Re: Greenstar

Tom Musselwhite (hac@efn.org)
Sun, 12 Dec 1999 01:11:41 -0800


Michael,

This is probably NOT a 100 words or less subject area.  I'll see how long I
hold out.

Since 1992, in conjunction with various groups and agencies including the
Dept of Veterans Affairs and the local Private Industry Council, I have
written several fairly in-depth proposals aimed at addressing a set of
problems which I believe will only become increasingly urgent.  Urgent means
that the protests and conflict at the recent WTO conference in Seattle were
a predictable event in the outcomes of current social/economic/environmental
(SEE) policy TRENDS.

Bottom line is:  more and more people every day (just looking at the USA for
now) face increasing hardship as a result of globalization and the "load"
that 6 billion people place upon the capacity of SEE systems.  It is
reasonable to believe that conflict will continue to increase (both within
the US and globally) until a sea (universal) level paradigm shift occurs
allowing for. . . .

Anything could happen.  Please note that mass extinction, global starvation,
(un)civil war, and a mass die-off of humanity is not my goal.

Welfare reform is just a stage in the process, none the less, I suspect we
will see a mass extinction of the "old age" body politic fairly soon.  It is
going to be a fight either way, maybe if I didn't have to see so much
hardship and down-right misery right here in my own USA, perhaps I wouldn't
take it all so much to heart.

Positive and negative forces to consider are:
Technology continues to displace human labor.  Not a bad thing except that
the displaced labor is left OUT.  (We have a labor class in the US and
their/our labor has built the economy that developed the technology that
displaced them.)

Good help has always been hard to find.

In the macro sense, labor in general is moving to other, lower cost,
markets.

Increasing numbers of people in the US are facing/maintaining minimum wage
or temporary jobs (the new service sector) with few or no benefits (health
insurance), and attempting to maintain housing that in the current paradigm
is increasingly expensive to build/maintain and live in.  (WILL SOMEONE
DISAGREE WITH MY ASSERTION THAT HOMELESSNESS HAS INCREASED FOUR-FOLD IN THE
DECADE BETWEEN 1987 AND 1996?)  Please do.

Capital (land, money, and the means of production) are becoming increasingly
concentrated into the hands of fewer and fewer.  Of course that is a high
stakes game.  But, competition among top players is negotiable.  Fail to
protect your interest and die.

Most people like to feel useful, no one likes to feel used.

You don't have to recognize a pick handle for a union card, but . . . .

There is a great deal of "work" that needs to be done (especially in the
fields of ecological restoration and the development of less environmentally
degrading, life sustaining alternatives; but much of that work is not
economically attractive to "for profit" entrepreneurs and business interest.
(Insurance companies are beginning to catch on to the COST of neglect).

I'll sum up this part by saying that there are a lot of people who need "a
sustainable lifestyle", and a whole world that needs people with sustainable
lifestyles.

Yes - substance abuse, mental illness, domestic abuse and lack of education
are problems. And, organic deficiencies are as prevalent as are inherent
talents.  I don't want to give the impression of utopian possibilities, the
struggles of life are real.

If you worked 40-60 hours a week to give half of your earnings to a
slum-lord in exchange for a shoddy dump to live in, you would probably be
depressed too.  Can't figure that one out?  Get sick and have to take a few
days off and you are on the street.

Meanwhile:
Consider that Einstein could have developed the theory of relativity living
in a remote community (off the grid so to speak) with the advantages of the
world wide web, modern telecommunications, and educational opportunities
that could be available.  So much for the educational advantage associated
with economic class and circles of association..  And if combined with
ecommerce . . . there are possibilities.

To answer your question directly, yes.  There are numerous sites in the
Pacific Northwest where a "Greenstar" type project could be developed.  As
you might suspect, contingencies vary from site to site therefore all sites
have advantages and disadvantages unique to a particular landscape.

Feedback appreciated,

Tom Musselwhite

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael North <mjnorth@ix.netcom.com>
To: Tom Musselwhite <hac@efn.org>
Cc: <PJMcKST@aol.com>; <cgay123@ibm.net>; <jgill@penfield-gill.com>;
<jonathan@wri.org>
Sent: Saturday, December 11, 1999 10:31 AM
Subject: Re: Greenstar


>
>
>
> Tom: thanks for the note; you are subscribed to the Greenstar Newsletter.
Welcome!
>
> The current issue is available online at:
>
> http://www.greenstar.org/Nov99_Update/
>
> We are trying to develop a strategy to serve off-the-grid communities in
the US, and looking for
> advice and expert assistance. "Off-the-grid" means communities, 5000
people and under, which have no
> access to central grid power, or whose access is intermittent, unreliable
or too expensive. This
> usually also means that the community has limited access to telephones and
computers, and to the Web.
>
> We have looked at various Native American sites (which we prefer to call
"First Nations"),
> Appalachia, the upper mountain and plains states, Alaska, and inner
cities. There may be some
> intersection between our "off-the-grid" set and your "ecologically
damaged" set.
>
> Can you think of a site in the US where Greenstar could do some good?
>
>
>
>
>
> Tom Musselwhite wrote:
> >
> > I would be interested in learning more about your effort to establish
> > networked communities in remote areas, particularly as it might apply to
our
> > effort to develop livelihoods for the disadvantaged in the U.S. through
> > ecological restoration activities in remote areas.
> >
> > For additional information on who we are and what we do see:
> >
> > http://www.efn.org/~pro_eco/ecoprog.html
> >
> > Links to our home page are available from the above URL.
> >
> > Thank You,
> >
> > Tom Musselwhite
> > Chairman, Board of Directors
> > Project Recover
> > Eugene, Oregon
> > pro_eco@efn.org
>
> --
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
> Michael North
> Los Angeles, CA
> mjnorth@ix.netcom.com
> http://www.mediasense.com/mjn.htm
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=