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Weekly Update: July 31

We are thrilled that A Beautiful Resistance #2, The Fire is Here, has been arriving in the hands of those who have already placed orders! If you are not one of those folks, you can still get a copy here. And here is a review of the issue (already!).

Coming to your web reader of choice this week, writing on G&R includes an interview by guest author William Hawes with Richard Oxman, a review of Pagan Leadership Anthology (from yours truly), a poem and essay about harvest and connection to the land from Linda Boeckhout, and an essay on how religion and politics intertwine from Yvonne Aburrow.

Various and Sundry

The second Many Gods West polytheist gathering in Olympia, Washington, is starting in less than a week; online pre-registration will end on Monday, August 1, but registration will still be taken at the door (for details see this Facebook post).

A spot of good news for watersheds, especially for those inhabiting areas immediately adjacent to large rivers: Popularity of Big Hydropower Projects Diminishes Around the World. Large dams are destructive to ecosystems and human communities, especially indigenous or poorer communities, and costly, often far exceeding their original budgets. Other forms of renewable energy (like solar and wind) areĀ faster to build, less expensive, and less destructive to their locations. There are still big hydropower projects in process, but “the level of investment in big water-powered electricity projects has been flat for much of the last decade, and is now being overwhelmed by financing for renewable energy, led by wind and solar power.”

Moving to a much smaller scale, here is a short video and some text about the efforts being made on a 20-acre island in Illinois to restore the population of a species of plant that grows nowhere else. The Kankakee mallow is one of the rarest species of plants in the United States, and has had problems with invasive species crowding it out; the lack of wildfire in its habitat has contributed to the problem. The “READ MORE” link at the link goes into more history about the restoration of the plant, which – fortunately – has seed that can hang out in the soil for years, until the right conditions, including fire, are brought back.

Traditional approaches to work and relationships provide numerous benefits over new technologies. The “Cats at Work” program in the city of Chicago provides feral cats, considered “unadoptable,” with “work” in one of the most traditional cat professions there is: keeping rodents. In return, the cats are provided secure housing, food, and other care overseen by the shelter running the program. The program has been running for over a decade and, in addition to reducing ineffective methods of rat control (like poison), it provides beneficial emotional relationships for the humans hosting or living near their local “working cats.”

Lastly, if 2016 is getting you down too much, take a quick scroll through this list of positive things that have happened as a reminder that it isn’t all bad all the time – or maybe file it away to read a little bit at a time while we finish out the year.

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