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create-iconAlong with direct action and other forms of resistance, a transformational movement must also have a constructive program that builds new institutions based on the values that the movement aspires to achieve. These may eventually replace the old systems. From small, worker-owned cooperatives to national advocacy groups, hundreds of thousands of people around the country are working to create democratic and sustainable systems that meet the basic needs of all people.

What Are Bike Buses And Why Are Kids ‘Jumping Out Of Bed’ To Join Them?

It's fun, it's green and it's becoming more popular by the day. Barcelona's bike bus, or "bicibus", as the scheme is known locally, allows hundreds of children to cycle safely to school in a convoy, taking over entire streets in Spain's second largest city. The citizen-led project, supported by Barcelona City Council, began in March 2021 with one route in the Sarria neighbourhood. It now has 15 routes and has inspired similar schemes in the Scottish city of Glasgow and in Portland in the United States. Eight-year-old Lena Xirinacs joins the Eixemple route every Friday with her father, who is one of the volunteers ensuring that the children are safe on the road. "She wakes up with joy. I could use it as an excuse every day so that she jumps out of bed," Pablo Xirinacs said.

Joe Brewer’s Bold Quest To Help Restore A Bioregion

Disaffected with his way of life in the US and concerned about the multiple ecological crises bearing down on humankind, Joe Brewer set off on a journey to learn what he might be able to do. He had considerable background in the earth sciences, studied cognitive linguistics and philosophy, and had worked with the activist group, The Rules. But restoring an entire ecosystem would be a novel challenge. In 2019, Brewer ended up in Barichara, Colombia, with his wife and infant daughter, where he soon found himself helping to catalyze a "living laboratory of regeneration" of a degraded landscape, an arid tropical forest, in the northern Andes.  Ninety percent of the forest in the region's one million acres had been cut down, causing the once-fertile food forest to dry out and become a desert.

We Need A New Approach To Giant Tech Firms Like Google

Since the 1970s, economists buying into the Chicago School of Antitrust have waved off the dangers of lax antitrust policies, professing that “the market” would sort out issues of competition and punish companies that abuse size and power. The Chicagoans’ narrow focus on direct consumer costs as the sole measure of harm didn’t consider the impact of consolidation on small businesses, start-ups, workers, or, for that matter, democratic norms. Nor did it raise red flags for tech platforms that were touted as “free” for users (while monetizing our attention and personal data). A growing number of critics argue that these basic assumptions are both wrong and outdated, as evidenced by the fact that in many industries, particularly technology, companies have been growing to gargantuan proportions and, as anybody who owns a smartphone is painfully aware, they seem free to gobble competitors, hinder innovation, and serve up crappy, overpriced products.

The US Can Get To 100% Clean Power Without New Nuclear

There is a widespread view that nuclear energy is necessary for decarbonizing the electricity sector in the United States. It is expressed not only by the nuclear industry, but also by scholars and policy-makers like former Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who recently said that the choices we have “…when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine” are “fossil fuel or nuclear.” I disagree. Wind and solar are much cheaper than new nuclear plants even when storage is added. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated the cost of unsubsidized utility-scale solar plus battery storage in 2021 was $77 per megawatt-hour — about half the cost of new nuclear as estimated by the Wall Street firm Lazard. (An average New York State household uses a megawatt-hour in about seven weeks.)

Europe’s Surprising Record Of Dam Removals

The 1999 demolition of the Edwards Dam on Maine’s Kennebec River set off a wave of dam removals across the United States. Since then some 1,200 dams have come down to help restore rivers and aquatic animals, improve water quality, and boost public safety — among other benefits. Across the Atlantic, European nations have been busy removing thousands of river barriers, too. But until recently the efforts have gone largely unnoticed, even among experts. Pao Fernández Garrido can attest to that. An engineer and expert in ecosystem restoration from Spain, Fernández Garrido was finishing her master’s thesis in 2012 when she attend a dam-removal training in Massachusetts that was part of a conference on fish passage.

How Co-ops Are Transforming Quebec’s Food Deserts

Montreal, Québec, Canada - In French, the word for food processing is the same as the word for sweeping social change: transformation. Alex Beaudin dreams of doing both. Beaudin, 25, is the coordinator of Le Grénier Boréal, an agricultural co-op in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, a village of around 450 people in northeastern Quebec, 550 miles northeast of Montreal. Longue-Pointe is one of about 20 villages strung like beads on a necklace, between Route 138 and the vast St. Lawrence River. The highway and the river are the villages’ lifelines, and depending on either one for supply shipments — as the Nord-Côtiers do — can be maddening. Ferry service is unreliable; a damaged ship can cause weeks of disruption.

Kenya Is Rapidly Emerging As Africa’s Renewable Energy Superpower

When William Ruto was sworn in as Kenya’s fifth president in September 2022, he used his inauguration speech to demand an end to humanity’s “addiction to fossil fuels” and reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to reach 100% clean energy by 2030. Kenya is not far off this target today. In 2021, 81% of Kenya’s electricity generation came from the low carbon sources of geothermal, hydro, wind, and solar power. Over half of this low carbon electricity came from geothermal energy, which Kenya has in abundance. So much in fact, that excess geothermal energy is released during the night when electricity demand is low. Installed geothermal capacity in Kenya could be increased by at least eightfold, which could open opportunities for scaling up green manufacturing capacity or exporting excess electricity to neighbouring countries.

US Authorities Agree To Rip Up Grass Lawns For Water Conservation

A group of agencies that provide water to millions of customers in the western U.S. has agreed to rip-up grass lawns in public spaces across multiple states as part of an effort to reduce water usage as the Colorado River continues to suffer from a major drought. More than 30 agencies that draw water from the river signed on to the conservation agreement last week. The pledge promises to remove 30% of grass lawns and replace them with “drought- and climate-resilient landscaping while maintaining vital urban landscapes and tree canopies,” that benefit communities and wildlife. The agencies will remove the many well-manicured lawns seen throughout parking lots, neighborhood entryways, and highway medians.

Yakama Nation Calls On Washington State And Supporters To Honor Native American Heritage Month

Washington - November is Native American Heritage Month, when we recognize and celebrate the first peoples of this continent; their resilience, accomplishments, and traditional knowledge. In 2009, President Obama signed “The Native American Heritage Day Resolution,” designating the Friday after Thanksgiving as “Native American Heritage Day.” On this highly commercial day, many United Stated consumers give very little thought about the indigenous people of this land, but the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation encourages you to take a moment to confer. To observe Tiinmamí alxayx, explore the history of this land. The Yakama ancestors and those of the related tribes and bands, lived, traveled, traded, and practiced traditional and religious ceremonies across this region.

Pakistan And China Partner To Build Climate Resilience

As part of an ambitious initiative to build climate resilience in the aftermath of disastrous floods, Pakistan has, with Chinese assistance, put up a high-tech environmental observation station to anticipate weather and research climate change. Disasters such as floods, droughts, and cyclones have struck Pakistan in recent years, causing widespread destruction. Since the monsoon season started in mid-June, Pakistan has seen extremely heavy rains—about three times higher than the country’s 30-year average. As a result, Pakistan is facing its worst floods this century, with rivers spilling their banks, flash flooding, and bursting glacial lakes. The climate minister of Pakistan has declared that floodwaters have spread across one-third of the country, making this the worst flooding event in the country’s history.

Growing Worker Co-ops In Vermont

Bret Keisling is joined by worker-owners Alex Fischer and Andrew Stachiw who discuss USFWC's (US Federation of Worker Cooperatives) efforts to network and grow worker co-ops in Vermont to further societal goals including economic, racial, and social justice, and working in business as anti-capitalists. Alex and Andrew share their individual and combined passions for democratized workplaces and their beliefs that changing the very structures of jobs, equity and community will transcend society. Each guest also shares their EO A-ha Moment. Further show notes, and all of our past episodes, are available on our website.

The Case For Democratic Worker Control

First it was the “Great Resignation.” Then it was “nobody wants to work anymore.” Now it’s “quiet quitting.” Yet it seems like no one wants to talk about what I see as the root cause of America’s economic malaise – work under contemporary capitalism is fundamentally flawed. As a political philosopher studying the effects of contemporary capitalism on the future of work, I believe that the inability to dictate and meaningfully control one’s own working life is the problem. Democratizing work is the solution. What can be said about the malaise surrounding work under capitalism today? There are at least four major problems: First, work can be alienating.

China Is Building A Truly Ecological Civilisation

The 2022 UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (Cop27) has just drawn to a close. One of the defining themes of this year’s conference has been the insistent demand by the leaders of the global South for climate justice — for the wealthy countries to step up their financial and technological support to poorer countries, to help mitigate the effects of climate change and to speed up the transition to green energy systems. Climate justice is not some sort of fringe radical notion; indeed, the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” is written into international law, and reflects the fact that over the course of 200 years, Europe, North America and Japan have burned enormous quantities of fossil fuels on their road to modernisation, creating an environmental crisis in the process.

There Is An Alternative: Social Housing In Vienna

Vienna, Austria - We all know we have a housing crisis all across our country.  Rents have skyrocketed; there are insufficient numbers of apartments and houses available; many people in our cities are unhoused; rent control is considered too radical; there are few protections against evictions.  The American dream has long included home ownership and stable safe neighborhoods.  But the dream has become a nightmare as racism and capitalism leave some without homes altogether, and have displaced so many more.  Most discouraging, few people see any alternatives to the current system of how housing is allocated and paid for. But there is an alternative.  Two members of Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution (FCCPR) were in Vienna, Austria recently and saw how things could be different.

Two EV-Charging Roads Are Coming To Detroit

Detroit, Michigan - You may find yourself driving on an EV charging road in the near future. In Detroit, inductive charging technology is being added to two short roads, a project that will be the first wireless electric road system (ERS) in the U.S. The roads will be capable of charging electric vehicles that install a special receiver while they drive. The roadway will be fully functional by 2023. For the project, roads are embedded with coils that transfer magnetic energy to receivers mounted under EVs. That energy is then used to charge the vehicle battery, whether it is stationary or on the go. “We’re the auto capital. We continue to push technology advancements,” said Michele Mueller, a senior project manager at Michigan Department of Transportation, as reported by Fast Company.
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