A List of Environmental and Telecommunications Events and Issues

January 9 to January 16, 1998

Published, Edited and Written by George Mokray for
Information Ecologies
218 Franklin St #3
Cambridge, MA 02139

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Saturday, January 10

9 am - 3 pm
Sustainable Boston: Green for a Greener City Conference
Thomas Menino, Katie McGinty, Byron Rushing, Trudy Coxe, Jim McGovern, and others
contact 350-8866 or geeta.pradhan.pfd@ci.boston.ma.us
Boston Public Library, Copley Sq, Boston

7 pm
Party at the HUB in NYC - fundraiser for The Hub, which promotes electric cars, pedicabs, sells/rents bikes'n skates and for TIMES UP! an ecofriendly biker-group that does radical critical mass rides in NYC & many other things
contact http://www.panix.com/~timesup
81 East 3rd St, between 1st & 2nd Ave, NYC
Editorial Comment: If you just happen to be in New York that day.

Sunday, January 11

7 pm
Greater Boston Greens
contact 787-9521 or oggc@fcl.us.net
Community Church, 565 Boylston St, (Copley Sq), Boston

8 pm - 10 pm
Middle Eastern Drumming Rhythms
George Kirby
MIT Building W11, Hillel Center

Monday, January 12

Merrimack Valley Greens Meeting
contact massgreens@igc.apc.org
Lawrence Grassroots Initiative, Lawrence, MA

10 am - 11:30 am
Sweet Melatonin Dreams
Irina Zhdanova
contact 253-6748 or zhdanova@mit.edu
MIT Building E10, Roomm 013

10 am - 12 pm
Toward a Notation for Self-Describing Systems
Ray Ferrara
contact 253-7495 or rferrara@mit.edu
MIT Building 2, Room 135
Classes also on Wednesday and Friday.

10:30 am
The Debate on Economic and Monetary Union
Carlo Monticelli
contact 258-0407 or carlom@mit.edu
MIT Building E51, Room 372

10:30 am - 12 pm
Wall Street Rocket Science
Stephen Ross
contact 253-3083
MIT Building E51, Room 345

3 pm
Intensive Cartooning Workshop
Larry Gonick
contact 253-2336 or mshenry@mit.edu
MIT Building E32, Room 305
Course continues on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Aerospace Manufacturing in the Next Millenium
Debbie Nightingale
contact 253-2279 or mas@mit.edu
MIT Building 33, Room 206

3 pm - 5 pm
Is China's Growth Sustainable?
Justin Yifu Lin
contact 253-7731 or China@mit.edu
MIT Building E38, 7th floor

6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
TecsChange will start its fourth earn-a-computer course and needs tutors who can volunteer one evening per week for six weeks. The classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays.
contact tecschange@tecschange.org or 983-1705 (until 11 pm)
South End Technology Center, two blocks from Copley Place, Boston

7 pm - 8:30 pm
The Brookline Bicycle Advisory Committee - videos about biking in cities around the world, including Paris, Amsterdam, Oslo, Seattle, Delft, and yes Brookline.
contact Bert Scharf 731-2820 or SCHARF@NEU.EDU
Brookline Main Library Auditorium

Tuesday, January 13

Crisis Action Planning
contact 253-5265 or sapolsky@mit.edu

10 am
Spy School
Ruth Levitsky contact 253-3399, levitsky@mit.edu, or http://mit.edu/levitsky/www/spyschool
MIT Building E40, Room 302
Editorial Comment: What information are you giving away? How can you find out about others? Dangerous stuff but necessary skills in this sea of data.

10 am - 12 pm
Boston Government Center Design Drivers
Romin Koebel
contact 253-7122 or ajwhittl@mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 350

10:30 am - 12 pm
Writing on the Board Without Chalk: Using Technology When You Lecture
Katie Livingston
contact 253-5267 or peterb@mit.edu
MIT Building 2, Room 132

12 pm
Cancer Prevention
Graham Colditz
contact ciam@med.mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 150

Eudora Quick Start
contact 253-0852 or cavan@mit.edu
MIT Building E40, Room 302

1 pm
Laser Acupuncture to Treat Hand and Wrist Pain
Margaret Maeser
contact ciam@med.mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 190

1 pm - 4 pm
Sacred Symbols
Roland Young
contact reyoung@mitre.org
MIT Building W11
Same time, same place on Thursday, January 15.

1 pm - 5 pm
Saving Life and Limb: The Technology of Land Mine Removal
Philip Morrison, MIT, moderator; David Feingold, anthropologist/documentarian; Georges Focsaneanu, International Demining Consultants; Kosta Tsipis, MIT; Neil Goldfine, Jentek Sensors; Harry Hambric, US Army; Paul Horowitz, Harvard
contact 253-0108 or http://web.mit.edu/tac/www/home.html
MIT Building E51, Wong Auditorium, (70 Memorial Dr; entrance on the corner of Wadsworth and Amherst)

3 pm - 5 pm
Arsenic and Old Waste: The Legacy of Old-Time Chemical Manufacturing in the Aberjona Watershed
Harry Hemond
Molecular Ecology of Microbial Communities: A Case Study from Hydrothermal Vents
contact 253-3726, voelker@mit.edu, 255-6269, or lnichols@mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 390

5 pm - 7 pm
Menger's Sponge Workshop
Jeannine Mosely
contact 484-3647, j9@alum.mit.edu or http://world.std.com/~j9/sponge
MIT Building 4, Room 149
Editorial Comment: Jeannine has been working on a large-scale paper model of this geometric structure for at least two years now. She needs hundreds if not thousands of different simple modules that are fairly easy and fun to fold. Give her a hand and help her realize her project.

8 pm
Animation Around the World II
contact 255-1769 or stephane@mit.edu
MIT Building 6, Room 120

Wednesday, January 14

Hydroelectric Power Generation and Peak Demand: Field Trip to Northfield Mountain pumped storage hydro installation
Dara Entekhabi
contact 253-9698 or darae@mit.edu

10:30 am
The Debate on Economic and Monetary Union
Carlo Monticelli
contact 258-0407 or carlom@mit.edu
MIT Building E51, Room 372

12 pm
Strong Women Stay Young (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0553378481/alistA/)
Miriam Nelson
contact ciam@med.mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 150

1:30 pm
Worry: Controlling It and Using It Wisely
Edward Hallowell
contact ciam@med.mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 190

3 pm
Boot-Strapping Space Industry with Rotating Tethers
Bruce Mackenzie
contact 258-2828 or bmackenzie@draper.com
MIT Building 33, Room 206

6:30 pm - 9 pm
Robotic Fish, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
Jamie Anderson
contact BMackenzie@draper.com
MIT Building 35, Room 225

Thursday, January 15

Crisis Action Planning
contact 253-5265 or sapolsky@mit.edu

10 am
Boston Harbor Contaminated Sediments
Judy Pederson
contact jpederson@mit.edu
MIT Building E38, Room 300

10 am - 11:30 am
Virtual Open House: Tour of CD-ROM Collection
Katherine Poole
contact 253-7098 or kkpoole@mit.edu
MIT Rotch Library Visual Collections

11 am
How to Give a Short Talk
Edward Adelson
contact 253-0645 or adelson@media.mit.edu
MIT Building E25, Room 117

11 am - 12:30 pm
Virtual Tour of MITNet
Michael Barrow
contact 253-0852
MIT Building 3, Room 133

12 pm
Going Meatless: Being a Smart Vegetarian
Tiana Celesia
contact ciam@med.mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 190
2 pm
Choreographic Topology
Jim Propp
contact 253-6544 or propp@math.mit.edu
MIT Building 4, Room 145
Editorial Comment: I attended this presentation last year, making human knots and designs based on mathematical principles.

Slow Motion Action: Capturing the Whole Image
Charles Mazel
contact chm@mit.edu
MIT Building 4, Room 402

2 pm - 3:30 pm
Stress Management and Relaxation
Marcia Yousik
contact ciam@med.mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 150

3 pm - 5 pm
Sustainable Energy for the 21st Century
Elisabeth Drake
Can Ocean Disposal of CO2 Reduce Global Climate Change?
Eric Adams
contact 253-3726, voelker@mit.edu, 255-6269, or lnichols@mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 390

5:30 pm
_Hiding_ (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0226791599/alistA/)
Mark Taylor
contact 253-5249 or authors@mit.edu
MIT Building E15, Bartos Auditorium

7 pm
Boston Virtual Reality Group: Navigating a Spacialized Speech Environment Through Simultaneous Listening and a Hallway Metaphor
Brenden Maher, MIT Media Lab
contact 666-1874, brenden@media.mit.edu, or http://www.media.mit.edu/~brenden/bostonVR/bostonVR.html
MIT Building E15, Room 095 (Media Lab)

7:30 pm
The Cartoon Guide to Sex: A Lecture and Demonstration
Larry Gonick
contact 253-2336 or mshenry@mit.edu
MIT Building 4, Room 231

Friday, January 16

11 am
How We Made Hundreds of Millions of Dollars for Hewlett Packard
Stanley Gershwin
contact 253-2149 or gershwin@mit.edu
MIT Building 35, Room 338

12 pm
Diet in the Prevention of Cancer and Other Diseases
Walter Willette
contact ciam@med.mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 150

1 pm
Chaos and Quantum Mechanics
Daniel Kleppner
contact 253-6811 or dk@amo.mit.edu
MIT Building 4, Room 370

Sunday, January 18

2 pm - 4 pm
Listening Skills Workshop by Nightline
contact 253-8800
MIT Building 6, Room 120

Monday, January 19

7:30 pm
Zero Population Growth of Greater Boston (munchies provided)
contact 225-8905, breinan@ortho.bwh.harvard.edu or http://web.mit.edu/hbreinan/zpg-gb/
100 Lexington St #B10, Belmont

Thursday, January 22, 1998

8:30 am - 10:30 am
Northeast Business Environmental Network Breakfast Meeting:
Measuring Environmental, Health & Safety Program Performance
Benchmark Your Practices
Lee Wilmot, HADCO and Tom Burns, C.R. Bard
Learn What Regulators Expect
Bob Bois, Mass. DEP and David Webster, EPA New England
contact (978)557-5475 or execdirector@nben.org, http://www.nben.org
UMass-Lowell, Wannalancit Conference Center, 600 Suffolk St, Lowell, MA
Seating is limited. Please respond by Jan. 19, 1997
NBEN Members: $20 Non-members: $40

Sunday, January 25

10 am - 3 pm
Massachusetts Voters for Clean Elections organizing meeting
contact 451-0399
Framingham (Location TBA)
Editorial Comment: MassGreens want to remind us that "when you register to vote, you must put down MASSACHUSETTS GREEN PARTY, (all three words) or you will not count for us in our drive to become an offcial party. If you registered as anything but this, please go back and do it again! Also, if you can serve as a contact for Greens in your community, please let us know by dropping us an e-mail or call ing us at (978)688-2068."

Sources for Listings:
MIT _Tech Talk_ :
Harvard _Gazette_ :
Harvard Environmental Resources On-Line:
MA Executive Office of Environmental Affairs calendar:
Earth Day Network international/national listings:
Earth Day Greater Boston calendar:

act-ma the Massachusetts activists mailing list:
subscribe by emailing majordomo@igc.apc.org, leaving the subject line blank and typing "subscribe act-ma" as the message

Peace and Justice Events Hotline at (617)787-6809

Computer Organizations of NE (CONE):
http://bcs1.ziplink.net/cone/sig - Special Interest Group list
http://bcs1.ziplink.net/cone/cal/index.html - calendar
Boston Webmasters Guild

Community Technology Center Network

Table of Contents

Cambridge Civic Journal

I was reading the _Cambridge Chronicle_ looking for foreclosed houses that I could dream of buying when I saw that Robert Winters (rwinters@MATH.HARVARD.EDU) has started publishing the Cambridge Civic Journal via email. Robert has run thrice for City Council and is a confirmed local politics junkie. What he is doing with his Journal is publishing his notes on all the local community meetings he goes to. Robert has his own point of view, as do I; and though I sometimes disagree with his POV, I am happy to have his reports of what is happening all over town on a wider variety of topics than I knew existed.

This is what the Net is supposed to be for. Just take a look at the contents for his second issue:

0) Introduction
1) Report of Nov 17 City Council meeting
2) Nov 18 Planning Board meeting - Holmes Project
3) Report of Nov 24 City Council meeting
4) Dec 1 Ceremony at Carl Barron Plaza
5) Dec 2 Central Square Advisory Committee meeting
6) Dec 3 CRGM "Hotspots" meeting
7) Dec 4 Recycling Advisory Committee meeting
8) Harvard Square Defense Fund Annual meeting
9) Dec 9 Fresh Pond Art meeting
10) Dec 10 Election Commission meeting
11) Dec 15 City Council meeting (with scorecard)
12) Dec 16 Planning Board meeting - Incl. Zoning, Grace
13) Calendar

Contact Robert if you want to subscribe.

Another local resource is the Cambridge Town Crier (http://civic.net/ctc), although they seem to work in a vacuum. I have talked with the publisher and editor and given them permission to reprint anything of mine they want; however, they have never, to my knowledge, even mentioned the existence of "A List..." or used my information. Not my idea of community building.

Table of Contents

Richard Duncan in Olduvai Gorge

I met Richard Duncan (duncanrc@halcyon.com) a few years ago when he was studying Harvard and MIT. We would find ourselves at the same environmental lectures and asking the same kinds of questions. Richard has since moved back to the Northwest but keeps me informed about his work updating M King Hubbert's estimation of world oil supplies.

Recently he wrote me:

The updated World Oil Forecasting Program (7 Regions, 42 Nations, latest data) and the run-time version of Stella 5.0 are now available on the Web. Free. For both Macintosh and Windows. Use our oil forecasts (i.e., made jointly by R. Duncan and Dr. Walter Youngquist, Chair emeritus; Dept. of Geology; U. Oregon) or make your own at http://www.halcyon.com/duncanrc/

User friendly. Step-by-Step Instructions are included. Ideal for energy researchers, sustainability studies, and alternative energy development.

Also: Have a look at a couple of Olduvai cartoons: One at http://www.hubbertpeak.com/duncan/olduvai.htm. Another at http://dieoff.org/page1.htm

The original cartoon appears in my article in _The Coming Oil Crisis_ by C. J. Campbell; Petroconsultants, Inc; 1997 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0906522110/alistA/). Ultimate sustainability. In brief: It's either going to be Silicon Valley solar or Olduvai Gorge solar. And right now we're headed for the Olduvai. People understand cartoons. But rarely models.

Soon after I received that email from Rich, I saw his name mentioned by Jan Hanson (j@QMAIL.COM) on the Ecocity list (ECOCITY@SEGATE.SUNET.SE). Jay Hanson is evidently the Webmaster at http://dieoff.org and has published Rich's "The Olduvai Theory: Sliding Towards a Post-Industrial Stone Age" there (http://dieoff.org/page125.htm). Whether you agree with him or not, you owe it to yourself to look at his oil forecasting work. It is some of the best and most complete in the business.

It's always a pleasure to see a friend like Richard begin to be discovered by others.

Table of Contents

Utility Deregulation

In November 1997, the MA Legislature, without formal debate, approved legislation that will change the way you buy energy on March 1. On that date, you will be able to choose who you will purchase electricity from and, in some cases, be able to purchase renewably generated power. You will still pay your local utility a customer charge, a transmission fee, and for distribution and access; but you will be able to choose who you want to buy power from and thus be able to determine, in some measure, how that power is generated.

The legislation gaurantees that your bill will be 10% lower in March than it was in February and after 18 months will drop another 5%. [My most recent bill is for $28.31 for 191 kilowatt hours. $5.35 is the generation charge, the cost of generating the energy I use, the only part of the bill that is subject to "competition" under the law. My guaranteed 10% reduction will amount to $2.83 or about 50% of my generation charge. Somehow, I don't think that the numbers add up.] The legislation also guarantees that all of us consumers will pay for 100% of the "stranded costs" existing utilities have in power plants that will no longer be competitive in the restructured utility environment. The estimate of these stranded costs is from $10-12 billion. I know that this old Clamshell Alliance affinity group member enjoys footing the bill for all the nuclear power plants I spent years protesting and arguing against.

The legislation also establishes a renewable energy fund, a fraction of what the stranded costs will amount to, and restored $140 million in energy efficiency or demand side management funds the Legislature had previously removed. We are also the first in the USA to allow local governments to aggregate their residents and businesses into buying groups to exert greater buying power and to administer green funds paid by their citizens for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs directly. This is a part of the law that is being examined widely by other states that are about to undergo the restructuring process. The Cape Light Compact of Barnstable County is already planning on buying power as an aggregate. The Massachusetts High Technology Council has also formed what is believed to be the biggest aggregation in the nation. Whether they will pass those savings on to their consumers is another question.

John O'Connor of GreenWorks and co-author of _Who Owns the Sun?_ (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=189013208X/alistA/) is spearheading a signature drive to repeal the legislation, mostly because he objects to the 100% consumer payout on "stranded costs." The Campaign for Fair Electric Rates needs 32,000 signatures to force the issue onto the November ballot by February February 23. Reportedly, this campaign is the first to try to gather signatures online at http://www.stopthebailout.com

You can learn more about the general issues around utility restructuring and "deregulation" through the Regulatory Assistance Project at http://www.rapmaine.org

Rob Sargent (Sargerob@aol.com) of MASSPIRG can tell you the specifics about the Massachusetts law and, for local and municipal power information, American Local Power has a site at http://www.local.org

Of course, I'm still wishing for a photovoltaic panel and battery system so that I can go entirely off-grid and shine my light all through the blackouts.

Table of Contents

How Do You Define Organic?

Editorial Comment: 20 years ago (I feel so old), those of us who were involved with food coops, community gardens and organic farming would talk about such techniques as low till/no till cultivation only to be pooh-poohed by agribusiness. Now, on every Sunday morning talk show, Archer Daniels Midland (price-fixer to the world and, incidentally, when do you think any of the network news shows is going to do an indepth documentary on ADM's business practices and plea bargaining which allowed them to avoid any prosecution on the better half of their international bribery and market manipulation schemes?) has commercials lauding low tillage cultivation as if that august corporate body thought of it in the first place rather than fighting it every step of the way. Eric Werbalowsky (EWerb@aol.com) sent me the following call to action in response to the recent USDA regulations defining "organic" in the marketplace. I used to love the corn flakes with irradiated blueberries and strawberries I had for breakfast when I was a kid. I expect they will come back to haunt me and am certain that they don't fit any definition of natural or organic that someone with real humus under their fingernails would accept. Manure is all well and good when applied to the soil. There is no room for it in our laws and regulations.

Don't Panic - Save Organic
by Steve Gilman

1. By now, it is well evident that USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) Rules bear little resemblance to the original 1990 Organic Food Production Act (OFPA) and are insidiously cynical at best -- and fraudulently illegal at worst. It is completely disingenuous and manipulative for USDA, at this point, to put up the questions of allowing genetically modified organisms (GMO'S), food irradiation, sludge, use of synthetics, inerts, antibiotics and confinement operations in livestock, etc., etc., etc. to the public for comment. This is a no-brainer - not by any stretch are these Organic practices as defined by the country's (and the World's) existing certification programs, the OFPA or the years of work by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that was legally constituted to work out the definitions of acceptable practices, procedures and products.

2. We've all known that this day would finally come, while all along the release date of the NOP rules has been a running sick joke - they were originally due by October, 1993. Despite all the countless, good faith hours and deeply considered input contributed by a lot of dedicated organic supporters across the country - THIS is all that USDA could come up with!

The good news is that in the process our _Industry_ has tackled most of the hard questions that have divided us organic farmers, handlers, processors, advocates and consumers, etc. through the NOSB process and, in fact,we have already all taken a series of collective giant steps together. It might not be too difficult at this point to put together an overall, private, industry-based National Organic Program of our own.

3. In terms of what action we should take next, the appropriate working analogy is what happened to the proposed changes to the _Made in the USA_ legislation in early December. There, various industrial interests tried to get the Federal Trade Commission to change their rules to allow a greater percentage of foreign manufactured materials in American-made goods that would still qualify for the federal _Made in the USA_ logo/label. The ensuing stink was swift, sure and deafening from a large, previously unlikely coalition of (U.S.) Businesses and Labor Unions and the measure was shot down completely and definitively.

4. It is incumbent on us all to now marshal as much vast public and media support as possible and raise a Huge Stink of our own - or _Organic_ as any kind of a meaningful term/label will go down the tubes forever, and another notch will get carved on the gun butt of Big Food. This time also presents a huge opportunity - the world is watching, many people care and alot of others may be brought into the organic fold when they see it - and their freedom to choose via a trustworthy label - being victimized and trashed by Agribusiness and their Governmental minions. At this point, given the total insincerity of the NOP rule makers and their bosses, its hard to see how we can possibly hope to salvage these Rules and convert them to Real Organic. The same process which produced what we got now will most likely not be ABLE to do any differently if and when the process is allowed to proceed to fruition. It also will be next to impossible to rally support in the hopes of fixing something so completely flawed - from our own farmers and supporters as well as a thoroughly confused public. No, these Rules must be completely rejected NOW.

5. This has to be done with complete responsibility. The public should understand that they are already well protected through the existing certification programs. The media has already built up tremendous public expectations based solely on the legitimacy of a USDA label - the public has to be told loud and clear what the USDA has done/is doing to the definition of Organic and the public's freedom of choice. Having some additional Big Issues - such as USDA's continuing discrimination against organic and lack of research, programs, staff support,etc. is all demonstrable. It never hurts to have a national forum to passionately state our case.

6. It is important to realize the position everyone is in. This comes at a time when the Clinton Administration is vastly increasing funding for new _safe food_ protections and USDA is beginning a major campaign to win the hearts and minds of the public to the benefits and glories of bio and other food technologies - based on True Science - while forcing open the doors of foreign trade to our GMO exports. Agribusiness doesn't want any labeling of anything, period (a la Bst in milk). The Nuclear industry is looking for a place to dump its cobalt (irradiation in the name of food safety) and the Waste industry its sludge. And in the middle of everything here comes the Organic label up for grabs, literally. Secretary Glickman, a longtime friend of Biotech, talks the old line that organic can't be officially considered better, safer, etc. than anything else - but the mere presence of organic, so rapidly rising in the marketplace due to huge, widespread consumer demand, is threatening in itself. Meanwhile, Agribusiness is famous for giving huge and regular campaign contributions to Republicans and Democrats alike and USDA officials themselves have been known to be treated kindly - the system is systematically corrupted. Since the 6, 7, 8 and 9 figure incomes of Corporate managers and executives as well as stock values, etc. are contingent on agribusiness as usual - well, you do what you know how to do.... its just business. The Government R US, however - its up to us citizens to reclaim it!

7. Therefore what we need is a National Campaign to Save Organic, or somesuch. An energetic combination of national, local and grass roots initiatives is necessary to defend Organic. A good case in point, albeit on a smaller scale, is the action over the Summer of 1997 conducted by NOFA-MA against Baystate Organics, a Boston sludge processor. The purpose of the action was to get them to change their name and stop labeling their fertilizer products as _organic_. A well organized, concerted campaign with letter writing, media alerts, legislative lobbying and on-site public protests proved ultimately to be very successful. In the process, a lot of people were educated about organic and NOFA-MA gained a number of valuable new members and supporters.

8. Our diverse organic groups across the country should individually and collectively petition Senator Leahy to conduct an immediate Congressional investigation of this whole mess. There may also be some additional recourse through the Courts - which should also be vigorously pursued. Currently, for example, NOFA has joined with over 30 other farming, environmental and advocacy groups under the auspices of Greenpeace's legal department to petition/sue EPA to stop the field release of transgenic Bt in order to prevent sure and immediate pest resistance to this important biopesticide which has been in wide scale use by conventional and organic farmers alike for 40 years now. Part of the legal case is based on the fact that EPA has violated its own rules in its own processes. In addition, we need professional expertise to go over the legality/illegality of USDA's NOP Rules action. Not only has our Industry lost valuable time - and suffered major economic losses due to the extreme lateness of this Rule, but also we are now back at square one. To quote Secretary Glickman at USDA's Rules Press Conference, _One, unified standard could clear the path and unleash even stronger growth in the organic industry. National standards would clear a similar hurdle on the international front. ...Greater income for small farmers and ranchers, stronger exports, one high consistent standard for consumers - clearly we have a lot to gain from this rule._ In addition, the proposed Rules place extreme fee barriers on the certifying agents which stand to drive many out of business and automatically disqualify a lot of small farmers who can't ante up in USDA's high price game.

9. Finally, as an Organic vegetable farmer I've been dealing with some of the same restaurants in our area for some 22 years now, as well as a CSA since 1990 and if _Organic_ gets trashed and co-opted I'll get by fine on my own earned reputation and I know many other farmers are in this position. I'm not about to let _Organic_ go however. There's a lot of good people out there who have a true interest in rejecting such a perpetuated fraud. Any co-opted USDA label would quickly become a laughing stock and a national _Real Organic_ label could quickly capture the marketplace... The truth is that we've all bargained in good faith and actually have alot to show for it - the OFPA and the NOSB process still stand as a valid agreed-upon basis for Organic. USDA is still legally bound to comply with its mandates. If it takes them another 7 years or more to try and put something out again, so be it - its time now that our national Certification groups rounded up the wagons anyway - the public deserves and is demanding an overall label that certifies the certification programs and such an industry label could become as important and legitimate in the marketplace as any USDA one, even more so. From the larger perspective, we've really struck the raw nerve at the heart of today's overblown and declining industrial food system - just by the nature of our being. More and more they're having to resort to extreme, desperate and dangerous mega-technological fixes (like irradiating our food) just to stay in the same place. So - here's this titanically huge agribiz/governmental entity that has just run into the smallish-appearing tip of a what is really an incredibly large iceberg...

Steve Gilman
NOFA Interstate Council
Ruckytucks Farm
130 Ruckytucks Road Stillwater, NY 12170

Editorial Comment: I used to go to the NOFA conferences all those years ago. Great events and learning opportunities. Don't miss the Saturday night contra dance.

Table of Contents

The Begging Bowl

We measure things in money but how much is money worth? _Your Money or Your Life_ (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0140167153/alistA/) teaches people how to break down dollars into time and thus gain control of their days and seasons. Years ago, on the NH-MA border, Ralph Borsodi and Bob Swann developed a local currency called the Constant which was redeemable for so many pounds and ounces of necessities - foodstuffs and heating oil, cordwood and rice. As I recall, they had over $100,000 in Constants circulating before they ended the experiment. What if money was pegged to necessities? What would that do to inflation, deflation, the business cycle, and financial security?

I have been thinking about how to relate a dollar to the environment. How many calories in a sawbuck? How many btu's in one dollar bill? If we measured our currency by the same thing that we use to measure the flow through an ecosystem or the embodied energy in a hunk of steel, might we be able to measure the worth and value of all goods and services more accurately, more wisely, more systematically? Probably not, but at least we'd have one common standard by which to measure everything bought and sold and everything given and taken economically and ecologically.

I myself am open to any contributions in any currency and appreciate it all, for I am just a stranger (stranger than you know) passing by, my begging bowl in an outstretched hand, my eyes on the ground before me and the horizon in the distance.

How "A List..." works:
If you want to have a listing included in "A List..." please send it to me before noon on the Friday before the event and if said even is deemed suitable for coverage, it will be included in the appropriate edition of "A List..." Articles and reviews, ideas, rants and opinions are also solicited. Publication is up to the erratic discretion of the editor.

"A List..." is also a listserv. You can subscribe or unsubscribe to the listserv by emailing a-list-request@world.std.com, leaving the Subject line blank, and typing "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" as the message.

"A List..." is a freeware/shareware publication. If the information is of any value to you, please contribute - money, information, encouragement, prayers and good wishes are all valid currencies for feedback and will be gratefully appreciated by
George Mokray
Information Ecologies
218 Franklin St #3
Cambridge, MA 02139

This publication is copyrighted to George Mokray and the individual writers of the articles. Permission to reproduce is granted for non-profit purposes as long as the source is cited.

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