Ordinary Citizen: Awareness Leads to Action

I became aware of global warming several years ago but did nothing because I did not know what to do. Then I heard of the light bulbs, using less water while showering, buying a water bottle to reuse instead of buying bottled water, etc. The list now goes on.

Then last year I began to realize the AZ Daily Star was printing more and more articles re global warming, so to remember what was being said I started clipping the articles and saving them to reread. This was when I became convinced that this was real and we were headed for a great deal of trouble. I have since written the Star and have had several of my opinions published.

Then I started to write and call and e-mail my Senators and Representatives.
Then I started to go to Sustainable Tucson meetings (took a break over the summer).

Now I am ready for action! I am willing to sit in on the City Council meetings even though I am not eligible to vote within the City.

As for some of my friends: too busy with their lives, have other passions such as Lost Boys, foster parents, inertia, etc.

So it is a process one goes through after one becomes aware and finally wakes up to the full implications of what is ahead if we do not change our ways.

Jo Behrman

Interview with an Amazing Businessman

Oil depletion, redesigning transportation, local food, flexible work, ocean energy, the famous Udall family, and overcoming ignorance and bad choices

Matthew Simmons: All the Canaries Have Stopped Singing (Audio) Mp3 or Windows media

Matthew R. Simmons graduated cum laude from the University of Utah and received a Masters degree with distinction in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He then served on the faculty as a research associate for two years. In 1974, he founded Simmons & Company International, a major investment banking firm in the energy industry. He is past Chairman of the National Ocean Industries Association and a trustee of the Farnsworth Art Museum in Maine. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Associates – Harvard Business School and past President of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association. He serves as a Board Member of Brown-Forman Corporation, the Center for Houston’s Future, Houston Technology Center, ICIC and The Atlantic Council of The United States of America. He is also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. An interview with Jim Puplava, Financial Sense News Hour, August 18, 2007.

Tucson Area Farmers Markets

Sunday

Civano Artisans and Farmers Market – Civano Nursery, 5301 S. Houghton Road. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays. 248-9218.
St. Philip’s Plaza Farmers Market – 4280 N. Campbell Ave. 8 a.m.-noon Sundays. 918-9811.

Tuesday

Community Food Bank Farmers Market, 3003 S. Country Club Road. 8 a.m.-noon Tuesdays. 622-0525.

Wednesday

Downtown Farmers Market and Arts and Crafts Mercado – Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays. 326-7810.

Thursday

Santa Cruz River Farmers Market – Santa Cruz River Park, on the west bank of the river between West Speedway and West St. Mary’s Road. 4-7 p.m. Thursdays. 622-0525.
Tubac Farmers Market – Plaza de Anza, adjacent to the village of Tubac. From Tucson, take Interstate 19 south to Exit 34 and go east to the frontage road. 5-8 p.m. the third Thursday of each month. 398-2506.

Friday

El Presidio Mercado – El Presidio Park, West Alameda Street near North Church Avenue, Downtown. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays. 326-7810.

Saturday

Oro Valley Farmers Market – Oro Valley Town Hall, 11000 N. La CaƱada Drive. 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays. 918-9811.
Plaza Palomino Saturday Market – 2970 N. Swan Road. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. 320-6344.
Rincon Valley Farmers Market – 12500 E. Old Spanish Trail, four miles east of Saguaro National Park. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. 591-2276.
Bisbee Farmers Market – Vista Park in the Warren District. From Tucson, take Interstate 10 east, then take Arizona 80 southeast on Arizona 80. 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays. 1-520-227-5060.
San Manuel Farmers Market – In front of the Community Presbyterian Church, 801 McNab Parkway, San Manuel. 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays. 1-520-385-4463.

Farm Bill 2007: Why it matters: Small farms are good for our health, economy

Guest Opinion by Lindianne Sarno

Why should Tucson’s citizenry care about local food production? Let’s start with the scary fact that virtually all of the food we eat travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to our tables in Tucson, according to the USDA. Tucson’s food supply is vulnerable to events beyond our control like faraway crop failures and fuel shortages.

Picture Tucson as a city of 10,000 family and community gardens, each garden producing vegetables, fruit, herbs, mesquite pods, and compost to enrich the soil.

Picture Southern Arizona full of small family farms adapted for arid lands agriculture.

Picture a Tucson that is food secure because much of our food is grown in Southern Arizona. Picture a Tucson where no one goes hungry and our kids have healthy school lunches.

Regional food production is the key to healthy people and a thriving economy.

In addition to producing healthy foods, family farmers and ranchers steward a good portion of America’s land and wildlife.

Trees, grasses and herbs pull carbon from the air and produce clean, cool oxygen. More family farms = more oxygen + less carbon in the atmosphere = less global warming!

Tucson has a long history of raising food. From pre-history until the 1950s, the Santa Cruz and San Pedro River valleys were the breadbasket of the desert Southwest. But in the past 50 years, small and midsize family farms have been systematically driven out of business to be replaced by huge corporate farms and overseas food production. Millions of farmers have been forced off their land.

Your help is needed to restore Southern Arizona as a food-producing region. Similar movements to support independent farms and ranches are afoot in towns and cities across the U.S. Right now the Farm Bill of 2007 is in Congress.
As currently written, the Farm Bill reduces support to family farms while increasing subsidies to corporate giants whose chemical/pesticide farms are destroying Earth’s topsoil, atmosphere, and oceans.

To push to modify the Farm Bill of 2007 to support local food production, go to www.communityfoodbank.com online or call the Community Food Security Center, 622-0525, which will help you get informed on the issues. Then call Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, asking that they support provisions such as those in the bipartisan Fairness Amendment to the Farm Bill offered by Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), provisions to reduce trade-distorting subsidies and shift funds to programs that feed hungry families, protect the environment and help small farmers.

Other ways you can support local food producers: Visit Tucson’s farmers markets and meet your local farmers; buy fresh local foods in season; bring used egg cartons and paper/plastic bags for farmers to reuse; join a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, group. CSA members invest upfront so farmers can purchase seeds, equipment and soil amendments; in return members receive a weekly share of produce.

Supporting small producers is a bipartisan issue, and can bring together true conservatives in both parties who care about conserving America’s soil, making America food-secure, and supporting America’s small farmers and ranchers, the backbone of our country.

Contact Lindianne Sarno at sarno.lindianne@gmail.com

Published July 31, 2007 in the Arizona Daily Star

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What to Do? Taking Action in the Face of Collapse

Creating a sustainable culture of peace based on progressive values starts with
facing what’s really going on, both internally and externally.

WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO? Taking Action In The Face Of Collapse

Tuesday, 10 July 2007
By Carolyn Baker

Every time I write an article on collapse such as my most recent one “Happy
Independence Day; You Have No Government”, I am bombarded with emails asking me
“what should I do?” For those who have just discovered this site, that is a
legitimate question because for them, the reality of collapse may be new. Those
who have been following this site for some time have heard many suggestions on
what to do, but this article will offer those and other suggestions again more
clearly and more adamantly than they have been offered here before. The
intensity you are likely to hear in this piece is driven by the urgency which I
and many of my peers are feeling at this moment. Quite frankly, it’s time to
quit screwing around with talking about collapse and start acting. The Rubicon
has been crossed, we’re not living in Kansas anymore, and we are living in the
closest thing we’ve seen to pre-World War II Germany than anything since then.
Suit up and stop theorizing and speculating. It’s showtime.

The first thing I’m not going to tell you is that collapse can be avoided or
that human ingenuity and technology will come up with something to spare us
from it. I’m not going to tell you that there will be some mass movement- some
magic that will organize progressives into a
groundswell of protest, writing letters to Congress, creating blogs and
websites, supporting the “right” candidate, and asking for donations. No, what
I’m going to tell you is that as a nation and as a planet, we are screwed,
fucked, and shit out of luck, or if you prefer Spanish, estamos jodidos.

The second thing I’m not going to tell you is what you’d like to hear-how you
can just keep living the lifestyle you’re living but that somehow you can avoid
collapse. I’m not going to tell you that you can keep banking with Wells Fargo,
Bank of America, Citibank, or any of the other satanic financial monsters and
it will make no difference to you or anyone else. I’m not going to tell you
that you can keep buying your food at your local supermarket or Walmart, and
everything will be fine. I’m not going to tell you to go out and vote for a
presidential candidate in 2008 when even if there is an election, whoever is
selected by the electronic voting industrial complex, will be that complex’s
man or woman-body, mind, and soul. I’m not going to tell you to get a hybrid
vehicle or put solar panels on your house. In fact, before I tell you to do
anything, I’m going to invite you to engage in doing nothing.

Tim Bennett and Sally Erickson, creators of the documentary “What A Way
To Go: Life At The End Of Empire”, have suggested five things you can do,
and I’d like to elaborate on those.

Unlike ancient cultures, America is a society of manic doers. Before we have
even understood the problem, we are frantically rushing to find a solution. So
I’m going to ask you first of all to stop-dead in your tracks and do nothing.
In fact, I’m going to suggest that you go out in nature, sit down on a quiet
log, tree stump, rock, or on the grass, and do and say nothing. Look into a
river or stream, study a blade of grass, pick up a handful of soil, focus on a
colony of ants, but whatever you do-pay attention. Look, listen, smell, and
above all, feel your own emotions as you: 1) “fully acknowledge and internalize
that the culture of Empire is destroying the support systems on which the
community of life depends, and robbing us of our essential humanity.”

Acknowledge that all of your efforts and those of everyone you know and love
cannot and will not prevent collapse. In addition, feel the powerlessness,
helplessness, and hopelessness that courses through your body as you do this.
Feel the forever loss of the stream or grass, or soil, or animal that you might
be looking at. Imagine in its place the extinction of everything you are now
perceiving. All that you are now observing has been supporting you, and soon,
it will be gone. How does that feel? Yes, I know. Sad, tragic, horrifying,
enraging-and now you feel even more despair. It’s OK. Let yourself feel it-
really, really feel it. This is sacred time. This is the moment of truth; this
is your meditation on what is so, and you can’t do anything else-not really,
not effectively until you feel these very feelings. In other words, surrender
to the idea of collapse. Stop running from it, imagine it, feel it. The more
you focus on doing, the less you’ll focus on feeling, and your doing will not
work for you until you feel the feelings behind your doing.

And then, when you’ve experienced those very precious and necessary moments of
sacred truth, take yourself into the company of those you love and begin
talking about what is so: 2) “Talk about your concerns with everyone you know.
Make peak oil, climate change, mass extinction and population overshoot
household words.” There will be many people you cannot discuss these with. Find
those with whom you can. This is the beginning of “finding your tribe”-finding
those individuals who get it, who feel what you feel and are no longer in
denial about collapse. They have probably been looking for you as much as you
have been looking for them. Talk not only about the facts, the research, the
events of collapse, but equally or even more importantly, about your feelings
about it. This really isn’t hard to do. If you have children, think about their
future. What do you feel?

Yes, I know you want to know more about what to do, but slow down. You’re
moving too fast. Keep feeling. Keep talking.

The very first action steps really have to do with you and your inner world.
You need to think and feel about who YOU want to be in the face of collapse.
What kind of work do you really want to be doing? 3) “Find your work in the
world to preserve life, change this culture and /or create restorative ways for
individuals and communities to live in harmony with each other and the non-
human world.” Does the work you’re doing help to preserve life? Do you need to
relocate to another part of the country or world so that you and your loved
ones can live lifestyles that prepare yourselves for collapse? What are you
doing to take responsibility for your food supply? How are you preparing to
live in a post-petroleum world? Can you even fathom what that means? Such
dramatic change does not happen overnight; it’s a transition, but remember, you
don’t have all the time in the world. Several dozen species have become extinct
while you’ve been reading this article.

4) “Assess what you actually need during this transition in order to live and
do your work. Only buy what you need and buy from local sources in order to
support the creation of local economies.” And now comes an enormously important
exercise: What do I need and what don’t I need? Preparation for collapse will
change as much in your life as will collapse itself. Every step of preparation
is a meditation, a paring down, and gathering together, always informed by “Who
do I want to be? What’s really important? What do I really not need? What do I
really need?”

I believe that one reason collapse is so unthinkable for many individuals is
that they have no spiritual (I did not say religious) basis for navigating it.
On the other hand, some individuals can think deeply about and realize its
daunting reality, but they approach it with cynicism and bitterness. All of the
above questions I have suggested entertaining are essentially spiritual
questions because they are questions of the soul. 5) Therefore, “find or deepen
your spiritual connection to that which is greater than you. Ask and then
listen for guidance about how to live joyfully and creatively in the face of
these unprecedented times.”

One of my favorite mantras is a quote from Derrick Jensen: “We’re fucked,
and life is really, really good.” Amid the dismal we need fun, joy, play,
lightness of heart, art, music, poetry, songs, stories, and creativity of
infinite varieties. Yes, I know, it’s a tremendous challenge holding such
opposite emotions in the same body, but that is our work in the face of the end
of the world as we have known it. Recall the words of Morpheus in “The Matrix”:
“I didn’t say it would be easy, I just said it would be the truth.”

I will be away from the computer and Truth To Power from July 14-28. Not only
do I need two weeks away from the website, but I need to gather with my “tribe”
as we spend days and nights in nature sharing our feelings and planning how we
might create and maintain a community for navigating collapse. People often ask
me what I’m doing to prepare and where I might relocate. Even if I were able to
tell you, what I would tell you isn’t necessarily what you should be doing or
where you should be going. Only you can discover that for yourself. My wish for
you is that you will use these two weeks to contemplate your future and where
you need to be and what you need to be doing.

Remember: There are no “solutions” but only options as the fascist empire
concretizes around us. Part of the empire’s agenda is to keep you, like a dog
chasing its tail, looking for solutions and bashing people who don’t offer them
to you but tell you the truth instead-that the future of you and your loved
ones is entirely in your hands and no one else’s. The sooner you let go of your
illusions about avoiding collapse and someone or something being able to
prevent and cure it, the more energy you will free up to act on behalf of
yourself and your tribe.

OK, now I’ve told you what to do. If you don’t want to do it or refuse to do
it, please don’t call me “dismal”, “negative” or a “purveyor of hopelessness.”
Look in the mirror and ask yourself how it is that after all this time, despite
all the information you have, you still don’t get it. Someone has said, “Deal
with reality or reality will deal with you.” Do you want to deal with reality
when collapse is in your face, or do you want to take action to prepare for it
now? Ground yourself in your authentic feelings about your collapsing world,
then join with your tribe to build lifeboats. For two weeks this website will
be in “hibernation”. It could be sacred time–time to reflect, time to feel,
time to act-before time runs out.