Campaign for Our Lives
Natural Systems Blog
Community Assessment and Sustainability Inventory - In order for communities to meet the goal of a sustainable future, they must have a clear idea of their priorities and possible approaches for reaching this goal. A necessary foundation for developing any type of sustainability program is to assess priorities, gain insight into strengths, identify assets that can be built on, and discover where challenges may lie. Communities then have a foundation for developing strategies and a baseline for measuring progress toward an alternative public infrastructure that is not dependent on fossil fuels or other outside resources to secure basic necessities.
None of the current neighborhood, city, or county planning or vision documents have taken Peak Oil, climate change, steady-state economics, carrying capacity, bioregional self-reliance, or even a definition of sustainability into consideration as part of their underlying assumptions. Neither have they used realistic quality of life indicators as guidelines or yardsticks to tell if we're going in the right direction or getting further behind. This does not bode well for a sustainable future, and leaves us wide open to be blindsided and unprepared for any type of supply shock. The CASI is the first step in addressing this shortcoming.
Campaign For Our Lives - Is now Transition Pima. Relocalization, the movement to create a viable alternative infrastructure to non-renewable and rapidly depleting energy sources, elite domination, corporatism, and centralized control is the current goal of a number of grass-roots organizations and individuals. The CFOL was initially launched by Attraction Retreat/Natural Systems Solutions after our numerous successful public screenings of the documentary End of Suburbia in the fall and winter of 2004/5. Currently envisioning Intentional Cities, and drawing from the intentional community movement, we're seeking that lucky first city with the vision to become the world's largest intentional community, and willing to provide an example to other communities in building low-energy and healthier, more fulfilling lifestyles in a world without cheap and abundant fossil fuels. Our work with Transition Initiatives will be based on using natural systems as a model and for the metaphors necessary to create a sustainable future, and will draw from the Earth Charter for a common vision and shared values which can be broadly summed up as ecological integrity, social justice, human empowerment, and providing for the seventh generation -- all within a culture of biophilic mutuality. The quickest way to become involved in Transition Pima and support our work is to join in.
Transition Industries - The overall concept behind this project is to serve as an example and demonstration model of ways to create small-scale light manufacturing and other "industrial" type endeavors at the neighborhood level without continuing to support either Industrialism or growth for the sake of growth. This can become a first step for communities to strengthen local economies, build healthy relationships, provide means of right livelihood, build skills and rekindle pride in craftsmanship, and create some of the necessary resiliency for rapidly changing times.
A past project is ECO Bell - The vision and manifestation of the EcoIntegrity Center Of Bellingham is evolving. What started out as an urban intentional community for activists and change agents was simply not financially sustainble in this culture for a young non-profit. Many of the daily activities have been subsumed by an organization now known as Sustainable Bellingham (which grew out of Intentional Bellingham), whose core is comprised of people from the Alternatives Library, ECO Bell, and the affinity group creation process that came out of our End of Suburbia screenings who are doing work associated with ecological integrity, social justice, economic equity, and participatory democracy. However, our activities and our daily lives still involve healing the Earth and its inhabitants by building healthy relationships using natural systems processes.
ECO Bell will be reborn, but its next incarnation will be as the first neighborhood in an interdependent network of neighborhoods. Foundational to this incarnation will be the bioregional movement's concept of sense of place. Natural Systems Living will demonstrate how living according to the natural systems principles of mutual support and reciprocity, no waste or greed, and increasing diversity can unleash human creativity and potential. Using these principles will allow humanity to return to a partnership society where peace, justice, and sustainability will no longer be thought of as a utopian dream, but will become the daily reality.
Natural Balance - A K-12 curriculum that is the ideological opposite of the Junior Achievement Program. Instead of mindless training to become good little consumers who treat the Earth as nothing more than an endless supply of resources and a bottomless pit for wastes, Natural Balance uses systems science and ecology to teach respect and care for the web of life we are all an intimate part of. If you'd like to support this work, contact Allison.
For further information, to volunteer your time or skills on these projects, to make a contribution, or to schedule an introductory consultation session, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org