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Solutions & sustainability - June 14

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


BREAKING: Sheriffs Deputies Evicting SC Farmers Now**

Mack Reed, LA Voice
...Sheriff's deputies began evicting the South Central Farmers at around dawn this morning from the 14-acre industrial lot where they've squatted and built a farm for the past 13 years.

Arrests have been made, bulldozers are in position, and the eviction is continuing at this hour, Fernando Flores reports on the farm's web site:

The South Central Farm is under siege. If you live in LA or anywhere near there please make your way to the farm to keep the protesters and farmers safe.

The immediate area around the Farm has been blocked off by the authorities limiting access to the site. Spontaneous rallies of support have sprouted on these perimeters with crowds increasing in size as the morning passes. Protesters still inside the Farm are being physically removed and arrested.

...Arrests have already been made. It is still unconfirmed but there are also reports that a protester was carried out on a stretcher. Bulldozer positioned nearby have began breaking through the fences.

...CBS-2 reports about 50 deputies are carrying out the eviction while LAPD officers are handling crowd control on streets around the farm at 41st and Alameda. All of LAPD is on tactical alert.
(13 June 2006)
Mentioned at Gristmill Eviction happening at South Central farm

UPDATE. Reader CC has found a story on the eviction from AP: 7 arrested as deputies evict urban farmers and adds:

This breaks my heart especially knowing that a super Wal-Mart will be taking the garden's place and continue the trend of empovershment of the community.


Sustainable Architecture Can Help Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Roger K. Lewis, Washington Post
A new exhibit on green architecture at the National Building Museum contributes to the discourse. Atmospheric carbon dioxide and its planetary consequences are what former vice president Al Gore talks about in the documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."

Carbon dioxide was also the focus of a presentation at last month's conference, "The Architecture of Sustainability," sponsored by the American Institute of Architects national committees on design and on the environment.

Addressing the conferees packed into the Corcoran Gallery of Art auditorium, New Mexico architect Edward Mazria delivered a sobering, persuasive opening presentation about carbon dioxide and global warming. He also delivered a daunting challenge to architects: Design all new buildings, whatever the type, to use half the fossil fuel energy used now by buildings of that type.

By the year 2030, the goal is for new buildings to be "carbon-neutral" and use no energy from fossil fuels that produce greenhouse gases. This means that less than 25 years from now, ideally no oil, coal or natural gas would be burned to build, heat, cool and light new buildings.

The 2030 challenge (see www.architecture2030.org/ ) is predicated on the fact that buildings and the construction industry account for about half the energy consumed in the United States.
(10 June 2006)
I've not heard that figure before! It's surely overstated. -AF


Food, energy woes can change people's ideas of community

Paul Bray, Times Union
In her first monthly column on these pages, Jennifer Wilkins made it clear how our food system is joined at the hip with our energy crisis. As she characterized it, "Today's food system is 'a real Hummer,' " because of the large amount of fossil fuel consumed in packaging, fertilizers and transport that goes into feeding ourselves.

The food we eat and how we move around determine much of the way we live. Can we walk to work and to the market and get food from a farm in our region?...

It is ironic that America was born an agrarian nation with a pastoral vision because it has lost its connection to the land and farmers, and to food coming directly from the land.
(11 June 2006)


Organizing to break US oil addition, Indiana conference July 8-14

Reclaim The Commons
America has a deadly addiction to oil. We now devour twenty-five percent of the planets petroleum. *Our dependence* spawns resource wars that breed hatred and put our young people in harms way. It *wreaks chaos with our climate,* creating Super-Storms that take thousands of lives and destroy communities. It threatens front-line indigenous communities that live in oil-rich regions around the world.

The *technology exists* now to safely transition away from the fossil fuel paradigm. Yet Big Oil has squelched the debate by using it's Big Bucks to capture our political and electoral processes. It's high time for *"We the People"* to free our society and the planet from the tyranny of oil.

*Freedom From Oil Action Camp (8-14 July 2006 in Southern Indiana)* is a 5-day summit of 150 to 200 young organizers working to break America's oil addiction. It is cosponsored by The Ruckus Society, Rainforest Action Network, Global Exchange, Energy Action, and Oil Change International.

By day, participants will learn hard skills to build strategic and synergistic campaigns. By night, *visionary thinkers* will posit what our society can and will look like when we have moved beyond oil.

Important *alliance building* will take place to move forward on election year strategies, corporate markets campaigns, campus organizing, and alternatives advocacy.
(25 February 2006)


Five alternatives to an oil-based economy

Jeanne Huff, Idaho Statesman
Casey O'Leary, dirt worshipper and organic gardener, says there are simple and effective ways to get around — or not — without using oil.

1. Buy local. Buying local reduces our dependence on oil because things made from far away use oil to get here.

2. Eat local. Aside from personal transportation, the food industry is the biggest oil user in the United States. "The average mouthful of food travels between 1,500 and 2,000 miles to get from the farm to the table," she said.

3. Kill your lawn. Maintaining the American lawn requires huge amounts of oil, from mowing to synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

"Boise's native vegetation is a beautiful, oil-free alternative," she said. So if you live in the Boise Foothills, plant what's growing in the Foothills, including rabbit brush, sagebrush, or great basin wild rye yarrow.

4. Get out of your car, get on your bike. "The world takes on a glorious new look when your feet are on the pedals and your lungs are breathing the air."

5. Stay home for entertainment. From neighborhood potlucks to walks in the Foothills to floating the river — "If we stay home we'll be more motivated to create the kind of world we want to live in inside the city, rather than feeling we have to escape."
(13 June 2006)

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