Culture Change
20 September 2020
Garden as if Your Life Depended On It, Because It Will
by Ellen LaConte   
Spring has sprung--at least south of the northern tier of states where snow still has a ban on it--and the grass has ‘riz. And so has the price of most foods, which is particularly devastating just now when so many Americans are unemployed, underemployed, retired or retiring, on declining or fixed incomes and are having to choose between paying their mortgages, credit card bills, car payments, and medical and utility bills and eating enough and healthily. Many are eating more fast food, prepared foods, junk food--all of which are also becoming more expensive--or less food.
“BPA-Free” Label No Guarantee That Plastics Are Safe
by Sarah (Steve) Mosko, PhD   
ImageEditor's note: Did you think dangerous plastic is being dealt with? Nope. "Most of a sample of 455 commercially available products tested positive for EA [estrogenic activity]." How about plant-based plastics? "PLA (polylactic acid), a newer resin derived from corn and marketed as compostable under certain conditions, ranked highest with 91 percent of PLA products showing EA."
Nuclear Power Accidents & Our Ability To Predict Peak Oil Impacts
by Charles Cresson Wood   
Three Mile Island
In response to the recent tsunamis, the resulting nuclear power plant breakdowns, and the ensuing environmental releases of radioactive materials, one Japanese governmental official claimed that contingency plans “failed to anticipate the scale of the disaster.” In 2001, Australian nuclear engineer Tony Wood indicated that probabilistic risk assessments (PRAs) failed to anticipate the events that led to the world’s worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl (in 1986 in what is now the Ukraine).
Dr. Helen Caldicott Says Japan Crisis Can Dwarf Chernobyl Disaster
by Jan Lundberg   
Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock has just produced a definitive interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott, the world's foremost anti-nuclear activist and authority. Listen to it now at Here are some notes I took from the broadcast:
• Smoke has been reported rising from the Fukushima unit number 3. If it's from fuel-cooling pools that contain plutonium, that's a major (to put it mildly) disaster.
• one millionth of a gram of plutonium ingested causes cancer.
The Problems With Smart Grids: Dumb and Dangerous
by B. Blake Levitt and Chellis Glendinning   
Culture Change note: As if you weren’t getting enough radiation: now comes really bad news in the form of smart grids. GE -- the designer of Fukushima nukes and 23 nukes in the U.S. like Fukushima's -- is the largest manufacturer of Smart Meters in the world. The con job continues. The System is out to get us. - JL

How is it that so many intelligent, inside-the-beltway environmentalists are buying into an eco-health-safety-finance debacle with the potential to increase energy consumption, endanger the environment, harm public health, diminish privacy, make the national utility grid more insecure, cause job losses, and make energy markets more speculative?

Transition or Transformation? Jan Lundberg Speaks at Transition Towns Meeting
by Jan Lundberg   
ImageThree videos are offered from my talk at the March 5 Pasadena, Calif. gathering of North East Los Angeles Transition, after screening "Transition 1.0 - from Oil Dependence to Local Resilience."

With footage for over 20 minutes for my talk, two parts had to be created for YouTube's requirements, plus a third video of humor and music.

Progress is Heresy: Nukes and the Abandonment of Traditions
by Jan Lundberg   
ImageIn traditional cultures that cared for the land, all people enjoyed generation after generation of living reasonably, if not perfectly or with fabulous wealth. Food was grown locally, as were plant medicines and materials for clothing and shelter. Some big trees were left standing, taken only occasionally for a long-lasting community purpose such as a dugout canoe -- not for one man's private patio.

This time-honored way of living did not see freeways or nuclear power stations take over the landscape

Is This It? Collapse and a New Dawn Triggered from Japan
by Jan Lundberg   
Image Society appears to be exiting the age of extreme economic competition and entering the transformation to a culture of cooperation. Nature and humanity must start getting along together, as our ancestors did for so many millennia before the dominant order started its relentless take-over several thousand years ago.

But before we can reach a new equilibrium and attain a sustainable coexistence, our civilization seems to have guaranteed a transition from orderly competition to desperate individual and small band competition.

The End of Nuclear and its Timing
by Jan Lundberg   
Image Three days before the Fukushima nuclear power explosion, I made this comment on a peace activist's Facebook page: "I believe a successful, final anti-nuke campaign will only take place in one of two ways: (1) collapse puts the entire infrastructure of industry and consumption out of business, forcing the survivors to minimally babysit the nukes forever, or, there's an accident or deliberate blast or meltdown that motivates people all over the world to shut down the mechanical beast once and for all."
Peak Oil & Deficiencies In Risk Assessment Methodologies
by Charles Cresson Wood   
ImageEditor's note: This technical analysis nails the failure of government and corporate culture to address peak oil, laying bare the shortcomings of planning only for short-term goals. He has welcomed my putting his analysis into the broader context, which I do in a comment at the end. - Jan Lundberg

Serious and sustained disruptions caused by peak oil -- up to and including total systemic shutdown -- face the food, water, transportation, and other complex systems

The Health Economy — The Alternative to Federal Government Shutdown
by David Cundiff, MD   
Editor's Note: the author's book The Health Economy was introduced to Culture Change readers on Nov. 17, 2010, but it is now in a new e-book edition. The Health Economy concept's most prestigious endorsement was when Dr. George Lundberg, former chief editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, recently linked to our previous review in his At Large column at MedPage Today. The following is the latest manifesto for the Health Economy. - JL

The Health Economy will take the place of today’s bankrupt Waste Economy that has let down working people.

Subtle Genocide Is Revisiting Cerro Rico, Bolivia
by Jan Lundberg   
ImageImageThe scene of several million deaths at the hands of Spaniard invaders, Cerro Rico ("rich hill") is just above the city of Potosí in Bolivia. In May 2010, I noted significant amounts of plastic debris all over the mountainside, but I couldn't guess the source. The answer, from my local driver, is that the miners working in the mountain constantly use plastic bags for their daily coca supplies. Chewing the leaves provides stamina and curbs hunger.
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