Monday, March 30, 2009

Transition Town Resources

Transition Town Resources
(much more info after link below)

Jim Barton
Smith Mill Creek School
PO Box 6821
West Asheville, NC 28816

Useful Transition Town (or Movement) websites
THE BOOK The Transition Handbook, by Rob Hopkins (~$25)
(at the West Asheville Library, Malaprops, or Firestorm Books)
& Transition Timeline, by Shaun Chamberlin & Rob Hopkins ($23, 5/9/09)
Twelve Steps of Transition

#1. Set up a steering group and design its demise from the outset
#2. Awareness raising
#3. Lay the foundations
#4. Organise a Great Unleashing
#5. Form sub groups
#6. Use Open Space
#7 Develop visible practical manifestations of the project
#8. Facilitate the Great Reskilling
#9 Build a bridge to Local Government
#10 Honour the elders
#11 Let it go where it wants to go…
#12 Create an Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP)

US Towns (140 worldwide)
* Boulder, CO, USA
* Sandpoint, ID, USA
* Cotati, CA, USA
* Ketchum, ID, USA
* Lyons, CO USA
* Santa Cruz, CA, USA
* Montpelier, VT, USA
* Portland, ME, USA
* Sebastopol, CA, USA
* Laguna Beach, CA, USA
* Pine Mountain, CA, USA
* Ashland, OR, USA
* Berea, KY, USA
* Pima, AZ, USA
* Los Angeles, CA, USA
* Denver, CO, USA
* Whatcom, WA, USA
* Mount Shasta, CA, USA
* NE Seattle, WA, USA
* Louisville, CO, USA
* Newburyport, MA, USA

Click Here to Read More..

Monday, March 23, 2009

Review: The Greening of Southie

I wanted to alert folks to what might be the only entertaining film on LEED.

The film The Greening of Southie
is available for purchase for $3 from the itunes store (cheaper than most video rentals),
and for purchase at various prices at $25/$100. It covers the building of Boston's first LEED residential building from bare ground to opening day, and humanizes the story by focusing on a few characters & and building crises.

It also acts as training film on LEED as the filmmakers bring the LEED rating chart to life, point by point.

And it talks about class-- South Boston was notorious for being a outsider-unfriendly, conservative place (themes explored in Good Will Hunting and Mystic River) and the last place a green building would go. The film is honest about the fact that the well-paid union laborers can't afford the condos that start at $400,000 and wonders if the neighborhood Irish pub, The Quiet Man, would survive gentrification (it didn't).

The filmmakers also made the excellent King Corn (available at Orbit DVD), which is a better film, and more hilarious.

The filmmakers have a grant to show the film at union halls around the country next month, and details on that are available on their website.
Click Here to Read More..

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Interested in the Transition Town movement from a US perspective?

You can learn more from
THE BOOK The Transition Handbook, by Rob Hopkins (~$25)

--Nothing more below--

Click Here to Read More..

Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Green Building Documentary: The Greening of Southie

The Greening of Southie
is a new film from the makers of the excellent King Corn,
which deals with the building of a green building
The MacAllen Building ( ),
"Boston's first green residential building", slotted to be rated LEED Gold,
in South Boston. (Which makes it a cultural contrast with Garbage Warrior
( )

During the week of Earth Day (always April 22nd, every year), the filmmakers are encouraging the showing of this film at union halls.

The website has...
- a trailer &
- much background info
- flash construction, which makes it impossible to link to anything but the website itself (aargh!)
Click Here to Read More..

Saturday, March 7, 2009

new books on Thoreau and by Goleman

Two infoblurbs on new books on Thoreau and by Goleman.
I sent this info to Asheville indy bookseller Malaprops. I wonder if they'll have them the week they are published.
The Thoreau You Don't Know: What the Prophet of Environmentalism Really Meant, by Robert Sullivan
Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything, by Daniel Goleman


The Thoreau You Don't Know: What the Prophet of Environmentalism Really Meant (Hardcover)
by Robert Sullivan (Author)
By Wendi Sitara (North Jersey & Indiana) - See all my reviews
I am someone who knows even less about Thoreau than this book is written for. I didn't read "Walden" or "Civil Disobedience" in high school. I did, however, see "Dead Poets Society" so I know he was a so-called Romantic. I've heard that he was a virgin, and that he lived in nature at a pond for awhile. That's all I know.

So, this book was a complete introduction to Thoreau for me. And I say this is a great book, especially during our time, in 2009. Thoreau's time was one of great change. His relatives participated in the events of the Revolutionary war, and from that vantage point, he was living in a "mature" America was was changing. When he was a boy, he lived in a town where people would take long horse drawn journey and stop in taverns and inns in Concord. After college, the the railroad came. People were changing from an artesian culture to a mass produced factory one, where people's jobs and skills were being outsourced. Thoreau spent most of his young adult hood trying to scrape by during a major Depression caused by bank failure and get my point. Interesting how history repeats itself.

For people that maybe do know Thoreau, did you know that he ran a pencil factory? That he got by on being a land surveyor? And a teacher? And an aupair for his friend and neighbor Emerson? And what was he really saying? To be involved in your community, to see the details of nature as they are in relation to the people that shape them (New England is perhaps more "natural" ie wooded now than it was in his time, when most of the land was cleared for farming) and to live a nondistracted life.

Thoreau was a hard working guy. He built fences. He built his cabin out at Walden. He was a great gardner. He could shovel manure with the best of them and get something out of it. He wasn't just a Romantic who liked to run his mouth and write poetry and be an unsociable hermit.

Anyway, this is definetely a readable, interesting book that is both about Thoreau and about a slice of American history that I didn't know too much about. I am so glad I picked it up. By the way, my next book on my list, of course, is Walden.
Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything (Hardcover)
by Daniel Goleman (Author)

Editorial Reviews
"Ecological Intelligence is a fascinating whodunit revealing the intricate processes that create our material world. Written by the acknowledged master on how to be a truly intelligent human being, Goleman reveals the complex web of impacts everyday products have upon people and habitat and how a new form of intelligence can radically alter consumption patterns from destructive to constructive."
-- Paul Hawken, Author of the Ecology of Commerce and Blessed Unrest

“The eight hundred pound gorilla behind virtually all of the ‘sustainability challenges’ is you, and me, the consumer. The problem is not that we are bad but that we have been blind to the impacts of our every-day choices - which is about to change. As Goleman shows, new information technologies and growing public concern are awakening our intrinsic desire to do what is right to shape a healthier world for our children and grandchildren.”

--Peter Senge, Director of the Center for Organizational Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management and author of The Fifth Discipline, The Dance of Change, Presence, and The Necessary Revolution

“Drawing on his capacious intelligence Daniel Goleman dissects the issues involved in the attainment of long term sustainability and details promising and intriguing solutions. Once again, he has written an essential book.”

--Howard Gardner, author and Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education

“Our civilization faces a sobering, momentous challenge, one of the most profound in its history: the ominous possibility of ecological collapse, and Dan Goleman provides fresh insight and the most intelligent, thoughtful plan to confront it. Goleman skillfully weaves together his argument, through a masterful combination of logic and persuasion, about how we can apply our intelligence to this pressing question. Goleman makes a powerful and compelling case that how we answer this question will determine not just our fate, but the fate of our children and even life on this planet. This book should be required reading for every politician, policy maker, and citizen of this planet. It should sit on the desk of everyone who is concerned about making the best, most intelligent choices for our destiny.”

--Michio Kaku, Professor of Theoretical Physics, author of Physics of the Impossible and Parallel Worlds

“The market place is a democratic voting booth, if we chose to make it so -- we the consumer get to decide which companies will succeed and which ones fail. Dan Goleman's Ecological Intelligence provides tools for voting consciously and rationally. An eloquent "must read" bridge between business and consumer that crosses generational gaps and lights the path to an environmentally sustainable and socially just destination.”

--John Perkins, bestselling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Product Description

The bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence and Primal Leadership now brings us Ecological Intelligence—revealing the hidden environmental consequences of what we make and buy, and how with that knowledge we can drive the essential changes we all must make to save our planet and ourselves.

We buy “herbal” shampoos that contain industrial chemicals that can threaten our health or contaminate the environment. We dive down to see coral reefs, not realizing that an ingredient in our sunscreen feeds a virus that kills the reef. We wear organic cotton t-shirts, but don’t know that its dyes may put factory workers at risk for leukemia. In Ecological Intelligence, Daniel Goleman reveals why so many of the products that are labeled green are a “mirage,” and illuminates our wild inconsistencies in response to the ecological crisis.

Drawing on cutting-edge research, Goleman explains why we as shoppers are in the dark over the hidden impacts of the goods and services we make and consume, victims of a blackout of information about the detrimental effects of producing, shipping, packaging, distributing, and discarding the goods we buy.

But the balance of power is about to shift from seller to buyer, as a new generation of technologies informs us of the ecological facts about products at the point of purchase. This “radical transparency” will enable consumers to make smarter purchasing decisions, and will drive companies to rethink and reform their businesses, ushering in, Goleman claims, a new age of competitive advantage.

See all Editorial Reviews
Product Details

* Hardcover: 288 pages
* Publisher: Broadway Business (April 21, 2009)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0385527829
* ISBN-13: 978-0385527828
* Shipping Information: View shipping rates and policies
* Sales Rank: #117,735 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)

Popular in this category: (What's this?)
#88 in Books > Science > Nature & Ecology > Natural Resources

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Friday, March 6, 2009

How deep is the Great Recession? Check this out

Nothing more to say, nothing after the link.

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