July 2012

From the Editor

 

As regular readers of Green Fire Times may know, this publication often covers topics having to do with the interrelationship of community, culture, the environment and the regional economy. Some editions are developed around particular themes, such as Renewable Energy, Sustainable Tourism, Healthy Living, or next month’s Native American Green: Indigenous Solutions. Occasionally, however, as article submissions come in, a theme we had not intended presents itself. Such is the case this month as a number of articles, in different ways, address concepts of Societal Change and Activism.

The interview with Foster and Kimberly Gamble, producers of the film THRIVE, is a More >

World Renewable Energy Forum 2012

 

Mark Chalom

 

In mid-May, downtown Denver became the renewable energy hot spot of the world. The American Solar Energy Society’s annual conference was combined, for the first time, with the World Renewable Energy Forum and the International Solar Energy Society. Solar energy was featured, along with hydroelectric, wind energy, biofuels, bio char, wave power and more. Experts in all fields presented technical papers, new goals and achievements. The Denver Convention Center showed off its 300-kw photovoltaic system, installed by Namaste Solar, a Colorado company. The system provides 14-25 percent of the facility’s electricity.

We were presented with a worldwide view of More >

Agriculture and Food Sector Vulnerability?

The Eden Gardens Project has an answer.

 

Ben B. Boothe

If trucking were curtailed or some natural or political event stopped the flow of food shipments to your city, how many days could you survive? Please consider this carefully, because this question has multilayered answers and almost innumerable social implications. How many days?

One fact to consider is that if trucking were curtailed or our interstate highway system made ineffective, shipments of petroleum products would cease as well. This would affect rail and other shipping. Without shipments of fuel—oil, gas, diesel, coal the utility system would suffer the same shortfall as your pantry. You More >

The “Urban Store” in Albuquerque

 

Jack King

 

 

Sara Friederich calls herself one of “a huge group” of gardeners and small-animal raisers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe who are doing their part to resist the corporatization of the American food supply and eat fresher, healthier food. “When I think about the genetically modified plants being developed and the cost of transporting vegetables and fruit in our world, it just burns me up,” she says. “And, besides, there’s nothing like going out and picking the chard for your dinner from your own garden.”

 

The problem, she admits, is that she and her husband, Ron, live in a nice three-bedroom More >

Sponsors Sought for 2012 Albuquerque Canstruction® Build Competition

This year marks the fourth anniversary of the Albuquerque Canstruction®competition, to be held October 19 at Sandia Resort and Casino. There are over 200 cities participating worldwide in Canstruction events. CH2M HILL is the organizer of the one in Albuquerque. Partners and sponsors include Construction Reporter, Girl Scouts of NM Trails, US Forest Service, PRNewswire, Bohannan Huston Inc., AMEC, HDR, CobbFendley, the ASK Academy, AUI Inc. and the cities of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.

 

The theme for this year’s competition is the New Mexico Centennial. There are 18 design/build teams. Each team, comprised of several local businesses, will compete in the design and More >

The Local Voice: Growing Green, Growing Local

 

The Way We Grow a winner of Santa Fe BizMix Challenge

 

Vicki Pozzebon

 

 

Walking into the warehouse at The Way We Grow, I was struck by the overwhelming tasks at hand for start-up entrepreneurs. Perhaps it was this comment from owner Sattva Ananda that got me: “We could be hiring 30 people in the next two years.” His face lit up and his smile curled into a Proud Papa moment. I guess when your business is about growing things successfully you don’t worry about growing the actual business that fast.

 

The Way We Grow is owned by partners Sattva Ananda, John Cross. Ananda More >

THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take?

An Interview with Foster and Kimberly Gamble

 

Alan Hutner and Seth Roffman

 

THRIVE was released in November 2011. Over 3 million people around the world had seen the film as of May 2012, according to the filmmakers. It is an unconventional, controversial documentary produced by Foster and Kimberly Gamble after nearly a decade of following the money upstream. THRIVE uncovers the global consolidation of power in nearly every aspect of our lives, and provides a perspective on what is keeping humanity from “thriving” and what can be done about it. The film weaves together breakthroughs in science, consciousness and activism. THRIVE and More >

Common Ground: City of Santa Fe Art Exhibit and Prize

 

The Santa Fe Arts Commission has announced an exhibit and art competition that will showcase the talents of local artists at the Community Gallery. Participation is open to professional and amateur artists, ages 18 years or older, who reside in Santa Fe County.

Framed two-dimensional works and three-dimensional sculptures are eligible for entry. All entries will be judged by a committee of Arts Commissioners, artists and arts professionals. The top three entries will receive cash prizes, with the Best of Show receiving a $1,000, and 1st and 2nd place receiving $500 and $250 respectively. The Best of Show will also be More >

Faren Dancer’s… Unicopia Green

An Elixir for Our Changing Times…

The Evolution of Consciousness

 

As we peruse the current world landscape, it is evident that there are several noticeable trends occurring that pose considerable concern in relation to a necessary long-range view of sustainability. Exploding population growth is placing an ever-increasing strain on world resources and regional quality of life. This leads to humankind’s ever-expanding intrusion into nature and the impact placed on the delicate interconnectedness of all the diverse life forms. Coupled with this expansion of humanity’s noticeable presence is the Third World thrust toward market capitalism, fueled by the idealized promise of a More >

Netroots Nation: Our Roots for a Better America Go Deep

Erin Sanborn

 

The seventh annual Netroots Nation conference was held last month in Providence, RI. If you do not know what Netroots Nation is, you are not alone. As a term, Netroots (from Internet + grassroots) refers to populist campaigns and movements ignited, promoted and conducted over the Internet. Most people in America who desire a better world, a better future for all, and who enjoy their computer and smart phone, can relate to this term. It is used every day by a community of people who work to find the facts, tell the truth and weave the common threads that connect More >

¡Sostenga!—It’s in the Water: Risk in Perspective

A fundamental promise we must make to our people is that the food they eat and the water they drink are safe.”

President Bill Clinton, Safe Drinking Water Act Reauthorization, August 6, 1996

The identification of disease as a result of poor water quality is conducted through the science and tool of epidemiology. Epidemiology is the study of the incidence and prevalence of disease with some indication of potential causal factors. Epidemiology seeks to identify potential causal relationships for disease onset based on time and exposure to risk factors. The effects of poor water quality adversaly impact quality of life. Dysentery More >

Nearly 50,000 Pounds of Toxic Chemicals Dumped into New Mexico’s Waterways

 

Industrial facilities dumped 49,786 pounds of toxic chemicals into NM’s lakes, rivers and streams in 2010, according to a recent report from Environment New Mexico: Wasting Our Waterways: Industrial Toxic Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act.

New Mexico’s waterways are a polluter’s paradise right now,” said Maxine Paul, preservation associate with Environment New Mexico. “We must turn the tide of toxic pollution by restoring Clean Water Act protections.”

Joe Moody, who runs Squash Blossom Farm at the end of the Santa Fe River, said of the farming business, “Weak regulations and enforcement have already done harm. Farming in More >

First Year Commemoration of Historic Clean Water Act Settlement with LANL

 

Communities for Clean Water—A network of community groups that has been addressing water issues at Los Alamos National Laboratory since 2006

 

 

There have been many positive steps taken in the year since the settlement of a historic Clean Water Act citizens’ lawsuit over storm water violations at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). LANL has held two public meetings, established a dedicated website about storm water and organized several productive technical meetings between the plaintiff representatives, the plaintiffs’ experts and the LANL storm water managers and staff.

 

The complaint was filed in 2008 in US District Court in New Mexico alleging violations More >

Cultural Entrepreneurship in New Mexico: Santa Fe Walkabouts

 

Alice Loy

In 2006 Georges Mally was bicycling across the country, following historic Route 66 and his dream of seeing the great American Southwest—until he got a broken spoke in Santa Fe. Delayed by mechanical issues, Georges spent a day exploring Santa Fe by foot, ending up at the Plaza, where he sat down next to a lovely woman named Sue. Two years later, Sue and Georges were married and had moved to Santa Fe.

Today Georges and Sue Mally are the owners of Santa Fe Walkabouts, widely regarded one of the finest tour operators in northern New Mexico. Consistently ranked TripAdvisor’s More >

Sustainable Business Summit

 July 26, Albuquerque

 

A new event, presented by New Mexico Business Weekly and the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, will take place on July 26 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Albuquerque. A variety of enterprises that help preserve land, air, water and ways of life that make New Mexico a desirable place to live and work will be honored at the Sustainable Business Summit Awards luncheon.

 

Award categories recognize sustainable buildings, businesses, leaders, products/services and workplaces. Nominations were solicited from the public. Over 100 nominations were received. Nominees were asked to fill out an application and submit a letter of More >

Everyday Green: The Green Connection in Travel

 

Susan Guyette

 

 

Along with Jeremy Sampson of the Oregon-based Sustainable Travel International and Beth Beloff of the Santa Fe-based Bridges to Sustainability Institute, I was part of a team presentation on sustainable tourism at last month’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Taos. My aim in this article is to offer some observations on the benefits of green tourism.

 

 

Sustainable Tourism Locally

How does sustainable tourism apply to New Mexico? The three sustainability variables—ecological, financial and socio-cultural—relate very closely to the support of traditional lifestyles.

 

Beth Beloff emphasized the importance of developing a strategic vision that connects the distinct activities taking place and engages More >

Newsbites

 

Net Metering Solar Credit System Under Debate in California   In a number of states, to varying degrees, the local utility is required to buy excess power generated by solar panels on homes and businesses. The system, known as net metering, is a good deal for those with renewable energy systems, but it costs utilities customers, and, the utilities say, to help support the costs of maintaining the power grid, as solar customers pay the utilities less, the utilities need to increase rates for those left on the traditional system.

 

Net metering is available to customers with RE systems in more than More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque

  ALBUQUERQUE

 

Through Sept. 8, Th. or Sat., 9 am-1 pm

Backyard Gardening Courses

La Orilla Farm, 2401 Black Mesa Loop (S. Valley)

12-part course. $300/individual; $500/couple. 505.877.2877, screed@earthlink.net, www.mrcog-nm.gov/show-all-ag-blog-showallagblog-211/702-qthe-mother-of-all-back-yard-gardening-courses

 

July 5, 5:30-7:30 pm

NM Green Drinks

Hotel Andaluz

Network and mingle with people interested in local business, clean energy and other green issues.

Presenters: Kritin Gangwer and Tiffany Terry of MRCOG LandLink Program. Open to the public. www,greendrinks.org

 

July 7, 10 am-5 pm

Beekeeping Seminar

First Presbyterian Church, 215 Locust St., NE

Regionally Adapted Bees and Genetics, Mite Prevention, A Natural Approach to Small Cell Beekeeping, presented by Michael Bush, author of Practical Beekeeping Naturally. $15. infonmbka@gmail.com, www.nmbeekeepers.org

 

July 14-15, 9 am-2 pm

Gaia More >

What’s Going On? – Santa Fe

 

SANTA FE

 

Tuesdays through July 31, 5:30-8 pm

NM Climate Masters

Free 10-week class exploring ways to reduce our carbon footprints and teach others about climate change. Expert speakers on water, climate science, renewable energy, transportation, local food, consumption and waste. Info: 505.820.1696, Eileen@santafewatershed.org. To apply: www.santafewatershed.org

 

July 6-8, 9 am-4 pm

Biomass Energy Course

SF Community College

greentraining@sfcc.edu

 

July 6, 7:30 pm

Shimshai World Fusion & Sacred Song Concert

Railyard Performance Center, 1611 Paseo de Peralta

Master musician/singer from Santa Cruz, CA with local musicians. $20, children free. No one turned away for lack of funds. “True Heart” CD release. Dance celebration, healthy food & beverages. 505.982.9950

 

July 7, 10 am- More >

What’s Going On? – Here & There

 

HERE & THERE

 

Ongoing Until July 18

Red Willow Farmers’ Market

Taos Pueblo, NM

Greenhouse and field-grown produce and more. redwillowfarmers@gmail.com

 

July 13-15

Taos Pueblo Pow Wow

Taos, NM

Dance and drum performances and competitions, ceremonial activities, arts, crafts, food booths. www.taospueblopowwow.com

 

July 13-24, 10 am-5 pm

Wood Show “Turning Out”

Tome Art Gallery, 2930 Hwy.47, Los Lunas, NM (Half way between Los Lunas and Belen)

Open House & Demo, show and sale. Wood from the Rio Grande Bosque to the far reaches of Africa used in making furniture, retablos, carvings, turnings, boxes, bowls, carvings, etc. 505.565.0556.

 

July 14-15, 9am-July 15, 1 pm

Intro to Queen Honeybee Rearing

Zia Queenbee Co. Farm, Truchas, NM

Workshop More >