October 2009


It is Jam Band Friday –

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=you+can%27t+always+get+what+you+want&docid=1345780778117&mid=16E7403197023CEB494316E7403197023CEB4943&FORM=VIVR10

Everyone in this country has been programmed by rampant science fiction to believe that everything for the future comes from outer space. So the Japanese launch a press release about using a satellite to beam microwaves back to Earth.

http://www.physorg.com/news172224356.html

Let’s see, first you have to clean up the 13,000 pieces of space debris…then you got to up our payload capacity and multiple the number of vehicles available by at least 1,000. Just to START such a project. Hell we can barely generate enough capacity to keep the International Space Station running  which is 160 volts in DC. Which gets us back to this final meditation on “living off the land”. There are somethings we will have to give up on and the first one is Space Flight. Why? Not because of the money and effort that could spent elsewhere. Not because of the hellishness of the logistics. NASA’s dirty little secret is Cosmic Rays. They would destroy any unshielded human and that is why the International Space Station is not in geosynchronous orbit or higher. Stewardesses and Pilots who regularly fly at high altitudes are exposed to enough Cosmic Rays to have a slightly higher chance of developing some cancers. That is why NASA limits the space station stay for astronauts to under a year. But what is the point of going out there?

GROWTH

If we replaced that with

Quality of Life

As a principle the world would be a much nicer and longer lived place.

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http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=you+can%27t+always+get+what+you+want&docid=1322404807369&mid=9E85A21DF312D9016FDC57CBDDDC180567D96A9A&FORM=VIVR12

For those of you who want what you need and a simpler life there are many resources out there

http://www.livingoffgrid.org/

Tips for Off-Grid Living – How To Live Off The Grid

Off Grid Solar Power ArrayWelcome to our free online resource for off-grid living.
We are here to help you along in the rewarding challenge of living off of the power grid. Whether you are a veteran off-grider living in an RV or cabin in the woods, a seasoned rural farmer, a third-generation rancher – or someone just looking to get out of the rat race – we have the information you seek.

What to look for when buying real estate off the grid >>

Though sometimes a challenge, the many benefits of living off grid make it all worthwhile. How can one describe the feeling of running your house or business off of clean energy sources like natural gas and propane, or renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydro? Who could explain the effect being out of the city and suburbs has on your sense of well-being? How many of us would enjoy more fresh produce grown organically on our own property?

This website isn’t just about owning property that happens to not be connected to the big power company’s grid. It is about living closer to the land; Being responsible for the culture, values and environment we leave behind to our children; knowing that life was meant to be enjoyed, rather than working in a tiny cubicle to earn enough to accumulate stuff we didn’t need in the first place.

Well, that’s what it’s about for me at least. But more importantly:
What is living off grid about to you?

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_vcFUAUXzY

You can even be a Dad and do it:

http://frugaldad.com/2009/04/05/living-off-the-grid/

Living Off The Grid

Ever wish you could just unplug from your current hectic life?  Maybe quit your stressful job, move to a farm with several acres, and spend your remaining time living off the grid.  Yeah, me too.

The problem is that this type of lifestyle seems so simple, but is terribly difficult to pull off these days.  Why?  Because we have become slaves to our stuff – myself included.  We have our houses, our cars, our expensive hobbies, our electronic gadgets, our new furniture, our designer clothes, etc.

We spend the majority of our lives working to pay for the stuff that keeps us from living a life with more freedom.  Along the way we usually manage to accumulate debt buying more stuff than we can afford.  So then we spend even more time working to repay the money we borrowed to buy the stuff that we work to pay for in the first place.  Whew!  It’s a vicious cycle.

farmhouse040509
Photo courtesy of iLoveButter

How To Break The Chains of Stuff?

So how do we break the cycle?  How do we join others who are living off the grid?  It isn’t easy.  I believe the very first step is to stop accumulating stuff.  Draw a line in the sand (or on your front porch), and vow not to allow anything else to enter your home unless it is a necessity or improves your quality of life in some way.  If something qualifies under those two conditions, you must save for it and pay cash.  No more borrowing!

The second step is to take a look around your house, and your budget.  Are you paying for things that you could really live without?  The $40 gym membership, or the $15 Netflix membership, may not seem like much by themselves, but how much of a nest egg would be required just to cover those expenses?  I mentioned the multiply by 25 concept in a previous post.  The idea is that you can estimate how much of your nest egg would be required to maintain your current expenses.  I used Netflix as an example:

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX1OVXTplos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymLRWZG4u24

The movement is not just limited to the US.

http://www.off-grid.net/

Top govt advisor attacks Big Power

Section:

— by Alexbenady, 30 Oct

Simpson: Local hero

Simpson: Local hero

The UK is in the grips of a power cartel, says an insider from the governing UK Labour Party.

That cartel actively hinders the fight against global warming by lobbying for its own narrow commercial interests at the cost of local democracy and the future health of the planet.   It’s an argument that off-gridders and anti-capitalist campaigners will be familiar with. It’s not really what you expect to hear from an advisor to Her Majesty’s Government. Yet it is precisely the belief of Alan Simpson, who occupies a place close to the heart of political power in Britain as  energy advisor to the Secretary of Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband and Member of Parliament for Nottingham South.

>>Keep reading Top govt advisor attacks Big Power Your Comments: 0
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http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=you+can%27t+always+get+what+you+want&docid=1346708637036&mid=00EB313253A0B35936F300EB313253A0B35936F3&FORM=VIVR34

Some people even thrive in an “off the grid” living:

http://www.eartheasy.com/blog/2009/06/what-its-like-living-off-grid/

By Greg Seaman Posted Jun 9, 2009

In the summer of 1980, my wife, three-month old son and I moved “off-grid”. We loved living in San Francisco but wanted to live a simpler, more independent lifestyle, and so we bought a small cabin with land on a rural island in the Pacific Northwest. Since there were no services to the island, our home had no electricity. Residents of the island had to create their own electricity or do without.

Now here I sit, almost 30 years later, with the kids grown and their rooms empty, and with some time to reflect on our experience living and raising a family off-grid. But before even considering the challenges and solutions in dealing with our energy needs over the years, one observation seems to leap out: how little things here have changed. We’ve done very little over the years to enhance our energy needs, aside from installing two solar panels last year to power the computer I’m using to write this article. (Alongside my computer on the table here is a kerosene lamp, and a candle for added light.) This lack of change is testament to the feasibility of off-grid living, and my vision for the upcoming years is to keep things pretty much the way they are.

But keeping it simple hasn’t always been simple. We had to learn alternate methods of preserving food, how to build things without power tools, how to cook on a wood stove, how to clean diapers without a washing machine, entertain ourselves without TV, and accept that many common tasks can take longer and be more difficult without electricity. Here are the main challenges we encountered in living off-grid, and how we managed with them.

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For much more:

http://www.emagazine.com/view/?2650

http://www.coyotecottage.com/

http://science.howstuffworks.com/living-off-the-grid.htm

http://www.bringaboutgreen.com/

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Oh yah and the people that made the song famous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPCRIFLjfPo

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http://cleantechnica.com/2009/10/28/wind-turbines-dont-kill-birds-coal-plants-do/

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/upland_bird/harvest/index.asp

In Oregon alone hunters kill over 94,000 Ruffled Grouse in 10 years…now on to other news

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Continuing with my meditation on “living off the land”, (and my life a*s a google whore) there are many passive ways to use the environment to our advantage. One of these is solar water heaters. Hell I remember when they were called solar water preheaters because the utility companies were petrified that everyone would have them.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/KJ29Cb02.html

China Business

     Oct 29, 2009

      

 

China leads solar home revolution
By Ryan RutkowskiGazing across the Chinese urban cityscape, one quickly notices many strange tubular devices dotting the rooftops of many residential buildings. These are solar water heaters.Solar water heaters rank among the world’s fastest-growing applications of solar thermal technology. According to the WorldWatch institute, the solar thermal heating sector expanded worldwide in 2007 at its highest rate since 1995, up 19 gigawatts of thermal equivalent (GWth) to 147 GWth total capacity. Solar thermal energy harnessed for domestic water heating is the primary application of this technology, accounting for 86% of all installations in 2009.

China is the world’s largest market for solar water heating (SWH). Since the 1990s, China has blossomed with an increase in annual
production to 114.1 million square meters in 2007 from 0.5 million square meters in 1991, accounting for two thirds of global output. According to “The China Greentech Report 2009”, the country has the world’s largest installed base of solar water heaters, at over 125 million square meters, with one in 10 families such devices.

In 2007, SWH firms in China generated sales of 32 billion yuan (US$470 million). The country’s annual production of solar water heater systems is twice that of Europe and four times that of the United States.

Moreover, China has become a global leader in the manufacturing of components for solar water heater systems. According to “The China Greentech Report 2009”, over 95% of core solar water heating technology patents are held by Chinese firms. In 2005, China produced over 90% of the world’s evacuated tubes, 70% of the world’s borosilicate glass, and more than 90% of the world’s “getter” – reactive materials used for removing traces of gas from vacuum systems.

In recent years, China has begun exporting its SWH technology. In 2007, the sector’s exports grew 28%, with a total value of US$65 million, the equipment going to 50 countries and territories in Europe, the United States, Africa and Southeast Asia. China’s leading export companies are Jiangsu Sunrain New Energy Group, Shandong Linuo Solar Energy Group and Beijing Tsinghua Solar.

Solar water heater systems can be seen across China, from the largest urban metropolitan areas to the smallest rural hamlets. The systems are most common on residential buildings in urban areas, while 90% of the systems are used in single households and 10% in schools, hotels and restaurants.

Altogether, over 30 million households in China use the systems. Southwestern Yunnan province, an area known for abundant sunshine and consistent year-round temperatures, has adopted widespread use of solar water heater systems, with almost all residential buildings in cities and rural areas equipped with them.

A combination of low production costs and significant government support has contributed to the rise of the systems. A standard household system can be set up for just over 2,000 yuan (US$294), compared with 1,800 yuan for gas and as low as 500 yuan for comparable electric water heaters. However, every cubic meter of natural gas costs about 1.7 yuan and every kilowatt hour of mains electricity costs about 0.44 yuan, compared with no cost for a SWH system – a significant savings over time, especially in areas with no access to natural gas and with abundant solar energy.

According to a study by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, SWHs were the most economical domestic hot water system compared with diesel oil boilers, gas boilers, or electric water heaters. The annual operating costs of SWHs in Shanghai were 70% less than electric water heaters.

On January 1, 2006, China passed a revolutionary renewable energy law to spur local governments to support the development of renewable energy projects across provinces. In 2007, the National Development and Reform Council’s Medium and Long-term Development Plan for Renewable Energy in China called for an increase in the total installed area for SWH systems to 150 million square meters by 2010 and 300 million square meters by 2020 – of this 100 million square meters will be in rural areas.

At present, the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone next to Hong Kong, eastern Nanjing, Zhengzhou and Xiamen, and Shijiazhuang near Beijing, are among cities that make SWH systems compulsory on newly built and rebuilt residential buildings at 12 stories or below. In Shanghai, the local government is also pushing for an increase in the solar collecting area.

Three types of solar SWH systems are in use in China: vacuum tube collectors, flat-plate collectors, and combined storage collectors. The vacuum tube collectors are the most prevalent, making up 88% of the market in 2004, compared with 11% for flat-plate collectors, and less than 1% for combined storage collectors. New models often have electrical heaters inside the water tank to ensure efficiency in all weather conditions. According to a study by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, under weather conditions in Shanghai, the annual solar collecting efficiency of flat panel SWH systems is about 36-40%.

The SWH manufacturing market is highly fragmented, with more than 5,000 producers throughout the country. A lack of comprehensive standards for components and manufacturing and local protectionism has kept down the costs of entry for firms.

In April this year, the Ministry of Commerce announced a “Home Electronics to Countryside” program to encourage the growth of SWH systems in rural areas with a 13% subsidy on the cost of buying a system for rural residents. Many experts view this plan as a tool to encourage consolidation in the industry through adoption of more rigid standards. Only 92 of the 133 companies that placed a bid for the program were selected.

Shandong is the world production center for SWHs, based on measured area of concentrated heat vacuum tubes, with over 100 million square meters a year and 387 manufacturers. Of China’s 30 leading makers of the products with over 10 million yuan in production value, 10 are based in the province, including some of the largest SWH producers, such as Himin Solar Energy Group, Shandong Sangle Solar Energy and Linuo Paradigma Solar Energy.

Dezhou city, home to Himin Solar, boasts that 90% of households there use SWHs and that the streets are lit with solar-powered lights.

Recently, Jiangsu province joined the drive into SWH manufacturing. Of the 92 companies selected for the home electronics to the countryside program, 15 were from the province, including Jiangsu Huayang Solar Energy Heater, Jiangsu Sunrain Solar Energy and Jiangsu Sunshore Solar Energy Industry.

Jiangsu Huayang has filed for 150 independent patents and exports products to the US, Germany, Italy, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

The industry’s growth is attracting overseas interest. On September 17, Milwaukee-based, AO Smith Corp acquired a controlling stake in Tianlong Holding, one of China’s leading water purification companies. AO Smith is a world leader in residential and commercial water heating equipment and is already the second-biggest maker of water heaters in China, posting sales revenue of US$2.3 billion in 2008.

China’s rapid adoption of SWH technology will help counter the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. In 2004, SWH units already provided 12% of China’s renewable energy, second only to hydropower. According to the government’s mid-to-long term plan, China could save 20 million tonnes of coal by installing a total of 150 million square meters of SWHs by 2010.

According to “The China Greentech Report 2009”, the market size for green technology in China could reach up to 15% of gross domestic product by 2013. Clearly, this is not only an opportunity for foreign firms to jump on the bandwagon of a Chinese market with astronomical growth potential, it is also a golden opportunity for Chinese firms to gain a foothold in the rapidly developing renewable energy markets in Europe and North America. China’s solar revolution is well underway, and will not be limited by national borders.

Ryan Rutkowski is a master’s student studying international economics at Johns Hopkins University – Nanjing University Center for Chinese-American Studies.

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They got sales going on too:

http://www.china-solar-collector.com/solar%20collector.html?gclid=CICS167S4p0CFSMNDQodgT5vCQ

solar collector-roof[1]

Solar Collector or Solar Water Heater is a device that absorbs thermal energy from the sun and converts it into usable heat. The heat is normally absorbed by water, or a freeze resistant water mix, which can then be used to supplement hot water heating, space heating and even space cooling via use of an absorption chiller or dessicant cooler technology.

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It is true. Even though stories about disappearing honey bees, or even Colony Collapse Disorder have appeared on 60 minutes, Scientific America and even NatGeo. There is very little truth to it. It is largely a North American and European commercial pollination problem which would never really effect food production much. If they worked me as hard as they do the commercial bees I’d fly away too. My Pawpaws are pollinated by flies so I don’t really care. If you don’t believe me read this:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427316.800-the-truth-about-the-disappearing-honeybees.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

But this and yesterday’s post got me to thinking about eating simply and it furthers my meditation on living off the land. Humans have come to eat so complicatedly and chemically. Did you ever wonder why Lay’s Potato Chips claims that”you can’t eat just one” and they are probably right? I am no extremist veggan or anything approaching one. There are 200,000 deer in Illinois and if oil collapsed tomorrow and with it civilization I would go shoot one the day after. I don’t even know if the children still trick or treat for Unicef but in that spirit let’s start with Plump-i-nut factories in Africa:

http://www.unicef.org/media/ethiopia_38423.html

UNICEF Executive Director inaugurates Ethiopia’s first Plumpy’nut factory

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF/2007/Wiggers
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman receives flowers from children upon her arrival at the new Plumpy’nut factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

By Indrias Getachew

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 21 February 2007  UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman inaugurated Ethiopia’s first Plumpy’nut therapeutic food factory in Addis Ababa yesterday.

The inauguration marks a joint venture between UNICEF, US-based private donor and businesswoman Amy Robbins and the Hilina Enriched Foods Processing Centre.

Plumpy’nut is a high-protein and high-energy, peanut-based paste used for the treatment of severely undernourished children. An estimated 1.5 million children in Ethiopia are severely undernourished. At full capacity, Hilina Enriched Foods will produce up to 12 tons of the paste per day.

“Today as we open the doors of the fourth, and largest, factory in Africa that will produce Plumpy’nut, we are taking a step in the right direction in addressing the issue of malnutrition,” said Ms. Veneman.

Generous solution

In 2005, the Robbins family donated $1.3 million to UNICEF to allow the purchase and import of 267 tons of Plumpy’nut to Ethiopia.

Formulated by French scientist Andre Briend in 1999, Plumpy’nut has been used to save children’s lives in major emergency situations in Darfur, Niger and Malawi.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF/2007/Wiggers
From left: Philanthopist Amy Robbins, Minister of Trade and Industries Ato Girma Birru and the State Minister for Agriculture at the inauguration of the Plumpy’nut factory in Addis Ababa.

Plumpy’nut requires no preparation or special supervision, so an untrained adult such as a parent can deliver it to an undernourished child at home, allowing governments to reduce the amount of money spent on therapeutic feeding stations. The paste has a two-year shelf life when unopened and stays fresh even after opening.

Though Plumpy’nut is relatively inexpensive and easy to transport, Ms. Robbins discovered that huge costs were incurred from its importation and that limited capacity at the French plant made it difficult to ensure timely food supplies from Europe.

To solve the problem, her family foundation donated $340,000 towards investment in the needed equipment to manufacture Plumpy’nut within Ethiopia.

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Everyone knows that factory farming of animals pioneered here in the Corporate US of A is dangerous to the health of all involved including the humans. Everyone knows that eating cow flesh is probably not a good idea, at least everyday or even 2 or 3 times a week. Goats, sheep, fowl and pigs are much better alternatives.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goat

The most recent genetic analysis[5] confirms the archaeological evidence that the Anatolian Zagros are the likely origin of almost all domestic goats today. Neolithic farmers began to keep them for easy access to milk and meat, primarily, also for their dung, which was used as fuel and their bones, hair, and sinew for clothing, building, and tools.[1] The earliest remnants of domesticated goats dating 10,000 before present are found in Ganj Dareh in Iranian Kurdistan. Domestic goats were generally kept in herds that wandered on hills or other grazing areas, often tended by goatherds who were frequently children or adolescents, similar to the more widely known shepherd. These methods of herding are still used today.

Historically, goat hide has been used for water and wine bottles in both traveling and transporting wine for sale. It has also been used to produce parchment

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Not to mention that the flesh is wonderful and so are the milk and cheese. They will eat just about anything and everyone should have at least 2. Again it is the GROWTH model that destroys the equilibrium of the planet. Simple is laughed at. People who juice their foods live much long because their foods are fresh and uncooked.

http://www.powerjuicer.com/?gclid=CLyzu7yY4J0CFQ4hDQod9ilOMA

Jack LaLane should know he has been at it for years:

green04.jpg

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Our GROWTH system even prevents or even worse obliterates local options. When I found out about Pawpaws I was thoroughly amazed:

Cultivation and uses

Asimina triloba is often called prairie banana because of its banana-like creamy texture and flavor.

The pawpaw is native to shady, rich bottom lands, where it often forms a dense undergrowth in the forest. Where it dominates a tract it appears as a thicket of small slender trees, whose great leaves are borne so close together at the ends of the branches, and which cover each other so symmetrically, that the effect is to give a peculiar imbricated appearance to the tree.[1]

Although it is a delicious and nutritious fruit, it has never been cultivated on the scale of apples and peaches, primarily because only frozen fruit will store or ship well. It is also difficult to transplant because of fragile hairy root tentacles that tend to break off unless a cluster of moist soil is retained on the root mass. Cultivars are propagated by chip budding or whip grafting.

In recent years the pawpaw has attracted renewed interest, particularly among organic growers, as a native fruit which has few to no pests, and which therefore requires no pesticide use for cultivation. The shipping and storage problem has largely been addressed by freezing. Among backyard gardeners it also is gaining in popularity because of the appeal of fresh fruit and because it is relatively low maintenance once planted. The pulp is used primarily in baked dessert recipes and for juicing fresh pawpaw drink or drink mixtures (pawpaw, pineapple, banana, lime, lemon and orange tea mix). In many recipes calling for bananas, pawpaw can be used with volumetric equivalency.

The commercial growing and harvesting of pawpaws is strong in southeast Ohio. The Ohio Pawpaw Growers’ Association annually sponsors the Ohio Pawpaw Festival at Lake Snowden near Albany, Ohio.

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But really the place to start with all of this is to pick your foods carefully. Find a butcher and get to know him or her. Look around and find local growers that you can trust. When you have to go to a modern grocery store go there with a certain amount of fear and suspicion.

web_ads_combined.jpg

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Oil and Natural Gas will never run out…Am I a Google whore or what? Still when you say things like that out loud they seem so silly. Or more like impossible. So I would like to continue our meditation on “living off the land” by looking at some sustainable communities around the country and the planet.

This guy will build it for you:

http://www.placeonline.us/about.html

Who, What, Why | Meet The Team | Board of Directors | Frequently Asked Questions

What is PLACE?

PLACE® is a nonprofit organization that works with cities to create leading-edge communities that promote the arts, environmentalism and social justice. Through a community-driven, ethically-focused process, PLACE develops new models for urban neighborhoods that demonstrate the best practices in environmental design, live/work development for artists and creative businesses, affordable workforce housing, and supportive housing for the most economically distressed. Our vision is to change the way communities are made.

We strive to make each PLACE project reflect the highest community ideals, creating beautiful and inspiring places, lifting people out of poverty, empowering community participation, and providing equal opportunity, all while generating economic return, renewable energy and jobs. PLACE communities seek to dramatically improve the way we live, work, play, commute, create, and interrelate, as well as the way we impact our cities and our Earth.

PLACE was founded by Chris Velasco in 2005. PLACE and its respected national board of directors bring extensive experience in creating the public/private partnerships necessary to finance, develop and operate complex, economically-sustainable facilities. As an entrepreneurial nonprofit, PLACE uses proven market approaches and cutting edge funding methods to develop projects that are economically self-sustaining. PLACE’s projects blend the arts, environmentalism, community-driven development, live and work space, smart growth, small business development and affordable housing — all together in one, inspiring place.

What does PLACE build?

The PLACE Team works with architects, engineers, artists and builders to create:

• Alternative energy communities
• Green artist enclaves, communities, neighborhoods, communes and villages
• Eco Villages
• Green affordable housing and supportive housing
• Sustainable communities for artists and artisans
• Green arts facilities and green theaters
• Next-generation communities
• Cultural tourism destinations
• Inspiring, transformational places

How is PLACE funded?

PLACE is a 501(c)3 publicly-supported charity, which means that donations made to the organization are tax deductible. In addition to private donations and grants from foundations and corporations, PLACE receives funding for its projects from local, state and federal governmental entities. The PLACE organization also collects fees from the development and operation of its projects, speaking engagements, and consulting efforts. You can donate to our efforts by clicking here.

What’s a good example of a PLACE project?

The Working Artists Ventura (WAV) project is a state-of-the-art community designed for artists and creative businesses. Located in the cultural district of downtown Ventura, California, WAV will offer affordable living and working space for over a hundred artists of every kind: painters, sculptors, dancers, poets, musicians, filmmakers and more.

Currently under construction and on schedule for completion and occupancy in September 2009, WAV has been developed in unique concert with the local community. Over the course of its development, PLACE and the City have held over one hundred public meetings, engaging the local community in every aspect of WAV’s design, purpose, and spirit. These meetings have resulted in a project that both meets the critical needs voiced by Ventura’s community, and gives the project the kind of wholesale support that is often lacking in many developments. Click here for more about WAV.

What’s on PLACE’s horizon?

PLACE is pleased to introduce a groundbreaking sustainable development called E-Generation™. Imagine a mixed-use, mixed-income, creative urban community designed to include a compact power facility capable of converting waste into clean, renewable energy. A safe, sanitary, nearly invisible system built into the development will process all the waste produced on site: one hundred percent of the garbage, recyclables and liquid waste, or black water. Community life creates waste, this waste creates clean renewable energy, which powers community life — a perfectly efficient cycle. Learn more about E-Generation by clicking here.

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Or if you are rich:

http://www.serenbecommunity.com/home.html

At home at Serenbe.
Let’s say you could create the perfect place to live. Blank slate. Anything you want.

You might want a place where your quality of life was extraordinarily high. Where you felt an easy sense of community. Where the principles of sustainability touched everything from your home’s methods of construction to the organic produce on your table that was grown by one of your neighbors.

Speaking of neighbors, you might prefer an eclectic group, from artists to writers to farmers to business people. You might like to walk paths that take you through both forest and meadow, ride horses along tree-canopied trails, or hear music outdoors in your neighborhood amphitheatre. Maybe you’d just like a place to get away, a place where you can enjoy a simpler life. For miles around you the Chattahoochee Hill Country is protected with a master plan that calls for 80% green space.

Let’s say you’d like a place where you can stroll as well as stride. Where you can spend time being as well as doing. Then perhaps Serenbe is a place you’d be at home.

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They are in Britain:

http://www.goingcarbonneutral.co.uk/

Located in rural Cheshire, Ashton Hayes is a well knit community of about 1000 people that is aiming to become England’s first carbon neutral community. We started our journey in January 2006 and since then we have already cut our carbon dioxide emissions by 23% – by working together, sharing ideas and through behavioural change. This website encapsulates our journey towards carbon neutrality and offers free advice and guidance. Please feel free to use anything from our website (we’d like a credit if you can).

Tuesday

06Oct2009

Parish Council votes to apply for Low Carbon Communities Challenge funds

They are in Australia:

 

http://masg.org.au/?p=1291

Join the national ride and walk to work and school movement

Ride and Walk to Work and School was on Wednesday the 14th

A free community breakfast was held at Victory Park.
About 60 people braved the rain and cold weather to breakfast up on tasty food.
A thanks to those who dontated goods including Goodfoods, Bakers Delight and Don KRC .
A blessing of the bicycles by Uniting Church minister Gordon Bannon took place at 8.30am.
This event was made possible by our dedicated volunteers, with a special thanks to Jacqueline Brodie-Hans and with financial support by the Mount Alexander Shire Council.

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Then there is my favorite, East Wind. I have visited this place…I have their original sandals. I have their new and inproved sandals. Now they are into Nut Butters…WOW

 http://www.eastwind.org/

 

Gardens Interview: Richard
Saturday, 20 June 2009
Hi!  I’m J, and I’ll be writing for East Wind’s website.  We’re working on putting up new content on a regular basis now that some members of the community have expressed interest in contributing material. I’m going to be doing a series of interviews and posting the transcripts, the first of which is with Richard, one of our two garden managers.
Read more…

 

Changes
Friday, 12 June 2009
There are some changes being made to this website and how we handle emails, please bear with us. Several email servers have been blocking our emails, if you have been trying to contact us from an address served by one of these, you have not been getting our responses. I have made some changes that should prevent this from happening in the future. However, this change might cause some disruption in the meantime, so if you are expecting some information from membership and have not recieved a response, please try again.

 
 

 

New Administrator

Wednesday, 03 June 2009
Hi, I am Oak and I am, as it is, taking over administrating this website. Right now I amstill learning about the system Dan set up, but I hope that I can soonadd more articles to tell you all more about our community and what we aredoing.

More…

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If you want the list of Thousands and I am not kidding then this is for you:

http://www.ecobusinesslinks.com/sustainable_communities.htm

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I do not believe that living off the land has to be conceptualized as pastoral idealism. All I think it means is giving back to the Earth as much as we take. I am not sure that we have to give up on technology to accomplish Earth centered practices. What we have to stop is growth. Still there are many people who if given the chance would go “back” to a rural existance. Then there are those that really want to go native:

 http://www.ehow.com/how_136589_live-land.html

How to Live Off the Land

Instructions

  1. Step 1

    Clarify your objectives. Is your goal to experience a short-term wilderness retreat, live in harmony with nature for the long haul or just survive a reality-show stint in the South China Sea? What level of technology and tools will you employ: GPS device or compass and sextant? Zippo or flint and steel?

  2. Step 2

    Enroll in a wilderness preparedness course, such as those offered by Outward Bound (outwardbound.com) or the National Outdoor Leadership School (www.nols.edu). You will learn vital skills such as navigating with a map and compass, shelter construction and first aid.

  3. Step 3

    Choose an environment with significant opportunities for food, water and shelter. Solo adventures are really only feasible in warm or temperate climates. Abundant water is essential to survival. If you don’t have a reliable source of clean water, become expert at purifying water in large quantities.

  4. Step 4

    Become expert at starting a fire without matches. Your best bet is probably the bow-drill technique. For detailed instructions on this, go to www.wmuma.com/tracker/skills/fire/bowdrill/.

  5. Step 5

    Learn how to make a basic shelter. Review 474 Survive Being Lost for instruction. Choose a camping spot with easy and reliable water access. Without a mechanical system of delivery and storage, obtaining water may be your biggest daily task.

  6. Step 6

    Know how to use, repair and sharpen basic tools. Living off the land requires that you get very close to that land. Axes, knives, shovels, hoes and fishing gear will be essential to your survival.

  7. Step 7

    Study the flora and fauna of your intended destination. Be able to identify edible plants and practice locating, harvesting and preparing them long before you set out.

  8. Step 8

    Learn to see and feel changes in the weather and to take appropriate action.

  9. Step 9

    Practice whatever hunting method you choose until you are an expert. Hunting is difficult and unpredictable; fishing is more reliable and requires less physical effort.

  10. Step 10

    Learn how to process skins in order to make clothing. Practice harvesting reeds and grasses in order to make baskets and rope.

  11. Step 11

    Keep an apartment in Manhattan for those times when you need to get away from it all.

:}

I think it is amazing how much you have to know and how skillled you have to be to do “back to nature” well.

Then there are the people who want a house and an outhouse instead of a tent:

 http://www.organic-gardening-and-homesteading.com/self_reliance.html

Self Reliance – How to Live Off Your Homestead

Is self reliance your dream? More people are turning to homesteading, depending upon themselves for their food and making a living off their land. If you long to get off the office treadmill and onto your own land, here are some crucial steps you should take to pursue your life of freedom

Get Out of Debt

As any farmer will tell you, unless you own a corporation with hundreds, if not thousands of acres, you won’t make a fabulous income living off the land. Those farmers who do own hundreds of acres and thousands of dollars worth of equipment (along with the mortgages to prove it) are struggling to get by. The secret is to live simply and downsize.

Sell that newer car with those high car payments and buy a used model, preferably one with no payments. Avoid fast food and cook at home instead. Learn to live on a budget and cut back on unnecessary expenses. Then use that extra money to pay off your loans.

Get Some Land

You don’t need hundreds of acres, but if you want to live off your land, you will need at least five. You will want enough space for a good sized garden, along with some farm animals. Live in town? Consider selling or renting that house and buying a used manufactured home set on a small acreage instead. Many people do it and live quite comfortably – and debt free.

Learn to Grow Your Own Food

Homestead Garden

Put in a lot of raised beds and grow potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and other vegetables. Learn to preserve your food through canning, drying and freezing, so that you go to your pantry instead of the grocery store, cutting down on cost and time. Growing food is one of the most satisfying aspects of self reliance.

Get Your Goat

Goats will supply you with milk, meat and cheese. Control their diet – only hay and grains – and your goat’s milk will taste exactly like cow’s milk, only sweeter. Plus, many people are realizing the health benefits of raw goat’s milk, making it a marketable product. Get two or three female goats – or does – along with a billy goat, and you will have enough milk for your family and some extra to sell to cover your cost.

Raise Chickens

These wonderful birds will supply you with eggs, meat, and even income if you raise enough of them. Fresh chicken eggs are easy to sell. These eggs are delicious, and if they come from chickens who have eaten mostly grass and insects – chickens who live in chicken tractors, for example – they are also far healthier and more valuable than the store-bought brand.

Diversify What You Sell

Many people who try living off the land make the mistake of raising a single product in large supply and then selling it. But if the crop fails, then you are in trouble. Instead, raise a small supply of several items to sell. Sell chicken eggs and goat’s milk, honey and produce when it’s in season. That way if one item fails to produce, you have others to fall back on. Your pursuit of self reliance will be easier.

Nigerian Goats Eating

Avoid the Exotic

A few years ago, raising ostriches were all the rage. At least they were until those raising them realized not many people are willing to eat ostrich meat. For self reliance, it is far wiser to stick with the standard fare – chickens, pigs, and beef, for example. Raising something unusual and hoping to get rich off it – like many get rich quick schemes –usually leaves you with an empty pocketbook and an animal nobody wants and you have to feed.

Raise Only What You Want to Eat

This goes with the ostrich example above. If you don’t sell those hundreds of bushels of Japanese beets, then be prepared to eat them. If you don’t enjoy them that much, then don’t grow them.

Be Prepared to Learn a New Trade

My grandfather was a plumber, and even during the depression, he prospered. During hard times, people might not need an insurance adjuster, but they will need someone who can fix their leaky pipes. Consider learning carpentry, electrical work or mechanics. Learn to make practical, useful items that you can sell or barter with. There is no better way to prepare for a life of self reliance

:}

You get the general idea…

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/RaiseKids/live-off-the-land-in-the-city.aspx

Live off the land — in the city

Wild greens, mushrooms, fruit and even fish and game can be harvested in America’s urban jungles. Dandelion salad, anyone? Or some batter-fried squirrel?

[Related content: savings, save money, groceries, food prices, Donna Freedman]

By Donna Freedman

MSN Money

Feeling squeezed at the supermarket? Maybe you should be looking for food in the parking lot, or in your neighbor’s yard

We’re talking dandelions, feral mushrooms, gleaned fruit, local fish or even those wascally wabbits that overrun city greenbelts. Ingenuity plus a little sweat equity can put fresh, healthful food on the table and possibly provide other benefits as well: exercise, relaxation and a different way of looking at your neighborhood.

For example:

  • Chauncey Niziol fishes for bass and bluegills in downtown Chicago.
  • Steven Rinella traps squirrels and catches pigeons in Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Jeff Yeager harvests shoots from bamboo that grows in his suburban Washington, D.C., yard.
  • Katy Kolker harvests tree fruit that otherwise would have rotted in Portland, Ore.
  • Radical ecologist” Nance Klehm plucks salads out of city sidewalks and leads urban foraging walks around her home city of Chicago. A few clients are survivalists, she says, or foodies who are looking for “unusual tastes.” But most are simply “curious about the world around them.” Foraging is “about a connection and an interaction with an environment,” she says.

Chowing down on chickweed

According to her Spontaneous Vegetation Web site, Klehm grows or forages nearly everything she eats. The wild greens she harvests are what most people would think of as weeds: wood sorrel, mallow, chickweed, wild mustard and the like. Some can be eaten only at certain times of the year; dandelions, for example, are best when very young.Klehm recommends using wild plants in moderation at first, because their flavors can be strong. Besides, “if you don’t have a very flexible or curious palate, you might not find them tasty” in large quantities.

What’s most important, however, is knowing what you’re eating. The difference between the right plant and a look-alike is the difference between a nice salad and a trip to an emergency room. Where you find your food is important, too, because you could be sickened by food from polluted soils or waterways.

Klehm recommends buying a reputable field guide to local flora. It’s also smart to seek out community-college classes or local plant walks; if neither exists, get a group of like-minded folks together and pay a local botanist to educate you on what and where to pick. Keep that field guide handy whenever you go out on your own, though.

Mushrooms, bamboo and ferns, oh my

Books by the late naturalist Euell Gibbons introduced Yeager, aka “The Ultimate Cheapskate,” to wild edibles. Yeager, who grew up in Ohio and now lives about 20 miles south of Washington, doesn’t harvest as many wild things as he once did. But he still keeps his eyes peeled when walking or bicycling.For example, why pay for chicory when you can find it growing volunteer? “The wild stuff is much more potent,” says Yeager, whose mom and dad were pleased when he brought home this coffee enhancer. They were also fond of the wild onions that he dug up and pickled: “My parents liked those in their martinis.” (Yeager preferred the onions in a cream soup.)

Sometimes a “wild” plant is a cultivated variety that jumped a fence or was spread by birds or carelessly dumped garbage. Yeager has found asparagus, zucchini, black raspberries and even watermelons growing in fields and along roads. His own yard is “packed with bamboo” — an increasingly common landscape plant — so he cooks the young shoots in the spring.

While Chicago native Niziol focuses mostly on fishing and hunting in his weekly ESPN radio program, he’s not strictly carnivorous. Niziol swears by a good plate of fiddlehead ferns, fresh wild carrots (aka Queen Anne’s lace) or a mug of sassafras tea (“it tastes like root beer”).

And mushrooms? Don’t get him started. “I use them every which way I can. I put them in stews, I dry them, I make a killer mushroom soup,” says Niziol, a former outdoors columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

Mushrooms must be picked with care, he notes, because some fungi are poisonous. A good field guide is essential. What’s even better is to find a local mycological society and start taking walks with experts.

:}

Just so you don’t think I didn’t notice, oil is over 80 $$$ and the speculators are getting ready to bid it up so that oil will be over 100 $$$ by the end of the year, maybe. No matter what, gasoline will be over 3 $$ because the oil companies are shutting down refinery capacity at an increasing rate. Everyone will blame it on the “weakness” of the dollar, which of course, China controls.

:}

It’s Jam Band Friday –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omq6fOeFycQ

I usually post this on CES’ Bulletin Board  for them but it dawned on me when this came in this morning, that many people are already working with the the goodness of the Earth in mind. That includes all of the Earth advocates in groups like Clean Techies and the Nature Conservancy.

http://cleantechjobs.cleantechies.com/a/jobs/find-jobs

Ceylan Thomson sent a message to the members of CleanTechies.

——————–

:} ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJqhScdbo8I )

Subject: View New Job Openings – Win Free Event Tickets!

Dear fellow CleanTechies,

I would like to highlight a few promising events that are coming up. CleanTechies is proud to be official media partner for all these events and offers you the chance to win free tickets. Read on to find more details.

If you are hiring right now, it would be great if you wanted to share your openings with the CleanTechies community. We have one of the most active job boards in the industry, and you can post your jobs for FREE by using discount code “free09”. Post your jobs at: http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechjobs.cleantechies.com

JOBS
Some of the latest openings on CleanTechies:

* Director of Business Development – OPOWER
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/w1l

* Lab Technician – Potter Drilling
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/vj9

* Lead Power Supply Engineer, Energy Harvesting & Storage – Insiders’ Connection
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/s8m

* Alternative Energy Sales & Marketing – Pleasant Valley Energy
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/t5j

* Senior Software Engineer, Scaling Specialist – OPOWER
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/u91

* Sales reps & distributors – EZ Energy Savings
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/cay

Find more jobs at: http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechjobs.cleantechies.com
– – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – — – – – – – – –
Subscribe to our FREE job news feed:
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/subscriptions
– – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – — – – – – – – –
:} ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJqhScdbo8I )

BLOG
Some of the latest CleanTechies blog posts:

* Environmental Change: If I Were the New CEO of Chevron…
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/zzt

* Green Building: Air Leaking, Utility Bills and a Caulk Gun
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/4jc

* Water Filtration: Safe Drinking Water from Thin Air?
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/wq8

* Could America Tax Gasoline More (And Fund Clean Tech)?
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/xk6

* Train in Vain: Epilogue on High-Speed Rail Series
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/j7b

For more insights, visit: http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;blog.cleantechies.com
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Subscribe to our FREE news feed:
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;cleantechies.com/subscriptions
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:} ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQFeuAbLHro )

Warm regards,

Ceylan Thomson
Chief Marketing Officer
http://www.facebook.com/l/846e8;CleanTechies.com

:}

While we are in a commerce frame of mind, if you are in the mood for a hurricane proof house in Florida try these folks:

http://www.royalconcreteconcepts.com/

I know it is jam band FRIDAY but I wanted to do a couple of long ones:

( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvIO11uKjLI )

:}

While I am having this meditation on “living off the land”, I have said that this is not a discussion about primitive living. It is not log cabins and horses…though I like both. It is about living with the Earth. It is about making the Earth the first consideration in everything we do. It is recognizing that Burning Things Up is a primitive behavior and one unfitting of 21 century humans. I am not talking about camp fires or barbecues here. I am talking about 500 coal fired power plants. I am talking about 115 nuclear power plants that if we are not careful will be killing things long after we as a species are gone. This also means rejecting all growth oriented economic models, because they rely on overpopulation and over production which, along with our Burning Behavior, are killing the Earth. But here is the growth view of Energy Independence. Kinda frightening don’t you think?

http://www.americanenergyindependence.com/

Energy Independence is a civilization changing idea

Oil is a natural source of energy, but it is not the only source of energy. With the help of new technology, America’s energy needs can be obtained from sources other than petroleum. American technology has put a man on the moon, mapped the human genome, and successfully landed robotic exploration vehicles on Mars. It seems reasonable to believe that American scientists and engineers could also develop environmentally safe alternative energy technology that would free America, and the world, from oil dependence.

President Barack Obama
“At a time of such great challenge for America, no single issue is as fundamental to our future as energy. America’s dependence on oil is one of the most serious threats that our nation has faced. It bankrolls dictators, pays for nuclear proliferation, and funds both sides of our struggle against terrorism. It puts the American people at the mercy of shifting gas prices, stifles innovation and sets back our ability to compete.”
Address given at the White House January 26, 2009

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog_post/Fromperiltoprogress/ Obama at the White House January 26, 2009 –>

Journey to Energy Independence

Following the 1973 Arab oil embargo, the idea of energy independence captured the imagination of the American people. Then during the 1980’s, the accumulative effect of increased automobile fuel efficiency combined with increased global oil production created a surplus of oil on the world market. As a result, the price of oil dropped back below pre-1973 levels and America’s enthusiasm for energy independence faded into memory. Now, more than thirty years after the oil embargo, re-awakened by the terrorist attack on 9/11 and war in the Middle East, the idea of American energy independence has returned with a vengeance, becoming a powerful force shaping the political views of a new generation of Americans.

:}

http://www.energyindependencenow.org/

  Donate Now

EIN MISSION

Energy Independence Now (EIN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing innovative, action-oriented solutions to catalyze a rapid transition to a clean, renewable energy and transportation economy in California through policy, advocacy and research.

PHILOSOPHY

EIN believes that the urgency and the massive scale of the climate change, petroleum dependence, and air quality challenges facing California and the world warrant solutions that are immediate, diverse and far reaching. EIN believes that any and all vehicle technologies and alternative fuels that hold the promise of addressing these challenges should be actively pursued. In short, we advocate in support of a “silver buckshot” approach where there is no “silver bullet.” In addition, we believe it is critical to advocate for both the deployment of immediate, near-term solutions as well as longer-term solutions that will help us achieve 2050 climate goals.

:}

I mean they have pictures of children and blue skies and woman scientists but they are still talking go go capitalism.

http://apolloalliance.org/about/mission/

Our Mission

The Apollo Alliance is a coalition of labor, business, environmental, and community leaders working to catalyze a clean energy revolution that will put millions of Americans to work in a new generation of high-quality, green-collar jobs. Inspired by the Apollo space program, we promote investments in energy efficiency, clean power, mass transit, next-generation vehicles, and emerging technology, as well as in education and training. Working together, we will reduce carbon emissions and oil imports, spur domestic job growth, and position America to thrive in the 21st century economy.

Background

Apollo was launched in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy to catalyze a clean energy revolution in America, a revolution in the way our country generates and uses energy so profound that it will touch literally every quarter of American life. Harkening back to President Kennedy’s visionary call to restore America’s technological leadership by landing the first man on the Moon within the decade, the Apollo Alliance spoke directly to the core values we share as Americans: our can-do spirit, our inherent optimism, and the pride we feel (or want to feel) about our country’s place in the world. The subtext was clear: we did it before, we can do it again. This is America, the richest, most technologically advanced and industrious country in the world. If anyone can do it, we can. And we will.

:}

Which leads to this on the other side…see they are both debating growth models of energy:

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/2008/03/17/the-myth-of-energy-independence.html

The Myth of Energy Independence

Q&A with Robert Bryce, author of ‘Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence’

By Justin Ewers

Posted March 17, 2008

George W. Bush says he’s for it. So do Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Nancy Pelosi. On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama promise they’ll work toward it. What has inspired all of this bipartisan enthusiasm? Energy independence, the notion that by turning to greener energy sources like ethanol and wind power, we can not only help the environment—and slow global warming—but create millions of new jobs and, most important, wall ourselves off from the murderous petro states of the Middle East.

If it all sounds too good to be true, that may be because it is, argues Robert Bryce in Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence, published this week. Bryce, managing editor of Energy Tribune magazine, lays out the case against the short-term viability of all of today’s renewable energy

darlings: ethanol, wind, and solar power. No matter what the pols say, he insists, for the foreseeable future, oil, coal, and natural gas are here to stay. U.S. News spoke with Bryce about fossil fuels, global warming—and the promises of politicians.

:}

Even the left has to get in on it. But again they are talking growth here:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2008/05/seven-myths-energy-independence

The Seven Myths of Energy Independence

Why forging a sustainable energy future is dependent on foreign oil

—By Paul Roberts

 Put another way, the “debate” over energy independence is not only disingenuous, it’s also a major distraction from the much more crucial question—namely, how we’re going to build a secure and sustainable energy system. Because what America should be striving for isn’t energy independence, but energy security—that is, access to energy sources that are reliable and reasonably affordable, that can be deployed quickly and easily, yet are also safe and politically and environmentally sustainable. And let’s not sugarcoat it. Achieving real, lasting energy security is going to be extraordinarily hard, not only because of the scale of the endeavor, but because many of our assumptions about energy—about the speed with which new technologies can be rolled out, for example, or the role of markets—are woefully exaggerated. High oil prices alone won’t cure this ill: We’re burning more oil now than we were when crude sold for $25 a barrel. Nor will Silicon Valley utopian­ism: Thus far, most of the venture capital and innovation is flowing into status quo technologies such as biofuels. And while Americans have a proud history of inventing ourselves out of trouble, today’s energy challenge is fundamentally different. Nearly every major energy innovation of the last century—from our cars to transmission lines—was itself built with cheap energy. By contrast, the next energy system will have to contend with larger populations and be constructed using far fewer resources and more expensive energy.

So it’s hardly surprising that policymakers shy away from energy security and opt instead for the soothing platitudes of energy independence. But here’s the rub: We don’t have a choice. Energy security is nonnegotiable, a precondition for all security, like water or food or defense. Without it, we have no economy, no progress, no future. And to get it, we’ll not only have to abandon the chimera of independence once and for all, but become the very thing that many of us have been taught to dread—unrepentant energy globalists.

:}

Rome did not end in a day or a week or a year or even a decade. Still the past few day’s meditations have been CAN we live off the Earth peacefully? Today’s is better thought of as WILL we HAVE to life off the Earth peacefully?

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/story/print?guid=47729BA0-933E-4299-92CC-EB41EEE671D2

Paul B. Farrell

Paul B. Farrell

 

Oct. 20, 2009, 1:38 p.m. EDT

Death of ‘Soul of Capitalism:’ Bogle, Faber, Moore

20 reasons America has lost its soul and collapse is inevitable

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Jack Bogle published “The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism” four years ago. The battle’s over. The sequel should be titled: “Capitalism Died a Lost Soul.” Worse, we’ve lost “America’s Soul.” And worldwide the consequences will be catastrophic.

That’s why a man like Hong Kong’s contrarian economist Marc Faber warns in his Doom, Boom & Gloom Report: “The future will be a total disaster, with a collapse of our capitalistic system as we know it today.”

No, not just another meltdown, another bear market recession like the one recently triggered by Wall Street’s “too-greedy-to-fail” banks. Faber is warning that the entire system of capitalism will collapse. Get it? The engine driving the great “American Economic Empire” for 233 years will collapse, a total disaster, a destiny we created.OK, deny it. But I’ll bet you have a nagging feeling maybe he’s right, the end may be near. I have for a long time: I wrote a column back in 1997: “Battling for the Soul of Wall Street.” My interest in “The Soul” — what Jung called the “collective unconscious” — dates back to my Ph.D. dissertation: “Modern Man in Search of His Soul,” a title borrowed from Jung’s 1933 book, “Modern Man in Search of a Soul.” This battle has been on my mind since my days at Morgan Stanley 30 years ago, witnessing the decline.

Has capitalism lost its soul? Guys like Bogle and Faber sense it. Read more about the soul in physicist Gary Zukav’s “The Seat of the Soul,” Thomas Moore’s “Care of the Soul” and sacred texts.

But for Wall Street and American capitalism, use your gut. You know something’s very wrong: A year ago “too-greedy-to-fail” banks were insolvent, in a near-death experience. Now, magically they’re back to business as usual, arrogant, pocketing outrageous bonuses while Main Street sacrifices, and unemployment and foreclosures continue rising as tight credit, inflation and skyrocketing Federal debt are killing taxpayers.

Yes, Wall Street has lost its moral compass. They created the mess, now, like vultures, they’re capitalizing on the carcass. They have lost all sense of fiduciary duty, ethical responsibility and public obligation.

Here are the Top 20 reasons American capitalism has lost its soul:

1. Collapse is now inevitable

Capitalism has been the engine driving America and the global economies for over two centuries. Faber predicts its collapse will trigger global “wars, massive government-debt defaults, and the impoverishment of large segments of Western society.” Faber knows that capitalism is not working, capitalism has peaked, and the collapse of capitalism is “inevitable.”

When? He hesitates: “But what I don’t know is whether this final collapse, which is inevitable, will occur tomorrow, or in five or 10 years, and whether it will occur with the Dow at 100,000 and gold at $50,000 per ounce or even confiscated, or with the Dow at 3,000 and gold at $1,000.” But the end is inevitable, a historical imperative.

2. Nobody’s planning for a ‘Black Swan’

While the timing may be uncertain, the trigger is certain. Societies collapse because they fail to plan ahead, cannot act fast enough when a catastrophic crisis hits. Think “Black Swan” and read evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond’s “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.”

A crisis hits. We act surprised. Shouldn’t. But it’s too late: “Civilizations share a sharp curve of decline. Indeed, a society’s demise may begin only a decade or two after it reaches its peak population, wealth and power.”

Warnings are everywhere. Why not prepare? Why sabotage our power, our future? Why set up an entire nation to fail? Diamond says: Unfortunately “one of the choices has depended on the courage to practice long-term thinking, and to make bold, courageous, anticipatory decisions at a time when problems have become perceptible but before they reach crisis proportions.”

Sound familiar? “This type of decision-making is the opposite of the short-term reactive decision-making that too often characterizes our elected politicians,” thus setting up the “inevitable” collapse. Remember, Greenspan, Bernanke, Bush, Paulson all missed the 2007-8 meltdown: It will happen again, in a bigger crisis.

3. Wall Street sacked Washington

Bogle warned of a growing three-part threat — a “happy conspiracy” — in “The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism:” “The business and ethical standards of corporate America, of investment America, and of mutual fund America have been gravely compromised.”

But since his book, “Wall Street America” went over to the dark side, got mega-greedy and took control of “Washington America.” Their spoils of war included bailouts, bankruptcies, stimulus, nationalizations and $23.7 trillion new debt off-loaded to the Treasury, Fed and American people.

Who’s in power? Irrelevant. The “happy conspiracy” controls both parties, writes the laws to suit its needs, with absolute control of America’s fiscal and monetary policies. Sorry Jack, but the “Battle for the Soul of Capitalism” really was lost.

4. When greed was legalized

Go see Michael Moore’s documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story.” “Disaster Capitalism” author Naomi Klein recently interviewed Moore in The Nation magazine: “Capitalism is the legalization of this greed. Greed has been with human beings forever. We have a number of things in our species that you would call the dark side, and greed is one of them. If you don’t put certain structures in place or restrictions on those parts of our being that come from that dark place, then it gets out of control.”

Greed’s OK, within limits, like the 10 Commandments. Yes, the soul can thrive around greed, if there are structures and restrictions to keep it from going out of control. But Moore warns: “Capitalism does the opposite of that. It not only doesn’t really put any structure or restrictions on it. It encourages it, it rewards” greed, creating bigger, more frequent bubble/bust cycles.

It happens because capitalism is now in “the hands of people whose only concern is their fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders or to their own pockets.” Yes, greed was legalized in America, with Wall Street running Washington.

5. Triggering the end of our ‘life cycle’

Like Diamond, Faber also sees the historical imperative: “Every successful society” grows “out of some kind of challenge.” Today, the “life cycle” of capitalism is on the decline.

He asks himself: “How are you so sure about this final collapse?” The answer: “Of all the questions I have about the future, this is the easiest one to answer. Once a society becomes successful it becomes arrogant, righteous, overconfident, corrupt, and decadent … overspends … costly wars … wealth inequity and social tensions increase; and society enters a secular decline.” Success makes us our own worst enemy.

Quoting 18th century Scottish historian Alexander Fraser Tytler: “The average life span of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years” progressing from “bondage to spiritual faith … to great courage … to liberty … to abundance … to selfishness … to complacency … to apathy … to dependence and … back into bondage!”

Where is America in the cycle? “It is most unlikely that Western societies, and especially the U.S., will be an exception to this typical ‘society cycle.’ … The U.S. is somewhere between the phase where it moves ‘from complacency to apathy’ and ‘from apathy to dependence.'”

In short, America is a grumpy old man with hardening of the arteries. Our capitalism is near the tipping point, unprepared for a catastrophe, set up for collapse and rapid decline.

15 more clues capitalism lost its soul … is a disaster waiting to happen

Much more evidence litters the battlefield:

  1. Wall Street wealth now calls the shots in Congress, the White House
  2. America’s top 1% own more than 90% of America’s wealth
  3. The average worker’s income has declined in three decades while CEO compensation exploded over ten times
  4. The Fed is now the ‘fourth branch of government’ operating autonomously, secretly printing money at will
  5. Since Goldman and Morgan became bank holding companies, all banks are back gambling with taxpayer bailout money plus retail customer deposits
  6. Bill Gross warns of a “new normal” with slow growth, low earnings and stock prices
  7. While the White House’s chief economist retorts with hype of a recovery unimpeded by the “new normal”
  8. Wall Street’s high-frequency junkies make billions trading zombie stocks like AIG, FNMA, FMAC that have no fundamental value beyond a Treasury guarantee
  9. 401(k)s have lost 26.7% of their value in the past decade
  10. Oil and energy costs will skyrocket
  11. Foreign nations and sovereign funds have started dumping dollars, signaling the end of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency
  12. In two years federal debt exploded from $11.2 to $23.7 trillion
  13. New financial reforms will do little to prevent the next meltdown
  14. The “forever war” between Western and Islamic fundamentalists will widen
  15. As will environmental threats and unfunded entitlements

“America Capitalism” is a “Lost Soul” … we’ve lost our moral compass … the coming collapse is the end of an “inevitable” historical cycle stalking all great empires to their graves. Downsize your lifestyle expectations, trust no one, not even media.

Faber is uncertain about timing, we are not. There is a high probability of a crisis and collapse by 2012. The “Great Depression 2” is dead ahead. Unfortunately, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to hide from this unfolding reality or prevent the rush of the historical imperative.

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I am just shaking in my boots.

Oh, and if you are interested in hiring a green consultant…I hear these guys are pretty good.

 http://www.greenappleconsult.com/

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I know at first this story won’t seem to have much to do with the post that follows, but I wanted to lose weight one day. I did not need to. I am 6’3″ and 180 pounds. (blush on my drivers license it says 165) So I cut back on ye old intake. All I really wanted to do was drop 5 lbs. to 175 because my pants were getting a little tight in the waste (sorry waist). In a couple of weeks I got down to 176 lbs. I got distracted. An environmental issue got hot and I just lost track. When I got back to thinking about how much I weighed, I got on the scales and I weighed 180.5 lbs. In a week even though I cut down some I was at 182! In was then that I became very aware of the theory of “set points” and what happens when you disturb them…

Anyway you must remember the No Impact Guy…I did a post on him last year:

http://noimpactman.typepad.com/

Join No Impact Week video discussions here!

Graham Hill, founder of Treehugger.com, is participating in No Impact week, starting October 18, and he wrote on the Huffington Post:

Instead of edicts – depriving you of your car or forbidding drinking your latte from a paper cup – the No-Impact week brought to you by Colin Beavan and Huff Po is instead the opportunity to try out lifestyle strategies that just may be more fun than you thought.

With the shape of the earth and our complex society, we need lots of people coming up with lots of approaches.

I look at No-Impact week as carbon-cleansing experiment in which I get to see which of my lifestyle choices actually contribute to my happiness.

He’s right of course!  So join in!

Meanwhile, we’ll be having online video conversations every night of the week starting on Sunday at 5 PM EST, so tune in below. Sunday’s chat will be with Wood Turner of Climate’s Count on the topic of consumption and Monday’s (at 9PM EST) will be with Bill McKibben of 350 and Betsy Taylor of 1Sky on the topic of trash.

Hope to see you there.

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He had his own blog and organization that the Huffington Post helped start:

What is No Impact Project?

The No Impact Project is an international, environmental, nonprofit project, founded  in the spring of 2009. It was inspired by the No Impact Man book, film, and blog.

Mission

To empower citizens to make choices which better their lives and lower their environmental impact through lifestyle change, community action, and participation in environmental politics.

The No Impact Project was conceived by Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man, following the success of his blog, book, and film, which chronicle his family’s year-long experiment living a zero-waste lifestyle in New York City. Central to his thesis is the notion that deep-seated individual behavior change leads to both cultural change and political engagement. Living low-impact provides a clear entry point into the environmental movement. This thesis is the bedrock of the No Impact Project.

Goals

  • Promote behavioral change
  • Enable the public to experience their own No Impact Experiment
  • Engage people who are not already tree-hugging, bicycle-riding, canvas-bag-toting, eco-warriors

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He Got a documentary out of it

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1280011/

No Impact Man: The Documentary

MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 23% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Directors:

Laura Gabbert
Justin Schein

Contact:

View company contact information for No Impact Man: The Documentary on IMDbPro.

Genre:

Documentary

Tagline:

Saving the world, one family at a time.

Plot:

Follow the Manhattan-based Beavan family as they abandon their high consumption 5th Avenue lifestyle and try to live a year while making no net environmental impact. | add synopsis

NewsDesk:

Oscilloscope Laboratories plans on Making an ‘Impact’
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Then a book.. or was it the book then the documentary?

http://festival.sundance.org/2009/film_events/films/no_impact_man

NO IMPACT MAN

Then Colin turns things upside down. For his next book, he announces he’s becoming No Impact Man, testing whether making zero environmental impact adversely affects happiness. The hitch is he needs his wife, Michelle—an espresso-guzzling, Prada-worshipping Business Week writer—and their toddler to join the experiment.A year without electricity, cars, toilet paper, and nonlocal food isn’t going to be a walk in the park

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Then he got phat:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33357744/ns/us_news-environment/

After year without, family finds middle ground

No TV? Toilet paper? Perceived sacrifices end up being nothing of the sort

Letting go
When the year was over, Conlin and Beavan didn’t want to set any more rules for themselves. After all the restrictions, they wanted to finally let it all go and see what felt right.

Mostly, they stuck to buying their food at the farmer’s market. But if they were short on groceries after a late night at work, they would stop at the supermarket — despite the packaging on the food on the shelves, despite the distance it had traveled.

While the amount of garbage they produced increased from a single quart every four days to five gallons, this was a far cry from the 90 gallons they produced before the experiment. Their refrigerator is back on, but their freezer is gone.

They started buying olive oil and some seasonings, even though they’re not made nearby. They began saying yes when friends invited them out to dinner. And they started using toilet paper again — but now it was made from recycled paper.

Neither of them wanted to bring back their giant, 46-inch TV. But once a week or so, if they’re in the mood, they’ll watch a drama on a laptop.

It was an obvious choice to keep the rickshaw bikes they’d come to love — three-wheelers with space for groceries and a seat for Isabella. But now, when it rains, they sometimes take the subway.

The air conditioners once seemed like a necessity. But take them away, and the heat and the lack of electronic entertainment drove the family outside, where they spent most evenings at the fountain at Washington Square Park. They cooled off in the mist of the fountain, looked around at the virtual circus of performers who have made the public plaza their stage. They talked with neighbors.

No longer hunkered down in their family’s lonely bubble, they were out in the city. They loved

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So there are HUGE journalist temptations here. MSNBC take the “regaining there balance” approach like they were some extremists and now they have come more to the middle of the road. There are other approaches…like to “laugh and say they were destined to fail”. Or like they do with Ed Begley jr. and twitter like his wife, “isn’t he just the oddest sort”

But fresh off my bout with weight loss I say “way to go” on a tough test, and congratulations on not rebounding too far.

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I mean can humans live with out a growth model of economics like corporate capitalism?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013105631.htm

Sustainable Architecture: Setting Sail In An Ecological ‘Earthship’

ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2009) — Could sustainable architecture address pollution, climate change and resource depletion by helping us build self-sufficient, off-grid, housing from “waste”, including vehicle tires and metal drinks containers? That’s the question researchers at the University of South Australia address in a new paper appearing in the International Journal of Sustainable DesignMartin Freney of the department of Art, Architecture and Design has taken a critical look at the work of architect, Michael Reynolds of Taos, New Mexico, USA, who has experimented with radical house designs, and construction techniques over the past three and half decades. Reynolds designs incorporate passive heating and cooling, water catchment and sewage treatment, renewable energy, and even food production. These houses, which Reynolds calls “Earthships” are essentially independent of external utilities and waste disposal. On the face of it, they offer, an environmentally benign approach to housing.

A common method of responding to unsustainable housing is to design an energy-efficient home using “natural building” methods, Freney points out. He adds that Reynolds has already demonstrated that essentially free building materials resulted in greater financial independence for the owner-occupiers of his houses and when he added off-the-grid power and water systems he found that it was possible to reduce his utilities bills to practically zero.

Freney, while enthusiastic about the potential of Reynolds’ approach is also more realistic about the actual sustainability of Earthships that are off the utility grids. After all, he says, to a certain degree, Earthships are still locked into potentially unsustainable systems because they rely on a technological society for the production of the vehicle tires and aluminum can bricks from which they are constructed and the high-tech components such as solar panels, electronics, pumps, tanks, glass and cement that allow them to go off-grid.

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These people are soooooo cooool

http://www.earthship.net/

1. Ekofilm ends, Main Prize goes to Garbage Warrior

Education/videos, movies, tv

On Saturday 10 October, the gala evening with awarding of prizes for the 35th annual film festival MFF Ekofilm was held in the Municipal Theatre in ?eský Krumlov. Prizes were awarded in 13 categories. The Main Prize of Ekofilm and also the..

2.  The earthship is here, in in the hinterlands of Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, India

Global Network/India

Kodaikanal: A novel idea is taking shape in the hinterlands of Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, even as you are reading this. Alex Leeor, 35, from Brighton, UK, has arranged about 800 tyres and a few truckloads of mud(as seen in pic above) on a remote,…

3. EVE gets plastered

Buildings/Communities

Earthship Village Ecologies (E.V.E.) gets an initial coat on the second level roof. We have also observed (in the developed countries) a barrier  between the peoples of the world  and  an affordable carbon zero/sustainable living…

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Tomorrow:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33357744/ns/us_news-environment/

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