Issue 37 - Autumn 2010
- Most Likely To Secede: U.S. Empire and Vermont Secession Rob Williams
- Vermont Independence Candidates Gaining Traction Will Lindner
- Editorial: Six-Day Vermont Road Trip Brings a Blast of Hope Rob Williams
- Letters to the Editor
- Free Vermont Media: Contemplating Cultural Change in the Face of Climate Change—Book Reviews Ron Miller
- How To Recover Vermont’s Monetary Commons—Who Creates Money? And Who Ought To? Gary Flomenhoft
- Energy Optimist: Shred, Don’t Dread—Combustion-Free Heat for Vermont Gaelan Brown
- Transition Times: Original UK Transition Town Sees 40-Percent Participation Carl Etnier
- Homestead Security: It’s the Chemicals...
As a founding partner in our nonprofit news venture, I find it hard to believe that we published our first issue – a mere 12 pages with just a few advertisements – in April 2005. Back then, during the height of the Bush/Cheney regime, we distributed our monthly journal through a network of several volunteers across the state, and as an insert in Vermont Guardian, a weekly independent newspaper (now defunct).
Five years later, as Team Obama continues its imperial status quo policies, it is gratifying to see our little start-up independent journal now running at 32 pages per issue, with some...
This article appears, in chapter form, in the new book Censored 2011, published this fall by Project Censored. Visit www.projectcensored.org to find out more about their important work.
“You can’t bloat a modest republic into a crapulent empire without sparking one hell of a centrifugal reaction.”
–Bill Kauffman, Bye Bye Miss American Empire (Chelsea Green, 2010)
"The Gods of the Empire are not the Gods of Vermont."
¬–Dennis Steele; 2010 Vermont independent gubernatorial candidate
"Secession is every American's birthright."
–Vermont Commons: Voices of Independence news journal
The world’s first Transition Town grew up in Totnes, UK, when Rob Hopkins, Naresh Giangrande, Sophy Banks, and others met and discussed how to prepare for a time of diminishing fossil fuel supplies and climate change. Later, they added the collapse of a fragile economic system to the list of drivers of change. Before long, people from all over were contacting them, trying to learn from the Totnes experiment. To spread the ideas, Rob Hopkins wrote The Transition Handbook. Giangrande and Banks created a two-day Training for Transition workshop and have been traveling around the globe, teaching the workshop and training trainers.
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
by Bill McKibben
(New York: Times Books, 2010)
The Town that Food Saved:
How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food
by Ben Hewitt
(New York: Rodale Books, 2010)
Two superb Vermont authors have recently published important books describing the transition to a decentralized, post-carbon society. Bill McKibben, the internationally known climate- change journalist and activist, and Ben Hewitt, a gifted young writer firmly rooted in his land and community, explore complementary aspects of the massive cultural shift that lies before us. McKibben sketches the big picture – dramatic alterations in the planet’s...
This continues and ongoing series of Vermont Commons articles exploring how Vermont might generate much-needed revenue AND protect our commons in this new century. Part 1 of Gary Flomenhoft’s latest contribution ran in our Summer 2010 (July/August) issue. Flomenhoft wrote: “Of all the common assets that have been privatized, arguably the most damaging and fundamental is the U.S. government’s constitutional power to create money.” It is available online at www.vtcommons.org/journal.
Short of nonviolent secession and the re-invention of Vermont as an independent republic, how might Vermont take back the unconstitutional money-issuing power of the Federal Reserve? The U....
Gaelan Brown is running as an independent for Washington County State Senate seat. Check out his website.
It’s common knowledge among farmers and gardeners that compost heaps get warm, often warm enough to melt all the snow that falls on them. And over the years, many Vermont barns have actually burned because of hay or corn silage that had the right conditions (a lot of moisture) to cause the bacterial digestion process (composting) to get hot enough to spontaneously combust the material around it.
None of this is really news, right?
Here’s the news: It is possible to heat your house and all your domestic hot water by capturing heat from a...
The foundation is tucked into a stand of mature balsam fir, a handful of which have grown up inside of it, towering high above a roofline that is visible only in the mind’s eye. The sugaring rig is still there, rusted and listing, slowly returning to the rich soil like the bones of some great beast. There is no evidence of the wooden structure that once stood atop the stacked...
In Part One of this series, Homestead Security columnist Ben Falk described the accumulation of chemical hazards, often unnoticed, from decades of industrial and agricultural activities, even in rural Vermont. Invigorating soil and water systems, while closely building our sustenance and health upon them, will likely become more important than ever before in a future of peak oil and minerals, rapid climate change, and increasing biospheric toxicity.
As described in the last issue’s “Homestead Security” column, medicinal-quality food and water are primary defenses against increasing toxins in our biosphere. Levels of erosive chemicals – those that oxidize and mutate our cells, disturb endocrine system functioning...
The two biggest barriers to the local-food movement have always been cost and time: the often-higher cost of local food compared to food from industrial agriculture, and the time it takes to prepare whole foods compared to readymade foods and highly processed foods that can become a meal in minutes. For the past five years, the Localvore movement has worked to reduce the perception of those barriers by showing people how to eat local on a budget and how to quickly prepare local meals.
But, there is more to being a Localvore than that.
The truth is that being a Localvore is not easy, and this is probably why at best 10 percent to 15 percent of Vermonters are truly committed to buying and eating local food. It...