Edgar Cahn, TimeBanks USA – How President Obama Can Beat The Odds And Make Good On His Commitments

How President Obama Can Beat The Odds And Make Good On His Commitments

from Edgar S. Cahn, CEO TimeBanks USA,
Distinguished Professor of Law, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law

In his Inaugural Address, President Obama made some commitments that seem to defy fiscal reality:

  “A little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anyone else.”

  “We reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.”

  “We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.”

The problem: there are not enough funds, public, private, philanthropic to pay the cost, at market prices, for all the educational services and all the health care services needed to make good on those promises.

For a quarter century, the TimeBanking community has been demonstrating how to make the impossible possible.  There is vast untapped capacity in community.  We have proven that:

  • Healthy seniors and their families can provide reliable, informal care that reduces medical costs.

  • Fifth graders can tutor third graders who otherwise fail to attain essential reading levels.

  • Teenagers can tutor elementary school children using evidence-based cross-age peer tutoring.

How could this get paid for?  How can we record, recognize and reward labor from a work force that is not recognized or valued by the GDP?  For decades, the TimeBank community in the United States and thirty four other countries has been learning how to do it, teaching us all that every one of us has something special to give.

The function of a medium of exchange is to put supply and demand, capacity and need together.  What money does not value, TimeBanking does.  TimeBanking provides a tax-exempt, local medium of exchange that uses Time as a currency.  One hour helping another (regardless of mainstream market value) equal one Time Credit.  TimeBanking has proven capable of harnessing vast untapped capacity that the market does not value to address vast unmet needs.

Ask the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation which just made a major award to Neighborhood Health Centers of Lehigh Valley to utilize its TimeBank program as a resource to help build a super utilizer intervention program to reduce health care costs.  For ten years, home visits by Lehigh Valley TimeBank members functioning as health coaches and providing informal support have helped folks with chronic problems stay healthy and at home.

Ask Mayor Bloomberg’s Department for the Aging which has established TimeBank programs for seniors in all five boroughs to provide the kind of informal support needed to promote health and prevent unnecessary utilization of the emergency room care by elders.

Ask the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (with a 3,000 member TimeBank) that reports that 79% of TimeBank members felt that their membership gives them support they need to be able to stay in their homes and community as they get older and 100% reported they have benefited from becoming a TimeBank member.

Ask the National Education Association or do a Google search to see if Cross-Age Peer Tutoring rates the status of an evidence-based instructional and remedial strategy.

Ask the Washington State Office of Public Instruction for its authoritative manual on Cross-Age Peer Tutoring.

Ask the National Science Foundation why it granted nearly $1million dollars to Pennsylvania State University Center for Human-Computer Interaction to develop mobile apps for TimeBanking so every Smartphone user can be a time banker.

It’s time America discovered its vast hidden wealth: people not in the work force – seniors, teenagers, children, the disabled – whose energy and capacity has been tapped by TimeBanking for over a quarter century to strengthen fragile families, rebuild community, enhance health, promote trust, restore hope.

President Obama, if you want to do the impossible, it’s time to bet on each other and on our collective capacity.  TimeBanking supplies a medium of exchange that translates “Created Equal” into a currency that embodies that equality.  If we take it to scale, we can make good on delivering those “inalienable rights” to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness promised to every one of us by the Founding Fathers.

Also see TimeBanks USA and Tucson Time Traders

ST February Meeting – Tucson’s Economy – Feb 11

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown Tucson (in the large lower-level meeting room, free lower-level parking off Alameda St)

Local Economy • Financial and Monetary Innovation

Please join us for Sustainable Tucson‘s February Meeting where we’ll hear leaders and experts from Tucson and Phoenix, and engage everyone in discussion on the subject of sustainable local economy.

Our speakers will sketch the current economic condition of Tucson and the state of Arizona – prospects, challenges, and possible futures, and describe innovative approaches to exchange and finance that are emerging and could have a significant impact over the near term. We will look at the possibilities of public banking and alternative local currencies and exchange systems including community time banking, as well as innovative approaches to economic development for enterprises contributing to community resilience and sustainability – mutual credit clearing, micro-lending, and crowd-funding.

Tom GrecoBeyond Money – Tom, moderator of this evening’s program, is Tucson’s own world-renowned expert on innovative economic systems supporting community resilience and local economic independence.

Michael GuymonTucson Regional Economic Opportunities – Michael will speak on the state of Tucson’s economy. He is responsible for planning, developing and implementing the business development strategies of TREO to attract, retain and expand jobs and capital investment for the region.

Jim HannleyProgressive Democrats of America – Jim will describe ongoing efforts to institute Public Banking in Arizona. Also see the Public Banking Institute website.

C J CornellPropel Arizona – C J Cornell is Professor of Digital Media & Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, and founder of Propel Arizona, a new platform for internet crowd-funding for local projects in Arizona.

Winona Smith & Chris VansproutsTucson Time Traders – Winona and Chris are coordinators for Tucson’s local timebank, and will talk about how community timebanking can be significant in the healing and prevention of economic troubles. Participating in Tucson Time Traders is something everyone can do right now to strengthen local community and economy!

There will also be a tour and demonstration of Tucson Time Traders‘ website on the big screen from 5:30 to 6:00 pm before the main meeting starts. Come early, and/or join us online at timetraders.metasofa.org

Join us Monday, February 11th, 2013 at the Joel Valdez Library
in the large lower-level meeting room.

Doors open at 5:30 pm
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm
Free and open to the public

Also see Public Banking InstituteCenter for Advancement of Steady-State EconomySlow Money investing in local food • SeedSpotGangplanka message to President Obama from Edgar CahnST joins Timebank and past ST articles on Economy and Relocalization

Also see the comments on this article for audio recordings and followup notes & links…

Sustainable Tucson joins Tucson Timebank

Sustainable Tucson joins Tucson Timebank

Sustainable Tucson is a co-sponsor of our local timebank Tucson Time Traders, and Sustainable Tucson is also a member of Tucson Time Traders.

If you volunteer for Sustainable Tucson in the working groups, monthly meetings, or in other ways, you can get hours of credit in the timebank from Sustainable Tucson for the hours you contribute.  Likewise, if you benefit from the work of Sustainable Tucson, or would like to make a donation in support of the work, you can give some of your timebank credit to Sustainable Tucson.

Here is Sustainable Tucson’s member profile in the timebank,

About

Sustainable Tucson
Tucson Arizona USA Earth
www.sustainabletucson.org

Sustainable Tucson is a non-profit grass-roots organization, building regional resilience and sustainability through awareness raising, community engagement, and public/private partnerships.  Our members focus their action, advocacy, and research through working groups addressing the unprecedented challenges of our time, economic meltdown, climate change, population pressures, and resource depletion.

The mission of Sustainable Tucson is to create a community-wide network of people and organizations, facilitating and accelerating Tucson’s transition to sustainability through education and collaborative action.

Offered

Free Public Presentations – monthly meetings with speakers, documentaries, and audience discussion on sustainability issues in relation to education, politics, technologies, projects, and organizations – see www.sustainabletucson.org

Working Groups and Networking on sustainability topics – Water, Food, Green Building, Health & Healthcare, Nature Conservation, Waste Management & Recycling, Money & Local Currency, Neighborhoods & Communities, Transportation, Whole Systems, Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Economics & Relocalization, Politics & Activism, Education & Media, Arts & Culture – also see wanted

Website – current events calendar, local & global sustainability resource links (business, educational, government, and nonprofit organizations), and an archive of news & information articles and event postings since 2006 – www.sustainabletucson.org

Wanted

Leadership and participation in our sustainability working groups, and speakers and facilitators for our monthly public meetings on sustainability (see offered)

Help with updating and organizing our wordpress-based website www.sustainabletucson.org

Funding and donations to cover our operating expenses.  Also, your personal donations of timebank credit here in appreciation for the value of what we are providing (for example if you learned something important at a monthly meeting or from the website).  Your donated timebank credit will help us give timebank credit to our volunteers who are donating their time to the work of Sustainable Tucson.  Thank you!

If you’d like to join Tucson Time Traders, or would like more information, please go to timetraders.metasofa.org or come to a timebank orientation meeting.

Watershed Management Group – Short Courses – Jan Feb March

Tucson AZ

 

Watershed Management Group’s Watershed Technical Trainings (WTT) are hands-on design and implementation trainings to build the knowledge and skills of property-owners and practitioners alike.

As a non-profit organization, WMG’s goal is to offer green job trainings based in collaboration not competition; build applied skills of professionals; and teach universal principles and systems instead of product promotion.  Our courses bring together a wide variety of people, such as architects, engineers, resource managers, consultants, educators, policy makers, community activists, and property owners.

Upcoming courses are:

Urban Stream Restoration, Next scheduled course: Friday, January 18, 2013.  Apply by December 10 to get the most affordable rate.

Ferrocement Cistern Construction, Next scheduled course: January 31 – February 2, 2013 (tentative dates)

Community-based Green Infrastructure & Parking Lot Retro-fits, Next scheduled course: March 15-16, 2013 (tentative dates)

For more information and registration visit watershedmg.org/tech-trainings

ST January 2013 Meeting – Jan 14

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

Sustainable Tucson 2013
How We Can Take Action in the New Year

Lots of powerful efforts are happening in Tucson and around the world to make a more sustainable and secure future. Join Sustainable Tucson on Monday, January 14 as we begin a new year and decide on the main focuses of Sustainable Tucson in 2013.

This year, Sustainable Tucson will continue our efforts to help you find ways you can take action to make your own life, Tucson, and the whole world more and more sustainable.

At the January meeting, we will join our passions and find the areas that we really want to act on. Our goal is to find those things that not only excite you, but excite a lot of people. That way, it isn’t each of us acting alone. It is many people acting together.

What’s your passion – Having healthy, local food to eat? Tackling our share of global climate change? Developing a sustainable local economy that serves Tucson? – Come to this month’s Sustainable Tucson General Meeting and find others who share your passions. It is time to act… together.

Please join us Monday, January 14th, 2013 at the Joel Valdez Library, lower level meeting room.

Doors open at 5:30 pm
The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm
Free and open to the public

Also see Sustainability Actions Everyone Can Do and personally What You Can Do – Top 10, sketches for community-wide Sustainability Plans in the menu above, and articles & resources in the Topics in Focus menu and Archive Categories below.

Review: The Resilience Imperative: Cooperative Transitions to a Steady State Economy

Review: The Resilience Imperative: Cooperative Transitions to a Steady State Economy

by Jon Walker

 

What I love most about this book is the feeling you get that there is hope: solutions to environmental, social and financial crises do exist, they have been tried and tested all over the planet and all we have to do is get on with it.

 

The book is remarkable from several points of view. The extent and the depth of knowledge on which the arguments are based is truly impressive: it provides a history of money and corporations and co-operatives and land trusts from all over planet – emphasising the initiatives which have worked and survived and those which have been crushed by authoritative regimes.

 

Much of this needs to be common knowledge, for example, many successful banks which charged low-cost fees rather than interest were simply rendered illegal by their governments; booming cooperative movements were destroyed in Italy in 1921 (8,000 coops), in Germany in 1933 (4.5 million members) and Russia in 1918 (26,000 coops).

 

As the history unfolds it becomes clear that many of the kinds of institutions I had assumed were just out-performed by the corporations and banks were never given a chance. In reality, those in power just got rid of them. But there are many survivors – like the JAK bank in Sweden (which doesn’t charge interest) and the Cooperative Group in the UK – both of which continue to flourish.

 

The conclusions derived from this and several other innovations in the book are unavoidable: interest free banking does work and slashes the costs of borrowing, community land trusts are growing and enable far cheaper housing than freehold land schemes, cooperatives continue to grow and employ more people than all the multi-nationals put together. There are better co-operative economy ways to do almost everything: we don’t have to destroy our eco-systems and economics can be re-designed to benefit everyone.

 

The book is packed with inspiration – on local food, energy, housing, farming and, weaving all of this together, a better way of dealing with money. Perhaps the most impressive achievement is the way that the authors manage to hold all these elements together and demonstrate that resilience requires changes in all aspects of our lives. They show we need to change basic attitudes to almost everything, and to create a new set of values where well-being and eco-system health are more important than a set of numbers in your digital bank account. And, as the title suggests, a policy change away from economic growth as the primary objective to a resilient, sustainable way of living is fundamental.

 

The answers are everywhere. We can build houses which require almost no heating, we can feed ourselves with predominantly local foods, we can use the sun and wind and tides to generate energy, we can create communities which live in balance with their environment. The big questions still remain unanswered, however. Can we turn away from the current paradigm and begin to put all these ideas into practice for everyone, rather than see them working just in isolated pockets of resilience?

 

The authors argue their case at several levels but, for me, a constant thread is the need to reform the money-system; this stands out as a pre-requisite for broad-based change. As long as the majority of humanity is trapped into massive debt repayment, the possibilities for change will remain muted.

 

The solutions emerge clearly. We need access to debt-free money, we need access to commonly-held land, we need cooperative businesses which are designed for the benefit of the people who work or use them, we need regional solutions. And we need everyone to play their part in the transformation: a resilient society will only emerge from the efforts of resilient individuals and families. Functioning participatory democracy is needed at all levels from the work-place to the community to local government right up to the global. The authors are clear that international organisations like the farmers federation, La Via Campesina, are of crucial importance in building global alternatives to the current economic systems controlled by corporations and unelected bodies like the WTO.

 

So what if we all decided to live like this? The authors lead us gently through the consequences for the (very average) Hartwick family. For several of the proven innovations they provide us detailed calculations that they bring down to the household level to show the achievable dollar and cent savings. For example, the combined savings for an average household like the Hartwick’s in Canada over 25 years would be $363,000 if fee based financing, community land trust and basic energy conservation measures were applied. For the Hartwicks, a middle class family on average income, this translates into 12,095 hours of work at their wage level; imagine, this saving of almost 500 working hours per year. If one then adds back in the increased cost of paying a fair price for organic food over that time period, one would be better off to the tune of $286,969 plus have time left over to raise some food. Less debt means less pressure to grow, thus one could help save the planet and also save significant cash.

 

In many ways the books feels like a (nonviolent) call-to-arms: everything is collapsing around us, solutions exist and have been shown to work, and as governments seem completely incapable of doing anything, it really is down to the rest of us to stand up and be counted. So get this book and read it slowly – there is a huge amount to inwardly digest – and then decide what you’re going to do.

 

To misquote a previous work proposing radical change: all we have to lose are our economic chains and the threat of catastrophic climate collapse.

 

Jon Walker has worked in the UK co-operative sector since the 1970s, setting up and co-managing shops, warehouses, small-scale manufacturing coops, and most recently a community owned green grocer. He is also a member of the local Transition Town which is working to establish a local food economy, and finding ways to make with the local housing stock more energy efficient. He also lectures and publishes on the application of systems theory to co-operative organisational issues: his current book written with Angela Espinosa “A complexity approach to sustainability” examines the application of the Viable Systems model to the creation of a sustainable world from the individual to the global.

 

Published by Resilience.org on November 26, 2012

Published on Energy Bulletin (http://www.energybulletin.net)

 

Content on this site is subject to our fair use notice.

 

Energy Bulletin is a program of Post Carbon Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the world transition away from fossil fuels and build sustainable, resilient communities.

 

Source URL: http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-11-26/review-the-resilience-imperative-cooperative-transitions-to-a-steady-state-economy

 

Links:

[1] http://www.resilience.org/stories/2012-11-26/review-the-resilience-imperative-cooperative-transitions-to-a-steady-state-economy

 

Collaborative Redesign of the Sonoran Desert Foodshed – Localizing Our Food Supply – Gary Nabhan and Michael Brownlee – December 10

Free and open to the public at Pima Community College downtown, Amethyst Room, 1255 N Stone Ave, Tucson AZ (also see campus map for lots of free parking)

Collaborative Redesign of
the Sonoran Desert Foodshed
and Localizing Our Food Supply

with Gary Nabhan and Michael Brownlee

Please note special time and location
for this month’s Sustainable Tucson meeting,

Monday, December 10, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Amethyst Room, Downtown Pima College Campus

(near the Bookstore in the Student Union, 1255 N Stone Ave)
Doors open at 6:00 pm, meeting starts at 6:15 pm

Tucson currently imports about 98% of our food from outside the region. Tucson also wastes about 40,000 acre-feet per year of runoff from our streets and rights-of-way. And Tucsonan families spend nearly $2 billion per year on food, almost all of it from thousands of miles away and producing huge amounts of greenhouse gases in transport.

What can we do to insure Tucson has a food supply that is secure, nutritious, tasty, and local?   A lot!   Find out from two leading experts in local food and local economy,

  Gary NabhanCollaborative Redesign of the Sonoran Desert Foodshed: Imagining Next Steps for Tucson

  Michael BrownleeThinking Like a Foodshed: Localizing Our Food Supply

This presentation is co-sponsored by Pima County Food Alliance, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Community Gardens of Tucson, UA Southwest Center, Iskashitaa Refugee Network, Local First AZ, Sabores Sin Fronteras Foodways Alliance, ReZoNation Farm, Plant Based Nation, Local Roots Aquaponics, Local Food Concepts, and Abundant Communities Trust.

Gary Paul Nabhan is the Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona, and co-editor of State of the Southwest Foodsheds and Hungry for Change: Borderlands Food and Water in the Balance (both available on line).  An orchardkeeper of 70 varieties of heritage fruit and nut varieties in Patagonia, Nabhan was a co-founder of Native Seeds/SEARCH, Renewing America’s Food Traditions, and the Sabores Sin Fronteras Foodways Alliance.

A catalyst for relocalization, Michael Brownlee is co-founder of Transition Colorado, the first officially-recognized Transition Initiative in North America, working towards community resilience and self-reliance. Michael is the architect behind the Local Food Shift campaign to localize food and farming systems. He also co-founded Localization Partners LLC, a Slow Money affiliate, which is now investing in local food and farming enterprises as well as offering tools and processes for catalyzing food localization as economic development in communities across North America.

UK Tyndall Centre Interview: Rapid and deep emissions reductions may not be easy, but 4°C to 6°C will be much worse

 by Rob Hopkins

Published by Transition Culture on Fri, 11/02/2012  and republished by EnergyBulletin.Net  on Sat, 11/3/2012

Kevin Anderson is the Deputy Director of the UK Tyndall Centre and is an expert on greenhouse-gas emissions trajectories. He will be giving the annual Cabot Institute lecture, ‘Real Clothes for the Emperor’ on 6th November in Bristol, which has already sold out. I was hoping to be able to go and report on it for you here, but no longer can, so instead, I spoke to Kevin last week, by Skype. I am very grateful for his time, and for a powerful, honest and thought-provoking interview.

 

Could you share with us your analysis of where you think we find ourselves in terms of climate change and what’s our current trajectory if we carry on as we are?

 

In terms of the language around climate change, I get the impression that there’s still a widely held view that we can probably hold to avoiding dangerous climate change characterised by this almost magical 2°C rise in global mean surface temperature. This is the target that we have established in Copenhagen and then re-iterated in Cancun and to which most nations of the world have now signed up to; I think the rhetoric that we should not exceed this 2°C rise is still there.

 

It’s not just about our emissions now. If you look at the emissions we’ve already put out into the atmosphere since the start of this century, and you look at what’s likely to be emitted over the next few years, then I think it tells a very different story. It’s hard to imagine that, unless we have a radical sea-change in attitudes towards emissions, we will avoid heading towards a 6°C rise by the end of this century.

 

Can we for definite, in your opinion, say that this year’s extreme weather can be linked to climate change?

 

Certainly not. I think it’s fair to say that it’s unlikely we will ever be able to robustly link any particular single event to climate change. Now that’s not to say we can’t get a greater level of attribution, where we can start to say the things that we are seeing are what we would expect to see with a warming climate. We are struggling to find any other reasons for them and therefore it does seem a high probability that these events are caused, if not exacerbated by, the rise in CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases and hence the increase in temperature. But I think it’s unlikely that we’d ever be able to say that any single event is a ‘climate change event’.

 

But would you say that if we were still at 280 parts per million it would be much less likely that we would have had a summer like this?

 

Yes, I think that would be a fair comment. It would be much less likely. Before this summer, the probability of having this summer’s weather would have been less if we had not seen significant rises in greenhouse gases and their cumulative impact in the atmosphere. We are starting now to see events that it’s difficult to explain in terms of normal probabilities. We get extreme weather events, we always have had such events; extremes do occur. But if extremes start to occur regularly they’re no longer extremes, and what you’re then seeing is not a weather extreme, you’re seeing change in the climate. But it’s hard to say that any particular event in a range of events is a consequence of climate change, and not just an extreme weather event.

 

Sometimes people talk about this idea of ‘a new normal’, that the basic conditions around us have changed. In terms of what’s happening in terms of the climate, how would you characterise the ‘new normal’ that we’re in given the rise we’ve had in emissions so far?

 

I think it would probably be a very short normal, I don’t think this is the normal at all. It’s the normal for today, but I think the rate of increase of emissions, and there is no sign at all of that rate significantly coming down, would suggest that we’ll be reaching a new normal, and then another new normal, and then another new normal. I’m one of the people that concludes that we’re likely to experience significant climate change impacts over the next 1,2,3 decades and obviously beyond that point. At the moment, unless we change our emissions pathways and trajectory, the normal will be changing regularly.

 

You have already argued and you’ll be arguing in Bristol on November 6th that responding adequately to climate change and economic growth are no longer compatible. Could you flesh that case out a little bit for us?

 

Now I’m going to talk specifically about the Annex 1, the wealthy parts of the world, the OECD countries, broadly, the countries that are fairly well industrialised. In those parts of the world, the rate of reduction in emissions that would be necessary for us to even stay within an outside chance of avoiding dangerous climate change, characterised by the 2°C rise that we’re all internationally committed to, would be in the order of around 10% per annum.

 

Though a very approximate guide, it’s far removed from the 1, 2 or 3% that most energy scenarios or emissions scenarios consider. It is well beyond anything we’ve been able to countenance, well beyond virtually anything so far that we’ve analysed. What we know is that in the short term, because we need to start this now, we cannot deliver reduction by switching to a low carbon energy supply, we simply cannot get the supply in place quickly enough.

 

Therefore, in the short to medium term the only major change that we can make is in consuming less. Now that would be fine, we could become more efficient in what we consume by probably 2 – 3% per annum reduction. But bear in mind, if our economy was say growing at 2% per annum, and we were trying to get a 3% per annum reduction in our emissions, that’s a 5% improvement in the efficiency of what we’re doing each year, year on year.

 

Our analysis for 2°C suggests we need a 10% absolute reduction per annum, and there is no analysis out there that suggests that is in any way compatible with economic growth. If you consider the Stern Report, Stern was quite clear that there was no evidence that any more than a 1% per annum reduction in emissions had ever been associated with anything other than “economic recession or upheaval”, I think was the exact quote.

 

So we have no historical precedents for anything greater than 1% per annum reduction in emissions. We’re saying we need nearer 10% per annum, and this is something we need to be doing today. And therefore, we can draw a very clear conclusion from this, that in the short to medium term, the way for the Annex 1, the wealthy parts of the world to meet their obligations to 2°C, is to cut back very significantly on consumption. And that would therefore mean in the short to medium term a reduction in our economic activity i.e. we could not have economic growth.

 

Now we might have a steady-state economy, but my overall sense is that the maths probably point to us having to consume less each year for the next few years, maybe a decade or so.

 

Has that ever happened before? As I understand it, when the Soviet Union collapsed it was 9% cut and that was just for 1 year. What would 10% a year look like?

 

My understanding with the collapse of the Eastern Bloc countries was that the drop was about 5% per year for up to about 10 years. So what we saw there was a relatively prolonged, completely unplanned, and as it turned out very chaotic and uneven reduction in emissions, and even then only delivered about a half to a quarter of, the rate of reduction, what we would need for 2°C.

 

So as their economy collapsed, their emissions dropped by about 5% per annum for about 10 years. We would be needing at least 10% per annum if not considerably higher and for longer than a 10 year period. For the Soviet Union, the economic collapse, though a pretty terrible time for many people, still did not achieve the rate of reductions that we would need to be seeing here.

 

Of course our view is that to deliver on 2°C , we should plan the economic contraction. It need not necessarily have the devastating impact that it very clearly had, and very inequitable impact, in Russia in particular.

 

Given that the current administration or indeed any administration that would be elected in this country would never be able to run on a platform of shrinking the economy by 10% every year, what are the implications? How do the need to do that and democracy sit alongside each other?

 

Firstly I don’t say we have to reduce our level of consumption by 10% per annum in terms of material goods. I’m not saying our economy has to reduce by 10% per annum. The emissions have to come down at 10% per annum, but we should be able to get some efficiency improvements as well. So the economy would not have to come down as fast as the rate of emissions coming down. It’s very important to make that distinction, and of course the more low-hanging fruit that we can find, and I think there’s a lot more out there than we’ve discovered previously- the less the material contraction of the economy would need to be. From some of our provisional work we have identified some very significant improvements in the efficiency of how we do what we do; some technical, some behavioural.

 

I don’t think it’s necessarily as dire as you’re painting from an economic perspective. Nevertheless we are talking here at best a steady-state economy. The analysis that I and colleagues in the Tyndall Centre have undertaken would suggest there probably has to be a reduction in our consumption and an economic contraction.

 

How would we sell that? Well, we’ve sold it at the moment. It’s very clear in the UK and many parts of Europe that what we’re seeing is at best stagnation, if not an economic reduction in our level of consumption. So we have actually got that at the moment. We’re not all finding this utterly dire .. not that it’s been evenly spread, I think it’s been unfairly spread. I think equity should be one of our main considerations here. We have to bear in mind that even if we have an economic contraction that wouldn’t necessarily mean that for many people they would have to consume less.

 

I take the very clear view on this that the distributional effects would very likely mean that many people in the UK for instance would not see a reduction in their levels of consumption or their levels of wellbeing, but others of us in the UK, like myself, would certainly have to see reduction in levels of consumption. Probably not a reduction in levels of wellbeing but certainly in levels of consumption. So I think distributional impacts might mean that it could be much more attractive, or less unattractive, to policy makers than at first sight it would seem.

 

Particularly given that we face a lot of issues now with unemployment, welfare reductions etc., issues that disproportionately affect people in the middle-lower income band; it is these people that could actually benefit from a transition to a much more efficient and lower carbon economy.

 

The implications will obviously have to be thought through, but any government that embraced a more sophisticated analysis of climate change would likely recognise the economic situation that we have got ourselves into anyway with our current model. Put those two together and there are real opportunities now for a significant transition in how we do what we do; a transition away from the dogmatic economic growth model and towards a steady-state low carbon alternative.

 

What do you see as the role, certainly in terms of the Transition approach, as very much about what a bottom-up, community-led response to that looks like, what’s your sense of the role that communities can play in making that happen?

 

I take the view that the community approach, the bottom-up approach, is absolutely pivotal to resolving some of the challenges and issues that we find ourselves facing now. So I think communities are really important here. They’re important in a number of ways.

 

You might make an argument that the actions of any individual, of any household, of any local community, in and of themselves are relatively insignificant, I all too often hear this. The point is less about the emissions of an individual, though still important, but more about the example it sets. It gives other people the opportunity to see that you can do something differently.

 

If communities, and even if it’s only one or two communities are starting to do things significantly differently, that means we have an example of what we can do. If those examples are successful they can spread. Once they spread, policy makers can start to see those examples at work and can start to set a top-down agenda that can coincide with the bottom-up agenda. We can actually point policy makers to where it’s working and make arguments for implementing policies that would facilitate those sorts of changes.

 

If we are going to get out of the hole we’ve got ourselves into there’s real scope for some partnership between bottom-up-individuals, through to communities etc. – and top-down, trying to facilitate initiatives as they emerge. It’s the kind of partnership we need if we are going to see real substantive change. And if we see that in the UK, that helps within the EU and can signal a wider, global transition. I think we all have a responsibility to try and bring these changes about in our own lives and our immediate environments, and actually this could be significant. What we do ourselves is absolutely central to bringing about substantive change.

 

What do you see as being the role of scientists in all this? Should they only focus on definitely proven science or move more towards how James Hansen is taking more of an activist stance. How do you see that balance between science and activism?

 

This is quite a difficult question. My view here is that as scientists we have to behave as scientists. Now we are human beings, and so science will never be the perfect, objective, neutral profession that the textbooks might try to describe it as. Nevertheless I think it is really important in our science to remain neutral and objective, as much as we ever can. Science is not about black and white, there is a huge amount of uncertainty in a lot of science, there’s a huge amount of probabilities and clearly climate change has a lot of this wrapped up in it. But I think it is absolutely pivotal that as scientists we behave as scientists.

 

Now as individuals, as citizens – we may be scientists but we are also citizens – I see nothing wrong with standing up and saying I think my and other people’s science raises concerns for society and so I have to chosen to act on that analysis. There is a duality here. An individual can, as a scientist, produce their work neutrally, and then they can use that work to inform how they act as a citizen.

 

If Hansen and others want to chain themselves to bulldozers building new runways, that is their choice as a citizen, I don’t disagree with that. What I would disagree with is that if anyone starts to misuse science to support other sets of views. Because people like Hansen’s analysis looks to be more extreme, people then assume that he is pushing the boundaries of the science. I think the scientists that are pushing the boundaries are those that are deliberately, and I know many of these people, holding to a line that is politically palatable, because that is what politicians, what their pay masters, what society wants to hear.

 

Actually I think Hansen and some of those scientists who are prepared to stand up and make quite strong statements from their science are the ones that are being more neutral and objective; far too many of the scientists who are working on climate change, are towing, in my view, a political line. It looks like it’s neutral because it doesn’t sound extreme, it fits within the orthodoxy. But that is not the way we should be doing science. Whether it fits within the orthodoxy or not we should be objective, robust, direct and honest about science.

 

You spend a lot of your time surrounded by all the papers and research and stuff that’s coming out, all the models that get worse and worse. How do you personally cope with that, and what do you do in your own life that’s motivated by what you encounter in your professional life?

 

I have to say it gets increasingly difficult, it has affected my personal life quite considerably over the last few years and is getting worse. I find it very hard to engage with the science and then not link that to what we as individuals, what society, what policy makers are doing, or evidently not doing. It has been really challenging for me with some work colleagues, less so in the immediate group that I’m involved with here in Manchester, but certainly wider colleagues who I work with on climate change who, it seems to me, have no regard for what their research tells them.

 

For many, but with significant exceptions, their work seems to be little more than something that pays the mortgage. I find that quite difficult. I take the view that it is incumbent on us as scientists and citizens that we should be changing what we’re doing in our own lives, and I think that people would take much more note of the analysis that we do if we decided to live broadly in accordance with our science. In my view, far too few scientists who work on climate change actually do that.

 

But also I find it increasingly difficult not to challenge friends and family, who often appear to have complete disregard for the impacts of their action. I’ve got to the point now where I think that when we’re profligately emitting, we’re knowingly damaging the lives and the prospects of some of the poorest people in our communities, both in the UK, but more significantly globally. Yet we obscenely carry on doing this. We’re happy to put a few pence into a collection pot in the middle of town to help people living in poorer parts of the world but we don’t seem to be prepared to make substantive changes to how we’re living our lives- even when we recognise the impact our emissions are having.

 

And yet science is pretty clear on this, that vulnerable people in the poorer parts of the world will suffer dire repercussions of what we are doing now and what we’ve already done. I find that almost reprehensible that scientists are able to completely ignore such a very clear message; we know that the people on the coastal strips of Bangladesh will suffer very significantly from our behaviour as will many other people, poor people around the world. And we really do not collectively as a society and even often as individuals demonstrate any meaningful care or compassion.

 

I’ve cut back on many of the activities I previously pursued. Many of my friendships linked to activities; as a keen rock climber, I used to travel away for breaks by plane. This has all had to change quite considerably. I have close friends from when I used to work in the oil industry, friends who think climate change is a serious issue but are not prepared to make any changes to their lifestyles. It has raised some serious challenges for me in maintaining personal relationships.

 

I don’t want to pretend that it’s easy. I do not think that the future, for those of us that are in the very fortunate position of living in the West, is full of win-win opportunities. People who have done well, very well out of our western system, and live very carbon profligate lifestyles are going to face difficult challenges, and we should not pretend otherwise.

 

Until we actually embrace alternative means of finding value in our lives, I think that transition from where we are today, high-carbon, high-energy lifestyles, to ultimately lower-carbon lifestyles is going to be both difficult and unpopular. But ultimately, I do not see an alternative. Rapid and deep emissions reductions may not be easy- but 4°C to 6°C will be much worse.

 

Do you see any possibility that that might come from and be led by government?

 

No, I don’t think it will be led by government. I don’t think it will be led by anyone. I think it will be an emergent outcome of a society that cares, of which government is part and citizens and individuals are part as well. I have never particularly liked the idea of great people, of wonderful leadership, I much more believe in an emergent system, the properties and values that are embedded within a system.

 

Now we might see that, manifested sometimes in a leader, but it actually is an outcome of that society moving in a particular direction. So that’s why, to me, I’m not looking for some great person to come on their white charger and take this forward. I’m looking for all of us to engage, and out of that will emerge a new way of thinking of the world.

 

Given the economic challenges, crisis, whatever we want to call it, that we are seeing at the moment, this is a real opportunity for change. An opportunity we need to grasp. We need to think differently, think positively, but recognise in my view that it will not be easy. We can institute these changes ourselves both bottom-up and top-down. It is this kind of leadership we need, leadership from all of us.

 

Do you think from a climate change perspective actually a deepening and a worsening recession is the best thing that could happen to us?

 

At the moment I just see it as blaming everyone else. Inequity is going up, not down. Recessions are not good times– we clearly are not all in it together. Many of us have not made any changes to the restaurants that we go to, the hotels that we go to, the holidays that we take, and yet the other side is we are completely stripping back welfare, and we’re not investing in green infrastructure. We’re constantly putting money, a third of a trillion into the banks, not into a new grid network or a new set of renewable technologies or retro-fitting houses. So we have the prospect of doing things differently, offered us by the recession but we’re letting those opportunities go, on a day to day basis we’re throwing these opportunities away. It could be a much more positive drive toward a low carbon and resilient society than it’s turning out to be.

 

Bill McKibben argues that we need to get back to 350 parts per million. Is that possible?

 

Well it is in the very long term. But within the sort of time frame that we’re talking about at the moment, unless the geo-engineering routes work and I think we have to be very cautious about sucking the CO2 out of the air when we can’t even turn the lights off when we leave a room at the moment! I find this quite bizarre, but it is not to say we shouldn’t spend some money now on research into negative emission technologies.

 

I think it highly unlikely that we’ll get back to 350 within quite a lot of generations. That’s not to say we shouldn’t have it as a goal, but what I think we should be looking to do is to stabilise the concentration as quickly as possible at the levels they are today. They’ll be higher tomorrow and higher the day after that. What we need to do immediately is to stop that rate of growth and then get the CO2 out of the atmosphere as quickly as we can.

 

I don’t know whether we’ll be able to suck the stuff out. At the moment it’s a long way away. It’s a Dr Strangelove future. That’s not to say it may not have some purchase in the long-term but at the moment we’re digging out shale gas and tar sands and lots of coal. We’re going to be digging under the Arctic. We don’t need to concern ourselves too much with geo-engineering for the future, we just need to stop getting fossil fuels out of the ground today.

 

You talked about the need to cut emissions by 10% a year and how difficult that’s going to be and how it’s not going to be an easy thing and it’ll affect every aspect of what people do, particularly the people who are used to having it better. Can you describe a bit what you think it’ll look like when we get there? What’s your vision of what things would be like if we actually do this successfully, if we’re able to muster the will and the collective spirit and we actually manage to pull it off? Can you describe what it might be like when we get there?

 

This is quite hard… what will the future look like? It’s difficult for us as scientists and engineers not to impose our other personal ways of seeing the world. There are particular changes that I would like to see the world achieve that are not related to carbon or climate change, not to embody those in my view of the future is not easy.

 

I’m 50 years old now. I had a very good life in the 1970s and a pretty good life in the 1980s. I don’t think my quality of life has significantly improved since the 1970s and 80s, and yet my emissions and the emissions per capita have really gone up very significantly.

 

So we have lived good quality, relatively lower-carbon lives than we are today, not very long ago. Now a lot of that was because we consumed less. We still lived fairly high-consumption lifestyles, and I think if we allied the technical expertise that we have now that could really improve the technologies that we actually use to deliver lifestyles that are very good – we’re not talking about going a long way back to times when people were very impoverished.

 

We had good medical treatment, we had good schools, good transport networks. So I think we can ally both our current technical skills and abilities, with a recognition that we consumed considerably less than we consume today but had a not noticeably different lifestyles – going back to the 50s, 40s or the 30s would be very different, but I don’t think that’s true for the 70s and 80s.

 

Such a transition would certainly be challenging, with some significant equity and distributional impacts, and with a shift in emphasis from a strongly individual and consumption based society to one that embraces more collaboration. I acknowledge this would be more attractive to me, but I recognise that some people would not see such change in a positive light. Nevertheless, I think it’s hard to imagine ourselves getting out of the hole we’re in without a greater degree of collective effort.

 

I don’t think we should be looking to go back to the point where we can’t travel, and where we’re living austere lives. With a greater degree of equity, scarce energy resources can be balanced with high-welfare lives.

 

It’s a future about sufficiency more than it is about greed and wants, whether it’ll be radically different from where we are today will depend on how fast we respond now, but I don’t think it necessarily has to be. We will have lots of opportunities to behave differently, adopt lower consumption habits, and ally that with significant changes in the types and the efficiency of the technologies that are already available. All this could steer us in a resilient low-carbon direction.

 

Do you think the tradeable energy quotas that David Fleming came up with would be a useful tool for that?

 

Myself and my colleague Richard Starkey at the time did quite a lot of work on that, in fact we knew David quite well. Yes, I think it’s certainly one very serious route to consider and indeed David Miliband was quite keen on it at the time, DEFRA eventually dismissed it as “an economic instrument beyond its time”, so it was for the future. Well maybe the future’s here now and we should re-consider using it. It adds a very good equity dimension that demands greater changes from those of us that emit more than others. Coincidently, it is this fairness aspect that could drive innovation and the early adopters more than taxes and other economic instruments whereby high-emitters may be able to buy themselves out of change.

 

I think there’s some significant merit in it as an approach. Setting it up will not be easy. But we have to remember – people say it’s like rationing, well we’re all rationed by what’s called our salary, our income. So we’re all familiar with rations. We are all the time juggling our rations of resources because of what we can and cannot afford. This is just one more of them.

 

I’m not sure it’s quite as difficult as some people suggest to imagine to have to ration, particularly if it only relates to our household energy consumption, electricity, gas and so forth and our vehicle consumption. I think as you start to extend it beyond that it becomes more problematic but I think applied to households and transport it could be a useful tool in catalysing widespread and more equitable engagement and more effectively driving innovation and deployment than would standard economic instruments.

 

Content on this site is subject to our fair use notice.

Original article: http://transitionculture.org/2012/11/02/an-interview-with-kevin-anderson-rapid-and-deep-emissions-reductions-may-not-be-easy-but-4c-to-6c-will-be-much-worse/

EnergyBulletin.Net  is a program of Post Carbon Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the world transition away from fossil fuels and build sustainable, resilient communities.

Climate Change and Energy Decline: Building resilient communities in the SW United States – Guy McPherson – November 5

at Pima Community College downtown, Amethyst Room, 1255 N Stone Ave

 

Climate Change and Energy Decline:
Building resilient communities
in the southwestern United States

with Guy McPherson

Co-sponsored by Tucson Audubon Society
and Sustainable Tucson

Please note special time and location for this month’s Sustainable Tucson meeting,

When:  Monday, November 5, 2012, 7:00 pm
Where:  Pima Community College’s downtown campus, Amethyst Room on 1255 N. Stone Ave. Easy parking! Central location! See map

Consider how many of the things that you do in your life have been made simpler by the use of cheap fossil fuels and how our planet has changed as a result. How will increasingly scarce and expensive fossil fuels affect how you live your life? Guy McPherson changed his life completely when he considered this question, reducing his use of non-renewable resources and living a more sustainable existence. He has now moved on to considering the social and economic effects of our changing climate. Guy will sign copies of his memoir, Walking Away from Empire, after his talk.

Guy was one of the “local voices” in 2006 and 2007 during the time when  a diverse group of community activists formed Sustainable Tucson. His 2006 article, “Rising gas prices, sporadic shortages are signs of the impending Tucson apocalypse” in the Tucson Weekly and his 2007 article, “Peak oil scenario paints frightening future for all”  published by the Arizona Daily Star helped educate Tucsonans to begin to respond to the emerging sustainability crisis.

To understand the latest climate change scenarios, read this recent interview with Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director of the UK Tyndall Centre, a major global climate science research center, click here.

Natural Beekeeping – NS/S free salon – Oct 15

at Native Seeds/SEARCH Retail Store, 3061 N Campbell Ave, Tucson AZ
(note new time 5 to 7 pm)

Natural Beekeeping with Jaime de Zubeldia from ReZoNation Farm

Why is beekeeping so popular? What do we need to know about beekeeping specific to our region? Local beekeeper Jaime will share natural beekeeping methods and provide an understanding of how honeybees interact with their environment. Learn how to increase their numbers for reproduction and avoid hive disease.

Native Seeds/SEARCH Salons happen every third Monday of the month at our Retail Store at 3061 N. Campbell Ave, and have a little something for anyone who has ever wielded a fork or pitchfork. Bring your juiciest ideas and appetite for mind-watering conversations.

Native Seeds/SEARCH is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Tucson, Arizona.

Seeds of Freedom – Tucson Film Premiere – Oct 16

at Native Seeds / SEARCH Conservation Center, 3584 E River Road, Tucson AZ

 

Seeds of Freedom – Tucson film premiere

In conjunction with World Food Day and part of the Act for Seed Freedom Fortnight, we will screen a short documentary exploring the importance of seed saving and the current threats to the practice.

A discussion led by NS/S Executive Director Bill McDorman will follow the film.

Location: NS/S Conservation Center, 3584 E River Road

$5 suggested donation.

Limited seating – register at info@nativeseeds.org

NativeSeeds.orgGMOFreeTucson.org

Fermentation Talk and Workshop with Sandor Katz – NS/S – Oct 22

Free, at Native Seeds/SEARCH Retail Store, 3061 N Campbell Ave, Tucson AZ

Can’t get enough kombucha, kimchi, or sauerkraut? Join us for a special evening with fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz, author of the bestselling Wild Fermentation. Sandor will answer your questions and share tips from his latest book The Art of Fermentation, which offers the most complete guide to home fermentation ever published. Copies will be on sale for a book signing after the discussion.

Rainwater Harvesting Rebate Class – WMG – Oct 11

Rainwater Harvesting Rebate Class

Spaces are still available in Watershed Management Group’s upcoming session to fulfill the educational requirement for Tucson Water’s rainwater-harvesting rebate. The next class is scheduled for Thursday, October 11, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Tucson Water is offering rebates on qualifying rainwater harvesting projects, including tanks and earthworks. Two tiers of rebates cover full-system expenses up to $300 or 50 percent of expenses up to $2,000. A requirement to receive the rebate program is attendance at a three-hour educational session such as this one. We expect to offer approximately one session per month, depending on demand.

Complete information and online registration can be found here or by calling 520-396-3266.

Storm Water Harvesting – WMG Green Living Co-op Workshops – Oct 11,13,14,21,27

Click these links for more details:

Thursday October 11, 7am – 12pm
Saturday October 13, 8am – 1pm
Sunday, October 14, 7am – 12pm

Sunday, October 21, 8am – 1pm

Saturday, October 27, 8am – 1pm

 

Watershed Management Group – Residential Green Infrastructure Workshops

Join Watershed Management Group’s Tucson Green-living Co-op for a series of workshops this October that are designed to turn a stormwater problem into a plant irrigating, street shading, solution. We will use Green infrastructure techniques to slow down and keep storm water on site and to divert street floods into streetside infiltration basins via curb cuts.

These small scale Green infrastructure workshops will be associated with a single residence and the home owner will be required to maintain the basins both on their property and in the right of way.

Watershed Management Group’s Green Living Co-op has been helping Tucson residents install home-conservation features since 2008. Based on a barn-raising model (which we call “doing labor with your neighbor”), free Co-op membership allows residents to earn a discount on installations at their own homes by volunteering hours at other members’ homes.

All workshops are led by WMG’s expert workshop instructors, who can also help design professional water harvesting systems that qualify for both Tucson Water’s rainwater-harvesting and greywater rebates.

Visit www.watershedmg.org/co-op for more information,
and see WMG’s Tucson calendar www.watershedmg.org/calendar-tucson

Challenges in Vertical Farming – all-day workshop & live webcast – Sep 26

live webcast from University of Maryland Conference Center

 

Workshop on the “Challenges in Vertical Farming

September 26, 2012
The Marriott Inn & Conference Center, University of Maryland University College
3501 University Blvd, East Hyattsville, Maryland 20783 USA

http://challengesinverticalfarming.org

We are pleased to announce an NSF funded workshop on the “Challenges in Vertical Farming”, which will be held on September 26, 2012 at the University of Maryland Conference Center.

We have assembled a group of experts from around the world to address various aspects – horticulture, lighting, irrigation, automation, architecture, economics, business development and outreach related to Vertical Farming as a form of Urban Agriculture, who will provide their expertise within a full day of presentations and discussions. Attendance may be in person or through live Webcast. More information including the list of speakers and registration for attendance (select ‘in person’, or via ‘live webcast’) are available at http://challengesinverticalfarming.org

The goal of the workshop is to capture the state of the art in agriculture in controlled environments, to define a research agenda for the future and to establish a working group at the nexus of Agriculture, Engineering, Economics and Architecture with focus on Urban Agriculture. The output of the workshop will be a report that could serve as the basis of research agenda by agencies such as the NSF, USDA and USAID.

Please feel free to forward this notice to those interested in participating in the workshop.

The Workshop organizers are led by Sanjiv Singh of Carnegie Mellon University, and include:

DICKSON DESPOMMIER (COLUMBIA) GENE GIACOMELLI (UNIV OF ARIZONA) MARC VAN IERSEL (UNIV OF GEORGIA) JOEY NORIKANE (FRAUNHOFER) GEORGE KANTOR (CARNEGIE MELLON) NIKOLAUS CORRELL (UNIV OF COLORADO) and MICHAEL HOADLEY (FEWZION)

Here is some motivation for these efforts:

By the year 2050, we expect human population to increase to 9 billion and to be further concentrated in urban centers. An estimated billion hectares of new land will be needed to grow enough food to feed the earth. At present, however, over 80% of the land suitable for raising crops is already in use. Further, if trends in climate change persist, the amount of land available for farming will decrease. Since crops consume 87% of all water used globally, an increase in water usage is not possible. Finally, while the need is for 50% higher yield by the year 2050 to maintain the status quo, we expect agricultural productivity to decline significantly across the world, especially in densely populated areas. There is an urgent need for high-yield agriculture that decreases the use of water and carbon based inputs per unit of product, while simultaneously reducing vulnerability of crops to natural environmental conditions. Vertical Farming (using controlled environments for urban agriculture) will reduce transportation energy required from the distant outdoor farms. Recent implementations have shown high yields in the production of vegetables in controlled environments. Water usage has been significantly reduced compared to traditional outdoor farming, and crops are shielded from adverse climate, and, from pests and diseases. In addition, Vertical Farming has the potential to provide fresher and healthier produce to the local consumer.

Since no one community or technology holds the magic key, the opportunity for is to collectively enumerate and prioritize the challenges that must be addressed to bring high yield, resource efficient agriculture to fruition. The greatest contribution from this workshop could be a roadmap for governmental agencies and researchers to follow as they weigh their priorities in the coming years. Obviously the needs will vary depending on the locale addressed– we expect that the needs for developing countries will be different than those that are less resource constrained. The goal of our workshop is to capture the state of the art in agriculture in controlled environments, to define a research agenda for the future and to establish a working group at the nexus of Agriculture, Engineering, Economics and Architecture. The output of the workshop will be a report that could serve as the basis of research agenda by agencies such as the NSF, USDA and USAID.

http://challengesinverticalfarming.org

How Do We Grow Our Food? – Native Seeds/SEARCH Free Monthly Salon – Sep 17

at Native Seeds/SEARCH Retail Store, 3061 N Campbell Ave, Tucson (please note new time)

 

How Do We Grow Our Food?

A panel discussion with growers from River Road Gardens, High Energy Farm, Sleeping Frog and the NS/S Conservation Farm.

No till, cover crops, Effective Microorganisms, biodynamic and good ole elbow grease are some of the many strategies employed by our local growers. Learn about favorite methodologies from our favorite farmers and take some great insights home to your own garden!

Native Seeds/SEARCH Retail Store, 3061 N. Campbell Ave.

www.nativeseeds.org

Fall 2012 One Day Workshops – Sonoran Permaculture Guild

Fall 2012 One Day Workshops – Sonoran Permaculture Guild

For full class descriptions, registration information, and FAQs for these workshops, please go to http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/

 

Designing a Home Greywater System – September 22nd, 2012

This one-day class provides a basic understanding of residential greywater system design, function, application, and applicable building codes. Participants will work with an aerial photo of their own residence (provided by the instructor) to identify and evaluate the potential of their own greywater sources and design a workable plan for a greywater system for their own home. Class will end with a short walking tour (less than 1 mile) of greywater systems at several permculture sites in the neighborhood.

For class details and registration info, please see http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/

Wild Foods of the Sonoran Desert – September 29th, 2012

Learn to eat from what you find in the forest! Join local herbalist, John Slattery, on a wild foraging journey in our local Santa Rita Mountains. We will be exploring the great diversity of native wild foods which exist in our local habitat. Numerous wild foods will be identified, and we will gather and prepare some select edibles. Basic topics covered will include: Proper Identification of Edible Species, Time of Year for Proper Harvest, Methods of Preparation, Location, Environment, and Habitat for each Plant. We will carpool to the Santa Rita Mountains.

For class details and registration info, please see http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/

Introduction to Growing Food at Home – October 6, 2012

The future of sustainable agriculture will be in small to medium scale organic food gardens grown right in and around our cities. In this workshop that includes hands-on work, you will learn how to set up a complete desert vegetable garden. We will show you how to increase your garden’s health, production, and nutrient value, using an integrated system of compost, mulch, companion plant selection, and irrigation to improve fertility, structure, and life in your soil, and produce food with minimum water use. We will conclude the class with an exploration of “food forests”- a diverse layering of annual and perennial food plants that can help increase garden health through permaculture strategies.

For class details and registration info, please see http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/

Introduction to Permaculture Design – October 13th, 2012

In this design workshop, you will learn how to map out the natural story of the place where you live. Then you will put together an exciting, long term plan for your sustainable home and landscape – one that takes care of people and takes care of the environment at the same time. We will practice the skills and strategies needed to do Permaculture design, like mapping out the natural and person-made forces that effect our site and using simple elevation finding tools. Bring a sketch of your site or yard that you want to design. This class is held at the Sonoran Permaculture Guild’s Ramada classroom site one and a half miles north of downtown Tucson, where you will see Permaculture design and implementation demonstrated on site.

For class details and registration info, please see http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/

Build A Straw Bale House or Wall, Tuesday evening – October 16th, 2012

In this non-hands on seminar you will learn about straw bale construction and the advantages of super insulation, thick walls, and ease of construction. Handouts and a complete discussion of the current straw bale code, detail drawings of windows and doors, and additional tips to make your building experience easier are included. This class also includes a complete slide show from start to finish on how to build a straw bale house or wall, as well as a demonstration of special tools and props that work well with straw bale construction. Co-Sponsored by Pima Community College.

For class details and registration info, please see http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/

Natural Building and Passive Solar Design – October 20th, 2012

This workshop includes hands on work with straw bales, adobe blocks,cob, and plasters. We’ll do hands on building of small structures like benches and walls – projects that you can easily do at your own place to create beautiful outdoor spaces. After this hands on work in the morning we’ll cover the building codes related to these materials used in larger projects. We will talk about and demonstrate the main principles of good passive solar design. This class emphasizes integrated design and getting back in touch with the patterns of nature, so we can make design decisions that are in tune with the environment. Using these natural building materials can help make our living environments more healthy and comfortable, and save us money on utility bills.

For class details and registration info, please see http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/

Introduction to Natural Beekeeping – October 20th and 21st, 2012

Want to be a bee keeper but don’t know where to start? How about a full weekend of hands on instruction with one of the Southwest’s most experienced bee keepers? This two day introductory beekeeping workshop in Avra Valley just west of Tucson, Arizona will get you started. Each day may be taken separately as a one day introduction also. The role of bees in a regenerative permaculture design will be discussed and compared to conventional “industrial” methods of hive maintenance and honey production. We will look at the reproduction patterns of the honey bee, the expansion and contraction patterns of the hive throughout the seasons, the roles of queen, worker and drone, and the honey bee’s complex set of duties such as pollination, storing nectar and pollen, and making wax. Suggested reading: The Buzz about Bees, Biology of a Superorganism, by Jurgen Tautz, The Biology of the Honeybee, by Mark L. Winston, and Introduction to Permaculture, by Bill Mollison.

For class details and registration info, please see http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/

Hands On Water Harvesting for your Landscape – November 3rd, 2012

Learning how to use rainfall and storm water run-off is one of the keys to developing a sustainable and lush landscape. Rainwater harvesting helps us to reduce erosion and have a lush multi use landscape without having to import water from outside our bioregion or overpump the groundwater table. In this hands on workshop we will install a metal culvert water cistern, learn how to read the water situation on a site, and do basic calculations on the water flow available. We will install basic earthworks to hold water on site, and talk about contours, plant selection, and mulching. This workshop is more than learning about techniques for harvesting rainwater; it will show you how water harvesting can be integrated into your own lifestyle and into a simple landscape design for your home.

For class details and registration info, please see http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/

Herbal Winter Apothecary: Create Your Own Medicines – November 10th, 2012

Be prepared to ward off illness and promote your vitality! Join local herbalist, John Slattery, for a day of medicine making in preparation for the winter cold and flu season. You will learn to make a variety of preparations (syrups, teas, oxymels, etc.) ideally suited for common viral infections. In our discussions we will explore the nature of host resistance and how to enhance it, and take a closer look at our local herbal pharmacopeia. Each participant will take home some herbal preparations we create in class and the knowledge to make it for themselves. All materials are included in the class fee.

For class details and registration info, please see http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/

Raising Chickens for Eggs and/or Meat – November 18th, 2012

This is a one-day introductory class is for anyone interested in raising chickens for the production of eggs and/or meat. Participants will gain a basic understanding of chicken coop design and construction. This will include a material cost-breakdown for a very basic coop with an easy to follow building plan. Strategies for incorporating a backyard flock into an overall Permaculture based system will be demonstrated and discussed. We will cover how to “tame” your birds and how to teach children to be around them. This class will cover heat tolerant breeds, raising day old chicks, feed requirements, composting, free ranging, predator protection, the pecking order, & culling. A special emphasis on homemade chicken accessories such as feeders, nesting boxes, watering facilities, and kill cones will be included. For participants interested in staying we will demonstrate how to cull a chicken at the end of the class. Recommended Reading Materials: CITY CHICKS: Keeping Micro-flocks of Chickens as Garden Helpers by Patricia Foreman; Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow; Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2 by Brad Lancaster; and Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison

For class details and registration info, please see http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/

 

Fall 2012 One Day Workshops – Sonoran Permaculture Guild

For full class descriptions, registration information, and FAQs for these workshops, please go to http://www.sonoranpermaculture.org/courses-and-workshops/ or contact Dan at dorsey(at)dakotacom.net or 520-624-8030

www.sonoranpermaculture.org

ST September Meeting – Sept 10 – Sustainability of Urban Mobility and Urban Form continued – Broadway Boulevard Project

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

Broadway Boulevard Project:
Sustainable Urban Mobility and Form?

As a follow up to Sustainable Tucson’s July meeting, The Sustainability of Urban Mobility and Urban Form, the September 10th meeting will be convening a public conversation furthering the discussion, using the Broadway Boulevard Project as a focus.

Presenters will include
Jen Burdick – Broadway Corridor project manager for the TDOT
Colby Henley – Citizen’s Task Force and local Neighborhood Association member
Tres English – Sustainable Tucson
• and others to be announced

Efforts to incorporate local Neighborhood goals with those of the transportation planning agencies are moving forward through the efforts of the Broadway Citizen’s Task Force (CTF). By the time Sustainable Tucson convenes its meeting on September 10th, the CTF will have conducted 2 public meetings. The findings of the 1st meeting are posted online at http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/broadway

Neighborhood and City goals should be updated and integrated given the interrelated issues of mobility and urban form. In this age of fiscal and environmental constraints, we have the opportunity (and calling) to redirect limited funds to support live-ability and vibrancy at the neighborhood level while implementing a transportation system that unites and serves the larger city. Additionally, now is the time to address larger embedded issues such as the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI) and Climate Change.

A recent Arizona State University study by leading author, Matei Georgescu (http://geoplan.asu.edu/georgescu-megapolitan) notes that urban development could by itself, increase average June-August temperatures by as much as 7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050. Add in another 5 degrees due to the effects of greenhouse gas emissions over the same period (United States Global Change Research Project), and it becomes apparent “business as usual” will significantly affect the health, live-ability, and pocketbooks of Tucsonans.

To mitigate temperatures neither current nor future inhabitants of Tucson want to endure and to ensure live-able and vibrant communities we must seek alternatives to current built-environment and mobility practices that solve rather than add to an unsustainable city. The Broadway Boulevard Project discussion is a great place to start.

Join us in conversation September 10th at the Joel Valdez Library, lower level meeting room.

Doors open at 5:30 pm.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Who Owns Our Food? – Native Seeds/SEARCH free monthly salon – Aug 20

Free at NS/S Retail Store, 3061 N. Campbell Ave.

 

“Who Owns Our Food?” with Bill McDorman

Aug. 20th, 5-7 pm (Note new time)

Ten companies own and control 75% of the worlds seeds. How does this affect local food security and the health of our region? More importantly what does this have to do with the nationwide drought and the treasure trove of seeds in the Native Seeds/SEARCH Seed Bank? Join NS/S Executive Director Bill McDorman for a deep discussion on this vital topic and hear about the solutions as close as your own backyard!

Tucson Time Traders – 2012 aug

Community Picnic/Potluck & Orientation Meetings

at Tucson Ward 3 Office, 1510 E Grant Road (southeast corner of Grant & Vine)
2nd Thursdays, 6 to 8 pm – Aug 9 – Sep 13 – Oct 11 – Nov 8 – Nov 18 (sunday 6:30-8:30pm) – Dec 13

at Himmel Park Library, 1035 N Treat Avenue (1 block south of Speedway)
many Saturdays, noon to 2 pm – Aug 25 – Sep 8 & 22 – Oct 6 & 20 – Nov 3 – Dec 1 (11:30-1:30) – Dec 22

(please go to timetraders.metasofa.org for latest details, dates and times)

We’re also at Sustainable Tucson Monthly Meetings (usually 2nd Monday every month) to give information about timebanking and Tucson Time Traders, and help you sign up online.

 

TUCSON TIME TRADERS

Building Tucson’s Empowerment Network 1 Hour at a Time

Tucson Time Traders is a local Timebank for the Tucson region.  You can go to our website and check our latest calendar & news, or open a new account, or login if you’re a member – http://timetraders.metasofa.org

Community Picnic/Potluck & Orientation Meetings

Everyone is invited to our timebank community orientation meetings, with optional picnic lunch / potluck dinner in the first hour, and a timebank orientation meeting for the second hour.

Before trading with our timebanking community, new members must attend an orientation meeting so we can meet each other in person, and also so we can help everyone make better use of the website.

Experienced members are always welcome and appreciated, and everyone gets one hour of time credit for each meeting attended.  Everyone’s participation is valuable, and benefits everyone in our timebanking community.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Tucson Time Traders has moved to a new website !

Thank you all for your patience and help – We now have a website and timebanking software that simply works.

Our new website includes a community calendar, discussion blog, time banking, and member profiles for finding people and their offers and wants.  It’s all accessible with any web browser, new or old, on your desktop, laptop, or mobile device.  It’s fast and simple to use, and easy to learn – for people who have no time to waste!

Local community currency and timebanking have been waiting decades to be live online with this kind of software, so that it’s finally possible for people to find each other easily, and exchange time and energy transparently and fairly, with almost zero overhead.

You can go to the new website here – timetraders.metasofa.org

Sustainable Tucson August Film Festival – August 12th and 13th

at Joel D. Valdez Main Downtown Library, Large Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

 

Sunday, August 12th 1:00 to 5:00pm, Sustainable Tucson will show three top-rated sustainability films covering critical sustainability topics:

• The U.S. financial crisis erupted in 2008 and still looms on the horizon.

• Resource depletion including non-renewable fossil fuels and clean water threatens further economic growth.

• Global warming and climate change threaten most life-forms including people and future food.

• Social disruption following economic dislocation and government contraction can threaten our capacity to solve-problems and build a more sustainable culture.

• Many solutions are being identified but most require abandoning “business as usual.”

The first film will be shown from 1:00 to 2:30pm and includes a comprehensive presentation of the sustainability crisis and a path way out of our predicament. Many sustainability leaders are interviewed including  Wes Jackson, Paul Hawken, David Suzuki, Kenny Ausubel, David Orr, Janine Benyus,, Stuart Pimm, Richard Heinberg, Paolo Soleri, Thom Hartmann, Lester Brown, James Hillman, Joseph Tainter, James Woolsey, Stephen Schneider, Stephen Hawking, Sandra Postel,  Bill McKibbon, James Hansen, Dr. Andy Weil, Ray Anderson, Andy Lipkis, Tom Linzey, Herman Daly, Peter Warshall, Jerry Mander, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bruce Mau, William McDonough, John Todd, and Gloria Flora among others.

The second film is an award-winning documentary describing the financial crisis which erupted in 2008 and continues to play out today as the global economy is beginning to contract. Financial experts help tell the story of how the largest financial bubble in history grew and finally burst. These include Simon Johnson, George Soros, Satyajit Das, Paul Volker, Nouriel Roubini, U. S. Rep. Barney Frank, Eliot Spitzer, Kenneth Rogoff, Raghuram Rajan, Martin Wolf, Christine Lagarde, and Martin Feldstein among others. This film will be shown from 2:30 to 4:15.

The final film to be shown from 4:15 to 5:00 is a special film which describes how the island nation of Cuba became more self- sufficient and resilient after the food and energy subsidies ended from the Soviet Union which collapsed in 1991.

 

Monday, August 13th, 5:00 to 8:00 pm, Sustainable Tucson will present two excellent films.

The first is a documentary about how the many electric street car systems in U.S towns and cities were intentionally scrapped by a group of automobile-related corporations. The result is that the U.S. is the only industrial country in the world without electric rail systems within and between most cities.  This film will be shown from 5:00 to 6:00pm.

The second film will be shown from 6:15 to 7:45pm and includes a comprehensive presentation of the sustainability crisis and the need to find a path way out of our predicament. Many sustainability leaders are interviewed including Richard Heinberg, Lester Brown, U. S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Albert Bartlett, Joseph Tainter, David Pimental, Terry Taminen, Bill McKibben, James Hansen, David Korten, Derrick Jensen, and William R. Catton, Jr. among others.

Due to unanswered questions about public licensing, the titles of the films were omitted in this public announcement. The Pima-Tucson Library System does have a general license for showings of films free to the public for educational purposes. This license is granted by a film company consortium but we don’t know for sure about each film. ST falls back on its “fair use” rights under copyright laws to show the films for educational purposes.

We believe that building a sustainable future will take the cooperation and partnering of residents, businesses, government, institutions and organizations. It is in this spirit that we are reaching out to our members, interested people, and community leaders, bringing them together to focus the wider public on these critical sustainability discussions. Our ultimate intent is to build partnerships and work together toward our common goals.

Join us for viewing five great sustainability films in August!

PLEASE NOTE:

Doors open at 1:00 pm on Sunday, August 12th.
Doors open at 4:45 pm on Monday, August 13th

Menu for the Future – Discussion Course – Thursdays July 12 thru Aug 16

six Thursdays from July 12 thru August 16
in Central Tucson

Menu for the Future Discussion Course

Thursdays, July 12 to August 16, 2012 – 6:30 to 8:00pm

Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture offers the Northwest Earth Institute’s Menu for the Future Class, a 6-session discussion course that analyzes the connection between food and sustainability.  The goals of the course are to explore food systems and their impact on culture, society, and ecology; to gain insight into agricultural and individual practices that promote personal and ecological well-being; and to consider your role in creating or supporting sustainable food systems.

Topics covered include:

  • What’s Eating America (explores the effects of modern industrial eating habits on culture, society and ecological systems).
  • Anonymous Food (considers the ecological and economic impacts that have accompanied the changes in how we grow and prepare food).
  • Farming for the Future (examines emerging food system alternatives, highlighting sustainable growing practices, the benefits of small farms and urban food production, and how individuals can make choices that lead to a more sustainable food supply).
  • You Are What You Eat (considers the influences that shape our choices and food policies from the fields to Capitol Hill, and the implications for our health and well-being).
  • Toward a Just Food System (explores the role that governments, communities and individuals can play in addressing hunger, equity, and Fair Trade to create a more just food system).
  • Choices for Change (offers inspiration and practical advice in taking steps to create more sustainable food systems).

How it Works:  Prior to each meeting, participants read short selections from the course book relating to one of the topics listed above (book is provided as part of class fee).  Each gathering consists of open conversation regarding the readings.  Dialogue from a wide range of perspectives and learning through self-discovery are encouraged.  While each session is facilitated by one of the course participants, there is no formal teacher.

The Details:

  • Dates/Time: Weekly meetings occur each Thursday, July 12 to August 16, from 6:30 to 8pm.  Participants must attend all sessions.
  • Location: central Tucson.
  • Cost (for course book): $25 BASA members, $30 non-members (or $45 for course and a one-year BASA membership).

Contact Meghan at meghan.mix(at)bajaaz.org or 520-331-9821 for further information.
Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Tucson July Meeting – Urban Mobility and Urban Form – July 9

at Joel D. Valdez Main Downtown Library, 101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

The Sustainability of
Urban Mobility and Urban Form

The July ST General Meeting will feature panel presentations and conversation by special Tucson speakers who are addressing in their work “Sustainable mobility and urban form.” This is a very timely topic on many fronts now:

  City of Tucson’s current ten-year update of the General Plan.

  Anticipation of Tucson’s modern streetcar line.

  Tucson’s love affair with walking, jogging, biking, hiking and using transit.

  Community visioning and planning related to the Imagine Greater Tucson Project.

  The emergence of “urban villages” as places where we could live.

  City of Tucson’s current climate change mitigation and adaptation planning.

  Local adaptation to the global credit and energy contraction now taking place.

Gene Caywood, local transportation planner and leading light for Old Pueblo Trolley presents Tucson mobility: past, present, and future.

Ian Johnson, co-leader of the Living Streets Alliance discusses ways we can all help to create, maintain, and enjoy the culture of “living streets” combining sidewalks, bike paths, and transit where people meet and move.

Steve Farley, Arizona State legislator and public artist talks about the benefits of sustainable transportation and advocacy.

Ann Chaneka,  Pima Association of Governments bicycle planner and recently returning from the international Velo conference in Vancouver presents sustainable urban transportation and bicycle planning.

Tres English, ST Core Team member, talks about “21st Century Tucson – a Network of Urban Villages – More convenient, More accessible, More affordable – NOT More mobile.”

We believe that building a sustainable future will take the cooperation and partnering of residents, businesses, government, institutions and organizations. It is in this spirit that we are reaching out to our members, interested people, and community leaders, bringing them together to focus the wider public on these critical sustainability discussions. Our ultimate intent is to build partnerships and work together toward our common goals.

Join us for another lively Sustainable Tucson General meeting!

Doors open at 5:30 pm.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Also read James Howard Kunstler’s Making Other Arrangements

Rainwater Harvesting – Native Seeds/SEARCH free monthly salon – July 16

Free, at Native Seeds/SEARCH Retail Store, 3061 N. Campbell Ave. (just south of Ft. Lowell)

Rainwater Harvesting

Leona Davis, Education and Advocacy Coordinator
Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

Harvest those wonderful monsoon rains. Learn about the benefits of rainwater harvesting both in the soil and in storage tanks. Gain an understanding of the cost, system sizing, and materials involved in a variety of home rainwater harvesting systems.

Occupy Arcology – ecological city design lecture & discussion – June 26

Free, at Historic Y conference room, 738 North 5th Ave (at University)

 

OCCUPY ARCOLOGY LECTURE – June 26

Come be a part of a lecture and lively discussion on Occupy Arcology. In this part of the lecture series, hosted by Occupy Tucson’s Doctress Neutopia, we will focus on the question of ecology and economy within the context of an arcology (ecological city design). Any knowledge you have about alternative economics—alternative currencies, time banks, labor relationships, the rights of nature, etc, are welcome in our discussion. So, please come and share your wisdom and knowledge.

Some of the questions to be raised in the discussion are:

What kind of economy fosters health and sustainability with our natural resources?
How do we move into a no-growth, zero-carbon city?
How would William McDonough’s “cradle-to-cradle industrials” move us beyond 20th Century industrials that are polluting our world?
What kind of labor-force is needed to construct an evolutionary city design?
Do we need a new definition of work?
What would a feminist economy, outlined in Riane Eisler’s book The Real Wealth of Nations, look like?
How do we convert military monies into building solar-powered arcologies so that a peace time economy can lead us into a beautiful future?

When: Tuesday June 26th, 2012
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 P.M.
Place: Historic Y’s conference room, 738 North 5th Ave (at University)

For More Info: Contact doctress(at)lovolution.net

Also see http://www.lovolution.net/MainPages/arcology/arcology.htm

Bisbee Solar Cookoff – June 2

Free, at Bisbee Farmers Market (in Vista Park in the Warren District)

 

Bisbee Solar Cookoff
June 2, 2012 – 10am to 1pm

Join Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture and the Bisbee Farmers Market for their annual Solar Cookoff.  Activities will include solar cooking demonstrations as well as solar ovens and accessories for sale.

At 11am, join local experts for a Solar Cooking Basics class.  At noon, learn how to build your own solar oven with a cardboard box and aluminum foil.

Feel free to bring a solar oven and join in the competition. A potluck and voting will follow the event for those who prepare solar food.

Location: Bisbee Farmers Market (in Vista Park in the Warren District)
Cost: Free

For more info, visit www.bajaaz.org/calendar

Questions?  Contact Meghan at meghan.mix(at)bajaaz.org or 520-331-9821, Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture

Soil is Life – Restoring the Soil Food Web – lecture and local foods potluck – May 31

at Saint Marks Church, Third and Alvernon, Tucson

 

Soil is Life – Restoring the Soil Food Web
A Lecture and Local Foods Potluck

Join Watershed Management Group’s Tucson Co-op to celebrate the end of our busiest season to date and to revel in anticipation of the coming monsoons, with our semi annual local foods potluck and lecture.

This event will be held in conjunction with our newest Soil Stewards program and we are excited that Dr. Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman (of the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2) will lead an interactive session on the soil food web after the potluck.

Dr Paveo-Zuckerman will discuss its importance for food production, plant growth, and soil water storage. We will examine techniques to enhance soil ecology in the arid urban environment, and help participants develop plans to boost the soil web in their own home landscape.

To find out more and sign up to this free event go to our Tucson Co-op website http://watershedmg.org/co-op/tucson

Date Thursday, May 31
Time: 6:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.
Location: Saint Marks Church, Third and Alvernon

Summer Hours at the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market

Thursdays 4-7 PM, all Summer, at 100 S Avenida del Convento, west of I-10, near the intersection of Congress and Grande

Summer hours begin at the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market on Thursday, May 3rd. Summer hours are Thursdays, 4-7 PM.

The Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market is located at 100 S. Avenida del Convento, West of I-10, near the intersection of Congress and Grande.

For more info, call Marie at 520-882-3313

Plan Tucson – Urban Agriculture Policy Working Group – May 3

at Sentinel Building Conference Rooms, 320 N. Commerce Park Loop

 

PLAN TUCSON
ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY FOCUS AREA
Urban Agriculture Policy Working Group

Meeting Invitation
Thursday May 3, 2012

Hello,

The Plan Tucson Team appreciates the active participation by agency, organization, and other stakeholders in the Working Groups to develop policies for elements to be addressed in Plan Tucson, the City’s new General Plan now in preparation.

During the Working Group discussions regarding a variety of elements from public health to green infrastructure to land use to economic development, the topic of urban agriculture has come up often enough that staff decided it would be helpful to have a separate meeting devoted to the topic. Therefore, we have arranged a meeting that will include brief presentations on efforts already underway in the City and County to address urban agriculture issues and to provide an opportunity for interested stakeholders to share their thoughts about the topic.

The URBAN AGRICULTURE meeting is scheduled for:

Thursday, May 3, 2012
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Sentinel Building Conference Rooms
320 N. Commerce Park Loop

If you would like to attend this meeting, please RSVP by sending an email to plantucson(at)tucsonaz.gov by Tuesday, May 1, and type “Urban Agriculture” in the subject line. If you have any questions, please contact Gina Chorover at gina.chorover(at)tucsonaz.gov or 520‐837‐6946.

If you are unable to join us on this date, but have ideas about Urban Agriculture that you would like considered, please email them to Gina Chorover at the above email address.

Thank you,

Gina Chorover
Plan Tucson Team

Water Harvesting Lecture Series – May 4-7

 

at St. Mark’s Church, 3809 E. 3rd Street
 
Open to the public, $25 per session

 

Water Harvesting Lecture Series

Watershed Management Group’s Water Harvesting Certification program provides the highest quality and greatest depth of training in integrative water harvesting offered in the nation.

We’re opening four of the lectures from our upcoming Tucson Certification course in May to the public — an ideal opportunity for people interested in learning more about water harvesting, but not ready or able to commit to our full nine-day Water Harvesting Certification. And we’re offering each lecture for just $25 a session.

All presenters are dynamic educators and experts in their fields, and whose informative and accessible introduction to water-harvesting design concepts will inspire you to make the most of your water resources at home.

The four-session series includes:

May 4 Friday, 10 a.m. to noon

Water Harvesting Earthworks – Instructor James DeRoussel. Learn design and application of basins, berms, swales, terraces, and french drains. This lecture covers lot-scale to watershed-scale practices with information on soils, landscape materials, and integration with plants. Click here to register

May 5 Saturday, 3 to 5 p.m.

Water Harvesting for Food Production – Instructor Brad Lancaster. Brad’s lecture covers a diverse range of agricultural applications from backyard to large-scale systems, showing how rainwater and greywater can enhance food production while conserving water. This lecture happens right before our Second Annual Local Foods Iron Chef fundraiser — so you can learn how to sustainably grow foods to support a locavore diet, then enjoy an evening eating local-foods delectables! Click here to register

May 7 Monday, 1 to 3 p.m.

Cisterns – Instructor Mark Ragel, owner of Water Harvesting International. Mark presents a comprehensive overview of cistern systems from guttering, filtration, storage, and distribution, including best management practices and cistern types for different applications. Click here to register

May 7 Monday, 3 to 5 p.m.

Greywater Systems – Instructor Brad Lancaster. Greywater systems harvest water from laundry machines, bathroom sinks and showers, and air conditioning condensate.  Learn how to reuse greywater in your yard, with a focus on gravity-fed systems, plumbing considerations, and appropriate uses. Click here to register

Pre-registration and pre-payment is required for each session. All lectures will be held at St. Mark’s Church, 3809 E. 3rd Street, Tucson.

Please contact Rhiwena Slack at rslack(at)watershedmg.org or 520-396-3266 with questions.

Sustainable Tucson May Meeting – Prosperity Without Growth – May 14

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda Street)

Prosperity Without Growth – What does it look like?

Please join us at Sustainable Tucson’s May meeting to hear local experts talk about Sustainable Economics, and share your thoughts about what this looks like and what it entails. Help us engage the planners with solutions appropriate to our time.

Planning efforts in Tucson (including Imagine Greater Tucson) assume growth to be inevitable and good.

Until recently, there was no reason to question that belief. With a seemingly endless supply of resources and space to dump waste products, there was no feedback raising our awareness, nor reason to ask questions.

Now, however, the pinch has begun. The high carbon energy fuels upon which we have built our modern civilization are not only becoming more problematic to supply, but the effects of their combustion are destabilizing the climate, decimating biodiversity, disrupting food security and beginning to affect social cohesion. The problem is the result of the collective impact of our human species. Our numbers have increased to the point where our resource consumption and related waste is beyond the planetary ecosystem’s ability to continue to supply and absorb them.

If the planet were our house, the debt we have accumulated is coming due, foreclosure is on the horizon, and we may soon lose our home.

Ecological economist Herman Daly notes that growth can become “uneconomic” when the “bads” accumulate faster than the “goods”, the “illth” faster than the wealth (see video, link below).

What are the alternatives to Growth?
What positive vision can lead us away from the “inevitable”?

Doors open at 5:30 pm.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Also see these videos,

Herman DalyUneconomic Growth
Charles EisensteinSacred Economics
Tim JacksonProsperity without Growth
Rushey Green Time Bank

Dad’s Farm Tour – Huachuca City – May 6

May 6 from 10am to 3pm – Free!
at 30 W. Ivey Road in Huachuca City, just one mile north of Mustang Corners on Hwy 90

Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture, the Sierra Vista Farmers’ Market, and Dad’s Farm sponsor the opportunity to spend a day on a working farm.

Learn viable food production methods for the Sierra Vista area, get gardening tips from an experienced farmer, observe spring/summer crops or the fruit & nut orchard, or learn about mulching and watering systems!

The tour will also include a sustainable agriculture fair with informational booths and local farmers, ranchers, and value-added producers.

For the kids there is a petting zoo, a horse-drawn wagon, and opportunities to experiment with planting seeds.

For further info, visit www.bajaaz.org/calendar or contact Meghan at meghan.mix(at)bajaaz.org or 520-331-9821

How do you move through the city? – Worker Transit Authority

Free – April 27 & 28, May 4 & 5, May 11 & 12 – 5 pm to 8 pm
 
210 East Broadway, Downtown Tucson Arizona

The Worker Transit Authority asks the community

“How do you move through the city?”

A Convergence of Art and Planning

For three weekends in a series of free public events, Tucson residents can participate in this important discussion about land use, infrastructure, transportation, environment and distribution.

Like actual transit authority public process, this project is a form of civic engagement, but unlike actual transit authority pubic process the WTA events are fun!

The project wraps art, parody, and beauty to format new and radical notions of how we can function as individuals and as a society, including an overview of the Worker Transit Authority (WTA), the Consumer Transit System (CTS) & the Bicycle-centric Approach to Planning (BcAP).

The exhibits include interactive maps, brochures, surveys, drawings, sculptures, videos and text.

 

Bill Mackey of Worker, Inc. will present events that incorporate performance, graphics, and data in a participatory manner designed to facilitate discussion among the community.

Collaborators include Jeffrey Buesing, Ben Olmstead, Peter Wilke, Tyler Jorgenson, Dwight Metzger, Cook Signs, Ron and Patricia Schwabe, and the Apparatchiks.

For further information, visit www.workertransitauthority.com from your PC or mobile device and get involved. Feel free to ‘take the survey’ on our homepage.

Funded through the Tucson Pima Arts Council / Kresge Arts in Tucson ll: P.L.A.C.E. Initiative Grants. In kind support from Reproductions Inc., Peach Properties, Organic Kitchen & Zocalo Magazine. Letters of support from City of Tucson Department of Transit, City of Tucson Ward I and VI, Living Streets Alliance, Downtown Partnership, Drachman Institute, Department of Geography University of Arizona, College of Architecture University of Arizona, City of Tucson Office of Conservation & Sustainable Development.

 

Worker Inc. is a company that specializes in exploring the human connections to the built environment, bridging the theory and practice of architecture, the social sciences, planning and art. Since 2009, Worker Inc. has been instrumental in the production of community exhibits – Downtown Tucson Master Plans, Food Paper Alcohol, and You Are Here. The exhibits combine ART + PLANNING, creating a unique platform that is an act of discovery for the community. Visit www.workerincorporated.com for more information about Bill Mackey and Worker, Inc.

Bill Mackey 520.664.4847 workerarchitect(at)yahoo.com

ST April Meeting – Can Tucson Feed Itself?

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

Can Tucson Feed Itself ?

The short answer is no.
The longer answer will surprise and excite you.
The real answer is – its time to start.

At this Sustainable Tucson meeting, find out:

How food actually gets to your table (Dude – Who brought my lunch?)
How many different Tucson groups are now providing us with fresh, nutritious food
What Tucson would be like if we commit to having a reliable and healthy food supply

Find ways to act for yourself, your family, and Tucson.
Come to the Sustainable Tucson meeting this Monday.

Doors open at 5:30 pm.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Prepare for this important topic by viewing videos and seeing reports on the impacts of climate change on global food security at this website.

Menu for the Future discussion course – Thursdays starting May 3

Six Thursdays, May 3 to June 7, in Tucson AZ

 

Menu for the Future

Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture offers Menu for the Future, a 6-session discussion course prepared by the Northwest Earth Institute that analyzes the connection between food and sustainability.

The goals of the course are to explore food systems and their impact on culture, society, and ecology; to gain insight into agricultural and individual practices that promote personal and ecological well-being; and to consider your role in creating or supporting sustainable food systems.

Topics covered include:

  • What’s Eating America (explores the effects of modern industrial eating habits on culture, society and ecological systems).
  • Anonymous Food (considers the ecological and economic impacts that have accompanied the changes in how we grow and prepare food).
  • Farming for the Future (examines emerging food system alternatives, highlighting sustainable growing practices, the benefits of small farms and urban food production, and how individuals can make choices that lead to a more sustainable food supply).
  • You Are What You Eat (considers the influences that shape our choices and food policies from the fields to Capitol Hill, and the implications for our health and well-being).
  • Toward a Just Food System (explores the role that governments, communities and individuals can play in addressing hunger, equity, and Fair Trade to create a more just food system).
  • Choices for Change (offers inspiration and practical advice in taking steps to create more sustainable food systems).

How it Works:

Prior to each meeting, participants read short selections from the course book relating to one of the topics listed above (book is provided as part of class fee). Each gathering consists of open conversation regarding the readings. Dialogue from a wide range of perspectives and learning through self-discovery are encouraged. While each session is facilitated by one of the course participants, there is no formal teacher.

The Details:

  • Dates/Time: Weekly meetings occur each Thursday, May 3 to June 7, from 6:30 to 8pm. Participants must attend all sessions.
  • Location: central Tucson.
  • Cost (for course book): $25 BASA members, $30 non-members (or $45 for course and a one-year BASA membership).
  • Advance registration is required.

Contact Meghan at meghan.mix(at)bajaaz.org or 520-331-9821 for additional information or to register.

Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture – www.bajaaz.org

Cholla Bud and Nopalito Harvesting Workshop – Flor de Mayo – April 26

Location – West Side Tucson, near W Ironwood Hill Dr & Camino de Oeste

 

Cholla Bud and Nopalito Harvesting Workshop

Join Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture and Flor de Mayo to learn how to harvest, process, and cook with cholla buds and nopalitos, both traditional foods of the native peoples of the Sonoran desert.

Cholla buds are a superfood with high available calcium and complex carbohydrates that help balance blood sugar levels and provide sustained energy. Nopalitos (prickly pear pads) are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium, and also help balance blood sugar levels (great for diabetics!).

Taught by Martha Burgess, ethnobotanist and herbalist.

Cost: $35 for BASA members, $40 for non-members (or $55 for the workshop and a one-year BASA membership). Advance registration required.

Contact Meghan at meghan.mix(at)bajaaz.org or 520-331-9821 for further information or to register.

Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture – www.bajaaz.org

Introduction to Sprouting – Wanda Poindexter – April 18

at The Tasteful Kitchen, 722 North Stone Avenue (south of University Avenue and just north of Economy Restaurant Supply)

Join Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture and Wanda Poindexter to learn…

Sprouting: The Art of Gardening in a Jar

Taste various types of sprouts, learn how economical it is to grow organic sprouts right in your own kitchen, and leave with all the materials you need to get started (please bring two clean 16-32 ounce glass jars).  Taught by Wanda Poindexter, who has been sprouting for many years.

Time: 6:00 to 7:00pm (please arrive by 5:45pm)

Cost: $5 for BASA members, $10 for non-members (or $25 for the class and a one-year BASA membership). Advance registration required.

Contact Meghan at meghan.mix(at)bajaaz.org or 520-331-9821 for further information or to register.

Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture – www.bajaaz.org

Desert Terroir with Gary Paul Nabhan – Native Seeds/SEARCH Monthly Salon – April 16

at Native Seeds/SEARCH Retail Store, 3061 N Campbell Ave, Tucson

 

Native Seeds/SEARCH – Free Monthly Salon – A little something for anyone who has ever wielded a fork or pitchfork. Bring your juiciest ideas and appetite for mind-watering conversations.

April 16 Monday 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Gary Paul Nabhan, one of the founders of Native Seeds/SEARCH, will discuss his new book Desert Terroir, Exploring the Unique Flavors and Sundry Places of the Borderlands. Gary is an internationally-celebrated nature writer, seed saver, conservation biologist, and sustainable agriculture activist who has been called “the father of the local food movement” by Mother Earth News.

www.nativeseeds.org

Urban Agriculture – How to Grow your own vegetables – March 21

Ward 3 Neighbors Alliance, Woods Library
March 21, 2012, 6 – 8 pm

Urban Agriculture: How to Grow your own vegetables

Presenters:

Native Seed Search
Tucson Organic Gardeners
Community Gardens
UA Pima County Extension Office
Arbico Organics
Growers House
Pima County Food Systems Alliance

We will have gardening door prizes, free Hyacinth Bean Vine Seeds and much more.  Get your garden ready for spring and grow your own organic food.

Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Seed Exchange at Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market – March 8

The Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market is located at  100 S. Avenida Del Convento, near the intersection of Congress and Grande.

On March 8th from 3 to 6pm, the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market will be hosting a spring gardening celebration where everyone can participate in a seed exchange, and purchase vegetable seedlings, shade cloth, and bird netting.

As spring quickly approaches, local vegetable gardeners are preparing their soil, seeds, and pest control, and they can look to the Community Food Bank for help with all of these arrangements.

Community Food Bank gardening staff will also be available to share their expertise about organic desert gardening, free gardening programs, and workshops.

For more information please phone 882-3304. Also see our website at http://communityfoodbank.org

Plan Tucson – Urban Design Policy Working Group – Feb 29

Plan Tucson – Smart Growth Focus Area
Redevelopment and Revitalization Policy Working Group

Meeting Invitation for Wednesday February 29, 2012

Subject: Plan Tucson – Redevelopment and Revitalization Policy Working Group Meeting Invitation

Dear Colleague:

We are sending you this invitation because you expressed an interest or were recommended to participate in the Urban Design Policy Working Group. The first meeting will be held on:

Wednesday February 29, 2012
1:30 – 3:30 PM (Check in starting at 1:00 PM)
Sentinel Building, First Floor
320 Commerce Park Loop, Tucson, AZ 85745

Plan Tucson staff will make a brief presentation on the status of Plan Tucson activities and the Working Group schedule. This will be followed with background information and a discussion of current initiatives in Redevelopment and Revitalization. The second part of the meeting will be devoted to a group exercise designed to begin identifying concepts that should be considered in the development of Redevelopment and Revitalization policy for Plan Tucson.

To ensure that we have sufficient material for participants, please RSVP by sending an email to plantucson(at)tucsonaz.gov and include the phrase “Will Attend Redevelopment and Revitalization Policy Working Group” in the subject line. Please include your name and affiliation in the body of the email. There will be no response to this email.

If you have any questions about this meeting or would prefer that someone else from your agency/organization be the primary contact for Plan Tucson, please send an email to plantucson(at)tucsonaz.gov and include the phrase “Redevelopment and Revitalization Policy Working Group Question or Comment” in the subject line, or call María Gayosso at (520) 837-6972.

We value your time, and thank you in advance for participating in the development of Plan Tucson.

Sincerely,

María Gayosso, Project Manager
Plan Tucson Team
City of Tucson Housing and Community Development Department

Solar Grant Applications Open Until March 21 – Technicians for Sustainability

TFS’s 2012 Solar Grant – Applications Open from now Until March 21

Technicians for Sustainability (TFS) is proud to announce the opening of our 2012 Solar Grant application process. Starting immediately we will be accepting applications until March 21st, the Spring Equinox.

The TFS grant program is funded by 1% of our revenue to help non-profit groups install renewable energy systems. This program includes both matching grants as well as full grants. The matching grant calculates the retail cost of the system, subtracts the utility rebate, and then TFS pays for 50% of the remaining amount. The full grant calculates the retail cost of the system, subtracts the utility rebate, and then TFS pays for 100% of the remaining amount.

The grant is open to nonprofits in Tucson, AZ who qualify as 501(c)(3) and who share our values of sustainability. You can find more information about the solar grant itself, past grant recipients and the application materials on our website: www.tfssolar.com/about-us/community-involvement/. If there are any questions, please contact our community outreach coordinator, Tiernay Marsh at 520-740-0736 or tiernay(at)tfssolar.com.

About Technicians For Sustainability

Technicians For Sustainability (TFS) is a locally owned, mission-driven business, committed to walking their talk. They provide businesses, public institutions, and residential homeowners with high quality, clean, renewable energy systems, helping to translate environmental values into practical reality. The company employs proven technologies to meet customers’ specific needs, including solar electricity, solar hot water heating, and water harvesting. TFS has installed over a megawatt of solar power in southern Arizona. For more information about Technicians For Sustainability visit www.tfssolar.com

Green For All – Special Southern Arizona Coalition Event – Feb 14

Green for All and The SAGAC Organizing Committee
Invite You to Attend Our Coalition Building Training Session

Please note location has changed to the Community Food Bank, 3003 S. Country Club Rd.

Who: SAGAC, Green for All, & Tucson Allies
When: Tuesday, February 14th from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Where: Community Food Bank, 3003 S. Country Club Rd (east side of S. Country Club just south of 36th)

RSVP: Madeline Kiser, mkiser(at)dakotacom.net

Join us on February 14th from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. as Green for All guides us in our efforts to build a broad based coalition to address our local issues of environment, equity, and employment, all while holding the most vulnerable people at the center of the agenda. Please come and be part of this inspiring opportunity. Please RSVP soon, because space is limited.

Training Session Priorities:
1) Connect and Bond with Allies
2) Grasp the Importance of Grassroots Power-building
3) Identify Collective Capacity
4) Begin Constructing our Coalition Model
5) Understand the National Connections to the Green Economy Agenda

In order to accommodate all of you who have already signed up for the Green for All training – and make room for those who might like to – we’ve moved the site of the training to the Community Food Bank’s Lew Murphy Conference Room.

Directions: The Community Food Bank is located at 3003 S. Country Club Rd., on the east side of S. Country Club just south of 36th. Please park anywhere in the lower or upper parking lots, and enter through the main lobby doors in the front of the building. Then proceed either up the stairs or elevator to the second floor, and enter through the door and make a left (follow the signs). The Lew Murphy Conference Room will be immediately on your left.

The Southern Arizona Green for All Coalition organizing committee:

Rosa Gonzalez, Green for All, Luis Perales, Tierra y Libertad Organization; Green for All Fellow, Eva Dong, Pima Accommodation District; Pima County Juvenile and Adult Detention Centers, Richard Fimbres, Tucson City Council Member; Pima County Adult Detention Center, Leona Davis, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Camila Thorndike, Community Activist, Kim Chumley, Pima County Juvenile Detention Center, Martina Dickson, Pima County Adult Detention Center, Lewis Humprheys, The Wonder of We; TEDxTucson, Josh Schachter, photographer; Finding Voice, & Madeline Kiser, Inside/Out Poetry and Sustainability Program

What Are We Planning For? – A New Advocacy Initiative

What Are We Planning For?
A Sustainable Tucson Issues Paper                                                  March 2012

Since Imagine Greater Tucson’s initiating phase began more than three years ago, Sustainable Tucson has been engaged with the IGT Project at many levels, participating in the steering, community values, outreach, and technical committees. Imagine Greater Tucson has consistently requested input and Sustainable Tucson has tried to contribute ideas in order to make IGT a more relevant and successful visioning process for the Tucson region.

The following text summarizes seven key issues which Sustainable Tucson has previously presented and which the IGT process has yet to address. This document concludes with four specific requests to modify the Imagine Greater Tucson Project.

 

1. There has been no step or focus in the IGT process to sensitize and ground the community in the context of the emerging future. The impacts of climate change, resource depletion, food security, water use, conservation of our natural environment and economic and financial crises were all avoided.

Problem:  Without a grounded understanding of the emerging context, how can we realistically connect our values to a preferred future for the region? IGT views the problem of addressing growth as disconnected from the unprecedented challenges facing us. What does it mean to envision the future with our eyes closed and our heads in the sand?

 

2. Every IGT scenario is built on doubling population and the purpose of the visioning process is to determine the preferred way this growth should happen.

Problem: If this doubling of growth does not happen, IGT will have left us less prepared to adapt to any other possible future. Planning on the basis of doubling population growth constrains the investigation of what is best for the Tucson region. Population may or may not grow as current trends are showing (See Appendix A) and far different scenarios follow from those different assumptions. In planning a sustainable future it would be prudent, considering issues of climate change and resource limitations, to be considering population “build out” or planned decrease. A doubling population may make it impossible to decrease carbon emissions enough to limit uncontrollable climate change effects – important since Tucson is frequently described as “ground zero” for the worst effects of global warming.

 

3. IGT is intended to inform the 10-year comprehensive plans of the regional jurisdictions.

Problem: If IGT is only concerned about how we shape and support growth and if growth does not happen in the next decade (See Appendix A), then what value does IGT actually offer to inform the 10-year comprehensive jurisdictional plans? Worse still is the diversion of time and energy away from addressing the coming unprecedented challenges in what may be the most critical decade of our region’s history.

IGT has surveyed the region’s “values” but again not within the present context of changing eras. These survey results can be used by the jurisdictions but they will not reflect the community’s response to what is important in a coming period of unprecedented social, environmental, and economic change. The elephant in the room that IGT does not address is how to restructure our economy without population growth being the primary economic driver.

 

4. The scope of IGT is limited to how we shape the land-uses and infrastructures for the addition of one million future residents. It is true that the existing community was asked what we value and how we should shape this future addition. But existing residents had no option to define what land-use and infrastructure options we want for ourselves.

Problem: How can we define a preferred future without including the desired changes the existing community would like to see in its mix of infrastructures, especially given that becoming more sustainable and resilient requires significant changes in existing systems? Are the existing residents’ needs and preferences for urban form not an important part of the region’s future?

 

5. The impact of debt restructuring and credit availability were not included as key indicators.

Problem: Preparing for growth and preparing for sustainability both require significant public and private investments. How can we plan for change without estimating availability of funding, especially given the unprecedented local and global credit contraction ongoing these past three years. Population increase, development, economic growth, and protecting our natural environment will all be constrained by credit availability.

 

6. Scalability of scenario features was not included as an indicator or evaluative criterion.

Problem: Regional investment capacity is inherently constrained regardless of population growth level. So it is important that for each level of actual growth, a balanced approach is taken to ensure that all infrastructure categories are adequately addressed. If the investment approach is not balanced, some systems become over-built with excess capacity and others suffer with insufficient investment and capacity. Worse yet is the lack of financial planning for maintenance and repair of both existing and newly planned infrastructures. An obvious example of the latter is our crumbling regional and neighborhood roadways described by Pima County officials as  “rapidly deteriorating”.

IGT staff response to the problematic construct of doubling population has been that if this doubling growth doesn’t happen we will simply scale the implementation of the final “preferred” scenario to what actually happens. However, if an infrastructure cannot be “smoothly” or “linearly” scaled, investment in such infrastructure may preclude other critically-needed system choices should growth not happen as projected.

Thus, the scalability value of features in the alternative scenarios should be presented so that community participants can choose their preferred scenario, in part, by the characteristic of scenario features to be scalable or adaptable to lower growth levels.

 

7.  The 3 IGT scenarios  compare indicators with the reference projection or “trend” scenario, not with current conditions.

Problem:  Because the reference scenario is constructed in such a way as to demonstrate the unsustainability of continuing “business as usual”, the alternative future scenarios automatically show “improvement” over the reference scenario.

Not comparing the 3 alternative scenarios to current conditions – conditions that people can experience and verify now – obscures the very real possibility that for important indicators like greenhouse gas emissions, the values will actually get worse not better under what becomes the final “preferred” scenario.

In the case of greenhouse gases, the goal of regional climate change mitigation planning is to reduce emissions by at least 80% below current levels. It would appear these reductions cannot be met by adding population, even at greatly improved infrastructure efficiencies.

 

Bottomline Conclusion:  The intent of the IGT project to educate the community about “smart growth” concepts and how they can be applied to jurisdictional planning is by itself a worthy effort. Unfortunately, this should have happened 10 to 15 years ago when the region was experiencing the pressures of rapid growth.  Further, these concepts have not been re-calibrated to embody new constraints such as current greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The biggest challenge now is: how do we maintain prosperity and quality of life and environment without continuous population growth and how will we adapt to the unprecedented sustainability challenges in the coming decade.

 

We invite other individuals and organizations to join us in requesting that IGT:

 

1) Directly address and facilitate greater regional understanding of the unprecedented challenges which we face including climate change, peak oil, resource depletion, food security, water use, economic crises, and conservation of our natural environment.

2) Augment its future scenarios to include at least one scenario that considers population stabilization or “build-out” at no or low growth levels.

3) Broaden the scope of participant choices to register “optimal population levels“ along with their scenario preferences.

4) Compare indicators of the alternative future scenarios to actual current conditions, not hypothetical projections.

To support and add your endorsement of this proposal, please post a comment below.

 

Appendix A: Evidence that a new era without growth has begun

The IGT Project’s assertions that regional population “is projected to double in the coming decades” or more recently,  “is expected to grow by as many as 1 million people during this century” are misleading and not substantiated by any facts. At recent rates of change, our population would not even double in a hundred years – a timeframe that climate change and resource depletion research indicate would likely be unfavorable for growth.

For many decades up until five years ago, Arizona and the Tucson region did double their populations at rapid rates: every 20 and 35 years respectively. A major task for every jurisdiction was to manage the pressures and impacts of this growth dynamic. But the rapid growth era has ended as we find increasing evidence that the factors governing growth have indeed changed.

For four years, Americans have been moving less, driving less, and in great numbers, walking away from homes worth less than the mortgage obligation.  The 2010 US Census shows that the Tucson region had less population in 2010 than the 1 million 2006 population estimate. CNBC News recently named Tucson, “The Emptiest City in America” because of high apartment and home vacancies. UA economist Marshall Vest recently revealed that the Tucson region lost net population in 2011.

Declining regional home prices have erased ten years of gains and experts conclude that the local housing market will never return to past levels of activity. All of this points to the likelihood of a  “growthless” decade ahead, perhaps even longer.

www.SustainableTucson.org

Valentine trade event – Amethyst Luna Co-op – Feb 11

We invite you to attend a Valentine trade event in Tucson on February 11, 2012. Please share this information with members of your organization and with people you know in the community.

Support co-operatives and local cottage industries, and find free trade gifts for the special someone for Valentine’s Day.

We look forward to having you with us.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Many Beautiful items for you to choose from!

Organic Coffee from Central America
and Mora Berry Wine

Beautiful hand made woven blouses,
Table cloths, table runners and
Pocketbooks. Plus a variety of vendors
With other products/services

Saturday, February 11
10:00 AM to 5 PM
Radisson Hotel
6555 Speedway Blvd

Vendor tables are available. The cost is $25 and space is limited. Community people, small businesses and non-profit organizations are welcome.

Contact: Amethyst Luna Co-op, Martha Dominguez, 520-822-9302, marthacd(at)earthlink.net

Tucson Aquaponics Systems Tour – Feb 11

The first TAPST (Tucson Aquaponics Systems Tour) is officially happening!  Saturday 2/11/12 all around Tucson, 9AM-3PM.  The full range of aquaponics systems will be featured.  So far we have at least 10 systems on 5 different sites.  

Here is a link to more info: http://www.facebook.com/events/239007656182410/

Free bike tuneups & more – Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market – Feb 16

Ride your bike to the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market and Menlo Bike Mechanics will provide FREE bike tune-ups!

You can also enjoy:

* Live Music
* A Cooking Demo
* Bike Accessories
* Advice on Bike Maintenance

When: Feb. 16th 3-6pm
Where: Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida Del Convento, West of 1-10 near Congress/Grande
For more information call: 822-3304

Solar Cooking and Sustainability Event in Taylor AZ – Feb 18

at Northland Pioneer College, Snowflake, Arizona
Saturday, February 18, 2012 – 1 to 4 pm – Free admission

We are having a tribute to Barbara Kerr and Sherry Cole who invigorated a solar cooking movement when they lived in Tempe in the 1970’s. We’ve got some great speakers and everyone will have a chance to say something.

Please see http://kerr-cole.org/index.php/tribute

Admission is free, but we are requesting on-line registration so that we can better plan. There will be networking opportunities throughout the weekend.

Thanks!

Lynn Snyder
Kerr-Cole Sustainable Living Center

PV101 Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) – two 6-day workshops starting Feb 20 and March 12

PV101 Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) Workshop

This course will provide an overview of the three basic PV system applications, primarily focusing on grid-direct systems. The goal of the course is to create a fundamental understanding of the core concepts necessary to work with all PV systems, including: system components, site analysis, PV module criteria, mounting solutions, safety, and commissioning.

Solar Energy International is going to be hosting two PV101 Solar Electric Design and Installation workshops in Tucson, in February and March of 2012. This is a great way to get into the field of Renewable Energy. We are a non profit educational organization that has been teaching for over 20 years!

Please visit our website www.solarenergy.org or call 970-963-8855 for more information.

Hot Chile Recipes – Native Seeds / SEARCH – Free Monthly Salon – Feb 20

at Native Seeds/SEARCH Retail Store, 3061 N. Campbell Road
February 20, Monday 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Free

Native Seeds / SEARCH Monthly Salons – A little something for anyone who has ever wielded a fork or pitchfork. Bring your juiciest ideas and appetite for mind-watering conversations.

Celia Riddle, owner & creator of Hot Flash Chile Products

Celia will demonstrate how you can incorporate her delicious Roasted Green Chile & Red Chile pastes into your recipes, and will have food to sample.