Major change is inevitable

I love this piece, so I posted it. Enjoy!! I got it from New Urban Network. Brian

Blog post by Charles Marohn on 14 Feb 2011
Charles Marohn, New Urban Network

As the United States economy remains hooked up to life support, it is natural for those gathered around the bedside to see hope in each flicker of life. We humans are optimistic by nature, which is certainly an evolutionary trait that has served us well in darker ages. Even so, unfounded optimism can prove disastrous, especially when it keeps us from doing the difficult things that need to be done.

This past weekend, my hometown paper ran an article detailing how the economic signs are starting to point up. This is a theme I see reflected recently in the Old Economy circles, that if we just build enough capacity and subsidize enough undertakings, we can revive 2005 back into existence. The beyond-wishful thinking in the piece was highlighted by this passage:

[Brainerd City Administrator Dan] Vogt said Brainerd is well positioned for an economic turnaround with available industrial land and electrical system upgrades for attractive and lower cost energy. Brainerd now has more load capacity for business and industry, Vogt said.

This is akin to the owner of a dying mall — one that is old, falling apart and financed with enormous government subsidies that are about to expire — looking at the growing number of empty spaces and saying they are “well-positioned.” Some see the glass as half empty. Some as half full. And some are evidently drinking stuff a lot stronger than water…. READ MORE >>

1 of 29 WAYS TO MAKE MONEY FROM YOUR WELL DESIGNED HOME AND NEIGHBORHOOD

As we face higher gasoline prices again, we’re getting more practice in the emerging, post peak oil economy. Our ingenuity will kick in, our lifestyle will transform, all “good for people, the planet, and the polar bears”.  With this global warming dealie, time is of the essence; we can evolve faster, learn from our mistakes, share good ideas, and have fun! Share your ideas, dreams and ingenuity! We can make sustainable real!

I’ve started a list of good ideas that come about if we rethink the functions and interplay of our home and its neighborhood.  So far I’ve got 29 killer (If I do say so myself)  ideas.  The first 7 are home oriented, the last 22 are more neighborhood oriented. Add to the list via the comment area!Room for Rent sign

Home Design

#1. Rent Out a Room

Maybe one of your family boomerangs, and ends up back home. Maybe you just got sick and tired of trying to do it all yourself. Maybe you’re ready to change careers, go back to school, retire, or get divorced. Our suburban, rugged individual, nuclear family lifestyle isn’t set up to be as supportive as it can be. Just the opposite, sprawl and isolation throw up barriers.  So take a sledge hammer to it! Tear out a wall, add a door! make it a private entrance. Make life easier on yourself…. READ MORE >>

Fuels-pick your poison!

Nuclear, coal, natural gas, methane, biochar oil, ethanol, algae bio-diesel,  the sun, the tides, the wind, or good old gasoline…each comes with its costs.  As we innovate  toward a sustainable lifestyle, the refining processes and embedded energy, the delivery system, and all the other externalities come into play.

Currently 60% of the US’s  primary electricity comes from coal fired plants.  The burning of coal releases mercury into the air. The fish in New Mexico have quite a bit of mercury in them, especially those located downwind from the Four Corners Generating Plants. Fish in the Pacific Ocean have high levels of mercury as well, as the mercury bio-accumulates in the bigger fish, like tuna.  The Chinese coal fired plants are the mercury source for our sushi and salmon!

Agricultural crops converted to fuels come with GMOs, fertilizer run off, soil degradation, and embodied production and delivery costs. Local production and supply keeps dollars in the community, building wealth and cutting transportation costs. Talk about complicated…. READ MORE >>

Sustainable Fiber-Industrial Hemp-Get over it!

It grows in marginal soils. It’s fibers are really tough. 19th century sailing vessels made their sails and rope with industrial hemp. I’ve heard blue jeans made of hemp don’t wear out, they wear in.

The excuses we are using to not grow hemp, are bogus! It’s time we stop being run by emotional boogie men and wise up. The herbicides and pesticides used to grow cotton destroy a soil’s fertility. Paper mills use dioxin in the processing of paper pulp. Dioxin is the most toxic man-made organic chemical known to man,  second in toxicity only to radioactive waste.

The healthy omega oils in hemp are sorely needed in our diets. Our ocean based Omega oil sources are getting polluted and over fished. When all the externalities associated with all the products that can be created by this amazing plant, are compared to externalities from fossil fuel based products, we will gratefully embrace industrial hemp. Our sustainable future needs renewable, non polluting fiber and food sources! Our farmers need the profitable crop. It’s time America, to make  sustainable real!

Share your ideas, links to resources, and recommendations for renewable fibers here!READ MORE >>

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