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Even though it’s raining hard here in EarthQuaker land, we’re still being told to expect a drought this summer.  That makes us more than usually interested in issues of water management and conservation.

A good place to start for a global overview of the crises we face with water is this interview with Peter Gleick, founder and president of the Pacific Institute.

We’re hearing a lot about the end of suburbia right now.  Take this item in yesterday’s New York Times.   It leads with ideas that jibe with the return of survivalism that we recently noted.

But, as Alison Arieff goes on to say in her Times piece, plenty of positive re-imaginings of the suburbs are appearing to counterbalance these dystopian visions.

We EarthQuakers are particularly interested reinventing neighborliness — and how supposedly isolating information technology enables new levels of real-world social interaction on street-by-street level.

The cul-de-sac Commune group that Arieff mentions is doing that, but so is the Vermont-based Front Porch Forum and the Bay Area’s Playborhood, among others.

The San Francisco Chronicle ran a fascinating article on Monday about urban foraging — where people pick the fruit from city-owned trees that would otherwise be left to rot.   It mentions the wonderful Village Harvest, whose volunteers pick unwanted fruit from homeowners’ yards and give it to local food banks.

As the Chronicle headline puts it, efforts like these help us imagine that we can change “the way we live and eat, one fig at a time.”

It’s like returning to the seventies of our pre-EarthQuaking youth.  Survivalism is back in the air.  Here’s an exemplary interview with Matthew Stein, author of When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability and Surviving the Long Emergency.

“By one estimate, for every acre of rain forest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing in the tropics on land that was once farmed, logged or ravaged by natural disaster.”

This we learn in a story from Elizabeth Rosenthal in the New York Times.   It raises the question of whether second growth forests are as valuable as old growth.  They certainly have a similar carbon-absorbing quality, but aren’t comfortable habitats for many species that liked the old growth.

Fans of living for reasons other than shopping — among which we include ourselves  — are enjoying the curent swathe of commentary addressing (finally!) the problem of how to create an economic recovery that’s also sustainable.

So we have Douglas Coupland worrying in a slightly incoherent fashion about what we will all come to in the Times.  Benjamin Barber in the Nation, though, is a lot more cogent on the subject.

James Kunstler imagines us entering the era of ‘yard-sale nation’ – a happy prospect for those of us who love nothing more than bargain hunting among our neighbors’ left-overs.  Kunstler’s vision is pretty dark, though.  The comments to the version of his article posted at Alternet (linked to above), however, offer a few rays of hope.

We’re happy to see the Nation devote an entire week of stories to the issue of green economics.  Important stuff there to check out.

Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess, who conined the term ‘deep ecology’ has died.

Here’s an obituary.