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180: Taking Back Our Lives from the Wall Street Mafia

Friday, September 24th, 2010

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pm180_150.jpg“Get rid of Wall Street!” says David C. Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy and The Great Turning. Wall Street is about phantom wealth — real wealth is about happy, healthy families, local living economies in balance with Earth’s resources, and caring, resilient communities that provide life’s basics, like food, shelter, and education. To do that, we must change the rules to reduce the power of corporations, the politicians in their pocket, and a destructive money system. (www.davidkorten.org).

In 2006 we produced a DVD of David presenting The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and a conversation about the book “A Defining Moment in History” (episode 48).

Listen to Audio. Read Transcript. Read Janaia’s journal about taping this conversation, “David Korten: Declaring Our Independence from Wall Street.”

Watch the video »

178: Beyond Back Yard Sustainability

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

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pm178_150.jpgFour years ago (in episode 51, “An Experiment in Back Yard Sustainability”), Scott McGuire asked “how much food can I grow in my back yard to feed my family?” In this episode, we learn the results, and that food supply is not an individual project — it takes a community to feed one another. Scott’s garden later became a CSA (community-supported agriculture) for eight families.

Scott is a co-creative gardener — he asks the plants where they want to grow. When plants participate in the design of a garden, they build in energy meridians (like acupuncture lines in our bodies) for optimal vitality and health. (www.scottallenmcguire.com).

Listen to Audio. Read Janaia’s journal about taping this conversation, “Meet Scott McGuire, “Maniacal” Co-Creative Gardener.”

Watch the video »

168: Four Acres and Independence — A Self-Sufficient Farmstead

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

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pm168_150.jpgTake a tour, accompanied by curious sheep and geese, of Mark Cooper’s self-sufficient small farm. Over several years, he transformed a rundown house and hillsides of berry brambles into pasture and gardens where he produces and preserves most of his family’s food. Visit the Goose Grotto in a constructed pond, a heritage fruit tree orchard, logs producing shiitake mushrooms, and a cheap-and-easy container kitchen garden. Mark gives us a close-up view of the solar dehydrator he constructed from salvaged materials — and his tips on food drying. He has husbanded up to fifty animals at a time, including two Tibetan yaks! This farmstead in Rough and Ready (CA) lives up to the town’s name — and is a testament to hard work, wide-ranging construction skills, and love.

Listen to Audio. Read “Handy Guy Transforms an Edible Landscape” in Janaia’s blog about taping this show.

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157: The Heart of Permaculture

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

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pm157_150.jpgFormer truck driver Bill Wilson tells an insightful story about the energy packed in a gallon of gas — which we won’t always have in cheap abundance. Now a permaculture educator, he sees permaculture  as a viable, realistic way to use nature to provide the abundance we really need — harvesting sunlight, food, wind, water and more. Can you guess what the magic stuff is that we all can’t live without? (No, it’s not oil.)

In his classes, Bill not only passes on a bounty of practical, common sense ideas, he also inspires people to experience being alive on the planet, finding their connectedness with life, their passion and ways to make a world that works for everybody.  (Midwestpermaculture.com). Listen to audio.

We met Bill in 2007 when we videotaped his presentation “A Permaculture Perspective: Living in Authenticity During Energy Descent at “A Renaissance of Local” in Colorado.

Watch Bill plus two other guests in “A Permaculture Course for Busy People” (episode 171).

Watch the video »

149: Santa Barbara Students Lead the Way to Sustainability

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

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pm149_150.jpgTake a personal tour with members of Santa Barbara City College’s Student Sustainability Coalition. They’re propelling action — like bringing fresh, local organic produce daily to the salad bar, and placing recycling bins in the cafeteria. They’re educating the campus all year round and especially during Sustainability Week — on the climate crisis, renewables, and campus transportation alternatives. Now their advisor, professor Adam Green, has formed a Center for Sustainability for the college campuses, curriculum and community (sustainability.sbcc.edu).

Watch the video »

146 Permaculture for Humanity

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

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pm146_150.jpgThe future is abundant, asserts permaculture designer Larry Santoyo. His vision of living in the present provides a wonderful antidote to fear about uncertain futures. People need to rediscover that we’re part of the ecosystem, and apply permaculture design principles to the many problems we face. Larry teaches sustainable permaculture design as a discovery of the world around us. He notes that trying to be self-sufficient is really anti-permaculture. Instead, we need to develop self-reliance skills. Then as we find others in our communities to interact with, everybody gets to play! (www.earthflow.com)

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120 Go-Getter Gets Governments Going on Sustainability

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

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pm120_150.jpgEnergetic Kris Holstrom is the first Sustainability Coordinator for Telluride and a smart Colorado county. The action plan she developed encompasses energy efficiency and renewables, green building, food and water security, economy, and recycling/resource recovery. She enlightens us about green codes, incentives and rebates, a household energy audit program, public education speakers and conferences, even farm tours for schoolkids. For Kris, what’s at the heart of sustainability is building relationships within the community and with the land, wherever we live.

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119 Little House on a Small Planet

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

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pm119_150.jpgBuilder and author Shay Salomon finds that the happiest home builders are often the ones with the smallest houses. They’re less costly to build and maintain, more likely to be finished, use fewer resources and help people simplify their lives. One version of “smaller” is to share a house, which can ease our loneliness while building our social network. Co-founder of the Small House Society, Shay notes that scaling down can enable a ratcheting up of our whole lifestyle, as we revalue quality over quantity. Declaring “Enough”, she says, is the most ecological thing one can do. [www.littlehouseonasmallplanet.com]

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115 Calm Before the Storm

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

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pm115_150.jpgRichard Heinberg, author of “Peak Everything”, reviews the accelerating events since mid-2007, including the credit crunch and fossil fuel price volatility, noting that we’ve missed most of the best opportunities to manage collapse. He asks, “how far down the staircase of complexity will our global civilization have to go until we’re sustainable?” His answer: when managed properly, with deliberate simplification, not as far as we might otherwise. In addition to long term efforts to relocalize our economies, he advocates developing community “resilience” to withstand short-term catastrophic events like food shortages or extreme weather. Noting that healthy fear can move us into action, he encourages an attitude of clarity, concern and informed action in this “calm before the storm” that he feels is soon coming to an end. [www.richardheinberg.com]. An English language transcript of this conversation is here.

That evening we videotaped Richard’s presentation on Peak Everything, titled “Kiss Your Gas Goodbye.” DVDs are available here. Read Janaia’s reflections on her conversation with Richard at Janaia’s Journal.

Watch the video »

112 Learning From the Collapse of Earlier Societies

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

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pm112_150.jpgAccording to Professor Guy Prouty, every civilization rises, evolves, and then collapses to a simpler structure — and this will include our own. Comparing America with the Western Roman Empire, Prouty notes the over-reach of our military, the unsustainability of capitalism, peak oil, and climate change. And, this time, we may see a global collapse. Transitioning to a simpler society will require us to change behavior and consciousness: decrease energy, get out of debt, decentralize, de-consume, grow our own food, build community, see ourselves as connected to the planet. Collapse is not the end, he says. It’s part of a natural cycle.

Watch the video »