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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


Good-bye Alliance for a Paving Moratorium? Hello sustainability

After several more months of activism without great support for stopping road construction, we at Sustainable Energy/Culture Change are deciding what activities and projects we will retain. Our answer is this magazine, yes; Alliance for a Paving Moratorium, maybe not. Some of what we do here makes sense for us personally and as activists, and so our organization adapts so we can keep contributing sustainably.

The Alliance for a Paving Moratorium was our main project for eleven of our thirteen years. In our 13th year our efforts became mainly petroleum-dependence education, with concern for climate and societyís (in)ability to withstand energy/economic/ecological collapse. Auto-Free Times reflected this, and had less and less road-fighting. If the Alliance were vital and had groups participating and advancing the cause, we would not bear the brunt of all the cost and pressure. Instead of a vital movement, we find moderate interest out there for reining in sprawl and improving bicycle/pedestrian/mass-transit facilities. Global warming and conserving energy are, sadly, also of moderate public interest right now.

We have worked hard and long, sacrificing not just personal income potential but time for relaxation. Some of us in the sustainability biz work so much we donít walk much of the walk. Meanwhile, the masses of people are probably going to adhere to consuming as usual, and will not bring about change proactively. Instead, people will find themselves out of petroleumóno trucks coming into Safeway or Wal-Mart. And then, "all hell will break loose." At that point we donít have any illusions that crowds will peacefully ask for guidance from Permaculture Activist, for example.

Therefore, what we strive for is to advance sustainable living now, and see how much sticks during and after the transition out of the Petroleum/Military Economy. An end to global trade due to costly, tight oil supplies will mean local economics prevail, and greenhouse gas emissions will scale back. All road building will end, as will almost all road maintenance.

Human power cannot compare to "hundreds of horse power" energy from once plentiful, cheap high grade petroleum.

The era ahead commands our groupís attention even more than the next toll road threatening a special place.

What kind of a culture will we see emerging and taking root, and how can we get more people involved in the process? That is what our work is mostly about henceforth. At this point we should go out of the bike sticker and t-shirt business, and may not expand Pedal Power Produce, if our office is destined to be more focused on our reborn magazine. We will increase if possible the media interviews and other exposure such as op-eds and letters-to-editors. Maybe we will even relinquish maintaining a nonprofit corporation, and be less structured.

Prior to relaunching our magazine we planned on dividing up the essential tasks among three or four of us, eliminating the need for a physical office. One can operate from the road (via copy centers), the sea (if Sail Transport Network grows), and our homes (temporary as they might be). As for grantwriting, one can utilize another organization as fiscal sponsor in order to receive grant funds. We could become simply individual activists operating as a collective instead of as a formal bureaucracy. A true movement supports activists through sheer numbers of people.

If things really start to change, as in "the Berlin Wall is torn down overnight," we can easily get busier and make ourselves available more fully as an organization with all the amenities and services, if well supported.

If anyone wants to revive the Alliance for a Paving Moratorium and has the resources and track record to handle it, we would consider transferring responsibility here in Arcata, bringing new energy into our collective. Or we could cast off entirely the APM aspect of our work and help another group set up shop with it elsewhere. This is the time to come forward. - J

The only act of revolution left in a collective world is thinking for yourself.

- Bob Geldof, rock impresario for famine relief, and former road worker, on not being part of a political movement. From his autobiography, Is That It?

View Issue #19 / View all Issues



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.