This blog is part of an online learning platform which includes the Pathways to New Community Paradigms Wiki and a number of other Internet based resources to explore what is termed here 'new community paradigms' which are a transformational change brought about by members of a community.

It is intended to offer resources and explore ideas with the potential of purposefully directing the momentum needed for communities to create their own new community paradigms.

It seeks to help those interested in becoming active participants in the governance of their local communities rather than merely passive consumers of government service output. This blog seeks to assist individuals wanting to redefine their role in producing a more direct democratic form of governance by participating both in defining the political body and establishing the policies that will have an impact their community so that new paradigms for their community can be chosen rather than imposed.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Environment and Community Ecology Remade as Part of New Community Paradigms

The previous post of this blog revisited and updated the New Community Paradigms (NCP) wiki page Community Arts. The next wiki page to be updated is Environment. Admittedly, Climate Change has not been a primary focus until recently. The focus has been more on democratic community governance. Recently though issues such as the #GreenNewDeal has clearly shown that Climate Change is a manifestation of governance.

As with most of the NCP wiki pages, Environment is a collection of resources gathered over time. It is by no means comprehensive nor is there any assertion of personal expertise in their selection. The sites selected are only a sampling of useful sites that could be applied in creating new community paradigms.

There have been a number of changes since the last time Environment was featured. In addition to the loss of some sites, there has also been a change from the Brain to Kumu as a primary systems mapping tool for NCP. A meta-oriented change made early was moving from a concept of Community Environment to Community Ecology. The word ecology being judged as providing a greater biological orientation to the concept of community than the word environment. For better comprehension, the Environment wiki page has been organized into three sections. The first of which is Community Science / Education / Systems Thinking and Practice.

The latest new resource is the Home of Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI) which seeks to improve environmental data stewardship and to promote environmental health and Environmental Justice through the analysis, through Digital Justice, of federal environmental data, websites, institutions, and policy. Towards an Environmental Data Justice Statement: Initial Thoughts - EDGI provides a good introduction of their efforts.

Public Lab, is a DIY environmental science community with a strong democratic ethos as reflected by their Public Comment section. Public Lab injects community knowledge into civic decision-making about local environmental concerns, listing scores of DIY citizen projects on its extensive community populated Wiki website. The Science of Collective Discovery provides Open Source Stories, featuring organizations like Public Lab and others on how citizens are using open hardware to make groundbreaking discoveries.

NAAEE | North American Association for Environmental Education is a force multiplier for environmental education, promoting excellence in the field and expanding the reach and impact of their collective work.

The Climate Leader Climate Interactive tool provides an introductory training series in systems thinking to help fuel the global response to climate change. En-ROADS is a fast, powerful simulation tool for understanding how we can achieve our energy transition and climate goals through changes in our energy use, consumption, and policies.

The next section us Climate Change for the Better. The Citizens' Climate Lobby is a non-profit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change by taking action on climate change solutions.

The Post Carbon Institute is intent on leading the transition to a resilient world providing individuals, communities, businesses, and governments with the resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated economic, energy, environmental, and equity crises that defines the twenty-first century by envisioning a world of resilient communities and re-localized economies thriving within ecological bounds. The closely related Homepage of Resilience provides not only a community library with space to read and think, but also a vibrant café to support building community resilience in a world of multiple emerging challenges: the decline of cheap energy, the depletion of critical resources like water, complex environmental crises like climate change and biodiversity loss, and the social and economic issues which are linked to these.

The Project Drawdown lists one hundred potential solutions to reverse global warming from retrofitting to refrigerant management. While the Solutions Project seeks to accelerate the transition to 100% clean energy by championing a movement that is more inclusive, more collaborative, and more celebratory through storytelling, grant making, and capacity building and by honoring clean energy leaders, investing in promising solutions, and building relationships between unlikely allies.

Global Green USA works in partnership with local governments and other public agencies that are ready to “do” sustainability. They help create innovative and replicable policies, programs, and procedures so that sustainable practices become standard in the planning, design, construction, and operation of the built environment.

C40 Cities Live - Blog is a network of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally.

Taking a more business-oriented perspective is the Portland State College of Urban & Public Affairs | The Initiative on Triple Bottom Line Development. Their Triple Bottom Line Tool is unfortunately on hiatus.

The final section consists of sites seen as addressing Energy & Climate Data. Climate Change being recognized as a Wicked Problem, the data being presented can be particularly complex. This is especially true with USA Energy Data which presents an interactive map detailing America’s daily energy use by Saul Griffith, co-founder and CEO of Otherlab.

The EJSCREEN: Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool is a US EPA developed environmental justice (EJ) mapping and screening tool purportedly based on nationally consistent data and an approach that combines environmental and demographic indicators in maps and reports. Unfortunately, certainty doesn't seem as possible with the current federal administration.

Taking a more expansive approach to the issue and recognize the potential contribution business and perhaps more conservative perspectives, the Carbon Tracker Initiative seeks to align the capital markets with efforts to tackle climate change. The Carbon Disclosure Project - Global climate change reporting system provides a transformative global system for thousands of companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share environmental information with the view that market forces can, hopefully, be seen as a major cause of change when provided with the necessary information.

The Greenhouse Gas Data Publication Tool is another EPA tool that explores Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Large Facilities. The Home for Environmental software tools for accounting, carbon footprinting & sustainability performance, although located in the United Kingdom, is intended to bring together people needing to do some form of environmental assessment (and particularly quantification) with people that have developed tools to do these assessments and calculations. Their tools vary in format, including documents, spreadsheets, websites, and other software programs.

The Challenge is research published in Nature Sustainability with the vision of, ”A Good Life For All Within Planetary Boundaries” (summarized in The Conversation) that is the first to quantify the national resource use associated with achieving a good life for over 150 countries. Recognizing that no country in the world currently meets the basic needs of its citizens at a globally sustainable level of resource use. The Climate Wizard enables technical and non-technical audiences alike to access leading climate change information and visualize the impacts anywhere on Earth.

The site Bombs in Your Backyard - ProPublica provides a full map of sites contaminated with military toxic waste and explosives some of which are located near schools, residential neighborhoods, rivers, and lakes.

Environment was placed under the Community Ecology map of the New Community Paradigms Wiki map project which can assist in both discovering and communicating unrealized connections and redefining connections. One can get from an element narrative (Environment) to the underlying map (Community Ecology) by clicking the white space of the map. One can highlight and select an element (Environment) in the Community Ecology map by selecting the text in the narrative section and mousing over and clicking or by selecting the element’s colored circle within the map. One can get back to the relevant New Community

Paradigms wiki page using the URL, e.g., in the particular narrative section of the element.

What the Kumu Community Ecology wiki map graphically reveals is that the concept consists of Sustainability and Environment, as well as Streets and Transportation, each of which can connect back to the NCP wiki map through an On Kumu Wiki Map link. Community Ecology bridges back through Planning the Urban Landscape (formerly Built Environment) to Places and then on to the concept of Livable Communities and beyond.

All of this though only provides resources not answers or solutions which must still be developed by those searching for ways of creating new community paradigms.

Past Posts