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Power from the People is Here!

Power from the People: How to Organize, Finance, and Launch Local Energy Projects by Greg Pahl is here!

If you’ve ever looked up at the power lines feeding into your home and wondered if there could be a better way than giant plants miles from town supplying your electricity by burning dirty fossil fuels — this is the book for you. The answer is an emphatic yes! There are many better ways to generate power than our current system, and Greg Pahl shows through examples from around the country and world how communities can take control of their energy destiny, generating power in more resilient and more sustainable ways.

Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet says about the book, “Talk about down-and-dirty. Or rather, down-and-clean! Here’s the actual useful detail on how to do the stuff that really needs doing. Read it and get to work!”

Power from the People is the second book in the Community Resilience Guide series — a project in partnership with Post Carbon Institute exploring the newest and most promising examples of relocalization for uncertain times.

To celebrate the arrival of Power from the People, we’re sharing the Foreword from the book, written by Van Jones, author of the recently-released book Rebuild the Dream and The New York Times bestseller The Green Collar Economy. Jones is president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform to foster bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. He is currently a Visiting Fellow in Collaborative Economics at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. “This book rests and optimistic message on a pessimistic premise,” Jones writes in the opening of the Foreword. “The paradox is this: Only by recognizing how much worse things can get can we muster the energy and creativity to win a better future. In that regard, the book you hold in your hands is not just an action guide; it is a survival guide.” We couldn’t agree more. But, if that’s not enough, Jones adds:
Climate change and the economic and equity crises of our communities may appear to have little in common, but they share a key determining factor—namely, our near-complete dependence on coal, oil, and natural gas. The carbon dioxide produced by driving our vehicles, heating (and cooling) our homes, and lighting our cities with fossil fuels is the main culprit behind climate change. Meanwhile, that same dependence on fossil fuels sucks billions of dollars every year out of communities across America, with the poorest households often hit hardest. But what if we found ways to power our homes, businesses, factories, and vehicles that didn’t warm the planet, that kept local dollars circulating in local economies, and that even created local jobs? What if we spread those climate-friendly, local-economy-boosting, job-creating ideas to every city and town across the country?
For more inspiring words from Van Jones, continue reading below. Power from the People – Foreword by Van Jones

The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Permaculture Q&A: Mulching Options for Your Garden

As Permaculture Month continues, we are making our expert authors available to answer your burning permaculture questions. If you have a question to submit, fill out this form. This week, Lottie from Florida asked if there are other garden mulch options that are as effective as hay. Josh Trought, one of our soil building and garden management […] Read More..

Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator

In today’s world, nearly everything we use, from phones and computers to cars and kitchen appliances, requires energy derived from fossil fuels. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset some of that energy use by harnessing the renewable power of the sun? Josh Trought, founder of D Acres—an educational center in New Hampshire that researches, applies, […] Read More..

Building a Sustainable Community: The D Acres Model

If you were going to create a community-based homestead or farm from scratch, where would you start? What building materials would you use? What crops would you grow and what animals would you raise? How would you develop an organizational structure and connect with your community? And, how would you make sure all of this […] Read More..

A Man Apart: Remembering Bill Coperthwaite’s Radical Life

A Man Apart is the story—part family memoir and part biography—of Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow’s longtime friendship with Bill Coperthwaite (A Handmade Life), whose unusual, and even radical, life and fierce ideals helped them examine and understand their own. Framed by Coperthwaite’s sudden death and brought alive through the month-long adventure of building with […] Read More..