Defeat Romney, without illusions about Obama

Daniel Ellsberg, Common Dreams

The election is now just weeks away, and I want to urge those whose values are generally in line with mine -- progressives, especially activists -- to make this goal one of your priorities during this period.

An activist colleague recently said to me: “I hear you’re supporting Obama.”

I was startled, and took offense. “Supporting Obama? Me?!”

archived October 18, 2012

Food & agriculture - Oct 18

Staff, Energy Bulletin

-Big Tobacco lawyers target food industry
-How To Compost In Your Apartment
-Why Caring About Food Isn’t An Option, It’s a Responsibility
-Food price crisis: What crisis?
-New EU biofuel proposals inadequate, warns ActionAid

archived October 18, 2012

The Firm

Charlotte Du Cann, Transition Network

My name is Charlotte and I am in Transition. Maybe I should rephrase that and say I’m in the Transition movement, or the Transition network (small n). One thing is for sure: I’m in a Transition initiative that is five years old this November...We hold these pilot lights inside ourselves and in our groups, in our towns and cities, and when we meet up we make a fire...We share a language, the shape of our meetings, of core group and sub-group, the concepts of gift economy and co-operation. These came from the Network and from its creators. This network turned my life around. It’s turned thousands of people’s lives around. We walk out alone from our meetings, and yet we are connected. These connections are everything. Because a network is the dots and the connections and the people who make them.

archived October 18, 2012

The wild side of local food

Gene Logsdon, The Contrary Farmer, Mulligan Books

A friend brought me a gift I never dreamed I’d ever see, or rather eat. A loaf of pawpaw bread. Just like banana bread but with pawpaws. Why didn’t I think of that? He used English walnuts in it, where I might have used pecans, which is interesting in itself because the nuts came from a grove right here in northern Ohio, not in warmer climes where these nut trees are grown commercially. The Ohio Division of Wildlife planted the trees years ago and when my friend spotted them, with nuts mostly going to waste, he asked and received permission to gather them.

archived October 18, 2012

Liberal Expectations

Erik Lindberg, Transition Milwaukee

The presidential campaign offers a great deal of material concerning what liberals believe and expect. I am especially interested and troubled by the constant focus on the middle class. By comparing itself only to Romney’s 1% (or whatever), the middle class has developed a self-image of itself as the victims of a great economic heist and oligarchical conspiracy. Our “leaders” confirm this belief by telling us that we have been “crushed” or “buried” by recent events. Middle class people thus see themselves as suffering disproportionately, that owing to events that can be entirely blamed on others, they have taken the brunt of our unraveling economy...As a way of processing reality and preparing for the future it is largely useless.

archived October 17, 2012

Peak oil notes - Oct 18

Tom Whipple, ASPO-USA

A midweek roundup of peak oil news, including:
-Developments this week

archived October 18, 2012

How It Could Happen, Part Three: To The Brink

John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report

This third part of a five-part series uses the tools of narrative fiction to explore some of the ways in which America's global empire might come apart. As the East African war ends in an American defeat, a president with his back to the wall turns to the one military option remaining, and discovers that more than one power can play the same game. Meanwhile, the domestic consequences of a failed war and its aftermath pose a rising challenge with consequence no one can yet predict.

archived October 17, 2012

Scapegoat-in-Chief: The Race for the Oval Office

Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute

The energy world portrayed in the debates—in which coal is “clean” and oil and gas companies will lead the U.S. to a new era of energy abundance if only they are unleashed or regulated properly—is a stage set carefully crafted by fossil fuel industry PR professionals and political consultants. Once viewers have dutifully mistaken this painted scenery for reality, it’s the actors’ job to raise the audience’s adrenaline levels with taunts and sneers. Meanwhile, outside the theater, the real world is hurtling toward an energy supply crisis for which no one is being prepared, and whose impact will not be blunted by sensible policy.

archived October 17, 2012

Climate - Oct 17

Staff, Energy Bulletin

-The Sound of Climate Silence: Romney and Obama Spar Over Who Wants to To Drill for More Fossil Fuels During Debate
-Climate Deniers
-Why we can't bank on recessions to keep global warming in check

archived October 17, 2012

US oil - Oct 17

Staff, Energy Bulletin

-Congress applies pressure to BP over Gulf oil sheen
-US Oil Rig Boom Levelling Off?
-Texas landowners take a rare stand against Big Oil
-Deepwater Permits in U.S. Gulf Exceed Pre-BP Spill Level

archived October 17, 2012