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24 July 2014
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Historic Junction for Industrial-Scale Sail Transport
by Jan Lundberg   
Image Everyone knows this is the next development in shipping, but who will take the lead? This is the feeling shared amongst everyone in on the movement, especially during and after the recent Harlingen, Holland meeting of organizations and activists interested in the Ecoliner -- a hybrid sailing ship designed for timely delivery of cargo with minimized pollution. Attendees were inspired by 65 tall ships gathered in Harlingen for a race and public outreach extravaganza.
 
Harlingen Tall Ships Race to be complemented by SAIL consortium meeting
by Jan Lundberg   
Image July 4th this year means something different to me than if I had stayed in the U.S. I'm honored to be asked to visit the small but brave, Frisian harbor town of Harlingen which is about to present the Tall Ships Race of 2014. The photo below says it all.

The foundation Harlingen Sail, the municipality of Harlingen and the province of Fryslân are hosting the race that involves several nearby countries. A feast for the eyes, it is also a training opportunity for many young sailors.

 
What Is Worse, An Older Population Or Running Out Of Resources?
by Simon Ross, Population Matters   
ImageHaving a small family is the most important individual contribution we can make to a sustainable future

Human population growth is a major driver of unsustainable consumption levels. Like any issue, it has its pessimists and optimists. Pessimists point to the doubling of human numbers over the last half century and the projected addition of a further 50% or some 3.5 billion by the end of the century. Optimists point to the fall in the birth rate by one third over the last fifty years and that over half of the world’s citizens now live in countries at or below fertility replacement rate.

 
Cool '90s Radical Efforts Still Alive: The Big Ten Actions
by Jan Lundberg   
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Occupying UC Berkeley land
The 1990s were not a great success in terms of activists and progressives winning the hearts and mind of the masses of people to bring about fundamental social change. But key principles and mini-movements were planted and intensively developed. They were outgrowths of previous decades' movements, notably the hippies, back-to-the-landers, Appropriate Tech, and peaceniks shooting for disarmament -- many of whom also took time for making their own music in the tradition of 1960s protest folk-rock.

And they never really went away.

 
Is U.S. Nuclear Weapons Strategy and Foreign Policy/Militarism Risking Nuclear War?
by John Lewallen   
ImageAs the United States engages in economic warfare with Russia over the fate of the Ukraine, and continues the escalating encirclement of Russia and China with nuclear and other weapons designed to carry out a nuclear first-strike against these nations, it’s time for all of us to take a close look at U.S. nuclear weapons strategy. Is the current U.S. nuclear strategy of seeking nuclear weapons dominance by developing and deploying weapons which increasingly threaten Russia and China with a nuclear first-strike protecting the United States? Or, is the relentlessly escalating threat of surprise nuclear attack against Russia and China forcing their nuclear commanders to prepare to strike the United States with a preemptive nuclear attack?
 
Global Warming Culture versus the Natural Future for Humanity, and the Real Denialism
by Jan Lundberg   
ImageAre we the last generation of humans, as claimed by speaker and writer Guy McPherson?

So-called balance is exercised by the some corporate news media, catering mainly to science skeptics, to allow denial of human-generated global-warming. But there is a true balance to be met: while the progressive, science-minded alternative press does not reflect total gloom and doom, critics see this as denial of our near-term extinction. Balance in coverage must be between predicting near-term extinction from multiple climate forcings versus science-based consideration of separate, known factors in global warming that even together do not indicate runaway greenhouse effects beyond the IPCC's worst case.

 
Houston Oil Spill in Bird Sanctuary a Marine-Fuel Disaster, While Sail Transport Remains Untapped
by Jan Lundberg   
Image The world appears far from getting a grip on world oil-fueled shipping. The ongoing consequences are well known, but periodic disasters get our attention. A collision and spill of at least 168,000 gallons of marine fuel happened on March 22 near Houston, Texas. It closed a major petrochemical shipping route.

Each spill, we have seen over the decades, does practically nothing to stop the next one, and the next one. News items surface for a couple of days, only to disappear unless there was dramatic loss of human life. The public's glimpse of every major pollution event is fleeting, while the polluting interests and impotent "relevant" government agencies carry on.

 
Springs Eternal: Hopes against Collapse, Hopes for Consuming
by Albert Bates   
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Albert Bates
We actually know what must be done to save our planet, and it is not the propping up of a consumer society.

More people want more. “We need better health, better education and more jobs” and “My sons work from 5 in the morning until 10 at night for only 400 euros per month” and “We were promised better!” said protesters interviewed by RT at this month's March for Dignity, a road show en route to Brussels after converging on Madrid. Karl Marx is getting a surge in Amazon sales as capitalism catches the blame for the energy famine, a megatrend that none of the people in the street seem to grok. “We want our energy slaves!” might be a more apt protest.

 
Tres Hombres Tall Ship Loads Rum and More in Caribbean; Additional Ship Readied for Europe Only
by Jan Lundberg   
ImageImage The Tres Hombres schooner brig continues its trade mission for European markets. On this its fifth voyage to the Caribbean, cargo was sailed to the Western Hemisphere as well: wine and olive oil to Brazil. From there, local "superfoods" were loaded. A BBC documentary crew hopped on board and has departed, and supporters of the Tres Hombres look forward to more publicity.

A second vessel has been added to the Fair Transport (Dutch company that owns the Tres Hombres) fleet: a 21-meter 141-year-old Norwegian ketch.

 
Wild: What Is Sustainable
by Richard Adrian Reese   
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Jay Griffiths
If you only have time for one sentence, hear this: Jay Griffiths’ book, Wild — An Elemental Journey, is one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. Wild is a celebration of wildness and freedom. It celebrates societies that work, societies that have complete respect for their ecosystems, societies that have survived for thousands of years without suffering destructive whirlwinds of mass hysteria.

Griffiths is a brilliant heretic and a proud one. Her book shows us what happens when madness collides with wildness.

 
The Flight from Science
by V.I. Postnikov   
Image It is not allowed that the sciences rule over life, no-one is sanctioned to exert violence over life... What I preach, is, consequently, to a certain extent, a revolt of life against science, or rather against its rule, not a destruction of science –- but to assign it to a proper place, so that it shall never leave it again. - Michail Bakunin (1814 – 1876)

Science remains an activity of "dedicated" people, with its own philosophy and hierarchy. The scientific world is not unlike a medieval order. The exclusive place of science is acknowledged not only by scientists, but many ”lay” people worldwide.

 
Time to leave GDP behind: eco-economists support activists' dreams
by Jan Lundberg   
Image “GDP -- Gross Domestic Product -- is dangerously inadequate as a measure of quality of life.” - Robert Costanza et al

In a rapidly changing world posing more deadly risks, it is time that the average working person takes part in the debate on economic growth. To date it is only at a rarified level that specialists and visionaries are saying that out-of-control growth, or growth for its own sake, is tantamount to the philosophy of the cancer cell. Meanwhile, growth in quality-of-life stalled decades ago and is falling, according to key measurements.

 
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