Our Blog

How to Re-imagine the World

by: Heather on 08/27/2007
Posted in: New Books

It's the height of blackberry season here on the West Coast (and I've got the scratches to prove it)! Blackberries are considered a priceless treasure by some, a noxious weed by others. Perspective is everything.

The theme of perspective is central to our newest release How To Re-Imagine The World. This "pocket guide for practical visionaries" is …

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David Tracey Interview

by: Heather on 08/27/2007
Posted in: Events

For Canadian readers, CBC Radio One's BC Almanac on Tuesday, Aug. 28 from 1:30 to 2pm will feature David Tracey, author of Guerrilla Gardening speaking about random acts of gardening and inviting people to call in with examples of places where they stepped beyond the bounds of their own property to do good. David is as witty a speaker as he is an …

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Guest Post - Cecile Andrews

by: Heather on 08/23/2007
Posted in: Sustainable Living

Today we have another guest post, this time from Cecile Andrews, author of Slow is Beautiful. Thanks Cecile!

We know we're in a crisis on many fronts. In particular, we're faced with climate change, war, and the increasing loss of freedom and democracy in the United States. In my book, Slow is Beautiful: New Visions of Community, Leisure, and Joie de Vivre, I've talked about how our lack of time is a key issue in all of our major problems. Some look on this issue of "time poverty" as a lesser issue: We're faced with such dire problems, how can you talk about long work hours?! But if citizens have no time to inform themselves, engage in civic discourse, or get involved politically, there will be no changes. Our increasingly long work hours can undermine democracy and our work to save the planet.

But there's another "hidden"issue as well: the decline of freedom of expression in the work place. In Slow is Beautiful I tell a story about the president of my community college, where I was an administrator for many years, chastising me for criticizing the chancellor of our system. I wasn't fired, but disgust with his treatment contributed to my decision to quit.

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Saying Goodbye to the SUV!

by: Heather on 08/22/2007
Posted in: Activism

Franke James is a Toronto artist with a deep commitment to getting the message out about climate change. She has created a number of "visual essays" that are creative, compelling, inspiring and engaging. One of my favorites is My SUV and Me Say Goodbye - I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do!

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Guest Post - David Spero

by: Heather on 08/21/2007
Posted in: Sustainable Living

As mentioned, we are excited to be featuring guest posts from our authors. David Spero, author of Diabetes: Sugar-Coated Crisis has contributed this critique of the American, profit-based health care system. Thanks David!

Sicker than "Sicko"

I've never been a Michael Moore fan, but "Sicko" is way better than anything he's done before. He really exposes the madness of the U.S. medical system. But more important, he shows how and why societies such as England, Canada, and France are far healthier than the USA, while spending far less (44-62% as much per capita) on medical care. Even Cuba, a very poor country that spends 4 cents on health per person for every $1 the USA spends, has similar life expectancy and health outcomes.

There's a scene in "Sicko," where Moore interviews American expats at a dinner in France. They tell him how much easier and better life is for them there. Some express guilt feelings for living as they do when their relatives in the US are so much worse off. Moore asks them "How much sick leave do you get a year? 3 days? A week?" They don't even understand the question. "When you're sick, you don't go to work. It doesn't matter for how long."

This kind of thing explains the health differences much more than the medical system does. Health care probably contributes at most 15% to overall health in any society. Things like inequality, social support, stress, and opportunities to be physically active play much bigger roles than medicine. But as "Sicko" shows, both American society and our medical system are profoundly unhealthy.

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