Friday, November 23, 2007

Desserts from Iris' Green Fest!

In the spirit of festivities, hope that you all had a happy Thanksgiving and here are some nourishing bites from my recent visit to the Green Festival - (IMPORTANT NOTE - OUR VOCAB & FINAL IS BELOW THIS POST!)

*Mushrooms can save the world, visit -,,, and Amazing book by Paul Stamets is Mycelium Running (available from public libraries).

*Farm Bill -,

*Really great local affordable herbal healthcare clinic -

*Regional source for herbs including locally grown Chinese herbs -

*Local food sources -,,,

*Shop locally -

*Positive Local Banking -

*Local alternative power initiatives -, especially Community Choice energy -

*Community Dialogue - (from a UAS event) -,,,

*Cohousing and intentional communities -,,,,,

Thursday, November 22, 2007


You will be handing in your final exam to me at the beginning of our last scheduled class meeting together.


Here, in alphabetical order, are seventy-one Green Keywords that have figured centrally in various ways in a number of the texts we have read and discussed over the course of this term.

1. "Abrasion,"
2. "Agroforestry,"
3. "Backstory,"
4. "Biodiversity,"
5. "Biomimicry,"
6. "Biopiracy,"
7. "Bioregional"
8. "Biosphere,"
9. "Capital,"
10. "Climate Change,"
11. "Commodification,"
12. "Commons,"
13. "Companion Planting,"
14. "Consensus Science,"
15. "Cradle-to-Cradle,"
16. "Culture Industry,"
17. "Deep Ecology,"
18. "Democracy,"
19. "Denial,"
20. "Depletion,"
21. "Ecofeminism,"
22. "Ecology,"
23. "Economy,"
24. "Ecosocialism,"
25. "Ecosystem,"
26. "Ecotage,"
27. "Endangered Species,"
28. "Energy Descent,"
29. "Environmentalism,"
30. "Externality,"
31. "Field Worker,"
32. "Footprint,"
33. "Greenhouse Gas,"
34. "Greenwashing,"
35. "Guerilla Gardening,"
36. "Heirloom Produce,"
37. "Industrial Agriculture,"
38. "Integrated Pest Management,"
39. "Leapfrogging,"
40. "Limit,"
41. "Luddite,"
42. "Malthusian,"
43. "Monoculture,"
44. "Native,"
45. "Natural Capitalism,"
46. "Natural Capital,"
47. "Naturalist,"
48. "Nature,"
49. "Objectification,"
50. "Offsets,"
51. "Organic,"
52. "Recycling/Downcycling,"
53. "Permaculture,"
54. "Pollution,"
55. "Polyculture,"
56. "Post-Scarcity,"
57. "Precautionary Principle,"
58. "Primitivism,"
59. "Profit,"
60. "Renewable,"
61. "Seed Saving/Seed Sharing,"
62. "Service/End Use,"
63. "Sustainability,"
64. "Technical Metabolism,"
65. "Toxicity,"
66. "Triple Bottom Line,"
67. "Use Value/Exchange Value,"
68. "Vegetarianism,"
69. "Viridian,"
70. "Waste,"
71. "Wilderness"

Choose fifty Keywords from this list. Organize your chosen Keywords into three separate, conceptually connected, sets. You can use any criteria that seems useful to you to organize these sets. The only rule is that no resulting set can contain fewer than six Keywords.

Each set should have a title or heading that indicates the criteria governing inclusion to that set. Once you have organized your three sets in this way, briefly define each one of the Keywords you have included in each set in your own words. Ideally, your definitions should be as clear and as concise as possible. These definitions should be a matter of a sentence or two rather than a paragraph or two. They are definitions, not essays or explanations. It should be clear from your definitions why each of the Keywords in each of the three sets are conceptually connected to each other, but it is also crucial that no terms within a set are to be treated as synonymous, and that your definitions distinguish Keywords from one another (even if the resulting distinctions are sometimes matters of nuance).

Once you have defined all these Keywords, provide a short quotation (feel free to edit and prune to keep your chosen citations properly pithy) from one of the texts we have read this term to accompany your definition. The quotation you choose can be a definition you found helpful in crafting your own definition, it can be an example or illustration you found especially clarifying, it can a matter of contextualization, framing, or history that you found illuminating, it can even be something you disagreed with so strongly it helped you understand better what you really think yourself.

Obviously, there are endless ways of organizing these sets, defining their Keywords, distinguishing them from one another, and connecting them up to the texts we have read. What matters for this first part of the exam is that you follow the rules of the exercise, not that you arrive at some single "right answer" you may think I have in mind.


Write a short essay (5pp.), in which you show that the conception(s) of "nature" -- understood as intelligibility, as sublimity, as home, as resource, as object, as wilderness, as custom, or what have you -- assumed or expressed in the argument of one or two (at most two) of the texts we have read together this term yields unexpected insights or problems for that text, or provides the basis for an unexpected commonality or continuity between two texts texts you are comparing in your reading. (How do you know the problem or insight you are calling attention to in your reading is sufficiently strong to warrant consideration as "unexpected" in the sense I mean? That's easy: It must simply be a strong enough claim that you can imagine an intelligent opposition to it.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Article on MSN: Warning of U.S. Financial Collapse?

As I am not a particular fan of msn's journalism, I was rather curious to an article that I happen to accidentaly notice (thanks to msn's care for your curiosity by sending you to their main site after exiting a hotmail account) today. Anywhoo, I felt that this article is an important article to concider by Bill Fleckenstein on MSN Money. Take it for what it is of course, but, there is somethng in this article that I find interesting.

Funny thing is that life still seems normal for some reason...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just sharing

There is a copy of The Death of Environmentalism in the library, at the circulation desk if anyone doesn't want to print it out.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Permaculture Link

Hi all!
You can find the Holmgren text, Essence of Permaculture, by visiting his website at -
It is at the top right of his page. You can also get it there in Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese!
I highly recommend his book - Permacuture, Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability.

Also here is the schedule for the Green Festival this week end -
I'll be there on Friday, and also volunteering at the main stage area Sat morning 10-2, come & visit!

All my best, Iris**

Some Terms

Some of the terms we've discussed the past few weeks, most of which are likely to appear on the final. The list is not yet complete. But it would be a good idea to start thinking about these terms in advance. Also, I thought it might be fun to open the list to you all. What are terms that should appear but are not yet here? Add them in Comments. Check back here over the next couple of weeks, the list will continue to expand.

"Climate Change,"
"Companion Planting,"
"Consensus Science,"
"Deep Ecology,"
"Endangered Species,"
"Integrated Pest Management,"
"Natural Capitalism,"
"Precautionary Principle,"
"Technical Metabolism,"
"Triple Bottom Line,"

Monday, November 05, 2007

Controversial Pesticide in Santa Cruz

There is a conveniently appropriate topic in the media that fits neatly with the readings of this week.

Just in case you did not hear about the pesticide issue in Santa Cruz (of all places!) that is going on in California politics, Democracy Now! only briefly reported . . .

"In California, a judge has given the green light to a controversial pesticide spraying in Santa Cruz County. On Thursday, Superior Court judge Paul Burdick rejected the county’s restraining order because he said it could not prove the spraying would harm the public. The chemical, Checkmate LBAM-F, will be used to halt the light brown apple moth. Checkmate’s manufacturer, Oregan-based Suterra, has refused to release the ingredients of the pesticide and petitioned the courts to keep them secret. One hundred residents on the Monterry Peninsula reported respiratory illness after a similar chemical was sprayed there in September."

Fox News in Reno, NV.'s version:

IMPORTANT - New Permaculture Reading!

Hi! Please read this truly excellent text on Permaculture, instead of the one assigned - (nice copy), (if can't access pdf).

It is clear and comprehensive. I think this is an important reading of a real option for healthy planning. The ATTRA text is vague and outdated in comparison. Looking forward to Thursday, Iris*

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My required duty and pleasure for missing class

Notes on Inteligent Materials Pooling and Silent Spring, by Rafael Abreu Canedo
...directly related to Bhopal

I like the idea of a closed-loop recovery/re-use system, but does every process have a bi-product that can be used for something else, or recovered for re-use?

I suppose a useful thing to determine in carrying this materials flow would be this term “Sustainable”. You’d have to define sustainable. Who gets to define it? The elite in this structure? This brings me to my next question. Would business structures remain the same? Would workers be contracted by a wage, and never see the real profit from their labors? What about co-ops?

I do however agree that operations with a certain output (product), should also provide an input program, so as to minimize surplus of raw materials for output production. Sharing a “materials bank” would not, however, solve the problem because the problem arises not from the amount of resources available for production, but instead, from the reasons and/or goals for even producing products at all. Is it to satisfy the needs of humans, in direct relationship to the environment, is it to appendage a society’s unsustainable relation to it’s environment, or is it for the flexible accumulation of wealth. These three overlap.

Is it fair to make the claim that all toxic by-products of industrial processes are viable resources for other industrial processes? And I would be skeptical about the “closed-loop” point of view because, sure, you can use the by-product of a source material, and you may even be able to keep using it perpetually, but the original source material does not remain in it's original state, thus optimal for it's original use, so it has to keep being extracted from the earth, thus introducing more and more of it's by-product to be perpetually used (perpetually?): which is not a closed loop.

To end my thoughts on this, I would say that in order to think about materials and processes in terms of sustainability, you have to measure it against certain standards. However, there are things that we cannot measure, or simply aren’t measuring, and we cannot speculate on the effects that these un-measured or un-measurable aspects of processes and materials will have on our bodies and/or our environment. To define something as sustainable has to assume that science and it’s instruments are infinitely precise and capable…which I highly doubt.

This has everything to do with what Rachel Carson is talking about in Silent Spring. Scientists were creating chemicals and measuring the results in terms of killing pests. In these terms the chemicals were great. But what they weren’t able to measure, whether because of instrumental short-comings, or academic/ideological short-comings, were all the other results. Other results they could not even imagine. Intelligent Materials Pooling could be rooted in the same “control of nature” conceived in arrogance, for the convenience of “Man”. Where are the eco-feminists at?—hehe.