ConcordCAN

Book Review

Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution

By Peter Kalmus

We all want to be happy. Yet as we consume ever more in a frantic bid for happiness, global warming worsens.

Being the Change explores the connections between our individual daily actions and our collective predicament. It merges science, spirituality, and practical action to develop a satisfying and appropriate response to global warming.

Part one exposes our interconnected predicament: overpopulation, global warming, industrial agriculture, growth-addicted economics, a sold-out political system, and a mindset of separation from nature. It also includes a readable but authoritative overview of climate science. Part two offers a response at once obvious and unprecedented: mindfully opting out of this broken system and aligning our daily lives with the biosphere.

The core message is deeply optimistic: living without fossil fuels is not only possible, it can be better.

Report from June's ConcordCAN! Coffee: Community Conversation: Next Steps for Concord

At our monthly coffee event on June 8th, we invited the ConcordCAN community to an open conversation on climate, our community and what ConcordCAN! should focus on in the coming year.  It turned out to be a good session, with about 35 people there to share many excellent ideas, interlaced with a bit of angst, frustration and despair which we all may feel.  But the sense of positive energy was overwhelming, and here are a few of the highlights:

  • Green New Deal: this ambitious proposal for action at an appropriate scale is energizing young people and the rest of us. Other countries are providing great examples: Finland, Norway, Sweden Iceland and Costa Rica have all adopted carbon-neutral targets by 2050 or before.
  • Encroachment on Nature: residential development (an example being the 36-unit development in West Concord) seems to be progressing unchecked. We need stronger environmental and efficiency standards, more affordable units and more citizen attention to this issue.
  • Plastics: recycling and some “biodegradable” plastics are partial solutions, but to some extent make the problems from our overconsumption of plastics less visible. Communities which end up with our plastic waste are devastated, and oceans as well.  We need creative solutions to reduce and eliminate plastics, especially single-use.
  • Collaboration between different groups (Concord CAN, faith communities, 350MA, Mothers-Out-Front) are very valuable, and need to be kept up.
  • Urgency: one young boy who was present at the session made the point very clearly that we talk about far off dates like 2050 as though they are tomorrow. He said we need to fix the problems now, and it was great to have some young voices there to remind us what is important and how we should think about it.
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