Do you still question that our atmosphere is warming faster now than in the last 250 years of recorded weather history, and that our energy, transportation and land use industries and policies are the cause?
I don’t – partly because I am experiencing the effects of changing weather in my own backyard. Studying the effects of greenhouse gases accumulating in our atmosphere just confirms what I observe. From the summer of 2011 to the summer of 2012, climate change affected me directly and profoundly. In the spring of 2011 I contracted Lyme disease while working in my garden. This chronic and debilitating disease is transmitted by infected deer ticks, which are now common in Vermont due to our milder winters. That same summer, tropical storm Irene, a new kind of storm never before seen in northern New England, dumped billions of gallons of rain on Vermont. Our villages, roads and bridges, homes and farms sustained millions of dollars of damage in just a few hours. Just down the road from Gardener’s Supply, a dozen small organic farms in Burlington’s Intervale lost almost a million dollars worth of crops during peak harvest season.
In the summer of 2012, our garden was battered by a series of violent storms with record winds and rainfall. For the first time my berry garden was invaded by Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), a destructive fruit fly that lays its eggs in ripening fruit. In just 6 years, this non-native pest has spread from the Pacific Northwest to the mid-Atlantic and throughout New England, decimating fruit orchards and berry patches. Read the rest of this entry »
“My work in Vermont and in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica is about creating local opportunities for macro change. Though our national and global economic systems are deeply dysfunctional, my experience is that individual and community actions can show the way. When you figure it out at the local level, the examples and stories ripple out. By describing some of those projects here, I hope to help fuel the change we need and must create.”
Strengthening Local Food Systems
Re-localizing food systems is stimulating a myriad of positive social, economic and environmental change.
Collaborations between business, science, education, and government are helping to restore the health of our planet.
Progressive states, businesses, and individuals are leading the way to a cleaner, more secure energy future.
Collaborating for the Economy and the Earth
I’m proud to co-chair the Board of Directors of the New Economics Institute, an organization of creative thinkers working to develop a fair, sustainable new economy that functions within ecological limits and considers the world’s diverse people and cultures. In NEI’s view, “The U.S. economic system is failing in its essential purpose: to provide fulfilling and healthy lives for all people while nurturing the social and natural systems on which the economic system depends.”
Please visit the New Economics Institute website to learn more about our projects and the conference.