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Culture Change print magazine issues: 20  19  18  17  16  15  14  13  12  11  10  9  8  index

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


Failure to change culture explained!

by Richard Register

The movement of the 1960s was a juxtaposition of dropping out, taking it easy in a low consumption lifestyle, and fanatical work for the movement: organizing demonstrations, producing underground newspapers, draft counseling and so on. One simultaneously cooled out and worked like a dog. New horizons opened up with injustice and ecological poisoning rubbed in everyoneís nose. Psychedelics, eastern philosophy and mysticism entered the culture. As dropping out of the global economy and boycotting the multinationals today could be a profound strategy, so it seemed in the ë60s, and it helped stopped the bombers as well as the "odious" "gears and levers" of the industrial machine that Mario Savio urged us to place our bodies against.

But something was missing: creativity, requiring work and a sense of order and other forms of discipline that seemed anathema to the movement. Yet nothing gets built without the rigorous methods of going from vision to application of that vision. Without consistent work of the sort to build a different reality, especially in regard to our largest physical products and the largest patterns of consumption of resources, the good vibes and right insights of the era were destined to produce little. We were NOT facing up to the basic issue of the necessity to understand the creative process enough to re-create the cities, towns, villages, transportation systems and everything else connectedóthe biggest and most energy consuming intimately interlinked creations of humanity. Nor were we scientifically plumbing the basic principles of structuring the built habitat and related systems. Society built sprawled development, and with it a gargantuan dependence on cars, oil, vast acreage of raw land, millions of tons of asphalt, trillions of dollars, billions of wasted hours and half a million lives expunged globally every year in car wrecks. Itís an amazing story because we are STILL not confronting what it means to rebuild and reshape our society. We need a healthy relationship with living nature and an essentially conservationist/restorationist relationship with resources.

Now as in the ë60s it is not enough to just drop out and become lower-consumption people among the growing millions of others who couldnít care less. We can dream on that our good intentions will let us sail on through, but unconsciously as in the 1960s; the next drop out phase will also fail to build a better society. We still need to add to humane insights the inspiration phase of creativityólargely spontaneous and intuitiveóthe methods of clear systematic thinking, and sustained, organized, disciplined efforts. Itís difficult, but to solve the problems on the scale they have become, how could it have ever been imagined to be easy?

Richard Register, "Depaving King," is President of Ecocity Builders, Berkeley:



Articles of interest:
Measuring and controlling the actions of governments 

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

Culture Change was founded by Sustainable Energy Institute (formerly Fossil Fuels Policy Action), a nonprofit torganization.