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Pedal Power solutions to petroleum dependence and polluting vehicles: Arcata Library Bikes, Pedal Power Produce, and more!

CAOE - Committee Against Oil Exploration - stop offshore oil drilling to protect sensitive habitats and cut petroleum dependence.

Culture Change through music! The Depavers eco-rock!

Take our Pledge for Climate Protection and learn about the Global Warming Crisis Council.

SEI hometown action!
Arcata city council's proclamation against war on Iraq and Kyoto Protocol proclamation.

Overpopulation has become a reality.  Overpopulation Resources and News Tidbits

Sail Transport Network

Fact Sheets
Press Releases

Long Distance


Culture Change e-Letter #1 

Burned up about planet burning up?
Alternative to Techno-Enslavement

As technology advances, we have less security and less freedom in our daily lives.  The nuclear threat is the best example.  But nukes are only one manifestation, and are not separate from the general technological and wasteful nature of our artificial (e.g., paved) environments.  It is the workplace, residential and four-wheeled environments that dispirit our animal selves as much as nuclear holocaust that hangs over our heads.  Our true selves need more than a cold beer and television—or even more than a great book or being loved by one's chosen mate.

We work harder than ever and are forced to adopt newer ways, just to obtain food and put shoes on the kids' feet.  In a previous generation, the job was a livelihood spent outside, or working in a craft indoors while using one's hands.  Now masses of us not only use email, but must upgrade our computer sophistication more and more often.  The more advanced into the realm of technology we go, the less connected we are to nature in our immediate space and waking consciousness.  But the element of coercion comes along with the whole process, as we are forced to go along with the distancing from nature.  We are therefore more enslaved as technology develops and proliferates. We are sealed into a techno-box, as it were, which was not as complete when a worker formerly earned a wage from stoking the furnace of a factory.  

We know this culture began when we exploited nature to gain a larger and larger food supply, working more and more hours per day to achieve it.  Soon the population growth forced and enabled the encroachment on hunter-gatherer cultures and habitats of wild species.  To jump forward to today, the dominant expression of power is, in effect, that the bullies take what they want and take lives to achieve their ends.  Wars are common manifestations of the collective tendency to maintain overwork and being herded like sheep to survive.

This sounds too unreasonable or revolutionary to those who have grown up and given up their dreams.  They just never found out alternative ways of living, such as communal or tribal.  As old fashioned or Utopian as they sound, those ways actually comprise over 99% of human history.  An inkling of the truthfulness and superiority of an alternative to overworking and overpopulating (while trashing the planet and undermining our economic security in the process) is found when, for example, we stumble on some publicized research done by Russians several years ago: mutual cooperation is much more effective than competition in getting the desired results in an agreed upon goal.  [Future editions of this online newsletter will continue Culture Change's explorations on sustainable living and how to boost the growing movement of human liberation via respect for nature.]

Periodically, in Bike to Work days, a cyclist and his or her bike are pitted against a car driver and the multi-horsepower of the heavy, expensive and deadly machine.  A course is laid out for accomplishing errands around some city during a reasonable amount of time, and... guess which mode of transport always wins hands-down: the bike is much faster.  The bicyclist also got exercise, saved money, and could greet a friend on the way and show off some muscles.  Don't try that in a car when you're supposed to be avoiding a random child or dog that should not be flattened under your wheels.  

Economically, a motorist has so much time wrapped up in earning money for the purchase and maintenance of the car, and in working for the gasoline and insurance money, etc., that when translated into time, the actual adjusted speed of the average U.S. car driver is under five miles per hour.  Alienation from nature is the car-driver's lot (pardon the pun), as well as breathing toxic fumes.  The fact that more teenagers are being killed on the nation's roads each afternoon than were murdered at the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, is just an unpleasant detail for the corporate mass media to cover up as they advertise cars. [If you must buy a car, buy a used one.]

On a bike, or better yet on foot, one can smell the roses and be a better citizen by taking up an appropriate amount of space as one travels (instead of several square yards, as a car does even when parked).  But there is evil afoot in our complicity with the fossil-fueled status quo: as industry and deforestation warm the globe and distort the climate, spring is flowering earlier and earlier.  The scientific community has deemed it evidence of the global warming that comes principally from greenhouse gases accumulating.  What the public doesn't realize is (1) today's emissions will not produce their full effect on the climate for several decades, and (2) positive feedback loops, such as melting more ice and releasing more CO2 and methane (the main greenhouse gases), could be kicking in already and can turn the Earth into a Venusian hell.  

But that's alright with the culture's lineage of unthinking leadership that made the accumulation of material wealth the dominant value to live (and kill) by.  Laws are most strongly created and applied in regard to protecting private property at the expense of nature and people's needs—needs that require everyone to start sharing, as we did not so long ago in the time scale of our species.

Thanks for living simply, that others may simply live.

- Jan Lundberg


For more information please visit the Culture Change home page:

What to do about the above can be considered in the
Pledge for Climate Stabilization, at:

Jan Lundberg's columns are protected by copyright; however, non-commercial use of the material is permitted as long as full attribution is given with a link to this website, and he is informed of the re-publishing:


Articles of interest:
Anti-globalization protest grows, with tangible results.  WTO protests page

Tax fossil-fuel energy easily
by Peter Salonius

UK leader calls War on Terror "bogus"

Argentina bleeds toward healing by Raul Riutor

The oil industry has plans for you: blow-back by Jan Lundberg

It's not a war for oil? by Adam Khan

How to create a pedestrian mall by Michelle Wallar

The Cuban bike revolution

How GM destroyed the U.S. rail system excerpts from the film "Taken for a Ride".

"Iraqi oil not enough for US: Last days of America?"

Depaving the world by Richard Register

Roadkill: Driving animals to their graves by Mark Matthew Braunstein

The Hydrogen fuel cell technofix: Spencer Abraham's hydrogen dream.

Ancient Forest Protection in Northern California . Forest defenders climb trees to save them.

Daniel Quinn's thoughts on this website.

A case study in unsustainable development is the ongoing crisis in Palestine and Israel.

Renewable and alternative energy information.

Conserving energy at home (Calif. Title 24)



Culture Change/Sustainable Energy Institute mailing address: P.O. Box 3387 , Santa Cruz , California 95063 USA
  Telephone 1-215-243-3144 (and fax)

Culture Change (Trademarked) is published by Sustainable Energy Institute (formerly Fossil Fuels Policy Action), a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) California non-stock corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.