Welcome to the April Green Fire Times! Due to the overwhelming number of submissions for last month’s “Building a Sustainable Regional Economy” edition, we extended the theme into this month. With the arrival of spring, and Earth Day this month, we look into elements of a regional economy that help the planet, such as renewable energy, clean technology and sustainable industry.

 

Leading scientists have identified that 350 parts per million of carbon is the safe upper carrying capacity in our atmosphere. Recent estimates count more than 392 parts per million. We’re beginning to physically see effects with greater frequency: “frankenstorms” such as Hurricane Sandy, higher temperatures across the nation and persistent droughts that are likely the new normal. Of course in the Southwest, we know firsthand what it means to experience the direct effects of limited, and in some cases, polluted water. Some political leaders continue to tell us climate change doesn’t exist—or, if it does, it is not because of us . Lucky for us, right?

 

Hope is not lost. Positive things are being done, and there are solutions—affordable and available now. Some are quite practical. Throughout these pages, you’ll learn of inspiring ventures that are re-envisioning the nature of business and how we as people interact with our community and the planet. For example, check out Margo Covington’s article on zero-waste, a systems approach to sustainable development by David Breecker, and community solar. Learn about unique agricultural initiatives, such as Mary Schmidt asking, “Can You Trust a Tomato in January?” And Carrie Christopher, on managing manure and creating value for NM.

 

Along with your neighbors and fellow community members who are helping shape the future, you can be part of the solution. The folks at Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship, Homegrown New Mexico and the Santa Fe Timebank give us specific things we can do. Merle Lefkoff explains why Gross National Happiness makes sense as a measure of success.

 

We encourage you to contact and support these enterprises. Communicate your position on these sorts of issues to your elected officials. Support green businesses in your shopping. Above all, engage with your community and breathe…

 

Drew Tulchin

Guest Associate Editor

Social Enterprise Associates

 

 

 

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