Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Stars

May 1st, 2012

April is ended at last. I never thought I'd feel that way. At last! April is over!  Phew! Now I can move on to May...  April the loveliest and sweetest of months, the month of the birth of my two daughters, 8 years and 9 days apart, the month those alleged showers that bring May flowers (had quite a bit of a drought at first, it was a nail biter), and the month to celebrate Earth day, even though every day is Earth day.

Why the joy over the end of such a lovely month? Dear heavens! It was quite a busy and treacherous month for me! All those birthdays to celebrate and Transition events and Earth day events to plan and participate in and organize and lead and, and, and... And even during all that I managed to acquire a chicken tractor and four young hens.  I'm a new mommy!  Phew, am I pooped!

So, Sunday the 29th, I stayed in bed all day and did something only 12 year-olds usually do.
This 48 year-old mom played World of Warcraft (WoW)for the better part of the day.  For those unfamiliar with WoW, it is a virtual role playing video game on the internet where millions around the world get to interface with each other and battle it out in fantastic armor, magical robes and flying steeds. It's a terrific escape and I turned to it for some solace.  I ignored the doomsayers and the peak oil harbingers, the climate change mongers, the Nostradamusites and the 2012 Mayaners... I turned off the boob tube and the radio and ignored the phone (sorry folks).

 I was going away from it all for a little while and I was going to be a warrior and destroy all evil. I would be triumphant with any or all of my various  characters, with magic or steel.  Nothing could stop me from my quest to vanquish the cruel and base and help the weak.  And so, I played the Cataclysm patch on World of Warcraft and at one point during the play, when my character was really on a roll and I was all excited about getting to the next level where she would be able to do all kinds of new skills,  I entered a town called Menethil Harbor that was startlingly and completely flooded from recent cataclysmic storms... (Hence the name of the patch, Cataclysm)   There were even townsfolk filling sandbags to hold back the flood since the streets were completely under water.  People had to swim from one building to the other.   My jaw dropped as I stared at my lap top's screen and the rising waters and buildings sliding into the ocean, the people begging my character for help... My character stood with her two swords hanging limply in her hands... The waters rose.... Good grief!   Give me a break!

The last time I'd visited Menethil Harbor in the game it was a lovely harbor town where you could get some great clam chowder and crocolisk soup (A crocolisk, if you didn't deduce yet, is a crocodile-like creature), but that was a long time ago, before climate change hit the video game circuit...
I couldn't escape the dreaded reality even in a video game!   Oh irony of ironies! What's a 48 year old environmental activist mom need to do to get a break just for a day from it all?

Jesting aside. These are the "woes" of the comfortable and well situated, though I am certainly not unaware of the genuine plight of real people in the Maldives whose island is steadily sinking (or are the waters rising?), or of the drought conditions in Africa, or of the methane bubbling up in the Arctic Sea or the climate weirding all over the planet causing actual misery to actual people.  Everything I do, as I keep telling my youngest child, is for her and the other children of the planet. Unfortunately, everything I do is a pimple on the ass of a crocolisk, compared to the combined work that so many others' do to make a difference, to educate, to repair the damage or just to slow it down... Bill McKibben in his book, Eaarth, says that even if we all started riding bikes and slapped solar panels on our homes it would barely nudge the damage we've already done.  For the Earth to properly heal herself enough for our survival (remember the Earth is fine, it's us who are SOL), it will take all hands on deck as well as decades if not centuries to filter the CO2 that's acidifying the oceans and turning it into a cola drink.  Grab your straws! It's already bubbling!

The collective global agony that is taking place right now is hard to escape, if you're paying attention.  All the mini escapes work only for a short time; the video games, the music playing, the wine drinking, the dance flurries, the meditations, etc. are great to participate in and help keep our sanity.
Saturday  night I had a small group of friends over to play music and drum. We played and sang into the night to candlelight.  We warmed ourselves to the wood stove and celebrated friendship, food, laughter, life and hope and humanity.  For a little while we healed ourselves and salved our deep aches for the suffering world. We need to do more of that.

But back to being a powerless pimple.  
I couldn't even get some people to properly dispose of their napkins and cups at a showing of Journey of the Universe  that a group of my colleagues and I showed in our village's library.  I purposely brought cloth napkins and reusable cups and plates so we wouldn't have waste, and some people still chose the disposables first (I brought them in CASE we ran out of the reusables).  And then they threw the paper cups and napkins in the blue plastic and glass recycling bin.   Where's a crocolisk when you need one? Or a composting bin?  Sheesh...

If you haven't seen Journey of the Universe, you need to. This little film puts hope back in the picture, right where it belongs, with the main character to the rescue being us humans.  The film also brings into beautiful focus the deep, molecular relationship all living creatures and inanimate things have; from butterflies to stars, we are all connected in a universe of expanding beauty. Carl Sagan puts it most eloquently, I think, with That dot.  This film reveals how we, as stars, can choose to be stars that shine eternally or ones that just go out.  Think of Beethoven and Maria Callas, though gone their light still warms and inspires us.  We humans can choose to make a difference and shine forever, or step aside and be forgotten in the evolutionary record.

 We had a terrific turn out for the film which was followed by a facilitated discussion. We broke into several small groups and each of my colleagues and I sat with a different group as we discussed the film's meaning to our every day lives and what we could do as a community to address its concerns.   Then we shared our discussion in brief with the larger group. There were so many great ideas offered; community gardens, support groups, education, more movies, more talking face to face.  It was a terrific exercise in creating community and in building listening skills and that's why it made me so perplexed to find paper and food scraps in a plastic and glass recycling bin right after that terrific discussion.  I grumbled like a frustrated WoW goblin who can't get her flying trike to not explode on every single, darned takeoff!   As I scraped food slime and paper napkins out of the distinctly, and very deep, ocean blue, bag, traditionally indicating PUT RECYCLING HERE, I muttered to a friend who was watching me with a bemused look,  "WHAT was the movie we just watched about? Was that a waste of time?"  She smiled patiently at me and then said, "People just don't care."

And that, folks, sent me finally the next day to my bed and to a virtual world where video game designers apparently DID care so much that they even designed into a virtual world a terrible cataclysm, freakishly similar to climate change, that caused floods and fires and droughts and volcanic eruptions and storms all across that computerized world, depriving me of just a bit of escapism I so craved.   In that virtual world of destruction, of kids chatting, swearing and dueling, of adults flying and questing, of designers designing a virtual world vaguely yet comfortingly similar to our real world, I found hope for the real human race.
There was a sign!
As my character stood in the town of Menethil Harbor, the waters rising around her powerful, armored legs, she looked up at the sky and that's where I saw it.  Stars! Filling the virtual sky!
Millions of stars beginning to fill that virtual dusky sky as the virtual sun went down on the drowning village.  April Stars.   We both smiled. 

I know, even though sometimes I feel like it, that I'm not the only one learning and teaching how to grow food, or learning how to raise chickens, or how to reskill on a spinning wheel.  I know I'm not the only one keeping my lights off (I had a $17 electric bill last month), turning down the heat, getting an energy audit to see how much more CO2 I can prevent from spewing into the oceans. I know I'm not the only one who sees both of our potential futures as a fork in the road and lays in bed at night wondering which one we will go down, alternating between terror and joy. I know I'm not the only one who looks up at the stars and like the poet, wonders if they look back, if they love us, if they remember us.  We are, after all, related, at least for the past 14 billion years.  They are in our bones. Without them we don't exist.
I cared enough to look up the other night after tucking my new feathered children into bed, to gaze in awe up at the stars in the inky black sky shared with the crescent moon smiling her sideways smile.
I'll bet they cared enough to look down and wonder to each other: "Do you think they know they are our children?"

Post Script:
If you are considering getting chickens I recommend an electrified fence. Strongly!
Last night a fox came to my suburban home and screamed right outside my window, perhaps in frustration that he/she could not easily access my feathered ladies.  Thank you Nan and Peter Zander!
If you've never heard a fox scream at 2am through your partly opened window while you are in a deep slumber, I highly encourage it.   Get's the blood rushing!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Roots & Wings: May 5 Work Morning in the Labyrinth

Roots & Wings: May 5 Work Morning in the Labyrinth: Come and help us replant the Roots & Wings Labyrinth Garden  WHO:  you! WHAT: Come and help replant the Roots & Wings Labyrinth ...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Greatest Incarcerating Country in the World... USA! USA!

Monday, February 20, 2012

CFCs Versus the End of the World as We Know It

This letter was written in response to an email whining about CFC lightbulbs being forced on us by an "uncaring" government that cares less about foisting dangerous, Mercury laden light bulbs on us, than our own free wills to use old fashioned bulbs that spew CO2 into the atmosphere....The email illustrated the dangers of CFCs with the story of a man who changed a CFC bulb while barefoot, dropped the bulb and stepped on the broken glass, 
resulting in Mercury poisoning and necrotic flesh... That's what I call a bad day, but his plight is a Sunday picnic compared to what happens when CO2 levels reach 400 parts per million (ppm) on our planet... And we're getting there folks....


Yeah, stepping on broken glass can be dangerous...
Whether it's a CFC mercury laden bulb or not...
Bloody hell, lots of things are dangerous. I walked across my lawn and got Lyme disease....
Want to know what's really dangerous?  Ocean acidification and climate change.  Kind of puts a damper on the day... Ya know?

Seriously, if you don't want to use CFCs don't
, incandescents aren't illegal to use. Farmers will always need them for their livestock and Home Depot still has millions on their shelves.  Just don't complain about your electric bill and the climate change wreaking havoc around the planet if you don't switch to CFCs. 

If you can ignore the droughts, and floods, and melting ice caps, and micro ice ages in Europe, and balmy February's in New York, and all the other global climate weirding, be my guest, keep your head in the sand... 
But a head-in-sand position won't save you from what's coming  down the pike. 
It also won't stop the oceans from acidifying or the coral reefs from dying...
That's all still happening even as I write and as you are outraged about
a knucklehead who stepped on broken glass and as a govt lamely tries to look like they care while keeping manufacturing companies alive... Being in a recession doesn't help things... "sigh"

In case you missed the global memo, the reason incandescents are being phased out is
because they use significantly more FOSSIL FUEL energy than CFCs
 (anyone who's switched learns that on the next electric bill)
 and they put more tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
In case you haven't read it in any scientific journals or the news lately,
CO2 levels are now way OVER 390 parts per million and rising

At 360 ppm, seal coral dies. 
If that doesn't scare the shit out of you, you've been watching too many Saw movies...
Or living in a vacuum...
Some pretty damn smart and appropriately terrified people are trying to bring the levels back to a survivable (for humans) 350ppm.
You can join their efforts here:

If it's still confusing to some, let me explain why 360 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere is a significant number and why we should all be embracing 350ppm as our dearest number.
I repeat...  

The Oceans are a natural filter for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and they can process
tons of it and have done so for millennia.  However, the Oceans can only process so much at a time at which point the Oceans acidify, (kind of like alcohol poisoning in a college student) which is what is happening NOW! 
This college student (Oceans) has been on a forced beer
(CO2) binge  and is dangerously ill.
When the oceans acidify, the fish die. 
When the fish die, we die...    Period..   Chain of life and all that.
You can learn more about ocean acidification here:
And here's an article from last year before we passed the 390ppm milestone:

Maybe changing all the light bulbs on the planet  will help, maybe it won't.   Let's not find out what happens if we DON'T change them, by working together to reduce CO2 levels globally, rather than worrying about morons who step on broken glass with their bare feet...    There's plenty more we have to do besides simply
changing light bulbs to reduce CO2 levels. Lights bulbs are the easy part.
And hopefully the CFCs will be replaced with better & "safer" LEDs, the next big thing in low energy lights. 

Still miffed and perploxiflated by being "forced" to be part of the solution?
You could also switch to solar panels and get off the fossil-fuel grid treadmill, alltogether, bypassing those gosh durned govt regulations. 
 (don't you hate being forced to drive in safer cars?)
Or go totally powerless and support your local beekeepers by using candles... I'm not being sarcastic either...
Lots of people are trying that too...
Sharon Astyk's old blog:
Sharon Astyk's new blog site:

And around the planet lots of folks have lived "off the grid" for thousands of years and have rich cultures without TV,  microwaves and those godforsaken, "dangerous", CFC lightbulbs.   They seem pretty happy with their lifestyles...We can learn from them.

The only thing threatening these people are so called "civilized" people's hunger for
more electricity... Ironic...

Plenty of options are out there to be part of the SOLUTION rather than
whining about where we're at....We can Join them!
We just have to accept that the world has changed and we're ALL going to have to change too.
Sad, but that's the way it is... 
Seriously kids, it's time to grow up and be adults... We're kind of out of any other options. 

And wear shoes if you're changing light bulbs...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SOTU Fail!

Last night the president showed us his spunk and verve and some of his cards up his sleeves.  He opened with killing Osama and he closed with killing Osama.  All the other stuff about killing Osama is window dressing.  Basically he was saying "Dude, I killed Osama. Re-elect me."

But there were other things he was saying couched in his hope and change rhetoric.  Most of them were mixed messages and showed he was blatantly pandering to both sides. I don't think he got the memo yet that the neo-cons don't care how much he's like them, and no matter how much he caves to them, he's always going to be a socialist, fascist, racist liberal to them. 
Only Democrats will vote for this guy and even they are fleeing the hope & change bandwagon.  They saw what a bunch of lies it was.  And progressives like me are actually starting take up prayer... Not that that ever worked either: Two term Bush vs entire planet praying...

Some of the tweets I saw last night mirrored what I was thinking and feeling about this failed speech.
Oh I know many thought it was home run.  It failed, but not for the reasons the fascist Republican party thinks.
Here's a  bit of what I noticed:
That he was pissed. How nice for him. 
That women should be paid the same as men for the same jobs. Duh. Pass a friggin law to that effect!
And while you're at it, pass a frigging law that requires 50% of congress/senate be made up of women.
This 10% crap is wearing on the nation. Women make up 51% of the nation! WE are keeping it running and without any political power!  Imagine what kind or real change a bunch of moms could make!
That you can't encourage creativity in teaching while promoting merit pay, and how do you keep kids from dropping out (though I think that is a great idea to make kids graduate)when they are 18?  
That hydrofracking for natural gas is NOT clean energy no matter how many times you say it, and neither is opening up 75% of off shore oil wells to BP again... So when he says he's not walking away from renewables I agree. He's SPEED walking away... Manhattan has 8 million souls living in it so his plan of providing solar and wind power to 250,000 people in our entire nation is, at best, LAME! 
That publicly telling Israel you will happily bomb the hell out of Iran is NOT a peace olive branch to anyone!
That touting money making and manufacturing jobs (aka greed) is not caring for those who are unemployed, underemployed, unemployable or retired, and the re-employment program is hopefully more successful than it's been the last few decades, umm it's also known as the unemployment office. The 47% who make so little as to not even qualify for paying taxes are known as the working poor. Oh, they weren't mentioned, never mind.
That making the wealthy pay their fare share is a nice idea, except that they get to make that decision (congress is wealthy and gets to participate in inside trading!)... Hmmm I wonder what's gonna happen? 
That helping illegal immigrants become naturalized citizens may not be what so-called illegals want.  They want jobs that Americans don't want, so offering illegals an opportunity to become citizens rather than offering them real work visas is a false promise of hope and change... Remember that Mexico has a lower infant mortality rate than the US. Who would want to give up a medical care system that values babies for the US one?
Did he mention health care? I was spinning out on the clean Hydrofracking BS for most of the rest of the speech.  I agree with him that it's important for the Hydrofrackers to tell the people what kinds of poisons they are using to destroy their ground water with.... That way the local hospitals and Vetenarians will know how to treat the people and animals dying from the poisons.  It helps to know what poisons and toxins you're dealing with... (facepalm)

So, it was a terrific speech and yay, four more years of lameness....
Don't get me wrong...  Obama is a saint next to the demonic minions campaigning on the other side, but that doesn't mean I'm happy about it... I'm not happy about it one bit.
I'll take a lame, caver over an enthusiastic destroyer of worlds (Newt, Mitt, Paul, Santorum).

Any day. "sigh"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jobs or the environment? It's a no brainer. Farm jobs!

When President Obama killed the Keystone Pipeline (hopefully permanently), millions of people celebrated, including anyone who had marched at the call of Bill McKibben and/or gotten arrested at the White House for standing on the side walk.   I am proud to say that I was one of those  1,253 arrested (my first arrest!), and later one of the ten thousand that came back to hold hands around the White House in a big protective, hope filled hug! 

Fighting the nasty Tar Sands Pipeline was not just an environmentalist action, it was a human species action. Indeed, it was a member of the planet Earth action.  We dodged a bullet as members of this planet. A carbon bullet that would not just put us over survivable Carbon levels in the atmosphere, we're already well over that for ocean coral, it would set in motion an ecological catastrophe that would not be remedied  for maybe thousands of years.    The ocean can only clean up so much of our messes before she begins to acidify and she's starting to acidify NOW.  A Tar Sands carbon bomb would put her right over the edge.  A moving but alarming documentary, A Sea Change, shows how fragile the oceans really are.

That's why when I started hearing people whining about the jobs lost because of Obama's, maybe only temporary, decision, I did a double take.   You just dodged an end-of-the-world bullet and you seriously are complaining you're upset that jobs were allegedly killed?  Are you kidding me???
First of all the jobs "killed" were paltry at best.  The overestimation from the FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY & FRIENDS stated something like 250,000 jobs potentially

Really? 250,000?  Sounds really great!  All those jobs and taxes would be a great loss. But it sounds too good to be true, and you know when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  
A recent CBS story (see previous link) showed a Cornell University Global Labor Institute "finding that the pipeline would add only 500 to 1,400 temporary construction jobs. The authors of the September report also said that much of the new employment stemming from Keystone would be outside the U.S."
So, why are people whining about 500 jobs outside of the U.S.?   Because the FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTY TOLD THEM TO DO SO!   I can't imagine any other reasonable reason because no person in their right mind would exchange 500 jobs for the survival of our species.   You would have to have been mind controlled by the fossil fuel industry to whine about this.   Either mind controlled or just seriously and deeply misinformed. 

No, but seriously.  If you have any conscience about the state of the planet's health and the future of our great, great grand children, and their great great grandchildren (it could take about that long for the oceans to de-acidify),  you have to seriously consider why you'd be worried about 500 jobs outside the U.S.  
The fate of the planet versus 500 jobs outside the U.S. ?
To me it's a no brainer no matter WHERE those jobs are or how many.   I'll tell you why. Me and nearly half the Earth's population are moms or moms to be... We have to think about how to feed our kids and we often think about their kids. We all want to be grandmas someday and most likely we will be.  But all those little grand-babies add up.
We're talking 7 billion people today and in 100 years that number goes up exponentially.   You do the math.  Terrifying.  Just think of all the Facebook friends I'd have to reply to invites to!  Auuuggh!

It took a hundred years for the planet to grow from a few million to 7 billion. With more mouths to feed and fewer farmers and farms every day, I know what jobs we really should be creating and it's not a paltry 500 unskilled laborers hired to clean up a leaky pipeline.   We are going to need an army of millions of farmers across this country and globally if we are going to meet the growing population's needs.   Unless of course famine is an attractive option to most. Can anyone say Darfur?  Already we are seeing the impact of climate change on crops.  Texas pretty much lost all it's corn this past summer.  You can look at that loss a couple ways, God is punishing them for electing Rick Perry as governor, or the Earth is punishing them for ignoring climate change. You chose.

Ironically, I sense Texans are the ones whining the most about these lost 500 jobs that were going outside the U.S. Perhaps since the pipeline was due to end in Houston at a refinery there and the fossil fuel companies there will lose out on its profits. But they can afford it, I think.
Though I don't think this Texan will be disappointed: David Daniel in a youtube video I shot down in DC getting ready for our first Tar Sands action. He was forgotten since he would not benefit from the refineries or the shipping of this sludge.  The little people are always forgotten in the rich and powerful's lust for more power and riches.
Forgotten also were the millions of people from Canada to Texas and their one water source, the Ogala aquifer that provides drinking and irrigation water to millions across the central U.S. all in the path of the leaky pipeline.  I say leaky, because there is a section of it already built. Yeah! Go figure! The exuberance of the fossil industry!  And that short length of pipeline has leaked consistently once a month the past year.   Like Old Faithful...
Those people have jobs, most of them at least, and some of those jobs require the use of water.   Once that pipeline starts leaking though, and the aquifer is permanently contaminated, you can bet those jobs are going away.  I'm not talking about car wash jobs, or dish washer jobs, I'm talking about farm jobs, the very jobs we are needing MORE OF!!
Farmers are an endangered species, maybe even more than the coral which is dying due to elevated CO2 levels.  In the U.S. there used to be mostly farmland, and 80% of the population farmed even if it was just a little bit on their own property.   Today that percentage is down to 1%.  The improved farming technologies have helped make up the difference in the shrinking numbers of farmers to meet the exponentially rising numbers of population.  But there's a new catch.  An unexpected turn of events, well maybe not so unexpected by folks like John Muir, has caused the unprecedented decline in arable and fertile land.  The cause? Mainly Climate change and erosion but also urban sprawl.  There are 7 billion mouths to feed with fewer farmers, less land, and more unfriendly climate.  And people are whining about 500 jobs?  Mayor Bloomberg laid off 6000 teachers (mostly highly skilled women) last year.  I didn't hear these people whining about those jobs.
Tens of thousands of more highly skilled and exceptionally educated women teachers are being laid off across the country this year.   I don't hear the job whiners complaining about that.   I won't go any deeper into the irony that teachers also seem to have been disproportionately blamed for the country's economic woes, despite that they aren't bankers or Wall Street executives and pretty much had their hands full educating our nation's kids: a godawful, thankless job with no bonuses at the end of the year and no golden parachutes like CEO's do when they screw up and run a business into the ground.

 But I digress.  Farm jobs.  

Right now there is little to no incentive for a young person, or old, to take up the plow and hoe. Despite the subsidies available and the property tax breaks, the life of a farmer is hard and often lonely. Long hours, hard work, little pay back for the input, make it not one of the most desirable careers to go into, noble though it is.  Fortunately a very brave, young army of farmers has taken up the challenge and joined the fight to save the planet and our food supply by becoming Organic farmers, Permaculture farmers and Biodynamic farmers.  I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity this past week (1/21/12) to attend a conference of the North East Organic Farmers Association of NY (NOFA NY) in Saratoga Springs and meet some of these farmers. 
About two hundred plus folks showed up from the state to share in workshops, lectures and seminars on farming methods from growing grain, to orchard care (what I took), to raising chickens, to preserving food.  A rich variety of people were there of all ages and all types, some looking all business and others along a mix of bohemian & hippie.  Even though I'm not an official farmer, though I've gardened and grown food for two decades or more, I felt quite at home amongst these joyful, tanned, sturdy and amazingly well educated folk.  They made conscious decisions to take the path of Organic farming not because it pays well, but because it's the right thing to do.  The fossil fuel used in traditional farming is a major reason these folks either switched methods or became Organic farmers.  They know the high levels of CO2 are changing the planet, and the way food needs to be grown has to change also.  On the NOFA NY website page for Policy work there is an interesting list, a hint of our battles to come.

Current Policy Sub-Committee Areas Include:
Raw Milk
Meat Processing
Gas Drilling
Food Safety

These are each critically important subjects to all of us, not just to Organic farmers, but it is our Organic farmers who will make the difference for us.  If we continue to worry about 500 allegedly lost unskilled jobs that would not benefit us in any way, we will forget the 200 plus highly skilled NY Organic farmers who are working slavishly behind the scenes to secure our food by making it safer and healthier and more local.  And water is a big part of that equation.  You can't have farms without water.  And what doesn't mix with water and never has is oil. 

We dodged a bullet and so did all our farmers across the nation.  Let's not worry so much about the made up job numbers the fossil fuel industry gives us, like the hyped job numbers we're also getting from the hydrofracking industry,  let's focus on the real jobs that exist, the farm jobs,  and that need us to support them so that they can keep feeding us and in turn teach US how to grow food too.   Organically! 

"The New Elders" by Danny Martin
And you can read my response there too. :)    

And check out these amazing elders.The Elders

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Patrick Sullivan of Transition Missouri writes about the Occupy Movement

This was such a great article/blog post I had to share it.

One of my colleagues here at Transition Missouri left a very interesting post on our Facebook page the other day related to Occupy Wall Street (I'm not sure exactly who it was since administration of the Facebook page can be done by any one of four of us but the edits all show up under the quasi-anonymous "Transition Missouri" heading). In that post the author talks about his or her conviciton that the answers to the challenges of peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis must come on the local level, since any movement on the larger-than-local scale eventually becomes co-opted into supporting the status quo.
Then, "[a]long comes the Occupy Everything movement," says the author, "which is global and national and local, all at the same time, and which brings with it real hope that the economic catastrophes which have affected so many of us is resulting in a political sea change. It sets the stage for the blossoming of Transition communities, recognized and supported by whole nations, where before I feared nothing but resistence."
The post concludes with a link to a special on called Occupy Everywhere, which includes the following panel discussion about the nature of the Occupy movement (it's an hour long, so don't feel like you have to watch the whole thing right this minute):
{video has since been removed by owner}

If I'm reading the post correctly, then I am of a very similar mind toward the Occupy phenomenon.  I believe that the changes that we are seeking, and that in the end we will probably have no choice but to make, will come primarily at the local level.  In the end, that's really the only place they can come from.  But that doesn't mean we should ignore or down-play what is happening in public spaces all over America and the world.
I am encouraged by the existence of these various and mostly peaceful "Occupations" both here and abroad.  Say what you will about this movement's supposed lack of a coherent message.  Point to the questionable behavior of some of its participants if you want, and make all the jokes you care to about drum circles and patchouli-funk and white college kids in dreadlocks; if nothing else, this movement shows that there are a lot of people out there who aren't inclined to quitely accept a system that seems to offer them only joyless consumption, gaping inequality, ruinous public and private debt and bitter alienation in the place of meaningful opportunities for social mobility, healthy communities, and lifestyles that don't depend on sacrificing the well-being of future generations.  To me it is an understanding of this reality and a genuine desire to change things for the better that fuels this movement.
Beyond that, I'm still not really sure what to think of Occupy--or perhaps I should say I'm not really sure how much hope I should invest in it.  One thing we can say without a doubt is that even if this movement were to utterly vanished into thin air tomorrow, they will already have acheived a very real and major victory: they have finally forced a conversation about the fact that a tiny percentage of the richest and most powerful elements of our society have for decades been enjoying a stratospheric expansion in income, wealth and influence while the vast majority of Americans fall further and further behind or, if they're lucky, manage to break even.  Though this fact has been self-evident for many years, it was not until the coming of the Occupy Movement that it started to receive more than minimal attention in the national media.
But in the end merely making people more aware of the problem isn't the same as getting to a solution; people may finally be talking about inequality of opportunity, but that doesn't mean we don't still have a government that has been carefully molded so as to be essentially incapable of doing anything that might actually benefit anyone but the investor class, or reign-in the corruption and avarice of those who have turned our society into a mechanism for centralizing wealth and power in the hands of a tiny corporate and economic elite.
I see Occupy Wall Street and its many regional variations as more a sort of public primal scream than an organized political movement.  I don't really mean this as a criticism. Wanting to scream is kind of a natural reaction when you have finally had enough of a political system that seems incapable of representing your interests and a culture in which even social movements that dress themselves as anti-authoritarians iconoclasts--like the Tea Party--actually demand more deregulation and lower taxes, i.e. a fresh showering of rewards upon those who steered us into this mess in the first place. The passion and fervor of the Occupy Movement in response to this situation is perfectly understandable. The question, however, is where we go from here.
Progressives have had a tough sell in America in the last few decades, and I don't believe that the Occupy Movement will be an exception to this rule. One lesson that the wealthy power structure in this country--and the army of political personalities, media outlets and think tanks it supports--learned and learned well a long time ago is that Narrative matters in the minds of most people a whole lot more than facts.
I believe it's safe to say that most Americans--myself included--are just fine with the notion that through hard work, intelligence, determination, and luck, some people will experience more financial rewards than others. Even if we are talking someone earning many times what the average worker earns, I really think that very, very few people in this country would have a problem with that so long as there is true equality of opportunity. We are by nature an optimitic, can-do culture that believes rewards should come to those who deserve them.  What I think most of us are not okay with is the notion that a person's economic and social standing should be so heavily influenced by the mere accident of his or her birth so as to tend to eclipse every other factor.  That would be like living in some decaying feudal society governed by an Old European-style aristocracy.  Only the fact is, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is actually easier in tax-crazy socialist hell-holes like Sweden or Denmark than it is here in the U.S, where your wealth and power have a much stronger correlation to who your father is than they do in the "Old" world.
This fact doesn't gel with the Narrative to which a lot of Americans--maybe even the majority--still cling, i.e. the Narrative in which the vast majority of people who work hard will eventually enjoy at least a certain amount of success and security, and anyone who isn't enjoying success or security probably only has themselves to blame. This is an easy narrative for a lot of people to believe in, because many of them actually have had to work very hard to achieve what modest success they have enjoyed.  Understandably, a 55-year-old guy who still gets up at 5 a.m. every day to run an HVAC business doesn't feel like he's been handed anything. He probably has a modest background of his own, so in his mind anyone who doesn't have what he has probably just isn't willing to make the sacrifices that he has made. When he starts to get that creeping feeling that despite all his efforts things are ultimately not working out the way he thought they would, either for himself or for the majority of those around him, it's probably easier to buy into the notion that "they"--the poor, immigrants, bleeding-heart liberals, the usual suspects--have been working to take away what he has legitimately worked hard to earn than it would be to question his deepest beliefs about the system under which he has labored and the dogma he has cherished his entire life.  If you try to explain to him that despite his limited success he too is a part of the 99%, his gut-level reaction will be 'maybe so but I continue to work hard and sooner or later I will be in the 1%.'  Trying to explain to him the statistical unlikelihood of this scenario coming to fruition will be like trying to explain the actual odds of winning to someone who has bought a lottery ticket every week of his life.
This mindset is why Progressives have a tough sell in America, a place where historically (though not lately) social and economic status has been more fluid than in the rigid, class-oriented societies of the old world. And this is why the Occupy Movement--much like the Transition Movement--has its work cut out for it. It seeks to tell people a very uncomfortable set of truths: the system in which they have put their hope and faith, and to which they have given blood and sweat and years of their life, is now in actuality heavily weighted against the financial success and well-being of all but the top tier.  Far too many people hear these truths as nothing more than defeatist nonsense, complaints from a lazy bunch of losers who can't make it in the real world and are jealous of those who can.  This attitude is so deeply ingrained in many quarters of our society that I believe it makes the sort of wholesale, nationwide changes sought by the Occupy Movement all but impossible.  That's why I spend my time and efforts focusing on what I can do right here and right now in my own community, taking more of a "be the change" attitude rather than trying to change the whole world.
But that doesn't mean that I'm not watching what's going on with great interest, nor that I would be unwilling to lend a hand if it were needed in some positive way.  I wish the Occupiers well in their efforts, and for all our sakes I hope they find success.