Critical Information

Here, you will find a whole slew of meaningful material! 

Whether you find something inspiring or contentious, please discuss it in the Critical Information Forum

Saturday
Feb252012

Sustainable life resource pagehttp://eco.walton.uark.edu/

CLIMATE CHANGE BOOK GROUP RESOURCE SHEET

Kat Eustice and other members of the Climate Change Book Group have put to gether a listing of Northwest Arkansas resource groups and people you'll want to know about.  Love to have your additions to the list.   Reply to the forum listed below.   Great resource, Kat. Thanks.

Sustainable Life Resource Page forum 

DISCLAIMER: Because sustainable living cannot readily be defined at this point and time, individuals must define it according to their own parameters.  This list is a tool to begin your search for individual climate change mitigation.  This content has been provided by interested organizations and those individual organizations are solely responsible for their content.

Arkansas Interfaith Power & Light is a 501c3 non-profit established in 2009.  Arkansas is a part of a larger, national Interfaith Power & Light organization and was the 30th state chapter formed in the US.  All faiths are welcome.  We promote energy efficiency and renewable energy for houses of worship and for the members of the congregation.  Arkansas IP&L has completed several energy efficiency retrofit projects for churches and for other non-profits.  We have hosted documentary film screenings on a variety of environmental topics.  We host educational events such as an Energy Scavenger Hunt in June 2011.  In October 2011, we hosted an educational tour of energy efficiency homes in Northwest Arkansas.  There is an active group in Northwest Arkansas that meets monthly and an active group in Central Arkansas.  For more information, visit our website at www.arkansasipl.com.  For more information about the Northwest Arkansas Group, contact michele.halsell@gmail.com

Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks  is a 501(c)3 non-profit working to create a more bicycle-friendly community through Education & Infrastructure. A more bicycle-friendly community is a happier, safer, healthier, more people-friendly community.  A community that builds towards a more sustainable society through ending the use of fossil fuels.  

Cuddlefish Clothes is a one of a kind baby and children’s clothing made from local upcycled material utilizing water based inks and ecologically friendly screen printing practices.  Cuddlefish promotes earth-based lifestyles through an almost zero waste manufacturing process and the screen printing designs themselves range from roosters, octopus and bean shoots.   For more information, contact sage@cuddlefishclothes.com

EcoLogical Communities: The Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas invites people to make their personal pledge to reduce their environmental impact through a unique program called EcoLogical Communities. Resource conservation has positive economic, environmental and social outcomes. Participants receive a monthly newsletter that includes information on rebates and tax incentives that can help them reduce their energy use and save money. Also included is information about upcoming community events. At a larger level, EcoLogical Communities provides a scorecard for Fayetteville that shows how much energy and water it takes to run the city and how much waste is generated each year. 

Fayetteville Courier Service is a local organization that uses bicycle power to deliver items around Fayetteville.  All earnings go towards funding ARTTE, a collective of veterans from Fayetteville.  Together, these veterans have covered over 7,000 miles in the United States bicycling for peace and healing of veterans.  They will continue to ride until the end of war.  Contact Jacob at 479-252-2142 for dispatch and more information.  Prices vary according to weather conditions but are generally 25 cents per pound and $1per mile.

The Green Economy Group is a group of thoughtful citizens exploring cutting edge technologies in the realms of energy efficient housing, transportation and utilities, as well as legislative change, with a goal towards creating job growth in sustainable, environmentally sound practices.  We meet on the first Friday of every month at 8 am in the Chamber of Commerce building.  All are welcome.

Kathleen Eustice is a home and business environmental consultant who focuses on increasing the use of permaculture, increasing organic home gardening and eliminating waste streams from home and business consumption practices.  Home waste audits and creative reduction methods and implementation are available at a very reasonable price.  Decreasing our carbon footprint and saving money go hand in hand! Call Kathleen at 918-630-2979.  

OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology  is an organization designed to educate Arkansans about current realities of climate change and to take actions to prevent further harm to the atmosphere. OMNI 350 is committed to actions that lead to the reduction of greenhouse gases to a scientifically safe level of 350 parts per million of Carbon Dioxide(CO2) in the atmosphere through life-style and legislative change, which includes partnering with like-minded organizations. We're working toward a culture of peace, and it can only happen in a vibrantly healthy earth. 

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a game-changer for financing energy upgrades to existing homes and businesses.

Sierra Club, Ozark Headwaters Group, hosts monthly membership meetings featuring guest speakers on a variety of topics ranging from forest conservation to public transit, from fracking natural gas to climate change. As a 501c4 organization, the Sierra Club is able to endorse political candidates and can advocate for specific pieces of legislation.   The Arkansas Chapter of the Sierra Club is actively engaged in the Beyond Coal campaign and other issues of relevance in the state.  For upcoming OHG events or to get involved, you can find us on Facebook at sierra.ohg@groups.facebook.com.

St. Paul’s Gaia Guild is a self-organizing team of church members.  The mission of the Gaia Guild is to recognize the sanctity of all creation, advocate for the restoration and protection of our natural resources, contribute by our own actions to the health of the planet, and in all things honor God’s presence on this fragile earth, our island home.  We are actively engaged in helping St. Paul’s live up to the Genesis Covenant.  We support our church in reducing its environmental footprint through energy efficiency, waste reduction, and conservation.  We support each other in reducing our own environmental footprints at home.  And we host educational speakers and events throughout the year for the St. Paul’s community.  For more information, contact Terri Lane at treehuggerlane@cox.net.

Summer Kitchen Family Farm is a local organic farm that encourages environmental stewardship and earthbound lifestyles through yoga practice, volunteering opportunities and connecting with Mother Earth.  For CSA information and availability of meat, eggs and vegetables call Mariah at 479-263-9965.  For yoga and meditation scheduling and availability call Kat at 918-630-2979.  

Treadwell Institute- is an interdisciplinary nonprofit corporation devoted to finding sustainable solutions for the built environments where we ultimately live, work, and play -- Advocacy, Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Clean Energy, Clean Tech, and Green Jobs in the New Green Economy.  We were heavily involved in advocating FOR the first Stream Side Protection ordinance passed in Fayetteville last January, 2011.We have been at the front of the conversations surrounding the development of an State Energy Plan for Arkansas. We have been in the middle of advocating FOR transit oriented development regionally, and involved in developing a regional transportation plan with expanded ORT bus service, a trolley for Fayetteville and eventually light-rail for the NWA corridor.  Contact Mikel Lolley at 479-841-7801 for more information.

Worship Your Food is a book by local author Quinn Montana which focuses on specific ways to lessen your family’s environmental impact through your food choices while improving your health.  It is available at Ozark Natural Foods and Nightbird Books as well as online stores such as Lulu.com, Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.  Follow Quinn on Facebook at www.facebook.com/worshipyourfood.

Wren’s Winter Market  is a local winter market serving NWA area with high quality locally grown vegetables, fruit, flowers, meats and eggs.  Partner farms rotate according to product availability.  Customers are encouraged to pre-order for Saturday market.  Contact Debra Elam for more information and to sign up for the weekly newsletter wrenthicket@gmail.com.

WWOOF  Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms a site that links volunteers with organic farmers and helps people share more sustainable ways of living.  www.wwoof.org

 

 

Friday
Feb242012

Fayetteville... reject corporate personhood

 

Dear friends,

Please join me in contacting your members of the Fayetteville City Council, asking them to support Matthew Petty's resolution rejecting corporate personhood.  At the link is contact info for our council and my letter as a sample.  And join me in sending a thank you message to our courageous councilman Matt Petty.

We now have efforts to introduce similar resolutions in Eureka Springs, Springdale, Jonesboro, Texarkana and Little Rock, but it it would be great if Fayetteville were first in Arkansas.  Let's make sure this happens!

Thank you!

Abel Tomlinson. Organizer, Move to Amend Arkansas

(479)387-6849

 

Ward 1, Position 1 Adella Gray (479) 442-4958 ward1_pos1@ci.fayetteville.ar.us

Ward 1, Position 2 Brenda Boudreaux (479) 409-9047 bthiel@cox.net

Ward 2, Position 1 Mark Kinion (479) 442-7868 ward2_pos1@ci.fayetteville.ar.us

Ward 2, Position 2 Matthew Petty (479) 595-8703 (Email preferred) citycouncil@matthewpetty.org

Mayor Mayor Lioneld Jordan (479) 575-8330 mayor@ci.fayetteville.ar.us

Ward 3, Position 1 Justin Tennant (479) 301-8677 ward3_pos1@ci.fayetteville.ar.us

Ward 3, Position 2 Bobby Ferrell (479) 442-3535 ward3_pos2@ci.fayetteville.ar.us

Ward 4, Position 1 Rhonda Adams (479) 444-0518 rhonda@adamsward4.com

Ward 4, Position 2 Sarah Lewis (479) 263-2087 sarahelainelewis@gmail.com

 

Sample Letter:  Re-write to suit yourself, or write your own.

Dear (City Councilman X),

I am writing to ask you to please support the resolution Alderman Matthew Petty is introducing to reject the legal fiction of corporate personhood.  Around 50 cities and municipalities in the United States have now passed resolutions rejecting corporate personhood, including our two largest cities of Los Angeles and New York City.   

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission decision, corporate “persons” now have the 1st Amendment free speech right to spend unlimited sums of money to buy candidates, elections and laws.  Interestingly, prior to the 1886 establishment of corporate personhood in the odious Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad case, it was a felony in many states for corporations to spend any money to influence elections.

Additionally, before 1886, there were no corporate lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Now, we have six health care lobbyists for every member of Congress and the most corrupt health care system on the planet.  We annually spend over $2.5 trillion on healthcare, and it is estimated that $800 billion of that cost is waste to private, profit-seeking health insurance corporations.

In addition to corporate “persons” claiming freedom of speech in order to spend fortunes on elections, they also use other Constitutional rights to increase power and profit. Corporations claim Fourth Amendment privacy protections to prevent health, safety and environmental inspections. They also claim Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and double jeopardy to escape liability.

Lastly, corporations utilize the 14th Amendment right to equal protection to prevent local communities from creating “discriminatory” laws that favor local business, which were commonplace prior to 1886. This should especially be of concern for the Fayetteville community and small businesses that pay and treat workers better, and keep more currency circulating in the local economy.

Ultimately, this issue is most fundamentally about democracy.  Approximately 90 percent of the time the federal candidate with more money wins, so the money in our elections is arguably becoming more critical than the votes.  If we want to powerfully improve our democracy, one of the most important things we can do is overturn corporate personhood by passing city and state resolutions, and ultimately amending the national constitution to define that only “natural persons” deserve constitutional rights.  Corporations are not people and money is not speech.

Please join city leaders across our nation in courageously taking action to improve our democracy for future generations.  We will continue having an exceedingly difficult time creating just and sustainable economic, banking, healthcare, energy, environmental, and agricultural policies that work for all until we take corporate money out of the elections.

Thank you,

Abel Tomlinson

(479)387-6849

 

Wednesday
Jan252012

Occupy the Courts - Abel Tomlinson speech

 

Abel delivered this crisply focused talk at Occupy the Courts in Fayetteville on January 20, 2012 outside the Washington County Federal Building.

The Beginning is Near

In recent weeks, the organization Move to Amend and the movement to abolish corporate personhood and corporate rule has gained incredible momentum.  On December 6, 2011, the first explosive shot in this revolution to legalize democracy was heard when the Los Angeles city council passed a resolution rejecting the legal fiction that corporations are people.  This was very meaningful because Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States and it passed unanimously.

Since that turning point, the movement has spread like wildfire and appears unstoppable.  On January 5, New York City also passed such a similar resolution.  Approximately 50 cities have now passed these resolutions, including Albany, Duluth, Oakland, Madison and Boulder, and many more are in progress.

In addition to cities, state resolutions to overturn corporate personhood were just introduced in the California and Vermont legislatures.

In case you are unfamiliar with corporate personhood, let me briefly explain.  Prior to 1886, corporations were given only temporary charters and privileges that could be easily revoked if they failed to serve the public good.  Originally, the Bill of Rights and the rest of the U.S. Constitution guaranteed rights for living, breathing humans alone.  However, after the 1886 Santa Clara Supreme Court case, corporations began claiming all the rights originally intended for humans because they were now legally considered “persons.”  They took advantage of weakness in the 14th Amendment, created for newly freed slaves, to claim that they too deserved equal protection under the law.

 

Since then, corporations have claimed many Constitutional rights in order to increase profit, pollute and destroy ecosystems and communities, and capture more and more power away from The People.  Corporations now claim Constitutional rights to privacy to prevent health, safety and environmental inspections.  They claim 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination and double jeopardy. 

Additionally, corporations utilize the Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection to prevent local communities from creating “discriminatory” laws that favor local business, which were commonplace prior to 1886.  This should especially interest the local Fayetteville community and small businesses.  Once corporate personhood is overturned, Fayetteville can pass laws that appropriately discriminate against certain corporate chains while favoring local businesses that pay and treat their workers better, and keep currency circulating within the local economy.

Most importantly, corporate personhood has created a crisis of democracy!  Prior to 1886, it was a felony in many states for a corporation to spend any money to influence elections, and corporate lobbyists were nonexistent.  Now we have six healthcare industry lobbyists for every member of Congress and the most corrupt healthcare system on the planet.   The budgetary waste of the healthcare/sickcare system easily rivals the defense budget for the most corrupt, wasteful and inefficient institution.  $2.5 trillion/1/3 or $800B waste to private health insurance corporations that don’t exist in other countries.  Single payer/HR676-one public not-for-profit insurance institution.

 Moreover, with the recent Citizens United decision, the unelected Supreme Court ruled that “corporate persons” deserve more rights to free speech.  In human English, that translates into allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to buy candidates, parties, campaigns and laws.  Given the fact that candidates with more money win approximately 90 percent of the time, does anyone seriously believe we have a functional democracy?  In reality we have corporate plutocracy, or rule by the concentrated wealth of the richest 1 percent.

Today, January 20, 2012 is the two year anniversary of the infamous Citizens United decision, and thanks to beautiful people like you from Move to Amend and the Occupy Wall Street movements Occupy the Courts protests are occurring in over 130 cities and 46 states nationwide.

This idea to demonstrate at federal courts across the nation is that these courts are the “scene of the crime” when it comes to corporate personhood.  Neither the people nor Congress ever voted for this legal fiction.  Corporate personhood is an undemocratic court concoction.

In terms of improving our democracy with this vital campaign, I think Molly Morgan of Reclaim Democracy put it best, she said “The campaign to end corporate personhood is like applying a massive crowbar at the most pivotal point against a stuck door holding back democracy. No more trying the key in the rusted lock; no more poking with a coat hanger here and kicking at a corner there. By focusing on the crucial block — corporate personhood — and applying enough force to pry the door open, the whole concept of what’s politically and humanly possible shifts in profound and exciting ways.”

After today, our plan of action is to begin a coordinated statewide campaign to pass city council resolutions in Fayetteville and other cities in Arkansas.  Amazingly, our courageous city councilman Matthew Petty has already agreed to introduce one very soon.  He also said he thinks a nonbinding resolution like this has a very good chance of passing.  However, this doesn’t mean we can sit down.  No…now is the time to powerfully run a distance marathon for Mother Earth.  We need to call and email our councilmen and women and the mayor and make sure they know there is a lot of public support for this.  We need to encourage friends and family to contact them as well.  And when the measure is introduced and put up for a vote, we need to fill city hall with our presence! 

However, the city council can rest assured they have bipartisan public support for this considering a Washington Post-ABC News poll taken after the Citizens United decision found that 85 percent of Americans overwhelmingly oppose this ruling.  This poll shows that conservative and liberal voters are smarter than mainstream media leads us to believe, and that this is a unifying issue that cuts across party lines.  

Once enough cities and states pass these resolutions, we can amend the U.S. Constitution to define that only “natural persons” deserve rights.  That moment will mark the beginning of the end for corporate rule, and a new era for democracy, peace, environmental sanity, economic justice and human freedom.  This is the moment we have all been waiting for.  2012 may truly become an evolutionary leap year.  The Beginning is Near.

 

Sunday
Nov272011

Not a conspiracy theory - this is the ACLU talking

Senators Demand the Military Lock Up American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window

http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/senators-demand-military-lock-american-citizens-battlefield-they-define-being

Directly from the ACLU, no less.  The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown. That is an extreme position that will forever change our country.

It's in the National Defense Authorization Bill, Section 1867.

Now is the time to stop this bad idea. Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

 

Tuesday
Nov222011

Jeju Island Update - Blast halted

Jeju Island Global Campaign Update –

We stopped the blast... for now

Saturday, November 19, 2011 10:50 AM

 

Dear friends of Jeju Island,

Thank you so much for your efforts of solidarity with the villagers of Gangjeong! We did it! We stopped the blast of Gureombi—at least for the time being.  We’ve been informed that the Jeju police have turned down the companies’ request for blasting Gureombi for three reasons: insufficient documents, safety concerns, and the go-ahead from Jeju Governor Woo. 

We believe that the outpouring of international support directed to Governor Woo helped at least delay the blast, but we also remain vigilant knowing that the Navy may proceed without consulting Governor Woo, as it did on October 6th when it conducted a “test blast.”

Our best insurance against the Navy proceeding unilaterally is ongoing international pressure.

Please take one minute and send the following sample email below to Governor Woo at lmw2828@jeju.go.kr and to South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-Jin at defenattache@yahoo.com. (Just cut and paste their email address and a letter like the sample below).

With gratitude,

The Global Campaign to Save Jeju Island (www.savejejuisland.org)

 

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% 

SAMPLE LETTERS

Dear Governor Woo

Thank you for halting the blast of Gureombi, a government-designated absolute ecological preservation area. We are so relieved that the blast has been stalled, but we remain vigilant knowing the Navy has in the past unilaterally conducted a “test blast” as it did on October 6th.

We urge you to use your power to fully stop construction of the naval base in Gangjeong village and release the innocent civilians, including Mayor Kang Dong-Kyun.

You have the choice to leave behind a legacy of overseeing the destruction of a UNESCO preservation site and ancient Korean relics, or as a protector of democracy and peace on Jeju Island. Please uphold your promise to those who elected you and stop the blast and construction immediately. We don’t want the “New Seven Wonders of Nature” to be brutally destroyed.

Sincerely, (your name)


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% 

Dear Minister Kim:

I urge you to stop the policy to construct the naval base in Gangjeong village and revoke the plan to blast Gureombi. Gangjeong residents have for five years been fighting day and night to save their coastline, livelihoods and ancient community. They are joined by the majority of Jeju Islanders who oppose the naval base on their pristine island, the government-designated island of peace. 

It is clear that the plans for the so-called civilian/military harbor are intended for nuclear aircraft carriers, not for two 150,000-ton cruise ships. The Navy lied to the villagers and residents of Jeju Island.

Jeju was recently selected among the New Seven Wonders of Nature, which with its UNESCO triple-crowned status makes the island among the world’s most precious cultural and national treasures. The marine ecosystem of the Gureombi coastline is an absolute preservation area designated by the South Korean government to protect over ten endangered species. The spring water along Gangjeong’s coastline is connected to the stream, which provides up to 80% of the drinking water for the southern half of Jeju Island. Destroying Gureombi threatens the marine life and clean water, which farmers and villagers depend upon for their survival.

Please do what is right and preserve South Korea’s democracy and precious Jeju Island from being destroyed. True security comes from consent by the people based on peace and democracy, not from wielding force. We don’t want the “New Seven Wonders of Nature” to be brutally destroyed.

Sincerely, (your name)

 

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