A Community Action Website Closes Down

There are too many websites for any single person to follow that relate to promoting the well-being of Spaceship Earth and its existing web-of-life passengers.  Our website is just starting up hoping to attract more followers. Meanwhile the non-profit on-line community of 80000 followers – Wiser Earth – has announced that it will close and archive its materials in April 2014. It issued this message with several links to similar sites:

“We have been working with partners who will help re-purpose parts of Wiser.org’s content and support our community. Once our site is closed, the following partners have offered to build upon our data set:

  • Guidestar – “Revolutionize philanthropy by providing information about non-profits”
  • TechSoup Global – “Leverage technology for social change”
  • Founding Family – “Evolving American democracy”
  • Earth Deeds – “Transforming carbon footprints”
  • Amp – “Find and share best sustainability resources”

For members who would like to continue to network, build collaborations and take action on the ground, we are recommending the following networks:

  • Idealist – “Connect with 90,000 organizations to help build a better world”
  • Bioneers – “Revolution from the Heart of Nature”
  • The Pachamama Alliance – “Educates, inspires and empowers committed people everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world”
  • Transition US – “Building Community Resilience through local grassroots actions”
  • Netsquared – “Connecting People for the Common Good’
  • Women’s Earth Alliance – ‘To invest in grassroots women’s leadership to drive solutions to our most pressing ecological concerns’

Many fruitful collaborations have taken place and Wiser.org members have hosted over 184 WiserLocal gatherings in 38 cities across the world”.

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Ecuador, Bhutan and Thailand think beyond GDP

Three countries are rather surprisingly breaking new ground in broadening their national development goals beyond the crudely economistic metric of GDP.  Jeremy Williams here has featured them in his blog that constantly offers excellent substantive material that is relevant to the future of Spaceship Earth. Unfortunately the much richer, high-environmental-impact OECD nations seem less inclined to incorporate a broader measure and vision of human and planetary well-being into their national goals for the future.

Challenges of the 21st century: what is happening to the world?

Many eminent scientists are telling us the same messages about the challenges facing Spaceship Earth and its crew. This lecture (link here) was given on 6 February 2014 at the Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath in England by Sir John Bennington (see biography below). Thanks to Bill Scott’s blog (here) for the link.

Abstract: Change in the 21st century is both fast and dramatic. Yet in many ways some problems for the next few decades are both predictable and inexorable. Significant challenges exist driven by population growth, complex demography, urbanisation and increasing prosperity, all with a background of significant poverty. Climate change is happening, will continue and is a major risk multiplier. The lecture will cover these issues and examine some of the ways in which these challenges can be addressed.

Biography

Sir John Beddington was from 2008 until 2013 the Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) reporting directly to the Prime Minister. As GCSA, he led on providing scientific advice to Government during the 2009 swine flu outbreak, the 2010 volcanic ash incident and the emergency at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011. As GCSA, he was also responsible for increasing the scientific capacity across Whitehall by encouraging all major departments of state to recruit a Chief Scientific Adviser. In 2008 Sir John raised the concept of the ‘Perfect Storm’ of food, energy and water security in the context of mitigating and adapting to climate change. He continues to work in the area. During 2011 he chaired an International Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change and recently took on the Co-chairmanship of an International Commission on Agriculture and Nutrition. He is the Senior Adviser to the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Natural Resource Management at Oxford University. Amongst other activities he is a Non-Executive Director of the Met Office, a Trustee of the Natural History Museum and President of the Royal Agricultural Society of England.