phys.org / ETH Zurich / 01 May 2013
Disasters should not be considered “bad luck”. They are a result of inappropriate interactions and institutional settings, caused by humans. Even worse, they are often the consequence of a flawed understanding of counter-intuitive system behaviors. “For example, it is surprising that we didn’t have sufficient precautions against a financial crisis and well-elaborated contingency plans,” states Helbing. “Perhaps, this is because there should not be any bubbles and crashes according to the predominant theoretical paradigm of efficient markets.” Conventional thinking can cause fateful decisions and the repetition of previous mistakes. “In other words: While we want to do the right thing, we often do wrong things,” concludes Helbing. This obviously calls for a paradigm shift in our thinking. “For example, we may try to promote innovation, but suffer economic decline, because innovation requires diversity more than homogenization.”
[ FULL ARTICLE HERE ]
Truthout / Steve Horn / 08 April 2013
Ozzie Zehner: Our planet has bounded resources and limited ability to absorb the impacts of human activities. Challenging the dominant neoliberal model can help to justly share those resources and risks. However, the precarious stories around growth and productivism are larger than just neoliberalism or capitalism.
Libertarians and Tea Partiers subscribe to the free-growth mindset, but so do Democrats and Republicans. Even Greens and Socialists are not immune to the seductive language of productivism. I know of one political candidate in the US who has run on a platform of slowing down the machine in order to preserve long-term prosperity only: Dave Gardner, who ran for mayor of Colorado Springs and directed a movie about it called Growthbusters.
We’ve seen material growth and prosperity walking hand-in-hand for so long that we don’t know what they look like separately. That will have to change.
[ FULL ARTICLE HERE ]
[ ORDER Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism by Ozzie Zehner THROUGH LEEDS COUNTY BOOKS ]
Sustainability Network Digest / April 2013
Jim Hoggan is on a mission to determine why, in spite of compelling and unequivocal scientific evidence, we are doing so little to address environmental problems like climate change, collapsing ecosystems, and the rapidly declining health of our oceans? Why do we seem unable or unwilling to think things through collectively, weigh facts honestly and disagree constructively? What’s preventing us from having healthy public conversations that lead to good public policy solutions? In Jim’s view, the most immediate ecological threat of our time isn’t the threat of global climate change. It’s the pollution that fills the public square. It’s the toxic public conversations surrounding issues of the environment, the contaminated smog of misinformation and bitter adversarial rhetoric that are turning many away from collective involvement in despair.
In this free webinar, Jim will present the views of some of today’s leading thinkers on how we clean up the polluted public square and begin to make progress in communicating about and effectively addressing the environmental issues that concern us all.
This call for a Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa was issued by the National Farmers Union-Ontario.
WHEN: Tuesday April 9, 2013, 12 noon (sharp) to 1 pm
WHERE: Kingston, Ottawa (details below) – and many other sites across eastern Canada
Bring your banners. Bring your voices. Together we can stop the release of GM alfalfa.
Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) alfalfa could be registered for use in Canada this April. GM Roundup Ready alfalfa varieties have just been cleared for the last step before they hit the market – all they need now is a final rubber-stamp by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency – at the Variety Registration Office, 59 Camelot Drive in Ottawa.
Alfalfa is used to produce many of the foods we eat. Alfalfa (commonly harvested as hay) is high-protein feed for animals like dairy cows, beef cattle, lambs, poultry and pigs. It’s also used to build nutrients in the soil and is important for organic farming. Because alfalfa is a perennial plant that is pollinated by bees, genetically modified alfalfa will inevitably cross-pollinate with non-GM and organic alfalfa, threatening the livelihoods of family farmers across Canada.
Transition Brockville considers this a vital food security issue.