An Eye on the Glass Half Full: Part II

A few weeks ago I was privileged to meet Michele Levy, Director of the Crossroads Community Food Network and her team in action at the Crossroads Farmers market.

If you are ever in the Takoma Park/Langley Park area on a Wednesday afternoon I HIGHLY recommend stopping by the farmers market.  It was an incredible experience to see first hand the impact this organization has within their community.

Living on Earth’s Credit Card

Today, August 22nd, is Earth Overshoot Day.  Over the last 8 months, there has been more demand on renewable resources and CO2 sequestration than the planet is able to provide over the coarse of a year.

In 1992 it occurred on October 21st.

In 2002 it occurred on October 3rd.

Over the last 20 years, Earth Overshoot Day has continued to arrive a few days earlier each year.  With its arrival in August, and 4 months left in 2012, it is clear our demand and consumption of natural resources needs to change.

An Eye on the Glass Half Full

In 2009, Paul Hawken delivered these words to the University of Portland’s graduating class of 2009.

“If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.” 

Town Creek is privileged to work with amazing people who strive for environmental progress.  Their work is inspiring, fascinating, and transformative.  They provide a moment of optimism, in the face of disheartening data.  To bring a moment of optimism to you, we will begin posting video interviews highlighting the work of those that are on the ground, working in their communities and regions to effect change.

Our first one is with Joe Uehlein, Executive Director of the Labor Network for Sustainability.  Many thanks to Joe and his willingness to sit down with me!

Do the Evolution

Music can change the world because it can change people.  -Bono

People say that music can change the world.  Remember all of those “[insert your cause here]-AID” concerts of the 1980s and 90s?  Farm-Aid, for example, still raises significant funds ($38 million spent since 1985!) by holding annual concerts featuring greats like Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews.  These stars are also, by the way, at the inner sanctum of the public conversation about reforms needed for our food system.  In case you were wondering, this year’s concert is not far from us in the Mid-Atlantic –September 22, 2012 in Hersheypark.  The funds raised are granted out to support sustainable agriculture by training new farmers and building the market for locally grown foods.

Music can do lots more than raise money –it can inspire, bring people together, and influence culture.  It may even be a core catalyst of human evolution, at least according to rocker turned McGill University neuroscientist, Dr. Dan Levitin, who argues in his book, The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature (2008), that music is a primal force that humans use to bind together around friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion and love –and ultimately, to evolve as a society.

Not sure that anyone can really explain the mystery of music, why it moves us so deeply or exactly how it brings about change or evolution for that matter.  I imagine that every listen to MC Yogi‘s house beats mixed up with turntable scratching and the Bhagavad Gita must certainly be improving the global karmic balance.  Or each time Billy Bragg blesses the audience with his unplugged humor and undimmed faith in activists, as he did recently at Easton’s Avalon Theatre, a few good but tired souls must be lifted up enough to keep trying to make the world a better place.  Whether the impact is intentional, visceral, or downright ethereal, I say rock on.