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Imperiled Life with Javier Sethness-Castro

Wednesday, August 7, 2013, 7:00 p.m. Join writer Javier Sethness-Castro in a discussion of his book, Imperiled Life: Revolution against Climate Catastrophe. Imperiled Life theorizes an exit from the potentially terminal consequences of capital-induced climate change. It is a collection of reflections on the phenomenon of catastrophe—climatological, political, social—as well as on the possibilities of overcoming disaster.

Javier Sethness-Castro presents the grim news from contemporary climatologists while providing a reconstructive vision inspired by anarchist intellectual traditions and promoting critical thought as a means of changing our historical trajectory. For a recent overview of Javier's argument, see his essay at CounterPunch.org marking our planet's crossing of the 400 ppm atmospheric carbon concentration levels.

Books, light refreshments available on site. Use Facebook to iInvite your friends to this event.

Rosen, et al: Principles for a New Economy

PRINCIPLES FOR A NEW ECONOMY

Preamble
 
The purpose of an economic system is to help organize human activities in ways that create healthy and resilient human communities and ecosystems for both present and future generations.
 
To achieve these purposes, deep system-wide change is urgently needed to reverse conditions typical of contemporary global, regional, national and local economies that exhibit one or more of the following serious flaws. They are:
 
·      Unsustainable: They over-consume and degrade the resources upon which their long-term prosperity depends.
·      Unfair: They multiply financial advantages to those already advantaged at the expense of those most in need. 
·      Unstable: They lack resilience in a time of growing volatility and rapid social, political and technological change.
·      Undemocratic: They operate with inadequate democratic control and accountability on the part of their most powerful economic organizations - corporations, financial institutions and governments.
 
At the root of these conditions is an implicit, dominant theory of economic purpose: namely to achieve continuous economic growth, as measured principally by GDP, by relying on “free markets”, without regard to the impact on overall human and ecological well-being. At the core of a New Economy is the need to decouple the achievement of well-being from limitless economic growth, by structuring economies that:
·      Fully realize individual potential through the advancement of human rights, including the right to thriving livelihoods, freedom from unjust persecution, quality education, effective social safety nets, affordable nutritious food, clean water, secure health care, and adequate shelter. 
 
·      Protect and nurture the richness of the natural world in ways that confront and rectify intensifying threats to humans and other species, including those associated with climate change, biodiversity loss, eco-system degradation, and polluted air and water
 
 The following Principles are designed to guide the actions of all economic actors and organizations whose decisions and actions affect, or are affected by, the pursuit of a New Economy.
 
Principles
1. Measuring progress - Economic progress shall be measured in terms of the well-being of all living species and ecosystems.  
2. Respecting natural limits - The economy shall draw from, and inject into, ecosystems only what is compatible with maintaining a sustainable healthy and resilient natural world. 
3. Democratizing the economy – All institutions that manage, regulate and execute economic activity, including private corporations, shall be democratically controlled in order to serve long-term societal goals.
4. Ensuring economic progress - Governments shall work to ensure prosperous and resilient economic outcomes by making adequate investments in research, education, physical infrastructure, and technology, whenever markets fail to do so. .
5. Localizing control - Economic policy shall favor subsidiarity, i.e., the localization of economic decision-making and control to the greatest extent possible consistent with democracy, equity, and efficiency.
6. Taming finance - All monetary systems and financial institutions shall be regulated as essential public utilities for the benefit of society as a whole.
7. Reducing inequality - Increasing economic inequality shall be understood to be inherently and profoundly antithetical to achieving human and ecological well-being, and shall be rapidly reversed.
8. Providing adequate livelihoods - Individuals shall be ensured of opportunities for decent paid work, employee ownership and the right to organize, and accorded recognition for work performed outside the formal wage economy that is fundamental to enriching  community and family well-being.
9. Re-defining globalization - International economic relations that impinge upon human and ecological well-being shall rest upon the same principles as those applicable to economic activities within nations so that economic justice becomes enshrined in such relations.
10. Fostering new values - Economic values shall be diverted, by all fair and reasonable means, away from the materialism fostered by promoters of a consumer society, and shifted toward values that prioritize flourishing communities, individual happiness, and a healthy and resilient natural world.
The editors of the Principles for a New Economy are Neva Goodwin, Richard Rosen, and Allen White. Principles for a New Economy was co-authored by the Core Principles Working Group, with the support of the New Economy Network. The members of the Working Group are: Gar Alperovitz, David Brodwin, Peter Brown, John Cavanagh, John Fullerton, Neva Godwin, Richard Heinberg, David Korten, Asher Miller, Noel Ortega, Richard Rosen, Gus Speth, Sarah Stranahan, Stewart Wallis, Allen White, and Susan Witt.
For questions and comments please contact: neva.goodwin@tufts.edu; rrosen@tellus.org or awhite@tellus.org

Alperovitz: America Beyond Capitalism

When they say, "there's no alternative..."

Saturday, December 3, 2011, 6:00 p.m.  As discontent with the economic and political status quo mounts in the wake of the “great recession”, America Beyond Capitalism is a book whose time has come. Gar Alperovitz’s expert diagnosis of the long-term structural crisis of the American economic and political system is accompanied by detailed, practical answers to the problems we face as a society. Unlike many books that reserve a few pages of a concluding chapter to offer generalized, tentative solutions, Alperovitz marshals years of research into emerging “new economy” strategies to present a comprehensive picture of practical bottom-up efforts currently underway in thousands of communities across the United States.

Securing Justice for Waste/Recycling Workers

Thursday, September 22, 2011, 6:00 p.m. The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and the Boston Recycling Coalition (BRC- an emerging campaign between community, environmental and worker groups in Boston to dramatically improve the recycling system in Boston) co-host a gathering of inspiring grassroots waste/recycling movement leaders from around the world. Following a panel, there will be a wide-ranging discussion between local recycling workers, international guests and members of the Boston community interested in improving dismal conditions in Boston's waste/recycling sector. Come join us! This event is organized by the Boston Recycling Coalition.

Social Adapting & Sustainability

Round Table Discussion on Portland's 5 Ecodistrict Pilots

Location: Institute for Human Centered Design
200 Portland Street

Wednesday, September 21st, 7:00pm Join us for an engaging talk about the challenges of adapting to climate change. Systems Science student, Garry Sotnik, visiting from the hub of environmental innovation, Portland, Oregon will present his paper on Portland's five Ecodistrict Pilots (Read More below), an initiative launched in 2009 in the City of Portland to catalyze the city’s transition process towards sustainable development. What does it mean to adapt? What is required for adaptation? And what can be done to assist human systems (e.g. households, communities, regions, etc.) in our process of adaptation? An open discussion will explore the role of community organizing within the environmental movement, the ideas of connectedness and resiliency in the face of climate change, what could movements in Boston learn from the large-scale and well-subsidized efforts in Portland, similarly, what can the Ecodistricts Initiative learn from grassroots and multi-focus social change organizing in Boston?

e5 Joins Global Work Day, 10/10/10

Sunday, October 10, 2010, noon - 5:00 p.m. (followed, 5:00 - 7:00 with a reception). encuentro 5 is a Boston movement-building space and home to several of Boston'santiwar, pro-immigrant, environmental and economic justice projects(see website). We will be increasing the energy efficiency of our lighting, computer lab and rationalizing our networks and wiring. We will also be removing excess and obsolete equipment. Finally, we will se our/your creativity and artistic skills to make for a aesthetically pleasing space. All of this is to practice what we preach and make sure that our organizing and activism does not re-create the problems we challenge. The action ends with a reception (from 5:00 - 7:00)./

How to Get Involved Planning the Event: Fill out our volunteer e-mail
form at http://encuentro5.org/home/volunteer, e-mail info < at >

 

Climate Justice, South Africa & the World Bank

Friday, April 9, 2010, 12 noon - 2:00 p.m. South Africa now has its 4th post-Apartheid president... But the country is more unequal than ever! It is also under consideration for a World Bank loan to “modernize” it ailing electrical power infrastructure. Revamping its grid would normally be a rare opportunity to set a new course, redress inequalities and implement a green strategy. But activist-intellectual Patrick Bond warns that the opposite seems likely with the Bank loan. It will strengthen the private sector and increase the gap between rich and poor: urban residents prepay their electricity at 4 times the discounted rate available to large corporations. Further, the proposed loan will finance the world's 4th largest coal-fired plant—just the opposite of what is required by our climate crisis—and raise rates on working people. (see attachment for civil society's reaction).

Training for Transition

How to Launch a Transition Town/Transition Initiative in Your Community

Saturday & Sunday, November 21 - 22, 2009, Starting at 9:00 a.m. The Transition Network and Transition US (www.transitionus.org) are offering the two-day Training for Transition course as developed by Naresh Giangrande and Sophy Banks of the Transition Network in Totnes, England (www.transitiontowns.org). The course is an in-depth experiential introduction to Transition for those considering bringing Transition to their community. It meets the training requirement for local initiating groups to become an internationally-recognized Transition Town.

The Polluter-Industrial Complex in the Age of Globalization

Author Presentation with Daniel Faber

Thursday, March 5, 2009 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. Join us for a conversation with author Daniel Faber based on his book, "Capitalizing on Environmental Injustice: The Polluter-Industrial Complex in the Age of Globalization" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). "Capitalizing..." is a comprehensive assessment of the environmental justice movement, examining the achievements and challenges confronting the movement, along with an emphasis on new strategies of environmental problem-solving and innovations in environmental policy. Download flyer here.

DATE CHANGED: The Polluter-Industrial Complex in the Age of Globalization

Author Presentation with Daniel Faber

Thursday, January 15, 2009, 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. NEW DATE: Thursday, March 5, 2009 (same time) Join us for a conversation with author Daniel Faber based on his book, "Capitalizing on Environmental Injustice: The Polluter-Industrial Complex in the Age of Globalization" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). "Capitalizing..." is a comprehensive assessment of the environmental justice movement, examining the achievements and challenges confronting the movement, along with an emphasis on new strategies of environmental problem-solving and innovations in environmental policy. Updated flyer coming soon.

The People Behind the Coal

Colombian Trade Union Leaders Speak Out!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 6:00 p.m. Coal provides almost 50% of the electricity produced in the United States. Much of that coal—including what's burned at the Salem and Brayton Point plants in Massachusetts—comes from two giant, multinational mines in Colombia.