Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

Film Festival Laurels

Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too has the suburban way of life become embedded in the American consciousness.
Suburbia, and all it promises, has become the American Dream.
But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are beginning to emerge about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary.
The consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the populations of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today’s suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia ?

The Trailer:

http://www.endofsuburbia.com/

July 26, 2009 Posted by | Agriculture, Clean Energy, Sustainability | Leave a comment

The Corporation (Full Version)

About the Film

WINNER OF 26 INTERNATIONAL AWARDS! 10 Audience Choice Awards including the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

Provoking, witty, stylish and sweepingly informative, THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Part film and part movement, The Corporation is transforming audiences and dazzling critics with its insightful and compelling analysis. Taking its status as a legal “person” to the logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist’s couch to ask “What kind of person is it?” The Corporation includes interviews with 40 corporate insiders and critics – including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore – plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.

“AN OVERWHELMING AMOUNT OF OUTSTANDING EXTRAS, there is basically another 6-hour (!) documentary included.” MovieFreak

Along with the groundbreaking 145-minute theatrical version of the film, the two-disc DVD has eight hours of never-before-seen footage. In addition to two commentary tracks, deleted scenes, and Q’s-and-A’s, 165 new clips and updates are sorted “by person” and “by topic.” Get the details you want to know on the issues you care about. Then, check out the web links for follow-up research and action.

THE CORPORATION is Canada’s most successful documentary… EVER!

The film is based on the book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan.

July 26, 2009 Posted by | Business, Definitions, Videos | , | Leave a comment

State of the Village Report: The World as a Village of 1000

If the world were a village of 1000 people:

  • 584 would be Asians
  • 123 would be Africans
  • 95 would be East and West Europeans
  • 84 Latin Americans
  • 55 Soviets (still including for the moment Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, etc.)
  • 52 North Americans
  • 6 Australians and New Zealanders

The people of the village would have considerable difficulty communicating:

  • 165 people would speak Mandarin
  • 86 would speak English
  • 83 Hindi/Urdu
  • 64 Spanish
  • 58 Russian
  • 37 Arabic

That list accounts for the mother-tongues of only half the villagers. The other half speak (in descending order of frequency) Bengali, Portuguese, Indonesian, Japanese, German, French, and 200 other languages.

In the village there would be:

  • 300 Christians (183 Catholics, 84 Protestants, 33 Orthodox)
  • 175 Moslems
  • 128 Hindus
  • 55 Buddhists
  • 47 Animists
  • 210 all other religons (including atheists)
  • One-third (330) of the people in the village would be children. Half the children would be immunized against the preventable infectious diseases such as measles and polio.
  • Sixty of the thousand villagers would be over the age of 65.
  • Just under half of the married women would have access to and be using modern contraceptives.
  • Each year 28 babies would be born.
  • Each year 10 people would die, three of them for lack of food, one from cancer. Two of the deaths would be to babies born within the year.
  • One person in the village would be infected with the HIV virus; that person would most likely not yet have developed a full-blown case of AIDS.
  • With the 28 births and 10 deaths, the population of the village in the next year would be 1018.

In this thousand-person community, 200 people would receive three-fourths of the income; another 200 would receive only 2% of the income.

  • Only 70 people would own an automobile (some of them more than one automobile).
  • About one-third would not have access to clean, safe drinking water.
  • Of the 670 adults in the village half would be illiterate.

The village would have 6 acres of land per person, 6000 acres in all of which:

  • 700 acres is cropland
  • 1400 acres pasture
  • 1900 acres woodland
  • 2000 acres desert, tundra, pavement, and other wasteland.

The woodland would be declining rapidly; the wasteland increasing; the other land categories would be roughly stable. The village would allocate 83 percent of its fertilizer to 40 percent of its cropland — that owned by the richest and best-fed 270 people. Excess fertilizer running off this land would cause pollution in lakes and wells. The remaining 60 percent of the land, with its 17 percent of the fertilizer, would produce 28 percent of the foodgrain and feed 73 percent of the people. The average grain yield on that land would be one-third the yields gotten by the richer villagers.

If the world were a village of 1000 persons, there would be five soldiers, seven teachers, one doctor. Of the village’s total annual expenditures of just over $3 million per year, $181,000 would go for weapons and warfare, $159,000 for education, $132,000 for health care.

The village would have buried beneath it enough explosive power in nuclear weapons to blow itself to smithereens many times over. These weapons would be under the control of just 100 of the people. The other 900 people would be watching them with deep anxiety, wondering whether the 100 can learn to get along together, and if they do, whether they might set off the weapons anyway through inattention or technical bungling, and if they ever decide to dismantle the weapons, where in the village they will dispose of the dangerous radioactive materials of which the weapons are made.

(Donella H. Meadows is an adjunct professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College.)

Links worth checking out:

Doctors Per 1000 People

If the World was a Village of 100

July 26, 2009 Posted by | Agriculture, Clean Energy, Co-op, Community Economic Development (CED), Life, Not for Profit, Philanthropy, Social Enterprise, Solar, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development, Videos, Waste, Water | , , , | Leave a comment

If the World were a Village of 100

Logo Miniature EarthThe idea of reducing the world’s population to a community of only 100 people is very useful and important. It makes us easily understand the differences in the world.
There are many types of reports that use the Earth’s population reduced to 100 people, especially in the Internet. Ideas like this should be more often shared, especially nowadays when the world seems to be in need of dialogue and understanding among different cultures, in a way that it has never been before.

The text that originated this webmovie was published on May 29, 1990 with the title “State of the Village Report”, and it was written by Donella Meadows, who passed away in February 2000. Nowadays Sustainability Institute, through Donella’s Foundation, carries on her ideas and projects.

IF THE WORLD WERE A VILLAGE OF 100 PEOPLE

In the world today, more than 6 billion people live.
If this world were shrunk to the size of a village of 100 people, what would it look like?

59 would be Asian
14 would be American (North, Central and South)
14 would be African
12 would be European
1 would be from the South Pacific

50 would be women, 50 would be men
30 would be children, 70 would be adults.
70 would be nonwhite, 30 would be white
90 would be heterosexual, 10 would be homosexual

33 would be Christians
21 would be Moslems
15 would be Hindus
6 would be Buddhists
5 would be Animists
6 would believe in other religions
14 would be without any religion or atheist.

15 would speak Chinese, Mandarin
7 English
6 Hindi
6 Spanish
5 Russian
4 Arabic
3 Bengali
3 Portuguese
The other would speak Indonesian, Japanese,
German, French, or some other language.

In such a village with so many sorts of folks, it would be very important to learn to understand people different from yourself and to accept others as they are. Of the 100 people in this village:

20 are underonurished
1 is dying of starvation, while 15 are overweight.
Of the wealth in this village, 6 people own 59% (all of them from the United States), 74 people own 39%, and 20 people share the remaining 2%.
Of the energy of this village, 20 people consume 80%, and 80 people share the remaining 20%.
20 have no clean, safe water to drink.
56 have access to sanitation
15 adults are illiterate.
1 has an university degree.
7 have computers.

In one year, 1 person in the village will die, but in the same year, 2 babies will be born, so that at the year’s end the number of villagers will be 101.

If you do not live in fear of death by bombardment, armed attack, landmines, or of rape or kidnapping by armed groups, then you are more fortunate than 20, who do.

If you can speak and act according to your faith and your conscience without harassment, imprisonment, torture or death, then you are more fortunate than 48, who can not.

If you have money in the bank, money in your wallet and spare change somewhere around the house, then you are among the richest 8.

If you can read this message, that means you are probably lucky!

(The statistics were derived from Donella Meadows “State of the Village Report” first published in 1990)

The Original Report

July 26, 2009 Posted by | Agriculture, Clean Energy, Co-op, Community Economic Development (CED), Earth, Economics, Education, Family, Inspiration, Life, Not for Profit, Open Source, Social Enterprise, Social Media, Solar, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development, Videos, Waste, Water | , , | Leave a comment

Toms Shoes: One for One

It’s this simple every pair of shoes this company sells, they give one pair away to kids who need it.

Simple… and beautiful!

July 26, 2009 Posted by | Business Model, Great Ideas, Inspiration, Marketing, Social Media, Videos | , , , | Leave a comment

Sea Farming

Here I am trying to become a vegetarian, but I’m blogging about fish farming…  I’m just trying to be realistic and I know not everyone is going to stop eating seafood and meat.   So why not do things more sustainably?

http://openblueseafarms.com

July 26, 2009 Posted by | Agriculture, Great Ideas, Videos, Water | , , , | Leave a comment

Be Inspired:14 Year Old Powers his own Home!

Let me introduce you to William Kamkwamba who, despite having no formal education or training, recently engineered and built a windmill to power his house.

After having to drop out of school due to lack of funds, William Kamkwamba decided to learn as much as he could from books that had been donated to his primary school’s library. One of the books detailed how to build a windmill that generated enough electricity.

With much trial and error, some local materials, and an investment of about 16 dollars, William constructed a windmill that could generate enough energy for 4 light bulbs and two radios.  While a few bulbs might sound insignificant to us… the difference changed William’s family’s life entirely. Instead of using expensive paraffin candles, which produce smoke and irritate the eyes, William and his family now use the energy generated by the wind to light up their house. He even went as far to hook up a car battery to use as a backup in case of a non-windy day.

He’s accepting donations to on his website to help pay for his education and he also wants to develop a windmill  to generate enough power to irrigate his village.  This is a very inspiring story!

Malawi village wind turbine, William Kamkwamba, Wind power in Malawi, Soyapi, African student builds wind turbine, Malawi youth builds wind turbines, Wind Power in Africa, Wind Power in the developing world, wind power in developing countries, Emeka Okafor, TED, Homemade green power, DIY Windmill

July 26, 2009 Posted by | Clean Energy, Great Ideas, Inspiration, Life, Social Enterprise | , , , | Leave a comment