BALE Presents Series of New Economy Events


South Royalton’s local economy center, BALE (Building a Local Economy), is hosting several events as part of a yearlong series focusing on the new economy, localization and wellbeing –“Localize the Economy: Build Resilient Communities”. Tuesday, September 27 Gwendolyn Hallsmith speaks about transforming the money economy to fund infrastructure needed to address climate change. The series continues Thursday, October 6 with a screening of the film “The Economics of Happiness” followed by a discussion with filmmaker Steven Gorelick. Then on Tuesday, October 11 author George Lakey will talk about “Viking Economics,” discussing lessons learned from the economic model used in Scandinavian countries. All events start at 7:15pm at the BALE center, 35 S. Windsor Street, South Royalton, VT 05068.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016: Gwendolyn Hallsmith localize gwen 9-27-16

Gwendolyn Hallsmith of Vermonters for a New Economy, takes up the challenge recently offered by Bill McKibben about the unimaginably huge scale of the effort needed to stall climate change. Hallsmith’s talk, “Coining Infrastructure” looks to a transformative view of the money economy (used before and essential now).

 

Thursday, October 6, 2016: “The Economics of Happiness” Localize econ flyer

Meet filmmaker Steven Gorelick and watch his film, “The Economics of Happiness” as BALE partners with the international group, Local Futures. Join the dialogue following the film. See the trailer HERE.

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016: George Lakey

localize lakey 10-11-16George Lakey, author of Viking Economics, is active in the Earth Quaker Action Team. Turning economics “talk” into engaging, understandable dialogue is his skill. Here he speaks about research into the political struggles and victories of the Scandinavian people; how they now enjoy more equitable, entrepreneurial, and successful economies. Dialogue follows on how we might move toward a system based on abundance instead of scarcity.

UN Issues “Harmony With Nature” Summary Report (2016)


In August the United Nations General Assembly issued a summary report based on a UN-initiated virtual dialogue among experts in Earth jurisprudence with regards to advancing global sustainability in harmony with nature. The dialogue focused on aligning human governance systems with an Earth-centered perspective. Experts discussed developments and recommendations for doing so across eight disciplines, including: Earth-centered law; ecological economics; education; holistic science; the humanities; philosophy and ethics; the arts, media, design and architecture; and theology and spirituality.

Read the full report here – http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/71/266

 

Several NELC Fellows participated in the virtual dialogue. Linda Sheehan offered her expertise in Earth-centered law, while Peter Brown and Joshua Farley contributed input in the area of ecological economics. See below for their individual pieces.

Linda Sheehan – http://www.harmonywithnatureun.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/DialogueInputs/LindaSheehan.EarthLaw.pdf

Peter Brown – http://www.harmonywithnatureun.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/DialogueInputs/PeterG.Brown.EcologicalEconomics.pdf

Joshua Farley – http://www.harmonywithnatureun.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/DialogueInputs/JoshuaFarley.EcologicalEconomics.pdf

Restoring Power to Hawai’i: (Missed) Opportunities for Energy Justice on the Road to 100% Renewable Energy


In June 2015 Hawaii became the first state in the nation to formally commit to 100 percent clean, renewable power generation. A year later, the island archipelago is facing some critical choices in how to get to that goal. NELC Fellow and VLS Distinguished Energy Law Scholar for 2016, Prof. Shalanda Baker, describes these choices under the current regulatory structure and their implications for energy policy and energy justice.

Shalanda H. Baker, Assoc. Prof. of Law and Environmental Law Program Faculty Advisor at University of Hawai’i at Manoa, “Restoring Power to Hawai’i: (Missed) Opportunities for Energy Justice on the Road to 100% Renewable Energy,” Hot Topics in Environmental Law lecture at VLS, June 9, 2016

View the video here.

Linda Sheehan – “Commentary on ‘Against Ecocide: Legal Protection for Earth'”


Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 2.09.23 PMA global movement is coalescing advancing systemic change in the law through enacting nature’s rights provisions as well as through legal activism promoting international recognition of ecocide as a fifth crime against peace. Femke Wijdekop discusses the latter development in a new piece for the Great Transition Initiative. In the following commentary, Earth Law Center Executive Director and NELC Senior Fellow Linda Sheehan responds to this piece reflecting on the role of legal activism and strategies for pushing ecocentric systemic reform forward.

 

Linda Sheehan, “Commentary on ‘Against Ecocide: Legal Protection for Earth,” Great Transition Initiative (August 2016), http://www.greattransition.org/commentary/linda-sheehan-against-ecocide-femke-wijdekop

 

Commoning as a Transformative Social Paradigm


In this paper produced for the Next System Project, NELC Associate Fellow David Bollier introduces the commons as a social paradigm capable of transcending the current oppressive system. In particular, Bollier examines the commons as an alternative to the neoliberal political economy and presents a commoning vision and approach for achieving a more ecologically sustainable and humane society.

http://thenextsystem.org/commoning-as-a-transformative-social-paradigm/

DavidBollier-cover

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In New Zealand, Lands and Rivers Can Be People (Legally Speaking)


New Zealand is taking bold steps to evolve its legal system by recognizing “legal personhood” status and rights for natural systems, including rivers and forests. Arising from agreements to settle treaty violations with indigenous Maori, the recognition of the Te Urewera Forest and the Whanganui River as legal entities is a growing approach (following related efforts in Ecuador and elsewhere) for shifting law towards a more ethical, eco-centric standard. 

“In New Zealand, Lands and Rivers Can Be People (Legally Speaking),” The New York Times, July 13, 2016

Earth Law


NELC Fellow Linda Sheehan, Executive Director of Earth Law Center, teaches this Summer Term course at VLS

Course Description:

Climate change and other global threats are increasingly illustrating the limits of our existing environmental laws to stem degradation. This course posits that environmental declines will continue until we address a fundamental assumption underlying our legal system: that humans are separate from the natural world and may treat it as property to be exploited, rather than as a connected ecological partner. The course will critically examine the sources of this assumption and its impacts on preventing us from achieving a healthy, thriving planet. It will then describe legal, economic, and other governance systems that recognize the inherent rights of the natural world to exist, thrive, and evolve, and it will discuss how such systems can be implemented to advance lasting sustainability. Specific applications will be highlighted, debated, and practiced.​

Syllabus – Summer 2016

 

 

A Radical Alliance of Black and Green Could Save the World


VLS Energy Clinic White River Community Solar News


Vermont Public Radio recently featured the VLS Energy Clinic’s White River Community Solar project that we have been developing with our community partners Building a Local Economy (BALE) and Putting Down Roots Farm.  Putting Down Roots Farm is a local CSA business that has agreed to host the 150 kW community solar array which will be directly owned by the local participants and developed by our local solar partner Catamount Solar.  This story features a discussion of the challenges facing community solar, including the challenge of utility net metering caps and the competition for interconnection capacity with projects that are neither locally owned or solar for the local community.  Our Energy Clinic continues to work to advance true community solar and we welcome collaboration with new partners in this effort.  We can be contacted at energy clinic@vermontlaw.edu

http://digital.vpr.net/post/net-metering-cap-leaves-community-solar-projects-across-state-limbo