CAPITALISM & DEMOCRACY: Can They Co-Exist?
Thursday, April 6, 2017
How can we shift our economic structure to be more equitable and humane?
How Class Works?, an animated overview by Richard Wolff.
The film was followed by a talk and discussion led by local author and distinguished Marxist scholar Richard Lichtman, who has taught at UC Berkeley, SF State, and the Wright Institute. His topic: Marxism 101: Capitalism and Democracy - Can They Co-exist?
Is capitalism the root cause of the climate crisis? How can we shift our economic structure to be more equitable and humane? If capitalism is the problem, what alternatives do we have?
COWSPIRACY: THE SUSTAINABILITY SECRET
Thursday, March 2, 2017, 6:30 pm
How do our eating habits affect Climate Change?
Transition Berkeley invites you to view COWSPRIRACY: THE SUSTAINABLE SECRET a groundbreaking documentary that takes a sobering look at a destructive industry that is threatening the health of our planet. The film documents this industry’s impact on species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and more. Learn how we can be part of the solution.
Celebrate & Activate
Thursday February 2, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Groundhog Day! Raise your heads up, celebrate and learn ways you can take action! Transition Berkeley invites you to help us celebrate our sixth anniversary with live Old Time Music by the Share Croppers, a delicious potluck supper, presentation by staff from the fabulous Story of Stuff Project and a panel of some of your favorite Local Change Makers.
Following up on last month's film which documented the devastating impact of homo sapiens on Mother Earth, this month?s two short films The Story of Change and The Story of Solutions, will give us tools to guide our urgent actions for a more just and sustainable world. We?ll reflect in small groups on methods for organizing, and hear from the Local Change Makers about their projects: Wee Bee Gardeners, Transition Streets, Roots of Empathy, Native Plant Neighborhood Building, Consider the Homeless, Dump Wells Fargo and more.
The Root Cause, a Film by Julia Buss and David Millett
Thursday January 5, 2017 at 6:30 pm
The Root Cause is a documentary film about the impact humans have had upon the earth and its creatures. In the film scholars from UC Berkeley and Stanford present their research about the changes that are already taking place on earth and those we can expect in the future.
The scholars conclude that human activity on the planet is a geological force, changing the climate and the oceans, reshaping the landscape, causing pollution, and driving extinctions of other species. As a result, human civilization as we know it is facing its own demise. Can humans change the way we interact with the environment and change our future to avert disaster, or are we bound by our innate nature to continue as a destructive geological force?
Please join us for this thought provoking film and meet the filmmakers Julia Buss and David Millett. UC Berkeley Geography Department Chair Nathan Sayre and Stanford Anthropocene expert Michael Osborne will join them for a panel discussion that seeks solutions and audience participation.
Let Our Voices Be Heard! -Transition Berkeley Presents: Potluck, Singing, Discussion
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Following our singing we exchanged ideas for making the winter holidays stress free and waste free. We closed the evening with a half hour practice session for the active listening skills we learned last month from empathy expert, Edwin Rutsch. Active listening is key to opening channels of communication with those you disagree with. People are more willing to listen when they feel fully heard.
This evening addressed the extreme polarization highlighted in this election year and helped us learn ways to talk to and understand those who think and feel differently than ourselves. We began with the film: “Love Hate and Everything in Between.” http://empathyfilm.com/3,
An evening with Citizens’ Climate Lobby members, Amy Gorman and Harry Chomsky started with a presentation on CCLs’ legislative proposal for a comprehensive and effective solution to the climate crisis, followed by a discussion.We learned about tools on how to pass climate change legislation. CCL is a national organization that is committed to creating the political will for a sustainable planet.
The presentation included a specific nonpartisan proposal for pricing carbon emissions. CCL has an active chapter in Alameda County and presenters talked about progress made locally toward garnering support for their proposed legislation. This includes recent unanimous passage by The Berkeley City and Albany Councils of resolutions supporting a fully rebated fee on all carbon emissions (differing from cap and trade plans) at the national level.
The eye-opening film “A Place at the Table.” was presented at our September film night, and preceded by a community potluck.
Saturday, August 6 & 13, 10:30am to around noon
Malcolm X Schoolyard, Ellis & Ashby Ave.
South Berkeley Crop Swap neighbor, Priscilla Hines, showed us how to make a mosaic plaques from design to finished product.
In this visually rich documentary, Ed. Begley, Jr. narrates the story of the battle being fought by the people of the Delta to protect the region they love and to encourage saner water policies for the Golden State and all the people of California. The evening featured the controversial Delta Tunnels project film, food and meaningful conversation.
Sponsored by: Transition Berkeley, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists’ (BFUU) Social Justice Committee, and the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition Water Working Group
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Led by plastic-free activist and author Beth Terry, Ecology Center, Transition Berkeley, and the BFUU Social Justice Committee. An evening of short films and plastic-free ideas to inspire your zero waste efforts!
We viewed short films about plastic pollution and consumption, and shared our triumphs and challenges around reducing plastic waste, and explored some fun solutions to replace common plastic household goods. Copies of Beth Terry’s book, Plastic Free, were available for purchase and signing.
“Occupy the Farm” tells the story of 200 urban farmers who walk onto a publicly-owned farm in Albany, California and plant two acres of crops in order to save the land from becoming a real-estate development.
This direct action set up a vibrant tent village on land destined to become condos, while their crops blocked the development plans of UC Berkeley.
Director Todd Darling was present for Q&A, and the event included updates on the current status of the farm and the developers.
Friends of Five Creeks presented an evening of short documentaries that highlight how individuals have made an incredible difference in their communities.
From Ron Finley, planting an artistic, urban organic garden in South Central LA’s food desert, to a few women mobilizing hundreds to protect the mission blue butterfly at San Bruno Mountain, to a Volunteer Firefighter saving a pair of shoes in a house fire.
In addition, Friends of Five Creeks will shared their 20-year history right here in Berkeley, Albany and El Cerrito, as they restored one creek after another. Discover what it took to build their group of Weed Warriors, adopt a half dozen parks, produce a speaker series on local environmental issues and positive solutions, and build an environmental coalition of organizations to protect the bay.
This month’s Screening the Green was an action-packed evening designed to inspire you to participate in projects that build resilience in your community.
Community Organizer Susan Silber led a lively discussion about organizing to build resilient communities and the upcoming Community Resilience Challenge. Local eco-heroes Wanda Stewart, Catherine Sutton Dave Drummond and Carole Bennett-Simmons shared stories and secret organizing ingredients of their successful projects.
The short film “Reclaiming Community.” takes place in Oakland and Toronto and demonstrates that it only takes a few brave souls who refuse to give up on community to take back public spaces to use for the benefit of all.
Thursday, April 21, 6:30-8:30 pm
- Berkeley residents who piloted Transition Streets in 2015, led a fun Earth Day week educational activity that oriented to hands-on, flexible, hyper-local approach to community resilience.
celebration of our Community Partners and fifth year anniversary!
We enjoyed a Delicious Potluck Supper with joyful old time music from the “Share Croppers”. Also from the Berkeley High Jazz trio – award-winning musicians! We viewed a special slideshow that Linda Currie put together, looking back at all the projects of Transition Berkeley in the past 5 years.
We recognized our fabulous Community Leaders and spotlight the great work they have been doing with a special honoring of Victory Lee, a big supporter of Transition Berkeley.
Wanda Stewart and Allison Paskel gave a great shout out to the wonderful work of Victory Garden Foundation and talked about how Victory inspired their own lives through gardening and her work to build community
Ayako Nagano created a beautiful 4 minute video tribute to Victory with interviews conducted at a work party at Victory's home last November.
CLIMATE CHANGE NOW -Report Back from Paris (COP21) + Local Updates (Jan 7, 2016)
What really happened at the Paris Climate Talks and what does it mean now that they are over? We heard first hand from Kathy Dervin, 350 Bay Area, Andy Katz, Sierra Club, Tom & Jane Kelly, representing CCA (community choice energy). Why does local action matter? We learned about the City of Berkeley's progress in reaching its climate action goals and how WE can take action now through the Transition Streets program and the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition.
Transition Berkeley Launch (February 25, 2011)
The Berkeley Transition Initiative launched at the Ecology Center to an overflowing crowd of about 90 people. Susan Silber and Linda Currie, veteran community organizers who had been inspired by the work of the Transition Albany group, hosted a panel discussion to introduce the Transition Movement to the crowd. Panel participants included Climate Action Coordinator Timothy Burroughs, Bay Localize co-founder and National Transition Board member Dave Room, Transition Albany founder Catherine Sutton and Transition San Francisco member Bud Smith. Several people immediately joined the Initiating Team and the Berkeley Transition Initiative was up and running!
The Sharing Solution
Renowned author, lawyer and Berkeley resident Janelle Orsi gave an inspiring presentation about the Sharing Solution, co-sponsored by Transition Berkeley and the Ecology Center, presenting tips and real-life example of how residents could barter, swap and share more with their neighbors and fellow community members.350.org Victory Garden Challenge (May 14-15, 2011)
On May 14-15, Transition Berkeley co-sponsored a weekend of garden building in the East Bay with the Victory Garden Foundation. This was part of a Transition US effort that generated garden building in 226 cities in 37 US states. The Victory Garden Foundation is one local resource that can support you in your efforts to grow food throughout the year.
Preparedness Workshop (May 25, 2011)
The Ecology Center hosted Transition Berkeley's first Emergency Preparedness Workshop on May 25th. Helping neighbors organize to get "ready for anything" is a part of the mission of Transition Berkeley. We will be offering Preparedness Workshops throughout the year in partnership with Berkeley Disaster Preparedness Neighborhood Network. Contact “The Network” if your neighborhood or group would like to have a workshop.
"Fixing the Future" Documentary
Berkeley Transition joined the Sustainable Business Alliance and several other local non-profits in co-sponsoring a showing of Fixing the Future, a PBS-sponsored film about localized economies. Over 200 people packed the Humanist Hall to view and discuss the film. The Transition approach builds awareness about economic and other challenges by hosting films and discussions.
"The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil" Film and Discussion (June 29, 2011)
On June 29, the Berkeley Ecology Center co-sponsored Transition Berkeley's potluck, movie and discussion about this fascinating movie, which offered a look at Cuba's transition from a highly industrial society to a sustainable one. Leslie Balog, Reality Tour Director for Global Exchange, shared her experiences and facilitated the discussion. Cuba became a living example of how a country can successfully traverse what we all will have to deal with sooner or later, the reduction and loss of finite fossil fuel resources.Urban Homestead Bike Tour (August 27, 2011)
Composting Workshop (September 9, 2011)
Worms, Waste and Wisdom: A composting workshop sponsored by Urban Adamah, EcoJews and Transition Berkeley. Participants learned about the carbon, nitrogen, worms and humus of composting, as well as how to begin or improve a compost system in this fun, hands-on workshop.
Understanding Alternative Economies (February 21, 2012)
An enlightening evening introducing some exciting innovative solutions that help build community
and a better world. Panelists Marco Vangelisti (Slow Money), Alpha Lo (Gift Circles), Barbara
Edwards (Crop Swaps), and Seth Mazow (Time Bank) inspire and inform about new ways to be part
of positive alternative economies. See a video of the event, edited by Susan Livingston here:
Transition Berkeley: First Anniversary Celebration & Potluck! (March 21, 2012)
It's Official! Transition Berkeley is one year old and we are now the 110th Transition Initiative in the US! We celebrated a year of great fun and achievement in 2011, as we look forward to even greater projects and community building in 2012.
We explored such ideas and projects as Economic Resilience Circles, Skill Share workshops, Crop Swaps, and ideas for working together with our neighbors.
Connect the Dots: Climate Reality/Climate Solutions Bike Ride (May 5, 2012)
All-ages bike ride took us to the Berkeley Marina to measure projected sea level rise for a memorable 350.org photo. We'll also talked about the importance of supporting the local economy, making brief stops at sustainable local businesses on the way.
Growing Urban Agriculture Keepin’ it Real & Green (May 15, 2012)
How can we make our gardens more productive? How can we organize to share yards and start community gardens? How can we use less water and create less waste? Panelists Daniel Miller of Spiral Gardens Food Security Project; Victory Lee of Victory Garden Foundation; Rivka Mason, garden teacher at Malcolm X Elementary School; Gavin Rader from Planting Justice; and Max Cadji from Phat Beets Produce helped answer these questions to empower people to grow and share more food in the city.
Moving Beyond Cars: Films and Strategies for Livable Streets (August 21, 2012)
"Moving Beyond Cars" was the 3rd Transition Berkeley event this year, which was presented in partnership with the Berkeley Ecology Center, and held at the Ecology Center office /bookstore at San Pablo Street in Berkeley. The enthusiastic audience response indicated that there is a strong interest in exploring models for bike, pedestrian, and public transit friendly solutions developed in other locales, and applying these to Berkeley and adjoining communities.
A highlight of the evening was an appearance from Sal Bednarz, owner of the Actual Cafe, who was featured in the first film of the evening, "Bay Area Street Portraits". Another appearance was made by Rob Allen, owner of Blue Heron Bikes, a new bike shop located at 1306 Gilman Street in Berkeley. Rob rode and displayed a top-of-the-line cargo bike, which is featured at his bike shop.
The approximately one hour discussion afterwards was very lively, with some great questions and sharing of hopeful ideas to expand public consciousness towards moving beyond our dependance on cars, and to develop and promote concrete public policies to increase reliable, accessible public transit and protected bike/pedestrian lanes in Berkeley. Several people signed up on the Transition Berkeley list with an expressed interest in developing a Transportation Group as part of Transition Berkeley.
Over 25 Transition Initiatives came together on October 6, in Richmond to share and inspire each other from Monterey, Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Berkeley, Humboldt County, Nevada City, Sebastopol, and more.
Michael Levy, Transition Santa Cruz wrote- “The Transition movement is having an impact on lives, programs and policies, from Brasilia, Brazil, where a group started in a favela, to Fujino, Japan, where a Transition group was galvanized after the nuclear disaster, to Fairfax, where Pam (Hartwell’s, mayor of Fairfax) group helped launch Marin Clean Energy. Some of these efforts are not called "Transition," but they are a part of the same movement for creative, participatory relocalization.”
The first ever Sunday Streets Berkeley by all accounts was hugely successful! Shattuck Avenue was truly transformed as thousands of people came out to walk, bike, make music, dance, and play.
You may have heard several people ask on Sunday, “Is this every week?” “When is the next Sunday Streets?” or “Will this happen again next year?” Let's build momentum for more Sunday Streets Berkeley!
Share your photos and stories here: http://www.sundaystreetsberkeley.com/
In the face of increasing economic and financial instability, it is important to understand how the money and banking systems operate and how they affect our communities and livelihoods. Marco Vangelisti, founding member of Slow Money Northern California, helped us explore ways in which the money and banking systems can and need to shift if we want to build a more resilient and equitable local economy.
Active supporters of Transition in Northern California met at the North Berkeley Library to discuss their local Transition Initiative actions and ideas. Some of us would like to meet face to face once a quarter, primarily for the purpose of inter-initiative mingling, mutual support and inspiration.
An inspiring and informative evening where we showed the film, “Permaculture: the Growing Edge”, and heard from local gardening representatives and experts on how you can tap into local opportunities for growing food.
Permaculture is a sustainable system of earth care that offers solutions to many of our grave environmental problems and a hopeful, proactive vision of change. The film introduces us to inspiring examples of projects, and includes a visit to David Holmgren’s own homestead, tracking deer with naturalist Jon Young, sheet mulching an inner-city garden with Hunters Point Family, transforming an intersection into a gathering place with City Repair and joining mycologist Paul Stamets as he cleans up an oil spill with mushrooms. Local Gardening experts included Catherine Sutton, Alexa Hauser, Lotta Chan, Alicia Rose Seidlitz, Joy Moore, and Barbara Edwards.
HGTV and DIY network host Jeff Wilson gave a multimedia presentation on how his family completed a Deep Energy Retrofit on their 70 year old home and reduced their energy bills by 85%, bringing their old, drafty home into the 21st century.
Jeff went over:
· Testing the energy efficiency of your home and learning improvements to make.
· Dealing with local building codes and regulations;
· Financing and paying for a DER;
· Major components of the DER, such as roofs, exterior walls, and basements
· Renewable energy options to complement the DER, passive and active solar systems.
Visit http://www.thegreenedhouseeffect.com/index.html to see Jeff's Video episodes
A special conversation with experts Dr. Marion Guyer and Monica Wilson about common bad actors like phthalates, PVC, BPA, flame retardants, and VOCs and their associated health impacts. How do the many types of plastic that we encounter differ in their toxicity? What factors contribute to disease? How can workers in plants be affected? Monica Wilson, the US and Canada director of Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), examined the toxicity problems associated with reprocessing plastic waste and the impacts that plastic incineration has on frontline communities around the globe. We heard about organizations and legislative initiatives taking action on the worst chemicals and how measures such as Extended Producer Responsibility can reduce plastic packaging and the sources of harm.
Questions like "Is solar technology still rapidly evolving?" "Don't the panels use up more energy than they produce?" "Won't they get cheaper if I wait longer?" "Should I have my house energy retrofitted before going solar?"…These questions will be tackled up front, followed by more time for questions and answers.
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The first-ever Building Resilient Community Convergence, was held OCT. 11-14 at the beautiful Solar Living Institute in Hopland. This fun and fantastic conference brought together the NorCal Transition Network (our second annual conference) with the Northern California Permaculture Convergence (our 9th!) An action-packed weekend designed to build a powerful movement for community resilience.
Transition Town Founder Rob Hopkins making a rare appearance in the U.S.,speakers Julia Butterfly Hill ,TreePeople founder Andy Lipkis, Urban Tilth's Doria Robinson, and Richard Heinberg
Transition & Permaculture: Celebration Potluck, December 3rd, 2013
fellow changemakers to celebrated our accomplishments and envision the possibilities for next year!
Co-sponsored by Transition Albany, Transition Berkeley, East Bay Co-Housing and East Bay Permaculture Guild
Berkeley-based Annie Leonard has become world famous as the writer and star of the film “The Story of Stuff”, a fast-paced, fact-filled look at the problems created by our consumption patterns. This cartoon-style documentary highlights connections between environmental and social issues, and calls us to create a more sustainable and just world.
Co-sponsored by: Transition Berkeley and BFUU's Social Justice Committee.
Over eighty people turned out for the Money and Life film January 2nd that was cosponsored by Transition Berkeley, Essential Knowledge for Transition, Slow Money Northern California and BFUU’s Social Justice Committee. Slow Money cofounder Marco Vangelisti was the featured guest speaker. He explained the complexities and deficits of our monetary system and fielded a wide spectrum of comments and questions by impassioned viewers. Some people felt the film was too supportive of the status quo and others felt it was a good explanation of our money system and its tragic consequences. All agreed that the current system must be changed to one that places value on human needs and protects all life on earth. People were energized by the film and wanted to pursue further learning and community dialogue about ways to make changes here and now in our local economy. Below are some ways we can all learn more and be involved with community planning on this crucial aspect of our transition to a sustainable future.
Over 50 people came to our February movie night to celebrate Transition Berkeley’s 3rd Anniversary with a potluck dinner and the film In Transition 2.0. Vic Sadot, our host from the BFUU, got the evening off to a great start singing his original songs. To celebrate Valentine’s Day with gratitude for groups that help our community and environment, we addressed Valentines to favorite local environmental groups. The Ecology Center garnered the most Valentines, followed closely by the 350.org. We are incredibly lucky to live in a place with so much caring for the well-being of our community and planet.
After the film, guests from local Transition Towns outlined the activities of their groups. Rebecca Newburn from the Richmond Rivets spoke about the Seed Lending Library at the Richmond Public Library and the Emergency Preparedness Program - Two Steps a Month. Kendra Shanley and Chong Kee Tan from Transition SF reported on a new local currency called BAY BUCKS, partnering with local businesses. Loni Gray spoke for Transition Albany on a host of projects, from the Permaculture Garden at Memorial Park, monthly Potlucks with a Purpose, DIY Home Remedy training, the ARTS and GREEN FESTIVAL, and a new headquarters opening at Albany Arts Gallery.
“LAST CALL AT THE OASIS” Where Has all the Water Gone? How Can We Conserve the Water We Have, March 6, 2014
Across the Country People are growing their own food. We also explored what's growing around our communities. We watched the 60-minute documentary, "Growing Cities", and started discussions on how we can help Berkeley in expanding community food resources. Presentations from the Berkeley Ecology Center Land-Use Committee, Berkeley Gardening Collaborative, and Bee Friendly Berkeley were given.
We got our hands dirty to make our community a better place starting with the Lorin District in South Berkeley, at Adeline & Alcatraz. We weeded, pruned, and added pollinator plants to planters along the sidewalks in front of storefronts and at the Lorin Commons. The effort was led by Linda Currie of Transition Berkeley, and Shallon Allen from the City of Berkeley and was pert of the Community Resilience Challenge to involve neighbors in making community-based local solutions to the pivotal issues facing our planet.
An evening of bee-themed potluck, movie, music & discussion, April 3, 2014
A Celebration of Bees included a Bee Based potluck supper, where we shared dishes made with honey. or foods pollinated by bees, from apples to avocados and celery to green beans and lot of foods in between. Check out http://honeylove.org/list-of-food/ for more bee pollinated foods.
We enjoyed some original bee songs from Occupella singers Hali Hammer and Nancy Schimmel, and learned about the importance of bees to our ecosystem, and the challenges to bees & beekeepers from chemicals in the environment by watching the fascinating film Nicotine Bees.
Our special guest following the film was Jennifer Radtke from the BioFuel Oasis Cooperative, who gave us an idea of what its like to keep bees at home and shared some of her wonderful insights into the world of bees.
We'll had a chance to ask questions and discuss the film and an opportunity to take part in an initiative petition to ban pesticides that are harmful to bees.
This class was a collaboration with our neighbor Transition Albany, presenting their Health Group’s Fermentation Series, focusing on DIY fermented foods.
There is a world of difference between commercially prepared ‘fermented’ foods and the ones you make at home. Fermented foods the old fashioned way are so beneficial to overall health that they are often referred to as ‘probiotics’. They increase overall nutrition, promote the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, aid digestion, support immune function, a good source of B vitamins, digestive enzymes, etc.
Wakana Kawamura showed us how to make our own miso as well as how to use it. Wakana is also experimenting with using scarlet runner, and other beans that thrive in our local climate as substitutes for the soybeans used for traditional miso.
Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet.
The film will be followed by a 20-minute Q and A with Deborah Koons Garcia, Producer/Director. Audience members are welcome to reconvene afterwards for further discussion at a nearby location TBD.
For more info: www.symphonyofthesoil.com
Transition Berkeley had the opportunity to present the Conscientious Projector's Film Series in partnership with the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, for the 99% with the film The Future of Energy: Lateral Power to the People, a positive film that focuses on energy solutions and the people behind the renewable energy revolution. It's a love story about people re-imagining their relationship to the planet, and falling back in love with the Earth and each other.
We were fortunate to have Joanna Macy introduce this film made by two of her students at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Our featured film Edible City:Grow the Revolution will took us to nearby farms like the Gil Tract, Green Faerie Farm, and City Slicker Farms where we met some pioneers in the Bay Area's sustainable food movement. Learning from their experiences we saw the possibilities of growing our food very close to home and loving it.
Wanda Stewart has been working with neighbors building community and economic resilience while raising impressive crops on a small city lot. We were inspired by the ways she's brought people together at Obsidian Farms to improve their lives by cooperating, trading and sharing skills. After the film we'll talked with Wanda about replicating this model of a new way of living in an urban environment.
A delicious potluck dinner with lots of home grown food took place before the film.
On Saturday, August 16, 2014, visitors at the Berkeley Farmer's Market participated in educational demos, music and honey tasting in celebration of International Honey Bee Day. After, a band of peaceful demonstrators made the connection between Bayer & the manufacture of Neonicotinoid pesticides at the Bayer Campus, 6th & Dwight, Berkeley.
Transition Berkeley presented the film Numen, defined as the animating force in nature,
a fascinating documentary film focusing on the healing power of plants and the natural world. Numen features stunning footage of medicinal plants and thought-provoking interviews with Drs. Tiearona Lowdog and Larry Dossey, the late Bill Mitchell, ND, author Kenny Ausubel, herbalists Rosemary Gladstar, Phyllis Light and many others.
Our special guest speaker after the film was Victory V Lee, who received home training in herbal and home remedies from her Native American and African American grandmothers. She is currently a Western Family Herbalist and member of American Herbalist Guild. She is the founder and president of the Victory Garden Foundation and the Alameda County Master Gardener; Speakers Bureau Coordinator.
A delightful film about the creation of the Peralta Community Art Garden. We met the neighbors: Grandpa Roosevelt and his grandson, Joan the single mom, Ruthe the psychic, and Amy the metal sculptor. They all have "A Lot in Common" when together they turn a vacant lot in Berkeley into a blooming community garden lush with native California plantings, technology demonstrations, and outdoor artwork by local artists. They clash over political ideals, runaway pets and public art, yet in the end, they grow a community of neighbors.
The Wisdom to Survive: A Documentary on Climate Change, Capitalism and Community was a devastating portrait of species extinction, climate chaos and the human suffering it is causing. Bill McKibben, Richard Heinberg, Joanna Macy and other climate leaders showed us that the course we are on politically and economically must be drastically changed if we are to survive, and if nature is to escape even more destruction.
Creating alternatives to capitalism that honor nature and the rights of all creatures, including humans, to clean air, water and healthy food is the task they call us to. Some of the approaches to the task that people are trying are outlined – mass climate actions on the scale of the civil rights movement, converting energy to sustainable sources, wind, solar and geothermal, replacing greed with more emphasis on community building and sharing, honoring the stories of people and the simple pleasures of life, witnessing nature, growing food locally, practicing permaculture.
Joanna Macy wisely counsels “Don't spend too much time fighting against the system (capitalism) that is already crumbling . . . ” She advises us instead to focus on building the new structures to take it's place.
Before and after the film those assembled spoke and listened in pairs about what to do when you are in despair about the effects of climate change, and how the film had affected them. We then met in small groups of about eight people to talk about ways to create supportive working groups to build the alternative structures we need to survive. The question posed was something like: “What are the key elements of successful, supportive, change making groups?”
Below are the elements generated by those discussions;
SUCCESSFUL SUPPORTIVE ACTION GROUPS:
- INCLUDE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
- FOCUS ON A TASK
- HAVE EMPATHY – RESPECT DIFFERENT OPINIONS
- USE INNOVATIVE METHODS LIKE SOLAR, PERMACULTURE AND VISIONING
- LISTEN TO EACH OTHER
- HAVE FUN
- PUT THEIR EFFORTS INTO NEW STRUCTURES – NOT FIGHTING THE OLD ONES
- USE THE SKILLS OF ALL MEMBERS
- DEMONSTRATE INTEGRITY IN THEIR OWN LIVES
- SEEK HELP FROM PEOPLE WHO CAN READILY REACH OUT TO OTHERS WHO DISAGREE
- SHARE THINGS LIKE PLANTS, TOOLS, BOOKS, CROPS, CLOTHING, HOUSING
- GROW GARDENS TOGETHER
- INCLUDE LIVE MUSIC
- HELP OTHERS
- ORGANIZE THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS
- MEDITATE TOGETHER
- GET TO DEEPER LEVELS
- HAVE PASSION FOR THEIR GOALS
- SHARE FOOD
- BUILD COMMUNITY
- SLOW DOWN
- EAT TOGETHER AND PLAY TOGETHER – PLAY PING PONG!
- START SMALL – NOT TOO BIG
- START WHERE YOU ARE
- TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
- PARTY TOGETHER
- ENJOY NATURE TOGETHER
Transition Berkeley's first Thursday's Screening the Green film series celebrated it's first birthday October 2, 2014, with a look back at 12 months of inspiring environmental films and many friendships forged with justice and environmental groups.
TB gives a BIG SHOUT OUT to the co-sponsors of our monthly films – it has been a pleasure working with you and an inspiration to see the wonderful things you are doing for our world. Our gratitude goes to the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists' Social Justice Committee for use of the beautiful kitchen and fellowship hall and their robust support for the success of this series. Other partners Transition Berkeley's Movie Team has been privileged to work with this past year include:
THE ECOLOGY CENTER – EAST BAY COHOUSING – THE STORY OF STUFF PROJECT - STICKY ART LAB – BERKELEY CLIMATE ACTION COALITION WATER WORKING GROUP SIERRA CLUB – SLOW MONEY – THE BIODIESEL OASIS COLLECTIVE – OCCUPELLA - PESTICIDE ACTION NETWORK – OBSIDIAN FARMS – VICTORY GARDEN FOUNDATION – BERKELEY COMMUNITY GARDEN COLLABORATIVE – PERALTA COMMUNITY GARDEN
Many thanks to the members of the Transition Berkeley Movie Team for their work on the film series: Carole Bennett-Simmons, Dave Drummond, Malcolm (Gil) Gilmore, Bonnie Borucki, Phyllis Rothman, Phoebe Ackley, Linda Currie, Lori Hines, Barbara Edwards, Claudia Castro, Ayako Nagano and Karen Rusiniak
A Fierce Green Fire chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. It brings together all the major parts of environmentalism. It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future – and succeeding against all odds. The film ends with the movement to stop Climate Change.
Our special guest was Kathy Dervin, Berkeley public health educator and environmental activist now working with 350 Bay Area. She reported back on the recent People's March for Climate Action in New York City and talked to us about ways we can get involved with the work of 350.org.
Transition Berkeley hosted a delicious vegetarian potluck dinner, a joyful green song fest with Hali Hammer and Nancy Schimmel from Occupella, and HAPPY, an uplifting movie about human beings at their best.
Our featured film HAPPY took us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research. Happy explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.
Cosponsors: Transition Berkeley, East Bay Cohousing and BFUU's Social Justice Committee.
The Economics of Happiness describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, government and big business continue to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, all around the world people are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance—and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization.
We hear from a chorus of voices from six continents including Samdhong Rinpoche, the Prime Minister of Tibet's government in exile, Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, David Korten and Zac Goldsmith. They tell us that climate change and peak oil give us little choice: we need to localize, to bring the economy home. The good news is that as we move in this direction we will begin not only to heal the earth but also to restore our own sense of well-being. The Economics of Happiness restores our faith in humanity and challenges us to believe that it is possible to build a better world.
Transition Berkeley presented an evening about how gardens help build communities in urban settings. At 7pm we’ll saw a film about an amazing garden in Southern California, learn why it was threatened and how the community came together to try to save it. We had a report on the state of community gardens here in our own backyard from local gardeners Bonnie Borucki (Ashby Garden), Carole Bennett-Simmons, Dave Drummond (Peralta Gardens), Alexa Hauser (Edible Landscape Project), Carol Wolfley (Berkeley Post Office Garden) and Beebo Turman (Berkeley Gardening Collaborative).
Transition Berkeley presented an award winning film about Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese American philosopher, writer and activist in Detroit with a thick FBI file and a surprising vision of what an American revolution can be. Rooted for 75 years in the labor, civil rights and Black Power movements, she challenges a new generation to throw off old assumptions, think creatively and redefine revolution for our times. American Revolutionary has won six Audience Awards. The film will was introduced by Alison Paskal, educator and urban gardener, Hank Herrera, food justice activist, working to build new sustainable, local healthy food systems serving vulnerable neighborhoods, and Christopher Shein, permaculture gardener, teacher at Merritt College, and author of "The Vegetable Gardener's Guide to Permaculture", who have all known or worked with Grace in Detroit.
Transition Berkeley joined the David Brower Center for its first-ever Earth Day celebration, a fun-filled afternoon of community learning opportunities, family art activities, hands-on workshops, live music, and delicious organic food--all focused on protecting and honoring the planet we call home.Spring flower mandala created by members of Transition Berkeley and other Earth Day participants.
Our special guest speaker East Bay author and community activist, Beth Terry, showed us how to replace plastic with less harmful materials. She shared some of the many alternatives she has documented in her book Plastic Free! How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.
In "From the Waste Up – Life Without Plastic". Filmmaker Taina Uitto documents her own efforts and those of six other volunteers who pledge to live for a whole year without plastic. She looks at our addiction to plastic in a very real and down to earth way and as a participant in the project brings a level of humor to a very serious situation. You'll sympathize with the volunteers as they struggle to make change and rejoice with them when they are successful.
Rising Sun Energy Center made a short presentation about the Energy Upgrade California program, and shared energy and water saving tips to use in your home. We also learned about free services, rebates, and incentives available to homeowners and renters who take action to save water and energy.
We sat back and armchair traveled along with three curious folks as they searched for sustainable solutions across the United States in the light-hearted documentary, “Your Environmental Road Trip (Y.E.R.T.)”
URBAN ROOTS is an inspiring film about the emergence of urban farming in Detroit. Like West Oakland, Detroit has high rates of unemployment, poverty, crime and pollution, lack of grocery stores with fresh food and high rates of liquor stores, diabetes and heart disease. But Detroit urban farmers are building a new and powerful urban economy that addresses these challenges while growing healthy food and strong communities.
Our special guest speaker Wanda Stewart was Executive Director of People’s Grocery a dynamic community organization working to improve the health and local economy of West Oakland by investing in the local food system.
Slow Food East Bay and Transition Berkeley delved into the prickly world of fish, fishing and the health of the oceans with the amazing new film about salmon and the northwest, The Breach.
The evening peaked with a short panel of local fisher(wo)men, fish mongers and others involved with keeping this huge part of our ecosystem healthy and in balance and Q&A with local folks involved in the worlds of fishing and the oceans. How can we both support those that make their livelihood from the ocean and the fish populations? How can we be educated and inquisitive consumers of seafood, asking the right questions about sourcing, distribution and health?
On October 24th, 2015, Transition Berkeley Members Linda Currie & Lori Hines lead UC Berkeley students in installing pollinator plants in Ohlone Park during Berkeley Project Day. The planting design was made by Transition Berkeley member, Bonnie Borucki, with the help of Pam Boland, City of Berkeley landscape gardener supervisor. Plants were purchased at the Watershed Nurseryin Richmond, CA. Plants were selected to attract a variety of local pollinator's including native bees, honeybees, anise swallowtail butterflies, monarch's, and to provide pesticide-free habitat.
Christine Rossi, representing Friends of the Earth, brought literature to educate about the connections between Colony Collapse Disorder and use of insecticides containing neonicotinoids.
"TAPPED" A film about bottled water with a discussion, Oct 1, 2015
TAPPED is a beautifully filmed, compelling documentary in which Stephanie Soechtig and Sara Olsen explore the environmental consequences of bottled water. TAPPED does to bottled water what Food, INC and Super Size Me did to the food monopolies. The film begins with: "By 2030, two thirds of the world will not have access to clean drinking water." The film also covers chemical pollution, plastic pollution, mile-wide plastic soups in the ocean, water privatization and community water rights.
This event was a result of partnering with Food and Water Watch, a national organization that champions healthy food and clean water for all. We were joined by Liz Solorio of FWW, and Juliana Gonzales of The Watershed Project for a discussion after the film.
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"Vanishing of the Bees" film and discussion, Nov 5, 2015
Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives and Bayer Labs (with offices in Berkeley) has something to do with it! Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for pollinating crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.
“Vanishing of the Bees” follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capital Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees. The documentary provides viewers with tangible solutions they can apply to their everyday lives.
After the film we’ll had a discussion and information from Friends of the Earth on actions we can take in Berkeley and beyond.
"Racing to Zero" film and discussion, Dec 3, 2015
This film follows San Francisco's innovative efforts towards achieving zero waste, thereby dramatically reducing the city's carbon footprint.
Maureen Gosling, film editor, was on hand, along with Andy Schneider, Berkeley’s Recycling Program Manager, Carrie Bennett, from the Ecology Center, and a Berkeley elementary student, who shared a short recycling video made by his class. Ideas for going waste-free during the holidays and beyond were discussed.
Info: click here
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WINTER CROP SWAP
Winter Swaps will be held monthly at Ohlone Park:
Swaps will take place the first Saturday of the month, starting;
Saturday, November 5th, 10:30am-11:30am at Ohlone Park in North Berkeley
Bring your crops, homemade yummies, clothing, books, ideas. Be part of this wonderful sharing economy! Could you lend a hand to keep the Swaps going? Contact Linda at the link below. Clothing, books, prepared food and other items to swap are welcome. Music and neighborhood free fun for all!