RCJGC Panel 4

The Global Commons: Land, Sea, Sky

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Click on the presentation name to link to abstract and presenter bio.

5 replies
  1. Robert Stayton
    Robert Stayton says:

    Update on Solar Dividends: we have initiated a pilot project to test Solar Dividends. The project is currently under development and plans to install an array of solar panels at an industrial site, sell the electricity directly to the industry, and use the proceeds to fund basic incomes for local farmworker families. The industry will a lower price than the local utility and is willing to participate to help their local community and to meet their own climate goals. The project is being driven by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation in Santa Cruz, and the pilot project is named Ending Poverty in California with Solar (EPICS). More information on the pilot project is available at https://sustainablesystemsfoundation.org/ending-poverty-in-california-through-solar/

  2. Nili Barnoon
    Nili Barnoon says:

    After watching both the “Solar Dividends: Basic Incomes from Solar Energy” presentation and the “Resisting Toxiculture by Prioritizing the Resurgence of Indigenous Food Systems“ presentation I was struck by how important intersectionality is in the work of climate justice and mitigation. The extremely intersectional lens that both the presentations used to address the climate crisis and the persistent forms of oppression throughout our world highlighted the reality that through approaches that view these issues as connected and intersecting we can find solutions that address the multiple connecting issues. This makes me feel more grounded and confident that it is possible to make positive change in the world around all of these looming issues when many times a pessimistic, removed, and frankly easier approach is what comes up. Specifically I appreciated the focus on collectivity in both of the presentations. In Solar Dividends the cooperative models of solar farming and community based initiatives prioritized more direct change and action away from/outside the government systems and focused on community led, owned, and operated groups that could hopefully ground the solar system in local small organizations rather than unequal larger corporations. As for the Toxiculture lecture, the section on decommodification brought up how farmers practicing indigenous food practices and kinship based farming are only “hobby farmers”. The step needed to go towards decommodification presented was collectivizing the process farming and growing the food, moving away from isolated households and towards collective organizations, also while supporting hobby farmers. This idea similarly garners more power from collective action and community organization outside governmental actions and provides a broad kinship model where the collective has a stake in the care and well being of each other and the food that is being grown and a responsibility to the community and the ecologies. Overall, I am energized and excited to consider that the ideas and approaches presented in these lectures can be realities that we implement in our world. Thank you for sharing this amazing work!

    • Andrew Smith
      Andrew Smith says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, Nili. Yes, Enrique Salmon suggests that most Indigenous farmers are “hobby farmers,” since it is incredibly difficult to make a living today as a full-time grower. And you’re exactly right to highlight the material–and cultural and social and emotional–benefits of collectivizing food production, distribution, and consumption. Essentially, this systematizes networks of CSAs, which may allow localized food systems to flourish. This isn’t a question of replacing toxicultural food systems in one fell swoop. It instead creates oases of sustainable, collective farming within otherwise toxicultural frameworks and then scaling out the oases to erode the currently dominant frameworks. As a decolonial enterprise, this is critical to Indigenous climate justice. As a means for decommodificatios as well, it can permit us all to regain some degree of sovereignty from the purveyors of toxiculture.

      Thanks again.

  3. Merari Sanchez
    Merari Sanchez says:

    It seemed very interesting and amazing to me. I had never thought that existing resources could do everything for us, both in reducing climate change and reducing poverty. What seemed even more interesting to me was the vision for the future. I believe that if that plan is implemented, we could make this global crisis better for everyone and not only for today’s generations but also for future generations.

  4. Kaitlin Osterman
    Kaitlin Osterman says:

    I enjoyed hearing about the analysis on global cooperation that would need to take place in order to realize these ideas. I thought it was effective to provide an interdisciplinary analysis that included social, economic, and environmental factors in each situation. I would have liked to have heard more about how these new avenues of change differ from some past attempts and how we can manage government and cooperation involvement in order to ensure that these resources really are equitable in their distribution. In order to make these ideas a reality, we need to make sure that the resources and the communities and ecosystems that they affect are not exploited for financial gain (as has been the case thus far in history) and I am really curious about what measures are being taken to affect change in a more equitable and just fashion.

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