Transitioning To A Sustainable Future – SEF News-Views Digest

SEF News-Views Digest No. 172 (6-21-17)
Clifton Ware, Editor-Publisher

These are extraordinary times. More and more world citizens are awakening to the reality of profound life-changing challenges ahead. If there’s one saving grace with the outcome of the upset election that produced our current U.S. president—along with his appointed associates—it’s the acceleration of oppositional activism by a majority of the American population, to what may be interpreted as irresponsible, misguided, misinformed, and irrational political leadership. Not surprisingly, this accumulating backlash is also indirectly aimed at his incorrigible supporters, including radical conservative politicians and their zealous partisan agendas. It’s hard to accept the fact that these supporters comprise approximately 30 percent of the U.S. population.

Still, although we’re enduring a bleak period in American political history, we have reason to hope that the growing resistance to the existing chaotic political system will eventually lead to some constructive governing aimed at benefiting all Americans. Ironically, the catalyst may well be the president’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Accord, thereby raising the topic of climate change smack-dab to page one of most media sources—at least for a while. This has been an amazing, unprecedented development—especially considering that the “huge” topic of climate change was never mentioned in the presidential debates. From all of us working to create a sustainable planet, we can honestly say, “Thanks, Mr. President!”

Even though we have reason to hope for a turnaround in our national political landscape (leadership, goals, and priorities), the primary responsibility for creating a sustainable planet will be shouldered by ordinary, devoted citizens committed to making a difference—like us! At the forefront of a grassroots uprising are a group of citizens firmly convinced that humanity’s greatest challenge is to do everything possible to halt, or at least slow down, the ongoing destruction of our natural environment. While the numbers of worldwide activists are growing daily, the concern is that it will not be fast enough to avert potentially harsh living conditions for all life forms.

Last week I wrote about the two principal options for taking action: mitigation and adaptation. I also mentioned that transition groups were the leaders in proactively adapting to the new realities associated with the negative effects of several converging crises, with climate change heading the list. The problem is that the majority of citizens are clinging to a presupposition that all we have to do is reestablish economic growth along the lines of previous go-go decades, and eventually everything will turn around. But transition folk clearly see the proverbial handwriting on the wall: “Make preparations now for hard times ahead!” So, in addition to mitigation and adaptation, it behooves us to think in terms of transformation, as we strive to grow more in alignment with our common-core values. One organization that’s leading the way is Inspiring Transition (, with its promotion of The Great Transition Initiative.

As it happens, Twin City Metro residents will have an opportunity to hear, learn from, and speak to, three transition leaders on Saturday, July 8, 3-4:30 p.m., in the St. Anthony Village City Hall Council Chambers. Leslie Mackenzie, Twin Cities Coordinator for the First National Gathering of Transition Towns at Macalester College in St. Paul, July 27-31, will speak on the topic: “Helping Our Community Transition to a Sustainable Future. Two other transition leaders, Tim Jordan and Michael Russelle, will join her for a Q/A session following her talk. CFS (Citizens for Sustainability) is the sponsor of this free public forum. If you’ve been wondering what the transition movement is all about, this forum will provide a grand introduction. Please come!


> Weathering The Storm: Climate Change: What’s Next? (R. Michael Conley). The real harm of Trump’s pledge to withdraw from the Paris Accord is that the United States, as a major polluter, was being counted on to generate significant emission reductions and to use its influence to give traction and weight to the agreement. In a geopolitical sense, we are, by default, relinquishing our leadership position in this arena for no good reason. The international “pariah” status we are gaining goes against our values, and the intergenerational impact is deeply concerning. The bright spot that could evolve into something really big is that the President’s decision could well be the Pearl Harbor that ignites and galvanizes a broad spectrum of our grass-root society to replace the void left by a federal government in retreat. The potential of renewable energy remains bright, and it’s an encouraging sign that countries might now seek economic arrangements with our state and local governments.

> Resource Insights: Can We Create A Durable Future? (Kurt Cobb). Our age seems to be populated by buildings and cultural artifacts that are designed for impermanence. Yet we are technically capable of making durable things when we want to. For example, our space programs have produced highly durable spacecrafts, some functioning for 40 years (Voyager I and 2). On Earth such durability is considered over-engineered and too costly. Electronic items are built for short-term use, and commercial and industrial buildings for no more than two or three decades. A more durable arrangement might include developing: 1) small units of governance; small-scale agriculture and craft; 3) trade in luxury goods; and 4) locations favorable to agriculture and navigation. This is called “relocalization”, which simply means returning the production of daily necessities closer to where we live. The durable society is not a dull society. It is rather a deeper society.

> Post Carbon Institute: Coal Is A Dinosaur And So Is The Growth Economy (Richard Heinberg). The reality is that America’s best coal has already been dug and burned, despite the IPCC periodic “assessments”, which are usually based on unrealistic assumptions about fossil fuel reserves. So far humanity has increased the global atmospheric CO2 concentration from 280 parts per million to over 400 ppm—an already dangerous level. If we don’t act soon, we may have another decade before fossil fuel depletion results in peak energy. One way or the other, we have just about hit the maximum burn rate our civilization is likely to achieve, and it’s mostly downhill from here. If we’re smart, we’ll act to rein in population growth and aim for a gradual overall population decline, so that per capita energy use does not have to decline as fast as total use. We’ll act to minimize ecological disruption by protecting habitat and species. We’ll make happiness, not consumption, the centerpiece of economic policy. If we’re not so smart, we’ll join the dinosaurs.

> Resilience: Retrotopia: Review (Frank Kaminski). John Michael Greer’s latest novel Retrotopia, is about a future nation in what is now the American Midwest that has managed to prosper by going backwards technologically. It’s 2065, and the United States long ago descended into civil war and dissolution as a result of having continued down the same shortsighted trajectory it’s on today: namely, the pursuit of infinite growth on a finite globe. With this novel, Greer seeks to spur awareness about what “technology” actually is, since we’re so used to seeing it equated with electronic gizmos that we tend to have a limited sense of it. On another level, Greer wants to make the point that individuals, as well as whole societies, can and do make conscious choices about which technologies they wish to use (as the Amish illustrate). A nation need not follow the same technological path as the rest of the industrial world, especially when there’s another, more sensible way.

> Resource Insights: Baumol’s Cost Disease, Productivity And The Future Of Growth (Kurt Cobb). William Baumol, a famous economist who died recently, is known for his observation that there are sectors of the economy in which productivity is rising swiftly, for example, manufacturing, and sectors where it is rising slowly or not at all, for example, string quartet performances. Baumol’s theory explains why costs are rising so fast for educational institutions, health care organizations, municipal governments, and performing arts groups. Their productivity increases are limited, but their relative costs for labor continue to rise because of their low-productivity growth compared to other parts of the economy. The broader implication of Baumol is that as societies expand their service sectors, it is inevitable that overall productivity growth will decline. The alternative is increased public subsidies for those services, which we deem socially important in order to make them widely available.

> Resilience: Stopping Climate (In)Justice (Sam Bliss). Releasing toxic substances into the environment means injecting them into bodies, human and non-human. The climate system connects everyone’s environments. It distributes warmth, water, wind, and weather around the world. The climate regulates the ecological systems that nourish and protect us, the ecosystems of which we form a part. Industrial capitalism pollutes the air, water, land, and global climate system. It transforms nature into wealth and waste, creating mansions and mine tailings, energy and emissions, delicious desserts and deserts. But the wealth and the waste are distributed unequally. A small, powerful fraction of humanity takes most of the former and forces the rest of the people on earth to live in the latter. The communities least responsible for climate change tend to be the most vulnerable to the harm it produces. This is environmental injustice.

> Peak Prosperity: Why The Markets Are Overdue For A Gigantic Bust (Chris Martenson). Based on lots of historical inputs, I have concluded that printing up money out of thin air presents plenty of dangers (including asset price bubbles and the redistribution of wealth from the masses to the elites) due to what we might call ‘economic gravity’: What goes up, must also come down. So much will likely be lost in this next reset that true wealth in its aftermath will be dependent on more than just money, so it’s best to focus on building true resilience across the other important forms of capital, such as Social, Material, Living, Emotional, Knowledge, Time and Cultural capital. Nothing grows forever, and we are now very far into this so-called ‘recovery’. Global economic growth is weak, has been weak, and will continue to be weak for many reasons, mainly due to the massive overhanging piles of accumulated debt. We conclude there’s a better than 50% chance of a global recession occurring in the next year—and nearly a 75% chance of one in the US. [See also: The Pin To Pop This Mother Of All Bubbles?]

> Resilience: How Do We Humans Change Course? (Susan Paulson). Proponents and critics of degrowth agree that simple contraction of current economies would be disastrous. What we need is not just quantitative decrease in production and consumption, but radical transformation that re-establishes livelihoods, relationships and politics around new values and goals. Degrowth is vehemently denounced as ecofascism, an ideologically driven imposition that would force unwilling victims to sacrifice their God-given freedoms and to betray innate self-interests. Growth, in contrast, is perceived as apolitical and impartial; modern markets, in particular, appear as timeless mechanisms through which all humans freely organize livelihoods and establish value. New theoretical approaches to change shift attention away from individual decision-making and toward systems through which socialized humans and socio-ecological worlds are re-produced.

> Resilience-Rob Hopkins Blog:  “We Are Living In A Moment Of Unprecedented Incoherence” (Interview: Rob Hopkins, with James Howard Kuntsler). We’re suffering from the disappointment about the promises of progress and technology. The direction of where civilization is going in the not distant future is going to be a timeout from what we have thought of as progress, and it’s already happening. The problem with the American milieu is that it’s all the same lousy quality, the same bad design, and bad idea. It’s entropy made visible, and entropy in the physical universe is really the force behind things running down or dying or moving towards death and stasis. I think the things that we’re going to be returning to are going to be fundamental, like leading a purposeful life. If we’re fortunate, we’ll land in a reset economy and civilization that is not unlike the early to mid 19th century. If not so lucky, we make some really terrible blunders we could either go full medieval.


> Washington Post: Scientists Stunned By Antarctic Rainfall And A Melt Area Bigger Than Texas (Chris Mooney). Scientists have documented a recent, massive melt event on the surface of highly vulnerable West Antarctica that could be a harbinger of future events as the planet continues to warm. In the Antarctic summer of 2016, the surface of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest floating ice platform on Earth, developed a sheet of meltwater that lasted for as long as 15 days in some places. The total area affected by melt was 300,000 square miles, or larger than the state of Texas. That’s bad news because surface melting could work hand in hand with an already documented trend of ocean-driven melting to compromise West Antarctica, which contains over 10 feet of potential sea-level rise. A very influential study of Antarctica published last year used climate and ice sheet models to predict the possibility that there could be major ice loss in this century capable of driving as much as 4 feet of sea level rise from Antarctica alone.

> Think Progress: Millennials Have Never Lived Through A Colder Than Average Month—And Never Will (Joe Romm). Last month was the second hottest May on record, NASA reported Thursday. Only May 2016 was warmer. May continues a streak of warmer than average months that dates back to at least August 1985 in NASA’s data set. Climate Central looked at the monthly data using the earlier baseline and found that “if you were born after December 1964, you’ve never experienced a month cooler than average on this planet.” That not only covers all Millennials, but also it covers most of Generation X. As for the future, the odds of a cooler than average month using either baseline is increasingly small. The levels of heat-trapping CO2 in the air are already far outside the bounds of what humans have ever experienced — and the rate of rise is speeding up. So that means it may be centuries or longer before anybody experiences a cooler than average month again.

> Climate Central: There’s A New Way The U.S. Is Committing To Paris (Brian Kahn). As the federal government abdicates its responsibility to address climate change, a groundswell of support has sprung up at the state, city, and corporate levels to meet its Paris Agreement commitment. This includes America’s Pledge, as spearheaded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, and dubbed a “societally nationally determined contribution.” States, cities and other groups can sign on to meet the U.S. pledge to the Paris Agreement of reducing carbon pollution 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. America’s Pledge sends a strong signal to any wavering countries that the U.S. may formally be leaving the agreement, but it’s not going away. “It’s astonishing, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Carl Pope, a senior advisor to Michael Bloomberg and former head of the Sierra Club, said. “Donald Trump has created a new American climate movement. What we were trying to send is a message that it’s not up to the federal government. It’s up to all of us.”

> New York Times: How G.O.P. Leaders Came To View Climate Change As Fake Science (Coral Davenport, Eric Lipton). It is difficult to reconcile the Republican Party of 2008 with the party of 2017. The G.O.P.’s fast journey from debating how to combat human-caused climate change to arguing that it does not exist is a story of big political money, Democratic hubris in the Obama years and a partisan chasm that grew over nine years, favoring extreme positions and uncompromising rhetoric over cooperation and conciliation. The entire climate change debate has now been caught up in the broader polarization of American politics. Republican lawmakers were moved along by a campaign carefully crafted by fossil fuel industry players, most notably Charles D. and David H. Koch, the Kansas-based billionaires who run a chain of refineries. Policies that would raise the cost of burning fossil fuels threatened some major Republican lawmakers’ constituents. Trump has adopted the Koch language, and staffed his White House and cabinet with officials who have denied the reality of global warming.

> Huffpost: The U.S. Is Already Falling Behind On Future Energy Technology (Alexander C. Kaufman). Energy demand is expected to soar by at least 30 percent over the next three decades as China’s middle class grows and countries across Africa and South Asia emerge from poverty. According to a new 66-page report from the CNA Military Advisory Board. China and the European Union are far better positioned to dominate those new markets, thanks to aggressive investments in nuclear, hydro and renewable energy. Losing control over emerging energy industries could damage national security, said retired Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer of the U.S. Marine Corps. The research team and 15 former military officials began putting together the report last year, well before President Donald Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. The researchers said the report is making projections for the next 30 years, regardless of near-term political implications.

> Green Tech Media: Us Energy Storage Market Experiences Largest Quarter Ever (Mike Munsell). According to GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association’s (ESA) latest U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, 234 megawatt-hours of energy storage were deployed in the first quarter, which represents more than fiftyfold growth year-over-year. When measured in megawatts, it was the third-largest quarter in history, ranking behind only the fourth quarters of 2015 and 2016. Front-of-meter deployments grew 591 percent year-over-year, boosted by a few large projects in Arizona, California and Hawaii. Much of this growth can be attributed to a shift from short-duration projects to medium-and long-duration projects in the utility-scale market, along with a surge of deployments geared to offset the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak. The industry shouldn’t get too comfortable, as there aren’t that many 10+ megawatt-hour projects in the 2017 pipeline. The first quarter may be the largest quarter this year.

> MPR News: US Pays Farmers Billions To Save The Soil. But It’s Blowing Away (Dan Charles). Soil has been blowing away from the Great Plains ever since farmers first plowed up the prairie. It reached crisis levels during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when windblown soil turned day into night. In recent years, dust storms have returned, driven mainly by drought. But farmers are making the problem worse by taking land where grass used to grow and plowing it up, exposing vulnerable soil. A taxpayer-funded program—the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture rents land from farmers across the country and pays them to grow grass, trees and wildflowers in order to protect the soil and also provide habitat for wildlife. Problem: Leasing land programs last only 10 years, and when the time is up, farmers revert to farming wild habitats. Solution: Create long-term programs, perhaps by buying more easements—legal restrictions ensuring, for instance, that a farmer cannot plow a piece of land for the next 30 years … or forever.

> Ensia: Deep In The Oceans, Human Activities Are Taking A Toll (Erik Vance). The deep sea today is a place of change, as human activities are affecting it to radically affect it even more in the decades to come. Attention we pay and decisions we make now could make all the difference in its fate. The mineral riches of this deep ocean are vast and nearly untouched for now. But that’s changing as new technologies are allowing humans to access ever-deeper parts of the seafloor. The deep ocean is a major mitigator of climate change as well, since it absorbs a massive portion of the Earth’s heat and CO2. Also, while mining the deep sea might be new, chemical polluting it is not. To overload this system or tinker with it at all is unwise. Fishing is another threat to the deep ocean, and some scientists have gone so far as to say that deep-sea fishing is more analogous to mining than to fishing. Unless we think carefully about human impacts, we may find ourselves harming it before we even understand it.


> Yes! Magazine: Electric Trains Everywhere: A Solution To Crumbling Roads And Climate Crisis (Stephen Miller). A Seattle-based progressive advocacy organization, the Backbone Campaign, has researched and authored the recently released Solutionary Rail, which supports the feasibility of a bold electrified rail proposal. The idea seeks to address two significant problems facing the country. 1) The overwhelming scientific consensus warns of an impending climate catastrophe for which we are woefully unprepared; and 2) The country’s bridges and roads are, in fact, crumbling, assigned a D+ grade by The American Society of Engineers. The EPA reports that transportation accounts for nearly a third of the country’s carbon emissions, of which 84 percent is attributed to cars and commercial trucks. The team envisions electric trains zipping passengers between metropolises, picking up grain in rural towns, and delivering to coastal ports, using existing railway systems and powered by electricity generated by wind turbines.

> Common Dreams: Commons In The Time Of Monsters (Ann Marie Utratel). Can the Commons and peer-to-peer (P2P) practices really offer viable solutions for our present and future social, political and ecological crises? After nearly 40 years of progressive neoliberalization and social decomposition, contemporary politics has been very publicly upended by a misogynistic, xenophobic and financially privileged “new right” intent on coupling its politics of hate onto the apparatus of state power. Amid this increasingly bleak political landscape, affinity-based networks and communities using P2P dynamics and building commons have been taking action. Small-scale innovations in many fields are paving the way for true, sustainable resource management and grounded social cohesion. Successful municipal occupations of power structures show that the logic of the Commons, coupled with democratic, participatory relations enabled by P2P systems, can reinvigorate and instill a new sense of purpose in today’s political field.

> Environmental Leader: Tackling The Food Waste Dilemma In The United States (Jennifer Hermes). Each year, an estimated 40% of the American food supply goes uneaten. This staggering percentage has implications up and down the food value chain, not to mention serious environmental repercussions. Through a collaborative value chain approach that involves farmers, producers, distributors, retailers, consumers and government, we can realize substantial cost savings while preserving the natural capital (energy, water, land, etc.) invested in food production and distribution. It has been estimated that a typical US household throws away approximately 25% of the food and beverages they purchase; by ending this practice, they could save upwards of $2,000 per year equating to billions of dollars recovered through the efficient purchasing and consumption of food. [See also podcast: Cropmobster: How To Put Your Local Food System To Its Highest Use]

> Organic Consumers Association: Regeneration: The Next Stage Of Organic Food And Farming—And Civilization (Ronnie Cummins). Out-of-touch governments now take our tax money and spend $500 billion dollars a year mainly subsidizing 50 million industrial farmers to do the wrong thing. Meanwhile 700 million small family farms and herders, comprising the 3 billion people who produce 70 percent of the world’s food on just 25 percent of the world’s acreage, struggle to make ends meet. A growing corps of organic, climate, environmental, social justice and peace activists are promoting a new world-changing paradigm and movement that can potentially save us from global catastrophe. Regenerative food, farming and land use encompasses the traditional and indigenous best practices of organic farming, animal husbandry and environmental conservation. We can’t really solve the climate crisis (and the related soil, environmental, and public health crisis) without simultaneously solving the food and farming crisis. Every climate activist needs to become a food activist.

> Sustainable Food Trust: Misconceptions Of Meat In Healthy Eating (Alexander Buxton). US citizens consume over 1.5 times the average daily protein requirement, so reducing meat consumption is important. But rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach, campaigners’ energy would be better focused on reducing grain-fed and processed meat, alongside encouraging a balanced diet. Recognizing that meat does not have to be entirely removed from diets to improve health or to create a sustainable food system is step one in creating a legitimate argument about the pros and cons of eating animal products. The insistent and overly simplistic rhetoric that all meat is bad belies the complexity of the issues at stake. Recognizing the limitations of certain aspects of the current argument to eat less meat, it is necessary to place the conversation in a wider context and work for a more nuanced and sustainable approach.

> Yes! MagazineAs Climate Change Threatens Food Supplies, Seed Saving Is An Ancient Act Of Resilience (Sarah Van Gelder). An underground seed vault began operating deep in the permafrost on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in 2008. This high-tech Noah’s Ark for the world’s food varieties was intended to assure that, even in a worst-case scenario, our irreplaceable heritage of food seeds would remain safely frozen. Although the facility has experienced flooding, the seeds remain intact. But the breach raises serious questions about the security of the seeds in a centralized seed bank. Meanwhile, a much older approach to saving the world’s heritage of food varieties is making a comeback. Founded and organized by volunteers in 2015, The Great Falls Library Seed Exchange is continuing that heritage, even while a modern agribusiness model works to reduce the genetic diversity of our food stocks and consolidate control over the world’s seeds. The exchange is one of 500-some seed libraries worldwide.

> NPG: Reforming Birthright Citizenship:  A Must For U.S. Population Policy (NPG Position Paper). Current application of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution grants automatic U.S. citizenship for every baby born on American soil—regardless of the immigration status of either parent. So-called ‘anchor babies’ are able to later sponsor large numbers of immigrants to settle in the U.S.—even adult, non-nuclear family members. NPG’s newest Position paper highlights the real costs of such immigration-driven population growth, showing that it is greatly damaging to America’s long-term sustainability. The paper notes that this application of the law results in a deteriorating immigration system that encourages massive population growth, the consequences of which include: a lack of affordable housing, drought and water shortages, and the loss of open space and farmland. A simple restriction on birthright citizenship is one of the easiest, most humane and reasonable steps toward protecting the future of America. [Note: this is a bipartisan issue]

> Open Democracy: Degrowth: The Case For A New Economic Paradigm (Riccardo Mastini). Degrowth means primarily the abolition of economic growth as a social objective. This implies a new direction for society, one in which societies will use fewer natural resources and will organize and live differently from today. Ecological economists define degrowth as an equitable downscaling of production and consumption that will reduce societies’ throughput of energy and raw materials. The costs of growth include bad psychological health, long working hours, congestion, and pollution. GDP may still increase, but in most developed economies welfare indicators have stagnated since the 1970s. Above a certain level, further growth does not increase happiness, but income equality does. A new ecological macroeconomics without growth is emerging, building on Herman Daly’s “steady-state economy”, which could evolve into a new economic paradigm.

> Grist: Resist… The Temptation To Hide Away In A Tiny Home (Ask Umbra).  It’s certainly appealing to focus on yourself in the face of a deeply polarized culture and polluted planet. But what if turning away from the world makes all of its problems so much worse? The understanding of “how to be more sustainable” is often framed around what and how and how much to buy—we frequently look to consumer habits, for example, to measure how much we care about environmental or social change. That degree of personal responsibility is a necessary condition for meaningful change, but it is not sufficient. There is little conversation, in the realm of “sustainable lifestyle practices,” that addresses things like: How do you cultivate respectful, meaningful relationships with the people who will help you fight fossil fuel infrastructure?“ We’re so used to thinking of ourselves as an individual that we think of what we can contribute as an individual.”

> TED: When I Die, Recompose Me (Katherine Spade). Almost 50 percent of Americans choose conventional burial, a costly and environmentally unfriendly process. Cremation, an equally popular process, is energy-intensive, pollutes the air, and contributes to climate change, by spewing 600 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. A sustainable, environmentally safe method has been created, with a scalable, replicable non-profit urban model based on the science of livestock mortality composting that turns human beings into soil. When someone dies, the body is taken to a human composting facility, wrapped in a simple shroud, carried by loved ones to the top of the core, and laid on the natural decomposition system. During a laying-in ceremony, the body is placed into the core and covered with wood chips, initiating the gentle transformation from human to soil. Over the next few weeks, the body decomposes naturally. Microbes and bacteria break down carbon, then protein, to create a new substance composed of rich, earthy soil.


> Northeast United Methodist Church: Film: From The Ashes, Fri., June 23, 7 p.m., Corner of Lowry and Cleveland, NE Minneapolis.

> UM Institute on the Environment-Climate Generation: Climate Change In The Age Of Alternative Facts, Mon., June 26, 7-8 p.m., U of M Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Cowles Auditorium, Minneapolis.

> Citizens for Sustainability: Transition Forum—Helping Our Community Transition To A Sustainable Future, Sat., July 8, 3-4:30 p.m., St. Anthony Village City Hall Council Chambers 3301 Silver Lake Rd. Leslie McKenzie, presenter, with panelists Tim Jordan and Michelle Russelle. Free! Contact:

Climate Action Events: Northwest Metro Climate Action, “Birds & Climate Change”, July 11;  Anoka Area Climate Action, MN’s Clean Energy Solutions to Climate Change, July 13. See websites for details.

> Alliance For Sustainability: Linking Citizens, Congregations And Cities For Sustainable Communities. Extensive listings of Minnesota news, events, and projects:

Climate Action Events: Northwest Metro Climate Action, June 21. Anoka Area Climate Action . See websites for details.

> Transition Twin Cities: Events: Northern Spark Transition Message— 1st National Gathering of Transition Towns US—July 27-31, Macalester College, St. Paul. For info: (

> Citizen’s Climate Lobby: Regular Meetings And Events (; Meetings in 18 MN locations on the 2nd Saturday of each month to focus on bi-partisan Carbon Fee and Dividend Legislation36 members of the US House on the Climate Solutions Caucus are involved.

> Clean Energy Resources Teams (CERTS). MN Energy Stories & Upcoming Events;

> 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:


> Resilience: Think Resilience – Preparing For The Rest Of The 21st Century. This course, consisting of 22 video lectures by Post Carbon Institute Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg, totaling about 4 hours), may be taken at your own leisure ($20). View the video.

> Conversation Earth: 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: Surviving a Hostile Climate on Local Food and Local Food Revolution, with Michael Brownlee.

> World Population Balance: Overpopulation Podcast (Dave Gardner), Episode 9:Interview with Joel Pett, Pulitzer Prize editorial cartoonist; Episodes 1-8 are also available; Listen here;  One Planet, One Child (; Preview:

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

> 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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