Widening and Narrowing Circles: Summer News

Most of this newsletter is about Widening Circles — workshops, online summits and podcasts, and projects we’re glad are happening, many with Peak Moment guests.

Our personal news could be called A Narrowing Circle:  We are putting down more roots in our community in what feels like a time of rest and healing. We’ve been working on homestead infrastructure projects like water systems, learning to contra dance, rehearsing in a Threshold Choir (who sing comforting songs to the dying), and hiking on the California coast and Sierra Nevada mountains (at left Janaia’s watercolors of Chimney Rock in Point Reyes Seashore, and Angela Lake near Donner Summit).

We continue to be grateful for your support in every way. A reminder: if your community has a community access TV station, they can show Peak Moment episodes for free. Email Janaia for details.

We’re also grateful for people who write letting us know what Peak Moment TV means to them. Here’s a recent letter that touched our hearts:

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you two so much for your Peak Moment program. I’m a 23-year old guy currently in Chicago, and very often (nearly daily, in fact) I feel anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed by everything: working a job that doesn’t make me happy, paying off an enormous amount of student loan debt, and worrying about the environment (and feeling helpless to do anything about it.) Your show, however, helps me so much. I learn new things about farming, community, and living a happier, more independent life. Whenever I’m feeling down, your show brings me hope by showing me that there are people and communities out there doing what they can to live more simply and to fight climate change by transforming their communities. The topics you cover are so crucial, and your show supports me so much in my daily life. Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart, for producing and continuing to produce this series.

Warmly (from 90 degree California)~
Janaia and Robin

Widening circles

Local Food Summit Online NOW
August 6-16. Produced by our friends Michael Brownlee and Lynette Marie Hanthorn of Local Food Catalysts, Boulder, Colorado, it’s a free online conference, featuring more than fifty pre-recorded speakers and interviews, plus some live Q&A sessions. The purpose is to accelerate the local food movement in impact, effectiveness, and scale. Each segment will be available for 48 hours after its scheduled release. It will include several Peak Moment guests such as Dave Gardner of GrowthBusters and Bill Wilson of Midwest Permaculture. Register here. Michael Brownlee is the author of The Local Food Revolution: How Humanity Will Feed Itself in Uncertain Times and was a Peak Moment guest in 2007. 

Webinar: Fewer Children: A Moral Responsibility. I think it’s long past time this topic becomes widespread. Fewer Children: A Moral Responsibility is a free webinar on August 9th from our friends at GrowthBusters. Guests Travis Rieder, bioethicist & author of Toward a Small Family Ethic and Madeleine Somerville, author of All You Need is Less. If you register you can get a link for replays. August 9, 2017, 9 to 10:15 pm U.S. Eastern Daylight Time. They’re also crowdfunding season 3 of their Conversation Earth radio podcasts. Watch Dave Gardner in Hooked on Growth – Meet the Filmmaker (Peak Moment 177).

Resilience Bridge in Ashland, Oregon and Boulder, Colorado. Carolyn Baker and Dean Spillane-Walker, recent guests on Connecting with Ourselves, Each Other, and Earth — Personal Tools for These Times part 1 and part 2, are offering Resilience Bridge workshops in Ashland Oregon September 15-17, and Boulder Colorado October 13-15. “Our business-as-usual culture has demanded that we disconnect from the vital sources of meaning in our lives… Resilience Bridge is an opportunity to reclaim our agency and rediscover our core sense of purpose through our sincere intent to reconnect with life.”

Time for Tribe at O.U.R. Ecovillage on Vancouver Island, Canada. We really treasured the “Time for Tribe” workshop we did with Bill Kauth and Zoe Allowan in May 2016. They’re offering the workshop at the Vancouver Island intentional community OUR Ecovillage from September 8-10. Participants learn to build their own local, non-residential, committed, bonded and loving “tribe.”  Watch Bill and Zoe on Longing to Belong: Looking for Your Tribe? part 1 and part 2 (Peak Moment 308-309). Meet O.U.R. cofounder Brandy Gallagher in Creating the Impossible – O.U.R. Ecovillage (Peak Moment 84). (At left is Janaia’s watercolor of the cob-built Sanctuary at O.U.R. Ecovillage).

Agraria Project. Our friends at Community Solutions in Yellow Springs, Ohio are addressing climate change at the grassroots community level. Their latest project is Agraria, a community land trust and regenerative agriculture research center which includes wetland conservation. They’re also starting podcasts and videos on Agraria.

Why not make your garden a wildlife habitat? I liked this interview with David Mizejewski of National Wildlife Federation about making urban gardens as wildlife habitat. Rewild the cities and suburbs!

Richard Heinberg’s latest. I’ve been following Richard Heinberg since 2005, when we saw “The End of Suburbia” and subsequently recorded several Peak Moment shows with him (including Peak Oil, Peak Coal, and Beyond, Peak Moment 63). I find him a credible and thoughtful voice for understanding peak resources, climate disruption, and the collapse of industrial civilization. I sensed a different tone in his latest essay, “Are We Doomed? Let’s Have a Conversation” from Post Carbon Institute. His ending spoke to me:

The conversation I’m pointing to here is about fairly short-term actions. And it doesn’t lend itself to building a big movement. For that, you need villains to blame and promises of revived national or tribal glory. For those engaged in the conversation, there’s only hard work and the satisfaction of honestly facing our predicament with an attitude of curiosity, engagement, and compassion. For us, threats of doom or promises of utopia are distractions or cop-outs.

Peak Moment videos

Living Abundantly in the Sharing Economy: A Voice of Experience with Tree Bressen and Dave Pollard (329). “I ask the groups that hire me to pay me what feels good and right and fair to them, an amount they can afford, and that they can give joyfully… I basically trust them. And it works out really well.”

Share-It Square: Creating Neighborhood Gathering Spaces.  (330). Every year for the past two decades, the neighbors near Sherrett Street in southeast Portland repaint their colorful street intersection. Resident Mighk Simpson gives us a tour on painting day.

Connecting with Ourselves, Each Other, and Earth — Personal Tools for These Times, part 1 and part 2, with Carolyn Baker and Dean Spillane-Walker (331 and 332). “Every single metric [of abrupt climate change] has been accelerating since I took on writing the book [The Impossible Conversation] in 2014,” says Dean Spillane-Walker. “But … the calling of our times, is: who will be together in the face of these predicaments?” Learn about their Resilience Bridge workshops.

A Viewer says

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like no where else on the internet.” − Erroll Gibson

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Produced by Robin Mallgren and Janaia Donaldson, Yuba Gals Independent Media
15319 Lone Bobcat Way, Nevada City, CA 95959     530-265-4244     info@peakmoment.tv


  1. Paul Steckler says:

    A bit of punctilio: Share-It Square is in Southeast Portland, not Southwest. I used to live nearby at SE 9th and Marion.

    • You’re absolutely right — thanks for catching my error! (Now corrected both here and on the post for the video itself). We stayed awhile around the corner from Share-It Square and really liked the neighborhood feel in this quadrant of Portland.

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