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26 October 2014
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Needed: A New Cultural Narrative
by Dan Hamburg   
ImageThe grave challenge of our time is not to reform the current system but to replace it. As our nation’s founders prescribed in the Declaration of Independence, when “any Form of Government becomes destructive” of the ends of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” it is not only our right, but our duty “to alter or to abolish it.”
 
Village Community and Nature: "It's no good" - Civilization
by Jan Lundberg   
Instead of extended family, human warmth, village society and closeness to nature, we lucky moderns have gone down a path strewn with material things increasingly designed for the junk heap. What is dawning on climate scientists, biologists and many more of us is that we as a species are headed for our own junk heap.

While I'm painfully aware of sea level rise, our bodies' contamination with plastic, falling sperm counts and profusion of cancers, I reject that our present path is our fate. Is it time to say "Screw civilization"?

 
Swallowing Up the Competition: Culture Disease with a Cure
by Jan Lundberg   
When Nestlé buys mineral water companies and mass markets the "product" in plastic, solely for fantastic profits, this trend cannot be reversed by laws. Laws against wrongdoing and greed at the top are hard to pass and harder to enforce. "Owning" watersheds was so foreign to the native Americans that the European invaders reaped an advantage we can call the warped mind disengaged from heart. Yet, in the long run, which culture is sustainable? Only one of them respects natural laws that, among a few other basics, revere water as the source of life for all.
 
Technology and Money Have Dragged Modern Culture to Cliff of Extinction
by Jan Lundberg   
Food, Water and War

Many who see the main title of this essay may readily turn off to the concept conveyed. The idea appears negative, never mind the need for the public to consider more deeply certain issues. Other readers of the title may see it as good tidings, for the making of an omelette requires breaking some eggs -- providing the extinction referred to is of modern culture and not of such a reader.

 
The Health Economy
by David Cundiff, MD   
Image David Cundiff emerges as the man of the hour for anyone interested in the connection of health, medical costs, and the socioeconomic basis of the U.S.'s spiraling affliction of many interrelated crises. To achieve this, his new book The Health Economy: Changing the Culture of Waste and Preventable Disease proposes bold, sensible restructuring of government spending and taxing to bring about greater citizen control over health, community and the direction that the nation is going in. - editor
 
Slouching Towards Cancun
by Albert Bates   
Editor's note: climate writer Albert Bates, author of the 1990 book Climate in Crisis (introduction by Al Gore), has captured the feeling many of us have about yet another international climate meeting:
“For the veterans, who are less like drunks and more like near-suicidal PTSD sufferers, a dramatic reduction of energy consumption in a complex society is quite unlikely, absent some catastrophic event.”
 
Floating Hostels to the Rescue - for Homeless Too
by Jan Lundberg   
ImageI was discussing with a salty old colleague the possibilities of Sail Transport Network here in Portland, Oregon. It's not the perfect environment for all-wind power, but there are ways of greatly reducing petroleum for trade and transport over land and water now, before petrocollapse. One idea that relates to sail power and community-building is to help the homeless population while enhancing the whole public good.
 
The Grassroots of Resilience
by Kate Bodi   
This report starts with the U.S. and concludes with a presentation by a witness to Argentina's financial collapse and community-based response a decade ago.

Image It shouldn’t take a worst-case scenario such as the complete economic and political collapse of Argentina in 2001 to teach us how to reduce our collective vulnerability to economic and political stressors. However, neither should we ignore history’s narrative on community resiliency amidst past disasters.

 
Embrace the Cooperative Movement
by Carlos Perez de Alejo   
Image In the midst of mounting economic insecurity, fueled by widespread unemployment, foreclosures and budget cuts, many people are seeking alternative models to business as usual. From community gardens to bartering networks, grassroots efforts are sprouting up across the country. One of the main pillars of this growing trend is an international institution with over 160 years of experience in local, sustainable economic development: a cooperative.
 
Transportation-Jobs and the Agenda for Overt Over-Consuming
by Jan Lundberg   
ImageWhether we listen to President Obama, Paul Krugman, Robert Samuelson, the Republicans, Tea Party-ers, or liberal progressives, they all want more “jobs,” a “recovery,” and “prosperity.” As long as lust for “growth” prevails, and the approved social critics also ignore the nature of the system and its collapse, then the runaway train of unprecedented chaos and ecosystem destruction is only accelerating.
 
Ragnarok - a post-collapse novel / Author interview
by Jerry Erwin and Tuna Cole   
ImageRagnarok, A Plausible Future by Tuna Cole is a non-chronological, near-future projection. In it, a small group of people, alarmed by the descending/contracting spiral apparent in a broad range of global trends, decide to pool resources in rural, arable property toward a self-sustainable, agrarian lifestyle conducive to survival. When key connections unravel (economic? energy shortfall? biospheric disruption?), civilization as we know it crumbles.
 
The Collapse: Looking Back - July 12, 2099
by Peter Goodchild   
ImageAlmost everything in the economy was either made from oil or required oil to manufacture it or operate it. As the price of oil went up, so did the price of everything else. This rise was referred to as “stagflation” -- stagnant incomes combined with price inflation. The hardest hit were those who had lost their jobs, followed by those with limited disposable income, which meant those most likely to have debts: car payments, house mortgages, credit cards, student loans. But everyone found that a dollar just didn’t stretch.
 
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