“You are brilliant, and the Earth is hiring..."
My youngest child just graduated from my old east-coast alma mater. I was proud and relieved, however, the commencement speech that I wish she had heard was delivered 3000 miles away by Paul Hawken at the University of Portland:
“Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation... but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, civilization needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades…And here's the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don't be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done… If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren't pessimistic, you don't understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth… and you aren't optimistic, you haven't got a pulse...What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world… Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn't ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn't make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.”
As if to add an exclamation point, a few days later the Oregon House of Representatives voted 51-0 to approve an Oregon Marine Reserves Bill outlining a balanced and diverse procedure for the planning of Oregon’s new marine reserves. The historic bill included the development of regional community groups that will assist with the shaping of potential marine reserve sites as an investment in sustainable ocean management, and outlined a detailed plan to complete evaluation of six potential marine reserve sites by following a pilot marine reserve project at Redfish Rocks near Port Orford on the southern Oregon coast.
Another Sustainable Step in Oregon
Located along a 1000’ ridgetop overlooking the entire Redfish Rocks Marine Preserve, Ocean Mountain Ranch is expected to achieve certification as a SLDI-Certified Sustainable Project and will provide for long-term yield of high-quality hardwood, softwood, and wildlife habitat while serving as a model organic forestry/grazing operation incorporating residential, agricultural, educational, recreational, and industrial activities. Ocean Mountain Ranch is partnering with Sotheby’s International Realty to promote sustainable-land-development best practices on the southern Oregon coast by mixing nature, tradition, and economics for a sustainable future.
Your participation and comments are welcome.
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In the June/July issue of Sustainable Land Development Today...
- Minimizing Risks in the Booming “Green” Movement
- Innovative Stormwater Project
- Sustainable Recreation Project
- Survey/Mapping, Brownfield Redevelopment
- And so much more!
Check out the May issue!
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- Private Lenders Are an Option for Developers
(May 2009) Developers often will find that they now must turn to private lenders to fund their projects. Individual lenders subscribe to their own internal rules, based on investors' needs. Brokers who understand the private-lending world can advise their clients on the varying rules and help fund their clients' projects.
Source: Scotsman Guide's Commercial Edition
- Sustainability Creeps Into Vail Valley Coffins
(June, 1, 2009) Some in Colorado's Vail Valley are taking their eco-conscience to the grave. Instead of choosing traditional hardwood, steel or concrete coffins which can take 50 years, if ever, to biodegrade, people are choosing to be buried in sustainable caskets that break down quickly.
Source: Vail Daily, Colorado
- Pumping Green Power From Fake Plastic Trees
(May 21, 2009) With all the potential good wind power could do for the carbon economy, people simply don’t want massive turbines dotting the landscape and marring their views. So in 2002, the Dutch founder of London’s Solar Botanic Ltd. redesigned the technology to blend into the natural world.
Source: Fast Company
- Industry Wins In Climate Legislation By Signing On
(May 22, 2009) Environmental groups and the world’s biggest industrial greenhouse-gas emitters were on edge when they first sat down at the same table. The result, though, is a bill both sides consider a "good foundation" for action.
Source: Bloomberg News
Carbon Capture Success In Wisconsin
(May 21, 2009) Alstom Power and We Energies have released preliminary data on their carbon capture pilot project at Pleasant Prairie, Wisc. The plant, set up to siphon CO2 using chilled ammonia, not only captured most of the gas, it captured it in a more than 99 percent pure form.
Source: Scientific American
- Pollution Need Not Be Hopeless, Study Finds
(May 28, 2009)Many polluted or damaged environments can recover within a human lifetime if people commit to restoring them, researchers at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies report in an article published Wednesday.
Source: McClatchy Newspapers
- The Bright Prospect Of Biochar
(May 28, 2009) Enthusiasts say that biochar could go a long way towards mitigating climate change and bring with it a host of ancillary benefits. But others fear it could do more harm than good.
- Obama Touts Energy Progress
(May 28, 2009) President Obama touted his clean energy and economic stimulus plans yesterday at an Air Force base near Las Vegas, pointing to the base's vast array of solar panels as a model for the nation as it seeks to reduce its dependence on foreign oil.
Source: Washington Post
- Government Officials And Technical Experts Back Tidal 'Reef' Project For Severn
((May 27, 2009) A popular scheme to harness a massive chunk of the UK's energy needs from the Severn estuary is back on track after receiving a "milestone" endorsement.
Source: Plymouth Western Morning News, England
- How A Greener City Gets Growing
(May 27, 2009) As a regional "forager" for Whole Foods, Mark Smallwood spends much of his time making sure the green grocer stocks local food, usually from commercial farms. But if he has his way, some products will come from even closer: Baltimore's community gardens.
Source: Baltimore Sun, Maryland
- In An Effort To Protect Your Tap, A Natural Solution
(May 27, 2009) Near a tributary in western Douglas County, Kansas, an effort is under way to replicate nature to protect Clinton Lake and the water coming out of Lawrence faucets.
Source: Lawrence Journal, Kansas
- U.S. Business-Government Relations Undergo A Climate Change
(May 26, 2009) In the relationship between government and business, there has been significant movement not only on vehicle fuel efficiency but on similarly contentious issues including reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Source: Los Angeles Times, California
- Scientists Hunt For Green Building Materials
(May 26, 2009) The plank looks like a polished piece of plywood, and someday people may build coffee tables with it. But this wood was not grown in a forest — it was born from the greenhouse gasses seeping from landfills.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, California
- Go Up On The Ecoroof
(May 29, 2009) Called ecoroofs or green roofs or planted roofs, they number in the hundreds in this city and are in most cases hidden high above its streets.
Source: Portland Oregonian, Oregon
- Haymaker Works To Protect Wetland Areas, Native Species
(May 31, 2009) With sustainability efforts and a reduced use of pesticides and water, the Steamboat Springs city-owned Haymaker golf course is hoping to make a name in environmental sustainability.
Source: Steamboat Springs Pilot and Today, Colorado
- Greenhouses Again Bloom Life Into Cemetery
(May 31, 2009) Forest Home Cemetery once again is a place for the living, not just the dead. Three century-old greenhouses, once used to grow flowers for the gravesites, are being brought back to life, this time with fresh vegetables to feed and nurture the hungry.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin
Editor's Note: SLDI News Service may feature press releases submitted directly by organizations in SLDI's network. This content is not specifically endorsed or supported by SLDI and is not subject to SLDI's editorial process.