Good News for a Change!

When I sat down to write, I expected this blog post to be another angry tirade about climate change. With the arrival of Veterans Day, I was going to compare the inept leaders of World War 1 — with their entrenched 19th Century mindsets —to our leaders today, with their similarly entrenched 20th Century “ceaseless growth” mindsets. 

Our leaders today, just like the war leaders from 100 years ago, cannot see any other alternative but to continue to use outdated strategies from the prior 100 years.

I was going to compare the millions of men who died in the battles of Verdun, Ypres, and the Somme to the millions who may soon die because of climate change, either from hurricanes, drought, or famine.

But — that mad prophet tirade” is a bit premature. That’s because when I read the paper, several articles stood out to me for their GOOD news. 

First, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose countries account for 1/3 of all carbon emissions, have agreed to cut their carbon output by 26% by 2025.

“History may look back and say this was the turning point on climate,” said U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman.

The Republicans may try to gut the agreement — but if they’re lions and not donkeys (a WW1 reference), they’ll see that this is chance to promote innovation and stimulate the economy, all while saving the planet.

Here’s the link:

Second, our national water usage has dropped over the past seven years by 13%, despite a growth in population. Almost all of it comes from more efficient industrial practices, like better farm irrigation, better industrial cooling, and better use of waste and reclaimed water. Just imagine what will happen when we consumers cut back, or start paying more for water.

Here’s the link:

Third, Californians voted for a new bond measure to pay for the repair, upgrade and update our antiquated water system.  What I like about the new plan is that each district can create their own solutions to their own specific water problems. 

That means Los Angeles can make reclaiming water a priority and save some H2O before it washes down the storm drains, while San Diego County can focus on improving its desalination plants. As long as we meet our overall goals, anything goes. 

Here's the link:

Finally, urban gardens have been sprouting in downtown Los Angeles — like on the rooftop of the Jonathan Club. With a $40,000 investment, they created a garden with yearly profits of $150,000. That’s a big downtown rooftop; a home garden is 100 times cheaper, trust me, but would still generate $1500 a year in food, at least.

More than one expert has declared that one solution to both the water shortage and climate change is for individuals to grow their own food in their own gardens again. In this article, several cool organizations are listed, all dedicated to small sustainable agriculture:

Seedstock is a Los Angeles-based company that offers consulting services and disseminates information about sustainable food projects. It hosts an annual conference on sustainable agriculture, which begins Wednesday at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. This year’s theme is “Reintegrating Agriculture: Local Food Systems and the Future of Cities.”

The Leichtag Foundation in Encinitas, is a foundation that helps struggling people reach self-sufficiency, investing in urban agriculture projects that create livable-wage jobs.

Pasadena’s Muir High School has its own farm that has a  community-supported agriculture program, in which needy people subscribe to get boxes of fresh produce.

L.A. Kitchen takes locally grown food that otherwise would go to waste and turns it into healthy meals for senior citizens, while at the same time training a workforce of young people aged out of foster care and older people just out of prison.

Here’s the link:

Today, the paper had good news. And I’m going to celebrate that!

Plus -- there's a great new film about one community's battle to hold onto an urban garden despite government opposition. OCCUPY THE FARM by filmmaker Todd Darling is playing in 15 cities in the United States, starting November 14, for at least a month. Check it out!

Here's the link: