22 02 2008

Yep, it’s costing $275 million dollars a day to occupy Iraq.  Okay, so that’s not quite 2B a week.  But close enough, y’know?

Meanwhile, projects like this one are begging for funds:

Solar Fire Technologies offer one of the most cost effective ways to concentrate and use solar energy. Helping people and saving our environment is our driving vision.

By providing abundant, affordable and clean energy, the Solar Fire Project is a tool in the interrelated fights against global warming, deforestation, waterborne disease, pollution, desertification, soil degradation, poverty and general unsustainability.

Powerful enough to bring a liter of water to boil in 5 minutes, Solar Fire Technologies are do-it-yourself machines, on the same level of complexity as a bicycle. They are built from widely available materials, and simple enough to be operated by a child. Once built, SF technologies can meet the basic energy needs for a family for more than 10 years.

And Carolyn Baker interviews Dan Armstrong about efforts to relocalize food production around Eugene, Oregon:

So what can I say? I’ve seen positive changes in the last half year. Not regarding less car use, not regarding a moratorium on building new highways, not regarding legislation to expand mass transit, not regarding a change of business as usual-all of which is frustrating, but in the actual connection of farmers, markets, and food system infrastructure. A full and meaningful transition, however, will take time. An individual buyer makes the decision to support this transition every time he or she buys food. Farmers make this decision each growing season as they buy their seeds for either food products or lawn products. And the infrastructure can take anywhere from one to five years to rebuild.

All in all, as a point of emphasis, what really advances the discussion of food security is organizing presentations and meetings around a meal. This breaks down the wall between the audience and the presenters and gives everyone the opportunity to talk casually, to get to know each other, and to begin linking the threads of community. Nowhere else in all my involvement have I felt or seen the kind of community building that I’ve seen in the food relocalization movement. While emotional Peak Oil or climate change presentations, sadly, have done little to change business as usual, food discussions do. If you want to get involved, I suggest food security as a good place to start, not because it will change the world today, not because it will bring salvation, but because you can see incremental positive response. And if you’re fighting your state of mind, this helps.




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