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 the proposed Cherry Point facility to transport coal to China.
Second was Dan Warner's letter in response to a previous CW column by Dean Baker, who, according to Warner, holds to "the infinite planet theory." Warner argues instead that "Infinite quantitative growth in a finite space is impossible." Warner was a featured speaker on Economics at an early "triple threat" TW event on peak oil, climate change, and economic instability.
Walter Haugen's letter follows, also responding to the Dean Baker column. Walter points out that Baker "focuses on fiscal policy without even considering how much energy is used and wasted in powering the economy." He agrees with Warner that "On a finite planet, infinite growth is suicide." Walter was a featured speaker at the TW Great Unleashing.
On the next page of Cascadia Weekly, we see a column by Bob Ferris. Bob is also a TW member, but more importantly he's the Executive Director of RE Sources for Sustainability, and is leading the public campaign opposing the proposed Coal Terminal at Cherry Point. His column is "Cherry Point: It is Absolutely About Jobs, Jobs, and Jobs." He dispels the idea that by opposing the terminal he is opposed to job creation in Whatcom County, and points out that many more jobs are threatened by the proposed terminal.
Turn the page again, and here is an interview with Bill McKibben regarding his upcoming visit to Bellingham (tomorrow, 5/31/11). McKibben states: "There's virtually no place on th continent that's done a better job of showing us how to live locally. Now, by quirk of geography, Bellingham is going to have to make some decisions about what kind of role it wants to play globally." The article is"Carbon Bomb: Bill McKibben Considers the Coal Fuse Burning at Cher... McKibben isn't a TW member, but we do have a 350.org work group, which will be tabling at the event. Come visit us!
And speaking of Engaged Citizens, TWIG and TWOG member Tom Anderson is running for County Executive!
With all these examples of TW Members engaging in public process, expressing personal opinion (which is to be encouraged), please keep in mind that Transition Whatcom as a whole is a non partisan organization, and is not a campaigning type of organization. How we draw these boundaries will continue to be an interesting dance. The following is excerpted from our TW Guidelines document:
"In regards to any issue, personal philosophy, theology, political persuasion and moral conviction, Transition Whatcom is (and we hope will continue to be) made stronger and more effective by being comprised of individuals with a wide diversity of opinions and beliefs. If you are involved with Transition Whatcom, come prepared to work shoulder to shoulder with people who may be very different from you in some or even many ways... Each of us can participate together in the projects of change we decide to undertake as Transition Whatcom, and yet have autonomy in our personal thinking and personal choices as we go. Whatever members do outside the scope of Transition Whatcom is their business and does not reflect Transition Whatcom as a whole, nor does it reflect on what other Transition Whatcom members believe or do."
For an interesting discussion on Transition And Activism, see Rob Hopkins' latest post here: