Post your “community” or “localization” topical homework here:

  1. Note any important points from your book reading that connect with or inform your research topic.
  2. Post a link or citation for at least one article per week on your topic (you should have actually read it, and it will help your teammates if you add some comment as to what interested you).

Folks on other topic teams are welcome to make comments, suggest links, or anything else that would be helpful to this team.

44 Responses to “Community and Localization”

  1. chasla Says:

    In the Long Emergency, Kunstlers message is that our oil based and dependent life will soon be impossible. Suburbia and cities may be uninhabitable. Big box stores and fast food joints among numerous other things will be non existent in our new reality. No longer will we have exotic foods to eat or green beans in january. Our lives will shift to localized communities. People are doing it already worldwide. Check out the sustainable communities network at

  2. ecowordsj Says:


    The sun powers our earth with solar energy which is our most powerful source of available energy. Almost all other sources of energy we use are indirectly solar power. Petroleum comes from Carbon life forms using solar energy. When we burn these deposits, we release Carbon. Plants that we eat for food used photosynthesis to make food. When we eat plants we are eating solar energy.
    Researchers have been studying how electricity could be gathered from trees already utilizing energy from the sun. The energy may not be enough to power anything more than a radio but it may give us clues as to when and where wild fires are spreading keeping us safe. Its amazing to see that clean energy is everywhere and we have been blind and closed minded. In our local Santa Cruz area community, a fire alarm for the forest could be very useful to prevent disasters. I would like to know if this technology harms the tree in any way?

  3. michaelgrippi Says:

    No time to stop posting my economic stories now. Seems like every single Monday for the last 4 weeks has been a ridiculous move for the global markets.

    US stock market crashed close to 20% in the last week, and then between Friday afternoon through today we have recovered 17% of those losses. Having followed the markets for over half of my life now, I have never seen moves like this in the market. Not even close. You’ll get the same response from a trader of 50+ years. It is a demonstration to me of how close our economy truly is to grave peril, and what we are going to have to face in the years coming ahead. On a brighter note, the sooner the big dog crashes the sooner communities start to rapidly form.

  4. ecowordsj Says:

    Coho Salmon is Vanishing from Santa Cruz County!
    Over the last three years there has been a sudden plummet in the population of Coho Salmon south of San Francisco. Deciding what can be done in response has become a very complicated issue involving many environmental groups, government agencies and private companies. All the groups and people involved have different views of what problems need to be addressed. Rules have been applied broadly so unfortunatly logging companies on a clear-cutting rampage are not restricted, while sustainable harvest companies like Big Creek get hit with regulations that were never really meant for them, which they have to work around.
    Santa Cruz County is at the southernmost end of the Coho’s range. It lives in the ocean as an adult and returns to streams to lay eggs. One female can carry six thousand eggs and unlike most salmonoids, Coho’s don’t nescesarily return to the stream of their birth. They may find a new stream or river that suits their specific needs. And these specific habitats may becoming more and more scarce.
    Coho love deep pools in clean, clear, slow moving rivers and streams. Scott’s creek is a local example of Coho habitat, however their population has mysteriously dropped. Logs and debris may create deep pools for Coho and for some reason the city of Santa Cruz works very hard every year to remove all logs from the San Lorenzo River, which once had tons of Coho. Today Coho are extinct from the San Lorenzo River.
    Another cause of this dramatic drop in population may be natural ocean nutrient fluctuattions that the already weakened Coho may not be able to withstand. Upwelling is depended on by many fish in our bay and if upwelling fluctuates, available food may fluctuate, and if food levels drop Coho may not be able to fatten up for their upstream journey.
    In these days of toxic water pollution problems I would not count out some type of chemical poisoning affecting the Coho. All fish are vulnerable to toxins in the water they swim in. Just one thermometer of mercury can poison a whole lake. Any industries and septic systems upstreams in Santa Cruz County could conceivably be affecting the water. Locheed Martin is at the top of numerous watersheds here in the area.
    Anyway, Coho Salmon and all Salmon and Steelhead for that matter have been one of this communities most important resources for thousands of years and has been depended on by many sustainable cultures in time. In our life time we may be witnessing the Coho Salmon leave the area for now. Will they come back? Possibly when we appreciate them.

  5. ecowordsj Says:

    Solar technology is as easy as Photosynthesis

    One major concern in making a community self-sustaining is power sources. Espicially electricity. This new breakthrough in technology might finally make unsightly power lines a thing of the past. Not to mention how many dead trees are holding up these power lines across the country, most of the electricity is lost before it reaches your home. It was originally generated by coal, natural gas(a non-renewable fossil fuel used in Moss Landing), or a damn if your lucky. If your really lucky maybe wind turbines or even some solar panels.
    Solar allows you to utilize the sun’s power in the form of electricity generated on site. Scientists are studying a new way to use solar energy by mimicing a plants photosynthesis! Apparently all the materials needed are natural and non-toxic. In the future we may be able to generate so much energy at our homes that a grid would become obsolete. We could plug-in hybrids off of all this excess energy and we wouldn’t need to burn coal or petroleum. But wait……then all the electric, oil, and nuclear companies would disapear…………..then we wouldn’t have anything to fight and war over………….now we can’t have that.
    Or could we……………………………………

  6. chasla Says:

    One of the things the author discuses in chapter six of The Long Emergency is that our local economies and communities are being taken over by corporations such as wal-mart. It made me think about a movie I saw called “Life and Debt” The part I was reminded of was a local dairy farm in Jamaica was put out of business because the U.S. was importing powdered milk cheaper than the local farm could produce it. This same thing has happened with corn imports to Mexico and it goes beyond food. This is a serious problem very important issue and I encourage you to watch this movie

  7. chasla Says:

    Thats my notebook!

  8. We found a spiral notebook that had been left here tonight, with contact info for the Community/Localization group. I’ve left it in the classroom near the door (on the cart with the globe).

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