Chicagoland Sustainability Calendar

Listing selected events for those interested in living more sustainably with emphasis on ecological food production. Featuring the activities of the Chicagoland Urban Permaculture (CUP) Group -- promoting integrated living through permaculture. See Greening Chicago Calendar for more events.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Coming up next...
Introduction to Permaculturing
Saturday, December 4
, 2-4pm
At North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski, Chicago

Permaculture, an integrated ethical and grassroots focused design system, is derived from permanent agriculture and has been extended to include permanent culture. Join us for an introductory exploration of ways of creating more resilient cultures through integrating both areas. Our guides will be Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway, for the home applications and David Holmgren's Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability for applications to the extended community. [Look for the Permaculture Flower, in the lower part of the "About Permaculture" link http://www.holmgren.com.au/html/About/aboutpermaculture.html ]

Margaret RainbowWeb, in her introduction to permaculture, provides some useful background information on the necessity of integrating both areas through a bioregional orientation.

Summary handouts will be available.

posted by Rael  # 2:25 PM

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Coming up next.

Our next event, called Beyond Sustainability
will take place Saturday, November 20, 2 - 4pm
North Park Village Nature Center 5801 N. Pulaski
Beyond Sustainability will be a discussion about achieving desirable futures. Topics include: Is sustainability a sufficient goal? Is creating a restorative culture even more necessary? Are spirituality and ethics relevant? Are there ways of jump starting delightful futures? Bring your visions.

Coming up in the near future, at a mutually agreeable time and place.
For those interested in learning more, a nine-session course, CHOICES FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVING will be initiated in the coming months. Information available at raelearth@yahoo.com


Many of the greatest minds have been increasingly focused on the future, and specifically on the question of whether our way of life is sustainable.

There is an extensive downloadable collection of articles, on sustainability by many authors, starting with Virginia Abernethy, Albert Bartlett, Roy Beck and John Cairns and ending with E. O. Wilson, Walter Youngquist and Ben Zuckerman.
In the middle, you will find Bill Mollison's 1981 introductory permaculture presentation.

The Sustainability Web Ring has 145 active sites, such as The WWW Virtual Library: Urban Environmental Management, which links to
The UEMRI Guide to City Networks

Philip Sutton, of Green Innovations, discusses some of the conceptual difficulties. For a 2000 publication, he sorted hundreds of sustainability definitions and found that they clustered into four types.

Among his conclusions:
"Sustainability is fundamentally about maintaining valued things or dynamics that already exist. This contrasts with the concept of 'genuine progress' which is about the creation of improvements that go beyond anything that has ever existed.

"There is no one legitimate focus for sustainability. It is just as legitimate to apply the concept to the maintenance of the profitability of a firm, or the maintenance of a critical aspect of society-as-a-whole as it is to apply it to the environment. But for clarity of communication it is vital to always ask: 'what is to be sustained in this case?' [However, attending primarily to the sustainability of one component (e.g. an individual or corporation) is likely to reduce the potential for more inclusive sustainability…Rael]

"Sustainability is the flip-side of loss or extinction so it makes no sense to be concerned about sustainability unless the aim is to try to actually achieve it. Sustainability should always be approached with a sense of immediacy and practicality even if the task to achieve the sustainability of something that is valued is enormous."

posted by Rael  # 3:02 PM


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