New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Taking Back Our Food

July 21, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

Dealing with Hunger and the Land

by Jan Lundberg

The housing crisis — foreclosures, homelessness, renters cutting rents, disappearance of credit, slowdown in construction and home-buying — has gotten much more attention than the food crisis. The growth economy and Wall Street’s “financial instruments” have been more important to corporate media and politicians beholden to their more affluent constituents. And rising hunger can be silent, for a time.

But food is coming on strong as more serious: people can double up in a bed to stretch housing, but a plate of food split two ways means two still-hungry people. One billion people already go without sufficient food daily, a 1-7 ratio. In the U.S. it is 1-6, with record high Food Stamp reliance. One in four U.S. children are “food security at risk” (hungry). Trends indicate things will get worse before they get better: in the U.S., soaring farm values reflect that crop prices have risen because demand for food is growing around the world, while the supply of arable land is shrinking. In Iowa, 25 percent of farmland buyers are investors, double the proportion 20 years ago. (more…)

Can It Happen Here?

July 13, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg, Politics

The Zombie Shopping Empire Maintains American Exceptionalism

by Jan Lundberg

Listening to Thunderclap Newman, a revolutionary rock band of 1969-71, it’s clear that then, as now, we didn’t know where we were going. Their number-one song in the UK, “Something In The Air,” proclaimed “the revolution’s here.” In those heady days there was far more optimism for the revolution, defined variously in Marxist terms or what came to be lumped into “New Age” consciousness. The Movement and its revolution did not succeed in changing society’s course, as The Movement soon fragmented into submovements which survive today (feminist, environmental, peace, gay rights, etc.).

The answer to the question “Why not now” (for a revolution) has to do with (a) the worsening state of the Earth, saddening and depressing many, and (b) the power of what we can call the monumental greed machine and its police state. (more…)

Getting There

June 08, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

Awakening from the Dominant Delusion

by Jan Lundberg

At this juncture in humanity’s story fraught with danger and destruction, the crisis needs to be addressed forthrightly. To the extent possible, we do so with a positive vision for improvement in our lives. Individually we need to liberate our minds from the propaganda and myths of the dominant culture. Collectively we need to understand we are leaving the economy of expansion.

You have most likely compromised yourself to fit into a system that opposes the reverence of life. You don’t want to believe that corporate employers and politicians are as stupid and harmful as anything that could possibly be. You would rather be swayed by the assuaging media to somehow hope for a better world — and if possible get more sex and do more shopping tomorrow. No one is supposed to get excited about anything except as a voter fearing change. Muslim garb appearing in a suburban mall would by now scare many a U.S. consumer. (more…)

All You Need

May 10, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg, Politics

Finding a Path to Cultural, Ecological, and Economic Transformation

by Jan Lundberg

Popular protest against rulers in many parts of Africa and Asia has spread faster than most anyone would have dared hope. Ferment in other countries may well materialize and mount, including the U.S. However, while the recent uprisings have potential and are well stoked by rampant oppression and greed, we are no longer in a 19th or 20th century set of social or ecological conditions. The attainment of peace and prosperity can no longer be fully addressed with revolutions or social movements. The decades of economic growth from cheap oil — producing wealth for some, not bringing peace — cannot be replicated.

The common people have always just wanted peace and prosperity, but are pushed beyond a certain point by relentless opportunists seizing greater power. This results in eventual revolt, but new immutable factors in social change include the deteriorating health of the biosphere, cultural breakdown, and economic collapse. (more…)

On the Cusp of Great Change?

April 21, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Ecology, Family, Jan Lundberg

Where We Stand Two Months After Fukushima

by Jan Lundberg

As we plod along daily in this time of great change, we activists for the Earth often feel paradoxically that nothing is changing. More and more of us fear the clock is ticking faster and faster toward extinction. At the same time there are clear signs we should soon expect a better way of living in balance with the Earth to come about fairly soon.

No one has hit the right lever, it seems, to allow everyone to “break on through to the other side,” as the Doors exhorted. We see tragic trends of destruction persisting at the same time that small bursts of awareness often illuminate a growing number of people paying attention. Some needed an impact in their personal lives to be brought low off their material cloud, while others have steadily kept learning and expanding their awareness of the big picture. The question for those asking is: “What will it take?” (more…)

Garden Like Life Depends On It

April 05, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Guest Author

The Benefits of Small-scale Food Production

by Ellen LaConte

Spring has sprung — at least south of the northern tier of states where snow still has a ban on it — and the grass has ‘riz. And so has the price of most foods, which is particularly devastating just now when so many Americans are unemployed, underemployed, retired or retiring, on declining or fixed incomes and are having to choose between paying their mortgages, credit card bills, car payments, and medical and utility bills and eating enough and healthily. Many are eating more fast food, prepared foods, junk food — all of which are also becoming more expensive — or less food.

In some American towns, and not just impoverished backwaters, as many as 30 percent of residents can’t afford to feed themselves and their families sufficiently, let alone nutritiously. (more…)

Progress is Heresy

March 26, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Jan Lundberg, Politics

Nukes and the Abandonment of Traditions

by Jan Lundberg

In traditional cultures that cared for the land, all people enjoyed generation after generation of living reasonably, if not perfectly or with fabulous wealth. Food was grown locally, as were plant medicines and materials for clothing and shelter. Some big trees were left standing, taken only occasionally for a long-lasting community purpose such as a dugout canoe — not for one person’s private patio.

This time-honored way of living did not see freeways or nuclear power stations take over the landscape and pollute the air and water, or change the way people related to each other or to the land. (more…)

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