SLDI is pleased to announce the WWW Premier of “The Beginning of the Sustainable World” Conference, Film & Music Forum - This event has been months in the making, and we would like to thank the POCSA performers, collaborators, audience and screeners who provided valuable feedback … and everyone else who made this a historic event! We want to specifically thank PortOrford.TV, Sustainable Man, Green Fire Productions and The Seattle Channel for giving us permission to use the video on the web as it was presented at the event. We would also like to thank Port Orford Community Co-op who presented at our forum. And, of course, we couldn’t have done it without the crew at the Savoy Theatre, our editor, and the artists who shared their talents with us that evening.
Grassroots education, not hype
Stakeholders in the Port Orford Community Stewardship Area (POCSA) are beginning to take transformative action. Perhaps the most important part of their efforts lie with successfully engaging and educating not just the “industry pros,” but the public on the real meaning of the triple-bottom-line principles of “people, planet and profit.”
To do so they held a conference, film and music forum to promote and educate people on sustainability on the southern Oregon coast. The public event included presentations from Port Orford Mayor Jim Auborn and newly elected Curry County Commissioners Susan Brown and David Smith, as well as a gifting of one of the world’s first clones from a champion redwood tree to the local Port Orford/Langlois High School from Ocean Mountain Ranch and Archangel Ancient Tree Archive. Together, they covered the subject of the need for and what a triple-bottom-line approach really is.
The goals of this event were to increase participant knowledge, and encourage partnerships within the area in a “triple bottom line” approach to a people-planet-profit philosophy for community sustainability. The event also included a synopsis of the recent efforts at becoming more sustainable.
By now, most people know that the necessary resources and technology exist to feed, house, and provide energy for every person on the planet. Self-replicating, self-sufficient communities, villages, and cities would provide a strategy to put the necessary technology and resources where they are needed most.
For this to happen, a working model with widespread appeal is being created. It will be affordable, applicable across a diversity of cultures, easily accessible, created so that normal people with average knowledge and little or no experience can duplicate it, and it will have a marketing engine capable of exposing enough people to build the necessary momentum for it to continue duplication on its own.
Nouriel Roubini, the economist from New York University’s Stern School of Business who earned the nickname “Dr. Doom” when his predictions of an economic meltdoom came true in the 2008 recession, sees co-operatives as part of the solution.
Speaking at the International Summit of Co-operatives in Quebec City’s convention centre Tuesday, Roubini said he has known about co-operatives, “since I was a child.”
Growing up in Italy, co-operatives were involved in agriculture, financial services and retail, he said. Later, working on a kibbutz in Isreal, he learned about “sharing with other people and common goals.”
By Dr. Daniela Schmidt
Speaking at the Third International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World late last month in Monterey, California, Dr Daniela Schmidt, a geologist from the University of Bristol, warned that current rates of ocean acidification are unparalleled in Earth history.
Dr. Schmidt, of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences, said, “Ocean acidification has happened before sometimes with large consequences for marine ecosystems. But within the last 300 million years, never has the rate of ocean acidification been comparable to the ongoing acidification.”
She added that the most comparable event, most likely 10 times slower than the current acidification, was 55 million years ago.
“At that time, species responded to the warming, acidification, change in nutrient input and loss of oxygen – the same processes that we now see in our oceans. The geological record shows changes in species distribution, changes in species composition, changes in calcification and growth and in a few cases extinction,” she said.
“Our current acidification rates are unparalleled in Earth history and lead most ecosystems into unknown territory.”
By Alexis Wagnon
Where can you find an unspoilt 400-acre private island filled with wildlife, and only a few dozen highly-serviced rooms and homes on it? Amble Resort’s Isla Palenque in Panama is not your average luxury resort. Benjamin Loomis is not your average entrepreneur or outdoorsman. Oh no, there is nothing average about this place and the people behind it.
It is responsible entrepreneurs like Ben Loomis and his team that are setting new standards and raising the bar for both industry and traveler expectations. We had to find out more about this visionary and natural-born explorer, and so without further ado, today’s interview is with Amble’s president and founder. Meet Ben Loomis.
TriplePundit: How did you become involved in Eco-Tourism?
By Dr. Reese Halter
This past June (2012) saw the largest Arctic sea ice loss since the inception of record keeping – 1.18 million square miles or the equivalent area of Alaska, California, Florida and Texas. The Arctic is now warming four times faster than the global mean temperature. According to NOAA, so far 2012 is the hottest year on record.
This is an epic planetary emergency linked to flooding in Europe, Japan and the Philippines, drought in the U.S. and intensifying storms that are now disrupting Earth’s protective ozone shield. And at the end of the day, it’s directly threatening global food security.
By Tyson Rasor
A summit on Ecosystem-Based Management for the 1,320 square mile Port Orford Community Stewardship Area (POCSA) was held at the local American Legion Hall on July 11th. Hosted by the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT), attendees representing various stakeholder interests met to improve collaboration and communication between the individuals, agencies, and NGOs working in the POSCA.
The stated goals of the summit were to increase participant knowledge, decrease duplicate efforts, and encourage partnerships within the area in order to share resources. These goals are important to the Port Orford community because of the well-established belief that our common good and well-being is directly connected to our natural resources.
Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) is an integrated approach that considers the entire ecosystem, including humans and elements, integral to ecosystem functioning. Informed by both natural and social science, EBM is intended to restore our natural and cultural heritage by sustaining diverse, productive, resilient ecosystems and the services they provide, thereby promoting the long-term health, security, and well-being of our community. Among other things, EBM specifically recognizes that humans are part of ecosystems and that healthy ecosystems are essential to human welfare.
It’s amazing for one layman to come up with the idea of saving champion trees as a meaningful way to address the issues of biodiversity and climate change. This could be a grass roots solution to a global problem. A few million people selecting and planting the right trees for the right places could really make a difference.
Dr. Rama Nemani, NASA Earth Scientist
By Jim Robbins
“A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.” William Blake
In 1993 my wife, Chere, and I bought fifteen acres of land on the outskirts of Helena, Montana. The property was tangled with a dense ponderosa pine forest so thick it’s called dog-hair, and some of the stubborn old trees had lived well there for centuries, in rocky terrain, marginal soil, and cold temperatures. We installed a Finnish wood stove called a Tulikivi, a mammoth dark gray soapstone box about six feet tall, in the middle of the living room of our new house. Tulikivis are highly efficient because the soft, dense stone mass around the firebox soaks up heat from a roaring fire and holds the warmth for 24 hours. Heat from the stone is radiant, softer and more pleasant than the heat from a burning fire. It’s also clean – wood stove pollution comes from damping down a fire so that it burns slowly, which gives off a dense cloud of smoke. This stove burns hot.
Sustainable America Series Part 3: Discovery of Pre-Columbian Maya Mountain Village in North America
By Richard Thornton – Architect, Planner and noted Historian
The controversial recent discovery of the Track Rock Terrace complex on the tallest mountain in Georgia came as a surprise ending to seven years of research by Richard Thornton, a Creek Indian architect and city planner who had devoted much of his 40-year career to research into the pre-European past of North America and preservation of early American architecture. The Creek Indians have long known that they had some Mayan ancestors. Most Creeks carry some Maya DNA and there are numerous Maya and Totonac words in the Itsate-Creek language that was spoken in the southeastern United States. The Track Rock Terrace Complex involves sophisticated drainage and agricultural infrastructure and is roughly a half mile square in area, including at least 154 stone masonry retaining walls, plus the stone ruins of buildings, animal effigies and altars.
By Elaine Misonzhnik
The recent opening of Taubman Centers’ new mall in Salt Lake City might have marked a nice symbolic moment for the retail real estate industry, but it’s not about to usher in a new era of construction abandon.
In spite of a slight rebound in retail real estate fundamentals, U.S. developers still feel skittish about investing in new construction projects, forecasts from several different research sources show.
The CoStar Group, a Washington, D.C.-based firm, estimates that in 2012, a total of 21.4 million sq. ft. of new retail space will enter the market, a record low figure, according to Suzanne Mulvee, CoStar’s senior real estate economist. Mulvee notes that next year promises to be only slightly better in terms of deliveries of new space, largely due to the fact that retailers are not expanding the way they once had.
In February, Sustainable Land Development Initiative and Ocean Mountain Ranch – a SLDI carbon-negative project providing a model for sustainable forest and wildlife habitat management, integrated with mixed-use development activities – co-hosted the world premiere of Ocean Frontiers, a feature-length movie which captures the compelling stories of a number of ocean pioneers — people who are embarking on a new course of stewardship, in defense of the seas that sustain them.
Attended by Oregon Governor and First LadyOregon Governor John Kitzhaber, filmmaker Karen Meyer and First Lady Cylvia Hayes attended the Port Orford film premiere and posed for this photo with Ocean Mountain Ranch in the background.
You can now watch the above 6-minute video with highlights from the entire premiere weekend. Hear remarks from Oregon Governor Kitzhaber and First Lady Hayes about ocean stewardship and the kickoff for Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship by Green Fire Productions. Click on the above image to watch the Port Orford world premiere video.
In the small Oregon fishing community of Port Orford, people are taking control of their destiny by conducting their own brand of conservation. They are using local science to inform their fishing quotas, and saving upstream forests to save their salmon—a farsighted perspective that considers both their links to the land, and the future of their children. Meanwhile, farmers in Iowa are shown starting to implement sustainable agricultural best practices which will improve water quality a thousand miles downstream in the Gulf of Mexico.
By Dr. Reese Halter and Dr. Dave Randle
When most people think of tourism, they probably don’t think about an industry that can contribute to global solutions for the difficult challenges facing the planet.
Tourism is the fastest growing industry in the world. According to the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tourism visits grew from about 900 to 940 million visitors last year and the figure is projected to rise to 1.6 billion by the year 2020.
The UNWTO states that tourism is the largest industry in the world with an estimated 11.5 percent of the world GDP and employing about 12.5 percent of the world’s work force.
Conducted properly, tourism can play a role in implementing global solutions for challenges such as climate change, poverty reduction, waste reduction, preserving eco-systems and moving the world to a more sustainable planet.
By Peter Kareiva, Robert Lalasz and Michelle Marvier
By its own measures, conservation is failing. Biodiversity on Earth continues its rapid decline. We continue to lose forests in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. There are so few wild tigers and apes that they will be lost forever if current trends continue. Simply put, we are losing many more special places and species than we’re saving.
Ironically, conservation is losing the war to protect nature despite winning one of its hardest fought battles — the fight to create parks, game preserves, and wilderness areas. Even as we are losing species and wild places at an accelerating rate, the worldwide number of protected areas has risen dramatically, from under 10,000 in 1950 to over 100,000 by 2009. Around the world, nations have set aside beautiful, biodiverse areas where human development is restricted. By some estimates, 13 percent of the world’s land mass is protected, an area larger than all of South America.
But while conservation has historically been locally driven, focused on saving specific places such as Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon, or on managing very limited ecological systems like watersheds and forests, its more recent ambitions have become almost fantastical. For example, is halting deforestation in the Amazon, an area nearly the size of the continental United States, feasible? Is it even necessary? Putting a boundary around Yosemite Valley is not the same as attempting to do so around the Amazon. Just as the United States was dammed, logged, and crisscrossed by roads, it is likely that much of the Amazon will be as well.
Contrary to popular belief, humans have failed to address the earth’s worsening emergencies of climate change, species’ extinction and resource overconsumption not because of a lack of information, but because of a lack of imagination, social scientists and artists say.
At a conference for the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) here in Vancouver, British Columbia, experts argued that the path to a truly sustainable future is through the muddy waters of emotions, values, ethics, and most importantly, imagination.
Humans’ perceptions of reality are filtered by personal experiences and values, said David Maggs, a concert pianist and PhD student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
As a result, the education and communication paradigm of “if we only knew better, we’d do better” is not working, Maggs told attendees at the world’s largest general science meeting. “We don’t live in the real world, but live only in the world we imagine.”
On March 1st, The Club of Rome and the Smithsonian Institution’s Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet hosted a symposium on March 1, 2012 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launching of Limits to Growth, the first report to the Club of Rome published in 1972. This book was one of the earliest scholarly works to recognize that the world was fast approaching its sustainable limits. Forty years later, the planet continues to face many of the same economic, social, and environmental challenges as when the book was first published.