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Tara Lohan at Alternet writes Think a New Economy Is Possible? Meet the Man Already Making it Happen:

Standing in front of a crowd of hundreds at Oakland, California’s Grand Lake Theater, Rob Hopkins shows a picture of a butcher shop in a small town in Northern Ireland. A row of hams hang in the window, the door is cracked open, welcoming, a passerby walks his dog. Just another example of a successful small town business, vital for the local economy. Right? Except, Hopkins explains what you can’t immediately see when you glance at the image. The store is real, but the window display is a fake—it’s simply photoshopped posters plastered over the glass. The local business has gone under, the shop is gutted, but those organizing the last G8 meeting of the world’s most powerful countries that met in Northern Ireland don’t want to be reminded of this and they sure don't want the media to see it. So the truth has been glossed over, obscured.

Rob Hopkins: Transition Network
Rob Hopkins
These are the times we live in. We can pretend everything is OK on Main Street, or we can actually try to fix it. Hopkins is already hard at work on the fixing. In late 2006, Hopkins, who taught permaculture, came up with the seed of an idea that has grown into something wild and beautiful: the Transition Network. It started as one Transition Town in Totnes, England and the concept has replicated across 44 countries and thousands of towns and neighborhoods. The initial idea is simple: “To support community-led responses to peak oil and climate change, building resilience and happiness.”

The organization now helps communities connect with each other, learn how to reduce CO2 emissions and decarbonize, and implement plans for a whole new kind of economic development. That’s where the idea of resilience comes in. According to the Transition Network:

‘Resilience’ has been defined as “the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change, so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks.” In Transition, the concept is applied to settlements and their need to be able to withstand shock.
It sounds a lot like preparing for disaster, but it’s more like avoiding disaster by preparing for the inevitable by changing the way we use energy and structure our economy. [...]

Hopkins has presented his vision and the evolution of the Transition Network in three books, which get to the heart of these questions: The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependence to Local Resilience; The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times; and most recently The Power of Just Doing Stuff: How Local Action Can Change the World. He is the winner of a Schumacher Award, is an Ashoka Fellow and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, and was voted one of the UK’s top 100 environmentalists.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007The SEIU chessboard:

John Edwards took a serious hit when he failed to garner the SEIU endorsement. Rather than a national endorsement, the union decided to give each local the power to make their own endorsements.

This means, most importantly, that the national SEIU's significant war chest and its campaign operatives are out of commission in this primary. It also means members of locals can only campaign out of their state in places where those locals have endorsed the same candidate.

So the Iowa local endorsed Edwards. Yeay Edwards! Except that Iowa's SEIU is small, with just 2,000 members. But neighboring Illinois has one of the biggest SEIU locals—100,000. Also nearby Indiana has another 70,000. Obama scored a coup by getting their endorsement. They're off the table for the Iowa battle.

What about New Hampshire? 10,000 members, and another 70,000 in neighboring Massachussets. But the regional mother lode is New York with 300,000 members. Edwards could sure use those guys and gals, but Hillary Clinton is the state's senator, and they're unlikely to piss off someone who might still be the state's senator after the primary. So she's the prohibitive favorite for the New York endorsement, again depriving Edwards of valuable boots on the ground and blunting the PR value of the endorsements he does get.

Tweet of the Day:

I fully expect the Tea Party to accept this defeat with grace and dignity.

Today's Kagro in the Morning show, is currently hampered by technical difficulties at the podcast server site, but it did happen, and you can hear it at the linked address if the embedded player isn't displaying properly. Greg Dworkin & Joan McCarter joined us to break down the morning's state of play, the likely procedural road ahead, and the details of some of the drama's moving parts. News from off-year elections in NJ & VA, including Daily Kos jumping in to the fundraising game. Plus, the story you'll want to take with you to fend off wingnut relatives playing the Vitter amendment card at Thanksgiving dinner. And yet another astounding GunFAIL story unfolds in court.

High Impact Posts. Top Comments.

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