Restorative Justice-another sustainable safety net

Restorative justice programme Pollsmoor Prison Cape Town

I’ve heard the term “Restorative Justice” before.  Probably in the context of the community meetings held in South Africa to heal the wounds of apartheid.

I also once read a story about a tribe in the South Pacific, as I remember the story,  whose members look inside of themselves to see what, inside of each of them, would do that same crime. I intuitively understood the remarkable wisdom the tribes had discovered. After reading this article in Yes Magazine, I’m struck by the difference in our punitive judicial incarceration system vs this restorative justice approach…. READ MORE >>

Elements of a Sustainable Lifestyle

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein.

Here’s my ideas of the major elements that make up a sustainable lifestyle. Most are not of the thinking that created our existing suburban sprawl society. Changing from car-dominated thinking to pedestrian-centered thinking is required.

Communities that embrace these elements will be indeed different.

Just as a mainframe that used to fill a room evolved into a laptop, so will our way of life. The embedded resources are vastly reduced, while the quality and performance will be superior. Such are the values of living sustainability.

Here’s another way I like to say it;

“Mixed-Use, Mixed-Income Neighborhoods, with Life Long Learning and Open Space…Everywhere!”… READ MORE >>

Map to the Sustainable Gold! Part 2

All together now…  “We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine…We all live in a yellow…”

I’ve embarked on this adventure that leads, I fully believe, to the promised land, the gold at the end of the rainbow, the treasure…Sustainable Urban Villages.  I bought this map from a guy in the alley…. the story unfolds from Part 1…

treasure map

Yar Maties, we be in the hunt for the Sustainable Gold!

The Map, as best as I can read it,  says we’re starting with Stories from a Sustainable Future.

Over a short  meeting in Seth’s office, he offered to make Sustainable Urban Villages the theme of an entire issue (40 or 48 pages). I immediately saw the opportunity: we could get the word out across North Central New Mexico…  one of those “Yar Mates, thar she blows!” moments…

I’ve put a draft  of a brochure together. The front panel reads:
What if You Could Design Your Thriving, Alive, Resilient, and Sustainable Future?

What Would Make the Design of Your Neighborhood So Compelling, You’d Move In?!… READ MORE >>

Yar Maties! The Map to a Sustainable Pot of Gold!Part 1

As I’m gathering the images for this post, the kick off of the Map to the Sustainable Gold, the sound track kicks in… I’m hearing the theme to Gilligan’s Island.  Please feel free to insert your favorite sea shanty! Hey, how bout “Yellow Submarine!”

treasure map

Yar Mates!, we be in the hunt for Sustainable Living!

The Map, as best as I can read it,  says we’re starting with Stories from a Sustainable Future.

If the stories are compelling enough, and the stories are from people who want to move into a Sustainable Urban Village, all the stakeholders will stay committed and persevere to the end! There’s that’s my theory, anyway.

The treasure needs to really compelling, as all manner of monsters may come roiling out of the depths!

If the landowners, investors, Architects, planners,  city policy persons, the secondary mortgage market, etc can see the value, they too will add their creativity to make this SUV real… READ MORE >>

When It Comes to Sustainability, the US is Just Another Developing Nation


Sustainable Neighborhood via killer apps

When it comes to Sustainability, the US is just as lost as most other nations.  We have the added challenge of massive amounts of established suburbia, whereas Europe, for example,  has much compact development built before the automobile. I’ve heard it said the Europeans have a lifestyle that is twice as efficient as that of the United States.  They get twice the economic output as we get out of one BTU.

In my quest to come up with the Killer Modeling Tool that gives communities the ability to redevelop themselves sustainable, I came across this article in Ode Magazine about  Bangladeshi entrepreneur Iqbal Quadir. He started a microloan program, the Grameenphone,  that gets  cell phones in the hands of the poorest people in the world.

With the introduction of cell phones, local entrepreneur efforts can flourish. For instance  in the southern Indian state of Kerala, for example, the price of fish fell 4 percent while profits for the fishermen rose 8 percent because improved communication allowed fishermen to meet demand quickly and accurately. According to Leonard Waverman of the London Business School, the introduction of 10 mobile phones for every 100 residents of a developing country leads to a 0.6 percentage point increase in per capita GDP. Jeffrey Sachs, the celebrated development economist, has even called the mobile phone “the single most transformative tool for development.”

Iqbal recently wrote on The Huffington Post that sending 10,000 fewer American soldiers to Afghanistan would save $2.5 billion a year, which could be used to provide $300 microloans to 5 million Afghans and purchase Afghan products like carpets and pottery. “Trade and commerce could bring democracy and harmony from the bottom up,” Quadir wrote…. READ MORE >>

Peak Oil Production…OMG

peak oil graph

Because they only made so many old, raggedy dinosaurs


From the chart on the right, you can see the predicted world peak oil production... looks like 2012-13 to me. Notice how the line heads south in rapid order; Down 25% by 2020… that is incredible!!!

I can understand why oil companies want to drill everywhere; Artic Circle, way off shore, Tar Sands of Alberta. Lord Have Mercy! we are gonna be short on supply!

In a paper he presented to the American Petroleum Institute in 1956,  American geophysicist M. King Hubbert predicted that production of oil from conventional sources would peak in the continental US around 1965-1970. America’s oil production peaked in 1972, as I recall. READ MORE >>

What to do about the economy? Go Sustainable!

The thing to do these days is get a more affordable lifestyle. Lower your gasoline bill, lower the monthly heating bill, lower the housing payment, lower healthcare costs….you name it…make it lower. The problem is gas prices are going up! and that makes everything more expensive.  It’s time to get creative. It’s time to go sustainable.

This is where we are as a planet, in the middle of reinventing ourselves… We need an affordable lifestyle… that is economically sustainable. Coincidently, there is a good chance our more affordable lifestyle is going to live lighter on the planet too.  So this reinvention, this retrofit, this more sustainable living is going to be good for the polar bears as well.

President Obama brought it to our attention in the State of the Union address… Americans have always invented themselves, and the time is here again…. READ MORE >>

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