[P2P-F] Fwd: EDA Newsletter - June 28, 2017

Michel Bauwens michel at p2pfoundation.net
Thu Jun 29 06:35:11 CEST 2017

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From: <jbquilligan3 at charter.net>
Date: Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 1:53 AM
Subject: EDA Newsletter - June 28, 2017
To: "michel at p2pfoundation.net" <michel at p2pfoundation.net>

*EDA NEWS *– Building a Democratic Organization • Conference Feedback •
Featuring: An Article by James Quilligan • 4 New Blogs
View this email in your browser
• Building a Democratic Organization
• Conference Feedback
• Carrying Capacity and EDA: We No Longer Have the Luxury of Time, by James
• 4 New Blogs
*Dear James**,*

How do we respond to both the immediate threats to our environment AND the
long-term development of new systems and structures for economic democracy?


As in medicine, the acute and the chronic need to be managed equally and in

That’s why EDA is focusing on both “community-building and empirical
research in the protection of declining resources,” says renowned economist
James Quilligan in his groundbreaking work on the earth’s “carrying
capacity” (included in this issue).

“We want to see carrying capacity — *the maximum number of people which can
be supported by the resources available within an environment* — become a
practical and enduring foundation for social policy,” says James.

With this in mind, EDA will apply a stepwise approach to addressing both
the short- and long-term: *research, education, training, advocacy and

For more information and to join us in this effort, sign up *here*
a lot to be done and we need YOU!

On the last day of the May conference, a large group of attendees
participated in an Open Space breakout session to discuss the creation of a
Social Charter, a legal and democratic organizational structure that is in
alignment with EDA’s Mission, Vision and Values.

We have set up a team that will develop a roadmap for the steps that we
believe need to be taken.

We’ll be sharing this with you soon and inviting you to participate in its
development. A clear statement of what will be expected of committee
members and background reading material will be included.

Stay tuned!

To all of our Conference attendees who joined us in Asheville a few weeks
ago, we wanted to let you know that we have received many post-conference
surveys, and we greatly appreciate you providing your feedback to us.

In the coming weeks, we’ll share the results with you. If you haven’t yet
responded, *click here*
you can still do that now.

Thanks to all who have responded so far!


Earth is exceeding its ability to replenish its own resources. Each year,
human beings consume our natural stocks at about 160% of their sustainable
yield. Obviously, we cannot continue to use resources faster than the
planet can replenish them without serious ecological and socioeconomic

*Economic Democracy Advocates* recognizes that the next economy will have
to balance the needs of Earth’s expanding population with the shrinking
level of resources which are available to everyone. This dynamic
equilibrium is called *carrying capacity*. It is a middle path between the
faster, geometric growth rates of human population, individual consumption
and economic production, and the slower, arithmetic replenishment rates of
water, food and fossil fuels.

Historical records, from the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia to early
civilizations in the North and South Americas, provide numerous examples of
carrying capacity practiced successfully by people in local settings over
long periods. Yet, as towns developed and began to control the raw
materials and labor of their countrysides, profitable strategies for
resource extraction, production and trade gradually displaced the agrarian
customs of living sustainably within the cycles of nature.

During the past five centuries, these same methods for social control —
enclosing the commons, devising unequal trade and enforcing those
restrictions through the armed might of governments — were scaled up to the
global level. Following the earlier pattern, imperial centers of capital
controlled the resource-  and labor-rich fringes of their rural empires
through iron-handed colonialism.

The latest chapter in this saga — of enterprising groups claiming exclusive
property rights over those who live and work amid nature’s capital — is
harder to see, but still deeply inequitable. Everywhere now in the world,
decentralized communities struggle to reclaim the social ownership and
natural wealth of their commons from centralized corporations and their
shareholders, who produce and trade these same commodities virtually
unnoticed across vast distances.

There are no easy or familiar solutions for these non-regenerative,
structural imbalances. Except for small groups of indigenous peoples,
farmers and land planners from whom we still can learn, *carrying capacity
has never been a core part of our conventional economic system. *Somehow,
civilization neglected to measure the differences between the needs of an
increasing population and the diminishing resources available for each
person. Somewhere along the line, we forgot how to inventory and quantify
our commons and plan for the long-term future.

This is why EDA employs the metrics of carrying capacity to prevent
renewable and non-renewable resources from being consumed beyond their
maximum sustainable yield. *The goal is for renewable resources to be
harvested or used at the same rate at which they replenish themselves, and
for non-renewable resources to be extracted and consumed by the present
generation at a significantly slower rate to preserve these commons for
future generations. *

Many people today are reconsidering the self-sufficiency and sustainability
of their own neighborhoods. There’s renewed interest in the re-localization
of resources and avid curiosity about the democratic, cooperative
management of local and regional commons. Particularly as climate change
creates the possibility of extreme storms, wildfires, floods, rising sea
levels, drought, crop failures and other economic uncertainties, people
want to know how to make the living systems on which they depend more
resilient in the face of such risks.

Regrettably, unlike any previous era in history, when new ideas for
resource management might be tested over long centuries or even
millennia, *humanity
no longer has the luxury of time.* What we know now — by comparing present
water, food and energy yields with their availability for the world’s
population — is stunning.

*The next three or four generations represent our last chance to safeguard
the Earth’s essential hydrological, nitrogen and carbon cycles from the
destructive business cycle of production, trade and consumption.* By the
end of this century, it will be nearly impossible for the human race to
transform this failed system of resource extraction and predatory exchange,
and embark on an ecological path which is not plagued by economic scarcity
and social unrest.

This is why EDA is dedicated to both community-building and empirical
research in the protection of declining resources. We’re measuring the
sustainable yields of American counties and bioregions as a way to define,
apportion and distribute what every person needs, and ensure that the
commons are healthy and accessible for future generations.

At the same time, EDA is introducing this evidence-based framework to a
broad constituency across the United States through research, education,
training, advocacy and legislation. We want to see carrying capacity —
computing the maximum number of people which can be supported by the
resources available within an environment — become a practical and enduring
foundation for social policy.

Please join Economic Democracy Advocates and assist us in this important
work. We urge you to learn about the opportunities available and to engage
according to your own level of interest. *Contact the EDA Carrying Capacity

Patti Ellis: PattiE at EconomicDemocracyAdvocates.org
James Quilligan: JamesQ at EconomicDemocracyAdvocates.org


The days of reliance on fossil fuel for our energy source are quickly
coming to an end. And, as a result, we’re beginning to see a huge push in
research efforts to explore innovations that can make an impact on energy
creation and distribution.

The five clean energy innovations that are outlined in this post are in
various stages of commercial development, but each gives us an idea of the
kinds of things that researchers are working to bring to the world. It is
an interesting time to be alive, as these new technologies are introduced
every day, and their potential for making an impact on the world in the
future are coming a little closer.

*Read more*

The United States of America now finds itself in some pretty unusually
company joining only Syria and Nicaragua in declining involvement in the
Paris Climate Agreement.
This withdrawal which President Trump claimed to benefit the American
worker is extremely short-sighted. The opportunities for American workers
in new alternative technologies offer new jobs at an ever-increasing rate.
In California, green jobs are providing the state hundreds of thousands of
new jobs as it moves toward an aggressive goal of 100% renewable energy by
2045. New jobs and renewable energy are bolstering California’s economy
while President Trump focuses on old practices that produced elevated
carbon emissions and fewer jobs.

*Read more*

Communities of Columbus, Ohio are using urban agriculture to promote
sustainable development and increase access to locally grown food. Gardens
are popping up in otherwise under-utilized areas, and the people of
Columbus are learning how to grow food in their own backyards. Food Tank
presents a list of ten urban agriculture projects that deserve attention.

*Read more*

In North America, we live in a society where we don’t spend hours a day
traveling by foot somewhere to carry the day’s water supply on our
backs. We simply turn on the faucet in our sinks, and as if by magic, out
flows our water – clean and ready for a drink.

This article helps us to remove some of that magic by giving us a clear
picture of how water is transported from its source to the tap. The example
we’re provided with is Lake Mead water delivered to Las Vegas. It’s really
a remarkable trip – worth following – and makes us appreciate how much goes
on to serve us every day in delivering this vital resource.

*Read more*
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