Rivers of Wind Book Discussion with Ben Kessler


Rivers of Wind: Reflections on Nature and Language
Book Discussion with the Author, Ben Kessler
Sunday, June 12, 5pm to 6:30pm
at Ecovillage Charlottesville, 480 Rio Rd. E, Charlottesville, VA
Followed by a potluck dinner

Ben Kessler is a naturalist, artist, gardener, teacher, activist, and worker-owner of the local edible landscaping firm C’ville Foodscapes. His new collection of essays, Rivers of Wind: Reflections on Nature and Language, has just been published by ICRL Press.

Come and gather around the fire circle for a reading from Rivers of Wind followed by a conversation with Ben about cultures of place – and the past, present and future of our beautiful planet.

Ben says: “If you find extinction ecology, native and invasive species paradigms, etymology, Magic Indian stories, resistance strategies, and cultural appropriation interesting and worthy of a good communal chew, this is probably right up your alley.”

If it’s raining, we’ll gather indoors (meet inside Lochlyn House at the top of the hill). Continue the conversation afterward! All are welcome to stay on for Ecovillage Charlottesville‘s weekly potluck at 6:30pm. Please bring a dish to share.

Questions? Please contact info@transitioncville.org.

More about Rivers of Wind

“In the midst of ecological catastrophe, indigenous persecution, and the attempted mechanization of the living world, the beauty of the earth remains defiantly vibrant. The voice of the world still speaks in tongues of wind and water, feather and flame, whether we listen or not. Alternately lyric and scientific, critical and moving, Kessler examines the relationships between nature and language, colonial and native cultures, and extinction and memory, and so presents a unique vision of our place in an ancient, fragile living world.” – From the Publisher

“Ben Kessler is that rarest and most precious of writers, one whose every word is formed and informed by a profound love for the natural world, one whose loyalty is undeniably with the world that is our and everyone else’s only home. And he’s a hell of a writer. Please read this book, and then put the book away and go outside, transformed.” – Derrick Jensen, author of ‘The Myth of Human Supremacy’

“‘The entire ancient earth thinks prodigiously / and the murmur of its great trees grows.’ Rilke’s lines kept nudging me as I pored over this manuscript. By the time I reached the end, I had the eerie sense that Kessler, a recovering biologist, was somehow channeling Thoreau (‘Shall I not have intelligence with the earth?’), Loren Eisley (‘I was water and the unspeakable alchemies that gestate and take shape in water.’), and the towering, brilliant indignation of Edward Abbey. I don’t normally hold with resurrections, but I’m making an exception with Ben Kessler. Abbey is back.” – Calvin Luther Martin, author of ‘The Way of the Human Being’

Copies of the book will be available on a sliding price scale of $15 to $25 (or barter!).

Read more and order copies of the book at www.benkesslerbooks.com.

Transition Streets: How to Get Started

What is Transition Streets?

Transition Streets is a community-based project to help individual households save energy and waste right here and now. Program participants meet with their neighbors for seven sessions over a period of several months to build a sense of community on their street, and learn fun and easy ways to practice sustainable habits.

Each session is guided by a chapter of the Transition Streets Handbook. The handbook details actions, tips, and facts to empower you and your neighbors to increase your energy efficiency, cut down on waste, eat fresh and local, save money, and build a stronger community.

Want to see a Transition Streets group on your street? Awesome! Transition Streets is initiated and run by neighbors, so neighborhood leaders like you are the key to “living better together, one street at a time.”

Transition Charlottesville Albemarle has a small team of dedicated volunteers who will help you join or organize a group and get off to a good start. We can help by:

  • Publicizing Transition Streets all over town
  • Providing sample flyers, resources, and a printed handbook for each group
  • Connecting you with a volunteer Transition Street [TS] Facilitator who will answer your questions, cheer you on, and attend your first and last group meetings

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Email streets@TransitionCville.org and tell us what neighborhood you live in. We’ll connect you with a TS Facilitator who can help with the next steps.
  2. Click here if you want to download a printable version of this Get Started guide
  3. Recruit a friend to help you organize! There’s a bit of work to do, and it’s easier with a team. If we’ve heard from someone else in your neighborhood, we’ll help you link up.
  4. Download the Transition Streets Handbook: Go to http://handbook.transitionstreets.org/get-the-handbook-transition-initiatives. For “Your Official Transition Initiative’s Name” enter Transition Charlottesville Albemarle. Your TS Facilitator will provide your group with one printed copy of the handbook.
  5. Start reaching out to your neighbors. You want a group of about 6-8 households. (See below for specific ideas.)
  6. When you have enough people ready to start, set a date for your first meeting. If folks have busy schedules, try using www.Doodle.com to send a quick survey and pick the best meeting date. Be sure to include your TS Facilitator!


How to Get Neighbors to Join Your Transition Streets Group

Pound the pavement:

  • Knock on doors and distribute flyers (Click here to download a sample flyer)
  • Talk to your neighbors! (talking points below)
  • Put up a poster on your neighborhood bulletin board
  • Get on the agenda of a neighborhood association/HOA meeting
  • Ask for a story in your neighborhood newsletter or blog
  • Distribute flyers to grocery stores, libraries, community centers, etc.
  • Distribute flyers at street fairs, farmers’ markets or other community events
  • Contact institutions with local programs (e.g. churches, senior centers)

Use social media:

  • Send invitations to neighbors that you’ve friended on Facebook
  • Try out Nextdoor.com, a private online social network for neighbors (many people in Charlottesville are already using this network)

Don’t try to do it alone:

  • Ask a friend or community leader for help
  • Recruit “block captains” to be responsible for recruiting their block
  • Ask neighbors (personally) to ask their next door neighbors
  • Host a sign-up party, barbecue, or potluck with the help of people already interested

Transition Streets Talking Points

  • Transition Streets is a community-based project to help individual households save money, conserve energy and consume fewer resources right here and now.
  • Transition Streets has been tried and tested in over 600 households in the UK & USA.
  • Transition Streets is a community partner of Energize!Charlottesville, the City’s two-year campaign to save energy as a community and win the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize.
  • Program participants meet with their neighbors for seven sessions over a period of several months to build a sense of community on their street, and learn fun and easy ways to practice sustainable habits.
  • Each session is guided by a chapter of the Transition Streets Handbook. The handbook details actions, tips, and facts to empower you and your neighbors to increase your energy efficiency, cut down on waste, eat fresh and local, save money, and build a stronger community.
  • Households save an average of $900/year on bills and expenses and reduce their household carbon emissions by an average of 1.3 tons!
  • But, the best part is getting to know your neighbors and building a more vibrant, connected, resilient and fun neighborhood!

More info

If you have any questions, or want to help us spread the word about this initiative, email us at streets@transitioncville.org or call our committee contact person Logan Blanco at 434-327-3571.

More info from Transition United States: http://transitionstreets.org/

Watch the Transition Streets video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=S94Owhn2fIM

April 14: Tell Dominion to Stop Polluting Our Climate & Our Democracy!

From Glen Besa, VA Sierra Club –

WHAT: Protest against Dominion and its ALEC partners outside VA Chamber of Commerce “Dirty Energy” Conference. Bring your signs, banners and props.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 148:00 AM to 9:30 AM, as participants are entering the conference.

WHERE: On the sidewalk outside the Richmond Convention Center, E. Marshall and N. 5th Street (500 E Marshall St, Richmond, VA 23219)

RSVP HERE-Let us know you’re coming!

energy protestBACKGROUND:

Dominion Resources doesn’t just pollute our air, water, and climate. The company pollutes our politics too.  And it’s not acting alone. Dominion is a member/supporter of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as are two other big Virginia coal-burning carbon polluters—Appalachian Power/AEP and the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) (through its participation in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association).

Join us Tuesday April 14 at 8 AM to Demonstrate Against Dominion and its ALEC partners outside the VA Chamber of Commerce’s Orwellian-named “Energy and Sustainability” Conference.  A conference panel discussion on the EPA Clean Power Plan includes representatives from ALEC supporters Dominion, AEP and ODEC and no clean energy representatives.  When coal-burning ALEC supporters dominate a conference on sustainability, it’s time for the people to stand up and say “enough.”

As the biggest corporate political campaign donor to Virginia Republicans and Democrats alike, Dominion can rely on a majority of state legislators to vote the company’s way.  Dominion’s and ALEC’s hands are evident on the recent amendment to the new state ethics bill that would allow big polluters to fly legislators around on private planes to ALEC conferences and other events while excusing the politicians from even reporting the gifts in some instances.

As long as Dominion can buy our decision-makers, it can keep building dirty energy projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (and new gas generating plants to justify it).  Dominion’s electricity generation plans provide for a 30% increase in carbon pollution over the next 15 years. And that doesn’t count methane releases from the company’s growing fracked gas transmission and distribution operations.

As an ALEC member, Dominion supports Koch brothers-financed efforts to deny climate change, block EPA action on climate, and support voter suppression of young people, minorities, and the elderly. Visit http://vasierraclub.org/2015/02/the-people-vs-dominion/ for more details.

Dominion’s energy plans are Too Risky and Too Costly for Virginia! But driven by short term profits, arrogance and greed, Dominion CEO Thomas Farrell is pursuing a massive new fracked gas pipeline, new gas power plants and a new nuclear reactor near an active earthquake fault line.  Dominion continues to block independent energy efficiency, solar and wind investments, touting its own small, token clean energy projects while it invests heavily in new dirty energy facilities.

Join us April 14, when Sierra Club and other groups gather outside the Richmond Convention Center to make some noise!  We will be demonstrating against Dominion and its ALEC partners outside the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s “Dirty Energy” Conference where Virginia’s biggest polluters will be inside trashing the US EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Glen Besa, Director
Sierra Club-Virginia Chapter
422 E. Franklin St, Suite 302
Richmond, VA 23219





Virginia Climate Fever – Author Stephen Nash Speaks Weds. 3/25

From Superstorm Sandy to Typhoon Haiyan, climate change is already causing extreme weather, sea level rise, droughts, and more – all around the globe. In his book Virginia Climate Fever:  How Global Warming Will Transform Our Cities, Shorelines, and Forests, environmental journalist Stephen Nash details the current impacts and future threats of climate change in our very own state.

Stephen Nash will speak on Virginia Climate Fever at Charlottesville’s Central Library on Wednesday, March 25, at 7pm in the McIntire Room. You are invited to join the Sierra Club for this important discussion. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, please contact Suzanne at (434) 245-9898 or or suzemichels@gmail.com.

Virginia Climate Fever – The book we’ve been waiting for.

Book Review by John A. Cruickshank, Chair of the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club

A group of fifteen activists met four times this winter to discuss how climate change will affect the Old Dominion during the 21st century.  To provide a framework for our discussions, we all read Virginia Climate Fever by Stephen Nash.  This recently released book provides a detailed description of the climatic disruptions we can expect in Virginia and the steps needed to adapt to these changes.  Nash warns that Virginia has made little progress in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are a major cause of climate change and is not making the necessary preparations for the challenges we face in the decades ahead.

Climate change has already come to Virginia.  Average temperatures have risen, flora and fauna across the state have been affected, and our coastal areas are experiencing significant flooding.  Nash allows the research to speak for itself.  His book provides essential data with easily understood maps and charts.  He describes his many conversations with respected scientists, government leaders, and Virginians who are now dealing with climate disruption.

During most our meetings the participants examined what is happening in our own community. We discussed actions citizens can take to reduce our carbon footprint and prepare for the inevitable problems ahead.  Most of us will not live to see the worst effects of climate disruption, but we are concerned that our children and grandchildren’s lives will become more difficult because of the actions (or inaction) taken today.

We recommend that everyone read Virginia Climate Fever.  It brings home the seriousness of this issue that will affect the lives of Virginians for many years to come.  It is available at the library and local book stores.

Our book group was organized by the Sierra Club, 350 Central Virginia, and Transition Charlottesville Albemarle.  To become involved and learn more about what you can do to prepare our community for climate disruption, please go to the websites of these local groups.