiences what they want, rather than telling them what they need to know. The epistemic prisons we build for ourselves do worse than lock us into the views we currently have, while protecting our dumbest ideas from revision. There is much work to be done, and it will take a lot of intelligence, and a lot of civility, to complete it.

> The Conversation: Introducing The Terrifying Mathematics Of The Anthropocene (Owen Gaffney & Will Steffen). Here are some surprising facts about humans’ effect on planet Earth. We humans are creating “technofossils”, a new term for congealed human-made materials—plastics and concretes—that will be around for tens of millions of years. But it is the scale that humans have altered Earth’s life support system that is the most concerning. Earth system scientist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber suggests that the rate of change of the Earth system (E) has been driven by three things: 1) astronomical forces, such as those from the sun or asteroids; 2) geophysical forces, for example changing currents; and 3) internal dynamics, such as the evolution of cyanobacteria. We are losing biodiversity at rates tens to hundreds of times faster than natural rates, approaching mass extinction rates. The current rate of change must return to around zero as soon as possible, if we wish global civilization to survive

> Yes! Magazine: Signs Of Revolution In A Not-Yet-Great America (Peter Buffett). The two-dimensional portrait of America is extraordinary; rising from colonial outpost to world domination in a mere couple of centuries. Trump is the perfect distillation of a country built by white men for a privileged class through the scorched-earth concept of Manifest Destiny—breaking promises and creating new rules whenever it served a select few. He embodies the narcissistic exceptionalism that has followed us from the beginning outlines of the colonial myth to the uploaded distractions of selfie-stick culture. Now, making “America Great Again” means pulling out the paintbrush to continue detailing a faux image of greatness drawn in two dimensions: fear and desire. We are process, not identity. Step outside to see this. Nature lives and breathes through constant change—stillness and storms. Since we have elected a president that sees himself foremost as a negotiator, perhaps it’s time for a negotiated revolution. Not to break us apart, but to bring us together.

> Resource Insights: Communications Breakdown: Can We Even Talk About Our Environmental And Energy Problems? (Kurt Cobb). Enlightenment only occurs when we are intellectually honest, which requires the ability to entertain ideas and accept evidence that contradict our current views, and to evaluate those ideas and evidence on some basis other than a financial or political interest. Joseph Tainter’s admonition in The Collapse of Complex Societies reminds us that societies don’t collapse because of resource shortages or climate change, but because of their inability to respond effectively to such developments. The cause: an elite governing class that has become insulated from the warning signs of such a collapse. It is this myth of invincibility that makes genuine communication about vulnerabilities almost impossible, because the myth has spread to practically the entire population of the planet. We will only have a genuine public discussion when all vulnerabilities become glaringly obvious to a significant section of the public. Then we can pursue damage control, via mitigation and management.

> Post Carbon Institute: Surviving S-Town (Richard Heinberg). [Background: In a podcast of S-Town , a leading character commits suicide, seemingly depressed over the world’s many sustainability challenges.] Heinberg comments: “The facts and analysis I’ve been dishing for the past couple of decades make for dreary reading. I sometimes call it toxic knowledge: once you know about overpopulation, overshoot, depletion, climate change, and the dynamics of societal collapse, you can’t unknow it, and your every subsequent thought is tinted. There’s only one justification for inoculating my readers with this awful news: the hope that it will act as a mental vaccine leading to behavioral change that both reduces the severity of the coming global crises and increases survival chances for the knowledge recipient. Denying the information—or never having been exposed to it in the first place—offers no solace: the crises will come anyway. Informed collective action is healing”.


> The Washington Post: Carbon Dioxide Levels Could Reach Their Highest Point In 50 Million Years By The End Of The Century (Chelsea Harvey). Continuing to burn fossil fuels at the current rate could bring atmospheric carbon dioxide to its highest concentration in 50 million years, jumping from about 400 parts per million now to more than 900 parts per million by the end of this century, a new study warns. And if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated beyond that point, the climate could reach a warming state that hasn’t been seen in the past 420 million years.mThe new study speaks to the power of human influence over the climate. It suggests that after millions of years of relative stability in the absence of human activity, just a few hundred years of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are on track to cause unprecedented warming.

> MPR News: EPA Decides Not To Ban A Pesticide, Despite Its Own Evidence Of Risk (Dan Charles). The EPA is reversing course and keeping chlorpyrifos on the market, signaling that toxic chemicals will face less restrictive regulation by the Trump administration. Farmers have been using chlorpyrifos (Lorsban) since 1965. Fruit and vegetable farmers use this chemical on citrus trees, strawberries, broccoli and cauliflower. This can leave residues on those foods in the supermarket. Several environmental advocacy groups, including Earthjustice, have gone to court to force the EPA to ban the use of chlorpyrifos by farmers because of the risks that the chemical poses to consumers and to people who live near fields where it’s used. In recent studies scientists followed hundreds of mothers and their newborn children, monitoring their exposure to lots of chemicals. They found that exposure to chlorpyrifos caused small but measurable differences in brain function, concluding that this chemical was more dangerous than people had previously realized.

> LA Times: At Trump’s EPA, Going To Work Can Be An Act Of Defiance (Even Halper). The dim outlook at the EPA is weighing heavily on its 15,000 scientists, engineers, investigators and other employees, many who perceive their life’s work to be under assault from within. The Trump administration is moving as quickly as it can to diminish the place, with plans to cripple the EPA science office, stop the agency’s climate change work, cut its Superfund program in half and outright eliminate 50 programs, down to the voluntary Energy Star stickers that help consumers locate efficient appliances. Under Trump’s budget blueprint, the EPA took the biggest hit, losing nearly a third of its funding. The concerns of old-timers extend far beyond the climate work under attack. Employees still at the agency hold onto what hope they can.

> The Hill: US Energy Production Falls In 2016 (Devin Henry). Energy production fell 4 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), thanks in part to a decline in fossil fuel production. Renewable energy grew at a 7 percent clip in 2016, according to the report, with wind power making up nearly half of that increase. But fossil fuel production was down 7 percent, driven in large part by falling coal use. Electricity from coal decreased 18 percent between 2015 and 2016, reaching its lowest level since 1978. Natural gas production—while down about 2 percent from 2015—helped fuel a reduction in coal-fired power due to its low cost. For the first time on record, natural gas exports in 2016 exceeded those for coal. Many power companies are aiming to retire their coal capacity within the next five years.

> Reuters: Trump Declares End To ‘War On Coal,’ But Utilities Aren’t Listening (Valierie Volcovici, Nichola Groom, Scott DiSavino). When President Donald Trump signed an executive order recently to sweep away Obama-era climate change regulations, he said it would end America’s “war on coal”, usher in a new era of energy production and put miners back to work. But the biggest consumers of U.S. coal- power generating companies remain unconvinced. Reuters surveyed 32 utilities with operations in the 26 states that sued former President Barack Obama’s administration to block its Clean Power Plan, the main target of Trump’s executive order. The bulk of them have no plans to alter their multi-billion dollar, years-long shift away from coal, suggesting demand for the fuel will keep falling despite Trump’s efforts.

> FuelFix: Senate Warned Cyber Threat To Power Grid “At An All Time High”  (James Osborne).  The potential for a major cyber attack against the nation’s power grid is “at an all time high,” Gerry Cauley, president of the grid operators group North American Electric Reliability Corporation, warned during a Senate hearing recently. While acknowledging hackers had yet to shut down power to U.S. power customers, Cauley pointed to a 2015 attack in Ukraine that resulted in 225,000 customers losing power for several hours. “We will never be complacent. The risk is very real,” he said. His comments came during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, part of a long-term push by the federal government to bolster security at the nation’s power plants and substations to prevent attacks like those that have recently struck Europe.

> Star Tribune: Minnesota Arboretum Voted Best Botanical Garden In U.S. (Kim Palmer). The Best Botanical Garden in the country is our own Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, winner of the USA Today Readers’ Choice Award. The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx finished right behind. A panel of botanical garden experts and USA Today editors chose 20 nominees from around the country, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. The Arb, an outreach, research and education facility of the University of Minnesota, is undeniably one of the country’s largest botanical gardens, with 1,200 acres of gardens, woods and prairies, 12.5 miles of trails and paths, and more than 5,000 plant species. Features include a Japanese Garden, a Daylily and Chrysanthemum Walk, a Kitchen Herb Garden, a Maze Garden and a Peony Walk.

> Science Daily: Deep Currents And Climate Closely Connected (Helmhotz Center for Ocean Research Kiel). The Labrador Sea in the northwestern Atlantic is one of the key regions of the global ocean circulation. Scientists have been operating an array of oceanographic observatories there since 1997. It monitors the currents from the surface to the seabed. Oceanographers recently published an analysis of their data obtained from 1997 to 2014. It shows a close connection between deep currents and climate variabilities on different time scales. Analysis showed that the fluctuations of the deepest flow are synchronous with those of wind systems over the North Atlantic, which are influenced by the pressure difference between the Azores high and the Iceland low. These results from oceanographic long-term observations are of great importance for general climate research.

> NPR: How The World Cut Its Child Death Rate Nearly In Half From 1990 To 2015 (Susan Brink).  The world is doing a much better job of keeping babies alive long enough to become children, children alive long enough to become teens and teens alive long enough to fully grow up, according to a report in JAMA Pediatrics. But it’s not all good news. The children in poor countries who might have died as babies or toddlers a few years ago live long enough to suffer from the effects of birth defects or develop mental health problems, diseases associated with congenital heart problems, sickle cell, or cancer. And increasingly, they live long enough to bear the burden of war and violence in their countries. A big part of infant survival is the improvement in vaccine coverage, general education, healthcare for pregnant mothers, and nutrition.


> The Conversation: After 25 Years Of Trying, Why Aren’t We Environmentally Sustainable Yet? (Michael Howes). In 1992, more than 170 countries came together at the Rio Earth Summit and agreed to pursue sustainable development, protect biological diversity, prevent interference with climate systems, and conserve forests. But, 25 years later, the natural systems on which humanity relies continue to be degraded. Humanity is fast approaching several environmental tipping points. If crossed, these could lead to irreversible changes. What can we do? First, governments need to provide financial incentives to switch to eco-efficient production. Second, governments need to provide a viable transition pathway for industries that are doing the most damage. Finally, leaders from all sectors need to be convinced of both the seriousness of the declining state of the environment and that sustainable development is possible, beginning with promoting positive case studies of successful green businesses.

> Carbon Brief: Seven Things That Need To Happen To Keep Global Temperature Rise Below 2C (Jocelyn Timperley). Commissioned By The German Government in its role this year as G20 president, a new report released recently by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) sets out the “essential elements” needed to create an energy sector transition consistent with the Paris Agreement. The G20 is a group of 20 major economies, including China, India, Germany, the UK and US, which accounts for 63% of global population and 83% of emissions. Carbon Brief sets out seven of the report’s key recommendations: 1) set a more stringent carbon budget; 2) speed up the transition; 3) seriously increase investment; 4) focus on renewables and energy efficiency; 5) tackle stranded assets (natural gas as a bridge); 6) use price mechanisms (subsidies, carbon pricing); and 7) seize the benefits—and co-benefits (reducing externalities, like pollution).

> MAHB Forum: Lending Aesthetic Weight To Restoration (Erika Gavenus, Mary O’Brien). Daniel McCormick and Mary O’Brien, and their studio, Watershed Sculpture, create art installations with a biological trajectory and remedial outcomes. The artists look at the connectedness of a site—studying its landforms, watercourses, and human pathways, adopting an ecological perspective for their designs that include scientific and land stewardship principles. Their ecological sculptures work to influence the balance of compromised environments by allowing the damaged areas of watersheds to reestablish themselves. In addition to stream bank restoration, the artists’ installations have taken the form of oyster beds in Oakland, storm surge barriers along Louisiana’s Gulf Coast, and most recently riparian habitat along the Truckee and Carson Rivers of Nevada. They have created large-scale installations in National Parks, conservation districts, and open-space lands throughout the U.S.

> Shareable: Participatory Budgeting Is Gaining Momentum In The US. How Does It Work? (Kristine Wong). The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 that aims to “deepen democracy, build stronger communities and make public budgets more equitable and effective,” is one of the most visible groups working with cities, communities, and schools to implement participatory budgeting processes (primarily in the U.S. and Canada). The group, which has offices in New York City and Oakland, CA (and staff located in Chicago, Madison, and Cambridge), is funded through grants or contracts from the cities or organizations that have allocated funding for PBP to help manage the participatory budgeting process. A typical process lasts seven to nine months. It starts with designing the process and the steering committee. The steering committee is made out of community members, groups, and organizations.

> Climate Reality Project: Making A Difference For The Planet (staff). For centuries, cities have been at the heart of the arts and culture, thriving businesses, and innovative ideas. Over ninety percent of urban areas are coastal, which means that most cities on the planet are extremely vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis as sea levels rise, polar ice melts, and powerful storms sweep across these regions. Around two-thirds of the world’s population is predicted to live in an urban area by 2050, which means there are also major financial implications when extreme weather like unexpected storms and flooding cause disruptions in businesses and governments. The good news is that while cities are particularly at risk from the climate crisis, they are also behind some of the most powerful solutions, including these five: Copenhagen, Denmark; San Francisco, CA; Vancouver, Canada; Stockholm, Sweden; and Singapore. All are seeking, finding, and implementing long-term solutions.

> Yes! Magazine: An Outside-The-Doctor’s-Office Approach To Health Care (Daphne Miller).  The Escambia clinic in Pensacola, Florida, along with four other clinic sites that dot the Gulf Coast, is part of a two-year health care experiment called the Community Centered Health Home (CCHH) demonstration project, which is funded through the Deepwater Horizon Medical Benefits Class Action Settlement, a result of the 2010 BP oil spill off the coast of Louisiana. If it succeeds, this experiment could help redefine the role of community clinics in the United States. A series of studies show that one’s address has a far greater impact on health and life expectancy than genetic risk or the quality or accessibility of medical treatment. Researchers, administrators, doctors, and community members affiliated with the Gulf States CCHH project will argue that this approach is critical to curb runaway health care expenditures while improving health outcomes for communities.

> Peak Prosperity: Michael Abelman: Urban Agriculture (Adam Taggart; podcast-script interview). Ableman, the founder of the non-profit Center For Urban Agriculture, shares the successful urban agriculture model he’s helped to pioneer. He has recently authored the book Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier, which focuses on his efforts to transform acres of vacant and contaminated land in one of North America’s worst urban slums and grow artisan-quality fruits and vegetables. In today’s discussion, Michael walks us through how farming in our cities is indeed possible. In fact, it not only results in healthier foods, but in healthier communities. He also thinks that municipal code has to be rewritten to address and support food systems, full-scale food systems, full-cycle food systems in the city, including things like composting.

> Food Tank: Agroecology Can Help Fix Our Broken Food System (Eva Perroni). A new report by two United Nations human rights experts has rejected the notion that pesticides are necessary in feeding the world, claiming that they undermine “the rights to adequate food and health for present and future generations.” The report outlines the “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health, and society as a whole” from excessive and unsafe pesticide practices. These include: an estimated 200,000 acute poisoning deaths each year, 99 percent of which occur in low-income countries; contamination of soil and water sources; loss of biodiversity and beneficial insect populations; and a range of chronic health problems. They do not just denounce the use of pesticides, but the entire industrial agricultural system. They contend that agroecological farming will facilitate the transition to more productive, sustainable, and inclusive food systems.

> Resilience: The Question I Get Asked The Most: What Can I Do? (Bill McKibben). Individually, we can undertake small steps in our lives to create resilience and sustainability, but that’s not enough. Climate change is coming far faster than people anticipated even a couple of decades ago. If individual action can’t alter the momentum of global warming, movements may still do the trick. Movements are how people organize themselves to gain power—enough power, in this case, to perhaps overcome the financial might of the fossil fuel industry.

> NRDC: Get The Dirt On Nontoxic Spring Cleaning (Clara Chaisson). Because we don’t submit household products to rigorous chemical testing in the United States, your go-to cleaning solutions may be chock-full of unpleasant ingredients. In fact, the average American uses 25 gallons of toxic chemical products at home every year. But in the meantime, don’t throw in the towel. Here’s how to give your spring cleaning a fresh—and nontoxic—start: 1) start with basic safe products; 2) safely dispose of any old, toxic products; 3) procure nontoxic products—phosphate and chlorine free, not petroleum based, and fragrance free: 4) check ratings, including EPA “safer choice labels; 5) consider using household stapes, like vinegar, baking soda, and borax for cleaning; and 6) keep it simple, using fewer products, such as castile soap to wash dishes, floors, and tubs.


> Eventbrite: Minneapolis, MN Earth Day EventsSat., April 22Listing of events for Twin Cities and Minnesota

> 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: (

> 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.

> Climate Generation/MN 350: MN March For Science, Earth Day-April 22, St. Paul (updates available on website)

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

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

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

> MN Environmental Partnership (MEP) Upcoming Environmental Events. See website: (search by month)

> MN350: Climate Campaigns And Projects. For a listing of campaigns, projects, and events, see:

> Alliance For Sustainability: Linking Citizens, Congregations And Cities For Sustainable Communities. See Projects:


> 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. The latest: Pulling the Rug Out from Under Our Kids: Brian Czech (#204).

> 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

By 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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