How this culture makes addicts of us all
Suppose our unsustainable economy wasn’t in the early stages of complete collapse, and that we weren’t running out of the cheap energy on which our society totally depends, and that we hadn’t so screwed up our environment that we’d precipitated runaway climate change.
Everything would be fine, right?
I’m beginning to realize that the psychological damage that our culture has inadvertently wrought on us all is probably more severe than the physical desolation we have wreaked upon our planet, and that even if we weren’t witnessing the end of the industrial growth economy, affordable natural resources and stable climate, we would still be witnessing the collapse of our culture. This article is an attempt to understand why that is so.
Neighborhood associations are often at the forefront of efforts to create and/or maintain community assets.
Oregon Commons teamed up with the East Portland Neighborhood Office this winter for a gathering of board members from 13 neighborhood associations. The goal was to strengthen relationships and celebrate positive accomplishments of neighborhood associations.
The focus was not only on the physical commons of East Portland, but also on the process of working together to create, protect and preserve our commons for future generations.
Winning the Climate Culture War
The long-term strategic goal is not “belief” in scientific results. It isn’t even particular policies that reduce carbon pollution. It is a loosely networked but intense and activated movement devoted to a shared vision of a better society (a future that makes sense, you might call it). It doesn’t have to be a broad consensus. It can and will start small. But it should serve as a cultural attractor, with the goal of growing large enough to motivate meaningful change.
Communities in Energy Transition
Our energy transition (to a sustainable, low-carbon development path) may turn out to be highly dependant on the engendering and embedding of new types of social practice as well as on the widespread uptake of new low-carbon technologies. This research paper from Grassroots Innovations argues that social change and social movements may be of vital importance in the energy transition, because the energy transition implies significant systems change and systems level innovations and not just individual-level behaviour change. Therefore market segmentation models that focus on behaviour change at the individual-level are missing the systemic implications of an energy transition. Behaviour change will likely occur in the context of changing values, lifestyles, and cultural norms modulated through social contexts, including social movements.
Bartering Helps Greeks Survive Economic Crisis
The entire country of Greece is currently facing economic ruin. In case you haven’t been keeping up with news of the Greek debt crisis, here’s CNN’s take in a nutshell:
“Years of unrestrained spending, cheap lending and failure to implement financial reforms left Greece badly exposed when the global economic downturn struck. This whisked away a curtain of partly fiddled statistics to reveal debt levels and deficits that exceeded limits set by the eurozone.”
Tired of inflated prices and devalued money, Greek communities have begun to ressurect an alternative economy from past centuries. In the two years since Greece’s economy has been in really bad shape, more than a hundred networks which deal in non-currency transactions have sprung up across the country.
Instead of tapping into already stressed bank accounts to pay for clothes, food, or even a much-needed respite like art or yoga lessons, people are using their own time and talents to facilitate trades with others in their community.
Community Aquaponics Project Gives Free Food to the Homeless
Shopping center maintenance man sets up aquaponic garden behind the 7-11 and makes food available to the less fortunate in Australia.
Reblogged from tragicabbot.
“Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars”, performed by Buddy Wakefield. Pure genius.
Cultural mapping involves a community identifying and documenting local cultural resources. Through this endeavour, cultural elements are recorded – the tangibles like galleries, craft industries, distinctive landmarks, local events, and industries, as well as intangibles like memories, personal histories, attitudes, and values.
After identifying the elements that make a community unique, cultural mapping involves initiating a range of community activities or projects, to record, conserve and use these elements.
The most fundamental goal of cultural mapping is to help communities recognise, celebrate, and support cultural diversity for economic, social and regional development."
— Clarice Africa, The Philippines conducts mapping survey of heritage sites, Asia Pacific FutureGov, 27 September 2011.