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I recently started an herbal business and never realized that it may be the greatest tool to actually manifest things in the real world that I care about, things I want to change. Positive stimulation: I imagine people using the herbs to diminish the stress they feel. I hope they, in turn, will live better. Or, if they choose, they can pay it forward to someone else. Leigh — here is the Chugach Farm website… and a nice picuture of Alli and Jed. Rob, you just seem unable to see the disconnect between your messianic tone and the state of the world.

So why are you bathing yourself in some golden hue of righteousness? Did Interface truly change the world of carpet-making to one of purity and benevolence? Martin — it looks like your attacks are getting a bit ad hominem and less than civil. I am disappointed that your keen mind is not being used more sharply. Maybe re-examin and reset? Thank you for the link. I wonder how many folks there use passive solar greenhouses. Some misty-eyed idealism: I think plants can save the world; indeed, they already do!


First, thanks everyone for your valuable and helpful thoughts and information. I see no disconnect between the positive contributions that I and millions of others are trying to bring into the world and the challenges and tribulations nor the frustrating state of the world. I rub my nose in it every day. But I will be damned if I am going to be pessimistic or not focus as well on what is possible. It is hard enough to help make the changes even with a positive attitude. And yes, I find plenty to complain about and want to change about the UN; however on the other hand I know from personal experience that the UN has been instrumental in helping to focus hundreds of millions of people on the need to transition to a sustainable future.

It is primarily a norm setting institution and it has done a pretty good job at that. I wish it was better with implementation; but that is something that will likely just have to come about in time.

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And the US government is probably the worst in this regards. We spend half of what the world spends on the military; have a huge wealth differential; you should see the massive number of speeches and reams of paper put out by our congress and administration; and on and on. And in regards to doing what the Charter demands, the US Constitution says that any treaty the US government agrees to becomes the supreme law of the land — which would thus include the UN Charter and the other few treaties and conventions that we have agreed to the US has the worst record of any in the world in regards to blocking, weakening and refusing to sign onto or ratify global treaties.

Finally, I do believe in the ability of one person to make a change because I have witnessed and achieved it in my own life. You want to continue to piss in your own pants, go ahead.

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Who am I to stop you? If I want to live in ignorant bliss, believing that sooner or later humanity is going to make the transition to a just, sustainable, and thriving world for all that is my right and privilege. And you my friend can go ahead and believe it is all turning to crap.

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Did she do it single-handedly? She would probably say she did not, but many of us view her as a key player in the revival of herbalism in the United States. In addition to helping people sustain and improve their health with whole plants, this has other benefits, including Earth care. Many herbalists who wildcraft responsibly are also some of the same folks who work to preserve habitat for endangered medicinals, which has the effect of preserving habitat, period.

Herbalism could also help improve water quality. How many of us right now are drinking water, even filtered water, that is full of synthetic hormones, antidepressants or other forms of pharma because our water treatment facilities lack the ability to filter these things out or because contaminated effluent from CAFOs is sent directly into waterways?

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Plant metabolites also end up in the water, but at least Earth has a long relationship with those. Many herbalists help people through changes in diet and lifestyle and these, too, can also help us to become more balanced as a species. After all, if we cannot sustain ourselves, we will not be able to behave in a way that can support the ecological health of the planet.

So, I, too, refuse to believe that one person cannot make a difference. This has often been proved otherwise. And so you recoil from the base truths, and become enraged when others seem to not be following your better instincts. Look at the good things going on! Follow your stars! Be uplifted! So much of civil society seems committed to that generous, lovely path. That is not, however, where the data lie — not in the rising CO2 emissions, not in the levels of toxicity already in the ground and air, not in the economic dysfunction.

Therein, in that approach, lies our collective social future, but you are completely free to try to advance a rosy, sweet, herbalist view of matters — if you ignore the Happy Meal toys, the cracked asphalt. I them follow the course of washing my underwear. This promising article unfortunately misses the mark on many levels. Our size and space kept us off the hook for decades. We spoil and move on, like a toddler with a broken toy. Our recent record of not signing international accords to limit carbon emissions, for example, does not speak well for our ability to lead on these issues.

More importantly, the question at hand is much bigger than America. This is about the planet, the entire Earth. We can no longer afford to consider serious and threatening issues from such a self-centered perspective. One notes the absence of passion, of heart, of personal connection that inspire in so many other articles in Orion.

Simply repeating hope and change as a kind of incantation denotes an impotence of thought and interferes with action. The author suggests, vaguely, that we work within existing systems when clearly that approach has not worked for years and grows more ineffectual as the confluence of government and business grows more strong.

We cannot simply tweak the system. We need a new model that breaks out of the constraints of a market past and recognizes that humans are neither the center nor the apex of the universe. The rest of the issue continues what I expect of and need from Orion: original thinkers with vision, passion and voice that inspire. This is what will lead us to the change we need. You can call that pessimistic and I might agree with you on some level but it is not accurate.

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How can you deduce that from the following quote:. The right does what they want without shame; we do what we want with shame, and then kick dirt on it like a kitty that just went in its own backyard. It stinks and is destroying the world either way. The rest of the piece is just as withering about greenwashing and collaboration. Martin — I just reread it and you and I reading different pieces by Michael.

I could not find your quote in what I read. I wonder what reaction you will have to the piece.

After all, the absence of growth is apotheosis to a corporate entity. Try selling THAT to your shareholders. AND we get to keep all our cool stuff. In that regard, the American consumer is no more on board with reduced growth than your average corporation. Whether we like it or not though, the salvation of the species and the planet lies in that direction. Our acquiescence to this probable future reality is not required. On most days I find myself agreeing with Ed Abbey.

- The Washington Post

We need to just acknowledge that things are not going to change until we use up every blessed drop of petroleum on the planet. Cheers for Ed Abbey. A true misanthropic nihilist. I tend to agree with the Mike Donnelly article. I think you could extend his insight to many other categories of environmental activity. What I did see, lexus and BMW; white guys in nice suits. Public money directed to private enterprise.