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Archive for January, 2008

slow gains pace

As this story in today’s NY Times suggests, the Slow movement is going mainstream.  It’s no longer just food that’s Slow, but architecture, design, sex and even the way you work.

Writer Penelope Green points out that much about the movement is “essentially rebranding familiar ideas — like those of the New Urbanists, for example — not only about how to build responsibly but how to stay grounded in a too-fast, overdeveloped age.”

Still, the article’s paradoxical reference to the Slow movement as “a growing cultural quake” has us EarthQuakers cheering.

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The Guardian’s George Monbiot draws attention today to the discomfort that many environmentalists feel when it comes to discussing global population growth. Responses to the article take him to task for positing a false dichotomy between population and consumption, but both the article and the comments are worth a look.

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The new issue of Science reports on “a coming crisis in water supply for the western United States,” the Associated Press tells us today.

“Human activity such as driving and powering air conditioners is responsible for up to 60 percent of changes contributing to dwindling water supplies in the arid and growing West, a new study finds,” says the AP’sErica Werner.

Also in Science recently — a story explaining that “the least biologically productive regions of the ocean–the subtropical gyres–are getting bigger.”

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Here’s a story from the most recent issue of the very mainstream Scientific American. It’s a look at the dramatic effect that newly-discovered reserves of water under the Antarctic ice sheets might have on rising sea levels.

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What this is

is a start, really. It’s about beginning to rethink the fundamental question of how we should live now.

It’s a place for asking what we need to do to recalibrate our lives, our expectations, our ideas of what will — and what can — make us happy in the face of the reality that the way we live now is toxic for both our planet and ourselves.

It’s especially about what those of us privileged enough to be born into free societies, and lucky enough to have discretionary income at our disposal, can — and should — do with our money, time and energies.

EarthQuaker is born of a deep respect for nature and a desire to live within nature, instead of in conflict with it. EarthQuaker uses the lens of Quaker witness — and the political, economic, humane and spiritual insights that witness provides — to seek sustainable solutions to what is perhaps our most urgent dilemma: how to live from now on.

And, with luck, it won’t be nearly as portentous as this already sounds.

Join the conversation!

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