"A city is judged by how clean it is" In February 2006 the City of Oakland, California, passed ordinance 12727, which enacts a fee on fast-food restaurants, gas stations, and convenience markets to cover litter and trash clean up. The fee is expected to raise $237,000 a year, which will be used solely to fund the clean up program. The ordinance is intended to discourage the … [Read more...] about Tax on Businesses that Generate Litter
Focus on Pages
The "Focus On" section provides in-depth information and opinion on many facets of sustainability. (Although these topics may appear quite distinct and separate, it’s important to remember that they are interconnected and interdependent in multiple ways — in general, the 4 basic principles of ecology apply to all complex systems.)
When you select a Focus On… topic, the system will select all the articles and posts in that category with the most recent pages at the top, just under a brief introduction to the topic. (Many articles appear in multiple categories.)
Background & detail information is organized into the main categories listed in the left sidebar.
The U.S. was built through settler colonialism, which involves taking over lands already in use by other people, displacing the people and often destroying their cultures. (Sometimes the goal was simply to use the land for their own settlements; in other cases the goal was to extract minerals & other resources. In the U.S. & Canada, settlers not only made war on the … [Read more...] about Colonialism
Education and Democracy A few thoughts on education for a democracy, by some of our greatest thinkers on education: "The proper education of the young does not consist of stuffing their heads with a mass of words, sentences, and ideas dragged together out of various authors, but in opening up their understanding to the outer world, so that a living stream may flow from their … [Read more...] about Education and Democracy
By Zeke Zelker Land Use and Development As a teenager, I spent hours walking in the cornfields of Lower Macungie, searching for solace in the serene pastoral landscape. I would traverse this landscape alone, rummaging through my confused adolescent mind trying to figure out some big problems. Why do people act so irrationally? Why were people homeless? Why do people … [Read more...] about Land Use and Development
by Sheila Gallagher It’s 2015. Have we reached the point of “Now or Nothing”? Climate chaos is reigning. We know we cannot survive on a dead planet, yet we forge forward, fracking for that ever elusive, pre-historic fossil fuel locked deep within our native rocks, literally under our feet. It will give some untold wealth! Others, jobs! Heat for our homes and businesses! … [Read more...] about Let’s Shoot for the Moon! Again!
by Gary Olson Last August, our Nobel Peace Prize laureate, President Barack Obama, admitted that “we tortured some folks,” but then added, this is “not who we are.” At best, his statement was a half-truth. First, it’s not “some” folks but massive numbers over a long and sordid history. State-sponsored torture has been an implement in the imperialist toolbox at least since … [Read more...] about Torture In Service to Empire
by Adam Heidebrink-Bruno It’s easy for the individual to feel quite small in relation to the global superstructures that control the greater part of our lives. Even with a real, honest concern regarding the current state of things, individuals may feel lost in terms of taking the next step. Yet, many do. Some reach out to their friends, while other join work groups and book … [Read more...] about Building Infrastructure of Resistance
by Colton Krial & Leah Triber During the first month of 2014, Oxfam released a report on the state of global inequality. The fact that quickly came to define the report spoke of the unprecedented level of wealth that a small group of individuals accumulated through what capitalists would have us think of as “hard work” and the “entrepreneurial spirit of competitiveness … [Read more...] about Social Space, Public Discussion, Political Action
by Faramarz Farbod Global capitalism is the 800-pound gorilla. The twin ecological and economic crises, militarism, the rise of the surveillance state, and a dysfunctional political system can all be traced to its normal operations. We need a transformative politics from below that can challenge the fundamentals of capitalism instead of today’s politics that is content to … [Read more...] about It’s capitalism, stupid!
Fortunately, most law enforcement officers and justice system officials are honest and try their best to do the right thing — but there are some who do not, some who use their power in ways that compromise people's rights and harm innocent people. It's sad, but there are hundreds of cases where prosecutors and law enforcement officers have taken inappropriate and illegal … [Read more...] about Law Enforcement & Prosecutor Misconduct