Perennialism: Deep Roots for a Resilient Culture [S-12-43]

Presenter: Bill Vitek
Location: SUNY: Van Housen Extension SB27A
Classes: 1 Session 2.0 hours
Dates: Fri 1:00 PM 04/06
Status: Course Closed

Print Info

This presentation considers the current environmental state of the planet and the efforts to reduce negative anthropogenic (i.e. human) impacts. It will critique the current sustainability movement as being unable to cope with today’s challenges, and offer an alternative approach (Perennialism), taking examples from agriculture, philosophy, and ecosystem science.  

Bill Vitek is an environmental philosopher at Clarkson University who has lived and worked in the St. Lawrence Valley for over 24 years. He has worked closely with Wes Jackson, a leader in the perennial agriculture movement.  

NOTE: See presenter’s web site for more info: www.clarkson.edu/~vitek/home.html. (Look particularly at the section on "Publications," "Talks")

CLASS LINKS:

PowerPoint - Perennialism: Deep Roots for a Resilient Culture (approx. 8MB) [NOTE: You must have PowerPoint on your computer to view this presentation; choose "Open With..." - "PowerPoint" Downloading to view may take several minutes]

.PDF Article - "God or Nature: Desire and the Quest for Unity - by Bill Vitek (for Minding Nature 4.2), pp.20-25


OTHER LINKS: 

PERENNIALISM RESOURCE GUIDE (Download a .pdf verion of this guide)

Energy Consumption: International Energy Outlook
http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/ieo/index.cfm

Exponential Growth
http://www.otherwise.com/population/exponent.html
http://raju.varghese.org/articles/powers2.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY (Physicist Al Bartlett’s well known lecture on the exponential function)

Nuclear Weapons
http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/nudb/datainx.asp?gclid=CNzNxb2Wlo4CFQ2aOAodln6RDg

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/~tk/climate_dynamics/climate_impact_webpage.html
http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggccebro/chapter1.html

Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change
http://www.ipcc.ch/
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686

Peak Oil, Natural Gas and Coal
http://www.energybulletin.net/primer.php
http://www.hubberpeak.com/
http://www.richardheinberg.com
http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/102302_campbell.html

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
http://www.thebulletin.org/minutes-to-midnight/

Natural Systems Agriculture
http://www.landinstitute.org
http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC42/Jackson.htm
http://www.umanitoba.ca/outreach/naturalagriculture/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hWjj_mQCS0&feature=relmfu

Modern Slavery
http://dawn-drupal.science.oregonstate.edu/facts

The Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies
http://www.oberlin.edu/ajlc/ajlcHome.html
http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19

Species Extinction
http://www.well.com/~davidu/extinction.html

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report
http://matagalatlante.org/nobre/down/MAgeneralSynthesisFinalDraft.pdf
http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/index.aspx

Ethanol Production
http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2006/12/05/olmstead/
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050329132436.htm

Soil Erosion
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/0611508104v1.pdf
http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2004/06/26afdd97-b56a-4a86-8298-1b7f0db95e97.html

World Fresh Water Crisis
http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/freshwater_supply/freshwater.html
http://www.webofcreation.org/Earth%20Problems/water.htm

Human Population Growth
http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/human_pop/human_pop.html
http://www.census.gov/ipc/prod/wp02/wp-02003.pdf

Jevons Paradox
http://www.humanecologyreview.org/pastissues/her132/york.pdf
http://oae.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/14/1/93.pdf

Ecological Footprint
http://www.footprintnetwork.org/gfn_sub.php?content=footprint_overview
http://www.ecologicalfootprint.org/

Industrial Ecology
http://www.umich.edu/~nppcpub/resources/compendia/ind.ecol.html
http://www.indigodev.com/IE.html

Embodied Energy
http://blog.sustainablog.org/2010/03/embodied-energy-soccer-ball/
http://www.sustainableabc.com/lca.html

Biodiversity
http://www.globalissues.org/EnvIssues/Biodiversity.asp
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/biodiversity

Precautionary Principle
http://www.sehn.org/precaution.html
http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001395/139578e.pdf

Life Cycle Analysis
http://www.life-cycle.org/
http://www.enviroliteracy.org/index.php

Biomimicry
http://biomimicry.net/

Carbon Neutrality
http://www.cleanair-coolplanet.org/
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_Change/What_You_Can_Do/carbon_neutral.asp

Microlending
http://www.accion.org/
http://kiva.org/app.php?gclid=CKyUqsXImI4CFRqWGgod0A32Zg
http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/2004globalconf_khosla.shtml

The Genuine Progress Indicator
http://www.uvm.edu/giee/?Page=genuine/index.html
http://www.utahpop.org/gpi.html

Wes Jackson
http://www.counterpunch.org/jensen07102003.html
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/jackson.html

Vandana Shiva
http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/shiva.html

David Orr
http://www.oberlin.edu/news-info/98sep/orr_profile.html
http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC27/Orr.htm

Ray Anderson
http://www.interfaceinc.com/who/founder.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/ray_anderson_on_the_business_logic_of_sustainability.html

College Connections (Google “Campus Sustainability” for dozens of examples):
http://www.nwf.org/campusecology/
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/13/education/13green.html?ex=1339473600&en=fc089870bbaacf6e&ei=5124&partner=digg&exprod=digg
http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/html/commitment.php
http://www.aashe.org/highlights/awards06.php
http://www.sustainablecampus.org/
http://www.stlawu.edu/green/
http://www.clarkson.edu/green/

SUSTAINABILITY

A good overview of sustainability (The Natural Step is an organization with a long, solid history):
http://moodle.clarkson.edu/file.php/8477/Primer_USEdition_print_072009.pdf

An e-book from UIC professor:
http://cnx.org/content/col11325/latest/

The Story of Stuff (This has been around the internet for a year or more, but it’s a terrific look at the problems we face and how sustainability helps to solve them):
http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/

OTHER INITIATIVES

2000-Watt Society:
http://www.novatlantis.ch/index.php?id=5&L=1
http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/002829.html

Transition Towns:
http://www.transitiontowns.org/

350:
http://www.350.org/

Open Source Ecology:
http://opensourceecology.org/

SOME TERRIFIC BOOKS
William Ruddiman: Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate.
Brian Walker and David: Salt. Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World.
Janine Benyus: Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.
Arthur Koestler: The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man’s Changing Vision of the Universe.
Thomas Homer-Dixon: The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization.
Daniel Quinn: Ishmael: An Adventure in Mind and Spirit.
Joseph Tainter: The Collapse of Complex Societies
Walter Youngquist: GeoDestinies: The Inevitable Control of Earth Resources Over Nations and Individuals.
Paul Hawken: Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming. (You can watch Hawken speak about his book at: http://www.blessedunrest.com/video.html)
John Ehrenfeld: Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming our Consumer Culture.

A pretty good booklist: http://www.humec.k-state.edu/news/2007/11/08/sustainability-leader-shares-booklist/

Four TED talks by some big guns in the field (TED talks are wonderful, short, and inspirational):
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/janine_benyus_shares_nature_s_designs.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ray_anderson_on_the_business_logic_of_sustainability.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/alex_steffen_sees_a_sustainable_future.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/william_mcdonough_on_cradle_to_cradle_design.html

Organizations
http://www.humansandnature.org/
http://www.aldoleopold.org/
http://www.landinstitute.org/

Business Alliance for Local, Living Economies:
http://www.livingeconomies.org/

Sustainable Living Project:
http://www.sustainablelivingproject.net/



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