Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Continued Insanity or a Shockingly Sane Solution?

As Arizona State politicians remain intent on providing fodder for late-night comedy shows, one candidate steps up to provide a rational alternative.

Oct. 25, 2010, Tucson, AZ – Facing a swiftly crashing global economy and collapsing environment, one US state provides an extreme example of the failure that results from ignoring the actual root causes of its challenges. Arizona's racist legislation, floundering budget, and deficient educational system epitomize a failed response. And the ruling elite there—-as elsewhere—-don't have a Plan B.

This Southwestern state, hitherto known best for the saguaro cactus, has become the laughingstock of the world by passing bill after bill of backward legislation. Even the desert geckos who haven’t yet lost their habitat to sprawl are blushing.

But Dave Ewoldt, an independent candidate for the AZ State Senate, has risen to the challenge by offering an alternative to the deteriorating status quo. This alternative is relocalization—a practical, affordable process to create a sustainable future. Ewoldt’s shockingly sane solution will not only get Arizona back on the path to credibility, but also holds the key to a rational response for people everywhere facing the worldwide crises of climate catastrophe, dwindling energy supplies, resource depletion, and the suffering inherent in a bankrupt economic growth paradigm.

Ewoldt is among a growing number of individuals and organizations starting to seriously examine harsh realities. For example, The International Energy Agency says we're "running out of time" and "forecast a depleted energy supply in the next decade." They then connect the most obvious dots in our economic system today. "Energy availability underpins economic growth, and without the opportunity for future repayment of debt the financial system as we know it could stop working."

Ewoldt has received support for his relocalization platform from nationally renowned authors and leaders in the rapidly growing sustainability movement. Endorsements have come from Winona LaDuke, Derrick Jensen, Jerry Mander, Guy McPherson, and James Howard Kunstler as well as from the National Nurses Organizing Committee. They all recognize what society can reasonably expect if we stay on the business-as-usual course, and they acknowledge relocalization as a viable alternative.

Ewoldt believes that the leadership necessary for rapidly changing times requires an alternative as meaningful as it is comprehensive. This is the primary distinction between Dave and his opponents in the state senate race, who merely offer either more of the same that created the current debacle, holding actions, or distractions.

Ewoldt says, “Arizona legislators have a responsibility to focus on solutions and ignore attention-grabbing distractions. My vision, backed by a realistic and viable implementation plan, can transform Arizona from laughingstock to global leader.”

Ewoldt is poised to make Arizona history by becoming the first independent elected to the state legislature. More information about the shockingly sane solutions being offered by Ewoldt as he connects the dots to create a sustainable future can be found at the campaign website.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Response on Endorsements

The 2010 Tucson Weekly Endorsements were printed in its Oct. 7, 2010 issue. In the LD 28 State Senate race, it went with the incumbent, and simplistically brushed aside the only rational solution being offered with, "Ewoldt's agenda is too neo-hippie for even us." So, I guess we've at least finally gotten an admission the Weekly is just a right-wing rag. Anyway, here's my response, a shortened version of which was sent to the Weekly as a letter to the editor.

My relocalization platform is neo-hippie? Democracy, conservation, putting Main Street before Wall Street, requiring corporations to assume their responsibility to help maintain the amenities they benefit from and clean up their messes, funding an educational system that prepares our youth for rapidly changing times, and a practical, scientifically based plan to make Arizona a global leader in sustainability and the new economy instead of fodder for late-night comedians is neo-hippie?

The International Energy Agency says we're "running out of time" and "forecast a depleted energy supply in the next decade." They then connect the most obvious of the dots: "Energy availability underpins economic growth, and without the opportunity for future repayment of debt the financial system as we know it could stop working."

The recent Bundeswehr report by German military analysts acknowledges Peak Oil and points to a likely reduction in standard of living that might render societies less stable and make them more attracted to extremist political positions. Investment will decline and debt service will be challenged, leading to a crash in financial markets, accompanied by a loss of trust in currencies and a break-up of value and supply chains--because trade is no longer possible. This will lead to the collapse of economies, mass unemployment, government defaults and infrastructure breakdowns, ultimately followed by famines and total system collapse.

The Pentagon's Hirsch Report concludes that it will require at least two decades to put an alternative energy infrastructure in place IF we start before peak occurs. It is now generally accepted that peak in conventional liquid fuels occurred between 2005 and 2008. Supply is now 5% below demand, and the Obama administration predicts this gap will increase to 10% by 2015.

The world's top climate scientists say we no longer have the luxury of merely discussing whether or not we should make changes, but must start lowering greenhouse gas emissions TODAY. We must start immediately heading down toward 350 ppm of atmospheric carbon dioxide, not fervently pray that things will somehow be OK if we allow it to increase to 450 ppm, considering the calamities already occurring from allowing it to reach 390 ppm.

Does the Weekly consider all the above to be neo-hippie organizations and individuals? Are you aware of any other elected official or candidate that is offering ANY type of Plan B? The only "solutions" I've heard are minor attempts to mitigate the worst of the damage, doing even more of what created this mess, or pointless deck chair reshuffling.

It seems what you're really saying is that you know you can neither counter nor refute my arguments on issues or my pragmatic responses to them, so you're reduced to childish ad hominem attacks. What specific part of my platform do you consider to be unrealistic, other than the Powers That Be simply say, "We won't allow that"?

Oh, and it probably wouldn't be too wise to continue ignoring the increasing rate of biodiversity loss, increasing biospheric toxicity, our increasing body burden and disease rates, depletion of global fisheries, increasing desertification, dwindling fresh water supplies, topsoil loss, ocean acidification and growing dead zones, and the growing wealth gap as the middle class disappears.

Since the majority of Americans agree we must start addressing these critical issues now, the Weekly clearly demonstrates it is so far out of touch with reality it's difficult to find the words to adequately describe it. It seems that not only has critical analysis become a lost art, but so has the ability for independent thought. This is a clear dereliction in the duties of the Fourth Estate.

Is it really the Weekly's opinion that Arizonans don't deserve better, or just that they aren't capable of better? I disagree on both counts.

Beyond that, I'm really not sure what else to say, or a different way to frame it, that might make my platform more understandable, and why it is so urgently necessary. The alternative I'm proposing, relocalization, which includes steady-state economics and moving toward sustainability by using the same natural systems principles healthy, vibrant and resilient ecosystems have been successfully using for billions of years, presents a practical, affordable and comprehensive plan that addresses the roots of our current crises. While it may not be possible to totally stave off the coming collapse brought on by our failing system--considering how far down that path we already are--relocalization provides the only realistic plan I'm aware of that can provide, at the very least, a foundation for a democratic, equitable and sustainable future where coming generations at least have some positive possibilities to begin rebuilding.

Provided, of course, that we don't continue to make things worse by continuing to support the status quo, or remain content to think that slapping a band-aid on a symptom here and there will be good enough. People across the political spectrum agree we must become sustainable, and even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a speech on Oct. 4, 2010 to the Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, said the current trajectory of government finances is unsustainable and that the U.S. is on the brink of a financial disaster.

And the best advice the Tucson Weekly can offer is to carry on with business as usual. Well, at least we have the New Southwest to fill the void for an alternative paper in this town.