A wonderful opportunity to socialize, learn new stuff, eat great food (we have food trucks this year), hear some talented musicians, see the new Edible Garden, and take part in Albany’s annual Green extravaganza. Transition Albany is a sponsor this year and we’ve tried to extend the scope of tables offering information on how to create strong community and move out of the fossil fuel age.
If you would like to help out at our table for an hour or two please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
On the night before Earth Day 2013, all over the US people are sitting down to watch the movie, Do The Math, a celebration of Bill McKibben’s climate tour last year and of the growing movement for climate sanity.
Seeing this film will give you new hope that people power can indeed accomplish the improbable in our struggle with Big Oil Money. If people power could abolish an institution as ingrained as slavery, or a prejudice as deep as apartheid, or a social injustice as pervasive as the war on women, we can do this too.
Please invite your friends and attend a screening somewhere near you. You can locate your nearest location here.
Bill’s 2012 Do The Math tour, and the article of the same title he published in Rolling Stone Magazine started a serious and successful campaign to get educational insitutions divested from fossil fuels. Read about that here.
Since then, he has written another inspiring article, The Fossil Fuel Resistance, which you can read here.
And the US State Department is open for comments on its flawed environmental impact report on the Keystone XL Pipeline until April 22nd. So please send in your comments today. You can read about it and take action at this website: http://act.350.org/letter/a_million_strong_against_keystone/
We are bigger than Fossil Fuels.
That was the question posed to me by Sheri Spellwoman when she was running for Albany City Council in 2012.
And this is the answer I sent her:
As Yogi Berra famously said, “The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be.”
Let’s start by agreeing on a fully-responsible frame of reference that doesn’t shrink from the facts:
- The human race has to stop using planetary “resources” at a rate that is destroying habitat, causing the Sixth Great Extinction (see National Geographic article), and producing greenhouse gases at a scale that threatens to heat the global environment beyond the tolerance of plant and animal life.
- Going small and local will not only mitigate our effect on the planet, but help prepare us for when these “resources” run out – in the foreseeable future, and almost certainly within the lifetime of the young – so that we, and all our (human and non-human) cohabitants on the planet, can continue to meet basic needs and live with dignity.
- The global economy – based on extraction of limited resources yet demanding constant upward growth – is bound to fail, either quickly and dramatically or slowly and painfully, and we need to prepare for that by putting in place localized, alternative ways to get our needs met.
So what should our priorities be in Albany? At this point, “Sustainability” seems almost out of reach. “Resilience” might be a better goal as we adapt to an uncertain future – but these are just my thoughts. I strongly believe that we have the ingenuity right here in our own community to come up with effective solutions.
Thursday March 21, 7:30pm
A Daughter’s Portrait of Gregory Bateson
AN ECOLOGY OF MIND
Albany Twin Theatre, 1115 Solano Avenue, Albany, CA
Tickets $10 /$8 from the theatre in advance or at the door
Winner: Media Ecology Association John Culkin 2011 Award for
Winner: Audience Choice BEST DOCUMENTARY The Santa Cruz Film Festival 2011
Winner: BEST DOCUMENTARY The Spokane International Film Festival 2011
Official Selection: The Vancouver International Film Festival
Official Selection: Bioneers Film Festival
Official Selection: Cinema Pacific Film Festival
Official Selection: Haida Gwaii Film Festival
NEW YORK TIME OUT MAGAZINE’S PICK OF THE WEEK
for the American Museum of Natural History NY Premiere.
We are very fortunate that Nora Bateson, the filmmaker and his daughter, will be present for this screening, the official public release of her documentary. The documentary leaves me in a clear, expanded and joyful state, of heart rather than mind. It is a testimony to the universal relevance of Gregory Bateson’s thinking and the skill of Nora’s film making that everyone I have shown it to has loved it.
I first came across the film in Oxford, England, where Nora was screening it to a largely academic audience. At the end she asked for questions and comments but people were sitting in a kind of altered state, so she simply continued to weave the magic beautifully as she spoke for another 20 minutes.
This kind of experience is rare but has never had more relevance. Unless we find a new way to see the world and our place in it, there may be little hope for the human race. Gregory Bateson is a compelling thinker and teacher who might be able to help shift the balance from ‘me’ and ‘mine’ to ‘we’ and ‘ours,’ in the native American sense of ’all our relations’.
Here are a number of reviews that demonstrate the broad reach of Bateson’s teaching.
QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES TO ALBANY CITY COUNCIL
On October 2nd we invited all the candidates for Albany City Council to our Potluck with a Purpose and asked them to address the questions below. Nick Pilch, Todd Abbott, Peter Maass, Sheri Spellwoman and Ulan McKnight accepted our invitation and you can hear the entire evening’s discussion recorded here. (We apologize that you might have to guess at times who is speaking!)
The TRANSITION MOVEMENT began as a community response to climate change, resource depletion and increasing economic instability. We believe in reducing consumption to levels that create an even playing field worldwide and drastically reduce individual and community-wide carbon footprints. It is said humans have at most two years to turn around our production of greenhouse gases and avoid a vicious cycle of increased global warming.
- Which of your past achievements and/or actions would persuade voters that you are committed to a near-future for Albany that uses far fewer non-renewable resources and emits less greenhouse gases?
- What plans do you have within your four-year term to strengthen and implement Albany’s Climate Action Plan? Which items do you see as most important or pressing?
The TRANSITION movement believes that it is the people who live in a community and experience its challenges firsthand that can have the insight and genius to come up with the most appropriate solutions. In contrast, previous city councils have spent thousands of dollars, when the budget was already tight, on hiring outside consultants.
- How do you propose to tap into the genius of the community and also incorporate meaningful community input into the more important decisions you have to make on the community’s behalf?
The TRANSITION movement has the goal of creating resilient communities that produce a significant percentage of their essentials (food, energy, healthcare, housing etc.) locally. In addition, it is notable that local retailers/ suppliers return at least 52% of their revenue to the local economy, compared to just 14% for national chain retailers. (See study)
- What is your position regarding the environmentally superior alternative for the mixed use development at Monroe and San Pablo that includes a smaller, locally owned grocery store, affordable housing for our seniors, and generates 70% less carbon emissions than the one currently proposed by UC?
- How will you support local business owners?
- In what ways will you encourage increased local production of essentials (food, energy, healthcare, housing etc.)?
TWO FINAL QUESTIONS
- How would you balance doing what the majority of the community wants with what you think is the right thing, if the two don’t coincide?
- In many cities throughout the world, city councils partner with representatives from their Transition initiative. How would you feel about incorporating a Transition town task force to help address the challenges Albany will be facing in the coming years and create a more resilient community?