SEF News-Views Digest No. 77 (1-7-15)

EDITOR (Clifton Ware) — Come, Let Us Learn Together

It’s a rare situation when seekers of knowledge (truth) can gather to discuss serious issues—openly, respectfully, and intelligently. Hot topics are usually avoided in company of strangers, or when friends, colleagues, family members, and acquaintances may either be reluctant to discuss certain topics, or too opinionated to discuss any topic with an open mind.

There are numerous groups dedicated to addressing specific interests, as an online search of Meetup reveals ( Although there are few educationally oriented groups dedicated to studying and discussing sustainability issues, a little sleuthing may reveal suitable groups (Sierra Club, Bioneers, Transition Towns, etc.). Several groups exist in the Twin Cities area, including our newly organized Sustainability Education Forum (SEF).

SEF seeks to offer all participants the freedom to present and discuss topics related to sustainability issues in a friendly, positive atmosphere. In addition to gaining greater knowledge and understanding of major sustainability issues, we seek realistic, practical solutions that will help us prepare for a somewhat predictable future of converging crises, including the all-pervasive effects of climate change on the planet and all life forms.

The room we use in the St. Anthony Village Library has seating for up to 20 persons. Our group currently consists of 10 persons of various career backgrounds, as well as various experiences associated with sustainability issues. This is an ideal sized group for stimulating discussion, but we can easily accommodate several more participants.

If you’ve been putting off the idea of joining a discussion group, now is a good time to start learning as much as possible about creating greater resilience and sustainability—in the amiable company of persons who share similar values and concerns. We invite you to join us for our January 10th Forum (information follows).

> SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION FORUM: DISCUSSION OF RELEVANT NEWS-VIEWS FOR 2015  (including information provided in SEF newsletters). Sat., Jan. 10th, 2:30-4:30 p.m., St. Anthony Village Library, SAV Shopping Center, Pentagon Drive. Free. Info/RSVP:

ENVIRONMENT (Natural Resources-Wildlife-Climate)

> Upworthy: A Drone Flew Over A Pig Farm To Discover It’s Not Really A Farm.  If you have a strong stomach for dirty stories, this article and video will explain the gross indecencies produced by corporate hog farms.

>NPR: Road Salt Contributes To Toxic Chemical Levels In Streams. There’s growing awareness that the coarse mix of sodium chloride and other chemicals that makes driving and walking a little easier may also cause harm to the environment and health of living things.

> The Guardian: Pope Francis’s Edict On Climate Change Will Anger Deniers And US Churches (John Vidal). In 2015, the pope will issue a lengthy message on the subject to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, give an address to the UN general assembly and call a summit of the world’s main religions. In recent months, the pope has argued for a radical new financial and economic system to avoid human inequality and ecological devastation.

> Climate ProgressIrreversible But Not Unstoppable: The Ghost Of Climate Change Yet To Come (Joe Romm). If humanity gets truly serious about emissions reduction — and by serious I mean “World War II serious” in both scale and urgency — we could go to near-zero global emissions in, say, two decades and then quickly go carbon negative. It wouldn’t be easy, far from it in fact. But it would be vastly cheaper and preferable to the alternative.

> Climate Desk: 2014 Was The Year We Finally Started To Do Something About Climate Change (James West). This was a big year for climate news, good and bad. While there was plenty of anti-science rhetoric and opposition to climate action (no, the polar vortex does not disprove climate change), the year came to an end with at least three landmark climate-related stories. Watch the video.

> Resilience-Mud City Press: Review: Don’t Even Think About It By George Marshall (Frank Kaminski). This book delves into psychological processes and even brain architecture that underlie humans’ compulsion to disregard, refute and skew evidence of difficult facts. Marshall argues that these insights are critical to mobilizing public opinion on climate change.

ENERGY (Fossil Carbon • Natural Resources • Renewables)

> Peak Prosperity: Keep Your Eyes On The Prize (Chris Martenson).  At the essential center of the framework of the Crash Course is the almost insultingly simple idea that endless growth on a finite planet is an impossibility. At the very heart of endless growth lies the matter of energy.  To grow forever requires infinite amounts of energy.  Growth and energy are linked in a causal way.

> CASSE-The Daly News: A Stick In The Stocking: Santa’s Supply Shock (Brian Czech).  Recent talk of “supply shock” is a wake-up call for the sustainability of Big Capital, the little man, and everyone in between. The latest news of cheap oil notwithstanding, we are moving inexorably into the era of Supply Shock (“supply parties”), in which natural resources and environmental services become the limiting factors for human wellbeing; so limiting in fact, that wellbeing declines quickly and ubiquitously.

> The New York Times: What North Dakota Would Look Like if Its Oil Drilling Lines Were Aboveground. More than 11,000 oil wells have been drilled in North Dakota since 2006. In all, almost 40,000 miles of well bores have been drilled underground to connect the fracking operations to surface wells. Laid end to end, they would circle the Earth about one and a half times.

> Oil Voice: Five Energy Surprises For 2015: The Possible And The Improbable (Kurt Cobb).  I am not predicting that any of the following will happen, and they will be surprises to most people if they do. But, I think there is an outside chance that one or more will occur, and this would move markets and policy debates in unexpected directions.

> Huffpost: A Dozen Reasons 2014 Was Awesome For Clean Energy & Beyond Coal Victories (Mary Anne Hitt). From small towns to big cities, we saw inspiring coalitions of diverse groups and organizations working together to protect communities from coal’s pollution and ramp up clean energy.

ECONOMY (Finances-Global-Local)

> The Washington Post: Why America’s Middle Class Is Lost. Over the past 25 years, the economy has grown 83 percent, after adjusting for inflation. In that time, the typical family’s income hasn’t budged, and corporate profits doubled as a share of the economy. Workers today produce nearly twice as many goods and services per hour as they did in 1989, but they get less of the nation’s economic pie.

> Yes! Magazine-Shareable: Owning Together Is The New Sharing (Nathan Schneider). The line between workers and customers has never been so blurry. Online platforms depend on their users, and pressure is mounting all over the Internet. People are tired of seeing their communities treated like commodities, and they’re looking for ways to build platforms of their own.

> The Archdruid Report: The Cold Wet Mackerel Of Reality (J.M. Greer). For most Americans, the last four years have been a bleak era of soaring expenses, shrinking incomes and benefits, rising economic insecurity, and increasingly frequent and bitter struggles with dysfunctional institutions that no longer bother even to pretend to serve the public good. When recalling 2015, people may label it the year in which America got slapped across its collective face with the cold wet mackerel of reality.

EXPECTATIONS-ENLIGHTENMENT (Ideas • Knowledge – Psychology – Beliefs)

> Peak Prosperity: Future Shock – Crash Course Chapter 25 (Adam Taggart). Simply put: We’ve lived well beyond our economic, energetic and ecological budgets. It’s time to change that. It is time, to return to living within our means.  We need to set priorities, set budgets, and stick to both.

> ENSIA: Our Top 10 Stories Of 2014. 
Here are some of Ensia’s most frequently read articles and commentaries from 2014.

> Common Dreams: New Year’s Resolution For America (Dennis Kucinich). It is for us to gather the knowledge and resources, the strength and determination, to regenerate the soil, protect the land, purify the air, preserve the water, in a ceremony of personal, civic and political engagement which protects and celebrates the natural world as the precondition of life itself.

> Yes! Magazine: Can You Imagine A City Where Trees And Swing Sets Matter More Than Cars? (Jason F. McLennan). To take control of our next evolution, we must embrace and prioritize what it means to be human; what it means to live in concert with nature. Creating a truly living community will mean changing our role on—and as a part of—the planet.

EQUALITY (Equity-Health-Social Concerns)

> The Atlantic: 17 Things We Learned About Income Inequality In 2014. Earnings growth for the richest Americans has been outpacing the income growth of the lower and middle classes since the 1970s, according to data from the Congressional Budget Office. That means that income inequality is not a new concept. So why does it suddenly feel like such a big deal?

> Common Dreams: Greed Kings Of 2014: How They Stole From Us (Paul Buchheit). Greedy individuals or corporations have regularly taken much of our country’s new wealth in wrongful ways, either through nonpayment of taxes or failure to compensate other contributors to their successes.

> The New York Times: As Feared, It’s A Season Of High Flu Intensity. Nationwide, we’re on track for a nasty flu season, with both a large number of cases and many severe ones that require hospitalizations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It declared an influenza epidemic this week, a status achieved at some point nearly every year, though not usually this early in the season.

> Common Dreams: The Battle Of Our Time: Breaking The Spell Of The Corporate State (Nozomi Hayase). In previous decades, untamed predatory capitalism has risen to a new level in the form of a corporatocracy, creating the world’s first truly global empire. This small segment of society, acting with a will to power—as if they are superior to the rest of mankind, has successfully enslaved large parts of the world population to their sense of grandiose entitlement.

ENGAGEMENT (Goals-Activism-Solutions)

> Resilience: The Story Of Hudson Valley Seed Library. Ken Greene began the Hudson Valley Seed Library (HVSL) out of the Gardiner Public Library (NY), initially just adding the seed varietals to the library catalog as another item that patrons could “check out.” There are now over 300 seed libraries, seed swaps, seed exchanges, and community seed banks all over the country.

> The Guardian: Opinion: Let’s Leave Behind The Age Of Fossil Fuel. Welcome To Year One Of The Climate Revolution (Rebecca Solnit). If everyone who’s passionate about climate change understands that we’re living in a decisive moment for the fate of the Earth and humanity finds their place in the movement, amazing things could happen. What’s happening now is already remarkable enough, just not yet adequate to the crisis.

> Star Tribune: Recycling Your Tree Can Be Gift For The Environment (Tori J. McCormick). Recycled conifers can go back into nature to be used for landscaping, conservation and wildlife habitat projects. If it’s too late to recycle your tree this year, keep it in mind for future seasons.

> Huffpost:10 Ways To Be More Environmentally Friendly (Ashley Massis). Even one environmentally friendly change can help our growing climate change issues. No only will you be lessening your carbon footprint, but can reduce your costs with these environmentally friendly tips.


> Minnesota Renewable Energy Society:  “Climate Change and Public Health”Presenter: Bruce D. Snyder, MD FAAN Clinical Professor of Neurology, University of Minnesota Medical School; Thursday, January 8th, 5:30 to 7:00 pm, Mayflower Church106 East Diamond Lake, Mpls., Map

> Minnesota Environmental Partnership: Minnesota’s Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment
 Fifth Anniversary Celebration and Forum,Thurs., Jan.15, 2015, Noon to 6 p.m(program begins at 12:30)
 Minneapolis Marriott Northwest,
7025 Northland Drive North, Brooklyn Park, MN 55428 
Fee: $10.To register click here.

> Eastside Food Co-op: Movie Night—Fed Up (The film the food industry doesn’t want you to see), Thurs., Jan. 22, 6:30 p.m., EFC Granite Studio. Free; RSVP or 612-843-5409

> CERTs: CERTs 2015 Conference: Community Driven Clean Energy, March 10-11, 2015, St. Cloud, MN AgendaRegister to Attend

SEF News-Views Digest No. 76 (12-29-14)


> SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION FORUM: DISCUSSION OF RELEVANT NEWS-VIEWS FOR 2015 (including information provided in SEF newsletters). Sat., Jan. 10th, 2:30-4:30 p.m., St. Anthony Village Library, SAV Shopping Center, Pentagon Drive. Free. Info/RSVP:

EDITOR (Clifton Ware)— Out With the Old, In With the New

Now that the holiday rush is subsiding, it’s likely that most folks are thinking ahead and making plans for the rapidly approaching New Year. I think we all agree that looking ahead constructively usually requires looking back over the past year to assess what’s been accomplished, overlooked, or postponed. A serious desire to improve life for our selves, and others, requires a candid appraisal of both achievements and unfulfilled objectives.

This time of year provides an excellent opportunity for taking stock of our accomplishments and our failures. I’ve certainly had my share of both, and I imagine you have as well. The saying that we learn more from our failures than from our successes rings true for me. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over my lifetime is that it’s OK to let go of anything that restrains a sense of freedom or hinders the accomplishment of worthwhile goals.

When principal values and goals have been determined, it’s easier to decide what should be dropped, as well as what should be adopted. Typically, unnecessary material things are the first to go, as I increasingly learn that we can live with much less stuff. Owning excessive stuff requires expending considerable time and effort caring for items, including cleaning, moving, or storing. So one recurring resolution is to continue going through stuff and getting rid of items that will likely never be used. Our intended mantra remains “reduce, reuse, recycle!”

Activities that drain energy and cause emotional stress are also on the chopping block. Who needs negative stress? Because of work and family obligations, younger people have limited options. But retirees, like me, appreciate the freedom we have to selectively choose pursuits. Regardless of age or life circumstances, everyone can improve his or her overall life. How? By focusing more on initiatives that foster positive opportunities, including time for convivial social relations, creative pursuits, recreational activities, and rewarding charitable work.

In creating greater resilience and sustainability, however, we face greater challenges. So learning as much as possible about economic, social, political, and environmental issues and conditions is a necessary first step. As the sayings go, “Being forewarned is being forearmed”, and “knowledge is power”.

As I’ve written previously, the mainline media primarily deliver news and views of institutionalized pundits dedicated to promoting the conventional “growth paradigm”, which some highly respected futurist experts claim is no longer creditable. The bad-but-factual news is that our finite planet cannot continue supporting a bulging human population that’s dedicated to constant material growth.

The good news is there’s plenty of room for growth in non-material terms, including personal growth in psycho-emotional and spiritual dimensions. And the same applies to communities committed to providing the basic needs of all citizens, while living in harmony with nature. Living more simply and frugally is a “degrowth lifestyle” concept that most Americans have yet to accept, but eventually will adopt in order to create adequate resilience and long-term sustainability. (See articles about degrowth in the Economy section)

Best wishes to you, your family, your friends and colleagues, and your community for continuing growth in the things that truly matter—in the New Year 2015!

ENVIRONMENT (Natural Resources-Wildlife-Climate)

> Climate Progress: What We Learned About Climate Change In 2014, In 6 Scary Charts (Joe Romm). The 2014 chart I consider the most important is the one that best captures our latest understanding of what has emerged as the greatest danger to humanity this century from human-caused climate change — Dust-Bowlification, and the threat to our food supplies.

> NPR (MPR): Arctic Is Warming Twice As Fast As Anyplace Else On Earth. Here’s the latest from the 2014 Arctic Report Card — a compilation of recent research from more than 60 scientists in 13 countries. The report was released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

> Resilience: Climate: The Crisis And The Movement. Allen White, Senior Fellow at the Tellus Institute, talks with writer and activist Naomi Klein, author of the new book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, about how our economic system has driven us to the point of crisis and how we can build a movement to confront the root causes of contemporary planetary perils.

> Common Dreams: What Climate Change Asks Of Us: Moral Obligation, Mobilization And Crisis Communication (Margaret Klein). The future of humanity falls to us. This is an unprecedented moral responsibility, and we are by and large failing to meet it. Passivity, in a time of crisis, is complicity. It is a moral failure. Crises demand that we actively engage; that we rise to the challenge; that we do our best.

> Daily Telegraph: Global Warming Blamed For ‘Worst Ever’ Marshall Islands Coral Bleaching. Coral bleaching is widespread across the northern Pacific, apparently due to greenhouse gas emissions causing elevated temperatures under climate change.

ENERGY (Fossil Carbon • Natural Resources • Renewables)

The Archdruid Report: Déjà Vu All Over Again (J.M. Greer). What’s going on with the recent plunge in the price of oil and the apparent end of the fracking bubble is something that a number of us in the peak oil scene have been warning about for a while now. To start with, oil isn’t the only thing that’s in steep decline.

> Resilience: The Oil Price Crash Of 2014 (Richard Heinberg). Since it’s almost the end of the year, perhaps this is a good time to stop and ask: (1) Why is this happening? (2) Who wins and who loses over the short term? and (3) What will be the impacts on oil production in 2015?

> Resilience: Are Small-Scale Renewable Energy Grids Already Starting To Replace Mega-Utlility Corporations. The environmental magazine Ensia shows that lithium-ion battery prices have fallen by 40 percent since 2010 while solar panels are 80 percent cheaper than five years ago. Wind turbine prices have also fallen up to 35 percent from their 2008 high.

ECONOMY (Finances-Global-Local)

> CASSE-The Daly News: Peace, Love, And The Gift (James Magnus-Johnson). Today, money acts as a profane separator when seen as an end in itself rather than a means to an end. Rather than understanding money as a tool that helps facilitate the exchange of goods or truly improve our quality of life, we tend to see money–its accumulation and growth–as the ultimate end

> Feasta: Degrowth – A Vocabulary For A New Era: Review (Brian Davey). Reviewer Davey respects parts of the book but weighs in with some keen insights as to its shortcomings.

> DeGrowth: Revolution, Part 1: The End of Growth? (Nafeez Ahmed). New research suggests that the ongoing global economic crisis is symptomatic of a deeper crisis of industrial civilization’s relationship with nature. The continuation of the crisis is part of major phase shift to a new form of civilization that could either adapt to post-carbon reality and prosper, or crumble in denial. See also: Revolution, Part 2: The New Paradigm (An summary comparison of old vs. new paradigm)

> USA Watchdog: Financial Fantasy Land Continues To Prevent Collapse (Bill Holter). The entire distribution chain runs on credit, and if credit seizes or even hiccups, you could very well see a panic and shelves clean up lock, stock and barrel.” This same thing could happen in America.

EXPECTATIONS-ENLIGHTENMENT (Ideas • Knowledge – Psychology – Beliefs)

> The Conversation: Even Climate Change Experts And Activists Might Be In Denial. For at least a century, psychoanalysis has taught us that we might be consciously thinking and saying one thing, but unconsciously doing another. In this context that means people are very consciously aware of the threats posed by climate change, even if they aren’t doing too much about it.

> Resource Insights: Greed Explained: J. Paul Getty, Aristotle And The Maximum Power Principle (Kurt Cobb). Do we–meaning the human species as a whole–have any choice in the matter? Or are we as a species destined to live by the Maximum Power Principle to its seemingly inevitable and calamitous conclusion–a story in which the drive for maximum energy gain is no longer adaptive, but rather dangerous to the continued existence of humankind?

> Huffington Post: Everything’s Coming Together While Everything Falls Apart (Rebecca Solnit).  Americans are skilled in a combination of complacency and despair that assumes things cannot change and people are powerless to change them. One has to be abysmally ignorant of history and current events not to see that our country and our world have always been changing, occasionally through the power of the popular will and idealistic movements.

EQUALITY (Equity-Health-Social Concerns)

> Common Dreams: Wealth Gap Between Rich And Poor Americans Highest On Record. An analysis released Wednesday by Pew Research Center finds that the wealth gap between the top 21 percent of families and everyone else is the widest since the Federal Reserve began collecting such income data 30 years ago.

Inequality.OrgProgram On Inequality And The Common Good. The Program on Inequality and the Common Good focuses on the dangers that growing inequality pose for U.S. democracy, economic health and civic life.

ENGAGEMENT (Goals-Activism-Solutions)

> Peak Prosperity: An Opportunity To Live Resiliently (Adam Taggart). After watching the Crash Course, who among us hasn’t felt insecure with where we live? The idea of a sustainable community has a powerful allure. But what exactly is a “sustainable community” anyways? How do you find one? What’s it like to live there? How do you know if it’s all going to work out in the long run?

> Resilience: Connecting With Nature: Farmsters + Citizen Science. Getting back to the roots. What does it really mean? Check out this 30-minute discussion on radio.

> Grain: Food Sovereignty: 5 Steps To Cool The Planet And Feed Its People.  A worldwide redistribution of lands to small farmers and indigenous communities – combined with policies to support local markets and ecological agriculture – can reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by half within a few decades, significantly curb deforestation and meet the food needs of the world’s growing population.

> Star Tribune: Some Minnesotans Garden Under The Snow. In Dawn Pape’s Shoreview yard, under a blanket of snow, is a polycarbonate-topped, 2- by 8-foot box, or “cold frame” that contains healthy spinach, kale, salad greens and other veggies growing in the frigid ground. Cold-weather gardening is not for everyone, but a hardy few are giving it a try.

> Product Design & Development: Vehicles Powered by Electricity from Renewables Could Save Lives.  Driving vehicles that use electricity from renewable energy instead of gasoline could reduce the resulting deaths due to air pollution by 70 percent.

> E&E Publishing: Commuting By Bike Begins To Roll, Lowering Emissions And Enriching Cities. An unfinished billion-dollar urban planning project set to connect downtown Atlanta with green spaces, affordable housing, and trails for biking and walking may already be paying dividends.

> Yes! Magazine: Walking: The Secret Ingredient For Health, Wealth, And More Exciting Neighborhoods (Jay Walljasper). Over recent decades, walking has come to be widely viewed as a slow, tiresome, old-fashioned way to get around. But that’s changing now as Americans recognize that traveling by foot can be a health breakthrough, an economic catalyst, and the route to happiness.


> Minnesota Environmental Partnership: Minnesota’s Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment
 Fifth Anniversary Celebration and Forum,Thurs., Jan.15, 2015, Noon to 6 p.m(program begins at 12:30)
 Minneapolis Marriott Northwest,
7025 Northland Drive North, Brooklyn Park, MN 55428 
Fee: $10.To register click here.

> CERTs: CERTs 2015 Conference: Community Driven Clean Energy, March 10-11, 2015, St. Cloud, MN AgendaRegister to Attend

SEF News-Views Digest No. 75 (11-27-14)

 Gratitude for the Little Things in Life (Clifton Ware, Editor-Publisher)

Here we are, celebrating another Thanksgiving season. For Bettye and me, Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday, primarily because it represents a time for acknowledging our good fortune, and sharing nourishment and convivial fellowship with family members. This season has been a bit colder, snowier, and wetter than usual, but as long as the heat and electricity are functioning, we’re very grateful.

Another reason for appreciating this special holiday is the perception that it offers an occasion to be thankful for what we have, and, hopefully, to ignore the pervasive commercialism associated with accumulating and dispersing more stuff than we need to live well. Nevertheless, some businesses will initiate the Christmas holidays’ shopping mania a day early: on Thanksgiving Day!

Isn’t Black Friday early enough; indeed much too early? The growing Holiday Shopping Creep gets longer every year, and I hope that you will join us in foregoing the frantic rush to buy, buy, buy. Admittedly, society’s ingrained commitment to production and consumption of goods and services may be beneficial in creating short-term economic stability; but does the current economic system, which is based on constant economic growth, provide stability and security over the long term? Some highly reputable experts think not, including Richard Heinberg, Chris Martenson, and Herman Daly, all of whom are featured fairly regularly in this newsletter.

In the past decade I’ve worked on cultivating an attitude of gratitude, reinforced by a daily meditative-prayerful litany honoring a wide range of persons and things for which I’m grateful. I begin with expressing gratitude for life, body-mind health and healthcare, basic needs, freedom, and nature, and continue by acknowledging the contributions of parents, family, friends, mentors, colleagues, and all who have influenced my life in special ways. Gratitude is also extended to all persons embracing a love of nature, including our unique human role in a universal ecosystem, as one species among many enjoying life on this fantastically beautiful and hospitable planet.

To continue this theme of gratitude and emphasis on the little things in life, I highly recommend a recent article by Stephanie Castillo titled The Science Of Gratitude: It Really Is The Little Things.

NOTE. We’ll be touring Turkey Dec. 3-19, so the next newsletter will be sent Dec. 31st, in time for the New Year 2015. Here’s wishing you and yours a very joyful celebration of holiday seasons.

ENVIRONMENT (Natural Resources-Wildlife-Climate)

> Common Dreams: Planet Already On ‘Unavoidable Course To Warming’: World Bank Report. The WB reports: “Even very ambitious mitigation” can’t change the fact that the world has already “locked in” mid-century warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial times”, indicating increased threats to food and water security and jeopardizing poverty-reduction efforts.

> Star Tribune: Commentary: No, It Doesn’t Mean Global Warming Is Myth (Chris Mooney).  It’s important to keep in mind that just because it is very cold in the U.S. doesn’t mean that you should question the overall warming trend for the planet. Weather shifts heat and cold around — we know that. We also know our own local experiences inherently bias us, since we only live the weather in one place.

> NRDC-On Earth:  Hot Times, Cold ComfortLast month was the hottest October on record, according to data from NASA and the Japanese Meteorological Agency. That’s going back to at least 1880, when global record keeping began. May, June, August, and September were all record breakers, too.

> CASSE-The Daly News: Animal Welfare: Seeing The Forest For The Denizens (Brian Czech). The most prevalent source of animal suffering is habitat destruction. Habitat includes food, water, cover, and space. When any of these elements are destroyed or depleted, wild animals suffer and often die more miserable deaths than if killed by hunters or predators.

> World Wildlife Fund: Five Ways Food Impacts Our Planet. The average American will eat nearly one ton of food in a year: That is almost 2,000 pounds per person! Our need for food is one of the biggest threats our planet faces—and the impacts from food production, distribution, management and waste also threaten wildlife and wild places.

ENERGY (Fossil Carbon • Natural Resources • Renewables)

> Resilience-Our Finite World: Eight Pitfalls In Evaluating Green Energy Solutions (Gail Tverberg). Does the recent climate accord between US and China mean that many countries will now forge ahead with renewables and other green solutions? I think that there are more pitfalls than many realize, at least 8.

> MPR: Oil Boom, Pipeline Safety Put Enbridge On The Spot. Plans for a new oil pipeline across northern Minnesota are bringing increased scrutiny to Enbridge. Federal data show 49 spills since 2002 on Enbridge lines in Minnesota.

> Earth Justice: A Climate Solution Within Reach: Coming Clean: The State Of U.S. Renewable  Energy. How does your state stack up on the road to a cleaner energy future? 8 states, including Minnesota, rank at the top.

> University of Michigan News: Lean Times Ahead: Preparing For An Energy-Constrained Future. According to environmental psychologist Raymond De Young, at some point in this century the era of cheap and abundant energy will end, and Western industrial civilization will likely begin a long, slow descent toward a resource-limited future characterized by “involuntary simplicity.”

> Huffington Post: Challenging (Crude) Convention. Instead of being on the dawn of a new age of plenty, a careful analysis of all available data indicates the probability of near to mid-term trouble even maintaining current levels of production, let alone eliminating the chasm between US production and consumption.

ECONOMY (Finances-Global-Local)

> Peak Prosperity: Energy & The Economy – Crash Course Chapter 22 (Adam Taggart). We know that energy is required for both growth and complexity, that surplus energy is shrinking and that the age of cheap oil is over.  We know that because of this oil costs will consume an ever-greater proportion of our total budget. And with these known facts, come along specific risks.

> Economy & Markets Daily: The Economy’s Ebb And Flow (Harry Dent). It’s human nature to overdo and over shoot everything. That’s why the economy and markets have natural mechanisms for re-balancing. Inflation stimulates investments that bring inflation down and then benefit the economy for decades to come — the killer apps like the assembly line in 1914 and the PC in the late 1970s.

> CNBC News: Rich Hoard Cash As Their Wealth Reaches Record High. With the annual gross domestic product of the U.S. closing in on the $17 trillion mark, according to the World Bank, this means that the ultra-rich now have almost twice the wealth of the world’s largest economy. Their global population will reach 250,000 individuals in the next five years, an increase of 18 percent.

> Huffington Post: Seven Years After: Why This Recovery Is Still A Turkey (Dean Baker). Usually an economy would be fully recovered from the impact of a recession seven years after its onset. Unfortunately, this is not close to being the case now.

EXPECTATIONS-ENLIGHTENMENT (Ideas • Knowledge – Psychology – Beliefs)

> The Archdruid Report: Facts, Values, And Dark Beer (J. M. Greer). The notion that life has to justify itself to me seems, if I may be frank, faintly silly, and so does the comparable claim that I have to justify my existence to it, or to anyone else.

> Resilience: A Two-Century Fight For The Small, The Local And The Beautiful (Allan Carlson). Living simply and well through the self-sufficiency of the home economy, finding meaning and identity in family and community as expressed through song and dance, and joyfully submitting to the cadences of nature: these were the common attributes of the American Agrarians.

> Resilience: Learning From Icarus (Erik Aassadourian). The challenge is ensuring that all our efforts to become more resilient make us more sustainable—and vice versa. But even if we fail at that, we should still work to stop any ‘resilience’ projects that serve to extend the reach and robustness of the consumer society. That, at least, may help cushion our eventual fall when we crash into the proverbial sea.

> MSN News: Doomsday Pope Warns Man’s Greed Will Destroy World. At the Second International Conference on Nutrition, the Pope cautioned that if men continue to be greedy about abusing natural resources to make a profit, the earth will eventually take her revenge, the Daily Mail reported.

> Resource Insights: Nuclear War: A Forgotten Threat To Human Sustainability (Kurt Cobb).  The possibility of a new Cold War between Russia and the United States and its NATO allies brings with it the spectre of nuclear war, an all-but-forgotten threat since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

EQUALITY (Equity-Health-Social Concerns)

> Common Dreams: Do We Live On A One-Party Planet? (Martin Kirk). Introducing a new digital pamphlet designed to connect the dots on advanced-stage, 21st Century neoliberalism. “There is a force so broad, so enmeshed within the logic of modern global power, that the solutions we all work toward in the specific struggles we care most about – be that rampant inequalities in income and opportunity, widespread poverty, or climate change – are all facing it.”

> Star Tribune: Gen X Struggles As Baby Boomers, Millennials Hog Spotlight (Jackie Crosby). Generation X is struggling to come into its own, crushed between the aging baby boomers and the rising wave of millennials.

> Huffington Post: Nutrition Policies Can Address Inequalities (Michael F. Jacobson). The analysis of Americans’ diets shows just how important the campaign against trans fat has been to the public’s health — especially that of low-income Americans — and why FDA needs to bring it home.

ENGAGEMENT (Goals-Activism-Solutions)

> Sustainable America: How To Have A 100-Mile Thanksgiving (And other tips for more sustainable holidays!). In the spirit of using less fuel and supporting local farms and food artisans, we challenge you to try a 100-mile Thanksgiving (ingredients sourced from within 100 miles of your dinner table).

> US Government: Toolkit For Addressing The Challenges Of A Changing Climate ( Here are some helpful strategies in building resilience for individuals and communities.

> Yes! Magazine: 10 Climate Conscious Cities—Electric Cars, Rooftop Farms, And Other Ways They’re Preparing For The Future. There’s no time to waste when it comes to acting on climate change. The world’s most forward-thinking cities are curbing carbon and building for a sustainable future, now.

> Our World: New Research Says Plant-Based Diet Best For Planet And People. Examining almost 50 years’ worth of data from the world’s 100 most populous countries, University of Minnesota Professor of Ecology G. David Tilman and graduate student Michael Clark illustrate how current diet trends are contributing to ever-rising agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and habitat degradation.

> Resilience: Atamai Village: An Experiment In Resilient Community. If you clue in to the kinds of dramatic changes that are coming with limits to growth, climate, energy, etc. you come to realize the personal consequences and implications: An essential element of a re-localized new paradigm is a new kind of human settlement – a resilient community.


> Growth Busters: Free Online Movie on Black Friday— GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth. See this short trailer. Visit GrowthBusters channel Friday and the film will be featured and easy to find.

SEF News-Views Digest No. 74 (11-20-14)

Clifton Ware, Editor-Publisher


FEATURED EVENTS (More Events at End)

> THIRD ANNUAL EVENT: SUSTAINABILITY FAIR, Thurs., Nov. 20th, 5:30-8:00 p.m., Silverwood Park Visitors Center, St. Anthony Village (Map). Co-sponsored by the cities of St. Anthony Village, Lauderdale, and Falcon Heights, in collaboration with Three Rivers Park District and U of MN sustainability faculty and students. Exhibits include poster projects presented by 43 students and 20 exhibits presented by local sustainability groups, including CFS. Free and open to the public. 

EDITOR — Hey, Ho, Let’s Go To The Fair!

As the above “featured event” shows, a unique sustainability fair will be held Thursday evening in the eco-friendly visitor center at beautiful Silverwood Park, a natural oasis in the northeast area of the Twin Cities metro. Citizens interested in sustainability are a very supportive group, so a respectable turnout is expected.

As one of the U.S’s top-rated progressive states, Minnesota ranks high in most lifestyle categories — economy, politics, education, environment, social programs, health, and so on. Twin Citians, in particular, are fortunate to have plentiful opportunities for participating in sustainability events and initiatives. Any sustainability enthusiast can select specific areas of interest to pursue, including causes related to protecting endangered species, promoting local food programs, cleaning up waterways, reducing pollution, promoting renewable energy, and working on climate change issues, among other worthwhile pursuits. In sum, there’s something for everyone.

Sustainability fairs provide a prime opportunity for gaining a broader and deeper perspective of relevant issues. They also provide a gathering place for networking with like-minded citizens and establishing collaborative connections. By participating—as a presenter, an exhibitor, a performer, an organizer, or as an observer—the sustainability movement gains strength, and the requisite power for making substantial progress. So let’s go to the fair!

P.S. Don’t miss the movie preview of Origins (see following listing).

ENVIRONMENT (Natural Resources • Wildlife • Climate)

Well.orgOrigins: Our Roots, Our Planet, Our Future (  The film crew spent the last four years traveling the world to make this piece and, as part of their directive to “help the world first”, they are opening it up for this no-cost world premier preview window for all to enjoy. It will be available until Nov. 22, so view it soon!

> On Earth: Interstellar: Could The New Film Be A Survival Guide For The Planet? Here’s the basic plot: The environment gets so bad that Earth is no longer a suitable habitat for Homo sapiens. As our species hangs in the balance, a handful of amateur astronauts head off into space to find another home.

> Scientific American: 7 Solutions To Climate Change Happening Now (David Biello). Even as the world continues to spew more carbon pollution, change has begun—and is accelerating—regardless of the political scene in D.C.

> Ecological Gardening: Where Do We Find Beauty In A Landscape? (Adrian Ayres).  As our climate changes, hedgerows and greenways could be crucial not only for their carbon-storage properties, but also for their ability to serve as corridors linking larger, wilder areas so that animals and even plants can migrate to more favorable habitats.

> CBS News: Salt-Water Fish Extinction Seen By 2048. The apocalypse has a new date: 2048.That’s when the world’s oceans will be empty of fish, predicts an international team of ecologists and economists. The cause: the disappearance of species due to overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, and climate change.

ENERGY (Fossil Carbon • Natural Resources • Renewables)

> Peak Prosperity: Shale Oil – Crash Course Chapter 21 (Expensive, Over-Hyped, and Short Lived). If you’ve watch the previous video chapter on Peak Cheap Oil, you may be wondering how any of that could be still be true given all the positive recent stories about shale oil and shale gas, many of which have proclaimed that “Peak Oil is dead”. The only problem with this story is that it is misleading in some very important ways. And entirely false in others.

> Resilience: Watching The Watchdogs: 10 Years Of The IEA World Energy Outlook (David MacLeod). Over the last decade the IEA World Energy Outlook has gradually moved from rosy to pessimistic reports, or “increasingly reality-based.” Projected oil demand has gradually decreased by 20 million barrels per day (mb/d), and the projected costs have continued to rise. Yet even their most pessimistic reports fail to capture true reality, largely because of politics.

> On Earth: Dirty Legacy. (article, plus videos) Exposing the lax regulation and health risks of Alberta’s tar sands industry.

> NEF Blog: Energy Round-Up: The Road To Decarbonisation? The latest energy and climate news – subscribe now to get updates straight to your inbox.

> Grist: With Eyes In The Sky, Researchers Try To Link Fracking And Illness. Fracking has long been the oil and natural gas industry’s best-kept secret – in particular, the chemicals found in fracking fluids, which have been linked to a host of weird mystery ailments, like respiratory or gastrointestinal distress.

ECONOMY (Local/Global • Wealth • Finances)

> The Atlantic: Why Aren’t Milennials Saving Money? (Bourree Lam)  This mistrust of banks, along with historically low income and investment, is added to the fact that saving money is just really hard—for everyone. It may be that we need to trick ourselves to do it: Harvard economist David Laibson has some suggestions on how to raise the savings rate for those with jobs, namely an opt-out (rather than an opt-in) system that would make it easier for Americans to save.

> Bloomberg: World Economy Worst In Two Years, Europe Darkening, Deflation Lurking: Global Investor Poll (Rich Miller). Much of the concern is again focused on the euro area: Almost two-thirds of those polled said its economy was weakening while 89 percent saw disinflation or deflation as a greater threat there than inflation over the next year.

> CASSE-The Daly News: Use And Abuse Of The “Natural Capital” Concept (Herman Daly).  In the ecosystem money is fungible, natural stocks are not; money has no physical dimension, natural populations do. Exchanges of matter and energy among parts of the ecosystem have an objective ecological basis. They are not governed by prices based on subjective human preferences in the market.

> The Guardian: US Wealth Inequality – Top 0.1% Worth As Much As The Bottom 90% (Angela Monaghan). Over the past three decades, the share of household wealth owned by the top 0.1% has increased from 7% to 22%. For the bottom 90% of families, a combination of rising debt, the collapse of the value of their assets during the financial crisis, and stagnant real wages have led to the erosion of wealth. See also: Why Economic Inequality Leads To Collapse.

> Resilience: Frugal Value: Designing Business For A Crowded Planet (Carina Millstone).  Growth seems to have become an end in itself. In this article, I critically examine the notion of business growth in our time, reflecting on the purpose, nature and workings of individual firms in the age of the Anthropocene.

EXPECTATIONS (Knowledge • Psychology • Beliefs • Views • Future)

> The New York Review of Books: Can Climate Change Cure Capitalism? (Elizabeth Kolbert). In Naomi Klein’s ambitious new polemic, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, “ she claims that “Climate change can’t be solved within the confines of the status quo, because it’s a product of the status quo . . . Our economic system and our planetary system are now at war.” The only hope of avoiding catastrophic warming lies in radical economic and political change.

> Yes! Magazine7 Ways To Get Happy—Without Costing The Planet (Sarah Van Gelder).  The starting point is to realize we have choices—like meaningful work, authentic relationships, and gratitude. [Adapted from Sustainable Happiness: Live Simply, Live Well, Make a Difference, edited by Sarah van Gelder and YES! Magazine staff; published by Berrett Koehler. Order now at

> HowEricLives: Energy And The Future Of Food (Eric Garza). The problems we must overcome procuring food over the next 100 years will differ from those we’ve faced before, both in their complexity and their magnitude.

EQUITY (Equality • Health • Social Concerns)

> Common Dreams: The Unforgiven: How College Debt Is Crushing A Generation.  According to the report (pdf), the average bachelor-degree graduate—along with a diploma of increasingly questionable value— leaves school with and an average of $28,400 in personal debt. That number is a full 2 percent increase over 2012.

> Common Dreams: Study: More Homeless Children Now Than Any Point In US History (Jon Queally). Prepared by the National Center on Family Homelessness, the report—America’s Youngest Outcasts (pdf)—shows that with poverty and inequality soaring in recent years, approximately 2.5 million children in 2013 found themselves without a roof over their head or place to call home.

> New Republic: Extreme Wealth Is Bad For Everyone—Especially The Wealthy (Michael Lewis).  In a 2014 book, Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust by Darrell M. West, the author notes that the concentration of wealth in the top 1 percent of American citizens has returned to levels not seen in a century. One percent of the population controls a third of its wealth, and the problem is only getting worse: from 1979 to 2009 after-tax income for the top 1 percent rose by 155 percent while not changing all that much for everyone else.

> Common Dreams: The Super-Rich And Sordid Tales Of Selfishness (Paul Buchheit). Compelling research has demonstrated that the accumulation of wealth leads to a sense of entitlement and qualities of narcissism. For example, rich people are more likely to flout traffic laws, to take items of value from others, and to cheat when necessary to win a prize or position.

> On the Commons: Walking Is Going Places (Jay Walljasper). Sixty percent of Americans would prefer to live in a neighborhood with stores and services within easy walking distance, according to a recent survey from the National Association of Realtors, nearly twice as many who want to live where stores can be reached only by car.

ENGAGEMENT (Goals • Activism • Solutions)

> ENSIA: To Feed The World In 2050 We Have To Change Course (Timothy A. Wise).  In order to feed a growing population we need to focus on reducing biofuel production and food waste (one third) and spoilage. A U.N. report confirmed that the best area to invest in agriculture is small-scale farming, where the “yield gaps” are the largest and where hunger in the most prevalent.

> Shareable: Community Supported Everything Incubates Social Change In Portland. When people are faced with a dire community challenge, they often turn to their neighbors to create a solution. There’s something powerful about starting where you are, with what you have, with the support of those around you.

> RedOrbit: Fish And Vegetable Diet Could Save The Planet As Well As Our Lives (Jon Hopton). The best diet for both humans and the planet is one built around local foods, especially fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. If you eat meat and dairy products, make sure they’re local and make sure they’re organic. Also, avoid “empty calories” such as sugar, fat, oils and even alcohol, which are contributing to greenhouse gases and poor human health.

> MinnPost: Community Voices: Agriculture And Climate Change: A Cause, A Victim And A Potential Solution (Katie Siegner). Properly managed soil is a natural carbon sink, and organic farming is increasingly recognized as a viable, more adaptable, and healthier alternative to conventional modern agriculture.

> Sierra Club: How Solid Waste Is Doing You A Solid (Chelsea Leu). Many zoos compost thousands of tons of manure produced by herbivores like giraffes and rhinos, converting poop to nutrient-rich fertilizer that they sellgive away, or use to enrich their grounds. But the Toronto Zoo is taking their composting to the next level: building the first zoo-based biogas plant in North America.


> MN350-MCAD: Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (feature-length documentary of a filmmaker’s undercover investigation of the cattle industry). Sun., Nov. 23, 6:30 p.m., MN Institute of Arts Auditorium. 2501 Stevens Ave, Mpls. Free (donation requested).

> U of MN Arboretum: Winter Farmers Market, Sat., Nov. 29th, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Oswald Visitor Center. Learn more >

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SEF News-Views Digest No. 73 (10-14-14)

Will Technology Save Us? (Clifton Ware, Editor/Publisher)

One of the optimistic themes underpinning the functioning of modern society is the common belief that science and technology will save civilization from any future calamities.

Some of the latest projected technical wizardries include: seeking new forms of plentiful, cheap energy; developing space travel; mining for precious minerals on asteroids; engineering ever-more genetically modified organisms; and, most significantly for civilization, artificially modifying Earth’s climate systems through geoengineering.

Advocates of the “dark green environmentalism” persuasion (like me) seriously question the “bright green environmentalism” tribe’s undying faith in technology to solve all of humankind’s challenges. I hasten to add that dark greens do embrace science and the scientific method, especially open-minded searches for answers and solutions based on confirmable evidence.

As humanity continues seeking ways to create a resilient, sustainable future, dark greens advocate finding an equitable balance between unbridled technology and judicious technology. For a brief overview of light, bright, and dark green environmentalism, go to bright green environmentalism (Wikepedia).

I discovered an article this week that addresses this issue with admirable substance, clarity and passion. Actually, it’s a recorded talk, with transcript, of a presentation given by Jerry Mander at the recent International Forum on Globalization “teach-in” (Techno-Utopianism and the Fate of the Earth), which took place October 25th-26th in New York City.

Jerry Mander is the founder, former director, and presently distinguished fellow of the International Forum on Globalization (IFG), a San Francisco “think tank” that, since 1994, has focused on exposing the negative impacts of economic globalization, and the need for economic transitions toward sustainable local economies. Click here to read and/or hear Mander’s talk: Questions We Should Have Asked about Technology.

ENVIRONMENT (Natural Resources-Wildlife-Climate)

> Resilience: Wild Carbon (Courtney White). “You cannot save the land apart from the people or the people apart from the land. To save either, you must save both.” ~ Wendell Berry. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the landmark Wilderness Act, so I thought I’d add a carbon perspective to the debate: Is there a role for wilderness in the twenty-first century?

Huffington Post: Tuesday’s Election: A Record Day For Land Conservation (Will Rogers). One clear message was delivered: Americans cherish land and water and want to protect the special places they hold dear. And they sent that message most clearly in three large states — Florida, New Jersey and California –approving record spending to protect land and water. Voters approved 35 local and statewide measures, generating a record $13 billion in funding for conservation purposes.

> NY Times: U.S. And China Reach Climate Accord After Months Of TalksChina and the United States made common cause on Wednesday against the threat of climate change, staking out an ambitious joint plan to curb carbon emissions as a way to spur nations around the world to make their own cuts in greenhouse gases.

> Huffington Post: The Big Climate Deal: What It Is, And What It Isn’t (Bill McKibben).  If we want this to be a start, and not a finish, we’ve got to build even bigger and more powerful movements that push the successors of these gentlemen to meet what science demands. Today’s an achievement for everyone who’s held a banner, signed a petition, and gone to jail — and a call for many more to join us going forward!

> New York Times: Climate Tools Seek to Bend Nature’s Path. Once considered the stuff of wild-eyed fantasies, ideas for countering climate change — known as geoengineering solutions, because they intentionally manipulate nature — are now being discussed seriously by scientists. The National Academy of Sciences is expected to issue a report on geoengineering later this year.

ENERGY (Fossil Carbon-Natural Resources-Renewables)

> Peak Prosperity: Peak Cheap Oil – Crash Course Chapter 20. Energy is the lifeblood of any economy.  But when an economy is based on an exponential debt-based money system and that is based on exponentially increasing energy supplies, the supply of that energy therefore deserves our very highest attention.

> Our Finite World: Oil Price Slide – No Good Way Out (Gail Tverberg). The world is in a dangerous place now. A large share of oil sellers needs the revenue from oil sales. They have to continue producing, regardless of how low oil prices go unless they are stopped by bankruptcy, revolution, or something else that gives them a very clear signal to stop. History shows that many economies have collapsed because of diminishing returns.

> ASPO-USA: Peak Oil Review – 03 November 2014 (Tom Whipple).  Here’s a weekly roundup of peak oil news, including: Oil and the Global Economy; The Middle East and North Africa; Russia/Ukraine; Quote of the Week; and The Briefs.

ECONOMY (Finances-Global-Local)

> Peak Prosperity: Central Planners Are In A State of Panic (Chris Martenson). In short, everything the central planners have tried has failed to bring widespread prosperity and has instead concentrated it dangerously at the top. Whether by coincidence or conspiracy, every possible escape hatch for 99.5% of the people has been welded shut. We are all captives in a dysfunctional system of money, run by a few for the few, and it is headed for complete disaster.

> The Daly News: Do U.S. Election Financing Laws Force Politicians To Ignore Limits To Growth? (Brent Blackwelder). Money in politics has stopped progress toward real economic reform and slowed efforts to move to a true-cost, sustainable, steady state economy. It will continue to do so unless people seeking to end today’s cheater economics, with its global casino-style economy, join in the ongoing efforts to change the election financing laws.

> Shareable: Michel Bauwens On The Rise Of Multi-Stakeholder Cooperatives. A multi-stakeholder cooperative (MSC) is, as the name implies, a co-op that’s governed by two or more stakeholder groups. These groups can include workers, producers, consumers, owners, volunteers and community supporters. The brilliance of MSCs, also known as solidarity cooperatives, is that the various stakeholder groups throughout an enterprise have a shared vision that prioritizes equality, sustainability, and social justice.

> The Archdruid Report: Dark Age America: The End of the Market Economy (J. M. Greer). One factor that makes it difficult to imagine the economic consequences of the industrial age’s end is that we’re accustomed to a world where all forms of economic activity have been channeled through certain familiar forms for so long that very few people remember how things could be any other way. Another factor that complicates our thinking is that conventional economic thinking has invested immense effort into obscuring the possibility that things could be any other way.

EXPECTATIONS (Knowledge-Psychology-Beliefs)

> Common Dreams: Paul Krugman And The Tortoise: Why The Limits To Growth Are Real (Ugo Bardi). In the abstract realm of economics, the GDP can grow without natural resources; in the real world, it is not so. In the end, we need to be wary of abstract theories and remember that the limits to growth are real.

> Resilience:  Genetically Modified Escalation (Eric Garza). How much money, effort and time must be wasted in the service of feeding today’s GMO escalation trap? In her book Thinking in Systems, Donella Meadows articulates several traps that individuals and groups can fall into. Escalation is one of them, and it’s characterized by two or more opposing sides investing ever-greater resources towards the goal of triumphing over their opponents, like an arms race.

> Countercurrents: Ring The Bell: This Is Our Future By John James. When the IPCC promises that mean world temperature will rise by between 3.7 and 4.8 degrees by the end of the century if we go on as we are, what would this actually mean to our daily reality? We are told the likely outcome in very general scientifically correct sentences, but what do these words mean in the actual events we would have to live with?

> Common Dreams: Peace Ecology: Deep Solutions In An Age Of Water Scarcity And War (Randall Amster).  A key concept of what we term “peace ecology” is grounded in the notion that conflicts and crises driven by scarcity of natural resources—such as water—can also be opportunities for us to reimagine what is possible and ultimately foster mutually beneficial solutions and longer-term sustainability.

EQUITY (Equality-Health-Social Concerns)

> Roar Magazine: The Protests, Occupations And Uprisings Changing Our World. The latest book by Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Social Movements and Globalization, comes as a careful dissection of some of the most intriguing concepts relevant to the economic and political processes of the last century and the enduring desire for social transformation. Fominaya provides us with a master compilation of all that catches our attention, grasps our interest and urges our understanding.

> Common Dreams: Please Note: Democratic Candidates Lost, But Progressive Issues Won (David Morris).  My own opinion is that ballot initiatives more accurately take the ideological pulse of the people because debates over issues must focus on issues, not personality, temperament or looks.  Those on both sides of the issue can exaggerate, distort and just plain lie but they must do so in reference to the question on the ballot.

> Common Dreams: The Billion Dollar a Month Club: A Runaway Transfer of Wealth to the Super-Rich (Paul Buchheit). Our national wealth has grown by an astonishing $30 trillion since the recession, but most of it has gone to people who were already wealthy. See also: The Peasants Still Have Their Pitchforks (Sam Pizzigatti).

Yes! 6 Ways Americans Voted Against Corporate Power In The Most Expensive Midterm Elections Ever  (Mary Hansen & Kayla Schulz). In a few statewide ballot measures and local elections, Americans voted against corporate interests, embracing progressive policies. They endorsed protecting the environment from oil and gas companies, getting corporate money (like the record $3.76 billion spent during this midterm election) out of politics, and favoring local businesses over chain stores.

ENGAGEMENT (Goals-Activism-Solutions)

> Washington Post: Israeli Students Find Affordable Housing — In Metal Boxes. The Israeli have discovered a unique use for discarded shipping containers: inexpensive, practical housing for students.

> ENSIA: Can Sports Make Sustainability Mainstream? (Kellen Klein). For better or worse, sports are beyond mainstream. They’re integral to our global cultural fiber and have the kind of following sustainability advocates only dream of. With such a massive global audience, it’s no surprise that professional sports have also been major drivers of societal change.

> Yes! Land, Co-Ops, Compost: A Local Food Economy Emerges In Boston’s Poorest Neighborhoods. From kitchens that buy and sell locally grown food, to a waste co-op that will return compost to the land, new enterprises are building an integrated food network. It’s about local people keeping the wealth of their land at home.

> Energy Balance: Regenerative Agriculture: The Transition (Chris Rhodes). In the face of peak oil and in order to curb carbon emissions, methods of farming that depend less on oil and natural gas, respectively to run machinery and to make synthetic fertilizers, must be sought. Such options are to be found within the framework of regenerative agriculture, but the transition from current industrialized agriculture to these alternative strategies will prove testing.

> Common Dreams: Back-To-The-Future Agriculture: ‘Farming Like The Earth Matters’ (Courtney White). It is easy to forget that once all agriculture was organic, grass-fed, and regenerative. Seed saving, composting, fertilizing with manure, polycultures, no-till, raising livestock entirely on grass—all associated today with sustainable food production—was the norm merely a century ago.


> SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION FORUM (New Format): HUMANS AND THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT. Sat., Nov. 15th, 3-5 p.m., St. Anthony Village Library, 2941 Pentagon Drive in St. Anthony Shopping Center. Presentations and discussions include a book, For Love of Lakes by Dave Demsey, presented by Idelle Peterson; plus discussion of articles by various writers, and presented by participants. Seating limited to 20 persons. RSVP (

> THIRD ANNUAL EVENT: SUSTAINABILITY FAIR, Thurs., Nov. 20th, 5:30-8:00 p.m., Silverwood Park Visitors Center, St. Anthony Village (Map). Co-sponsored by the cities of St. Anthony Village, Lauderdale, and Falcon Heights, in collaboration with Three Rivers Park District and U of MN sustainability faculty and students. Poster exhibits presented by 43 students and other exhibits presented by local sustainability groups, including CFS. Free and open to the public. 


> UM Institute on the Environment: Frontiers in the Environment: Big Questions, Wednesdays, 12:00-1:00 p.m., IonE Seminar Room R380Learning & Environmental Sciences Bldg., St. Paul. Free. Watch online • Nov.19 — Environmentalists and Corporations Make Strange Bedfellows . . . Or Do They?

> Sierra Club-North Star: Minnesota Beyond Coal To Clean EnergySat., Nov.15, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sabathani Community Center, 310 East 38th Street Mpls., MN. RSVP:  Questions: (

> Women’s Environmental Network: Transportation Funding: Opportunities And Obstacles In The 2015 Legislative Session. Wed., Nov. 19th, Olin-Rice Science Center, Macalester College, 5-6 p.m. Buffet Dinner ($20 professional; $5 student), 6-8 p.m. Panel (Free). Info:

> MN350-MCAD: Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (feature-length documentary of a filmmaker’s undercover investigation of the cattle industry). Sun., Nov. 23, 6:30 p.m., MN Institute of Arts Auditorium. 2501 Stevens Ave, Mpls. Free (donation requested).