Posts filed under ‘Social Justice’

World Food Day: 4 Easy Ways to Make a Difference

On World Food Day, observed every year on Oct. 16, we can all do our part to combat global hunger and malnutrition.

The United Nations’ second Sustainable Development Goal calls for ending world hunger by 2030 and urges profound interventions from governments, businesses and individuals to help feed the growing number of hungry people in the world.

Last year, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) found that chronic undernourishment grew to 821 million, or one in every nine people worldwide. At the same time, adult obesity is worsening (especially in North America) with more than one in eight adults in the world considered obese.

“Conflict, extreme weather events linked to climate change, economic slowdown and rapidly increasing overweight and obesity levels are reversing progress made in the fight against hunger and malnutrition,” the FAO said.

Read World Food Day: 4 Easy Ways to Make a Difference by Lorraine Chow at Ecowatch.

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October 17, 2018 at 3:29 am Leave a comment

Sustainable Activism: Managing Hope and Despair in Social Movements

activismSustainable activism has what (Antonio) Gramsci called a ‘pessimism of the intellect’ which can avoid wishful thinking and face reality as squarely as possible. However it also retains an ‘optimism of the will’, an inner conviction that things can be different. By holding optimism and pessimism in tension, sustainable activism is better able to handle despair, and it has less need to resort to binary thinking as a way of engaging with reality. It can hold contradictions so that they don’t become either/or polarities and can work both in and against the system

… sustainable activism holds that it is never too late. In the context of climate change it is able to face the truth that some irreversible processes of change are already occurring; that the two degrees limit in the increase in global temperatures agreed at the 2015 Paris climate conference may not be achieved; that bad outcomes are inevitable, and that some are already happening. Nevertheless it also insists that this makes our struggles all the more vital to reduce the scale and significance of these future outcomes, to fight for the ‘least-worst’ results we can achieve, and to ensure that the world of our grandchildren and their children is as habitable as possible.

Read Sustainable Activism: Managing Hope and Despair in Social Movements by Paul Hoggett, Rosemary Randall at OpenDemocracy.

December 19, 2016 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

Can agroecology feed the world and save the planet?

africaThe big question often asked is: can agroecological farming really feed the world, with the global population hurtling towards 9.6 billion by 2050? It’s clear that there’s increasing evidence it could.

A landmark 2001 study by Jules Pretty and Rachel Hine examined 208 projects from 52 countries and found yield increases of 50-100% for rain-fed crops like maize. The cases studied involved 9 million farmers on around 3% of all of the farmed land in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the increases were typically bigger at lower yields, indicating greater benefits for the poorest farmers.

Read Can agroecology feed the world and save the planet? by Henrietta Moore at The Guardian.

 


“The climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”

Sunday, October 16, 1:00 – 3:30 pm

Knox-St Paul’s United Church, 800 – 12th St West (off McConnell)

Join Transition Cornwall +Food Action Group, All Things Food SDG Community Food Network, and Knox – St. Paul’s United Church for a FREE day of discussion, learning, and food in celebration of United Nations World Food Day 2016.

In honour of World Food Day, we have invited special guest, Kate Green from USC Canada, to address this year’s theme “The climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.” Key talking points will include food production, globalization, climate change, and the role of local versus global communities. For anyone curious about the local versus global food system issues and opportunities, this is a presentation and discussion not to miss!

Following Kate Green’s presentation, we will host “Frugal Food Preservation”, a hands-on educational activity to help attendees learn the basic for harvest food preservation. If you have ever wanted to learn to pickle, ferment or dehydrate, our experts will be on site to help guide and answer all of your questions. 

Soup, bread, and refreshments will be provided courtesy of Transition Cornwall +.

October 10, 2016 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

Are Positive Stories Enough?

ThriveOne question has cropped up repeatedly: In a world filled with melting ice caps, war, species extinctions, and economic peril, how can I possibly argue that the small-scale actions I write about can transform the bigger picture for the better?

Belief in the possibility of change is a huge if intangible positive. So, too, is the proliferation of new social and economic models – from commoning, transition, and sharing, to local money, off-grid energy, and maker spaces. These are the infrastructure of the next economy – only they’re based on social energy, not concrete.

But back to that first question: do these myriad stories add up to a viable alternative to the system that’s wrecking the place now? On their own, probably not. But for me, the most important unfolding transformation of all is the emergence, in many places at once, of a new understanding of our place in the world.

Having worked hard throughout the modern era to lift ourselves ‘above’ nature, we are now being told by modern science that man and nature are one, after all.

This new story is, to put it mildly, a rather large ‘narrative adjustment.’ But it is neither utopian, nor fantastical. It speaks to our innate compulsion to change, progress, and create – indeed, to grow – but with new kinds of growth in mind: Soils, biodiversity and watersheds getting healthier; more cooperation and social connectivity; communities becoming more resilient.

Read Are Positive Stories Enough? by John Thackara at Doors of Perception.

February 3, 2016 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

Six Foundations for Building Community Resilience

Many people think of a community’s resilience as its ability to “bounce back” from disruption, and efforts to build resilience often focus on the impacts of climate change. Climate change is indeed an urgent and existential threat, with untold potential to destroy and disrupt countless lives. But it is not the only crisis we face, nor is preparing for disruption the only way to build resilience. Truly robust community resilience should do more. It should engage and benefit all community members, and consider all the challenges the community faces—from rising sea levels to a lack of living wage jobs. And it should be grounded in resilience science, which tells us how complex systems—like human communities—can adapt and persist through changing circumstances.

Resilience is, in a way, the original aspiration of human communities. Since the dawn of civilization we have banded together for long-term mutual well-being and betterment in the face of future stresses and shocks. History is full of communities—even highly complex ones—that persisted for thousands of years: they found ways to be resilient despite natural disaster and internal discord, embedding their wisdom and practices in place-based cultures. Of course, history is also full of communities and civilizations that succumbed to external or internal crises, often far larger than they had any possibility of anticipating. While we should heed the warnings of that history, we can also consider ourselves fortunate in the modern era to have a broader view of what crises we might face, and access to countless examples of community resilience both ancient and contemporary. Six Foundations for Building Community Resilience aims to help us better understand what made those examples successful, and help existing and future resilience-building efforts across the country be more effective.

Read the full report HERE.

November 18, 2015 at 12:06 pm Leave a comment


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