Manifesto for a Green New Deal | FDR’s MAGA response to Wall Street Collapsing the Economy into the Great Depression

Manifesto of the many projects which could manifest the Green New Deal. What would you choose to be involved in?

In a more recent evolution of house searching posts, I suggested an ‘artist residency’ ‘in your home’, in which both the artist and proprietor are involved. If the artists doesn’t produce according to the agreed timeline, they lose the room. Win/Win. A humanitarian tax investment, coupled with the motivation-propulsion by the artist to deliver, to maintain the residence. Then I was thinking, this could be part of the Green New Deal, a takeoff on FDR’s ‘New Deal’ which involved the (NRA) ‘National Recovery Act‘.

Within a year of the 1929 stock market crash, 50% of the population was unemployed.  The (WPA) Works Progress Administration concept was to employ mandatory structural works, with everyone involved in rebuilding; to put the entire country ‘to work’ – from local to regional – improving their own territories and their quality of life. Among these, the (TVA) Tennessee Valley Authority (which stretched beyond the borders of Tennessee) involved the entire community in constructing a hydroelectric dam, who previously had no electricity whatsoever. In the process, the stones they excavated were used to build homes.

There is one policy proposal that could bring together experts and average citizens alike to work on whatever we decide to do: resurrect the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

The (CCC) Civilian Conservation Corps also involved restoring, beautifying, repurposing places around the country. The concentration was on re-building the infrastructure of the US, ‘Making it Great Again’, after Wall Street devastated the country with the economic crash that lead the trajectory to the Great Depression.

Does this not give huge perks to the idea of instead, putting the local resources and commodities into the hands and protection of the people?

Establishing local ‘Commons’, in which all the members of the community share ownership and responsibility – as proprietors of their own wealth of resources – to protect: land, water, forests, rivers and air. So that rather than private industries having a right of passage to purchase, privatize and reap rewards and profits for themselves, the community who maintain their resources, have profits recycled back into the community for further enrichment. I remember walking in East Providence, Rhode Island, and looking down at the sidewalk and seeing that this was achieved through the WPA.

Different communities could have their own commons, in addition to creating virtual collective ‘round table’ commons in which information and ideas are exchanged transparently, benefiting all. Meetings of minds to exchange ideas for super efficient and inexpensive ways to manage resources, build sustainable transportation infrastructure and produce energy locally. 

My current 77 year old housemate just told me that with the CCC, artists, musicians, writers, performers, actors were all put to work: painting, playing music, entertaining, doing theatre. To make their environment more beautiful and rich with activities. What could possibly be distasteful about being matched to a project that suits one’s interests and capabilities?

I was talking with my sister about how treacherous it is to lose the majestic forests of tall and elegant Pine trees here in Georgia. With awareness of the risk of losing a treasure, we could all be put to work in coming up with ideas that are environmentally ethical and sustainable alternatives. Regardless of the standard for centuries, we know that our planet has finite space and resources. Presently, with an abundance of waste products, there are innumerable ways to employ trash that can be recycled and repurposed. Work that involves brainstorming and design, research and development; encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit in all of us, each involved in their own way. 

Repurpose waste materials, combined with products that are abundant. Design and construct things repurposing plastic, glass bottles, cans, rubber from tires, etc. I recently walked on the cushioned surface of pedestrian paths created by Georgia Southern university made from tire rubber, meshed together with other materials. It looks like wood chips, but tightly woven, smooth and resilient.  World Wildlife Fund stresses that we need to love nature, or lose it.

Energy, transportation could be redesigned. Instead of paying a private utility company, involve the community in the design, research and development and maintenance of their own energy. If the mentality was changed to complete transparency with an intent on conservation, preservation, health and beauty, involvement in decision making about areas where one has more of a relationship, they would want to take more responsibility and have pride in what their individual contributions to the community manifested in their own region, country or municipality. 

Anyway, can you imagine, being able to almost effortlessly, drift towards work that you’d love to participate in, which is completely connected to an area you’d like to invest your time and talent, education and energy into?  OK, say the Green New Deal work is mandatory, obligatory and enforced, yet people are given multiple options to match themselves in projects they have interested in, because they enjoy it and are subsequently good at it. Did you hear that correctly? People expressing themselves while participating in assignments in which they have interest.  Climate Mandate A Time to Heal.

For some, it may be municipal works in which they are rejuvenating the streets of their town, greening walkways, creating parks and gardens to create pedestrian areas, greening buildings (growing vertical gardens on buildings sides and greening and/or solar rooftops), cleaning up and beautifying a places, restoring, planting trees, establishing neighborhood community vegetable gardens, developing public transportation and local energy systems.

Others may want to apply their participation in the Green New Deal Works by venturing on trains and sailboats to far reaches of the planet, to clean up, collect and separate the massive, ubiquitous plastic trash. One could work together with others with the same intention. Perhaps cleaning up rivers in India, beaches in Southeast Asia, helping countries to restore equilibrium and to balance their environmental impact. Or traveling to remote islands to monitor marine life, land animals and birds, to join E.O. Wilson’s ‘Half-Earth Project’, joining millions to protect half of the earth and sea, for wildlife. Contributing information about local flora and fauna, observing, documenting, identifying sources of pollutants, assessing the more biodiverse regions, in order to incorporate these into the protected earth.

Or joining a crew in the middle of an ocean (via train and sailboat) to clear the islands of plastic that have accumulated in every ocean. Debris swept with the currents of gyres to deposit plastic mounds, which like ice burgs, have much which has accumulated beneath the surface. People could collect and sift the microplastics throughout oceans and beaches. Some could make jewelry, others collect the microplastics to be mixed with others materials like mud, or the fibers of hemp or bamboo (both fast growing), to replace concrete, for walls, roads, sidewalks. paths. The volumes of rubber from dead tires can be mixed with fibers as building materials

What if part of the Green New Deal for people of any age, scientists, entrepreneurs and thinkers, participated in working out Nikola Tesla’s original experimentation with Zero-Point energy. John Searl points out that an enormous amount of energy is perpetually present all around us, because all matter (which is energy), is in constant motion. Our earth, solar system, galaxy, are all in continuous spiraling motion. At the quantum level, all is continuously moving. Searl talks of capturing this energy that is everywhere around us, through a pretty simple device – using magnets – that perpetuate a continuous flow of energy, with no friction. Clean and quiet. 

Others may want to participate in brainstorming ways to develop energy and other processes that are sustainable; that do not involve harming habitats or diminishing natural resources. Taking down telephone poles and electric wires. and instead of silicon or mining rare minerals used in the production of our telecommunications technology, adapting the implementation of graphene: 1-atom thick wafers of carbon. Graphene is extremely conductive, and sourced from carbon, the most abundant material around. 

Kenyan Woman’s Startup Recycles Plastic Waste into Bricks That Are 5x Stronger Than Concrete -Andy Corley

Or one may prefer helping locally in a community garden, planting trees along every street, or doing physical work like creating bamboo or hemp woven with plastic sidewalks, that have the durability of concrete but more flexibility to allow tree roots to breath and grow naturally, without cracking, planting bee highways. Why bee highways? Because everything in nature is connected and interdependent. It’s all about biodiversity. Here’s an explanation of ecoliteracy from Nature’s Web of LIfe.

Jobs would re-create a massive eco alternative, to the current industrial and digital. Because we need less new construction and more imagining of green alternatives and acknowledgment of the habitats of other creatures, we can learn new methods of living harmoniously with the other species inhabiting the planet. 

Each can contribute something, with a pencil, paint brush, tool or shovel..Cleaning up, clearing out, repurposing and transforming areas. Planting trees to transform barren, dusty areas or humid regions prone to landslides, to restore them. 

Every city mapping out car-free, pedestrian-friendly areas. Creating clean and efficient public transportation options.

With an increasing population of elderly, immigrants – children and adults – could be given education and placement as companions and helpers to the elderly. They could assist, clean, maintain, help with transportation, make meals, learn how to monitor basic vital signs and administer medication, listen to stories, learn the language of their host country and exchange stories. Housing in exchange for services and companionship. Without having the insurance industry having a choke hold on who can be let into your home. 

Recently, observing from back roads in Georgia, I noticed less and less tall pines along the road and well, what about the boars? Shall we begin to entirely ‘think differently and rethink together? What building materials, types of vehicles, types of energy that we have used traditionally, to recreate sustainable means everywhere? Not just to be implemented in the Northern Hemisphere.

Prohibit housing and development from spreading like a virus, prohibit expansion of box store franchises, and create more and more green spaces.

Reformulate all factories, mines, yeah, even off-shore oil wells, etc. to create housing, establish reefs…

Repurpose agricultural fields or crops grown to feed animals for the meat industry, into hemp, bamboo, plants which humans eat, plant trees. Undoubtedly, the more minds who are engaged in conjuring up clever ideas, to re-think designs, materials and energy to create sustainable solutions, the more rewarding and fascinating this process will be. Might as well attempt incentivizing people towards better health by encouraging vegetarian diets and informing people about the facts of how unsustainable and wasteful it is to devote land to raising animals; they require more land and water than what the land could be used for to feed humans. Eco education is a must. Green New Deal Projects involving growing food together and learning about nutrition and cooking would be invaluable for young people. Break up pavement and replace it with sustainable ones. Plant trees, EVERYWHERE. Nurture the wilderness. As George Monbiot states, we need to ‘rewild the world’.

There are so many ways the Green New Deal could be a fantastic luxury: putting talent and natural incentive to task. Employing simple fungi to clean up toxic spills, and generate biological life. If we would all be incentivized to clean up plastic all over the world, this could be repurposed with bamboo or hemp, to create building material. We could have a decade and a half of clearing out the trash that humanity has deposited all over the planet, and repurposing it to designs that replace using trees. 

David Roberts explains The Green New Deal in this article.   The Sunrise Movement of youth demanding action is huge.

What if news channels, delivered by those who own them, were transformed into venues of participatory global commons, in which counties, municipalities, states and federal domains would maintain a global commons channel, for communities to exchange ideas about energy and transportation infrastructure.

Does this sound insanely idealistic? Radically off the cuff, stream-of-consciousness babble? Or am I making a point for ‘socialism’, community shared intention and commitment, to full-out re-appropriation and repurposing of space and industry. With training and education matched with interest and desire to task. Channels streamlined for the purpose of actively sharing ideas at digital round tables – rather than passively listening to news that is dictated by those who wish you to passively attend to that subject. What if everyone was engaged in thinking of ideas, finding teams to draw them up and design, then manifest them? 

There would be plenty of ‘work’, to create effective animal bridges and tunnels, to nurture the habitats and migratory nature of animals. With an emphasis on community, not driven by profit or anthropomorphism, but with genuine appreciation and wonder of the natural world. Education can focus on ‘ecoliteracy’. Awareness of the interconnected nature of life and the need to protect habitats and maintain biodiversity, will translate into a population of caring and proactive youths. products, re-appropriate factories and dirty industries. 

How would you want to contribute? What would you like to involve yourself in? Where’s the money coming from? Well, all the billionaires, of course. 

Pursuit of Happiness  | IDEA  | Authentic Happiness  |  PERMA | Motion

In my pursuit of happiness, a couple months ago I decided to take a trip. It appeared to be pretty spontaneous, yet I had intended to eventually make this circuit, after having lived for the last 6 years in Europe. I had moved to Barcelona in 2004 and then Berlin, Germany for a second time in 2005. It had been a while since I had physically visited these former communities and friends living there, upon returning to the United States on the eve of Christmas, 2011. My first prompt was to reach San Francisco by the day of the How Weird Street Faire http://howweird.org, which would certainly bring a lot of people together in one place, from among the community of people I knew while living in the ccc warehouse, back in the day when my housemate Brad Olsen had established the first How Weird. En route, I decided that I could visit friends in Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico, as I made my way to the West coast. I was originally drawn to Taos, a high desert town not far from the Colorado border and nestled in the lower reaches of the Rocky mountains, for snow skiing. I had worked at the ski area there teaching skiing for several years, then later lived in Santa Fe in 2003, teaching skiing at the Ski Basin. The point of this trip was to assess where I might wish to relocate, if it happens to be in the United States, and also to visit with friends who I hadn’t seen in a while. As I mentioned in the last blog, I found a flight to Denver, with the intention of hitch-hiking to Taos, as my first destination. After staying in Taos for the first stretch, I continued hitching on to several additional New Mexico locations, and further on to California. I successfully made it to the street fair on time, and really had a delightful visit throughout. I cut my journey short however, because of a number of reasons. Though my initial incentive was to investigate Portland and Seattle as well as Los Angeles, as potential places to consider relocating, I opted against them. Basically, I intuited that probably each of these towns offer a combination of what I’m looking for in a residence; lots of opportunities for people to participate in music, cultural, art related and outdoor sports like mt. biking, ultimate frisbee and nearby mountains for skiing and snow boarding, as well as having a solid infrastructure for bicycle routes along with a good public transportation network (with the exception of LA). However, what I would miss, is the accessibility of dipping into different European languages on a regular basis, which is typical in Berlin. I studied cultural anthropology and am fascinated by languages and the movement of them along cultural migratory routes. I have to admit that I am not too keen on monotone weather either, and really prefer the dynamics of four seasons.

My visiting adventure came to a poignant exclamation mark wrap-up, when I found myself seated on a return flight to the East coast next to a woman who had just written an article http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/elaine-obrien/2012053122448 in Positive Psychology News about health, fitness and general well being. She was touching on the subject of happiness, which I’ve ironically been blogging about numerous times. The mantra of many of my friends is ‘there are no coincidences’. Elain was returning from the 2012 IDEA Health and Fitness Convention, and had just published an article about it, writing specifically about the association. Here are their publications. http://www.ideafit.com/idea-fitness-journal

With her aura of helpfulness and kindness, Elaine was ebullient as she offered information about the subject of fitness, health and Kinesiology (movement). Years ago when I lived in San Francisco and was sketching a guy sitting next to me at a bar, he asked me to draw my ‘favorite thing’. I responded with an impromptu picture of concentric circles, indicating that this was an image of the concept of motion. Here’s the original sketch on a napkin

and a subsequent version on a card I created.

Motion

I spontaneously revealed that motion is my favorite thing; both geographical, intellectual, physical, spiritual…indicating that through moving to a new place/perspective, can one acquire a new insight. I later read Elaine’s article and saw a quote of Plato’s prominently placed at the beginning: “Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical exercise save it and preserve it.”

Elaine writes that Peter and Kathie Davis started the group IDEA, to ‘inspire the world to fitness and wellness’, back in 1982, which has now grown to 65,000 members worldwide. They wanted to create “an association where fitness professionals could learn from each other and from the experts”. According to Peter, “Fitness professionals focused mostly on the body for the first 25 years. What we at IDEA have tried to do in the last few years, is to encourage fitness leaders to understand the mind, the body, and the spirit together in a wholeness model. Through this, we can inspire wellness and positive transformation.” Their incentive is to re-frame the way that people look at health and fitness, to recognize how integrally these are related to the pursuit of happiness. They wish to inspire people to make healthier behavioral changes towards wellness.

She also quotes Tal Ben-Shahar, “Exercise feels good, enhances self-esteem, induces calm, improves thinking, makes you feel more attractive, has virtually no negative side effects, is legal, and is free.” He teaches a course on ‘Happiness’ within the Positive Psychology department at Harvard, University, and has written a book “Happier”. Interviewed on The Daily Show, he mentions that students claim that the course makes them feel happier. He hopes to raise the level of happiness and quality of life in the community.

How do we understand happiness and how can we apply this to our lives? There’s a growing movement in positive psychology and for the first time a ‘science of Happiness’. A study done by the Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, not to be confused with con man’-)) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Kahneman has found that people are less happy if they are too distracted. Therefore, this is not merely about physical fitness and motion, but the necessity of being ‘present’ in what you’re doing. In addition, studies demonstrate that meditation can actually affect how the brain works, so that people can feel the positive emotions more fully and be more resilient to deal with negative ones. Incidentally, my frustration with my refusal to specialize, and insistence in juggling multiple projects in disparate areas, sometimes causes me to feel like I’m not making enough headway. A few weeks ago as I was sensing this, I decided to ‘randomly’ pull a magazine out from a pile of “Utne Readers” to see if the one I picked might synchronistically deliver a message. Ahhh, the one that I slid out from near the bottom of the stack spoke ardently about my ‘problem’.

A Focused Life

It was the issue with the theme of “Focus” and “Why We Are So Distracted and What to Do About It

My airplane neighbor Elaine also talked about Dr. Martin Seligman, the Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. It’s more than serendipity, that his homepage is “Authentic Happiness” His website welcomes visitors to use the tools and resources available for free.

An excerpt of his book, “Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being” “What Is Well-Being? The Original Theory: Authentic Happiness” describes that we not only make choices because something makes us feel good, with more measurable happiness; such as pleasure, comfort, delight, joy, ecstasy. But we also can really derive happiness by being ‘in the flow’ of an activity, when we are totally engaged. This is when time appears to stop, because we are so completely absorbed in an activity that we lose track of time. Engagement is different, even opposite to positive emotion he says, because people often become so involved in an activity that they are aware of nothing, and are not thinking or feeling. The flow involves having to employ your highest strengths and skills. With respect to this, I like to make the analogy of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, when he talks about “using the force”. Seligman states that the third element of happiness that he defines in his book, is meaning. Summarizing his well-being theory since revising it further, it is encompassed in these measurable elements which all contribute to happiness, expressed in the acronym PERMA. Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning/purpose and Accomplishment.

I like the fact that my journey pulled me back to these same themes, motion and happiness, which I am engaged in perpetually, in my pursuit of happiness, fulfillment and meaning. My intention is to aspire to and maintain health, resilience and awareness, balanced with forever engaging in what I love to do, so that I can somehow contribute to inspiring and guiding others to find their own path.

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/happiness/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/guides-to-living-longer-happier-lives-right-here-right-now/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/speaking-of-happiness-laughter-yoga-giggling-guru-madan-kataria/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/happyness-making-the-best-of-what-you-have/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/gross_domestic_problem_-why-measurement-of-wealth-depends-on-a-healthy-environment/