COVID-19 Update on Mon, Mar 15th *Update* The Weekly COVID-19 update with Jefferson County Public Health Officer, Dr. Thomas Locke. To watch live or recorded videos of the entire 9 a.m. Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting, including the 9:45 a.m. COVID-19 update, go to the websitefor videos of meetings. You can choose “Streaming Live” or, if viewing later, “Recorded.” You can alsolisten liveto Dr. Locke on KPTZ or later in the KPTZarchives.
Strait Up Magazine Seeking Submissions - Deadline Mon, Mar 15th *Online* The magazine is looking for creative writing, art, and photography for their Spring/Summer 2021 issue; the deadline is March 15th. This local community magazine features all kinds of creative work, as well as nonfiction works reflecting current issues in Jefferson County. Strait Up is a print-only, bi-annual magazine that deepens connection to this place featuring diverse voices and content. Email with questions or submissions. If you haven't read Strait Up yet, you can order a any of their four issues onlineor purchase the most recent issue at Aldrich's, the Food Co-op, Chimacum Corner Farmstand, Finnriver, Imprint Books, or Mad Hatter & Co.
Local 20/20 Council Meeting - Wed, Mar 17th *Online* The monthly Local 20/20 Steering Council meeting is open to all and welcomes those interested in active involvement in Local 20/20 leadership. Newcomers are always welcome. If you'd like a virtual orientation, please email Marlow. For online meeting information, contact Mark. Time: 4-6 pm Location: Zoom meeting
Port Townsend Film Festival: "Toast to the Future" Fundraiser and Happy Hour - Thurs, Mar 18th *New* *Online* Join with other Port Townsend Film Festival fans for a virtual Zoom "Toast to the Future" Fundraiser and Happy Hour. Hear from favorite celebrities, filmmakers, and past special guests on what PTFF means to them in our short film, "UP to Something. "Raise a glass to Executive Director Janette Force and pledge your support as we continue our mission of sparking community by connecting filmmakers and audiences! This event is free and open to all. Guests will have an opportunity to raise a toast and share a story, time permitting.
You can register here. For more information, go here.
Time: 6 pm Location: Online
Jefferson Land Trust Conservation Breakfast - Thurs, Mar 18th*Online* This is a chance to explore the wild green Quimper Wildlife Corridor that stretches across Port Townsend from Fort Worden to Middlepoint, and its impact on wildlife and the community. Nan Evans, of KPTZ’s Nature Now, will host conversations with special guest historians, naturalists, urban planners, health practitioners, community builders, and long-time corridor advocates. Conservation Breakfast 2021 will explore how far they’ve come in this community-driven protection story, and outline a bold vision for future protection. Free, RSVP here.
Time: 9-10:30 am Location: Online
Essential Wisdom for Solving Society’s Biggest Issues - Seminar Series Starts Thurs, Mar 18th *Online* This seminar helps people appreciate how we (a few of us) can facilitate all of us to face and solve our most pressing impossible-seeming issues, like global climate change or the rise of authoritarianism at national levels. Five elements of "Essential Wisdom” are considered in the seminar: 1) Facilitation: how we (just us) can spark systems to transform themselves; 2) Choice-creating; 3) Dynamic Facilitation; 4) The Wisdom Council Process; 5) Society's Breakthrough. This free online five session seminar begins on Thursday March 18th and continues weekly for the following 4 Thursdays. Sign up at the Adult Learning site for Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. For more information see www.WiseDemocracy.org. Time: 10:30 - 12:00
March History Happy Hour: Historic Photography - Fri, Mar 19th *Online*
Bartenders Sophia Elan and Alexander Moats as well as Jefferson County Historical Society's Ellie DiPietro for a history-steeped happy hour. Mix up a thematic cocktail with the bartender-led tutorial (non-alcoholic versions too!), then enjoy your drink as they share some fun facts about the history of photography in Jefferson County. First, a whirlwind journey through the history of photography. Next you'll learn about photo re-touching before Photoshop, discuss how photography is used in research, and get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the more interesting photographs in the JCHS Collection.You can register herefor free. They will then send you the Zoom link to tune in, as well as a list of ingredients for the drinks. A recording of the program will be available to all registered participants, so if you can’t make the date but would like to see the program, be sure to register! If you’re able, please consider supporting JCHS by becoming a member.
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 pm Location: Online
Volunteer Clean Up Trash Treasure Team - Sat, Mar 20th & 27th *New* Woodbridge Farm is recruiting and would like to schedule collaborative time with you. They hope for creative repurposing of trash into treasures. Art works created will be included in an Art Exhibition that benefits Woodbridge Farm. A selection of valuable waste items will be sorted and organized for Farm Treasure Field Sale. Bring your own mask and gloves, and socially distance.
You can email them for more information. Or visit their website.
Time: 10 am - 12 pm and 1-3 pm
May’s Vote Virtual Performance - Wed, Mar 24th *New* *Online* Key City Public Theatre and the Jefferson County Historical Society present a special virtual performance of May’s Vote. Prim and proper Emma Smith DeVoe and outrageous, flamboyant May Arkwright Hutton worked side by side -- though seldom eye to eye -- to win the vote for women in Washington State in 1910. Though they were as different as night and day, they agreed on “the one big thing” - on women’s right to vote. Now May is gone, and Emma can’t get her out of her mind! The program features a live introduction and a live post-play discussion with actors Denise Winter and Barbara Callander. Tickets are free or by donation. Reserve them ahead of time here. For more information please visit online here.
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm Location
Port Townsend Marine Science Center Benefit Auction - Wed, Mar 24th *Online* Join the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) for their virtual live auction, title "You, Me & The Salish Sea". It features updates on PTMSC happenings and how it has changed lives, tantalizing live auction items, music, and silent auction items. Register for the live auction by noon March 24th. Registeranytime for the silent auction ((runs for a week starting March 17). View the auction items here. Questions? Contact them at (360) 385-5582, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Oral History Radio Broadcast--In Their Own Words: Mill Workers Past and Present - Tuesday, Mar 30th The Jefferson County Historical Society and the Port Townsend Public Library are teaming up with the City of Port Townsend, the Port Townsend Paper Mill, KPTZ 91.9, the Swan School, and other partners have been presenting a suite of programming this winter all about the Mill. Tune in to this free program and join JCHS Executive Director Shelly Leavens for a one-hour broadcast featuring curated oral histories from the JCHS collection. Special thanks to interviewer Pam Clise for her support in collecting these stories.
You can explore all the upcoming Paper Mill programs on the JCHS website.
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 PM Location: KPTZ 91.9 FM
Online Farmers Market Store Opens Tues, Mar 30th *New* *Online* Shop with 35+ farm, food, and art vendors through the JCFM Online Store Tuesday evening through Thursday at 1pm. Nearly-contactless pickup at the Community Center entry, 10am-noon on Saturday. We've partnered to offer bicycle delivery, by PT Peddler, within Port Townsend. Visit our website for more details.
JCFM welcomes volunteers to assist with Market day set-up and take-down, or offering assistance to the organization in other ways. If you like to be physically active, would enjoy safely interacting with customers at the market, or just want to do some fix-it or office projects on your own time, you can visit their site here.
Register for the 2021 Virtual Beach Naturalists Training - Register by Thurs, Apr 8th *Online*
Jefferson WSU Extension is partnering with Kitsap WSU Extension and WA Sea Grant to offer a 6-week Beach Naturalist trainingvia Zoom. You'll learn from regional experts about Salish Sea marine habitats and species, restoration and conservation efforts, and community science opportunities. The virtual course will be offered 9:30am-12:30pm on Tuesdays and 12:30-2pm on Thursdays, April 13th - May 18th. Early bird cost: $70 ($75 after April 1st). Register here by April 8. Space is limited! Contact Monica for more information.
A Glimpse of Sxʷčkʷíyəŋ, a S’Klallam village at Washington Harbor - Thurs, Apr 8th *New* *Online*
Learn about the ethnographic and archaeological research on sxʷčkʷíyəŋ, one of the ancestral villages of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe that stood at Washington Harbor. The presentation will feature artifacts, maps, and historical photos as well as ethnobotanical and cultural data. To access the presentation go here. For more information, call 360-681-4632 or go here.
Time: 3:00 — 4:30 pm Location: Online
The Local 20/20 Visioning Survey ReportIs Now Available *New* Many thanks to the 170 Jefferson County residents who responded in June and early July 2020 to the survey related to COVID-19. Given the distancing and isolation that had occurred, we wanted to hear how the crisis was affecting the people of our county, to give people the opportunity to consider and express their concerns and hopes for the future, and to capture that vision during that unusual time. The results are fascinating, with some of the top themes emerging including the economy, communities & neighbors, healthcare, environment and energy, housing, community services and resilience, attitudes, government, food, and more. (Note that we initially expected to distribute this report in the fall of 2020, but the primary author fell ill and is still recovering. We apologize for the delay, but hope the results will still be valuable to organizations and individuals throughout the county.)
Local 20/20 COVID-19 Resources l2020.org/COVID-19/ *Online* A central location for community-wide information relating to COVID-19, updated frequently. Includes Reliable Information Sources, Vaccine info link, Food Sources, Community Covid-19 Resource pages, Giving and Getting Assistance, Community Events Online, Community Face Mask Program, and information web posts related to COVID-19. Look in the red box at the top of the page for all the newest information.
Eating Locally and Seasonally - A *New* Cookbook Announcing a new book from our friends at Transition Lopez Island, Elizabeth Simpson and Henning Sehmsdorf. Eating Locally and Seasonally is a compilation of recipes using fresh ingredients grown and raised on their farm, S&S Homestead. Illustrated by local artists, it contains dozens of recipes, including basic cheesemaking, simple fermentation and preservation techniques, and a wide variety of vegetable and meat recipes. Elizabeth and Henning once again bring our focus back to the joy (and the health benefits) of eating food that can easily be grown or locally purchased in our own backyards.
Softcover book available for $15 while supplies last. To order yours, contact Soniasoon!
Jefferson Transit Long Range Plan Survey and Ferry Service Survey
Jefferson Transit Authority (JTA) is developing a 20-year Long Range Transit Plan to establish a vision for the future of transit in Jefferson County. Based on existing conditions, future projections, a prior survey, and community feedback, they’ve developed several concepts to test various transit approaches. Visit the Long-Range Plan Open Houseand Participate in the Survey. Note: Local 20/20's mission is focused on working together toward local sustainability and resiliency, including reducing community-wide greenhouse gas emissions. While the survey does not have specific questions regarding emissions, there are comment sections where one can share comments regarding transit and opportunities to reduce car trips, or other aspects of reducing emissions, as desired. Additionally, Jefferson Transit is exploring the potential for a route from Port Townsend, WA to the Kingston Ferry Terminal in Kingston, WA to make connections with the Washington State Ferry to Edmonds, WA and the Kitsap Fast Ferry to Seattle, WA, and is seeking feedback from the community. Take the Ferry Survey.
Cedarroot Folk School is Hiring
Jefferson Land Trust Is Hiring a Half-Time Communications Coordinator
The Jefferson Land Trust has a track record of high quality and innovative conservation work preserving habitat, working farms and forests in Jefferson County. The half-time (with benefits) Communications Coordinator will report to the Communications Manager and will support the mission of the Land Trust by showcasing our work and ensuring the organization has positive and widespread visibility in the region. See the full job posting and read the complete position description here.
Veg Rx: Fresh Produce at The Food Co-op January through March, the Food Co-op's partnership in the Veg Rx program offers $20/month in fresh produce buying-power. If your family qualifies for Apple Health and you have at least one person in your household under age 18, talk with your Jefferson Healthcare clinician about your food budget. Veg Rx can help stretch your fresh-food dollars. During the Farmers Market season, you can use your VegRx for fresh produce at the Markets.
Farmers Market Launches BIPOC Business Start-up Fund
Jefferson County Farmers Markets (JCFM) has launched a Farmers Market BIPOC Business Start-up Fund. Applications are now being accepted, and will be open until funds are exhausted.
The Fund seeks to reduce barriers for small business entrepreneurs to join the farmers market with low overhead and have a successful market season. Those applying to the Fund may receive $250-$1000 to procure supplies, mobile equipment, marketing/signage, etc., or other start-up costs. There are no strings attached, and applicants are welcomed to a 4-hour ‘Bootstrap Business’ class, to hone a business plan, led by the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, a Fund partner. The Farmers Market Vendor Application, and new Fund Application are available here.
Free Biochar! Spring must be in the air. The Olympic Carbon Fund is giving away biochar again! Farms are eligible for whole cubic yards of biochar. Backyard food growers are eligible for the Bucket Share: All the biochar you want, ten gallons at a time. Read about both programs and about biochar generally on the OCF website.
Local 20/20 Social Justice Workgroup Webpage Now Live *Online*
Besides the Local 20/20 Social Justice Statement and Addendum, the newly launched pages feature sources we are reading and discussing, community organizations and businesses to support, a spotlight on a regional community artist, and links to other reading and visual resources. Our intent is to learn and share how to be an antiracist, how to support antiracist policies and ideas, and how to incorporate anti-racism into our core purpose, identifying the relationship between climate justice and social justice. To view the new pages, go here. You can find it hereor at the Resiliency of the Heart group webpages. Check out our New Music section (on the first link) to share the voices of young Native Americans.
Just Soup on Tuesdays On Tuesday, 11:30-1:30, Just Soup provides free, hot soup lunches at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1020 Jefferson St, on the Tyler St. bus line [by the Bell Tower.] Enter the rear church parking lot on Franklin, and whether you are on foot, bike, or car, you will be in line for curbside pickup, with masks, gloves, and safe distancing protocols in place. Pick up a lunch for yourself or your neighbor in need. No questions asked.
Many partners and supporters have come together to feed Port Townsend one bowl at a time. This information also appears onLocal 20/20 COVID-19 Resources Meals Page here. Times and Locations: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Download Port Townsend Walking Times Map
Local 20/20 Transportation Lab's popular walking times map is downloadable here.It provides approximate travel time on foot between points. Estimates are based on an average speed of 3 mph. Walking is healthy, social, fun, costs nothing, keeps your carbon footprint small and allows you to maintain social distance. Use the map to find new routes across our beautiful town.
Emergency Text Alerts from Jefferson County Sign up to receiveJefferson County Department of Emergency Management’s emergency alerts by text on your mobile phone and/or by email. NIXLE messages provide crucial information in an emergency & are sent directly to your text-enabled device and/or email. Thesign up web pagealso has information about other alert and warning systems, including the tsunami warning system and the WSDOT alert system.
A Tool for Neighborhood Organization Nextdoor is a private social network for YOUR neighborhood. Use this linkto join one of 59 Nextdoor Neighborhoods in Jefferson County. Currently there are 12,280subscribers, with many new members joining each day. EmailPete Hubbard with questions or comments.
Calling Local Photographers!
Local 20/20 Weekly Announcements invites local photographers to submit images that capture the character of our community and its natural setting. For the opening photo of each weekly email, we seek local color, horizontal (“landscape”) orientation, and jpeg format. Please no children, pets or recognizable faces. Kindly send to email@example.com. Please include your name in the jpeg filename. We are an all-volunteer non-profit, so compensation for your talent and generosity is a photo credit and our profound thanks.
Do you have readings, podcasts or videos to share that are aligned with our Local 20/20 mission? Please submit themhere for consideration.
Notes from a 1.2C world *New* This article uses maritime analogies--perfect for us dwellers-by-the-sea! Author Laurie Layborn-Langton starts with the observation that most of us do not yet comprehend we are experiencing a critical destabilization of the Earth System. “Stuck in a storm, the primary objective is to steer out, lest the ship be overcome. Yet attention gets diverted by fear and sickness, a hole in the hull, crew abandoning their posts and grasping for the lifeboats.” We are warned that mounting an effective response won’t be easy. The author advocates first of all “telling the truth” about the magnitude of the crisis. The author also sagely reminds us of the constraints of the political realities within which we must navigate the challenges of creating new paradigms and functioning systems within those paradigms. These will hopefully replace the neoliberal market capitalism that got us into this. The author knows all this won’t be easy, that it will require “engaging with issues that are out of the comfort zone [of our] communities.” Chock full of helpful thinking, this is an engaging and well written piece you are encouraged to read. The essay is linked here.
Misplaced Hope*New* This is a brief reflection on the meaning of hope in the context of climate change and an effort to persuade us to get moving. Remi Charron has little hope that technological advances will prevent climate catastrophe in the face of economic and population growth. Thermodynamics does not support such hope it is argued. Charron also quotes The New Yorker’s Jonathan Franzen: “You can keep on hoping that catastrophe is preventable and feel ever more frustrated or enraged by the world’s inaction. Or you can accept that disaster is coming, and begin to rethink what it means to have hope.” Charron (and many of us locally) place hope in the ability of our communities to adapt and build resilience against the coming storm. He notes: “Supporting local farming and community-centered support systems can’t just be buzzwords.” When we put aside misplaced hope in global institutions and technology, we can begin to feel genuine hope in our local community. Please take a look at the article here.
The Marginal Uselessness of Muscle-Cars *New* This essay reflects on the costs and benefits of the mode of transport most Americans use; cars. Author Bart Hawkins Kreps is an advocate for bicycles, believing in their utility while pointing out the deleterious effect of cars on equity in human society. He draws on the ideas of Ivan Illich, who said that when assessing the value of cars to human society we must include in the calculus all the time spent building and maintaining cars and all the time spent working so that we can afford cars, fuel, insurance, etc. Kreps also asks us to consider the effect on equity amongst humans due to how we structure our built environment. Please consider this article as an additional informative piece to the Op-Ed from Local 2020’s Sonja Hammar below, in which she describes the utility of electric bicycles. Kreps' article can be found by clicking here.
COVID-19, Carbon And Bicycles The latest column for Local 20/20’s Resilience Review in The Port Townsend Leader is from Sonja Hammar, a member of the Local 20/20 Steering Council. Starting with some COVID-19 impacts on transportation, she shares how these drove her to buy an electric bike and why other locals have chosen to do so as well.
Capital: The Doomsday Machine (or How to Repurpose Growth Capital) Richard Heinberg examines the insights of David Fleming in this recent essay. Fleming described six kinds of capital, (natural, human, social, scientific/cultural, material, and financial) and noted that each could be used in two ways: as foundational capital for societal maintenance or as growth capital for expansion of population and consumption. Heinberg highlights Fleming’s insight that a healthy society preserves foundational capital but periodically destroys or constrains growth capital. Heinberg’s efforts for years have been to increase awareness that the exponential growth of population and our consumption of resources cannot be sustained on a plant of finite resources. His aim is to avoid the societal collapse on a level never before experienced by our now global civilization. Heinberg describes ways we can give away growth capital; one of the supporting examples he offers is the potlatch ceremonies of the indigenous people of our region. Heinberg goes on to describe how our current society uses all six types of capital in the pursuit of endless growth. Make no mistake, Heinberg offers a grim outlook for global collapse if we do not change our ways. However, despite being a realist, Heinberg continues to explore ways that we might soften the blow in his sections, “Is There a Way out of This Thing” and “Preparing for What’s Next.” These two sections are especially relevant for readers interested in forging a local response to global challenges. Please read Heinberg’snew essay linked here. Also, local readers should please take note of the photo credit for the piece of art that accompanied this Resilience.org article: Watercolor by James G. Swan depicting the S'Klallam people of Chief Chertzemoka at Port Townsend.
Our Moral Fate: Allen Buchanan on Escaping Tribalism This interview is of an academic who studies how humans developed morality and how morality and tribalism both evolved and coexist in the species Homo sapiens (so-called “wise man”). I found this conversation tremendously enlightening and potentially useful. If we are to stand a chance of not only confronting the challenges that seem to threaten the existence of American democracy but of dealing with global climate change, we will need to “escape” from the negative effects of tribalism. Buchanan views the challenge of confronting tribalism incredibly difficult, but he does offer a glimmer of hope and a few suggestions that we might, just maybe, implement. It all starts with an awareness of the potential for every one of us to engage in tribalistic thought and behavior. I recommend this article to all of us who imagine a truly resilient local community because it highlights a challenge that may be a potent obstacle. Please find the article, originally from MIT Press Reader, at this link to Salon.
The Arctic Has a Cloud Problem As an ardent follower of climate science, I've paid especial attention to progress made in the understanding of how clouds form and what their role will be in future heating or cooling. The impacts can be huge, but the existing models don’t really factor in clouds, as the science has been scanty. It's kind of like the Joni Mitchell song "Both Sides Now,"-- “I really don’t know clouds at all.” This report by The Atlantic authors Quanta and Max Kozlov talks about clouds and how iodine seems to be an especially potent particle for cloud formation. Apparently, iodine is a naturally occurring component that gets into the atmosphere from melting sea ice, algae, and the sea surface. Its concentrations in the atmosphere have tripled over the past 70 years, and this will keep increasing in a positive feedback loop. While this article describes laboratory science it also talks about how this research will inform investigations in the field in the ongoing effort to help understand just how big a hole we’re digging for ourselves. Please find the article here at The Atlantic, which allows a few free articles per reader per month.
What Does an Ecological Civilization Look Like? Yes! Magazine’s Spring 2021 issue is focused on “Ecological Civilization.” In their introduction they lay out the case that climate change is far more serious than most people understand and existing plans for responding to it are doomed to fall short unless we make deep and sweeping systemic changes. “We need to forge a new era for humanity —on that is defined, at its deepest level, by a transformation in the way we make sense of the world, and a concomitant revolution in our values, goals, and collective behavior.” They then describe “six rules” for humans rejoining the natural world including diversity, balance, fractal organization, life cycles, subsidiarity, and symbiosis. While the authors admit that we have a long way to go towards making this vision a reality they maintain that it is possible, and that young people especially are looking for a future worldview that they can believe in. I urge everyone, young and old and in-between, to read this essay and think about being part of the solution revolution rather than riding the business-as-usual train all the way to the end of the line. Find the essay (14 minute read) and the many really great accompanying articles here.
Massive Landslide Cools Fjord From Hakai Magazine, a journal of “coastal science and communities,” author Nicola Jones reports from the waters of the Salish Sea but north of us. At the head of the Bute Inlet on approximately November 28th of last year, a massive landslide was triggered by melting permafrost and a retreating glacier. It went undetected for days even though it is estimated that the wave created when it got to the glacial lake may have been as high as 110 meters in places. The water scoured out the river channel as it traveled some 70 km down the inlet. As a result the waters of the inlet, which had been significantly warming, were suddenly cooled back to where they had been in the year 2000. While there salmon habitat has been thoroughly disrupted for now, the overall impact longer-term is unknown. Pleasefind this interesting article here. If you have not visited Hakai Magazine before, I encourage you to do so. There are a wide variety of articles on topics of interest to marine ecosystems with special, but not exclusive, focus on the Salish Sea and the coastal communities along its shore. And the photography is amazing. Hakai Magazine.photo credit: Grant Callegari/Hakai Institute
Activating the Local Food System in Emergency Responses This article is from the peer-reviewed Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development and highlights the work of the non-profit organization Fresh Approach, which operates in the Bay Area. They present their response to the pandemic as they reached out to local farms in order to fill food boxes for those who in need. They used local food banks as distribution points and provided appropriately sized deliveries as USDA contractors for the 'farmers to families' food box program. It's a short report that illustrates the ability of small diverse local farms to be nimble as the backbone of a community food system. Locally, we had some of the same activity going on through our primary USDA contractor, OlyCAP. This is a great reminder of the central importance of a community’s food system to emergency resilience: please find this article here. photo credit: Fresh Approach.
Why Avoiding Climate Change Maladaptation Is Vital Sometimes in discussions relative to climate change people get tripped up over the semantic difference between mitigation and adaptation. In general mitigation refers to reducing our carbon footprint so we help slow or stop global warming. Adaptation typically refers to action taken in preparation for or response to the effects of climate change. However, there is also such a thing as maladaptation, making changes that either further contribute to climate change or have other unintended consequences. This guest post recently published in Carbon Brief discusses how we should think about proposed solutions to problems we face now or in the future. For one thing they advocate focusing on vulnerabilities. A good adaptation solution would help alleviate current problem but also address underlying vulnerabilities. Potential solutions must be considered from the perspectives of all stakeholders, including those not typically present at the policy making tables, also typically those most vulnerable. Please consider the implications and applications for our local situation. You can find the article here. photo credit: Lisa Schipper/Climate Brief
The Great Awakening: An Excerpt As we consider the challenges of global climate change and myriad intersecting crises, we first try to understand why it is happening and then try to imagine rational responses. Multiple thinkers identify “overshoot” the core of the problem. In our effort to grow endlessly, we are burning through resources faster than our planet can provide them. Most of the proposed solutions to current challenges continue to rely upon growth and market capitalism as an organizing paradigm. This post at Resilience.org is the first chapter of a book titled "The Great Awakening: New Modes of Life amidst Capitalist Ruins," by David Bollier and Anna Grear. Bollier and Grear propose “new” ways of understanding our challenges and “new” solutions. They discuss how previous societies have also run into overshoot situations and argue that a common response is for societies tp transform themselves to freely share knowledge and management of property and production, moving away from capitalism to a more local, substance economy, with examples from previous civilizations. They identify certain milestones that sound familiar to our present situation. This excerpt includes a link to where you can purchase it and a link to download it for free. If you’re ready for some good paradigm busting reading and thinking please find the Chapter 1 excerpt here. Photo credit: Ship of Fools by Hieronymus Bosch/ Resilience.org
The Terrifying Warning Lurking in the Earth’s Ancient Rock Record To understand what’s happening to the Earth you need a multi-dimensional perspective. When we consider climate change, we usually come at it from a human or at best a biological perspective. We study the rise and fall of civilizations and wonder if the dominance of homo sapiens across the globe might threaten other species. Modern ecological theories such as the Gaia hypothesis and Holling’s socio-ecological resilience envision Earth as a self-regulating biosphere whose purpose is to maintain an environment fit for life. But there is much more to the story.The sheer mass and momentum of Earth’s geology and its dance with the geochemical influence of atmospheric CO2 levels may in fact be the more dominant driver of climate change. This long-read from The Atlantic science writer Peter Brannen takes us on a fascinating romp back through geologic time. Tracking CO2 levels and tying them to the paleoclimate record, Brannen also keep us connected to biologic conditions to see what the science is telling us. Although The Atlantic has a paywall, it usually allows a few free articles per month to each IP address, please find this highly recommended article here. Photo credit: Brendan Pattengale/The Atlantic.
The Efficiency Curse Well-known food author Michael Pollan writes this op-ed in The Washington Post on food system resilience. He discusses how our food system has developed to be very efficient and how this helps to keep prices low. But efficiency comes at the price of diminished system resilience. Pollan helps us understand how different supply chains exist for retail customers and for institutional customers such as restaurants or schools. He covers the problems that can arise when production becomes too centralized or big and discusses the issue of farming mono crops versus diversified cropping. Diverse small farms, such as those in the PT/Chimacum area, can more easily adapt to challenges. Pollan also offers the perspective that while efficiency is easy to measure, resilience is not. If a community purposely seeks to improve the resilience of its food systems it should understand that it will be making an investment in lowering the risk of adverse outcomes for hard-to-predict hard times. Please find the article here. The Washington Post has a paywall but usually allows several free articles per month before the paywall cuts you off. Illustration credit: Mark Allen Miller/Washington Post
Rondout Riverport 2040 Vision. Local 20/20’s name refers not to the year we lost down the COVID hole, but to vision. We can use the power of imagination to look together towards our future and decide what we want it to look like. This involves the process of thinking critically and searching our souls for what values we want to preserve and amplify and choosing what things we can do without. This wonderful article from Andrew Willner at resilience.org imagines a future on the Hudson River and is an admirable example of how we can reconfigure a post-carbon future in response to climate change. It is a shining example of how place shapes the imagination of a people. Those of us now living in the coastal Salish communities have ample food for thought from our indigenous ancestors as well as other more recent arrivals. We are limited only by our imaginations. Please read this article and have fun imagining what things might look like in the place where we live at the branching of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Kalama Methanol Refinery and the Thin Green Line
The January column for Local 20/20’s Resilience Review in The Port Townsend Leader is from Polly Lyle, a member of the Local 20/20 Climate outreach group. She describes the ramifications of a proposed methanol refinery in Kalama, Washington, and shares some good news on the recent developments from WA Department of Ecology. Learn more about that proposal, as well as another one in Oregon, in this article.
Insurrection, Pandemic, and Censorship In this article, thinker Richard Heinberg reviews recent tumultuous political events and places them in context. In a previous essay he discussed the breakdown of consensus reality (see article below). Here he returns to that theme as he focuses on communication and censorship. At first he seems to be defending the rights of people to say whatever they want and that we will have to learn to live with cognitive dissonance. But then he turns a corner. He suggests holding the line not merely at spreading lies but also at speech that threatens harm to others. Although Heinberg avoids discussion of how we should consider anti-public health (e.g. vaccination conspiracy theories) speech, he does remind us to think critically. He urges us to build emotional resilience so that we might best help our communities navigate “the craziness to come.” Please find the article here.
A Farmer and His Extra Row From the Transition Town of Jericho, Vermont, author Laura Markowitz shares this inspirational story of how a community responded when a local farmer said he would love to plant an extra row of butternut squash but didn’t have the labor he would need to pull that off. The Transition Town community responded they could support that need, so the farmer planted in early summer. Harvest time is always weather dependent, and in this case the threat of an early frost required short notice to gather the laborers. About a dozen people showed up and picked 584 squash in little more than an hour. A ton of food for locals in need was grown by a partnership between a skilled farmer and a community supportive of local agriculture. This is a great concept that would work for us.Please find the article here.
Mom, We Crashed The Planet Our neighbor across Admiralty Inlet, Vicki Robin, shares her thoughts about planetary physics, consumption, oil, and overshoot. Vicki asks a lot of “what if” questions and then wonders why we are not making any real progress on solving the climate crisis we face. She offers up the analogy of addiction and the approach of the “Anonymous” programs, with their first step of recognize that whatever we are doing is not working, its not helping to leave the planet in a better place than we found it. She then asks why we can’t see that unless we actually change our behaviors we threaten the future of everything we love with collapse. What follows is a wide-ranging exploration through literature and philosophy, Shakespeare and Monty Python, focused on our predicament. Please find the article at Resilience.org or at the Vicki Robin blog.
Saving Farmland, Supporting Young Farmers This article focuses on reforming our concepts of land use and preserving land for Common Purpose. Author David Bollier gives an overview of his latest podcast, Agrarian Commons, titled “Frontiers of Commoning.” It starts with an important observation, especially for theses times: “At the root of peace is sufficiency and wholeness, and that means people having their needs met, people being fed.” Bollier interviews a young organic farmer from Maine and her multi-pronged strategy to promote “community-supported and collectively stewarded farmland.” Bollier mentions a program there called “Seaweed Commons” that promotes seaweed aquaculute and “ecological literacy of stakeholders in the marine economy." Bollier discusses this and other such endeavors as critical to efforts to “build new types of food systems that are regenerative, diversified, and community minded.” Anyone who wants to be part of creating a new local and resilient food system here will find this discussion of value. Please find the discussion and link to the podcast at Resilience.org or at the David Bollier Blog.
Global Warming Could Stop Relatively Quickly after Emissions Go to Zero
From Inside Climate News, Bob Berwyn summarizes climate-related findings from 2020. Bven though our economy slowed during 2020 due to the pandemic, the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere continued to rise to record levels. But unexpected findings show that despite the La Niña oceanic cooling effect of 2020, we still had record warming even compared to 2016, a year when the El Niño warming effect dominated. The rate of warming in the polar regions was found to be about three times the global average, and the thawing of permafrost is now well underway releasing carbon in a positive feedback loop. Also as polar ice melting accelerated, we are now seeing global sea level rise of 2 inches per decade on average. Berwyn also reviews the findings that many places in the world most affected by climate change were the least studied. Finally, an unexpected but welcome result from research indicates that if we can get to net zero emissions we stand a good chance of breaking the vicious feedback cycle and warming may level off and stabilize within just a couple decades. Quite a hopeful thing that should motivate us to redouble efforts to stop our greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. Find the article here.
In Pursuit of Better Agriculture (and a Better Society)
The way we farm and the way we think are connected. When, 10-12 thousand years ago we started growing annual plants to feed ourselves and this permitted cities and civilization to take root. We started to think of ourselves as being in control because we grew food rather than simply gathering what nature provided. We started to think short term instead of long term. In this interview of Bill Vitek, a colleague of Wes Jackson, Olivia Malloy discusses the movement to explore the value of “New Perennials” as something both new and ancient.” Vitek sees growing perennial grains as a way to look to nature and observe how ecosystems exist. Vitek asks us to think critically that culture that is based on extraction, consumption. The way we try to turn land into a machine and make it work non-stop, and how we treat workers the same way. He observes that our education systems are geared to preparing kids to live a short-term, fast-paced life; the gig economy. They also discuss how the emergence of a new, truly sustainable, agriculture can scale up to meet the need and co-exist with our existing dominant paradigm during a period of transition. The concepts discussed are very much relevant to how we radically transition our systems to address converging crises and climate change. Initially published in a new journal titled Merion West, please find the article here.
2020: The Year Consensus Reality Fractured Let’s get real, people. 2020 has been a year that has at times seemed surreal or even unreal. In this year-end essay Richard Heinberg discusses the concept of consensus reality. He first describes how consensus reality develops then talks about how it has fallen apart. Heinberg argues that a breakdown of consensus reality during a period of economic, political, or social emergency may contribute to societal collapse when it undermines the social trust that is required for complex societies to function. Heinberg takes it a step further when he suggests part of the problem is a deep “blindspot” and lack of a “unifying vision” here in the U.S. If our “main guiding value is only ‘more” (consumerism) then we continue to dig ourselves a very deep hole indeed. In the last part of the essay Heinberg optimistically speculates that despite the challenges a new consensus is possible. He describes a very positive view of what that that could look like and though he acknowledges that such a reunification will be difficult, he leaves us with the notion that it is something worth striving for. Please enjoy a peaceful holiday season and find Heinberg’s article here.
Citizens Climate Assembly: Report from the UK There are indicators that our existing national political system is not up to the task of responding to the climate crisis. For multiple reasons our political "leaders" seem unlikely to enact the significant change we need within the urgent timeframe required. One possible alternative providing a glimmer of hope is a “Citizens Climate Assembly." A citizens assembly is a form of participatory democracy in which members of the community are called to duty to listen to the evidence and craft recommended actions and strategies. The UK convened a climate assembly earlier this year with 108 members of the public randomly selected. They met over a period of five months and heard testimony from 47 subject matter experts. A 556-page report from this citizen group was recently released and an article from carbonbrief.org goes over some of its findings and offers links to the full report. The hope is that citizens working together can find solutions that will be acceptable to a majority of stakeholders and that it will help coerce and support politicians to enact needed policies. The report provides 50 key recommendations to help the UK reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. In a world where both our ecosystems and our democracies seem imperiled this approach offers a way forward. Please see the post above on a Washington State Citizen Climate Assembly starting January 2021. For a detailed look at the UK effort and its findings please access the article here.
Transforming Life on Our Home Planet, Perennially This essay by Wes Jackson et al is the first part of a new book, The Perennial Turn: Contemporary Essays from the Field, and it is a joy. The authors suggest analysis as the first step in facing “the multiple, cascading crises that humans have created.” He argues that agriculture may be “the worst mistake in the history of the human race" (argued by Jared Diamond among many others) and that by ramping up agriculture to industrial scales we have monkeyed with ecosystems that we do not fully understand or appreciate. The book discusses how our claim to dominion over the resources of the entire planet sets up an artificial separation of humans from nature. They key thing to understand, the authors write, is that earth’s atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere are not separate from the biosphere. Earth is alive in a holistic way. As they put it, “We hold this to be a truth that must become self evident: Our shared human responsibility is to live on, not dominate, our home planet.” Success will be measured by the “long-term flourishing of ecosystems, including people.” Their prescriptions do not reject reductionist science but call for greater appreciation of complex systems and a “revolutionary change in theory and practice.” They reject fantasies of unlimited growth. They close soberly by considering Wendell Berry, who says we live on “the human estate of grief and joy.” They acknowledge that our cumulative harms of the past mean that unless we change we face grief “unprecedented in human history.” Please find the article here.
Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story This worthy yet entertaining documentary on YouTube is an eye opener. The documentary also goes into wasted land, water and inputs. The documentary is free, with a few ads. Filmmakers and food lovers, Jen and Grant, dive into the issue of food waste and pledge to quit grocery shopping and survive only on discarded food for 6 months. In addition, the film looks into expiry dates, perfect produce, and portion sizes, supposedly little things that add up to an overwhelming problem. You can watch the video here.
It Took a Townsend The November column for Local 20/20’s Resilience Review in The Port Townsend Leader is from Tracy Grisman, who is a member of Local 20/20's Beyond Waste Action Group. Tracy provides a recap of the Repair Cafe she and others organized earlier this year. The title of the article is “It Took a Townsend: A Fond Memory from 2020." In the article we are introduced us to a new term, the Repairocene (noun): A time when common goals of healing, repairing, and restoring of our lands, our things, and our relationships are shared. Port Townsend’s Repair Café debut was a smash hit! (No pun intended.)You can find the article on our website here.
The "Market" Won't Save Us from Climate Disaster This article from The Guardian’s Robert Devine argues that “expecting the free market to fix global warming is like trying to pound nails with a saw.” It quotes a former Chief Economist for the World Bank calling climate change “the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen.” Devine goes into what “market failure” means and how a defect in communication has contributed to consumers not having the appropriate information when they choose to buy, say, a gallon of gasoline. He talks about how ecosystem services have been terribly undervalued for too long. Devine stops short of offering a prescription for radical departure from the free market but offers some ideas for how the current system can be greatly improved and perhaps work towards our goals instead of against them. Please find the article here.
Food for Thought Author Leander Jones tackles the problems of our dominant industrial agriculture model and how a system that relies on global production and transportation contributes to risk for some communities when it is stressed by situations like Covid-19. Jones offers an alternative model practiced in Germany that combines collective land ownership with CSA membership. Such a model adheres to principles such as localism, ecological sustainability, common ownership and production for need rather than profit. It pays farm workers a living wage that is independent of crop fluctuations. CSA members are encouraged to help work on the farm and invest their labor as well as their capital to help ensure success. The operation Jones highlights resists growing in size beyond that which serves its members. Also, Jones illustrates how growing local food for local consumption can greatly help reduce agriculture’s greenhouse gas footprint. It's a model worth exploring locally. Please find the article here.
No Matter Who Wins The 2020 election is behind us and many people feel optimistic for our future once again. Thus it is a good time to inject some big picture reality into the equation. Some may equate reality with pessimism but as our political leaders begin to transition to establishing new priorities and approaches to problem solving it would be good to base our plans on reality and science. Nate Hagens is with the University of Minnesota and the Institute for the Study of Energy and the Future. He is one of those big picture guys, especially in finance and energy systems. Just before the election he wrote an essay in which he draws our attention back to the really big problems we face, all of which have in recent months been forced off the radar screen of our limited attention spans. He covers the impact of COVID and its economic impact, pending oil supply problems, and our interdependence with the natural world as well as offering some great titanic iceberg analogies. Hagens offers a number of quotes that begin with the same phrase “No matter who wins the election” such as “we will have to face a more complex and less certain energy future.” Readers are encouraged to take the time and inform themselves on the Big Picture with Nate Hagens, find the article here.
How to Fix Our Country's Empathy Problem, Starting with the Farmworkers Who Keep Us Fed This article from Salon’s Ashlie Stevens provides good food for thought. It takes up the situation of the migrant workers who play a key role in our food supply chain. Most of us are mostly unaware of the role these essential workers play and of the conditions with which they contend. Stevens argues that many of us have lost a sense of empathy, that we don’t consider the suffering that others must endure simply to earn the money needed to support themselves and their families. We have become deficient in empathy. As we consider how to make our local food system more resilient for the challenging times ahead, we should create a system that works for all stakeholders. Justice for front line workers fosters stability and resilience and, more importantly, it is simply the right priority for our fellow human beings.Please find the article here.
Kiss the Ground This fantastic documentary presents the amazing potential of regenerative agriculture. Narrated by Woody Harrelson and featuring Ian Somerhalder, this 2020 Tribeca Film Festival selection was produced by Josh & Rebecca Tickell and provides viewers with the compelling story of how our soil can not only sequester carbon but even draw it down from the atmosphere. The film includes the perspectives of thought leaders, soil conservationists, ranchers, and farmers. This is one of those rare examples of something tangible we can undertake to head off a catastrophe. You can watch it now on Netflix, or on October 22nd you can stream it for $1. This 84 minute film will leave you feeling... hopeful. To watch a trailer, and to learn more, please visit the Film’s websitehere.
The Great Climate Migration Compared to many places, we live in a region where the climate forecast offers reasonable temperature and adequate rainfall. While we cannot expect to escape the direct nor the indirect effects of climate change, we may be one of the places where people from other regions migrate to escape inhospitable temperatures and humidity, drought, or recurring natural disasters. It is, however, a complex situation. A recent report from ProPublica & The New York Times Magazine takes a look at the prospects for climate migration. They begin with analysis of the geophysical forecasts for the U.S. using county-level data displayed in a series of interactive maps. The accompanying article provides an in-depth analysis of the impacts on agriculture, water, and housing issues, as well as consideration of economic and social factors that are quite concerning. This is important information as we begin to think about how we might react and what community values we would like to uphold in such a scenario. The ProPublica article ishere, and aninteractive and comprehensive mapping feature ishere.
New Study Shows a Vicious Cycle of Climate Change Building on Layers of Warming Ocean Water It would have been easy to miss the alarming new report from researchers who describe how the Oceans are “stabilizing”. These days it would be quite understandable to welcome any sort of stabilizing but in our oceans this represents an ominous situation. The ability of our oceans to buffer the impacts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has allowed us to delay the onset of the major impacts of climate change forecast for the future. However, it seems the ability of the oceans to perform this service is ending far sooner than scientists had expected. One of the study's co-authors is Michael Mann of Penn State who also says we now cannot rule out some of the more dire risks including that atmospheric CO2 could triple by the year 2100, and that global average temperature could rise by 8 degrees F. Even as so much of our attention seems focused on things like the death toll from COVID-19 and an uncertain political situation we should also take time to assess our world from the big picture perspective and to act accordingly.Find the article by Bob Berwyn at Inside Climate Newshere.
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