Friday, April 06, 2007

Creative Ecology

"Not everything that can be counted counts,
and not everything that counts can be counted"

Albert Einstein

Easter in New Zealand brings with it a heady mix of seasonal transition. The anticipation of winter around the corner, the joy of autumn harvest, and the lingering pleasures of a fleeting summer. On the island we have a Jazz Festival, big Saturday Markets, and the water still warm enough still for a pleasant swim, which I had yesterday. We are full of visitors, mostly from the city, but more and more from around the world.

While Christians around the world celebrate the coming (and going) of their messiah, with all manner of activities, here it is mostly about having a holiday. The island's wine and olive oil industries are in full harvest mode. A good time of year.

As more and more of my friends, family and colleagues speak to me about their (ouch!) retirement plans, developers in the States don't really know what kind of planned communities the "boomers" want. They never could quite come to grips with that demographic, and still they try. Looks like according to this NY Times report, it is left up to "grassroots" efforts to plan out their own sense of community with like-minded individuals. Most succcessful ventures are accomplished by those who really care. And that is the thing about community, it brings the neighour back into neighbourhood. Sharing with others all these precious natural resources we are fast running out of seems only logical to me...It also helps to spend time around those that accept and support your lifestyle. Having spent some time in community when it was still called commune, it has appeal, particularly within the context of a local economy and food production. I am no Armageddon type, but I do believe A Hard Rain's is Gonna Fall before too long. The New Scientist Environment blog has some great entries, with lots of sites that show ways to leave a lighter load of carbon behind in this life. Everything from transport to packaging...Here's an example:

200 kgs per person per year of just packaging! It makes you think a little more about what your purchase, and how it can be taken home (those supermarket bags are the worst, and it is bold that San Francisco has now banned the plastic bags). Well done!

Staying in the Bay Area, a company called Meraki is doing great work in providing affordable easy wireless access to many who could not otherwise afford it. Share the love.

Speaking of which, there are some lovely short essays on, in the This I Believe segment, which has one man's affirmation of his truth in articulate fashion. My Personal Leap of Faith, it is called, and well worth a read.

Not the greatest of times for the Cruise Line industry, apparently there is all kinds of shady goings on out at sea. And nobody knows whose laws to obey. It's all a bit of a shambles really, with people getting sick and running aground, as well as unbelievable stats: 66 assaults and 28 people missing (presumed dead) over the period 2002-2005. Some vacation!

Meanwhile, pre-teens and teens in the States are being subjected to between 12 and 20 food ads a day on the television alone, all extolling the virtues of, you guessed it, sweets and snack foods. Forget Big Tobacco this article says, it's Big Food that is killing us!

No matter what kind of person you are, getting the right information about your food is always important...

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