Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An Amazing Time to be Alive

The last time I posted, I was really depressed and angry about the irreparable anthropogenic destruction of our amazingly beautiful, abundant planet . . . but that isn't the whole story. There is a lot of good stuff going on, too -- and it heartens me every time I turn on the computer and read about another individual or group that is out there working toward a better future. So today, I'm sharing a few of the 'positives.’ Some of these are repeats, but well-worth the revisit.

Peak Moment TV is one of my favorites:
An online television series featuring people creating resilient communities for a more sustainable, lower-energy future. Programs range from permaculture farms to electric bikes, ecovillages to car-sharing, emergency preparedness to careers for the coming times. As of May 2010, over 170 half-hour programs are available online.

Peak Moment highlights the people here and now who are changing the world. The change we need is not going to trickle down -- it is going to come from the people themselves -- living more sustainably, more authentically, more joyfully, and serving as the role models of a new paradigm. Peak Moment gives us a preview of what that life could be.

Permies.com is another favorite. Paul Wheaton, the self-described dictator of the empire, oversees a network of forums, videos, articles and podcasts. There is more information at Permies than I could absorb in a lifetime, and a wealth of people who have been there and done that and are willing to help anyone who asks. As a resource, it can be a bit overwhelming, but if you want to know about rocket stoves, Hugelkultur, or WOFATI's, this is the place to go!

Then there is the Transition Initiative:
Whether we like it or not, over the next decade or two, we'll be transitioning to a lower energy future - essential because of climate change and inevitable because of diminishing supplies of fossil fuels (particularly oil). There are a variety of possible outcomes depending on whether we stick our heads in the sand or whether we start working for a future that we want. Transition Initiatives, community by community, are actively and cooperatively creating happier, fairer and stronger communities, places that work for the people living in them and are far better suited to dealing with the shocks that'll accompany our economic and energy challenges and a climate in chaos. And here's how they're doing it...

The Transition Initiative brings people together to do what individuals alone cannot do -- transform entire neighborhoods, towns, and even cities. It addresses concerns such as zoning laws and codes, the commons, public transportation, and local government.

Some of the good stuff has been around for some time, now. An old-time favorite of mine is Michael Reynolds, the Garbage Warrior who builds beautiful, self-contained living spaces that provide their own energy, water, and food, and are built of cast-off materials. If Earthships are not your thing, Dan Phillips at Phoenix Commotion can show you how to build a house from rescued building materials and what others consider junk. Be sure to check out his Budweiser and Bone houses. Then there is Sunray Kelley who has been creating soaring, whimsical structures for a life-time. And Lloyd Kahn, former contributor to Whole Earth catalog, a seventy-something skate-boarder and homesteader in his own right, is a chronicler extraordinaire of the alternative shelter movement, or Roger Dean who envisions fantasy homes that would not look out of place in a sci fi setting. (There seems to be something about gray-headed men with long hair -- perhaps they are the real embodiment of mythological wizardry).

There is a growing network of organic farmers, farmer’s markets, CSA’s, co-ops, restaurants, and natural food stores. Check out Local Harvest for a place near you. Or go to Global Ecovillage Network for a list of ecovillages, co-housing projects, and sustainable start-ups the world over.

I won’t go into the long list of individual bloggers out there -- people who are documenting the changes in their own lives, both physical and spiritual -- there are just too many. The wealth of inspirational books, DVD’s, CD’s, artwork and photography, is astounding. This is an amazing time to be alive and today, I feel thankful and privileged to be a part of this incredible moment of history.

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