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16 January 2019
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The Global Coolers - part two of the story
by Jan Lundberg   
02 January 2008

But still the global-heating life-style basically went on. After some reductions in personal emissions, many people felt stuck and did not know what more to do. Stating in May, some people, typically youth, took the plunge and renounced school and jobs permanently, to start working the land in collectives to grow local food or to restore nature by daylighting creeks. The hope was that a radical shift in life-style, if widely adopted, could save the climate, in part by undermining the corporate paradigm of endless growth and consumerism.

Some who joined these informal collectives and budding communities were handy with skills such as gardening, bike repair and bike-cart assembly from scrap materials. For those without special skills, volunteering for child-care, cooking, mending clothes, or creating barter fairs, came easy. Skill-sharing workshops became popular, in part because people realized that almost all the shoes, for example, purchased today were from China. Cobblers in the U.S. were almost extinct.

The Global Coolers - a story
by Jan Lundberg   
25 December 2007

- confidential/embargoed narrative from Sub Assistant Gaia -

It was another day of helplessness at our Middle School when more children than usual came into the office having asthma attacks. Diesel-soot tinged breezes had again invaded the school yard and classrooms.

We were being hit from an additional direction, and it was related to the air-quality situation: the newspapers and even Fox News had another depressing story on the disappearance of entire glaciers. Climate change was out of control, while efforts to deal with it were so much talk. The emotions rising in many of us included fear, rage and disgust.

But this day onward was to mark a clear response and see constructive emotions come into play, by more people than anyone would have supposed. One child was to spark a sea change in the mood and aspirations of millions of people who had been complacent and lacking in hope.

Before I go on with my story, let me explain that because I’m still employed by the school district as a teacher’s aid, this narrative is being held back for a short time. I can’t give my name, or the place I work, even though few would suspect me of helping to guide a very disobedient campaign of civil disobedience -- when I appear to be such a strait-laced little woman. As soon as this background can be released, you will be reading about how we turned society on its ear back in 2008 and gave the U.S. a better name before the family of nations.

"Re-learning" what we've forgotten
by Chris Maser   
23 December 2007

Editor’s note: This is Chris Maser’s Part Three of his series for Culture Change. I ate this one up, because ever since I read a 1987 article in Discover magazine by Jared Diamond, about hunter-gatherers’ working only a few hours a day a few days a week, I’ve been aware that our modern way of life is not what it’s cracked up to be. In Maser’s article there is solid anthropological insight applicable to our current challenge as a dysfunctional society facing extinction. In his 18 maxims, he concludes with "Placing material wealth, as symbolized by the money chase, above spirituality, nature, and human well-being is the road to social impoverishment, environmental degradation, and the collapse of societies and their life-support systems." - Jan Lundberg

If we all treat one another with the best principles of human relationships, it is analogous to complying with Nature’s biophysical principles by taking responsibility for our own behavior. In other words, if I want to become acquainted with you, it is incumbent on me to determine how I must treat you in order to allow, even encourage, you to reciprocate in kind. Thus, for me to receive the best service, it is my responsibility to initiate a good relationship with the person serving me. Likewise, to have an adequate supply of quality resources in the form of ecoogical services from Nature to run our cities, we must take care of the land in a way that perpetuates the natural capital we require for a quality life. Here, the bottom line is that, by treating one another—as well as the land—with respect, we are uniting the two disparate entities into a single, self-reinforcing feedback loop of complementary services that can be perpetuated through time.

Now we are human commodities
by Chris Maser   
23 December 2007

Editor’s note: Chris Maser’s observations and insights are as sharp as a laser. He truly sees the big picture through the millennia of human experience. Such as: "…people themselves are increasingly seen as economic commodities. How can a commodity find security from another commodity? In this sense, the marketplace satisfies only temporarily our collective neuroses, while hiding the values that give true meaning to human life." This article is Part Two in Maser’s series for Culture Change. This one starts out with a run-down of the origin of the corporation and its rise to dominant power today; this section is vital for those uninformed about corporate personhood. – Jan Lundberg

* * *

The corporation, it turns out, is an invention of the British Crown through the creation of the East India Company by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, which, being the original, transnational corporation, set today’s precedence for big businesses. The East India Company, "found India rich and left it poor," says author Nick Robin. The corporate structure of the East India Company was deemed necessary to allow the British to exploit their colonies in such a way that the owner of the enterprise was, for the first time, separated from responsibility for how the enterprise behaved.

This conscious separation of personal responsibility from the act of looting is not surprising because "looting" is, theoretically as least, considered immoral in Christian circles. The corporation is thus a "legal fiction," that lets the investors who own the business avoid personal responsibility whenever the business dealings are unethical or even blatantly illegal, despite the fact that such unscrupulous behavior profits them enormously.

How we've made ourselves into abstractions
by Chris Maser   
22 December 2007

Editor's note: Chris Maser is a leading author with an interdisciplinary knowledge-base of sciences. His purpose is to help his readers and clients deeply understand our world and its problems, so that his answers resound with logic and heart. In considering the development of our species, touched on briefly but well done, Chris identifies our essential challenge: "...once the world is divided into ‘us’ versus ‘them,’ people perceive the necessity of acting either in ‘self-interest’ or ‘self-defense,’ which today translates into our ‘national interest’ versus everyone else’s. And it’s this sense of dualism that’s the seat of humanity’s increasingly fragmented view of a seamless world." He develops this further in a section titled Consolidation of Personal Power. Chris’s insights include hunter-gatherer culture, which helps him be a most effective ecologist and forester, among other capabilities. - Jan Lundberg

In discussing how I think fear subverted the sharing, caring way of life that most hunting-gathering societies enjoyed (replacing it gradually, insidiously with a life ruled progressively by acquisition, competition, subjugation, and fear itself), it is important to remember that mine is -- at very best -- a grossly simplistic notion of what might have happened, beginning with the development of language.

Upcoming reports, essays and projects from Culture Change
by Jan Lundberg   
21 December 2007

Greetings readers of Culture Change, on the Solstice! Over the Holidays and thereafter you can look forward to these hard-hitting and sometimes uplifting essays and reports:

• "Financial meltdown: one of the new Four Horsemen arrives"
A financial-markets observer connects the subprime crisis with interrelated factors and deeper socioeconomic contradictions that are converging for the perfect storm.
by Igor Stalew

• "The new age of sail: where theory and reality meet"
by Dmitry Orlov

• "How we've made ourselves into abstractions" (part one)
• "Now we are human commodities" (part two)
• "Relearning what we have forgotten" (part three)
by Chris Maser, scientist, author, and consultant on environmental land-use development/sustainable communities/forestry

• "Solar-system's habitable zone closes in as CO2 levels rise"
The sun continues to get hotter, while the Earth's safety depends on reducing greenhouse-gas composition in the atmosphere.
by William Le Bon

• "Reinventing Collapse -- book review and profile of author Dmitry Orlov"
by Kevin Capp

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