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Dethroning King Coal

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Author: the Inkslinger

Welcome to Thursday and this inspired guest post from global protagonist Veronica Bach

Watching with horror the latest in the series of fatal mine worker deaths, I was thinking that we should be able to provide these wonderful people alternative jobs that would produce energy, but would allow them to work above ground in a safer environment. Stopping the use of coal in our energy systems would save many lives in every area of the production of it, including the final result of a coal plant. My idea is to begin with the states where coal mining is the predominant part of the economy, and start recruiting their workers to be retrained for solar panel making and wind power jobs. We could begin in our country, and then take it global, including China and Australia.

For what it's worth.

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Green Around the Edges

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Author: the Inkslinger

Meet Kimberly Paulk, today's guest blogger for a Wednesday. Kimberly says she spends her time writing, enjoying her family, and engaging in the noble pursuit of trying to figure out how to stop screwing up the planet for our kids.

As an (almost) daily reader of The Inspired Protagonist, I finally decided to create a blog specific to my neck of the woods – Charlotte, North Carolina. The focus is being green…or at least, greener than you were the day, week or month before. I look at this as a journey, and I’m not “there” yet. I think there are a lot of people like me, trying to live a little more consciously but perhaps not quite sure how to do it. Green Around The Edges – Charlotte is for those folks, who are just trying to figure it out as they go along. The amount of information out there about the environment, along with the chorus of “don’t do this” and “never do that” can be overwhelming, and that can lead to apathy. So as I take baby steps, I share my progress and resources here in Charlotte with my blog audience, and hopefully we’ll all arrive at our destination together - and on time.

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Making Good Things Bloom

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Author: the Inkslinger

Here's the first guest post of the week, this one from Inspired Protagonist Christina Frutiger of Gig Harbor, Washington...

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After the Flood

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Author: the Inkslinger

Today we have a guest post from Ariya Martin of the New Orleans Kid Camera Project. The Crescent City is a realm near and dear to my own heart and to many others here, and I think this initiative is one of the most inspiring to emerge in the post-Katrina era.

Well, as the first blog posted from the New Orleans Kid Camera Project, and as one of the organizers, I thought it would be appropriate to give a project overview and talk about our mission.

The New Orleans Kid Camera Project is a grassroots community endeavor that was created to address the psychological and emotional impacts of Hurricane Katrina on children returning home to New Orleans. Working with professionals in mental health, journalism, photography, and emerging Internet technologies, participants develop the creative, cognitive and technical skills to represent their own experience and perspective without external mediation. The primary goal of the project is to furnish young New Orleans' residents with the skills, equipment, motivation and expectation of success that will empower them throughout their lives to advocate on their own behalf, influence policy to create social change, find a creative outlet to process the changes they have undergone, and expose a broad, global constituency to their community's ongoing struggle.


Chris

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On Working Well

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Author: the Inkslinger

It’s with pleasure that we introduce today’s inspiring guest blogger, Alyssa Kobriger from True Botanica.

When I was in young, I went to a very unique summer camp in central Wisconsin which focused on peace making and global citizenry with an occasional opportunity to swim and make a dream catcher. The experiences I had there had a profound effect on many of my life choices that I have made, and still do. In addition to learning about different cultures, religions, and strategies for non-violence, we talked a lot about the wide ranging impact of our choices and efforts to make a difference in the world – the power of one.

One of the concepts we were presented with was Right Livelihood - doing work that promotes the ideals that you value, respects the earth and the people who live on it rather then sacrificing it for higher profits. In meeting Gregor from Seventh Generation, I felt a connection with him in that we both work for companies which uphold that concept.

I work for True Botanica, a young nutritional supplement company in Wisconsin which has established a reputation in some unique directions:

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Dharma Dog Phones Home

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Author: the Inkslinger

Our friend Dharma Dog is back from his journey to and through India and sends us this thought-provoking video postcard about permaculture and the vision of the world held by his traveling partner, Rico Zook.

Back home in Arizona after my eco-odyssey through India, where I
tagged along side permaculture advocate, and sort-of modern-day
Kokopelli, Rico Zook, I capture a slice of his vision for "Heaven On
Earth"

flashvars="videoType=vcc&videoID=23758212&country=us"
pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" quality="high" height="360"
width="335">

While I reenter the atmosphere of life in the U.S., like an astronaut
adjusting to life under the influence of gravity, I relive the vision
through hours of video footage. Rico, I learned, is something of a
legend throughout the places of India we traveled (though he would
graciously deflect such a description), where villagers welcomed him
as if royalty to their humble, yet culturally rich homes and lives.
The villages or "bustis," as they are called, had newly installed
electricity as recent as 6 months ago! Some of the villagers had
acquired a T.V. two months prior to the arrival of their electricity,
in eager anticipation of the alluring modernity. I found this news a
striking synchronicity to the intent of our trip and ironic
juxtaposition to the modest, one-room dwellings, cradled in the lush
tea-growing region with the majestic Himalayas towering in the
background: The spread of a foreign virus or sign of progress?

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The Answers Are Blowing in the Wind…

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Author: the Inkslinger

Here are some words from intern Sophie, who asked me to post them here for her...

John Abrams (my father) is the founder and CEO of South Mountain Company, an employee-owned design/build firm on the island of Martha's Vineyard. South Mountain has a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. They do a lot of affordable housing work, renewable energy, and community work. John recently wrote the book The Company We Keep: Reinventing Small Business for People, Community, and Place , about his adventures in business, and when he’s not in the office you can find him traveling the country doing talks and workshops or hanging out at Island Co-housing where he lives with his wife, Chris. He has two children, Sophie (that's me!!) and Pinto, and three grandchildren, Kalib, Silas and Axel Leroy.

Here’s his recounting of the the raising of a wind turbine on Martha’s Vineyard.

Yesterday, we raised the ARE 442 wind turbine, which was donated to the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School by a wonderful woman who succumbed to cancer before she could see it turn (see plaque). Sophie bore witness to the raising. She knows that it really did happen, even though all known forces conspired to prevent it.

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More From Marci on Hitching Her Way to a Cooler World

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Author: the Inkslinger

Marci Young, star of our most recent video and climate change-fighting hero, posted this note to our comments section. But after reading it, we thought it deserved to be a full-fledged post in its own right (write?). So we’re making it one. Here’s Marci’s response to the thoughts you’ve been sending our way…

My Friends,

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Carbon Copy: More on Offsetting Our Climate Impacts

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Author: the Inkslinger

Last week’s guest post from Harvard Kennedy School of Government student Cristiana Fragola referenced some carbon offset services she’d recommended to her fellow undergrads by e-mail but didn’t provide any specifics. That had people in these parts wondering just what those services were. I asked Cristiana and she said we should just post her original e-mail, which I thought was a most excellent idea. Thanks Cristiana!

Yesterday, in another of his elegant and super-eloquent speeches, the former next president of the U.S, Al Gore, clearly said that we may not even have the luxury of figuring out adaptation costs for the impacts of global warming...as we simply will not survive if temperature keep rising at current levels. M

According to some scientists, including Jim Hansen, we have 10-15 years left to stabilize the process. Do you really have to worry about the name of your kid or what to do with your life in the meantime?

Option A: start partying until it lasts.

Option B: make a difference & lead by example.

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Yesterday I Finally Met a Remarkable Man....

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Meet today’s guest blogger, Cristiana Fragola, a student who first crossed our paths when we went to check out Presence coauthor Otto Scharmer’s class at MIT.

Yesterday I finally met a remarkable man who talked about system change and the importance of looking at a company’s ability to generate value and be productive 3 to 10 years from now, not just in the next 11 months. The auditorium was packed, students seemed moved and were frantically taking notes. Yet today, during the business and environment class I am taking at the Harvard business school, many students commented that what Gore says is not practical and we should not even bother to live a carbon neutral life because individual actions cannot make a difference.

I asked those students what would they do if they were in a leadership position, heading a fortune 500 company, and then they said that maybe they would reconsider their position. A few others though quietly followed me at the end of the class to thank me for having taken Gore’s side and articulated that macrocosmos are made up by microcosmos. They even asked me they could use the argument again. There is hope.

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