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.

Live better together, one street at a time!

We’re rolling out the Transition Streets program in Charlottesville. After a successful pilot of the program, a revision of the handbook, and other new resources from the Transition US team, we’re ready to bring the program to your neighborhood.

Green Grannies Performance and Press Conference

9:30am Saturday, July 18 at Charlottesville City Market, 100 E Water St.

Program coordinators will introduce Transition Streets and explain how residents can get involved. The Green Grannies choir will sing environmental songs set to familiar tunes.

Launch Party

6pm-7:30pm Wednesday, July 29 at Ecovillage Charlottesville, 480 Rio Rd. E

Join us for refreshments, info, and fun. Meet new friends, explore the Transition Streets program, and leave with all the resources you need to start or join a group in your own neighborhood!

What is Transition Streets?

Transition Streets is a community-based project to help individual households save money, 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.

Is your neighborhood ready for a change?

Join us on July 29th from 6:00PM – 7:30PM at Ecovillage Charlottesville for a launch party to learn more about the program and get the resources you’ll need to get started. You don’t need to have your other neighbors committed yet, just come out, enjoy some refreshments, learn about the program, and decide if you’re ready to start the transition.

More info

If you have any questions, or want to help us spread the word about this initiative email us at streets@transitioncville.org

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.

TCA Women’s Resilience Retreat

Womens_RetreatCome walk together as we rejuvenate, strengthen our resilience, and fire up our creativity in these changing times. We’ll provide time for laughter, contemplation, and opportunities to learn more about living lightly on the earth. Enjoy a fire circle, drumming, story-telling, conscious breathing, and more!

Transition Charlottesville Albemarle’s Women’s Resilience Retreat
Friday evening, Sept. 19 through Saturday evening, Sept. 20
@ EcoVillage Charlottesville, 480 E. Rio Road.

Rejuvenation * Skill Share * Meditation * Empowerment * New Friends

Sign up or find more information on Facebook or contact Joanie Freeman at 434-987-1026 or freemanjoanie@gmail.com

$45 for campers/$60 for inside accommodations

Please join us

Pop-up Clothesline Party for “Fire Your Dryer” Initiative

Lorrie with her clotheslineLet it all hang out at Transition C’ville’s Pop-up Clothesline Party!  Firing our dryer is about more than reducing our carbon footprint.  Using a clothesline cuts our energy bill, gives us time to spend outside and socialize with out neighbors, and gives us wonderful sun-kissed sheets.  Join us this Friday on the downtown mall to celebrate and promote the simple joy of line-drying our clothes.  We’ll have a juggling unicyclists, the wonderful Green Granny choir, Better World Betty, clothespin games for kids, laundry soap making, and an umbrella clothesline raffle.  The event will take place 5-7pm near the downtown fountain (near Zocalo and the future Landmark Hotel).  Drop by and discover how easy it is to harness free, renewable energy!

Special thanks to Charlottesville Earth Week for co-sponsoring this event.


Ecovillage “Coming Out” Party a Huge Success

A perfect sunset crowned the hill over the Lochlyn House last night as it hosted Ecovillage Charlottesville’s “Coming Out” party.  Situated at 480 East Rio Road, the Lochlyn House property was recently purchased to serve as the future home of Charlottesville’s very first ecovillage.  The event included tours of the property, a presentation by the newly formed Ecovillage Board, a sumptuous dessert bar, and lively conversation amongst all the guests.

Ecovillage board presentation

The Charlottesville Ecovillage Board presents to a full house. Community members from all walks of life attended the meeting to express interest and support the project.

The event celebrated all that had been accomplished in the two months since work on the property began. Volunteers have been busy cleaning, furnishing, decorating, and planting to help realize their dream of a Charlottesville ecovillage.  The Lochlyn house is the main house on the property and will serve as a bed and breakfast (to raise funds for the ecovillage) as well as a community  space for meetings, house concerts, parties, and workshops.  Downhill from the Lochlyn House lies a smaller cottage which will serve as a Healthy Living Center, offering classes and workshops in meditation, yoga, nutrition, parenting, and much more.

Community members touring the property.

Community members tour the property of the future Charlottesville Ecovillage.

Within five years the board hopes for dwellings to be well underway and for residents to have moved into the community.  For those living there, the ecovillage will serve as a safe and supporting space in which to practice a different kind of lifestyle; one that is intentional, sustainable, and ecologically and socially regenerative.  But don’t think this is just another neighborhood. The board members all make it perfectly clear: Ecovillage Charlottesville has a critical role to play in the community if we are to face the converging crises of our time.

We’re all aware of the unprecedented problems we face: economic collapse, climate change, and resource scarcity.  By ourselves these problems are unsolvable and all too many of us react by simply ignoring them.  Even our politicians are at a loss and encourage us to simply “keep on shopping”.  But these problems are solvable!  It won’t be an easy road, but by working together, pooling our collective genius and offering each other support along the way, we can start addressing these problems and building a better world.  Ecovillage Charlottesville will serve as a laboratory for exploring sustainable living and as an emotional haven to support us as we leave behind our individualistic and high-consumption lifestyle.  What happens there is only the beginning, as the lessons learned, techniques developed, and friendships made extend into the wider Charlottesville community.

Getting Involved

The supportive, communal, and collaborative spirit which characterizes the Ecovillage was in full swing last night.  People from all walks of life came together to meet one another, make new friends, and support a shared dream.  You too can join that dream!  There are many ways to get involved:

  • Attend the ecovillage’s weekly work parties.  Work starts every Sunday at 1:30pm and ends with a potluck dinner at 5:00pm.
  • Lend your talents.  The Ecovillage is looking for hands and minds skilled in:
    • Communications, Networking, and Marketing
    • Architecture, Engineering, and Design
    • Financial and Legal Management
    • Organizational Development, Facilitation and Mediation, and Group Process
    • Fundraising
    • Strategic Planning
    • Education
    • Event Organizing
  • Join the board (more details coming soon).
  • Visit the ecovillage, schedule your next meeting there, or come for a picnic.
  • Spread the word!  Tell your friends and family about this exciting opportunity coming to Charlottesville.

To contact the Ecovillage you can email them at ecovillagecville@gmail.com or visit them on Facebook.  To schedule an events, contact Joanie Freeman at 434-987-1026.