Sustainable Tucson – General Meeting – October 2011

Sustainable Tucson General Meeting – at Milagro Cohousing Community

Monday, October 10th, 5:45 – 8:30 pm, and come early at 5:15 pm for a tour

Note: this meeting will be at the Milagro Cohousing Community instead of the library (click here for map). If you can come earlier, there will be a tour of Milagro from 5:15 to 5:45 pm before the meeting starts.  Also, bring a flashlight!

Also, because of VERY LIMITED PARKING at Milagro, we need to CARPOOL from the Safeway parking lot at Grant and Silverbell (park on the north side of the Wells Fargo building).  Try to come 15 minutes early to the Safeway parking lot for carpooling (5:00 pm for the tour, 5:30 pm for the meeting), and no single occupant cars to Milagro, please!

WHAT DO WE NEED OUR WATER FOR?

Sustainable Tucson will continue to tackle the central question for a sustainable community – What are our water priorities? Find out where our water really comes from, and what we really use it for (the answers will surprise you!)

Hear from a panel of VERY thoughtful people about what our priorities could/should be, if we really become One Desert Community. Find out things that YOU can do now, to make your own life and neighborhood, to be more efficient in our water use, or to capture or reuse the water we aren’t using.

Gary Nabhan (Institute for the Environment) – Water for relocalization

Kelly LaCroix (Water Resources Research Center) – Where does our water come from now and what do we use if for now?

Dan Dorsey (Sonoran Permaculture Guild) – Water for food and nature

Sandy Elder (Tucson Water) – Sustainable water from the perspective of current policy

Tres English (Empowering Local Communities) – Connecting people, creating community

(and others TBA…)

A Special Sustainable Tucson Book Sale

A Special Sustainable Tucson Book Sale will be held before and after this General Meeting. The Sale will start at 5:15.  Visit this page to browse more than 150 titles. All proceeds to benefit Sustainable Tucson.

Last minute news flash! – There will be a door prize from the books for sale – a book by Gary Nabhan …

 

Regional Water Assessment Task Force ThinkTank Report

иконописJoin an interactive community meeting to help shape the greater Tucson region’s efforts to achieve a sustainable water future. This meetings will present the results of the <Regional Water Assessment Task Force ThinkTank Report>. The meeting will be held at the Tucson Association of Realtors building, 2445 N. Tucson Blvd., Tucson.

The report was the result of extensive computer-based in put from 64 ThinkTank participants. As a result of this input, four themes were identified: coordination-cooperation; sustainability; supply; and cost-pricing-funding. Moving these ideas into actionable categories, the Task Force recommended forming the following regional solution/strategy groups: 1) Supply, 2) Infrastructure, 3) Conservation/demand management and 4) reliability/ sustainability/aquifer health.

The taskforce members overseeing this process: Madeline Kiser, Community Water Coalition, Sharon Megdal, UA Water Resources Research Center, Mark Stratton, Southern Arizona Water Users Association, Vince Vasquez, Tucson Regional Water Coalition, and Claire Zucker, Pima Association of Governments. They coordinated a series of four Internet-based ThinkTank sessions in late 2010 to garner input and guidance on priority regional water issues and water management options from stakeholders throughout the Tucson Active Management Area.

Be prepared for some fireworks, however. The report and working groups are missing one gigantic piece: Priorities. Nowhere in the report or future plans is there any consideration of the key question – “What do we need our water for?” For that, you should come to the October Sustainable Tucson General Meeting on October 10 at Milagro Co-housing.

Tucson Time Traders – at Connect 2 Tucson – Sept 24

We’re starting a local Tucson Timebank soon.  If you’re interested in joining, please pre-register below, and/or contact us by email – timetraders(at)sustainabletucson.org

We will also be at the Connect 2 Tucson – Moving Planet event on September 24 to meet people and give information about time banking.

[ For current information on Tucson Time Traders, please go to
www.sustainabletucson.org/tucson-time-traders ]

What Is A Time Bank?

A TimeBank is a group of people who trade an hour of work for an hour of work.  The time is banked so you can trade accumulated hours with anyone within the network.

TimeBanking is a rapidly growing movement that allows people to trade assistance, and builds healthy communities.

Missions and Values

  • We are all assets.
  • Redefining work – to value whatever it takes to raise healthy children, build strong families, revitalize neighborhoods, make democracy work, advance social justice, make the planet sustainable.
  • Reciprocity – “How can I help you?” becomes “How can we help each other build the world we both will live in?”
  • We need each other – Networks are stronger than individuals.  People help each other reweave communities of support, strength and trust.
  • Respect – Every human being matters.

Intrigued?
Contact us by email – timetraders(at)sustainabletucson.org

TUCSON TIME TRADERS
Building Tucson’s Empowerment Network 1 Hour at a Time

Massive default is best way to fix the economy

Massive default is best way to fix the economy
by Brett Arends – MarketWatch

Clearing away the debt is the only way forward

You want to fix this economic crisis? You want to put people back to work? You want to light a fire under the economy?

There’s a way to do it. Fast. And relatively simple. But you’re not going to like it. You’re not going to like it at all.

Default. A national Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The fastest way to fix this mess is to see tens of millions of homeowners default on their mortgages and other debts, and millions more file for bankruptcy. I told you that you wouldn’t like it. I don’t like it much either. It sticks in the craw that people got to borrow all that money and won’t have to pay it back.

But you know what? The time to stop that was five or 10 years ago, when the money was being lent. It’s gone.

And mass Chapter 11 is, by far, the least obnoxious solution to our problems. That’s because the real cause of our economic slump isn’t too much government or too little government. It isn’t red tape, high taxes, low taxes, the growing divide between the rich and the poor, too much government debt, too little government debt, corporations, poor people, “greed,” “socialism,” China, Greece, or the legalization of gay marriage. It isn’t, in short, any of the things all the various nitwits say it is.

It’s the debt, stupid. We’re hocked up to the eyeballs, and then some. We’re at the bottom of a lake of debt, lashed to an anchor. American households today owe $13.3 trillion. That has quadrupled in a generation. It has doubled just in the last 11 years. We owe more than any other nation, ever. And for all the yakking about how people are “repairing their balance sheets,” they’re not. From the peak, four years ago, they’ve cut their debts by a grand total of 4%. And a lot of that was in write-offs.

More than a quarter of American mortgages are underwater. Many are deeply underwater. In states like Nevada and Florida the figures are astronomical. The key thing to understand is that most of that money has gone to what a fund manager friend of mine calls “money heaven.” Most of these debts will never, ever be repaid in real money. Not gonna happen.

Think how corporations handle this kind of situation. It happens all the time. Banks and bondholders find they have lent, say, $1 billion to a company whose assets and earning capacity will only repay, say, $300 million. What happens? Does the company soldier on with $1 billion in debt it can never repay? Do the stockholders send back their dividend checks? Do they sell their homes to pay off the bonds?

Not a chance. The company goes through Chapter 11. The creditors ‘fess up to their blunder, they face up to their losses, and they fix it. They write down the loans and take the equity instead. The balance sheet is cleaned up, and the company starts again. Why not homeowners?

Most of the objections to this idea are well-meant, but misinformed. A fund manager I asked raised the issue of “moral hazard.” Why should anyone pay their mortgage if some people were getting a pass, he asked? The answer: For the same reason GE and Verizon kept paying the coupon on their bonds while Lehman Brothers defaulted. You want to keep your credit standing. And you want to keep your equity.

If a company defaults, the stockholders get wiped out. If a homeowner defaults, the bank takes the home. I like keeping my home, as well as my savings, and my credit rating. Most people are the same. Some will say the financial impact would be terrible. But the banks would just be facing up to reality. And a lot of these mortgages are already trading at distressed levels. Some will say, “why should people get away with borrowing imprudently?” The response: Why should the banks get away with lending imprudently?

There’s no point telling people not to borrow money. They always will. I have yet to see a Wall Street executive turn down free money. I have yet to see a company in an IPO say, “Don’t give us so much money!” People like money. They will take as much as they are offered. In a free economy, the people who are supposed to ration the loans are the lenders. Banks are supposed to lend carefully and responsibly. What else are they paid for? Accepting deposits? You could hire people on minimum wage to do that.

Some will say, “it’s immoral” for borrowers to default. Alas, most of these people are being inconsistent. They are usually the first ones to defend a company when it closes down a factory and ships the jobs to China, or pays the CEO $50 million for doing a bad job, on the grounds that “this ain’t morality, pal, this is business!” But when Main Street wants to do the same thing, they start screaming “Morality! Morality!”

We don’t live in an economy based on morals and fairness. T Mobile doesn’t charge me what’s “fair” each month. They charge me what’s on the contract. Your employer doesn’t pay you more if you need more. He pays you your economic value. Did Dick Grasso give back his bonus? Bob Nardelli? Dick Fuld? We operate in an economy based very firmly on contracts, and nothing else. Companies, and the wealthy, live by the letter of the law.

American mortgage contracts allow for default. Half of the states in this country are “non-recourse,” which broadly speaking means you can send in the keys and walk away from a bad loan. The other half are sort of “semi-recourse.” The bank can come after you for any shortfall, but only in a limited way. Broadly speaking they can’t touch retirement accounts and basic assets. You can typically keep your car, personal effects, often things like life insurance.

Most of the people who are deeply underwater don’t have that much anyway. And the banks knew this. When they were lending $500,000 to a bus driver with $1,000 in his checking account, they knew that their loan was only guaranteed by the value of the home. If they didn’t know it, they should have. Their incompetence is not our problem.

It’s tempting to say, “if someone borrows money, they should repay it.” Generally speaking, I agree. I pay all my debts. But while that makes sense when applied to any individual, it doesn’t work so well when it’s applied to everyone.

We have tens of millions who cannot repay their debts. But they are all trying to. That sucks huge amounts of money out of the economy. And that means these people cannot function properly as consumers or workers. That’s the reason people aren’t coming into your restaurant. It’s the reason people aren’t taking your yoga class. It’s the reason they haven’t hired you to redo the kitchen.

And so tens or hundreds of millions of perfectly responsible business owners and employees are also suffering from this slump. That’s the reason we have a shortage of demand. That’s the reason no one is hiring. Even worse: People who are underwater on their mortgage, but who do not want to default, cannot move to where the jobs are either. They are stuck with their home.

You want to break this logjam? Try Chapter 11 for the nation. Massive defaults. Clear the decks, clean the books.

What are the alternatives? Government cutbacks, higher taxes, and a balanced budget? In a normal economy, fine. But in this situation, when the private sector is also slashing its spending, that could lead to absolute catastrophe. That’s what happened in the Great Depression. And our debt levels are worse than in the Great Depression.

Government borrowing? That’s the Keynesian solution. “The consumer can no longer borrow like a crazy person,” says the Keynesian, “so Uncle Sam has to do so instead.” It’s just transferring private madness to public madness. Inflation? That’s probably the least bad alternative. But it’s just default by another name. And instead of taking money from the imprudent banks that caused the problem, it robs grandma’s savings.

Twice before, advanced economies have gone through what we are going through now — namely a massive hangover after a massive debt binge. The first was the U.S. in the 1930s, the second was Japan in the 1990s. The U.S. didn’t get out of it until the 1940s unleashed inflation and reduced the debt’s value in real terms.

Japan still hasn’t gotten out of it. They have deflation, while government debt has skyrocketed. The correct moral hazard is to punish the banks who lent imprudently by making them eat their own losses.

I told you that you wouldn’t like it. I don’t either. But the alternatives are worse.

Updated Primer on Ongoing Financial Crisis

The Automatic Earth is a unique, one-stop website which presents the world’s best current writing on the ongoing financial and economic crises. The following Primer lists key articles and analyses written by the Automatic Earth team.

Nicole Foss (aka Stoneleigh) writes:

It is time to undertake the yearly review and update of our primer guide, with a view to making it easier for our readers to see the entirety of our TAE worldview in one place. Primers are continuously added in order to flesh out the biggest possible big picture. This will continue as we move over to our new site later this year. These essays are not tied to the events of a specific day, week or month, but are the ones that take a step back and look at the world through a wide angle lens.

We have covered a wide variety of topics in the three and a half years of our existence. The point is to tackle complexity and make it comprehensible, rather than assuming away the context as most analyses do. All the strands of our century of challenges are interwoven, with each affecting the others. It is vital to understand those interactions, as well as to understand each separate topic and their relative timelines. Different factors will act as primary drivers at different times.

We retain our primary focus on Ponzi finance and the nature of markets, since the consequences of a major bubble implosion will have the greatest impact in the shortest time. Exploring those consequences, both within and beyond the financial realm is of immediate importance, given the scale of the impacts and how quickly they can manifest as a contraction picks up momentum to the downside.

As always, we cover energy as the master resource, and this year the major focus of new energy primers has been the catastrophe at Fukushima. We have also begun to cover the natural gas situation in North America in some detail, returning to the familiar theme of Ponzi dynamics.

Ponzi Finance:

The Resurgence of Risk, which appeared at The Oil Drum Canada in August 2007 provides the background to how we came to be in our present predicament. It is by far the longest of the primers, and its purpose is to explain in some depth the nature of our credit bubble, the role of ‘financial innovation’, the distinction between currency inflation and credit hyper-expansion and the mechanism by which value disappears as a bubble deflates.

For further explanation of the ponzi nature of bubbles, the spectrum of ponzi dynamics underlying many economic phenomena and the implications of this for where we are headed, see From the Top of the Great Pyramid.

This ties in with an earlier piece from The Oil Drum Canada, Entropy and Empire, detailing the progression of hegemonic power from empire to empire, as each rises, over-reaches, falls and passes the mantle on to its successor.

Real Politik:

The picture in terms of real politik (ie the way the world really works behind the scenes) is further developed in

A more specific look at Europe can be found in The Imperial Eurozone (With all That Implies).

Deflation:

When bubbles reach their maximum extent, they invariably deflate. Our explanation as to why this is inevitable can be found in Inflation Deflated, followed by, The Unbearable Mightiness of Deflation, a rebuttal to inflationist Gary North, and Debunking Gonzalo Lira and Hyperinflation.

The Nature of Markets:

We dispute classical economic theory and the received wisdom as to the nature of markets. Markets are not objective, mechanical and rational as the Efficient Market Hypothesis would have you believe. Our explanation of markets as human phenomena grounded in destabilizing positive feedback can be found in Markets and the Lemming Factor, A Glimpse Into the Stubborn Psychology of Fish and The Future Belongs to the Adaptable (with kudos to Robert Prechter, who has been developing the hugely important theory of socionomics for many years). Historical perspective with regard to bubbles and financial crisis is provided in The Infinite Elasticity of Credit, and a view of finance and ecology as analogous systems structure can be found in Fractal Adaptive Cycles in Natural and Human Systems.

Real Estate:

We have a number of articles on specific aspects of our current crisis. Our view of real estate can be found in Welcome to the Gingerbread Hotel and Bubble Case Studies: Ireland and Canada. Employment is covered in War in the Labour Markets and An Unstable Tower of Breaking Promises.

Currencies:

The Special Relativity of Currencies and Dollar-Denominated Debt Deflation address our view of currency inter-relationships and the value of currency relative to available goods and services.

Precious Metals:

Our take on the future for gold can be found in A Golden Double-Edged Sword, and our view of -global- trade is covered in The Rise and Fall of Trade.

Oil and Gas:

Our view of the intersection between peak oil and finance can be found in Energy, Finance and Hegemonic Power and Oil, Credit and the Velocity of Money Revisited. The notion of shale gas as a game-changer and a clean source of energy is challenged in Get Ready for the North American Gas Shock and Fracking Our Future. Ponzi dynamics feature once again.

Renewables and Electricity:

The prospects for renewable power are encapsulated in Renewable Power? Not in Your LifetimeA Green Energy Revolution? and The Receding Horizons of Renewable Energy.

Nuclear Power:

Nuclear power, in the aftermath of the Fukushima catastrophe, is covered in a series of articles written in the two months following the earthquake: How Black is the Japanese Nuclear Swan?The Fukushima Fallout FilesFukushima: Review of an INES class 7 AccidentFukushima: Fallacies, Fallout, Fundamentals and Fear and Welcome to the Atomic Village.

Health:

Departing from finance and energy, our contribution to the health debate, which is relevant to future food supply and storage, can be found in Our Daily Bread, or Not, As the Case May Be.

Summary and Lifeboat Prescriptione:

A point-form summary of our views for the future is available in 40 Ways to Lose Your Future, and our prescription for facing hard times is presented in How to Build a Lifeboat.

This is our attempt to convey what we as individuals can hope to do about it for ourselves, our families and friends. We cannot avoid living through a Greater Depression, but we can take action, and, being forewarned, we can hopefully avoid many pitfalls. We can attempt to avoid becoming part of the herd that is determined to throw itself off a cliff.

The big picture is of crucial importance as we have reached, and passed, the pinnacle of a golden age. We are moving into an era of uncertainty and upheaval such as none of us have hitherto experienced but all of us must try to navigate successfully. We at The Automatic Earth will continue to provide what assistance we can with that process. The TAE world tour continues, recently in the US, currently in Europe and in Australia after Christmas.

What is building Resilience and Sustainability?

Sustainability is the capacity to continue a desired condition or process either social, ecological or both. Resiliency is the ability of a system to adjust its configuration and function under disturbance. Both concepts are important as we seek to ensure a sustainable built-environment and economy which can function under changing conditions in the emerging future…  read more »

The peak oil crisis: reality on hold

The peak oil crisis: reality on hold

by Tom Whipple

 

As much of America bakes in some of the highest temperatures ever recorded and while Washington argues interminably over taxes, budget cuts and debt caps, one is struck by the unreality of it all. When the House of Representatives votes to preserve the incandescent light bulb for a while as a symbol of personal freedom, it is as if we have entered a wonderland where black is white, up is down and as a nation we have lost touch with reality.

 

Our media, the cornerstone of our democracy, clearly has failed to communicate something of great import to us. Perhaps it is the information overload of the electronic age. There is so much news that the big picture is lost in mountains of trivia – there are only so many minutes in day. Another possibility is that there is so much bad news out there, that nobody really wants to hear or think about it. Denial is overwhelming us.

 

At last count there were at least a dozen mega dangers looming on the horizon all of which have the potential to change the nature of global civilization in profound ways. Yet the body politic seems to take little or no notice and concerns itself largely with issues that will soon be swept away by change. These dangers range from the depletion of our fossil fuel and mineral resources, to shrinking food and water supplies, to rising oceans, to political upheavals.

 

Someday either the atmosphere will get so hot and food will run so short, or the gasoline will become so expensive, that every last sensate being will have absorbed the message that our civilizations and lifestyles are changing whether we like it or not. Not even the most demagogic politician’s claims that things can be put back the way they were will be believed. This day is clearly some years and more likely a decade or so away.

 

Thus we are in a period when some, perhaps much, of what we are doing will be in the long run prove to be counterproductive and lead to the widespread waste of non-renewable resources that could have been of much benefit in easing the hardships for ourselves and our progeny in the centuries ahead. Some of the problem we face is vested interests that fight to the end to preserve the current way of life. It is ironic that prominent among the opposition to the House vote to extend the life of the incandescent bulb was General Electric that had already spent heavily on producing the next generation of bulbs.

As a founding father said “We all hang together, or we all hang separately.”

 

The massive waste of resources that comes with continued construction of massive highways, inefficient gadgets, poorly insulated buildings, aircraft, etc. that are bound to be underutilized in the coming era of ultra-high energy costs is only one problem. The massive waste of education in training our young for jobs and professions that will not be useful in the coming age is another.

During the current period of denial, we are caught in a circle. Many are reluctant to admit that the problems we will soon be facing are so pervasive that only government can set policies and guide civilization in generally sensible directions. Most of those arguing for freedom to choose light bulbs have not grasped the idea that 90 percent of us would have trouble lasting six months should our electricity stop, our gasoline stations close, the water cease flowing, and the food stores shut. We live in a complex, interdependent civilization in which most have lost skills and the means necessary for self-sufficiency. As a founding father said “We all hang together, or we all hang separately.”

 

However, so long as a lot of us believe that we can reestablish economic growth, and wait for the return of the climate to “normal” our politicians will try to satisfy or at least say they will try to satisfy these aspirations. Change will only come when enough people realize that a return to life-as-we-knew-it a few years back is no longer possible or is at least unlikely. Unfortunately most of our media starts with the assumption that our current woes are only temporary and if we only wait long enough economic growth will resume has it always has in living memory and climate change will not turn out to be so bad as alarmists fears.

 

Changing a circle of unwarranted optimism that starts with the media, and carries on the voters, their elected representatives, and senior government officials, and then back to the media will be difficult. Realistically we can expect little to happen in the immediate future. Even weeks of 100 degree temperatures or even $4, $5 or $6 gasoline is unlikely to shift many prejudices in the short term. It is going to take a more severe shock — say food shortages or $10 plus gasoline — to shake the notion that a return to life as we knew it is still possible.

 

The idea that an economy can continue very long based on borrowed money, financial services, retail, and building houses will fade. America has some real assets to cope with the troubles ahead. Although we will no longer be able to enjoy the current rate of energy consumption, there is considerable room for the world to keep moving through more efficient utilization of dwindling energy resources. A simple shift in dietary habits to include less grain-wasting meat would have a major effect on the U.S. and world food supply. From transportation to recreation to housing, opportunities for massive efficiencies at very little cost abound.

 

Some of these efficiencies will come on their own merits; other will take some help. While alternatives to the incandescent bulb may cost much more, their much longer life and much lower power consumption will lead to much lower consumption and great benefits to society as a whole. Someday we will all understand this, but until that day there is much education to be done.

 

Tom Whipple is a retired CIA analyst who volunteers his services to ASPO-USA, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil -USA.

 

Published by Falls Church News-Press on 07/20/2011

Original article: http://www.fcnp.com/commentary/national/9712-the-peak-oil-crisis-reality-on-hold.html

 

 

Welcome to the Post-Growth Economy

Welcome to the Post-Growth Economy

by Richard Heinberg

 

During recent weeks, evidence has piled up that U.S. and European economies, far from recovering, are swirling back into recession. Failure of American politicians to address the federal debt crisis, the U.S. credit rating downgrade, and increasing fragility of European economies have investors running for the hills.

 

Concern is being voiced that we may be at a fundamental economic turning point. Deutsche Bank’s strategist Jim Reid even suggests that the western world’s financial system might be “totally unsustainable.”

 

As it happens, I’ve just published a book, The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality, that reaches the same conclusion, and that foresaw the economic relapse that’s playing out in headlines. The book’s content was finalized in March, when economic data appeared to show the nation in a recovery. I suppose I’m justified in saying “I told you so,” but others are as well. Herman Daly, former World Bank economist, has pointed out the absurdity of expecting continual economic growth on a planet with limited resources. Paul Gilding, former head of Greenpeace International, explains in his book The Great Disruption why climate change and resource depletion are bringing world economic growth to a close. And Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of GMO (one of the world’s largest investment funds), argues that, with ever more humans competing for a finite supply of natural resources, rising prices of metals, oil, and food are decisively choking off GDP growth.

 

Even if we are being proven right, this is no time for victory laps. Here’s the point. Daly, Gilding, Grantham, and I are saying that as humanity has chewed through the low-hanging fruit of our natural resources and has turned to lower-grade and more expensive ores and fuels, managers of the economy have attempted to keep growth going by piling up debt in the mistaken belief that it is money that makes the economy run rather than energy and raw materials. Now we’ve reached limits to government and consumer debt, and the realization of that fact is sending financial markets into fibrillation. If energy supplies and debt are both stretched tight, that means more economic growth isn’t possible. Worse, if policy makers fail to realize this and continue assuming that the current crisis is merely another turning of the business cycle, then we lose whatever opportunity still remains to avert a crash that could bring civilization to its knees.

 

Admittedly this is still a minority point of view. After all, in the “real” worlds of politics and economics, growth is essential to creating more jobs and increasing returns on investments. Questioning growth is like arguing against gasoline at a NASCAR race.

 

Liberals believe that stimulus spending by government will boost employment and consumer spending, thus flipping the economy back to its “normal” growth setting. But stimulus packages of the past few years have produced only anemic results, and governments can’t afford more of the same.

 

Conservatives nurture faith that if government spending shrinks, that will liberate private enterprise to grow profits and jobs. Yet countries that implement austerity programs show less economic growth than those whose governments borrow and spend—until the spending spree ends in bond market mayhem.

 

Neither side wants to acknowledge that its prescription no longer works, because that would imply the other side is correct. But maybe both liberals and conservatives are wrong, and growth is finished.

 

If Daly, Gilding, Grantham, and I are right, this is scary business. But there will be life after growth, and it doesn’t have to play out under conditions of misery. With less energy to fuel globalization and mechanization, there should be increasing need for local production and labor. We can reorganize our financial and production systems so that everyone’s basic needs are met. Indeed, if we focus on improving quality of life rather than increasing quantity of consumption, we could all be happier even as our economy downsizes to fit Nature’s limits.

 

But that benign future is unlikely to transpire if we all continue living in a dream world where growth knows no bounds.

 

The alarm bells are ringing. Wake up to the post-growth economy.

 

Published by Post Carbon Institute on  09/08/2011

Original article: http://www.postcarbon.org/blog-post/479727-welcome-to-the-post-growth-economy

 

 

Moving Planet – Connect 2 Tucson – A Day to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels

Moving Planet – September 24th, 2011: A Day to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels

JOIN THE RIDE: Connect 2 river paths on 2 wheels!

Celebrate the linkup of the Santa Cruz and Rillito river paths and ride beyond fossil fuels. Meet on the plaza south of Drachman Hall on the UMC Campus (Helen St and Martin Av).

Ride starts at 7:00 a.m.  Roundup and information exchange on the plaza, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Connect 2 Tucson is an all-ages, all-speeds, fun and family-friendly 22-mile loop ride (a shorter alternate route is available) through the UA, West University and Dunbar Spring neighborhoods, and Barrio Anita, then along the newly connected portions of the Pima County Urban Loop and the Mountain Avenue Bikeway.

Our event on Sept 24th is sponsored by 350.org, more information is available at

http://www.moving-planet.org/connect2tucson

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Connect-2-Tucson/266441083370150

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at 520.615.0381.

Sincerely,
Patsy Stewart
350.org Volunteer

GOGREEN ’11 PHOENIX | COMMUNITY PARTNER OVERVIEW

GoGreen ’11 Phoenix is a one-day sustainability conference for business that will inspire, educate and motivate professionals to deepen the commitment to green practices at their organizations. Spend a value-packed day connecting with business leaders, eco-visionaries, sustainability experts and like-minded individuals who will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to make your business more sustainable.

EVENT DETAILS

Date: NOVEMBER 15, 2011

Time: 8:30am-5:00pm 5:00pm Networking Reception

Place: Phoenix Convention Center

Website: http://phoenix.gogreenconference.net/

Follow Us: http://twitter.com/gogreenconf

http://www.facebook.com/gogreenconference

Community Partnership is 100% in-kind relationship that showcases the mutually supportive relationship between the GoGreen Conference and local sustainability or business-related non-profit community in the Phoenix region.

Community Partner Requirements

· Include promo paragraph (provided for you) about GoGreen ’11 Phoenix a minimum of (3) times in your email blasts between now and November 2011

· Put holly@gogreenconference.net on your email list to ensure we receive a copy of the promotion

· Announce and pass out GoGreen printed announcements (will be mailed to you) at your member meeting, within a month of the conference date

· Showcase your support and Community Partner status of GoGreen ’11 Phoenix on your Website and to your Social Media groups

· Send Holly the links to your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) so we can easily connect with you

· Send Holly your logo so we can feature the partnership on our website

Community Partner BENEFITS

· Your Logo + Link featured in Community Partners section of GoGreen Phoenix Website

· Your confirmed Community Partnership announced to our Social Media groups on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (distribution 5,000+)

· Your promo material (quantity of 200) featured on our GoGreen Community Partner table at event (OPTIONAL) Contact Holly for details of drop off time and location

· Special Discounted Rate for your organization membership via unique discount code (we provide), should any of your members choose to attend the event

Watershed Management Group Residential Site Tour

Sept 17, 2011

10 am – 4pm

Looking for inspiration and ideas as to how to green and beautify your home landscape without increasing your water bill? Watershed Management Group (WMG) is offering a self guided tour of residential rainwater harvesting systems. The tour will include examples of earthworks, greywater systems, and various types of cisterns and rainbarrels that capture rooftop run off for landscape and drinking water use. Tour attendies will be provided with a brochure which will contain maps, suggested bike and bus routes, as well as an overview of each site. Homeowners will be on hand to answer any questions that tour participants have.

Tour Costs are $5 for those taking the tour by bike or bus, or $10 per person if by car (sign in is required at each site).

To sign up please pay by credit or debit card at http://www.watershedmg.org/contribute and write hometour in the comments section or mail a check made to Watershed Management Group, P.O. Box 44205, Tucson, Arizona 85733. Checks should be received by Sept 10. Please leave an email address, so we can send your brochure electronically to save paper.

For more information call (520)396.3266 or email Co-op@watershedmg.org

Cob Workshop (natural building with clay and straw)

Stimulated by the positive response at Sustainable Tucson’s August general meeting on alternative building.
Javier Lopez and Tom Mendola are organizing an opportunity to play in the mud (tell your friends!)

You are invited to come participate in a cob/adobe bench building and green tea party.

We will make a few adobes and put together mud and straw in the “cob” tradition….and green tea will be served.

We will create/construct a serviceable bench, at Harmony and Health’s harmonic sauna on it’s land west of town.

Javier, a noted alternative underground home builder will instruct us in the finer points of building with the earth.

Saturday September 17th from 8am to noon
(don’t be afraid to come late)


Directions

approx 35 minutes from downtown Tucson, west on Ajo Way to mile marker 155,then right turn onto Hermans Rd, past the big bio-diesel bus with the solar panels, and 1st right (about 1/4 mile) onto Avra Rd, proceed 2/3 mile(going north) to”Terra Sante” gate on left, then approx 1/4 mile to Harmony and Health land on right,

Javier 520-313-6050 <tel:520-313-6050>
Tom 520-400-4489 <tel:520-400-4489>

please rsvp to tmendola@gmail.com

Vegan Potluck / talk about Ecocide

Hello,

My name is Kaylee Farnolli, I’m a senior in the School of Art at the University of Arizona. I’ve just returned from 6 months living and studying abroad in Mexico City. The people I met there have inspired me to call a community vegan potluck in an effort to spread the word about Polly Higgen’s proposal to make Ecocide the 5th official crime against the peace. I’m hoping to have a turnout of at least 25 hopefully much more. I would love it if one/some of the volunteers could come and share about Sustainable Tucson’s projects and talk about volunteer opportunities or any issue you’d like.

We will meet at Himmel Park in the SW corner at 5:30 PM

Please let me know if this interests you all,

Thanks!

Kaylee

Permaculture Course with Toby Hemenway – 6 weekends starting Nov 12-13

Permaculture Course with Toby Hemenway author of Gaia’s Garden, the best-selling permaculture book in the world at Native Seeds/SEARCH (NS/S) Conservation Center.

One weekend a month for six months beginning November 12 13. $1,000 tuition, $850 early bird if paid by October 21. Proceeds benefit NS/S. For more information: www.nativeseeds.org

 

Seed School – Native Seeds/SEARCH

 

October 30th – November 4, 2011 at the NS/S Conservation Center – 3584 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ

Join NS/S Executive Director Bill McDorman and special guests for a 6-day immersion into a new regional and sustainable seed production and distribution system. Bill is a 30 year veteran of the seed industry who has recently joined NS/S as Executive Director. Bill has founded three seed companies and co-founded several nonprofits.

Seed School is for gardeners, farmers, herbalists, nurseries, CSAs, nonprofits, government agencies and anyone else concerned with regional, sustainable and diverse agriculture

Proceeds benefit Native Seeds/SEARCH.

Lunch is included.

Early bird tuition – paid by October 7: $600.00.

Tuition after October 7: $700.00; Deposit to reserve a spot: $200.00.

Full payment is due two weeks prior to the starting date. Space is limited – sign up early, this is the last Seed School scheduled in 2011.

For more information: www.nativeseeds.org

What does a food cooperative do and why is it important?

Monthly Community Series – Ideas, Conversation, Food – 3rd Monday of every Month

Sep. 19, 2011, 5:30-7:30p, Native Seeds/SEARCH Retail Store, 3061 N. Campbell Ave.

Guest Speaker, Coley Ward, Marketing Mgr., Food Conspiracy Cooperative, “What does a food cooperative do and why is it important?”

Door Prizes! See our new Seed Room Library!

For more information: www.nativeseeds.org

 

Forum on flat income tax

If you think the idea of a flat tax on income is a good idea because it sounds simple and fair, come to this forum and learn what it will really mean to Arizona taxpayers if it passes in 2012.  For example, the taxes on 8 out of 9 Arizonans will increase! This free event will feature panelists Dr. Alberta Charney, an economist from the University of Arizona; Annette Stevens, a CPA familiar with tax issues; Dr. Eric Schindler, CEO of Child & Family Resources; Jim Murphy, from the Pima Council on Aging; and Grady Scott, pastor of the Grace Temple Baptist Church. It will be moderated by Bud Foster, reporter for KOLD-TV. This forum will be on Monday, September 12th at 6:30 PM at Temple Emanu-El, 225 N. Country Club Rd., just north of Broadway.