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Editor's picks: April 2011

Kristin's Picks:

Economic Resilience #2. Expect Contraction

Joanne Poyourow is in the midst of a heavy-hitting series on how we can deal with economic contraction as a community. This particular segment offers some top tips on how to do this and as they say, there is "something for everyone."

There's something happening here.

Dave Pollard emerges from a recent series of overly introspective pieces (for my taste) with one that reengages with the big picture of the latest media events as only he can. In other words, be prepared for a lot of thoughtful statements beautifully expressed.

The ghost of ASPO-9: climate change

I have nothing to add to Ugo's spot-on analysis of how climate change often gets left out of peak oil thinking and vice-versa. As Rob Hopkins says, you have to deal with 'em both.

All Hail the PUBLIC Library"

This article makes me really angry. How dare the UK and the US attempt to undermine our "public" libraries? Read this article and find out why this is a really stupid idea.

Bart's Picks:

I've found that a steady diet of peak oil and political disillusion doesn't lead anywhere good. Cynicism is corrosive - few of us can keep it up over the years. So recently I've been scanning the news and blogs for areas where we can make a change. Except for the first item, this month's offerings are on the positive side.

Catalyst on Australian TV: The Oil Crunch

ABC (Australia) did a brilliant short program on peak oil, interviewing Fatih Birol of the IEA, Chris Skrebowski, Kjell Aleklett, Jeremy Leggett and Robert Bea. Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA, made the surprising admission that "we think that the crude oil production has already peaked in 2006." Other media outlets please take note! It's not hard to get a scoop - just invite the right people for interviews.

Bathtubs: A theory of community relations

Sharon Astyk on working with difficult people. We all love the idea of "community," but as Sharon reminds us, it's not a walk in the park. Our future looks like we're going to more time together (in car pools, sharing housing, helping each other out), so we might as well sharpen our rusty people-handling skills.

Happiness movement hits the UK

Surprise! After almost a century of rampant consumerism, the traditional wisdom is making a comeback. In the UK last month, there was a media rollout for the Action for Happiness. The leaders are not monks or hippies, but Lord Layard, a British economist, Geoff Mulgan, the former director of policy under Tony Blair, and Anthony Seldon, the master of Wellington College and biographer of Mr Blair. The Dalai Lama is a supporter.

Here's to building a mass climate movement

If one is knowledgeable about peak oil, climate change, etc., it's hard to be happy with the existing politics. So far, however, the different movements are fragmented. I expect there will be more coalition-building, like this article by activist-writer Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben of 350.org. I note that Naomi visited with Rob Hopkins in Totnes last March.

Can the commons move from the margins to the mainstream?

When material conditions change (e.g. resource shortages, an end to economic growth), there is a flourishing of new ideas and paradigms. "The Commons" is a concept that's been ignored for decades. Now's the time to take another look.

Do the world's contemplative religious traditions demonstrate a path to sustainability?

Kurt Cobb takes a thoughful look at role models in the various religion traditions. We've tried to cover the intersection of religion and sustainability before, but we've just scratched the surface.

Octogenarian recalls the First Great Depression

A useful antidote to despair and hopelessness -- talking to people who've gone though bad times.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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