By Lance Simmens In 1993 then Vice-President Al Gore was instrumental in establishing the Federal Government’s first Office of Sustainable Development in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce. I, along with former New Bedford, Massachusetts Mayor John Bullard, was tapped to turn the concept of the office into a reality. One of the first tasks we faced under direct orders from Commerce Secretary Ron Brown was to come up with an operational definition of sustainable development. Over the course of several weeks we did our research into contemporary uses and definitions of the concept but in the end went decidedly simple and reported back to the Secretary that sustainable development was little more than a euphemism for long-term planning. Eureka! That was perfect, it was understandable and could be easily explained to a largely uninitiated public, exclaimed the Secretary. From that moment on we dedicated ourselves to formulating and implementing a series of sustainable development initiatives in the Northeast, Pacific Northwest and Gulf of Mexico that incorporated fisheries management regimes with economic development that would have profound impacts upon the communities and individuals that relied upon the commercial fishing industry. I have spent nearly 40 years in politics, government and public policy and I use this as an illustrative example of one of the most important precepts that often does not receive appropriate attention but should serve as the foundation for public policies and programs across a wide spectrum of issues. And this is particularly true in the arena of resource issues. In my just released book entitled “The Evolution of a Revolution: An Attack Upon Reason, Compromise, and the Constitution” I delineate six conceptual criteria for unchaining the current system of government and governance from the dysfunctional shackles that currently render us incapable of addressing issues of any significance, let alone those that critically need action. One of those key criterion is supplanting short-term thinking in our political and governance systems with long-term thinking. This, combined with replacing leadership with statesmanship, which requires vision and wisdom, will go a long way towards resolving our current predicament. In my estimation there is no more serious long-term problem facing the human species than the issue of climate change. Unless we develop a sustainable approach geared towards curbing our insatiable appetite for activities that pump unsustainable levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere we are dooming future generations. An integral component of any definition for sustainability is to ensure that we leave the earth in at least as good a shape if not better than we found it. If we do not immediately move to shift the predominant economic and energy paradigm governing the world from one based upon fossil fuels to one reliant upon renewable energy sources we have no hope whatsoever of fulfilling even the most basic definition of sustainability. Yet Democrats and Republicans alike seem to have been hoodwinked by a fossil fuel industrial complex into believing that continued reliance upon this finite, carbon-emitting resource holds the key to our future. The senselessness of that last sentence is mind-boggling in its absurdity yet evidences the current degree of disregard for common sense. coque iphone That it is often accompanied by wholesale rejection of science or intellectualism only exacerbates the current state of inertia we are witnessing with regard to our reluctance to confront the crisis that stands naked before our very eyes. coque iphone 8 If this nation is unwilling to lead on the issue of sustainability despite being the most egregious trespasser upon the commons, the incentive for developing or developed nations to do will melt faster than ice in the Artic. coque iphone en ligne The current rage is fracking. The United States is in the middle of a fracking frenzy, tapping into shale plays from Pennsylvania to North Dakota, Ohio to Texas, Louisiana to California in search of fool’s gold that until several years ago could not be unearthed in an economically viable way. Technological advances that have made hydraulic fracturing possible effectively crowd out important investments in renewable energy and fatten the coffers of an oil and gas lobby that thrives in a post Citizens United political environment. This is an industry in which the top five corporations reaped $93 billion in net profits in 2013, a dramatic reduction from years past but still prodigious enough to shape tax and energy policies at will in State Capitols, the Halls of Congress, and the White House. All the while the observable manifestations of such a reckless disregard for the economic and environmental impacts of climate change, both short-term and long-term, continue to mount. And from a sustainable point of view other issues that are becoming increasingly documented point to the destructive nature of the extractive industry. They include: adverse impacts upon water, both quantity and quality; adverse impacts upon air contamination; adverse impacts upon public health; and an increasingly troublesome cause and effect relationship between drilling, waste disposal and seismic activity. The incidence of earthquakes has increased dramatically in places where they are common and in places where they are relatively unheard of, such as Ohio. coque iphone Failure to face the fallacy that fracking for fossil fuels is the future is potentially fatal. The fossil fools perpetrating this inter-generational injustice place profits over people. It is wrong on so many fronts but most of all it is an affront to our sensibilities. It is quite simply unsustainable. It was brought to my attention several years ago that the planet will survive climate change. When I asked whether the species would survive a famous earth sciences professor explained that that was a very different question. coque iphone xs max To quote Carl Sagan, “The Earth is the only world known to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.” In other words, there is no Planet B. Lance Simmens has worked for two Presidents, two U.S. Senators, two Governors, and the U.S. Senate Budget Committee. He is currently living in California and actively involved in grassroots efforts opposing fracking. He is the author of “The Evolution of a Revolution”, published by Inkwell Productions.
by William McDonough In the United States, one of our great strategic thinkers was Thomas Jefferson. As the dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia I was able to live for five years in a house designed by Thomas Jefferson on the great lawn of the University of Virginia that he designed. As such, I came to know Mr. coque iphone en ligne Jefferson as a designer. I see design as the first signal of human intention. We are all designers, and we all have intentions for the world. Most of us have positive, optimistic intentions. coque iphone pas cher As we look into the future, we dream of prosperity or good health, we imagine a more hopeful state of affairs. coque iphone This is exactly what the General Assembly of the United Nations wanted to ensure for all of us in 1948, when drafting the Universal Declaration of Human rights. In this fundamental human design, the Assembly, like Thomas Jefferson, left us a legacy and outlined a strategy of hope. It proclaimed that the inherent dignity of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom and peace in the world. It also recognized that disregard of human rights results in tyranny and that human rights should therefore be protected by the rule of law. The legacies of Mr. Jefferson and the UN General Assembly of 1948 are under siege. The UN Human Rights Council recognized for the first time in 2009 that climate change forms a direct threat to the human rights of all people and all societies in the world. According to the Council, climate change will have worldwide implications on rights such as the right of life, housing, health and self-determination and it will have severe consequences for the next generations. Today, Mr. Jefferson would perhaps be calling for freedom from inter-generational remote tyranny, the idea that one generation might pollute the earth and destroy the ability of future generations to celebrate its abundance. He wrote in 1789: “The earth belongs to the living, no man may by natural right oblige the land he owns or occupies to debts greater than those that may be paid during his own lifetime.” If he could, then the world would belong to the dead, and not to the living. soldes coque iphone But the world needs to belong to the living. coque iphone soldes This physical reality runs in parallel with our consciousness and the human experience as a whole, especially as we move into the Anthropocene era. Jefferson’s concept of rights today extends beyond the human world to the rights of nature itself. We can see this in the U.S. Endangered Species Act and in the international treaties that give whales and other creatures the right to exist in good health on the planet. From this perspective, when we see the loss of species, when we see our environment being destroyed by flooding, by toxification, by drought, perhaps we can begin to see that nature’s rights are intrinsic to our human rights and our ability to exist. In 1992, I wrote The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability, to be presented at the World’s Fair in 2000, as an engagement with a large perspective. The laws of nature have yielded immense fecundity—the basis of life itself. Modern systems are designed wrong-side out. Energy is typically from carbon being taken from the lithosphere and put into the atmosphere. Water is contaminated. The value of materials is degraded. And the biosphere is suffering untold degradations The Hannover Principles represent big thinking presented to inspire small actions to stimulate all manner of beneficial effects and offer our future generations freedom from inter-generational tyranny. They are design principles. They see to beg the question of what is design quality. Good design, like safe drinking water, is a human right. Why principles? Because when designing, one starts with principles and values—an expression of intentional consciousness. Evidencing the design, you then move on to expressing goals, strategies, tactics, and metrics. soldes coque iphone 2019 In modern life we see so many people starting to design with metrics, then tactics, and then strategies. But leaving us all to wonder if the lack of principled behavior is their intention. With a careful, precautionary principled approach we become conscious of and can take necessary steps to take responsibility for the consequences of an earth dominated by human—both intended and unintended. You can see all nine Hannover Principles at this link, but here’s #3, which I see as an especially important guidepost: “Respect relationships between spirit and matter. Consider all aspects of human settlement, including community, dwelling, industry, and trade, in terms of existing and evolving connections between spiritual and material consciousness.” I work in the world of commerce, where we seek to evidence these principles in ordinary life. Apparently, we have been timefully mindless. We are in a hurry, and we’re not even thinking. What we are looking for is timelessly mindful. It is time to move from being time-fully mindless to being timelessly mindful. We are here to wage peace. There is no more delightfully serious function in life and in business than to create joy.
Foragers brings clean and ethical food of the highest quality to our customers by shortening the distance between farm and fork. We believe that it is worth going the extra mile to find foods that are healthy for human, animal, and land. Nine years ago in DUMBO, Anna Castellani, Richard Lamb and Clifford Shikler felt that their up-and-coming Brooklyn neighborhood needed a place to buy fresh and healthy food. They decided together that the only way to find such a market was to create one. In 2005, Foragers opened its doors to a pretty skeptical crowd. coque iphone soldes At the time, small, independent markets like Foragers were a new concept, and people were not as interested in sourcing and growing practices as they are now. Over the years, as people became more savvy about food quality, neighbors grew to count on Foragers to be a reliable source for healthy food. In 2009, we even established our own farm in Canaan, New York to help meet our customers’ demands for local produce and pastured eggs. coque iphone 7 Soon we were looking to expand to a second location and chose Chelsea because of its diverse, vibrant community. coque iphone 2019 pas cher We were lucky to find a big enough space to house two more of our dream concepts: the Table, which is our farm-to-table restaurant, and Foragers City Wines which carries mostly organic, sustainable and biodynamic wines. Two markets, a restaurant, a wine store, a delivery truck and one farm later, Foragers is dedicated to bringing food of the highest quality to our shoppers. coque iphone 6
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Calling All Pagans: Your Mother Earth Needs You by Robert C. Koehler Sadly, writes Koehler, we’re far more prepared to go to war than we are to make peace with the planet. Somewhere between these two quotes lies the future: “And I would like to emphasize that nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change.” “The Judeo-Christian worldview is that man is at the center of the universe; nature was therefore created for man. Nature has no intrinsic worth other than man’s appreciation and moral use of it.” The first quote is from Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, summing up the dire and much-discussed findings of its recent report: Human civilization — its technology, its war games, its helpless short-sightedness and addiction to fossil fuels — is wrecking the environment that sustains all life. Time is running out on our ability to make changes; and the world’s, uh, “leadership” — political, corporate — has shown little will to step beyond more of the same, to figure out how we can reduce carbon emissions and live in eco-harmony, with a sense of responsibility for the future. “But maybe we can start learning, at long last, that we are not the masters of the universe and that “dominion” and exploitation are immature expressions of power.” The second quote is from radio talk-show host Dennis Prager, writing recently in the National Review Online. soldes coque iphone He goes on, in his remarkable rant against environmentalism, to point out that “worship of nature was the pagan worldview” and “for the Left, the earth has supplanted patriotism.” Eventually he compares environmentalism to loving wild dogs more than mauled children. Prager’s diatribe isn’t my normal reading matter and I only bring it up here because I think it has relevance to the leadership void I’ve been pondering. The contemptuous dismissal of nature as lacking intrinsic worth — an unworthy competitor with God for human allegiance — may no longer have mainstream credibility, but, like racism, it’s part of the mindset that has shaped Western civilization. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” We’re still caught up in the momentum of dominion. Thus: “. . . for all the alarming warnings generated by the scientific community and confirmed by the IPCC’s comprehensive analysis of that science,” according to a recent Common Dreams article, “world governments and the powerful private sector have done next to nothing to meet the challenge now before humanity.” Indeed, as Elizabeth Kolbert points out in The New Yorker: “Currently, instead of discouraging fossil-fuel use, the U.S. coque iphone pas cher government underwrites it, with tax incentives for producers worth about four billion dollars a year.” We’ve got, as the IPCC report states, “a 15-year window” to start making serious changes in how we structure our world. coque iphone 7 Human society will need, the Common Dreams piece says, to “revolutionize the structures of its economies, food systems, and energy grids.” This is not going to happen — not at current levels of awareness, concern and empowerment. This is the dawning realization I find myself less and less able to live with. Climate change and global weather chaos — droughts and fires, tsunamis and tidal waves, crop failure, undrinkable water, devastating cold, rising oceans, new levels of social turmoil — are the future we are unable to hold off. But maybe we can start learning, at long last, that we are not the masters of the universe and that “dominion” and exploitation are immature expressions of power. My only hope is that, in so learning — as humanity finds itself increasingly entangled with environmental chaos and recognizes its utter vulnerability to nature — we will begin to transcend our isolated sense of entitlement to do with Planet Earth what we will and revolutionize the way we organize every aspect of our social structure, rethinking ten millennia of dominance-motivated social organization. Nobody, after all, no matter how wealthy and fortified, is immune to the impact of a changing climate. We’re all in it together. We’re part of nature, not its master. This concept is the missing foundation stone of contemporary civilization. It was in this state of mind that I read Prager’s essay, wondering if such an awareness change were possible, or whether, as the consequences of unsustainable living intensified, we’d become, instead, increasingly isolated and survivalist in our thinking. “Worship of nature was the pagan worldview,” he wrote, sounding the note of ultimate contempt for any suggestion that environmental sustainability matters and our way of life needs to change profoundly. coque iphone 6 Perhaps the word “pagan” embodies the most deeply embedded prejudice in the Western, civilized mindset — the first and last justification for global dominance. Pagans are the ultimate “other.” We’ve built a moral structure on this prejudice, and as a consequence the U.S. government continues to subsidize rather than tax fossil fuel production. As a consequence, we’re far more prepared to go to war than we are to make peace with the planet. We have to undo this prejudice before it undoes us. coque iphone 8 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is now available. Contact him at [email protected] or visit his website at commonwonders.com.
The Huffington Post | by Kevin Short Posted: 03/24/2014 New York City is many things, but sustainable it is not. coque iphone The people of New York City require some 4 million acres of food-producing land — roughly the size of the entire state of Connecticut — just to produce all the food they eat annually, according to Terreform Research Group, a sustainable architecture firm. soldes coque iphone That’s a problem, especially since the energy used to transport foods from around the globe to American dinner plate is a significant contributor to climate change. Even food grown within North America travels more than 1,200 miles on average from where it was grown. Those so-called “food-miles” are why researchers at Terreform set out to determine what the biggest city in the U.S. vente de coque iphone would look like if it could produce all the food and energy needed to power itself. And in a city with so little available space, it’s no surprise that figuring out how to pack all that food production within the city limits proved quite a challenge. What they developed was the New York (Steady) State project, a self-described “thought-experiment” that envisions a wholly self-sufficient New York. In this dream scenario, the city meets the needs of its citizens by repurposing structures into food-producing towers. coque iphone 7 Their architectural renderings reflect a New York that produces all that food within the five boroughs using a “cradle-to-cradle” system with minimal pollution. coque iphone 2019 (The team assumed that New York’s 8.5 million residents each require 2,500 calories per day.) For now, the tremendously ambitious plan remains a pipe dream. But the design firm’s president, Michael Sorkin, said it provides the city with an “encyclopedic” roadmap to a more sustainable future. “[The New York (Steady) State project] allows us to truly test the limits of the possibility for direct action to save the planet,” Sorkin wrote in an email to HuffPost. “Our investigation takes place at every scale, from the window box to the apartment, to the building, block, neighborhood, and city.” Here’s some of what they envision: Green roofs would cover nearly every Manhattan building.
(Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Recently, I posted an exclusive report about a new NASA-backed scientific research project at the US National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (Sesync) to model the risks of civilisational collapse, based on analysis of the key factors involved in the rise and fall of past civilisations. The story went viral and was quickly picked up by other news outlets around the world which, however, often offered rather misleading headlines. ‘Nasa-backed study says humanity is pretty much screwed’, said Gizmodo. ‘Nasa-funded study says modern society doomed, like the dodo’, said the Washington Times. Are we doomed? Doom is not the import of this study, nor of my own original research on these issues as encapsulated in my book, A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation: And How to Save It. Rather what we are seeing, as I’ve argued in detail before, are escalating, interconnected symptoms of the unsustainability of the global system in its current form. While the available evidence suggests that business-as-usual is likely to guarantee worst-case scenarios, simultaneously humanity faces an unprecedented opportunity to create a civilisational form that is in harmony with our environment, and ourselves. Of course, there are those who go so far as to argue that humanity is heading for extinction by 2030, and that it’s too late to do anything about it. But as other scientists have pointed out, while the number of positive-feedbacks that could go into ‘runaway’ on a business-as-usual scenario appears overwhelming, whether they have yet is at best unclear from the numbers – and at worst, we find that proponents of fatalism are actually systematically misrepresenting and obfuscating the science to justify hopelessness. Neoliberal-ostrichism Then there are those on the opposite end of the spectrum who have taken up the personal crusade of spreading joy and happiness by pretending that everything’s going to be just fine – all the while ignoring the fact that our leading lights of science such as the US National Academy of Sciences, Nature and the Royal Society are pointing to the convergence of environmental, agricultural and energy challenges in coming decades without some sort of major change. What the cross-disciplinary study I wrote about last week suggests – like previous research – is that our current trajectory is unsustainable because our demand for ecological resources and services is increasingly going beyond what the planet is able to provide. This ‘overshoot’ is already responsible for a range of overlapping crises – the financial crash, the food crisis, intensifying civil unrest to name just a few – and is likely to worsen without meaningful action. Overshoot and inequality are part of the same failing system Why is this happening? The Sesync study lends credence to an argument I’ve also made frequently – that at the core of our current civilisational model is a dramatic inequality in access to the Earth’s resources, coupled with an ideology which sees those resources as nothing more than a playing field for a minority of members of the human species to accumulate material wealth without limits. The vast majority of the world’s resources – not just monetary wealth, but land, resources and raw materials – is owned and controlled by a tiny minority of states, monarchs, aristocratic families, banks and corporations. It is no accident that the Queen of Great Britain – arguably the harbinger of contemporary global capitalism before its supercession by the United States – is the world’s largest landlord, owning about 6.6 billion acres of land. That is one-sixth of the Earth’s land surface. It gets worse. 1,318 corporations own 80 per cent of the world’s wealth, and out of that, a tiny interlocking nexus of 147 ‘super corporations’ own half of that. But across the board, as an extensive Chatham House report showed presciently two years ago, resources are depleting, scarcity is increasing, and prices are rising according to the best data available. This is happening, Chatham House argued, due to a combination of stagnating economic growth, continued demographic expansion, intensifying demand, and increasing costs of resource extraction. The party’s over… welcome to the after-party Since 2005, the world food price index has doubled, remaining at record levels. Simultaneously, dramatic oil price rises have not helped the energy industry sustain profits. Instead, even as investment in oil field development and extraction has increased by 200-300% since 2000, this has translated into a tepid oil supply increase of just 12%. All the best evidence indicates that the dawn of fracking represents not a new revolution for fossil fuels, but rather a “retirement party“, to quote US energy analyst Chris Nelder. Faced with the overwhelming scale of the multiplicity of global challenges we now face, a sense of disempowerment is understandable. However, as I’ve argued before, it is unnecessary and self-defeating. Indeed, what we are facing is something far more complex than an ‘end-is-nigh’ scenario: not the end of the world, but the end of the old industrial paradigm of endless growth premised on practically endless oil, that is increasingly breaching its own biophysical limits; and the emergence of an emerging paradigm of civilisation based on a vision of a global commons for all. Death throes of fossil fuels As Nelder writes in his latest column, we find ourselves at a potentially exciting crossroads: the literal death throes of the fossil fuel industry, amidst the inexorable, sporadic rise of a new renewable energy system. Renewable sceptics are simply wrong, obsessed with the slow, centralised economic dynamics of fossil fuels rather than understanding the unique, distributed dynamics of the new. In Nelder’s words: “Underlying the abundance hype over tight oil, tar sands and other ‘unconventional’ sources of liquid fuel has been a dirty little secret: They’re expensive. The soaring cost of producing oil has far outpaced the rise in oil prices as the world has relied on these marginal sources to keep production growing since conventional oil production peaked in 2005… The toxic combination of rising production costs, the rapid decline rates of the wells, diminishing prospects for drilling new wells, and a drilling program so out of control that it caused a glut and destroyed profitability, have finally taken their toll.” And it’s not just the oil companies enduring “major write-downs against reserves” (Nelder points to… Chesapeake Energy, Encana, Apache, Anadarko Petroleum, BP, and BHP Billiton). Coal-fired power capacity will be slashed by 60 gigawatts (GW) by 2016, “more than double” 2012 predictions, while last year nuclear plants were being retired at an “unprecedented rate” with “more on the way” – largely due to issues with “profitability.” The core driver behind this fossil fuel death-spiral is: “… competition from lower-cost wind, solar, and natural gas generators, and by rising operational and maintenance costs. As more renewable power is added to the grid, the economics continue to worsen for utilities clinging to old fossil-fuel generating assets.” In Germany, for instance, where 25% of the grid is powered by decentralised renewables (over 50% of which is owned by citizens), the three largest utilities, E.ON, RWE, and EnBW “are struggling with what the CEO of RWE called ‘the worst structural crisis in the history of energy supply.'” As Nelder explains, the one-way shift to solar and storage systems constitutes a “real, near and present” threat to centralised utilities: “Falling consumption and growing renewable power have cut the wholesale price of electricity by 60 percent since 2008, making it unprofitable to continue operating coal, gas and oil-fired plants. Renewable energy now supplies 23 percent of global electricity generation, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, with capacity having doubled from 2000 to 2012. coque iphone 2019 If that growth rate continues, it could become the dominant source of electricity by the next decade.” A new report by Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Institute suggests that if renewables continue to be adopted this aggressively, “off-grid systems” will prove “cheaper than all utility-sold electricity in the region just a decade out from today.” A Deutsch Bank report late last year confirmed much the same, predicting that solar and renewables are “just at the beginning of the grid parity era.” The rise of the new clean, decentralised energy system is happening faster than anyone anticipated, and in spite of huge government subsidies for the old fossil fuel industry. But it is merely one step on the ladder to a new post-carbon paradigm. As energy is the underpinning of a society, the unravelling of the fossil fuel system signifies the demise of the old paradigm. By the end of this century, one way or another, this paradigm will be obsolete. It’s up to us what will take its place – and as the death-spiral of the old paradigm accelerates, so do the opportunities to explore viable alternatives. The rise of the new paradigm The new emerging paradigm is premised on a fundamentally different ethos, in which we see ourselves not as disconnected, competing units fixated on maximising consumerist conquest over one another; but as interdependent members of a single human family. Our economies, rather than being assumed to exist in a vacuum of unlimited material expansion, are seen as embedded in wider society, such that economic activity for its own sake is recognised as the pathology that it is. Instead, economic enterprise becomes aligned with the deeper values that make us human – values like meeting our basic needs, education and discovery, arts and culture, sharing and giving: the values which psychologists say contribute to well-being and happiness, far more than mere money and things. And in turn, our societies are seen not as autonomous entities to which the whole of the planet must be ruthlessly subjugated, but rather as inherently embedded in the natural environment. In this model, households, communities and towns become producers and consumers of clean energy – and the same could apply to food. On the one hand, we need to put an end to the wasteful practices of the existing industrial food system, by which one third of global food production is lost or wasted every year. On the other, we must shift away from resource-intensive forms of traditional corporate-dominated agriculture. In some cases, given that at least 70% of global food production comes from small-farmers, we will find that shifting to agro-ecological farming could dramatically increase sustainability and yields. coque iphone Communal organic farming offers immense potential not only for employment, but also for households to become local owners and producers in the existing food supply chain, particularly in poorer countries – and an increasing shift to agro-ecology could meet the challenges faced by the existing global food system. This verdict is not being promoted by organic zealots, but by the world’s leading food scientists convened by the UN Commission on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) and the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). This new paradigm of distributed clean energy production, decentralised farming, and participatory economic cooperation, offers a model of development free from the imperative of endless growth for its own sake; and it leads us directly to a new model of democracy, based not on large-scale, hierarchical-control, but on the wholesale decentralisation of power, towards smaller, local ownership and decision-making. In the new paradigm, households and communities become owners of capital, in their increasing appropriation of the means to produce energy, food and water at a local level. Economic democratisation drives political empowerment, by ensuring that critical decisions about production and distribution of wealth take place in communities, by communities. But participatory enterprise requires commensurate mechanisms of monetary exchange which are equitable and transparent, free from the fantasies and injustices of the conventional model. In the new paradigm, neither money nor credit will be tied to the generation of debt. Banks will be community-owned institutions fully accountable to their depositors; and whirlwind speculation on financial fictions will be replaced by equitable investment schemes in which banks share risks with their customers, and divide returns fairly. coque iphone The new currency will not be a form of debt-money, but, if anything, will be linked more closely to real-world assets. But equally, the very notions of growth, progress, and happiness will be redefined. We now know, thanks to research by the likes of psychologist Oliver James and epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson, that material prosperity in the West has not only failed to make us happy, it has proliferated mental illnesses, and widened social inequalities, which are scientifically linked to a prevalence of crime, violence, drug abuse, teenage births, obesity, and other symptoms of social malaise. coque iphone 2019 This doesn’t mean that material progress is irrelevant – but that when it becomes the overriding force of society, it is dysfunctional. So arguably we must accept that the old paradigm of unlimited material acquisition is in its death throes – and that the new paradigm of community cooperation is far more in tune with both human nature, and the natural order. This new paradigm may well still be nascent, like small seeds, planted in disparate places. But as the Crisis of Civilization accelerates over the next decades, communities everywhere will become increasingly angry and disillusioned with what went before. soldes coque iphone And in that disillusionment with the old paradigm, the seeds we’re planting today will blossom and offer a vision of hope that will be irresistible tomorrow. The Crisis of Civilization – Documentary Film Click here to view this video on YouTube. As I wrote four years ago: “Any vision for ‘another world’, if it is to overcome the deep-rooted structural failures of our current business-as-usual model, will need to explore how we can develop new social, political and economic structures which encourage the following: 1. Widespread distribution of ownership of productive resources so that all members of society have a stake in agricultural, industrial and commercial productive enterprises, rather than a tiny minority monopolising resources for their own interests. 2. More decentralised politico-economic participation through self-managerial producer and consumer councils to facilitate participatory decision-making in economic enterprises. 3. coque iphone 6 Re-defining the meaning of economic growth to focus less on materially-focused GDP, and more on the capacity to deliver values such as health, education, well-being, longevity, political and cultural freedom. 4. Fostering a new, distributed renewable energy infrastructure based on successful models. 5. coque iphone 2019 Structural reform of the monetary, banking and financial system including abolition of interest, in particular the cessation of money-creation through government borrowing on compound interest. 6. Elimination of unrestricted lending system based on faulty quantitative risk-assessment models, with mechanisms to facilitate greater regulation of lending practices by bank depositors themselves. 7. Development of parallel grassroots participatory political structures that are both transnational and community-oriented, by which to facilitate community governance as well as greater popular involvement in mainstream political institutions. 8. Development of parallel grassroots participatory economic institutions that are both transnational and community-oriented, to facilitate emergence of alternative equitable media of exchange and loans between North and South. 9. Emergence of a ‘post-materialist’ scientific paradigm and worldview which recognizes that the cutting-edge insights of physics and biology undermine traditional, mechanistic conceptions of the natural order, pointing to a more holistic understanding of life and nature. 10. Emergence of a ‘post-materialist’ ethic recognising that progressive values and ideals such as justice, compassion, and generosity are more conducive to the survival of the human species, and thus more in harmony with the natural order, than the conventional ‘materialistic’ behaviours associated with neoliberal consumerism.” And as I wrote last year: “We do not have the option of pessimism and fatalism. There’s enough of that to go around. Our task is to work together to co-create viable visions for what could be, and to start building those visions now, from the ground up.” Dr Nafeez Ahmed is executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development and author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation: And How to Save It among other books.
Rainbow Grocery is a vegetarian food store that has been serving San Francisco and the Bay Area since 1975. While they strive to offer the widest selection of organic and locally sourced products at the most affordable price, they also hope to be a resource for our community to exchange information about the health and sustainability of the foods we put on our tables. As a worker-owned cooperative, those who work there are more than simply the labor-force of this business, they are the business. And while they have come to work there for many different reasons, they all share the common desire to work in a non-hierarchical, democratic workplace where everyone’s opinion matters. Not only do they hope to make a difference by providing healthy food and products to everyone who shops with them, they believe that through their successful business model for cooperative work they are also putting the ideals of sustainable living into practice. Since they moved from 15th and Mission to their building at 13th and Folsom, they have more than doubled their workforce from about 85 people to over 220. While they add new worker/owners every year, some of them are celebrating their 20th, 25th, even 30 year anniversaries! Rainbow is more than just a job for its employees. coque iphone x And their hope for you, is that the store is more than just a place to find healthy food! Rainbow Grocery Cooperative is committed to being a positive presence in our community, both economically and ecologically. Each year they give donations to local non-profits, social justice organizations, schools and artists. coque iphone 8 They actively support the development of cooperatives and collectives that bring living wage jobs and democratic workplaces to the Bay Area. They regularly donate their time to local fairs and community events. In an effort to minimize their footprint on the planet, they recycle and compost as much of their waste as possible, while drawing on the sun’s rays for energy. New Café Rainbow Grocery is proud to announce the addition of a cafe attached to our Native Plant Garden. They have worked with Stumptown Coffee Roasters to learn how to brew their highest quality (and most ethically grown) beans with the most delicious results possible. They offer brewed coffee as well as a variety of espresso drinks off our beautiful La Marzocco espresso machine. An unparalleled selection of teas from their large Bulk Tea selection are available. coque iphone 6 They use Strauss organic whole milk in all steamed drinks and offer Califia cold-pressed almond milk as a non-dairy alternative. coque iphone 2019 The menu includes fresh baked pastries from Starter Bakery. coque iphone New additions will be added to the menu in the future! Cafe hours: Monday – Saturday 8am – 6pm. Sunday 9am – 6 pm.