Transition Whatcom

May 2011 Blog Posts (13)

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

Celt's Garden - What does growing 10% of your food look like?

Walter Haugen from F.A. Farm recently said that he was on a farmer's panel and the current trend is to encourage everybody to grow 5, 10 or 15% of their own food. That's a goal which is totally doable, although if a lot of people get serious about it, a whole bunch of little scraps of lawn all over town will disappear under potato patches and square foot gardens. Even a modest number of people producing 5-15% of their own food will change the visual character of…


Added by Celt M. Schira on May 29, 2011 at 8:00pm — 5 Comments

Carbon Neutral Home in England

This  video is a "walk-through" of a carbon neutral home built as a demo. It doesn't really provide a lot of space to store one's accumulated junk. Maybe that's part of the point.


The Cube

Added by Rob Olason on May 24, 2011 at 8:57am — No Comments

TWOG Blog 5-23-11

Wow my life is getting busy. For those of you who may not know I am running for County Executive this year. Since I have run for County office before it is not fair to say I wasn’t aware of what I was getting into but it sure is getting hectic. I really believe we need leadership now to:

  • Build understanding and fix the broken partnerships between local governments.
  • Listen and learn to get the County planning process serving our citizens.
  • Seek input for an…

Added by Twog on May 23, 2011 at 9:47pm — 1 Comment

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

Celt's Garden - What's a Fanning Mill and Why Do We Need One?

Great question. A fanning mill is a winnowing machine. Winnowing is the step of cleaning the grain to separate the considerable chaff, dust, weed seeds and whatnot from what you want to eat. Winnowing is done after the thresher knocks the grains loose from the head. The most basic technology for winnowing is the shallow baskets that can be seen in traditional Chinese paintings of pretty girls tossing the rice harvest up and down in a breeze. This gets old, I'm just here to tell…


Added by Celt M. Schira on May 7, 2011 at 9:00pm — 4 Comments

Building on the work of David Holmgren

“One of the characteristics of a robust, enduring and mature civilization is the capacity to consider the longer term, aim for desirable but achievable futures, but have fall-back strategies and insurance policies to deal with surprise and uncertainty.”

So says Mr. David Holmgren in an essay on the web site  .

This statement sums up exactly what I’m trying to do: figure out what kind of fall-back…


Added by Tris Shirley on May 6, 2011 at 8:59pm — 11 Comments

Ideas for a Local Economy & Happy Planet Index

Seventeen Rules for a Sustainable Community - “If the members of a local community want their community to cohere, to flourish, and to last, these are some things they would do” -Wendell Berry   …


Added by Heather K on May 6, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Economics of Happiness

I'm looking forward to the film showing on Saturday, 3pm.  The Economics of Happiness . More info at the bottom of this page.   


There's a lot of thinking going on these days about what really makes us happy, and what's really important in life.  Some articles I've come across...



Added by David MacLeod on May 6, 2011 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Apple trees for grafting

I have a bunch of dwarf and mini-dwarf apple rootstock, and scion wood of many delicious apple varieties.  The trees just need to be grafted, and I have all the supplies to do that.  Do you want to learn how to graft, or practice your grafting skill, or make more trees for your garden/orchard?  Contact me and we'll find a time to get together and graft away.  I am asking $5 per tree to help me cover what I have spent on the rootstock and supplies.  Phone: 734- 3501 or email: chrisandbella (at)… Continue

Added by Chris Wolf on May 5, 2011 at 1:45pm — No Comments

China, Coal, World Energy Peak, and the Economy

Apologies in advance for the wonkish nature of this post.  I hope some will find it interesting...


Flashback to 5 years ago, the following comment on The Oil Drum was a bit of a revelation to me:

"The world economy was saved last year by the increasing World coal production. According to BP, World total energy production grew 2.4% in 2005, but oil only 1.0%. Coal production increased 5.0%, most of it in China (growth 10%, volume well over 30% of the…


Added by David MacLeod on May 2, 2011 at 10:46pm — 2 Comments

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