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29 September 2016
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It's the 21st, and this is what a growing movement is doing
by Jan Lundberg   
Image Dear Culture Changers and fans of Sail Transport Network:

This is our third article on Turn21, a most promising movement that offers hope for the world in crisis. We believe you would do well to subscribe to the Turn21 newsletter (click here).

There comes a time for action on the behalf of the planet, and that time has already begun. Thank you for being part of the solutions, thinking about what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint, supporting sustainable commerce, and thinking of how you can enjoy a great life with less carbon energy.

 
Pro-Climate Actions - a community flier and poster
by Jan Lundberg   
Image We are putting much hope in our new project for climate protection.

Not so far fetched, when May was the fifth month since December to be a record-heat month in known history. People want to act, right? Climate denialists be damned; they have no scientific basis except pseudo science to refute what is clearly happening to the planet.

 
Noah’s Ark Gone Awry
by Charlene Caprio   
Image Note: This report is Article #1 in our new Responsible Shipping Series. Author: Charlene Caprio

Transport by sea carries about 90% of the world's trade. Consumerism is fueled by vast choices; sometimes very selfish ones. Smugglers often push not just inanimate contraband, but also wildlife (flora and fauna) in whole or in their parts by sea transit. As our readers also know, today's dirty bunker fuel-powered cargo ships are able to supply massive cargo capacity due in part by a web of oil subsidies and lax regulations concerning pollution of the air and seas, as well as “flags of convenience" loopholes.

But illegal trafficking of wildlife, and shipping as a transit source for the trafficking, is starting to get the attention it needs.

 
Awakening to Responsible Community Membership for Earth Day: Turning 21
by Jan Lundberg   
Image

Since it is the 21st of the month, and this is the 21st century, we have a handy reminder -- at least 12 times a year -- that it is time to grow up and face the music. Whether as individuals coping with hardship and injustice in materialistic society, or as a people reacting in many ways to multiple crises, we find ourselves in a fast-changing world that is less and less likely to offer security for all, unless we bring about fundamental change soon.

Is Bernie Sanders addressing fundamental change? Is following him, or another appealing reformer, all that we need to solve the environmental crisis that worsens daily with the unbroken political power of industrialists, financiers, and developers?

 
Good News/Bad News for Consumers in an Increasingly Energy-Challenged, Shipping-Dependent World
by Jan Lundberg   
ImageOil-Dependent Maritime Shipping Is Achilles Heel in Hoped-for Renewable Energy Economy 

Here is good news and bad news for getting your cherished consumer goods shipped across the seas. Hadn’t thought much about it? Have you thought about the oil-dependent ships’ pollution and their readiness to switch to clean renewable energy? Well, they’re not ready, and even if they could be, they don't want to be.

Good news: by now you may have heard of the revival of sail transport for what is now a niche market of delivering near-zero-carbon goods.

 
Using What We Each Have Inside Us for People Power: Meeting The Challenge for Our Sustainable Future
by Jan Lundberg   
Picture an unknown, young Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen singing at an audition without guitar accompaniment, a standard not written by them. They might have been summarily sent out the door — especially in the case of an older Dylan or Cohen with their now deteriorated and aged voices. In the real world, such famous artists known for their individuality don’t appeal to everyone, but each of their lifetime records of success, uniqueness, and diehard following cannot be denied.

You might agree that such singers, in the above hypothetical situation, were either not utilizing, or were not being permitted to use, what they really have, whether their ability was known or unbeknownst to themselves.

 
Sail cargo's imminent achievement: Timbercoast's Steel Schooner, the Avontuur
by Jan Lundberg   
Image

My report and photo shoot from Germany last month after attending the Paris COP21 climate meeting:

Elsfleth, Germany, near the North Sea - This is the Timbercoast project, renovating the Avontuur that was built in the Netherlands in 1920.

I found that she is speeding on to re-launch, with much work being efficiently done. She will be the biggest sail transporter on the planet, with a 70-ton capacity ( = 3 twenty-foot containers). This 44-meter (length from tip of bowsprit to stern) schooner is getting a complete remake. This vessel was looking good to me from my visits to the holds and from observing the work on board and in the ship yard.

 
World Wars I and II As Key to Waking Up to Our Culture
by Jan Lundberg   
Image World Wars I and II could have taught us something that would have changed society fundamentally.  Very few people then could see the big picture: the near future would see us revving up the war on nature (e.g., the Sixth Extinction). What can we learn in retrospect about the social context of the two world wars of the 20th century, and apply to today’s challenges?  

The recently named Anthropocene is the new geological epoch driven by humans. The concept serves as a key lesson of 20th century “progress,” dating from first atomic bomb blast as kicking off the Anthropocene. But there is much more about our industrial culture to confront, if we are to step back from the ecological precipice on which we are teetering.

 
COP21 Follow-up for Sail Transport and Its Fight against Shipping Emissions and for Resilience
by Jan Lundberg   
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Frgn. Minister, Marshall Is.
Section 1. - UN Climate Agreement Wrap-up

The Paris agreement is essentially a promise to make real promises later.

It is a positive development that the nations of the world agree to try harder (later, as promised). One key improvement over past Conferences of the Parties (COP) is that China (a so-called Developing Nation, even though it is the top emitter) has finally been joined with the U.S. and other Developed Nations, as to taking responsibility.

 
Shipping Emissions Must Be Tackled at COP21 with Advances such as Sail Power
by Charlene Caprio   
Image [Note: this article was written by Charlene Caprio, Policy and Strategy Consultant for STN/SAIL MED.]

The UN Climate Conference in Paris (COP21) is well underway with positive momentum to adopt a new climate change agreement. The draft Paris agreement calls for parties to keep the global temperature well below 2°C (or below 1.5°C if this language is chosen) above pre-industrial levels. Each party shows how it will do its part by submitting an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC); 186 parties are represented so far in INDCs. Unfortunately, though, the INDCs fall short of getting us even to 2 °C.

Maritime shipping emissions must be part of the global solution.

 
The Next Tango in Paris
by Albert Bates   
Image "Sweden has decided to decommission all its nuclear plants but has yet to propose a similar program to phase out its wind turbines."

"Carbon-neutral is so 20th century. We really need to get beyond zero. That is what ecovillages can offer."

We were just concluding a conference call for Global Ecovillage Network delegates in the run-up to the UN climate summit one month from now in Paris when we said that. The discussion had turned to what our message should be. There is a very good program initiated by ten European ecovillages, called the Fossil-Fuel Free Community Challenge. It is very ambitious, and tracks what Sweden, already carbon-neutral, has recently pledged.

 
Time to Stop Worshipping Economic Growth
by Brent Blackwelder   
Publisher's note: The modus operandi of Western Civilization has been expansion at any cost. The leaders and beneficiaries have exploited and oppressed the inferiors--one of whom was Mother Nature who seemed indestructible. Intelligent people have seen the dangers of rampaging industrial development, but seldom see Western Civilization or "growth" as the root issue. Even environmental organizations and "green" leaders put the economy first in their climate protection priorities: relying almost entirely on a technofix for an eventual "clean energy economy" through financing different industries than fossil fuels. Meanwhile, immediate curtailment of energy consumption is far quicker and more effective. We must counteract the inadvertent guardians of the status quo. - J L
 
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