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Perhaps many of you have seen the viral video of Charles Eisenstein called "the Revolution is Love". If you haven't, take a look here.

Local Dollars Local Sense BookI hastened to buy Local Dollars, Local Sense by Michael Shuman, because I was attracted to the title and had high hopes for the emphasis on localization.  Shuman's book represents a small step in a needed direction, but I was yearning for much deeper.

The cover claims that it is "a Community Resilience Guide" -- I don't think so: not at face value, not without plenty of caveats and sidebar explanations to adapt Shuman's recommendations to a dramatically changing economic picture.  Certainly, Go Local.  But do so ready to adjust to the radically different landscape we now face.  This new era of economic contraction alters many long-held presumptions.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  --George Santayana

The virtual credit world we currently live in isn't an original creation.  Mankind has done this before, says anthropologist David Graeber, author of Debt, the First 5,000 Years.  Credit "is the original form of money.  In ancient Mesopotamia they were doing most things by credit.  Coinage was only invented 2,000 years after the first accounts we have."(1)

Throughout recorded history, Graeber tells us, we have alternated between a credit-based economy and a world where coins or some kind of metal or material object was used in everyday transactions.  But today, as we wrestle with the consequences of one burst credit bubble and await the bursting of another(2), there are some significant lessons to be learned from how credit was done in the past.

Hello Transition Community!

As a gardener, Winter Solstice holds much more meaning for me than the conventional new year marker of January 1.  Even here in Southern California's year-round growing season, we observe the slowing of plant growth into semi-dormancy as the Solstice approaches.  We witness the acceleration into new growth once the Solstice is past.  Animals know it too -- my chickens are resuming laying.  The Winter Solstice is the crossover point, the planet's annual marker of change.

Some years I join friends at a Winter Solstice fire at a local community garden.  As part of the evening we write down one thing we are releasing from the old year, and something we wish to bring alive in the new year.  Then we slip the paper with our intention into the fire pit together with some white sage leaves or perhaps some rosemary.  This beautiful ceremony always gets me thinking, at a rather early point in the season by conventional calendar terms, about my personal goals for the new year -- "Resolutions" if you will.

For this month’s Transition Book Club meeting, we used Paul Gilding’s The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World as a springboard for a wide-ranging conversation. [For a synopsis of the book, skip to the bottom; continue reading for more on our discussion.]

A multitude of seasonal reflections on compost, recipes, and cooking -- how these might change for a powerdown world.

In her visit to Los Angeles, Vandana Shiva reminded us how Gandhi had the symbolic actions -- sitting in protests -- but with that he also had the cotton -- the tangible actions.  Dr Shiva said that along with the protests, people need to grow food, to build connections within their communities, to make changes in their lives.

There was a certain poignancy leaving Sweden. Some of my cousins I may never see again since my plan at the moment is not to fly again once I am home. As well, this is true of my cousins in Israel and Scotland. You see, air travel is very damaging to the environment. According to Wikipedia:

This weekend, in support of the folks at Occupy Wall Street and similar in other major financial centers (including Occupy LA here in Los Angeles), I put the full content of "Economic Resilience" online for free readership. This how-to document for building local community resilience has been freshly updated with new links and additional ideas.

Some other thoughts, specifically addressed to the #Occupy protesters and the themes that are recurring in signs and posters:

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