Over at ProgressiveWayneCounty.org, I just posted the list of alternative transportation goals for Richmond, Indiana that I came up with in March as a part of my work on the committees that are implementing Richmond's Comprehensive Plan. Comments and feedback welcome (there or here).
I thoroughly enjoyed this post by Dave Pollard: Need Less.
The essence of radical simplicity, of the gift/generosity economy, of natural community, and of natural entrepreneurship, I think, is needing less. Needing less makes us, as individuals, members of enterprises, communities and societies, more self-sufficient, and more resilient, and allows us to give more with the 'excess' time, energy and money that we have by virtue of needing less.
Dave goes on to list a few ways that needing less in everyday life might manifest itself. Perhaps obvious to some, overly abstract to others...a pleasant reminder for me.
I'm writing tonight from the Third U.S. Conference on "Peak Oil" and Community Solutions. You may recall that I attended the same event last year, and it's been an amazing time again so far. It's also appropriate that I mention from this context my involvement in a new non-profit called Sustainable Indiana, Inc, founded by my friend Frank Cicela (who also hosted the Indiana Energy Conference earlier this year). We're constructing it as an umbrella organization to facilitate building community resources related to sustainable living in Crawfordsville, and then making the process and "kit" from our efforts available to help other Indiana communities (and beyond) recreate the same kinds of resources in their area. Of course, I'll be working on trying out a few particular projects in Richmond as well. And we've already got some press coverage, a front page article in today's Crawfordsville Journal Review...yay. More soon on these important topics.
Well, in case you hadn't noticed, it's taking me a while longer than I'd thought it would to synthesize my notes from the Peak Oil conference into blog postings. In the interest of getting them done and published at all, this entry will be much less detailed than my others, and hopefully you can check out the DVD of the conference (not yet available) if you want to learn more. You can start with my introduction if you're just joining us.
Continue reading "Peak Oil Conference: Sunday and Conclusions"
This post summarizes the events of the second part of the second day of the Second U.S. Conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions. You can read my introduction, my summary from Friday, and my summary from Saturday morning.
Continue reading "Peak Oil Conference: Saturday Afternoon"
This post summarizes the events of the first part of the second day of the Second U.S. Conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions. You can read my introduction and my summary from the first day. As you'll note, there's quite a lot there, I hope it's not too discombobulated to be useful. I should note that the conference organizers are planning to produce a DVD of the various sessions held here, so if you're at all interested in seeing some of this stuff for yourself (and without my filters/bias), stay tuned to the conference website for details.
Continue reading "Peak Oil Conference: Saturday Morning"
My friend Frank arrived in Richmond this morning to form the beginning of our small caravan to the Second U.S. Conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions, as I mentioned yesterday. After some brief touring around town, a visit to Summersault, and showing off some of the great local stuff Richmond has to offer, we headed east to pick Dayna up at the airport. From there we headed to Yellow Springs, Ohio and the campus of Antioch College, where the conference is being held. You can check out some random photos from today, or read on for a summary of the opening keynote by Richard Heinberg.
Continue reading "Peak Oil Conference: Friday"
I have the privilege to be headed to the second U.S. conference on "Peak Oil and Community Solutions" this weekend in Ohio. I've mentioned Peak Oil here before, and so I'm excited to be joining some folks who I already know think about this stuff on a trip to meet new people and explore this "issue" further. It seems to come at an especially relevant time, where energy concerns and oil production are tied in to most every headline, public policy decision, financial planning fear - even weather pattern! - that we hear about (and many we don't).
Continue reading "Headed to Peak Oil Conference"
Plastic grocery bags. Some people throw them away. Some people ball them up and keep them forever. Some people crochet them into wreaths, rugs, purses and other beautiful things. I definitely fall into the "keep them forever" camp, or at least I did until I learned that some grocery stores around the nation are getting smart about re-using these pervasive pabulum pouches, and offering you a discount on your purchase if you bring your own bags instead of using new ones. If done right, the result can be a leveling-off of the rate at which you acquire new bags, cost savings, and no extra hassle - a blessing for pack-rats everywhere.
Continue reading "Bring Your Own Bags, Save Money"
In January 1935, President Roosevelt submitted a proposal for "Social Security" to the Congress. The draft legislation is introduced as "a bill to alleviate the hazards of old age, unemployment, illness, and dependency..." It is entirely fitting, I think, that the U.S. government would classify old age as something hazardous, dependency as something to be alleviated. That characterization is consistent with the role of government, as so many of us see it: to take care of us when our abilities as an individual are not sufficient, and to help us survive when we require the help of our fellow citizens.
But I am glad that there are enough problems with the Social Security system that the level of public debate about how to "fix" it is increasing.
Continue reading "To alleviate the hazards of old age..."