Transition Whatcom

David MacLeod's Blog (111)

Giving Robert Socolow a Wedgie, and Other Recommended Reading

Giving Robert Socolow a Wedgie (so to speak) by Rob Hopkins

In 2004, Steve Pacala and Robert Socolow published a paper in Science about climate mitigation which introduced the concept of ‘stabilisation wedges’.  This proposed that rather than waiting for some ‘magic…


Added by David MacLeod on October 13, 2011 at 9:03pm — No Comments

Recommended Reading, Oct. 2, 2011

Celt's Garden: Community Emergency Readiness is All About Attitude

by Celt Schira, Transition Whatcom

...Columbia Neighborhood has spectacular pocket gardens as well as the best organized disaster preparedness in the city. Check it out. I like to walk down the alleys. That way I can peer into people's gardens…


Added by David MacLeod on October 2, 2011 at 6:35pm — No Comments

Recommended Reading, Sept. 11, 2011

A Conversation with Rob Hopkins

Richard Heinberg hosts a conversation with Rob Hopkins on New Thinking in Transition. The podcast begins with Rob giving an update on what is going on in the Transition movement and introducing the upcoming Transition handbook, and is followed by a Q and A. Recorded July 18. (Complete…

Added by David MacLeod on September 11, 2011 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Heinberg and Hagens Chat About the Economy

There was a request for a synopsis of the web chat last week that Energy Bulletin and the Post Carbon Institute hosted. 


The full chat transcript is available on the Energy Bulletin website here.


I also put together an edit, where I matched the questions with the answers.  I think I got most of it, but I left a few questions and answers out.  See…


Added by David MacLeod on September 4, 2011 at 9:51pm — No Comments

Recommended Reading on The Economy

As we watch the stock market gyrate up and down (mostly down) over the past several weeks, its easy to understand why more and more people are becoming anxious about the economy.  In fact, the last 4 years have been difficult for many.  At a recent meeting discussing Resilience Circles, we discussed how we've all either personally experienced an economic downturn, or have close friends and relatives who are struggling.


Transition co-founder Naresh Giangrande…


Added by David MacLeod on August 23, 2011 at 7:06pm — 2 Comments

Recommended Reading, Watching, Listening, Aug. 7, 2011

Debt Tantrum On A Sinking Ship - by Richard Heinberg

Republicans say that more government debt is unsustainable. If we keep piling it on, we’ll eventually get to a point where all government revenues are eaten up by interest payments. We have to get off the deficit treadmill now; if we do—if we downsize government by shrinking the federal budget—we can…


Added by David MacLeod on August 7, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Open Letter to Fuse: Tom Anderson/"The Scoop on Coal"

An Open Letter to Aaron Ostrom, Executive Director of Fuse Washington


(Normally I would lean towards not posting such a blatant personal political position here on the TW site, but since a blatant misrepresentation of Tom Anderson is being spread prominently, I am making an exception)



As someone who's been a long time subscriber to Fuse, I have found the information your organization shares to be quite valuable, and…


Added by David MacLeod on July 30, 2011 at 2:59pm — 1 Comment

Response to Michael Klare's "The New Thirty Years' War"

The complete version of my Letter to the Editor of Cascadia Weekly (published July 13, 2011.  The letter was given the unfortunate title "Dark Future" by the Weekly.  For sure, I see hard times in our future, but there are also many opportunities.  As David Holmgren has written, "We have trouble visualizing decline as positive, but this simply reflects the dominance of our prior culture of growth."  My primary reason for writing the letter was to point out that, contrary to Michael…


Added by David MacLeod on July 17, 2011 at 4:02pm — No Comments

Recommended Reading, July 12, 2011

Towards a Post-Growth Society by James Gustave Spelth, YES! Magazine

Today, the reigning policy orientation holds that the path to greater well-being is to grow and expand the economy. Productivity, profits, the stock market, and consumption: all must go continually up. This growth imperative trumps all else. It is widely believed that growth is always…


Added by David MacLeod on July 12, 2011 at 9:56pm — No Comments

Energy, Ecology, and Economics, by Howard Odum (Part 5)

Part 5, and the Conclusion of this Series

Part 1 here
, and Part 2 here, and Part 3 here
, and Part 4…


Added by David MacLeod on June 26, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Energy, Ecology, and Economics, by Howard Odum (Part 4)

Part 1 here, and Part 2 here, and Part 3 here


I just added an edit to yesterday's "Part 3" post, on point number 13 regarding the net…


Added by David MacLeod on June 25, 2011 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Energy, Ecology, and Economics by Howard Odum (Part 3)

"Most people in the industrial world today seem to have lost the ability to imagine a future that doesn’t have electricity coming out of a socket in every wall, without going to the other extreme and leaning on Hollywood clichés of universal destruction. The idea that some of the most familiar technologies of today may simply become too expensive and inefficient to maintain tomorrow is alien to ways of thought dominated by the logic of abundance.


That blindness,…


Added by David MacLeod on June 24, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Energy, Ecology, and Economics by Howard Odum (Part 2)

As we continue with Part 2 of this series (read Part 1 here), I should say another word about why I think this is an important article by Howard Odum. 


We are coming out of the age of abundant and cheap energy, and entering an age of scarce and expensive energy.  I am no energy expert by any means, but I think it is extremely important that we laypeople make an effort to…


Added by David MacLeod on June 23, 2011 at 10:50pm — No Comments

Energy, Ecology, and Economics by Howard Odum (Part 1)

The reading for next week's Folk School class on Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability is a "classic" article by Howard T. Odum.   Although they had never met or corresponded, Odum has been Holmgren's primary intellectual inspiration.  Footnote number 1 and  Item #1 in the List of Main References for the 1978 "Permaculture One" co-authored by Holmgren and Mollison, was Odum's 1972 book "Environment, Power, and Society."  Holmgren's 1994 article "Energy and Permaculture" is structured…


Added by David MacLeod on June 22, 2011 at 9:30pm — 2 Comments

Principles and Pathways, Class #2: Rob Hopkins, and Transition

This post is primarily for the folks taking my WFS class on Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability, but everyone is welcome to follow along at home. Notes for Class #1 are here.

In Class #2, we will cover the following material:

1) Discussion around topics of class #1: the Five Axioms of Sustainability and Introduction to Permaculture…


Added by David MacLeod on June 8, 2011 at 10:19pm — No Comments

Recommended Reading, June 5, 2011

Hundreds Turn Out to Mayor's Cargo Terminal Meeting by John Stark

Many of those who spoke were more interested in stating their determined opposition to the Gateway Pacific project for a wide range of reasons: health effects from coal dust and ship and locomotive emissions; climate change from the burning of exported coal in China; disruption of…


Added by David MacLeod on June 5, 2011 at 9:05pm — No Comments

TW Members: Engaged Citizens!

It was nice to see this week's  Cascadia Weekly (5/25/11).  Three letters to the Editor, and all by TW members. 

First was TW co-initiator David Marshak's letter addressing the advertisements in local publications, and the inaccurate statements made in them by David Warren in support of…


Added by David MacLeod on May 30, 2011 at 7:09pm — No Comments

Recommended Reading, May 22, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I came across several related articles all at once, and all telling me that post-high school education is beginning its own period of transition.  First, New York Magazine's article The University Has No Clothes, telling us that the notion that a college degree is essentially worthless has  become one of the year's most fashionable ideas.  Then there was the…


Added by David MacLeod on May 22, 2011 at 6:16pm — 3 Comments

Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability

This Blog Post is in regards to the Class I will be teaching through the Whatcom Folk School, beginning June 6th.  More info about the class here.


Primary Text for class:

The Essence of Permaculture E-Book by David…


Added by David MacLeod on May 17, 2011 at 9:37pm — 4 Comments

Affluenza Vs. The Simpler Way

Last Saturday we were expecting a showing of the film "The Economics of Happiness" at the Pickford Cinema. Unfortunately the film didn't show up to the theater, but fortunately they had an older film on hand - "Affluenza." 

Affluenza is a 1 hour PBS documentary that was made by KCTS in Seattle about 12 to 14 years ago, exploring the high social and environmental costs of materialism and over-consumption.   From the Website, …


Added by David MacLeod on May 9, 2011 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

© 2020   Created by David MacLeod.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service