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18 December 2014
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The Techno-Fantasies of Evo Morales: The Consequences of Modernization
by Chellis Glendinning   
ImageCochabamba, Bolivia

On 22 January 2006, newly inaugurated President Evo Morales made his exuberant procession through the streets of La Paz to join the throngs of supporters awaiting him in the Plaza de los Héroes. To the excited crowds, Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano announced that the historic event signaled “the end of fear.” Vice-president Álvaro Garcia Linera shouted that, in the new government, poor Bolivianos would be given equality at last.

 
Three Car-Free Ways of Existence to Choose from
by Jan Lundberg   
- RE-UPDATED - Art contest for depicting lifestyles DONE
We have the winners for our Lifestyles #1, #2 and #3 depicted for our Three Car-Free Ways of Existence. Joining Greg Jalbert's successful entries for #1 and #2 is Woody Barlettani for Lifestyle #3, the ecovillage hunter-gatherer. The winners received Jan Lundberg's new book
Songs of Petroleum.

#1: A bus rider in a big U.S. city trundles along on a polyester-petroleum covered metal or plastic seat,

 
Songs of Petroleum - Jan Lundberg's Autobiography
by Jan Lundberg   
Image
Our old home The Passat
I'm happy to announce that my first book, my autobiography, is completed. You can order it now and receive it immediately via Amazon.com. A new e-book version is about to become available which supersedes the version released earlier in December.

Songs of Petroleum is about to get in-depth reviews. Enjoy the passages and photos below and read a brief description of the book by Albert Bates, author of the awesome new book The Biochar Solution.

 
Where the Cancún Climate Conference Leaves Us
by Jan Lundberg   
This commentary contains a recap of the new Agreements as well as these sections:
• Do your neighbors care?
• Witnesses, keep it real
• Oil reality
• Factor: indigenous people (includes Bolivia's dissent)

There is no reliable scientific assessment on just where we are vis-à-vis global climate destabilization. We can do better by acting on clear trends and options.

 
The “Stuff” of the American Energy Footprint
by Sarah (Steve) Mosko, PhD   
Image Americans today are generally aware that we consume far more energy per capita than most of the world’s peoples, over four times the world average and double that of regions like Japan and Europe which enjoy a similar standard of living. Most of us reflect on home gas and electric bills plus the fuel pumped into our cars’ gas tanks when judging our personal energy footprints.
 
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.
 
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