Transition Milwaukee

Rebuilding Community Resilience & Self-Reliance

All Blog Posts (170)

Moral Discomfort, Privilege, and the Politics of Air-Conditioning

Moral Discomfort,  Privilege,  and the Politics of Air-Conditioning


By Erik Lindberg


We don’t have central air conditioning in our house; nor do we run window units.  Other than the fact that my family is part of a 13% minority in the United States, where 87% of all households artificially cool their air, the lack of air-conditioning in itself should not be remarkable.  Friends and acquaintances will nevertheless express disproportionate astonishment. …


Added by Erik Lindberg on August 11, 2015 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Small Homes discussion



Added by Barbara Richards on June 23, 2015 at 11:18am — No Comments

Six Myths About Climate Change that Liberals Rarely Question

The divisive split in our society has become a distraction. Instead of criticizing the other side we need to start seeing how their philosophy is keeping us from examining our own. I applaud the transitions Milwaukee group for this article. Our group is doing a showing of the film series "Years of Living Dangerously" and I have added the Milwaukee article to our handouts. However, as a long time and passionate advocate of the need to preserve our life support system I feel the article misses…


Added by Jack Pedigo on April 12, 2015 at 1:01pm — No Comments

Natural Building

Created a new Web Page dedicated to sharing Natural Building projects, ideas and people. If you are interested in Natural Building visit it. If you have a project or idea post it. If you know others with similar interest share it.

Added by Daniel Becker on February 21, 2015 at 6:48am — No Comments

Transportation Technology and Infrastructure for a Sustainable Society

Feet are great. They are humankind’s original mode of transportation, and in many ways are still the premium transportation mode. They are non-polluting, quiet, efficient, and using them makes us healthier and tends to encourage the kind of human interaction that improves our society. In two previous posts (…


Added by Jim Stiles on December 25, 2014 at 9:16am — No Comments

The Layout of Sustainable Communities

In my post on the Scale and Character of Sustainable Communities ( I discuss issues of scale that I see as crucial in achieving a high quality of sustainable living. By building and adapting communities to maximize walkability, we take a key step in minimizing our reliance on powered…


Added by Jim Stiles on December 25, 2014 at 7:14am — No Comments

The Scale and Character of Sustainable Communities

Sustainability is not simply an option to be chosen or rejected. By very simple, reasonable definitions, sustainability is inevitable. After all if an activity is unsustainable, it cannot continue indefinitely. Since sustainability is inevitable, achieving it is not the real challenge we face. Our challenge is to help in the transition to a society that offers the same or similar benefits to future generations as those we have enjoyed as we exploited a wide range of resources in an…


Added by Jim Stiles on December 7, 2014 at 9:00am — 4 Comments

A New Old Economics

Economics is anything but a new discipline. The origins of economics are generally traced to Socrates, Plato, and perhaps most of all Aristotle. Oikos nomos - the norms of a well-run household - was where it all began. To be sure, the norms of a well run household in ancient Greece left a lot to be desired by modern standards. Most people today would be shocked by their conclusion that a man's second most important possession is his wife (second only to his house), and that slaves should be…


Added by Jim Stiles on December 2, 2014 at 1:24pm — No Comments

Six Myths About Climate Change that Liberals Rarely Question

Six Myths About Climate Change that Liberals Rarely Question

By Erik Lindberg


Myth #1:  Liberals Are Not In Denial 

“We will not apologize for our way of life” –Barack Obama

The conservative denial of the very fact of climate change looms large in the minds of many liberals.  How, we ask, could people ignore so much solid and unrefuted evidence?   Will they deny the existence of fire as Rome burns once again?  With so…


Added by Erik Lindberg on November 24, 2014 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments

Climate Crisis and the Pursuit of Happiness: Reflections on Community Solutions Conference

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the Sixth Community Solutions Conference:  “Climate Crisis—Curtailment and Community—and The Power of Individual Action,” held in Yellow Springs Ohio by The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions.  To those not familiar with permaculture, the work of  Community Solutions or for that matter The Post Carbon Institute, the most remarkable thing about the conference was what was not included—namely, the usual salvo of smart-grids and…


Added by Erik Lindberg on November 11, 2014 at 10:44am — 1 Comment

Sufficient Liberal Stories--The Krugman Function Part 4

On the face of it, Paul Krugman appears entirely confident in the future of the American way of life and the growth of a globally inclusive economy.  He is similarly confident in our ability to address climate change by running that economy on renewable energy.

This needs two significant qualifications.  First, it is unclear whether this is what Krugman hopes, or what he expects; whether he is rallying us in an inspirational mode, or lecturing in an analytic one.  In…


Added by Erik Lindberg on November 2, 2014 at 12:17pm — No Comments

The Infinite Toddler Regress--The Krugman Function Part 3

In this installment I’m going to talk about Paul Krugman’s resistance to whole-system thinking, and I’m going to do it by way of a comparison to a very different intellectual dispensation: namely the one demonstrated by my three year old twin sons.  Lest this comparison seem too insulting to be taken seriously, in his defense I should mention that Krugman’s poor showing in this intellectual curiosity contest nevertheless illustrates an important dilemma.  This dilemma is faced daily by…


Added by Erik Lindberg on October 26, 2014 at 4:51pm — No Comments

The Krugman Function Part 2--Whole System Thinking

Whole System Thinking

Anyone who has spent much time thinking about ecology, peak oil and the economy, or global carbon emissions with any degree of complexity understands the importance of whole-system thinking.  Whole-system thinking reminds us that our economy cannot be intelligently assessed without an understanding of resources and energy.  Whole-system thinking tells the ecologist that the loss of one species or a slight change in precipitation patterns will upset a far…


Added by Erik Lindberg on October 18, 2014 at 3:30pm — No Comments

The Krugman Function


Fresh thinking is difficult to perform and is often poorly received, but is not without some pleasures as well.  One can expect a distinct combination of frustration and satisfaction when toiling from within a new paradigm that is struggling for its first foothold on the long and hopeful ascent towards conventional wisdom and widespread acceptance.  Such frustrations become more acute, and in some cases reflect mortal danger, when the old-guard starts hurling large rocks and…


Added by Erik Lindberg on October 16, 2014 at 8:30am — No Comments

Saving the Planet in Three Easy Steps

We’ve all been there.  The big class reunion coming up, that someone special you think you might run into, but your favorite pair of jeans just doesn’t fit you the way they used to.

Oops, wrong article.  Let me start over again.

We’ve all been there.  You’re driving to Best Buy to check out the new tablets on your day off, and on comes a scary news report about global climate change.  That sounds bad, you say to yourself, but what am I supposed to do about it?  I drive a small…


Added by Erik Lindberg on May 14, 2014 at 4:42pm — No Comments

Separating Gloom from Doom: A Post-Carbon Existentialism

Equipment for Living

Among friends, acquaintances, and even among colleagues who already troll the dark waters of post-carbon anticipation in the Transition Movement, I have gained a reputation as “the doom and gloom guy.”  This misunderstanding is, I admit, not without merit.  I declare my beliefs about the future of modern industrial society frequently and with as much volume as I can…


Added by Erik Lindberg on April 30, 2014 at 4:30pm — No Comments

The Future of an Illusion

In Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, Sigmund Freud relates the story of the man accused by his neighbor of damaging a borrowed kettle.  As Freud tells it, “A. borrowed a copper kettle from B. and after he had returned it was sued by B. because the kettle now had a big hole in it which made it unusable. His defense was: ‘First, I never borrowed a kettle from B at all; secondly, the kettle had a hole in it already when I got it from him; and thirdly, I gave him back the…


Added by Erik Lindberg on March 28, 2014 at 4:47pm — 1 Comment

Apres Moi le Deluge

 “The American way of life,” George H.W. Bush infamously declared in 1992, “is not-negotiable.”  This presents a problem if the American way of life is also unsustainable. 

The context for these remarks was the first Earth Summit in Rio, which unsuccessfully set out to curb carbon emissions.  Bush’s platform was based on his assertion that Americans would not be willing to change their consumption habits for the simple reason that they didn’t need to:  “Twenty years ago,” Bush…


Added by Erik Lindberg on March 28, 2014 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Finding land for start-up organic farmers

The Ozaukee Treasures Network is hosting a speaker from the Liberty Prairie Foundation this coming Wednesday.  He is talking about the economic benefits to land trusts and public land holders (county parks etc) of working with organic farmers and permaculture folks in sharing land.   If someone catches this before March 18th and is interested, give me a call at 262 375-2070.

Added by Marjie Tomter on March 14, 2014 at 9:12am — No Comments

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