Saturday Links for the Week – June 23, 2007

Terry Krysak
Photo of a cat looking through a screen by local photographer Terry Krysak

What’s Important This Week:

“The Earth Today Stands in Immediate Peril: ..and nothing short of a planetary rescue will save it from the environmental cataclysm of dangerous climate change” — the considered opinion of a group of eminent scientists writing in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Thanks to several readers for the link.

Birds Beginning to Vanish, Too: Verlyn Klinkenborg reports on an Audubon Society report about massive drops in the population of meadow birds in the US. This comes soon after reports of similar drops in bee populations. Klinkenborg always has a way of eloquently telling us what the news really means: “What they [birds and other wild creatures] actually need to survive, it turns out, is a landscape that is less intensely human…We look around us, expecting the rest of the worldís occupants to adapt to the changes that we have caused, when, in fact, we have the right to expect adaptation only from ourselves.” The Sixth Great Extinction continues.

Making a Personal List for Self-Sufficiency and Radically Simple Living: Zane Parker at Lichenology has created a list of things he wants to learn to make himself — foods and foodstuffs, clothing, electricity, tools, furniture, recreation. I am watching his experiment with interest. I would prefer to learn to do these things collectively with others in an Intentional Community, which means I’ll be far behind Zane. But as he says, for now, we have time. [Also from Zane, this link to the US Drought Monitor]

The Qualities of an Effective Activist: Avid, influential, self-directed, independent, collaborative, provocative, methodical, curious, and, most interesting, specialized: “All [activists interviewed] have settled on a community or two that suits their circumstances. None reported wide participation across many different types of communities.” In other words, find where your unique gift and passion intersect; do one or two things really well. Is this the essential difference between those of us who write and those who act? Thanks to Dave Riddell for the link.

Global Oil Demand Growth Rate Has Doubled This Year: This suggests a sharper rise in oil prices, and a sharper fall as production peaks and what’s left is used up that much faster.

What To Do With Dead & Broken Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Many of us have made the switch to these durable, energy-efficient bulbs (and in Canada we’ll soon have no other choice), but disposal is a problem — they contain small amounts of mercury. Here’s a link to what to do with them when they break or wear out. We urgently need a simpler way to safely dispose of these, and batteries. Thanks to sagefool for the link.

Thoughts for the Week:

Inmates’ Words: The Poetry of Guantanamo

Wendell Berry’s Seven Steps to Eating Responsibly (from the Centre for Ecoliteracy — thanks to David Parkinson for the link):

  1. Participate in food production to the extent that you can.
  2. Prepare your own food.
  3. Learn the origins of the food you buy, and buy the food that is produced closest to your home.
  4. Whenever possible, deal directly with a local farmer, gardener, or orchardist.
  5. Learn, in self-defense, as much as you can of the economy and technology of industrial food production.
  6. Learn what is involved in the best farming and gardening.
  7. Learn as much as you can, by direct observation and experience if possible,of the life histories of plant and animal food species.

I know, preaching to the choir. But as long as someone is listening…

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2 Responses to Saturday Links for the Week – June 23, 2007

  1. David Parkinson says:

    Good grief… did you read through the whole newsletter I sent out? If so, thanks! I love these Saturday digests… for some reason I don’t seem to be stumbling across too much high-quality information on the web for the past few weeks. Maybe a blip, maybe I’m getting too hard to please, I dunno.Our fight to preserve farmland in town here is getting going again, and it’s pretty interesting and (I hate to say it but it’s true) fun. I hope that this will be an opportunity for the freaks and outcasts ;-) to come out of the woodwork and express their disgust with the local government’s worn-out ideas of development for an isolated community (gated community, private airport, golf course, etc.). There is a lot of long-pent-up frustration with the status quo here, and it seems to be starting to go public. Good times.Thanks again for the blog and the thoughts and honesty.–David

  2. Charles says:

    Thanks for all you do Dave. I like your blogs and appreciate the variety of subjects you present. Like you, I have multiple interest disorder (if you could call it that) and I always find your articles interesting and thought provoking. I intend to create a new website powered by wordpress which will feature our (yours and mine) theme of living greener and leaving a lighter footprint and a progressive path for the future.

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