Posts filed under ‘Resilience’

Small Businesses Can Save Your Community

 Small business districts lend character to a community and keep profits recirculating in the local economy. Photo credit: Johnny Sanphillippo Small businesses can be underappreciated and under-supported, and that’s a shame. After all, when a downtown is filled with cool coffee shops, locally owned restaurants, microbreweries, and quirky boutiques—together with plenty of strong non-retail players like architects, ad agencies, and attorneys—that downtown is often the heart and soul of a vibrant community.

A strong small business presence—especially one that thrives in the context of a busy, livable, walkable downtown—is what gives a community its character. It creates that sense of “place” that attracts tourists, young people and empty nesters (increasing numbers of both groups want to live downtown), a talented workforce, and yes, bigger businesses and other investors who drive further growth.

Read Small Businesses Can Save Your Community by Quint Studer at Strong Towns.

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August 8, 2018 at 10:53 am Leave a comment

Systems Thinking and How It Can Help Build a Sustainable World: A Beginning Conversation

Humanity stands at a precipice. Overpopulation, resource scarcities, degraded ecosystem functioning from pollution and biodiversity loss, and anthropogenic climate change are damaging the life-supporting capacity of the planet. Diminishing returns on fossil fuel energy investments, combined with their dwindling availability and environmental harm, threaten industrial civilization. Many people recognize the need to transition to sustainable, resilient ways of living, but the prospect of such a transition is daunting, not only from a logistical perspective, but also because it requires new ways of thinking about and addressing complex problems. Widespread adoption of systems thinking represents one of society’s best bets for making real progress towards this daunting transition, but few actually understand what it is. This article is intended to introduce systems thinking into our common lexicon – to explain what it is at a basic level, how it can be used, and why it may very well be the key to humanity’s survival over the long run.

Read Systems Thinking and How It Can Help Build a Sustainable World: A Beginning Conversation by Megan Seibert at The Solutions Journal.

July 25, 2018 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

Whose Future is This?

Stuart Candy is a futurist helping people “think and feel about things that haven’t happened yet.” Enabling people to play on a mental jungle gym of possible worlds, helping them access unique insights and explore each other’s insights….Combining real world impact, intense creativity, and a whole heap of fun, he draws people into creative thinking about possible and preferable futures.

July 16, 2018 at 10:02 am Leave a comment

24 Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights (Without AC)

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Before we dive in, we realize the obvious solution for cool, calm, and REM-ful sleeping is an air conditioner: These modern gizmos can keep a bedroom at the optimum sleep temperature (roughly between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit), plus provide some nice white noise to boot. But even small window units use up tons of energy and jack up monthly electric bills. So what’s an environmentally responsible, budget-conscious sleeper to do?

Living through a hot summer without AC seems impossible but, hey, our grandparents did it all the time! Turns out, they learned a few things in the process. Here are all those tried-and-true DIY strategies for how to stay cool in summer.

Read 24 Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights (Without AC) by Sophia Breene at Greatist.

July 2, 2018 at 11:46 am Leave a comment

Changemakers

Image: front coverWith every news report, the world seems to be careening off the rails. It’s all too easy to slip into despair waiting for co-opted, self-serving governments to act.

The antidote to fear and despair is hope and action. We each hold the power to make personal changes that can drive local changes and cascade into large-scale social transformation.

This is the guidebook for ordinary people who want to create a new society now. The first section explores the idea of transformative change — what it is, what difference it makes, and how it is connected to learning.

Read more about this new book HERE>>

June 27, 2018 at 10:53 am Leave a comment

RetroSuburbia talk by David Holmgren

Co-founder of the permaculture movement, David Holmgren, encourages permaculture activists to focus their energies on retrofitting suburbia for an energy descent future. David argues that the opportunities to retrofit are so much more important than new buildings because of the limits to debt based growth.

May 28, 2018 at 10:46 am Leave a comment

Medusa’s Curse: The Necessity of Art in the Climate Struggle

Because I am a literary writer, writing about climate justice, people often ask me, What is the importance of the arts in the climate struggle? I turn to Friedrich Nietzsche, the nineteenth century German philosopher.

“We have art in order not to die of the truth,” he wrote.

So then. What are these lethal truths, the truths that break our hearts, sap our spirits, and turn us to stone? How can art save us in the face of those truths? Those are my two questions.

  1. What are the paralyzing truths that the world faces?

Number one. That we have the good fortune to have been born into the Cenozoic Era, when evolution has achieved its greatest fullness of flowering, what theologian Thomas Berry called the most “lyric period in Earth history.”

Imagine our good fortune, to live in the time of thrush-song and thirty thousand species of orchids, the time of small laughing children and whales that teach each other to sing. The fate of these lives is not a matter of indifference or economic expedience. These lives, human or otherwise, are the irreplaceable consequence of planetary creativity over four billion years. And they are the progenitors of everything that will grow on the face of the Earth.

Read Medusa’s Curse: The Necessity of Art in the Climate Struggle by Katherine Dean Moore at Resilience.org

May 23, 2018 at 9:46 am Leave a comment

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