stepbystep2WITHOUT TRYING TO SOUND ALL HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE OR DEEP-FRIED SOUTHERN GOTHIC, I’ve got to share the garish headline spiel I ran across on the back of an early-60s paperback I’m currently engrossed in: “step by step … deed by deed … they fashioned their own destruction.” It bejewels a musty, well-worn copy of Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away, but I was thinking—for Green Dynamind and with the International Day of Climate Action taking place tomorrow—that it’s an appropriate tag for where we’re heading if we keep on our current path of irresponsible and oblivious mega-consumption. And then the new issue of Scientific American arrived in the post, with its upbeat cover story, “A Plan for a Sustainable Future: How to get all energy from wind, water and solar power by 2030,” (more on this in a bit), and I thought, along with all the coordinated noise many will make across the globe tomorrow, maybe we can turn our spiel into “step by step … deed by deed … they fashioned their own salvation.” Now wouldn’t that be something to get excited about?! Read More »

green peace sign‘Well, it’s 1969, okay, all across the USA’

ALSO SPRACH JAMES OSTERBERG, aka Iggy Pop, on the Stooges’ eponymous first LP, released 40 years ago—the year the Eagle landed on the moon, the Woodstock music festival celebrated peace and love, John and Yoko held a few “Bed-Ins for Peace,” Ohio’s Cuyahoga River burst into flame, Charlie Manson and “family” ran murderously rampant, Vietnam War protests spread, the Chicago Eight were tried and the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) passed in Congress.

Looking back—after the initial wow factor wears off of just what an amazing year it was in matters social, political, scientific, cultural and environmental—what true change was wrought that has impacted the world today? How firmly was the establishment actually shaken? And keep in mind that while August 1969’s Woodstock spelled peaceful coexistence for the most part, December 1969’s death at Altamont displayed a darker side of the hippie dream. From a green perspective, where it’s always better to be a carpe diem realist than a laissez faire optimist, a lot of positive change was truly wrought, a good portion of the establishment was legitimately shaken. Nineteen-sixty-nine was more than just okay. Read More »