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"The net worth of the 225* richest people in the world now equals the combined income of the poorest 2.6 billion, who comprise 47 percent of the world's population." (UNDP's 1998 Human Development Report)     (* billionaires)

my World View:

my Personal Actions:

__ I believe the human race passed a comfortably sustainable population in about 1950, at 2.5 Bn, but now there's twice as many of us, and three times as many in twenty years, with a most influential minority using FAR too much. The middle- class and rich have the wrong goals (largely induced by advertis- ing), if the world is to remain as civilised as it was between ' 55 and ' 77 (not incl. Stalin/Amin).
____ The >1 Bn car-using, meat- eating destructive people (CuMeDs) will need to drastically reduce both their consumption and what they do! Doing too much, while there are too many people, should be reduced since this is the origin of most of our excess consumption. Job- and- income- sharing would be a major step in the right direction.

__ I have reduced my demands on the Earth to a bare minimum by spending US$850 p.a. TOTAL; including no more than US$450 a year, or $8.65 per week, on food (all of it bought at the super- market). I pay for my share of the rates on our mortgage- free house, and I walk or (occasionally) take the bus, e.g. to buy the groceries. I walk barefoot year- round (@ lat. 37, maritime), wearing thongs/jandals if the road is rough or my pack is heavy. I haven't thrown out clothes for a couple of decades, and I'm now gradually using up that capital investment.
____ I am now free, from the boss's pressure to produce more and from "keeping up with the Jones's"! It's not exactly a religious decision, but it's based on some of the same basic impulses.

( My wife's webpage; she was The Greens' candidate for the Albany NZ electorate.)

Please read the early-'98 : Rachel's Weekly: #582: (01/22/98):
"One Fundamental Problem"
{ the corporation }

I'm not recommending others do the above, though I am saying it's possible.         David MacClement

Want a more authoritative opinion than the above?

 Observer article

Click here for a real expert's view of the future (Donella Meadows).

My letters to the Positive Futures list, + some responses.

Our local paper Front Paged me, in 1992. Check it out?

How people like me view the work world.

5 years after the Rio Earth Summit: nothing?

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What sustainability is, in my view.            

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Total costs under $900 p.a.?!: My diet, for minimum healthy eating (at under US$9/wk).

A recent description of what I think of my life ;
       (in a new browser window)
and: our family travels in Malaysia and India;
      (what we learnt [new browser window] )

David's reason for existence

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Best of RainForest
Best of RainForest

was on: RainForest Featured Site

Free Speech (Also check my philosophy/social site.)

Deadly Cyclone Vance (movie; 213 kB)

Click BELOW for larger version
. .[may take a minute, after connection.]
(two Australasia cloud maps)
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia is acknowleged for receiving and processing the images. Permission from the Japanese Meteorological Agency is required and they are to be acknowleged for providing the raw data. (JMA Fax +81 3 3212 2453)

Current weather in NZ.      

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP is the NZ Greens' Co-Leader; her maiden speech, press releases, etc.
Also: Recent New Zealand environmental news (David's choice). [same page: 60 kB]


Please visit:

Worldwatch Logo

The Worldwatch Institute. Worldwatch is dedicated to fostering the evolution of an environmentally sustainable society, one in which human needs are met in ways that do not threaten the health of the natural environment or the prospects of future generations.

An extract from a recent WorldWatch book;

{The page also has the whole of the Press Release containing:}
"China, with its vast population, simply will not be able to follow for long any of the development paths blazed to date. The country that invented paper and gunpowder now has the opportunity to leapfrog the West and show how to build an environmentally sustainable economy. It will be forced to try and chart a new course. If China succeeds in charting an environmentally sustainable course, it could become a shining example for the rest of the world to admire and emulate. If it fails, we will all pay the price."

10 Oct '98 A recent book from Worldwatch predicts the future :-

         (The Press Release contains:)
New diseases are not the only threat to demographically fatigued stage two countries. Because population growth affects so many dimensions of a society, any of several different stresses can force a country back into stage one.

For example, in many developing countries food supplies are threatened by aquifer depletion. A forthcoming study by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) reports that in India, a country heavily dependent on irrigation, recent growth in food production and population has been based partly on the unsustainable use of water. Nationwide, withdrawals of underground water are at least double the rate of recharge and water tables are falling by 1 to 3 meters per year. IWMI authors estimate that as India's aquifers are depleted, its grain harvest could fall by as much as one fifth.

In a country where food and population are precariously balanced and which is adding 18 million people per year, such a huge drop in food output could create economic chaos.

"The question is not whether population growth will slow in the developing countries," said Brown, "but whether it will slow because societies quickly shift to smaller families or because ecological collapse and social disintegration cause death rates to rise. The challenge for national governments is to assess their land and water resources, determine how many people they will support at the desired level of consumption, and then formulate a population policy to reach that goal."

         ( The book itself says {pp. 66, 67}:)
"Among the many countries that run the risk of falling back into stage one [high death rates producing stable populations] if they do not quickly check their population growth are Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Sudan, Tanzania, and Yemen.
For several African countries with high HIV infection levels, this is no longer a hypothetical prospect. ... Zimbabwe ... Botswana ... Namibia ... Zambia ... Swaziland.
Other nations where ... the HIV/AIDS epidemic is spiralling out of control include Burundi, the Central African Rep., the Congo, Cte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania."
Beyond Malthus: Sixteen Dimensions of the Population Problem
(Worldwatch Paper 143)
, by Lester R. Brown, Gary Gardner, Brian Halweil

It also says (p.9):
"The relative contribution of population growth and rising affluence to the growth in demand for various resources varies widely. ...
     Although we occasionally allude to the effect of rising affluence, no systematic effort is made to examine its consequences. Those interested ... are urged to read an earlier Worldwatch book:
How Much is Enough?, by Alan Durning."

World Watch Magazine cover, for May-June 1999.
World Watch Magazine

Income for All (?) :

Keith Rankin's paper on UBI, presented to the Beyond Poverty Conference, May'97, at Massey University, Albany N.Z. (27kB)

Sally Lerner's paper on the UBI in Nth. America, presented to the July 5-7/97 meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics in Montreal.

UBI in New Zealand:
the latest UBINZ newsletter

All UBINZ Newsletters

UBI in New Zealand: general

Keith Rankin's
Short Items

(last modified: Sun 8th. Oct. 2000.)

Signs of hope:

The Sustainable Communities Network Linking citizens to resources and to one another
to create healthy, vital, sustainable communities.

--- (blue rule) ---
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 11:17:17 -0500
From: Donald Merkes 
To: Positive Futures list .-.-.-.@igc.org

Living in a sustainable future

At 09:53 27/07/99 EDT, Priscilla Richter wrote (to the Positive Futures list): > ... I'm sure that if they really felt that SUV's were damaging, >they wouldn't have bought one. They would believe that the government >wouldn't allow SUV's if they were dangerous to the environment. I don't know >what might change their mind -- I certainly am not in a position to do this.
I've always wondered if SUV's were actually damaging to the environment themselves or if it was the way we used them and the damage caused by the land use decisions dictating this use that was the problem. Why do we have to drive 10 miles to buy milk? and even if you are close enough to walk or bike there is no way to get to the store without being run down by an SUV.

I've been making a conscious effort to change my consumption habits to reflect a sustainable land use program. I'm buying things downtown, from local merchants who know my name, who buy from local suppliers, this reduces my driving and the transportation to get the products initially to my city. I live within walking distance to two downtowns of two small cities (20,000 people). I've also begun helping the local downtown business association to make our downtown stronger, talked to the business owners about what I would support, and have a dialog with my aldermen. I am fortunate to have a grocery that I can walk to as well, although I still have to drive to get organics. We have started an effort to reopen our movie theatre in the downtown (closed 1969), as a performing arts center, movie theatre, & business convention center, to further boost the attractiveness of opening new businesses in the area as well as attract a more diverse group of people living in the area.

I am becoming quite insulated to the effects of sprawl in our area because of this and sometimes when I do venture out into what had been farms last time I was there I am appalled by the $400,000 mansions (this is a lot of money in Wisconsin, a modest existing house will cost just over $100,000). Does my lifestyle leave me too unaware of the destruction going on around me? Yes, but why should I spend too much of my time trying to change something that there is no chance of changing (in today's political climate) when I can do measurable good in the "inner city". I am appalled at the thought of my taxes supplementing this "crap" but try not to think about it too much.

I'm not an angel as I do still drive at least my fair share, but at least I am conscious of it. I've tried biking to work but 15 miles along a hot highway is quite a distance. I've tried to do so once or twice a week anyway. Finding a job that supports my values is a goal for the future. My car rarely leaves the garage on weekends.

I'm working on an edible landscape for my yard (55' x 135'). I'm currently growing a small portion of my food but would like to grow more. My neighbors think I'm a nut every time I take out another strip of lawn, but they seem to like to share in the bounty of my yard (epically the kids who thought that food comes from the store). I think that some of them may start to plant gardens again soon, my neighborhood historically had large gardens in every back yard. Rob wrote about his yard a while back sounds like we are on the same path. Also hoping to get more trees planted on our streets; just found out about a program called "Doty Island Tree Program 2000", will be looking in to it.

I've been told that those of us that live on "the island" are a different breed, and in my two years here I've found it's true, we are a diverse group of people who are very opinionated and speak our minds. We are rich and poor and have a fierce rivalry over doing good things in the communities in which we live (one half the island is in Neenah the other in Menasha).

It's the most progressive area in the valley and I like it here, the changes for the better are coming. Those of us who live here really do believe that there is a positive future for "the island" and there are enough of us who believe in a sustainable future that there is a good chance of it becoming a reality.

Menasha,  Wisconsin

This message [was] from the Positive Futures discussion list. 
   |  For a description, look near the bottom of:
   | http://www.igc.org/frugal/disc.html
   |  For an sample letter, see Tom's post on his Voluntary Simplicity:
   | http://www.igc.org/frugal/posfut/vs4.html
Mail public replies to: <positive-futures@igc.topica.com>
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the environmental community.  Put your online spending to work
for the environment through EcoNet.  For information, send a message
to <econet-info@econet.org>

--- (blue rule) ---

Greens making an Impact in Europe!

www2.europeangreens.org/europeangreens/updnov98.html     has:

- November 1998 -


www2.europeangreens.org/europeangreens/updoct98.html     has:

The German voters have opened a new chapter in the history of German Politics and ... of the German Greens.

The final result of the elections: Social Democrats: 40,9 % (+ 4,5 %; 298 MPs), Christian Democrats 35,2 % (-6,2 %; 245 MPs), Greens 6,7 % (- 0,6 %; 47 MPs), Liberals 6,2 % (-0,7 %; 44 MPs), Socialist Party 5,1 % (+0,7 %, 35 MPs). This result leads to a Red-Green absolute majority by 21 seats.

[T]he Greens and the Social Democrats ... negotiations towards a new Red-Green government in Germany.

... Both the Greens and SPD ... a strong start will be essential for the new government.
All in all, the situation is not bad considering that there is a Red-Green majority in both houses. More importantly, the German Greens have Green partners in government on a European level with Italy, France, Finland and potentially Sweden in the EU, as well as Georgia which will give them the opportunity to new Policy-making on that level also.

Considering the national elections in Europe within the last 2 years, we have a completely new perspective for the Greens on the European level, and we shall use these victories over [economic-] neoliberal governments.

--- (blue rule) ---

***  Consumers demand labeling of biotech foods

Despite an endless stream of corporate propaganda, consumers in the U.S. -- as well as the rest of the world -- remain troubled or anxious about genetically-altered food. Every major national poll in the industrialized world over the past 10 years has found 80-95% of consumers demanding labeling of biotech foods -- primarily so that they can exercise their right to avoid buying them if they so choose. ...
In a ... comprehensive poll by the biotech giant Novartis in February of 1997, a full 93% of Americans said that all genetically engineered foods should be labeled. In the same Novartis poll 73% said they felt "strongly" about mandatory labeling of gene-altered organisms, while 54% wanted to see agriculture move toward organic production methods. For a global summary of consumer polls on labeling genetically engineered food see:

Despite overwhelming public sentiment, Monsanto, the Clinton Administration, and biotech/ factory-farm interests remain unalterably opposed to mandatory labeling and safety testing of gene foods. Over the past two years U.S. authorities repeatedly have threatened to sue the E.U. under the new GATT rules for "restraint of trade" if they require mandatory segregation and labeling of U.S. agricultural exports containing gene- altered substances. ...

On May 19 U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky threatened France and the EU with trade sanctions on the g-e corn issue. In a statement to Reuters, Barshefsky stated: "This is very serious and threatens a very substantial trade row if these corn varieties are not allowed to be marketed fully."

U.S. free traders received further bad news on May 26 as EU farm ministers passed a long-awaited bill requiring mandatory labeling of g-e corn and soybean products. The law basically states that all foods with detectible levels of genetically modified corn or soya (gene-altered DNA or proteins) will have to be labeled. Although the law was condemned by U.S. authorities, European groups such as Greenpeace, the Green Party, and consumer associations complained that the law contains exemptions on non-detectible additives such as soy oil and lecithin -- which means that most processed foods, such as margarine and chocolate, will still not have to be labeled. Informed sources in Europe have told Food Bytes* that, although the Clinton administration doesn't like the soy and corn labeling law, they will not at this time try to challenge the rule at the GATT/WTO.
In the wake of the USDA organic standards fiasco and mounting global pressure for biotech labeling, U.S. authorities fear yet another public relations disaster if they attempt to overturn the May 26 law.

Even Monsanto has felt the need to try to placate their opponents recently, claiming, somewhat unconvincingly, that they no longer oppose labeling of gene-altered products in Europe. In the words of Monsanto's Europe-Africa President Bernard Auxenfans, quoted in the UK Farmers Guardian of May 22:

"Perhaps too often we expect Science working with regulatory reviews to be sufficient for consumers... The soya bean experience in Europe again reminds us that along with these elements we must make a special effort to provide information to the public in understandable language and we must be able to direct people to independent information services." At the same time Monsanto's PR spin doctors stress that the U.S. is "different," and therefore requires no "understandable language," i.e. labeling.

* from: Food Bytes #9, June 2 '98.

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Eco-village initiative in Adelaide: announcement and comment.

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***  Dolphin conservation agreement signed

Copyright 1998 Nando.net
Copyright 1998 AFP

WASHINGTON (May 21, 1998 2:56 p.m. EDT http://www.nando.net) -
        The United States and six Latin American countries signed an agreement Thursday to protect dolphins from tuna fishing nets that threatened to devastate the mammals. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright hailed the accord as "one of the strongest agreements ever negotiated to conserve marine life."
        Under the accord reached in February following six years of negotiations, all tuna fishing vessels will be required to have observers on board to monitor catches and an international panel will be established to ensure compliance.
        Albright signed the International Dolphin Protection Program agreement with the ambassadors of Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela, which were among the 13 countries to negotiate the accord.
        The United States has agreed to lift tuna trade embargoes on all nations that sign the pact.
        ''I am very pleased to participate in this signing ceremony,'' said Albright from the podium in the State Department's Benjamin Franklin Room.
        "It's not every day that I can honestly say we take action to benefit a group whose members are uniformly intelligent, open, friendly and can swim close to 40 miles an hour," she said.

--- (blue rule) ---

*** Global warming issue pits north against south

Delegates to a 150-nation conference on global warming met in closed session Friday after saying there were large gaps to be overcome before a draft treaty could be approved at a December conference in Japan. The fight over global warming, thrust into the limelight this week when President Clinton presented U.S. proposals, pits industrial countries against developing nations who want a cleaner, cooler world but not obstacles to their economic growth. Delegates to the United Nations-sponsored conference on climate change in Bonn said the negotiations were expected to go down to the last minute in Kyoto, Japan, and would ultimately have to be settled at the highest levels.

The Kyoto Climate Treaty: U.S response (polls, etc.)

Clinton's State-of-the-Union Speech

SUSTAINABLE ENERGY COALITION                Contact: Henry Griggs 202-326-8714
315 CircleAvenue, #2;Takoma Park, MD 20912  Ken Bossong 301-270-2258
301-270-2258; fax: 301-891-2866                         <kbossong@cais.com>
For Immediate Release                       January 28, 1998


President Clinton's announcement in last evening's State of the Union address of a $6 billion package of increased R&D spending and tax incentives to address global climate change is a step in the right direction. However, given the serious environmental and public health threats posed by growing dependence on fossil fuels and the resulting greenhouse gases, the U.S. must move further and faster in deploying sustainable energy technologies. Wide-spread use of presently available and cost-effective energy-efficient technologies, renewable energy (i.e., biomass, solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric), fuel cells, and district energy could reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10% below 1990 levels by 2010.
       Accordingly, the Sustainable Energy Coalition, a coalition of 40+ national business, environmental, consumer, and energy policy organizations, plans to support the President's proposals to expand the use of sustainable energy technologies while pressing for additional funding increases and tax incentives; pro-efficiency, renewable energy, and environmental protection provisions as part of electric utility restructuring; and other policy initiatives.

--- (blue rule) ---

Redwood Reserve Tradeoff

Editor's picks Urban Ecology Hemp Action Green Economy Growing Hemp for Fibre, Fuel & Farmaceuticals!

  Growing hemp in Washington State . . . . . . . 10,000 or more march in UK to decriminalise cannabis; included Stuart Young. Supported by The Independent on Sunday. (image from the UKCIA site: www.ukcia.org/images/ indyos_graphic.gif) UK march to decriminalise cannabis

Marijuana, education & jobs: GreenViews NZ.

Applying Public Accountability to the MAI : Some hope?

Ngai Tahu Agreement (NZ)
receives Sir Geoffrey's Praise.

Simple living Links:

"Voluntary Simplicity" article in Detroit News

4 Positive Futures archives: "Should one work hard?"
indexed. [89 kB]
"Enjoying (?) Frugality"
indexed. [64 kB]
"y2k discsn"
[28 kB]
"Less cars; kids"
[27 kB]
("Less cars" also talked about what living was like in the 40s, 50s and early 60s, especially for school kids.)

Here is my selection of some June '97
discussions: Frugal-Ed

my letter to Frugal-Ed, on saving water:
extreme measures.

Other Web-sites showing up in a search for my 38 keywords,
i.e. with similar concerns.
[46 kB]

D Simple Life......

EcoNet's Frugal Living Pages

Frugal Corner

"Alternatives'" web site

Carol's Place | Clay and Judy Woods' place

More Simple Living Links. | LOTS of simple-living Links

Ash Grove Community Farm & Center for Sustainable Living

the Fellowship for Intentional Community's REACHBOOK ('98); 130 kB (on 2 June,'98)

Sustainable Resources on the Internet (contributed to: sgarrett@wsu.edu by: Robert Wilson)

Center for A New American Dream

Homeless for years (and other letters by Elaine)

My reasons for living debt-free, (on Frugal-Ed). | First response. | Second response.

the Frugal-Ed LISTS (150-200 kb!): Messages sorted by: [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

--- (blue rule) ---


Hello! Sea Mammals

Indonesian lizards & snakes gecko

Review of "Affluenza" (& Pos Fut comments {140 kB}), by: Gordon Rands: <gpr3@psu.edu>

Elisha's endangered species site.

Free Tibet from repres- sion
Action to Free Tibet

the Suzuki Foundation

Slocan Valley BC Canada the Slocan Valley (BC) Watershed's website

Join the Sustainable Future Webring
[Prev|Next|Skip Next|Random|Next 5|List Sites]
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 07:23 +1200
Subject: [GREENNEWS] Non-sense

Don't blame me, I'm just passing this on...
If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
Can you be a closet claustrophobe?
If the funeral procession is at night, do folks drive with their lights off?
If a stealth bomber crashes in a forest, will it make a sound?
When it rains, why don't sheep shrink?
If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell her she has the right to remain silent?
Why is the word abbreviation so long?
If a book about failures doesn't sell, is it a success?
Do cemetery workers prefer the graveyard shift?
What do you do when you discover an endangered animal that eats only endangered plants?
Do hungry crows have ravenous appetites?
Is it possible to be totally partial?
What's another word for thesaurus?
When companies ship Styrofoam, what do they pack it in?
If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot them?
Why do they sterilize the needles for lethal injections?
Why is there an expiration date on my sour cream?
Why do kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
How do you know when it's time to tune your bagpipes?
Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?
When you choke a smurf, what color does it turn?
Why do they call it a TV set when you only get one?
Do radioactive cats have 18 half-lives?
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
How can they tell that twin lobsters are really twins?
How does a thermos know when to keep something hot, hot...and something cold, cold?
What is the speed of dark?
Why are there braille signs on drive-up ATM's?
If women wear a pair of pants, a pair of glasses, and a pair of earrings ...
Why don't they wear a pair of bras?
How come you never hear about gruntled employees?
------------------------------------------- That's all folks!!

Chris dennis@actrix.gen.nz, Wellington, New Zealand.

This RainForest's Featured Page Circle site is owned by
David MacClement: hermit.

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