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Janaia Donaldson of Peak Moment TV – the interviewer is interviewed

Peak Moment 183, Blip TV
This time Janaia’s in the hot seat! In this interview by Jim Fritz on Port Townsend Television, she tackles corporate control and a dysfunctional system that profits from increasing unhealthiness and consuming the planet. She points to Peak Moment guests as models for the average family to gain genuine security. They’re withdrawing from the money system, growing food, and joining neighbors to prepare for emergencies.

(28 October 2010)

Embrace the Cooperative Movement

Carlos Perez de Alejo, Austin American-Statesman (Texas)
In the midst of mounting economic insecurity, fueled by widespread unemployment, foreclosures and budget cuts, many are seeking alternative models to business as usual. From community gardens to bartering networks, grassroots efforts are sprouting up across the country. One pillar of the trend is an international institution with over 160 years of experience in local, sustainable economic development: a cooperative.

Since the mid-1800s, cooperatives have promoted a people-centered model that sets them apart from conventional businesses. Unlike traditional corporations, which are owned and controlled by outside shareholders, cooperatives are businesses owned and democratically controlled by their members — the people who use their services or buy their goods.

Co-ops exist in a variety of forms in countless industries across the U.S. and around the world. United on the basis of member-ownership and democratic control — generally following the decision-making principle of “one-member, one-vote” — co-ops have a range of ownership structures. In whatever form they take, however, surveys repeatedly demonstrate that consumers rate co-ops as more trustworthy than investor-owned corporations.
(26 October 2010)

Climate Change, Like Slavery, Needs a True Cultural Shift to Stop It

Matthew McDermott, Treehugger
photo: Agustín Ruiz/Creative Commons

It may seem overly provocative to compare climate change to the scourge of human slavery, but when it comes to the sorts of cultural changes that are needed to stop them, they really have much in common. That’s what University of Michigan professor Andy Hoffman posits in a new issue of the journal Organizational Dynamics. In a less dramatic example, Hoffman also equates this shift to the one which led to smoking bans in many cities in the United States. In both cases, I think he’s right on the mark.

Climate Change Not Yet Seen As ‘Social Fact’

On the smoking analogy (before we get to the more contentious one), Hoffman notes that for years prior to smoking bans scientists had been highlighting data indicating the links between tobacco smoking and lung cancer, but public acceptance and awareness of that data lagged behind.

A similar thing exists now with climate change science. The overwhelmingly majority of climate change scientists (97%) say that human activity is the main cause of global warming and the other climatic changes we’re observing, but acceptance of that has not reached the point of it being a ‘social fact’.
(29 October 2010)

A climate, oil and economic crisis looms: Will we avoid or adjust?

Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun
Kathy McMahon believes most people, including politicians, are using a simple strategy to deal with a trio of crises confronting the world: avoidance.

The clinical psychologist from Cummington, Mass., is in B.C. this week as part of a 12-community speaking tour about coping with climate change, oil depletion and economic collapse.

The 55-year-old psychology professor counsels those who “freak out” when they think about the outsized challenges facing society. People suffering from such anxiety, she says, often experience a misplaced nostalgia for things society has not yet lost.

“I have people tell me, they can go into a supermarket and remember a time when they could buy all the bananas they wanted so cheaply — even though the bananas are still available.

“It’s like an onion. You start to see that everything, except your personal relationships, is going to unravel.”

McMahon operates a website ( features an advice column aimed at helping traumatized correspondents move from a doomsday mindset to strategies for adapting. She recalls being seriously shaken herself in 2006 upon first learning of “peak oil,” then searching for materials to dispute and discredit the phenomenon.
(20 October 2010)
Kathy McMahon is a regular contributor to Energy Bulletin. -BA