Wednesday, April 29, 2009

After you hit the Friends of the Library Sale . . .

If you don't find everything on your list at the Friends of the Salem Public Library Spring Sale, or if you want some nice non-book gifty things, or if you just plain haven't visited before, stop by Tea Party Bookshop (corner of Liberty and Ferry) for their Buy Indie sale. Owner JoAnne Kohler sends this word:
May 1st is BUY INDIE DAY!
Support your local independent bookseller (that would be me!) by coming in and buying a book - any book, even a card, journal or CD! This idea started with author Joseph Finder, to get some good publicity and show support for all the hardworking indies around the country. Be a part of this great event - all you have to do is come by the store. Of course I'd love it if you buy something, but stopping in to say hi is also very welcomed.

We love being your independent!
To mark the occasion, JoAnne is running several sales to note:
4-Day Sale to Celebrate Buy Indie Day!

Save up to 40%

Get a great hardcover book at a softcover price! I've got a cart full of books that are 40% off - these are hardcovers that have recently been released in paper, so you can get the nicer format (and most are first editions) at about the same price.

Thursday through Sunday, May 3rd:
20% off all jewelry
15% off all CDs
10% off all Himalayan Salt Lamps
10% off notecards and journals
Plus selected items on sale - come in early for best selection!
Also this one:
Friday Only!
20% off all hardcovers, 10% off all paperbacks!

All day May 1st, we'll offer a discount on your book purchases! Everything included, even the special orders you are waiting to pick up!
Tea Party Bookshop has been very generous by hosting and providing free meeting space for various local groups and also by researching and selecting titles of interest to community groups like the Salem Transition Initiative for Relocalization and others -- the kind of thing that local booksellers do naturally and that chains forgot how to do long ago. So, run down your list of upcoming graduations, weddings, birthdays, vacations, trips, and ideas and pick up something for everyone on your list at these two vital local resources.

Krugman nails it

The brilliant Paul Krugman nails the "we can't afford to prevent climate chaos" numbskulls:

I don’t especially mean to pick on Samuelson, but this column exemplifies a strange thing about the climate change debate. Opponents of a policy change generally believe that market economies are wonderful things, able to adapt to just about anything — anything, that is, except a government policy that puts a price on greenhouse gas emissions. Limits on the world supply of oil, land, water — no problem. Limits on the amount of CO2 we can emit — total disaster.

Funny how that is.

He expands on the theme in his latest column:
Even with stringent limits, says the M.I.T. group, Americans would consume only 2 percent less in 2050 than they would have in the absence of emission limits. That would still leave room for a large rise in the standard of living, shaving only one-twentieth of a percentage point off the average annual growth rate.

To be sure, there are many who insist that the costs would be much higher. Strange to say, however, such assertions nearly always come from people who claim to believe that free-market economies are wonderfully flexible and innovative, that they can easily transcend any constraints imposed by the world’s limited resources of crude oil, arable land or fresh water.

So why don’t they think the economy can cope with limits on greenhouse gas emissions? Under cap-and-trade, emission rights would just be another scarce resource, no different in economic terms from the supply of arable land.

Needless to say, people like Newt Gingrich, who says that cap-and-trade would “punish the American people,” aren’t thinking that way. They’re just thinking “capitalism good, government bad.” But if you really believe in the magic of the marketplace, you should also believe that the economy can handle emission limits just fine.

So we can afford a strong climate change policy. And committing ourselves to such a policy might actually help us in our current economic predicament.

Right now, the biggest problem facing our economy is plunging business investment. Businesses see no reason to invest, since they’re awash in excess capacity, thanks to the housing bust and weak consumer demand.

But suppose that Congress were to mandate gradually tightening emission limits, starting two or three years from now. This would have no immediate effect on prices. It would, however, create major incentives for new investment — investment in low-emission power plants, in energy-efficient factories and more.

To put it another way, a commitment to greenhouse gas reduction would, in the short-to-medium run, have the same economic effects as a major technological innovation: It would give businesses a reason to invest in new equipment and facilities even in the face of excess capacity. And given the current state of the economy, that’s just what the doctor ordered.

This short-run economic boost isn’t the main reason to move on climate-change policy. The important thing is that the planet is in danger, and the longer we wait the worse it gets. But it is an extra reason to move quickly.

So can we afford to save the planet? Yes, we can. And now would be a very good time to get started.
This is vital stuff. The denier/delayer/confusion lobby has cost us precious decades, when responding to climate destabilization would really have been much easier.

We're like the grasshopper in the old grasshopper vs. ant fable now, seeing the impending winter at last -- so, yes, it's going to be harder than it should have been.

But that's water under the bridge now.

The thing to do is begin -- get off coal ASAP -- by 2012, Washington and Oregon can be free of coal plants and making a serious reduction in the amount of coal drawn from the Montana plants.

Anything less is a weird form of suicide -- we use the poison now, but the damage hammers not us, but the people we hope to leave behind us.

Good Resource

In the near future, humanity will be challenged by the converging trends of energy depletion and climate change. It will be necessary for us to transition into a culture that consumes drastically less, and to shift away from the paradigm of perpetual material growth. As part of this transition, the means for securing food, water, energy, and waste management must be re-localized into people's home communities. As currently more than 50% of the world's population lives in urban areas, it will be critical to make our cities more sustainable.

As more and more often the word "sustainability" is being used as a marketing term, we are attempting to bring it back to its truer, original meaning: to live in such a way that the resources available to us today will be available also to an indefinite number of future human generations. This desire led us to create the Rhizome Collective in Austin Texas in 2000. The Rhizome was an old warehouse building that was converted into a demonstration site for urban sustainability, and a home base for numerous social work and activist organizations. On display were numerous ecologically designed systems that the public was invited to come and interact with and learn from.

Drawing from our years of experience at the Rhizome, we've written Toolbox for Sustainable City Living. It is a collection of skills, tools, and technologies usable by urban residents wanting to have more local access and control over life's essential resources. We advocate building sustainable infrastructure using affordable, simple designs that utilize salvaged and recycled materials. We believe sustainability should be something that is accessible to the majority of people in the world, and not just the wealthiest. . . . (more at link above)

Turn out for C.I.T.Y. @ CITY HALL -- May 4, 6:30 p.m.

Chickens in the Yard (C.I.T.Y.) will be giving a presentation at City Hall on Monday, May 4th, and we need to fill council chambers with supporters. This is more important than ever, because as time passes and they hear less about chickens, they have begun to back away.

To affect change, we must keep the pressure on. We have worked too long and too hard to give up now, so I ask you to please come and bring your friends and families. Please stand when I ask all supporters in the room to do so.

They will not be voting on our proposal this night, but we have new information to present since our last presentation 8 weeks ago that could persuade them in the right direction. We also need to show them that we are not going away but have instead, grown stronger and more determined.

Please plan on attending:
May 4th at 6:30 to 8:30 pm – Salem City Hall, 555 Liberty St, Room 240
(this room extends over the parking lot).

If you have a petition with signatures, please email me at so I can make arrangements to pick it up as soon as possible. I would like to present all petitions to the Mayor on Monday night.

Nice website with photo-illustrated guide for building a nice home for some hens.