Blog

The Need To Grow – Special Screening

Special March 2021 Event:

Can we feed the world without destroying the planet? That depends – on what we do NOW.

Join us for this FREE screening of Conscious Earth Films’ award-winning documentary:

The Need to Grow  –  

by Zoom on Sunday, March 21, 2021, from 1:00-3:00 pm.

Here is the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83446772362?pwd=Rk9kdHJyeDRxTlJONWZlWEgvS2w5Zz09

History Shows That Sustained, Disruptive Protests Work

Courtesy of Yes! Magazine

Kevin A. Young

Kevin A. Young teaches history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is a co-author, with Tarun Banerjee and Michael Schwartz, of Levers of Power: How the 1% Rules and What the 99% Can Do About It (Verso, July 2020).

Protesters march against racism and police brutality in Amityville, New York, on July 5, 2020. Photo by Thomas A. Ferrara / Newsday RM / Getty Images

All disruptive social movements are met with stern warnings from people who think they know better. The current movement to “Defund the Police” is no exception.

Thus an editor of the Detroit Free Press professes sympathy for the protesters’ aims but says their “awful slogan” is “alienating” to the public, including to “White people who feel more reassured than threatened” by the police. Other pundits insist that “activists who are demanding radical change” are paving the way for Trump’s reelection: “Defund the Police” is “music to Trump’s ears” because it baits the Democrats into endorsing this presumably unpopular demand.

These critics share an assumption about how change happens: Movements must win over the majority of the public; once they do so, that sentiment soon finds its way into policy changes.  

This argument has several problems. One is that government so frequently disobeys the will of the majority. Statistical analyses that compare public preferences and policy find that the opinions of non-wealthy people “have little or no independent influence on policy.” Having the support of the majority is no guarantee of change, to say the least.

Also problematic is the assumption that radical demands or actions scare away the public. The empirical evidence is mixed, but the 54% support for the recent burning of the Minneapolis police precinct should make us skeptical of conventional wisdom.

But the biggest problem with the We-Must-Persuade-the-Majority argument is that most progressive victories in U.S. history did not enjoy majority support when they were won. In case after case, a radical minority disrupted the functioning of businesses and state institutions, which sought to restore stability by granting concessions and ordering politicians to do the same.

Read the rest of this interesting and illuminating article here.

Other Side of the Hill

Free Zoom Screening of New Film on Rural Oregon Renewable Energy Initiatives

“Other Side of the Hill” shows how rural communities in Eastern Oregon are reaping economic rewards now by transcending the toxic partisan rhetoric of climate change

On Thursday, October 29, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m., the SOCAN-Ashland Climate Action Project will host a free private Zoom screening of “Other Side of the Hill,” a new film about renewable energy initiatives underway in Eastern Oregon. The film is presented in partnership with Ashland Works, Climate Reality Project-Southwestern Oregon Chapter, McCloud Watershed Council, Pollinator Project Rogue Valley, Rogue Community College Earth Club, Southern Oregon Pachamama Alliance, Sustainable Rogue Valley, and Sustainability at Southern Oregon University.  

Directed by James Parker and Juliet Grable of Synchronous Pictures and Executive Produced by local and regional climate activists Julian Bell, Deb Evans, Ron Schaaf, and Tom Bowerman, “Other Side of the Hill”  explores the impacts of a changing climate in rural Eastern Oregon as seen through the eyes of local leaders on the ground. From innovative timber operations in Wallowa County to large scale solar in Lakeview, the film amplifies the voices of rural communities often left unheard. In a time of cultural divide between rural and urban Oregon–and toxic partisan politics around climate action–it’s inspiring to learn about communities that have found common ground in an urgency to address a changing landscape.  

The 30-minute film will be followed by Q&A with the filmmakers, visionaries, and “stars,” as well as leaders in Rogue Valley renewable energy initiatives. 

You must RSVP to attend. To join us, email carmen@socan.eco.  

Attendance is limited–RSVP now!

Trailer | Film website | Film Facebook page

Heal the Trauma of 2020

Saturday, October 10, 2020 – 10:30 AM

Let’s Begin to Heal the Trauma of 2020: You are invited to a Zoom meeting with the UU Trauma Response Ministry on Saturday, Oct 10, 2020 at 10:30 am Pacific

Please join members of the UU Trauma Ministry Team and other members and friends of the Southern Oregon UU Partnership (including UU Fellowship of Klamath County, UUs of Grants Pass and Rogue Valley UU Fellowship) on Saturday, October 10 @ 10:30 am via ZOOM for an opportunity to explore the ways in which the recent wildfires have been and are affecting each of us and how we can support each other and those around us during this important time.

Many of us have experienced trauma upon trauma this year, with COVID-19 and the intensity of our national political divides exacerbating the pain of watching wildfire sweep through our region. Whether or not you feel you personally experienced trauma this year, your supportive presence can help our community begin to heal. Board Co-Chair Constance and Intern Minister Alison have been spearheading this project for the SOUUP community, because both of us have experienced finding healing we didn’t even know we needed at this type of event. We hope you’ll consider joining in.

You must register in advance for this meeting!
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

The UU Trauma Response Ministry was established in 2002 and has for the past 18 years worked with congregations across the country who have faced a variety of difficult and tragic circumstances including wildfires in southern California, Hurricanes Charlie, Katrina and Maria; the shootings at Tennessee Valley UU Church as well as many other incidents of natural and human made disaster and trauma. Those who have benefited in the past from the presence of UUTRM report that their work helped greatly, especially through the initial stages of their experiences. Even those participants who didn’t personally feel as though they needed to talk found that their presence was helpful for others who did. Please join us for this important conversation.

Question? Email Intern Minister Alison: intern.minister@rvuuf.org..

SRV’s Black Lives Matter Statement

Sustainable Rogue Valley affirms and supports Black Lives Matter.

We stand in solidarity with all people working for racial justice.

We believe that environmental and economic sustainability are inextricably linked with racial justice.

We shall educate ourselves, confront our own racism, and dedicate ourselves to undoing all patterns of discrimination.

We shall act courageously to dismantle white supremacy so that we can contribute to a better world for the generations that follow us.

Next SRV meeting this weekend Sunday 9/13 at 12:30


Save the Pipe Fork forest

Dear Sustainable Rogue Valley,

     We are meeting by Zoom this weekend Sunday, September 13 at 12:30 pm. You can click on the link in the invitation pasted below or use the meeting ID.

     I have been thinking a lot about racism, the environment and solidarity lately, and the attached agenda contains a proposed statement for our web site. This six-minute video provides a good perspective on the connection between environmental and social justice. If you have feedback about the proposed statement and cannot attend the meeting, please send your feedback to me by email.
     An agenda for the meeting is attached, along with minutes from our last meeting. Please let me know if you have items that you would like me to add to the agenda.
     We had a rich conversation last month, and I look forward to connecting on Sunday. Please join us!

Dorothy

Sustainable Rogue Valley is a group of southern Oregonians who have come together to foster a vibrant and resilient community that makes use of sustainable practices, empowers us to share our skills and gifts, and confronts environmental and economic instability with determination to create a better life for all.

Dorothy Swain is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Sustainable Rogue Valley
Time: Sep 13, 2020 12:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://roguecc.zoom.us/j/93761185026

Meeting ID: 937 6118 5026
One tap mobile
+12532158782,,93761185026# US (Tacoma)
+13462487799,,93761185026# US (Houston)

Dial by your location
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 937 6118 5026
Find your local number: https://roguecc.zoom.us/u/abTcXL69di

10 Steps for Rebalancing our World in Times of Crisis


Donnie Maclurcan
Mar 15

The coronavirus outbreak makes one thing abundantly clear: we’re interconnected and in this together.

Yet our greatest vulnerability comes from a system in which money, resources, and power have accumulated for far too long.

For those in positions of privilege, here are 10 steps you can take to restore the circulation that all living systems need in order to thrive:

1. Be outstandingly generous to those disproportionately impacted. Consider your privilege and actively support communities that don’t generally have an accumulation of resources, are discriminated against, or are overlooked: the elderly, sick or infirmed; healthcare workers; single parents; undocumented, underemployed, self-employed, contract, gig, low-wage or laid-off workers; Black, Indigenous and People of Color; immigrants; the homeless and displaced; incarcerated or formerly incarcerated individuals; veterans; people with disability; and LGBTQ+ populations. This helps people understand who is most affected, helps us allocate resources more efficiently and helps to right systemic wrongs. (See here how the coronavirus outbreak affects Black people disproportionately)

2. Reduce rents for tenants and small businesses. Don’t evict. Delay rental payments. Rent vacant properties. This allows everyone to maintain homes and businesses through challenging times. (See here how this landlord is offering financial relief)

3. Freeze or cancel loan and bill repayments from individuals and small businesses. At a minimum, put a hold on accruing interest or penalties, and extend loan and bill repayment dates. Offer no-collateral, zero-interest or depreciating loans to individuals, small businesses, and nonprofit enterprises in need. This ensures that we don’t penalize people and businesses because of unforeseen circumstances. (See here how the U.S. administration has temporarily halted interest payments on federally-held student loans)

4. Support your employees and teams. Provide or advocate for: remote working opportunities (where possible); childcare support; paid sick leave; flextime; early and unplanned bonuses; and an employment guarantee for the coming months. Reduce the top-to-bottom salary ratio. Reject racism and have extra patience with inefficiencies, mistakes, stress and tension with your employees and colleagues. This provides people with security and a better ability to cope with work and family demands. (See here how this company is shutting down its stores but continuing to pay all its employees)

5. Keep your money local. Purchase from nearby businesses, especially those smaller in size. Tip generously. Purchase gift cards and pre-pay for future services. Support people whose activities and events have been cancelled — through online purchases, subscriptions and patronage. Decline refunds or donate refunded money to an associated cause. Move your personal and company’s money to a local credit union or community bank. This keeps money moving within our communities, and services operational. (See here for comprehensive data on why doing business locally matters)

6. Increase your charitable giving. Offer before people ask. Provide support to individuals, families and frontline social services, as well as those working to create a more equitable and resilient economic system. If you benefit from investment fluctuations, use the gains to finance your generosity, and donate stock to nonprofits. This reduces the likelihood of people falling through the cracks. (See here how some leaders are ramping up their giving right now)

7. Volunteer virtually and in-person (where safe). Offer online support to nonprofits and check in via phone or social media with people who might feel particularly alone. Where social distancing is possible, volunteer at your local food bank, shelter or other frontline service provider and pick up shopping, post mail, or offer childcare for people in need. Donate blood (if you’re healthy). This gives everyone an opportunity to take action. (See here for hundreds of virtual volunteering opportunities)

8. Share spare resources. Make an inventory of your supplies and a timeline for distributing what you’re willing to share. Drop off food, essential items, high-end healthcare products, and gift cards to individuals, your local food bank, meal delivery groups and other supportive services. Share excess produce from your land and provide access to your yard or property for a community garden to emerge. This ensures there is enough for everyone, and that resources aren’t idle. (See here how hundreds of Mutual Aid Networks are mobilizing in response to the coronavirus)

9. Support aligned programs and legislative proposals. Champion programs and laws that support tenants, small businesses, workers, and nonprofits, while prioritizing assistance for: the elderly, sick or infirmed; healthcare workers; single parents; undocumented, underemployed, self-employed, contract, gig, low-wage or laid-off workers; Black, Indigenous and People of Color; immigrants; the homeless and displaced; incarcerated or formerly incarcerated individuals; veterans; people with disability; and LGBTQ+ populations. This helps reinforce the structural changes our system needs. (See here how Twitter has banned hateful speech around age, disability and disease)

10. Lead by example. Inspire others with privilege to follow you. This creates a snowball effect. (See here how this woman’s coronavirus campaign is inspiring #viralkindness)

With thanks to the following people, from around the world, who helped crowd-edit this article: Dien Vo, Natalie Holmes, Crystal Arnold, Katia Sol, Tía Laída Fé, Victoria Saint, Claire Sommer, J’aime Powell, Alexa Bernard, Bonnie Cohen, and Kokayi Nosakhere.

Sustainable Rogue Valley Film Series

On Sunday, January 19th from 2:00 – 3:30 we have our launch of the first SRV Film Series showing at UU. We will be showing “Educating Women and Girls” a TED talk by Katharine Wilkenson, powerful and moving short talk Katharine gave on the impact of educating women and girls on the battle against global warming. That will be followed by another short film by David Katz on “The surprising solution to ocean plastics and how we can address poverty at the same time”. We’ll also have a time after the films for people to share their feeling and thoughts plus look at how we might get involved in the solutions.

January Movies

Events in January 2020

Hi fellow Sustainable Rogue Valley folks and happy holidays to you all!

Here are some updates on coming events:

Monthly Meeting

On Sunday, January 12th we have our next Sustainable Rogue Valley (SRV) meeting at 12:30 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Grants Pass, OR.

SRV Film Series

On Sunday, January 19th from 2:00 – 3:30 we have our launch of the first SRV Film Series showing at UU. We will be showing “Educating Women and Girls” a TED talk by Katharine Wilkenson, powerful and moving short talk Katharine gave on the impact of educating women and girls on the battle against global warming. That will be followed by another short film by David Katz on “The surprising solution to ocean plastics and how we can address poverty at the same time”. We’ll also have a time after the films for people to share their feeling and thoughts plus look at how we might get involved in the solutions.

New Film Series: Back From The Brink

Meanwhile, another film series will launch on January 15th. “Back from the Brink, a Community Environmental Film and Conversation series will be held in Kerby, on Wednesday the 15th, doors open at 6:00 pm, film at 6:30. We will show “Call of Life” followed by a community conversation. The flyer for that one is attached below. Please invite others to come.

More to come:

An all-day Intro to Project Drawdown Facilitator Training is coming soon and the yearly environmental film festival at Grants Pass High School Performing Arts Theater on February 9th, 2020.

See you all soon.

Back From the BrinkFlyer.jpeg

South Korea’s Solution for Food Waste

–by Max S. Kim, syndicated from huffpost.com, Oct 24, 2019

Chung Sun-hee finely crushes eggshells, dries and saves her coffee grounds, and separates large vegetable offcuts into smaller pieces. Later, the 55-year-old professional translator will bury them in her backyard, in rotating plots of earth that are given ample time to compost before being replenished. She will plant tomatoes, basil and corn in the resulting soil.

PORTLAND PRESS HERALD VIA GETTY IMAGES

She has a raft of little tricks to make it all work: In the summer, for example, her husband dices up the rinds of every watermelon he eats in order to make the composting process faster. “When we lived in an apartment, I would throw away all my food waste into the shared collection containers,” Chung said. “But now, I compost almost all of it.”

Chung is one of a growing number of city dwellers who are getting into urban farming, not just to grow their own vegetables, but also as an exercise in waste reduction. “Reducing food waste and the urban farming movement are very closely linked,” said Chung, who completed a government-sponsored course five years ago.

Her new habits reflect a larger change underway in South Korea’s densely populated capital, where grassroots movements and government campaigns have dramatically transformed how people dispose of their leftover food.

Once a city where unsightly and foul-smelling landfills loomed over entire neighborhoods, Seoul now operates one of the most rigorous food waste recycling programs in the world. The results have been impressive.

The South Korean government banned sending food to landfills in 2005 and, in 2013, also prohibited the dumping of garbage juice (leftover water squeezed from food waste) into the sea. Today, a staggering 95 percent of food waste is recycled ― a remarkable leap from less than 2 percent in 1995. Seoul has managed to cut the amount of food waste produced by 400 metric tons per day.

Walk along any residential street in Seoul and you’ll see why. On Chung’s street, residents emerge at dusk to deposit small yellow bags into designated waste collection buckets.

Since 2013, South Koreans have been required by law to discard food waste in these biodegradable bags, priced according to volume and costing the average four-person family about $6 a month. By purchasing them from the local convenience store or supermarket, residents are effectively paying a tax on their food waste upfront. In Seoul, this tax pays for roughly 60 percent of the cost of collecting and processing the city’s food waste, according to government data.

Seoul residents put their waste into yellow recycling bags, which they buy from supermarkets and local stores.

MAX S. KIM

Seoul residents put their waste into yellow recycling bags, which they buy from supermarkets and local stores.

It’s simple but brilliant: Not only does it offer incentives for you to reduce waste, it makes you confront it. “It made me cut down on the food I threw away a lot,”  Chung said. “Not only for economic reasons, but visually it makes you aware of how much waste you’re producing.”

This pay-as-you-waste scheme was born out of necessity. “Unlike countries where meals are one-plate dishes, South Korean food culture is centered around banchan [a variety of side dishes that accompany meals], which creates a lot of leftover food,” said Kim Mi-hwa, chair of the Korea Zero Waste Movement Network. In the late 1990s, increased standards of living, a growing appetite for dining out and the rise of one-person households fueled a steady increase in food waste. In major urban areas like Seoul, landfills had already reached a tipping point.

“The waste just wasn’t decreasing, so we campaigned the government by telling them that we’d need a radical solution,” said Kim, one of the earliest advocates of the pay-as-you-waste scheme. “Not only does South Korea have small land mass, but growing public awareness about the environment made it impossible to just add more landfills or processing plants.”

South Korean food is centered around side dishes called banchan, which rarely all get eaten.

Some districts in Seoul use a more high-tech variant for apartment complexes, which has seen even better results. In large metal waste receptacles outfitted with measuring scales and a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip reader, residents can deposit their waste directly, bag-free. The machine calculates the fee by weighing the amount, and residents pay by swiping a card in front of the scanner.

“Over the last six years, we reduced a total of about 47,000 tons of food waste [with the RFID machines],” said Lee Kang-soo, head of the local government-run food recycling program in Seoul’s Songpa District. “We assume it’s because people want to pay less money, since the cost increases with the weight.”

The chief benefit of the RFID machine is that it encourages residents to remove any moisture ― which accounts for about 80 percent of food waste ― before tossing it in the machine, saving on collection costs. In Songpa District alone, according to Lee, the machines have saved 9.6 billion won (about $8.4 million) in logistical expenses.

Seoul is in the process of making sure all food waste eventually becomes a resource, such as fertilizer for growing food. The city handles about 60 percent of the food waste, while private contractors pick up the rest. Once collected, the waste is shipped off to processing plants, where the yellow bags are stripped off and the food slurry is squeezed to remove any liquids. A giant churn picks out any hard foreign objects, such as errant utensils, before the sludge is heat-treated and pulverized.

The resulting powder is converted into either animal feed or fertilizer. Meanwhile, the liquid squeezed from the waste is fermented into biogas or bio-oil, which can be used as fuel for boilers and other industrial appliances.

These card-operated machines charge people by weight for their food waste.

MAX S. KIM

These card-operated machines charge people by weight for their food waste.

Tapping into an urban farming boom, the city has recently announced plans to furnish a number of apartment complexes with large-scale food waste processors to create fertilizer for their gardens.

“I think there needs to be a perception that discarded food isn’t ‘garbage,’ but simply food that we couldn’t finish,” Lee said. “Only with this attitude can these ‘resource-ification’ policies work.”

Despite the program’s success, the need to continue reducing food waste remains stark. Seoul’s food waste processing centers have recently reported large amounts of dry fertilizer stacking up unused ― an indication that there is still too much waste being created.

While the government has announced legislation to qualify food waste fertilizer as organic in order to expand its uses, experts, government officials and activists alike stress the need for more fundamental measures that reduce food waste at the source.

“There’s a limit to how much food waste fertilizer can actually be used,” Kim said. “This means there has to be a change in our dining habits, such as shifting to a one-plate culinary culture like other countries, or at least reducing the amount of banchan that we lay out.”

For more content and to be part of the “This New World” community, follow our Facebook page. 

HuffPost’s “This New World” series is funded by Partners for a New Economy and the Kendeda Fund. All content is editorially independent, with no influence or input from the foundations. If you have an idea or tip for the editorial series, send an email to thisnewworld@huffpost.com


Syndicated from the Huffington Post.

From the 2019 Bioneers Conference going on now…

Day 2

Today, the second day of the 2019 Bioneers Conference, was dually concentrated on climate solutions and justifiable climate despair (among many, many other ideas discussed throughout the day). Bioneers reminded us that we live in a moment of great unknowing as we face a climate future that’s unlike anything humanity has previously faced. But now is the time to harness our bravery, as Valarie Kaur observed by poignantly comparing the future we face to giving birth:

“What if the darkness in our world right now is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if all of our ancestors who pushed through the fire before us, who survived genocide and colonization and slavery and assault, are standing behind us now whispering in our ears ‘You are brave’? What if this is our time of great transition?”

Following are some of the ideas and takeaways Bioneers introduced today:

ACTION ITEMS — Turn Inspiration Into Real Change

Lessons and Takeaways:

  • Women and mothers – step up to lead: Moms Clean Air Force‘s Heather McTeer Toney reminded us, “Mothers are realizing that our voices are required at this moment. It’s not an option, it’s a requirement. We belong in these rooms. Anyone who has an interest in seeing the welfare of our children through the impact of climate change belongs in these places.”
  • Empower young people and get them outside: Many speakers today mentioned a perceived hopelessness among young people in the face of existential crises. Proposed solutions included fostering closer relationships with the Earth and inviting them into the fold as we work toward climate solutions. We’re going to need everybody in this effort, said Brett KenCairn.
  • Get your money out of investments that fund pollution and destruction (divest): “Shell announced this past year that divestment had become a material risk to its business,” said author and 350.org Co-Founder Bill McKibben. Examine your investments and urge institutions to do the same. (And cut up your Chase Bank credit card.)
  • Love with these three practices: From Valarie Kaur, we must “see no stranger, tend the wound, and breathe & push.”
  • Learn about climate solutions, then share them in ways that resonate with real people: The Project Drawdown website has published its list of solutions. Heather McTeer Toney and Paul Hawken reminded us to speak in a language that your audience will absorb. “Mitigation?” Hawken said in reference to how the media covers the climate change. “Who wakes up in the morning and thinks ‘I can’t wait to go mitigate today’?” (Read an excerpt from Drawdown here.)
  • In conversations about climate resiliency, don’t just invite Indigenous People to the table: Put them at the head of the table. Panelists in this afternoon’s “Building Resilience in a Climate-Changed World” noted that Indigenous leaders have inherited ancestral knowledge that makes them especially valuable in these conversations. Listen up.
  • Tell us your stories: Are there stories Bioneers should be telling? Do you have feedback for us? Reach out! Email stories@bioneers.org or call 877.BIONEER.

Campaigns to Follow and Support:

  • Moms Clean Air Force (introduced by Heather McTeer Toney)
    • Mission: “Our mission is to protect children from air pollution and climate change. We envision a safe, stable future where all children breathe clean air.”
  • The Revolutionary Love Project (introduced by Valarie Kaur)
    • Mission: “We produce stories, tools, curricula, conferences, films, TV moments, and mass mobilizations that equip and inspire people to practice the ethic of love. Our current projects focus on racism, nationalism, and hate against Sikh, Muslim, Arab, and South Asian American communities.”
  • 350.org (introduced by Bill McKibben)
    • Mission: “We’re an international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.”
  • Project Drawdown (introduced by Paul Hawken)
    • Mission: “Project Drawdown is helping the world stop global warming by achieving Drawdown — as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible.”
  • SFEI Aquatic Science Center (introduced by Felicia Marcus)
    • Mission: “As sea levels continue to rise, communities will need to adapt the San Francisco Bay shoreline to create greater social, economic, and ecological resilience. A critical tool for this process is a science-based framework for developing adaptation strategies that are appropriate for the diverse shoreline of the Bay and that take advantage of natural processes. This project proposes such a framework.”
  • American Indian Child Resource Center (introduced by Erica Persons)
    • Mission: “The American Indian Child Resource Center is a non-profit social services and educational community-based organization serving American Indian community members from across the greater Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding counties.”
  • Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (introduced by Osprey Orielle Lake)
    • Mission: “The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International is a solutions-based, multi-faceted organization established to engage women worldwide in policy advocacy, on-the-ground projects, direct action, trainings, and movement building for global climate justice.”