Saturday, July 31, 2010

*Timely Information*

If you want to understand what is going on in the world today, and how to proactively respond to it, listen to this talk. If you're planning ahead for the next six months (even if that plan is to continue with your daily routine), listen to this talk:

The speaker is Nicole Foss, of The Automatic Earth (formerly of the Oil Drum Canada), and her premise is that there is another economic shock coming - and it's going to be big.

It's a sobering talk - which is to say honest - the healthiest place to be when facing crisis and uncertainty. Don't let this phrasing turn you off - it's not hyperbole. Transition is an approach that seeks to gather as much relevant information as possible, and use it to respond to economic instability, peak oil, and climate change. An informed community is a resilient community, and it is in that spirit that you are asked to listen to this talk. Its implications are clear: do as much as you can to get out of debt, provide for as many of your own needs - in various ways - as possible, and build strong connections with friends, family, and community, for they are the most secure assets you can have.

If you're uncertain about what the future holds, this is your chance to get brought up to speed. We are engaged in an ongoing community-wide discussion about these issues (peak oil, climate change, and now more than ever: economic crisis.) Post your comments below, contact your politicians (local, county, state, and federal) to urge them to act on these issues, and contact your local press to get them to cover these issues and what they mean for you. Information is the greatest resource we have, and it's not finite. The more we share it, the more power it has. Learn from this and empower yourself with it. Then pass it on.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Planning Ahead: Peak Oil and Climate Change"

Thank you to everyone who came to see Sally Odland talk tonight. She gave a wonderfully thorough presentation on the state of world-wide fossil-fuel production and depletion, and what that may mean for our society - which in the long-run means living more locally with less energy, and perhaps less of a carbon-footprint (unless we substitute coal for oil). What it means right now, is using the remaining oil to build alternative sources of energy, and using our own energies to prepare for a world with less oil in what ways we can - by influencing our politicians, investing in alternative appropriate technology, and getting the world out that we need to make these changes now.

There were many diverse perspectives and good ideas from the evening - from one member who's family is now in the third-week of what started as a one-week challenge to live using as little energy as possible, to thoughts about some technological approaches to combatting peak oil and climate change. This is not to say the transition will be easy - just that it will be multi-facetted. It will ultimately require change at the state and federal level, which, judging by their current pace of change doesn't seem likely to happen until it absolutely has to, but it will also involve change at the county and community level - and these are changes we can influence. Biking to work, or planting a garden, or talking to your neighbor about these issues may not seem like much, but they add up, and if more of us start doing these things, they can "snowball" into change that is greater than any one of us. This is what we can hope for, and help bring about. So tell someone about peak oil - or point them to a site with more information on the topic: It may take awhile, but everyone will become acquainted with the concept sooner or later, and the sooner the better!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ok, the peach harvest is 90% in, canned and ready for labels. It was a great season for peaches here in Northern NJ as the lack of rain deterred any rampant fungus growth and the peaches are packed with flavor. I had a huge harvest, perhaps the 5 beehives in the orchard helped just a bit.

However the really weird thing is its still July and both my apples and my pumpkins are completely ripe. The pumpkins are bright orange and have fallen off the vine. I'd be interested to know if others are having an early harvest too.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hoboken: Car-Share Hero

Check out Hoboken's car-share program. A model for Bergen County?