Posts Tagged communities
by: Tania Melkonian
July 20, 2012
When Vancouver couple Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon began their experiment – to eat only foods grown and produced within 100 miles of their home – they reported dubiety. This doubt was reflected in the first chapter of their book, The 100 Mile Diet (now among the locavore’s principal reference manuals) when Smith asks MacKinnon, “Is this even possible?”1.
Is it even possible, indeed. Is it even worth it? What is the true value of eating locally? Why do we so instantly accept the bumper sticker worthy message. Is it about taste, social justice, or ecology?
James McWilliams articulates beautifully in Just Food that we are homesick for a time when our food supply was pure, unmitigated and pastoral. He also believes that this epoch never existed but in our nostalgic reminiscence. ‘For 10,000 years humans have systematically manipulated nature to our advantage by making plants and animals do our bidding’2, he says. It would be impossible then, to return to this simple time just by undoing what agribusiness has done to our food production, proffers McWilliams, as this era never really was.
Without this template of the past upon which to navigate our food future, we are left with a mission that is decidedly contemporary. As such, it should be pursued with the objective of resolving contemporary issues. Eating locally: Is the true benefit to the individual living in the world now; to the current global community; or to the planet earth of today …or to none of the above?
by: Tony Cartalucci
July 11, 2012
As difficult as it might be for some to believe, Syria’s problem is not violence, armed insurrection, or political upheaval. Neither is it economic or social. These are but symptoms, many purposefully induced from abroad, of Syria’s real problem, and therefore any solution aimed at treating only these symptoms will provide only but the most superficial and temporary relief.
Many geopolitical analysts know this, and yet champion for the immediate treatment of these symptoms, particularly the end of violence, which makes perfect sense in a sense of “triage,” but will ultimately fail if the root of the problem is not also exposed and a solution for “digging it out” not formulated and appropriately promoted.
Syria’s problem is not the “Free Syrian Army” nor the “Syrian National Council,” nor the myriad of terrorist organizations operating under this umbrella – but rather the corporate-financier driven foreign interests that created them, fund them, arm them, and both tactically and politically perpetuate their activities. Syria’s problem is that it has attracted the attention of Wall Street and London and found itself in the middle of their geopolitical aspirations for global hegemony.
Monday, March 05, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] With wages stagnant or declining, gasoline and electricity prices on the rise and food prices steadily increasing, the last thing American families need is another increase in a basic necessity. Yet, a new report says that’s exactly what you’re going to get: Water bills that will likely double or triple over the next few years, thanks to the nation’s crumbling water system infrastructure.
A new study and report by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) entitled, Buried No Longer: Confronting America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge, improving and expanding the nation’s underground water systems will cost upwards of $1 trillion over the next 25 years. And, as is always the case, water system users are going to get soaked with the bill.
What does that mean in real dollars and cents? Right now the average family household pays about $400 a year. The fixes that are needed over the next quarter century mean that bills could rise anywhere from $300-$550 a year, meaning water bills could skyrocket to $900 a year or more.
Experts will tell you that investing now, rather than later, is a good idea and cheaper in the long run. But that’s hard to swallow for wage earners whose incomes have been stuck in neutral or worse, declining for the past decade. Add to that a raft of new tax hikes and cuts in benefits, and hard-hit Americans are in no mood to fork out even more money in new fees and rate increases.
But that doesn’t change the fact that, without improvements, the nation’s supply and delivery of fresh drinking water is in peril. In fact, the AWWA believes spending to fix the pipes and other infrastructure is likely to rise from $13 billion a year today to $30 billion in 2040.
“Delaying the investment can result in degrading water service, increasing water service disruptions, and increasing expenditures for emergency repairs. Ultimately we will have to face the need to “catch up” with past deferred investments, and the more we delay the harder the job will be when the day of reckoning comes,” said the report.
Not all of the expense of this upgrade will come from higher water bills, though much of it will. Some communities, the report said, will be double-tapped, so to speak.
“Other communities will need to collect significant “impact” or development fees to meet the needs of a growing population. Numerous communities will need to invest for replacement and raise funds to accommodate growth at the same time. Investments that may be required to meet new standards for drinking water quality will add even more to the bill,” it said.
Higher prices for everything
Is this information new? Why, all of a sudden, is water infrastructure such a big concern? Well, nothing about this is new. In fact, the AWWA warned about the nation’s crumbling water infrastructure, and the need to replace, in a report 10 years ago.
“Like many of the roads, bridges, and other public assets on which the country relies, most of our buried drinking water infrastructure was built 50 or more years ago, in the post-World War II era of rapid demographic change and economic growth. In some older urban areas, many water mains have been in the ground for a century or longer,” the report said.
“Given its age, it comes as no surprise that a large proportion of US water infrastructure is approaching, or has already reached, the end of its useful life.”
As unemployment remains stubbornly high at about 9 percent, as gasoline prices rise to nearly $3.75 a gallon on average nationwide, and as wages continue to remain stagnant or decline, you and your family are about to take on another cost increase: higher water bills.