After my soapbox speech about effeciency I see the tide is coming in for my proactive eco evangelism. The preachers in the Church I grew up with are committed to spreading the Good Word to save all of mankind. So am I.
Apathy is endemic on the Left-once you eat the forbidden fruit and let yourself believe the reality that our Pax Americana is built on a societal system that is consuming resources faster than it produces them, that my generation is the first that will not leave a better world for their kids; once the scales fall from your eyes it is overwhelming. I had the wonderful opurtunity a few weeks ago to hook up with some old college friends in Chicago. They have both spent time overseas they were commenting about the wastefulness of American Society, which was all the in (not that I need an ‘in’ to go off) I needed to talk for the next 30 minutes about my gardens, my hybrid, the ideas I’ve garned from the new eco-media, and the possibilities of Real Change in our lifetime. Sarah was blown away-called me inspiring and told me to be a professor (we’ll see if that seed bears fruit 😉 ). In the days before our conversation they had gotten into a vortex of the Bad and the Ugly-not enough oil, too much carbon in gaseous form, air and water quality going to crap, and the worst of all: people not caring. Joe asked me how I could possibly be so optimistic-my answer was simple: I have children. If I can’t believe we can change I might go insane.
I don’t think I am deluding myself, though sometimes that rings more true than others. The media onslaught of Doom and Gloom is immense. To keep optimistic is the challenge. In my fight against Apathy I surround myself with a litany of media sources that are allied with my vision of a Better Future. Here is a sampling.
Music is the single biggest tool in my box to fight apathy-music is incredibly powerful in mood management and I dose myself daily. I created an iMix this morning of some of my favorites and titled it Brave New World. If you don’t want to check it out, here are a list of artitists whose lyrics are powerful agents of change:
Ben Harper “My Own Two Hands” is spot on-if this blog has a theme song-this is it. “Better Way” is a very close second.
Dixie Chicks I don’t like country… at all. But we bought “Taking the Long Way” and recommend it to just about everyone we meet. These Women are powerful, deserve our respect and apologies; they have Character that I can only dream of.
Dan Zanes Got Kids? You NEED Dan Zanes’s “House Party”!! “A Place for Us” has so many good lessons for people of all ages that it still chokes me up. Great quality folk that our kids simply love.
Pink If you haven’t heard “Dear Mr. President” yet, grab some tissues and give it a listen. If I get complacent, one listen and I am back in the fight. Her videos and this song give you a glimpse of how poitical she really is.
Clutch Alright-I admit this is a stretch, but their two latest songs “Bottom’s Up, Socrates” and “What would a Wookie Do” are political enough to allow me to squeeze them in here. Admittedly, if you are not a gungho Clutch fan these might not be for you.
I will go mostly for authors here-(reading a book a week makes the list get long), but will start even bigger picture. Last year I was begining my house building research in earnest and after my third or fourth book realized that they all shared the same publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing. Whether it is building, gardening, permaculture, or Guantanimo Bay they have a book for you. Either get it straight from them, or buy it from the book store to vote with your dollars.
Dan Chiras. This man forgot more about ecological building over breafast this morning than I may ever know-but by reading his numerous books I can hope to narrow the gap. Pleasure to read and the ideas will blow your mind. Chiras gives me the tools to Be the Change. Thank you Dan.
Toby Hemingway He wrote Gaia’s Garden and started me down the road to permaculture. My debt to him is immense.
Paul Hawken Author of Natural Capitalism-not really the best way to cheer yourself up, but has a major effect of convincing one that the emperor has no clothes. Green Economics from poeple that aren’t quacks.
Elliot Coleman 4-Season Harvest helps me in two ways. First it expanded my gardening techniques and will allow me to get more meals per acre. Second, he is invaluable in giving me solace that their are people out there fruitier than I am. Coleman is great to read and is helping us remember the kind of gardening society has forgotten in less than 2 generations and can give us a real answer to local food production.
Organizations & Websites
I’ve mentioned most of these at one time or another, but there are some new additions:
www.HybridCars.com is a great way to keep abreast of the hybrid scene, and get a feel for what models are due to hit market and when-like the Toyota Sienna hybrid minivan due next year… a Full Size minivan that gets 40mpg and is SULEV? What took so long!!!
Journey to Forever Interested to see how their project goes, but their site is a vast wealth or research and articles. They keep popping up in my searches if it has anything to do with sustainability
EcoWise Great Source for Green Building/Living Supplies
Real Goods If it is for sale, and helps you minimize your footprint, Real Goods probably sells it.
Great one stop shop for energy poduction, storage, etc.
Patagonia We are gradually switching over our wardrobe to hemp and organic as we replace the clothes that no longer fit our post weight watcher bodies. Patagonia makes durable, great looking, organic clothes for really large amounts of money. Watch the sales or REI’s clearance racks to get the organic hemp jeans for less than $80…
Hannah Anderson Committed as a corporation to making 10% of their line of children’s clothes organic. Their oko-tex certification lets us rest easy that our kids are wearing safe clothes. We keep finding their founders Gun & Tom Denhart tied to charaties that we support. Their clothes are pricey, but literally last for generations (I am not kidding) and our kids are getting 2-3 seasons out of each. Plus Mia is getting better than our retail (she is really good at sale shopping) on them on E-Bay due to an insane resale value once our kids finally grow out of them.
www.EarthDay.net Great way to stay intouch with the movement.
www.Bioneers.org Love the title! Trade the covered wagon for a biodiesel Jetta and help lead the nation to the next frontier! The reality is a little fruity at times, but I’ll thing macro here.
EPA-sustainability style Good to know that at least a miniscule fraction of the government is working on the Right Stuff.
Please add a comment if you have a favorite book, tune, or website that helps you stay positive-we can all use the help!
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