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Daniel Brodell-Lake

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since Oct 30, 2016
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Recent posts by Daniel Brodell-Lake


Great string, thanks

I've been studying this topic a lot.  I got invited to speak at the N American convergence a few years back, and since I spoke on cooperatives being the only type of business in integrity with permie ethics, I wasn't invited back.

I think part of what's happening here is that there are employee owned businesses, which is what we all think of when we hear Co-op, and then there are businesses, such as REI, that have co-op'ed the word co-op, so to speak, by representing themselves as an employee owned business, when really they are a top down capitalist business in which the Buyer's/consumers form a collective group of people with similar interests, fondly referred to as a Co-op.  

If your local grocery store in Maine follows the pattern of 1) the owner's own a home, have 100% equity in the business, and make all decisions, while 2) the workers rent, have 0% equity in the business and have zero legal voice in decision making, then, you have stumbled upon a Buyer's Co-op.  Not in line with permie ethics, no?  Not a worker owned cooperative, but a buyer's Co-op.  I'm not sure, but in your story you mention that other buyers wouldn't approve of your suggestion, not that the worker/owners didn't approve.

The state of California recognizes worker owned cooperatives as a means to provide workers with equity, dignity, and a legal voice at work.,California%20Cooperative%20Corporation%20Statute,seek%20investments%20from%20their%20communities.

We claim, as permaculture practitioners, to share the surplus, yet I have witnessed first hand situations that use the word permaculture, while acting in non cooperative work places.  

I find this to be hypocritical.  The Latin American community find this to be hypocritical, and they now use "agroecologĂ­a" instead of "permacultura" due to this repeated misleading information.  

We do this to our own detriment.  How can others take us seriously when we don't follow our own ethics?

Hopland, the solar living institute, is one of the first residential and commercial solar installers in the USA, and they were purchased by a larger company.  This is big business.  The interns are in tents with rice and beans.  We cannot take the leadership of the permaculture movement seriously, when this is the context.  

I was invited to write a story for permaculture north American magazine, in which I interviewed an individual who had worked for the owner of the URL permaculture. Com, and I was threatened by a group of lawyers.  The article was pulled.

Seems it's permissable to greenwash this topic of sharing the surplus đź’° of a business (profits), so long as Earth Care is pushed to the forefront.  Unpaid internships are popular in the green movement, and the people care dynamic of this situation is questionable.

This is the key to the Green Revolution.  It's the half Revolution that Robert frost writes about.  We don't want local farms owned by conglomerates and a workplace where we are continued to be exploited with no legal voice. We want true cooperative workplaces, we want equity, legal voices at work etc etc.  

The ownership class needs to invest in the youth and jumpstart this movement, or we are destined to have solar brought to us from Exxon, gardens sponsored by Dole etc etc

Thanks for listening
Kind Regards
4 months ago

Dave Burton wrote:
Overall, I find this kind of feedback to be more of a reflection of these people's life experiences and not about me. I think it's just another way for me to learn about who these people are, what they value, and how they believe the world works (or they would like it work). It becomes a way for me to understand them, instead of just another "insult."

Hi Dave (guys) I used to also not care about how I dressed much,  and i would wear these light weight shorts that I had painted many houses in most days with a tshirt.   Splatter paint and skateboard logos etc.  

In 07 and 08 I taught English in Argentina.   Here, most people are much more poor economically than people in the USA (in general), yet they take time to dress very nicely and present themselves as professional to the world.   After being a part of that culture,  and seeing how much effort was put into self presentation,  I began to realize that dress is associated with dignity.   For them,  to show up in raggy clothes would be saying loud and clear  "my family is too poor to provide good clothing" which in turn creates shame and loss of face.  

There are good reasons to show up for yourself.   Self care is important.   How you look to others is important.

We certainly won't get any clients showing up in rags.   (If permaculture landscape installation etc were a goal)

We have this notion in the USA now where it's okay to go to the grocery store or restaurant in pj's something that is unheard of and literally would create shame for the whole family in lots of other places on the planet.  

Also now I feel more and more that Permies lacking professionalism and business acumen is a reason why our movement has not grown as quickly as it otherwise could (or should).  

Just my 2 cents.   Wear what you want.  But we cannot be angry at everyone for having more "normal" worldviews because then we as a community are building a reputation of being verbally aggressive (alongside poorly dressed)  which is feedback I hear a lot and tbh I've distanced myself from the more diehard permies because of aggressive stances like this even though I manage rain tanks and veggie gardens etc.  My more mainstream friends have repeatedly expressed feeling attacked verbally by eco conscious people and I don't think that's who we want to be as a community.  

Grateful for the dialogue,  Abrazos
1 year ago

The Tri-County Area of Central California encompassing Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey Counties is starting the process of Community Choice Energy (CCE), or Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) energy.

In this video, Mederi Founder Daniel B. Lake interviews Woody Hastings of the Center for Climate Protection.  They have helped Sonoma Clean Power to save millions of dollars over the years by keeping the profits from the energy sector local in the form of a non-profit enterprise.

The video was filmed at Wave St Studios, on Cannery Row.

The law allowing CCA passed on a state level in 2001, and Sonoma and other counties have initiated their community power programs in the early oughts, yet here we still are hoping to one day go on line with community power in 2017.  CA as a state has set goals to become 100% renewable by 2045.  With this pace of taking 16 years to achieve very basic steps that are already working very effectively in other counties, it seems as though we will not reach our goals.

Monterey Bay Community Power is the Community Choice Energy program in the tri-county area.  It is expected to come online anytime later in 2017 or early 2018.  This means that we will all be automatically enrolled into buying energy from a non-profit local supplier, rather than PG&E, yet through the same service lines as always.  Other counties have kept upwards of 98% choosing to stay with CCE rather than PG&E.

We really have to question the leadership during this time.  Meetings are meant to be public yet are held on weekdays at 9am.  We can buy Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) and greenwash our way into profits, or we can truly revolutionize our local economy, job market and clean energy grid.

The most ethical manner to deploy CCE is also the most beneficial for the community.  We must use Co-Operative work enterprises and pay workers livable wages (comparable to actual living costs in the area) to install local solar farms so that we can truly create local clean power and jobs at the same time.
3 years ago