Saturday, May 26, 2007

Two Institutions Required in Every Watershed: Commodity Ecology and Civic Democratic Institutions

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
[larger image]

A poignant statement I found recently:

“What we need in the face of so many global issues that effect us on so many local levels is an Evergreen Revolution. A revolution that is not just a political change in parties or a switch from one corporate propaganda to other, but a paradigm shift that is at the core of our individual being that shakes us to our collective being. A revolution that merges our daily actions with our ethical concerns. A revolution that is within how we see our food, water, homes, neighborhoods, region and our shared group identities.”

According to major polls, these are hardly odd ideas as a majority of the world has 'gone green' in its orientation. Much of Toward a Bioregional State fleshes this out in terms of institutions to sustain and expand such a model. Two are featured in this post:


The general design goal is the same as William McDonough’s, linked in the previous post: “how do we love all children of all species for all time?” So, how do we do this in the design of our technology, our materials usage, as well as our democratic institutions?

The priorities of both commodity ecology and the watershed civic democratic institution are to familiarize a locality with its specific interactions of health, ecology, and economy, by making a venue in which we can discuss making our human material and technological decisions fit particular areas instead of destroying them--and fit in a way that provides for ourselves and other species in the process.

On the “build it and they will come” theme, these two institutions are required in every watershed: COMMODITY ECOLOGY and a CDI. These will be described below.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

1. COMMODITY ECOLOGY, one in each of the 2,150 contiguous watersheds in the United States—or anywhere


(See larger image above before beginning to read).

Ideally, there should be an ONGOING commodity ecology conference immediately where teams from each of the 71 different commodity choices—with material scientists, technologists, inventors, biologists, health workers, business owners, ecologists, consumers (who want something that no one is offering it in the area or who have an idea for what they would want to buy or phase out), and general citizens.

This is similar to the “Gaviotas”-sense of local interactivity. Gaviotas is a nice example of how user-producer relationships for the goals of sustainability and localism were institutionalized. They made group decisions about both technology and materials choice issues, in a form of democratic discussion in their community on how to optimize their material relationships synergistically, to reduce wastes and pollution as well as to generate novel material businesses and ideas for how to integrate.

In Gaviotas, it was only when the gruff “technological producer” preoccupied 'professional worker' adults were forced to share the same eating tables and forced to talk to the “user children” of their technological handiwork, did a large amount of technological innovation start to accrue. One example was the combining of the see-saw for kids with the water pump, effectively harnessing child play for water pumping, and making it fun as well instead of a drudgery, as well as putting children within the contributing world of the community instead of being external to its working life.

The school framework itself started to be bundled into these locally optimal user-producer relationships, by having classes visit various workshops in the actual material and technological world. In the process of questions and answers between the tech-adults and the roving class of children, many other user-producer links were discovered and implemented, with the children's school thus benefiting the adults as well as the children. These are only two of several examples. There are many more.

Thus, in Gaviotas, the user-producer relationships were additionally child-adult relationships that came full circle as well. Such communication occurs only if all the different user-producer frameworks are regularly made aware of each other through some regular basis. I would argue this goes for suppliers and consumers in general.

It would be fine to do this at a dinner table. However, to systematize what is going on here, as well as to note how Gaviotas failed when it attempted to "scale out" its work, the suggestion is to have specific watershed COMMODITY ECOLOGY institutionalizations.

A watershed based institution is required to enhance and cultivate geographically optimal frameworks of technological innovation and materials choice. This is based innately upon the geographic specific dynamics upon how various other material choices, inputs, and outputs are arranged uniquely in each watershed--and require different solutions for different watersheds.

The goal factors are local economic durability, ecological security, and health optimalization. These are the goals that should be the keystone criteria in mind in these deliberations.

How can this be done? If it's democratization and local input and oversight of material choice processes and procedures of decision making, this means that consumers are the ultimate power of authority in materials choice relationships and should have some type of institution in which they can do one of two activities: arrange or call attention to user-producer relationships in material choices that they want in their area (that they fail to have), as well as complain about existing separation of producers who ignore the three goal criteria for sustainability (health, ecology, and economic sustainability) in their technological choices as well as material choices.

These issues of materials choice decision making procedures are to be democratically nationalized (and watershed-based) issues, instead of exclusively a private issue taken typically with regard or even against the consumer interest (as in the current frameworks of “consumption without representation” in GMO foods for example). Instead, feedback from the public in consumer/user-producer relationships on what materials they want to consume in their watersheds, and which ones should be phased out, how to interlink each of them, and what technology is required to perform this, is involved here.


Some suggestions for institutionalizing this to optimize for each watershed are as follows.

1. The 71 different producers in each watershed of each material choice should get together, with consumers in an open meeting, the district of which shall be the local watershed and the polity being the total people who live within it.

2. If there are less than the 71, the ‘holes’ should be identified as well for what could be manufactured in the watershed within sustainable goals to fill these local sourcing issues. It is quite astounding how the Gaviotas team, working from virtual desert and mud conditions, learned how to discover and fulfill a different material choice rubric for their local geography. Sustainability is a lot like discovering one’s local geography in what is there, and adapting to it in terms of material choices.

3. At the meeting, for the producers interest, they can talk among themselves about what wastes they are generating currently, and gain ideas for how to import wastes of one material use into the inputs of another material use in the same watershed. They can talk about their mutual wastes--to buy and sell or mix--and get ideas for what to do with them for profit or reuse flows. Consider it a “waste based stock market” for each of the 71 material uses in a watershed. In addition to this:

4. At the meeting, for the consumer/user’s interest, they can talk directly to the producers on what they would like to purchase, and what is considered destructive of sustainability in their particular watershed, what wastes are completely unacceptable and why and how this can be rectified by materials change, leaving it up to the producers how to organize the technological change; otherwise, the consumers should find some producer to arrange it instead.

5. The watershed commodity ecology user-producer institution shall determine how often it meets. It is suggested that this occur every six months or so, or at least annually.

6. Consumers can force a watershed group user-producer meeting with producer representatives in attendance.

7. It is suggested that each of the 71 producers form executive committees for investigation on each material or idea if a desire for change is expressed in the consumer base.

8. Each group of 71 user-producer institutions solutions will be specific to the watershed’s desires. However, across all watersheds, people in general can get ideas for how the abstract relationships between the 71 could work in their watershed, based on how it was done elsewhere.

9. A website could be established with 71 portals, to post threads on each of the 71 material choice topics, with cross links. Each of the 71 categories of material use could comprise one topic or thread. In such an environment, for each watershed, local residents of the watershed could have access in real time to voting or commenting on different proposals, or they can start their own comment threads about consumer-producer ideas (whether “direct” or “indirect” proposals, respectively which are) for how to integrate different material choices or how to back-engineer what to do with a particular material item that is a waste, or something interesting in their area which they feel could have a novel material use application. Each though would be toward something more circuitous and recyclable in use in the watershed.

10. A “71 fair” should be held each year, to celebrate the commodity ecology ideas and to showcase and sell the products of the past year, generally a celebration of the watershed as well as its citizens to buy and sell locally or the larger bioregion in general.

Here’s an application for how it would work. For example in one of these meetings, I might say “look, I want a water fuel based hydrogen-on-demand engine, and I want to buy one now. I want to completely get out of oil use for fuel. Someone should help me find out how to build one. Or, build them and we will buy them. Or sell a ready assembly kit.” Others might say “Look, I want a completely organic school lunch program, find a way to do that for my children at their local school and we will help you by purchasing it and seeing it work.” Others might have a general question or brainstorming idea to propose, for instance, when they have the material they want to use, though they want help from the 71 on what they could make from it. “Look, I want to find some way to utilize all these heaps of old tires at the city junkyard. What ideas do you have?” Thus, one can see, that “direct requests” for user-producer relationships as well as “inverse requests” (when you have the material and are unaware of what to use it for) can be accomplished both in the commodity ecology meetings. Other requests could be toward showing a desire for different health services/medical commodity choices, for instance.

These can be a venue for generating many novel cross-linked ideas for sustainability solutions, similar to the synergy that kept cropping up in the story of Gaviotas. When three or four materials choices are already integrated into each other in feedback loops, they found it far easier to consider how to scale these material relationships into several score of materials simultaneously, building from commonly acceptable sustainable relationships, and finding ways to insert other ones into the mix slowly like a jigsaw puzzle once you have several that are already fitted together. They found that accidentally, they were "building" a forest, and reforesting what was once a barren wasteland with a forest canopy.

In conclusion, the commodity ecology weaves a network of local integrity economically, ecologically, and healthfully in each watershed and larger bioregion instead of polluting it, destroying it, and harming its economic viability and the health of its population in the process.

It is simply insanity to intentionally or passively continue to support frameworks of formal institutions, formal policy, technology, and materials choice that are innately self-destructive, economically destructive, ecologically destructive, and health impairing. Instead, due to a lack of user-producer relationships, a degradative and self-destructive culture caused by poorly thought out institutionalizations of technological and material choices has been created.

“If we continue to develop our technology [or materials] without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.” ~ Omar N. Bradley



Meet other local people who are interested in Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology options, and sustainable materials interlinking the local 71 different producers of commodities choices for their own local watershed's sustainability through waste reduction.

The meetup is for facilitating open discussions of what wastes businesses or consumers have (or what supply difficulties either have), and what market expansions are wanted though are not being fulfilled in the watershed.

Maybe you'll make a business deal as a producer, or as a consumer maybe you'll help to arrange what you want to buy locally from someone else. Or you can share your advice on what to do with certain material wastes, usefully, instead of just seeing them thrown away.

Start a relationship with a friend for working on the same local watershed sustainability.

This is a venue for enhancing user-producer relationships and cross-producer relationships for exploring how producers and consumers in a particular watershed can interlink material inputs and waste outputs, among a local coterie of producers manufacturing different items.

Demote pollution, demote your wastes (that you feel could be potentially turned into someone else's material inputs), or ask advice on alternatives to commodity use or technical alternatives for current processes so they will be more sustainable.

Currently, informal talks occur when an interest quorum is reached in the watershed among those who agree on a time and place for meeting.

Make your own business more sustainable, and learn what other consumers want to buy from you, by tackling it as a team in your own watershed.

"Garbage is only energy in the wrong place."


1. textiles
2. dyes/colorants (murex, cochineal, synthetic chemicals, derived organic coal based chemicals)
3. building materials/tool construction
4. metals
5. garbage/garbage disposal
6. soils/dirt
7. drugs/medicines
8. infant food
9. animal based food
10. vegetable based food
11. mycelium based food (mushrooms)
12. insect based food
13. transport
14. pollinators (introduced bees where none exist; or in some cases required hand pollination, in vanilla for instance; ultrasound/birdsong pollinators)
15. fertilizers
16. herbicides/pesticides
17. mineral food (typically only one: salt, sometimes earth/clays/dirt)
18. preservatives (salt, smoke, sun-dry/dehydrate, chemical, sugared, vacuum sealed, pickled, dry freeze, etc.)
19. communication/transmission technology (voice/sound, paper, mud brick cuneiform, silk rolls, papyrus, digital computers, pony express, telephone/telegraph, smoke signals from fires, semaphore, electrified metals/conductors, electromagnets, etc.)
20. condiments/flavorings
21. scents/incenses/fragrances
22. purifiers/cleansers/concentrators (soap, water, membrane sieves, clays, diatomaceous earth, ultrasound, gas diffusion/heat, etc.)
23. protectants (paint, plastic, electroplate, glass, bulletproof glass, etc.)
24. retardants (asbestos, inflammable materials, deoxygenators, glass, etc.)
25. insulators (wool, ice, straw, fiberglass, rags, vacuums, solid glass, plastic, stones/marble, etc.)
26. abrasives (diamond dust, carborundrum, sandpaper, etc.)
27. lubricants
28. elastics (rubber, synthetic rubber)
29. coolants (ice, caves, chemicals, oils)
30. ambient heat (chemicals, caves, oil, hot springs, tallow, wood fires, antifreeze)
31. light/artificial light (sunlight, chemicals, oil (whale or abiotic), tallow, electricity/blubs, fire)
32. potable liquids (water, wine, sake, beer, cider, milk, tea, coffee, koumiss, etc.)
33. war materiels
34. energy (oil, solar, wood, nuclear, hydro/waterpower, charcoal, horse power, human labor, AC electricity, DC electricity, tides, zero-point technology, water based electrolysis engines, electromagnetic dynamos, etc.)
35. catalysts/mordants
36. energy storage (batteries, computer memory (a peculiar property of silicon only discovered in the 1950s), cynanobacteria (being linked as silicon substitutes in experiments) etc.)
37. aesthetics (brought into consumption simply because of perceived beauty, spirituality, and/or symbolism/ideology interests instead of a ‘material functionality’ prominent in many other consumptive positional categories)
38. musical instruments
39. toiletries
40. conductors
41. nonconductors
42. superconductors
43. semiconductors
44. environmental-proof/waterproof/airtight materials
45. adhesives
46. solvents
47. industrial tools/machine tools materials
48. tunneling/drilling materials
49. humans themselves as a ‘designed commodity’ (i.e., materials for those of eugenic bent, gene knowledge, etc.; or replaceable human parts whether transplants or cyborg machine substitutes like dialysis machines, artificial hearts, or artificial kidneys, etc.)
50. sense extensions (different from simply communications technology, actually going into human sensory areas that humans are ill equipped to do without aids of some sort)
51. calculation (human minds, abacus, computer, copper, silicon, superconductors, cynanobacteria, etc.)
52. software (from Jacquard’s loom to programmable Chinese textile machinery from the Later Han, etc.)
53. hardware
54. timekeeping (archaeoastronomy, moons, garden/plant clocks, calendars, mechanical clocks, water clocks, chronometers, Foucault pendulums, cesium atomic clock, etc.)
55. spacekeeping (string, plumb line, geodetic pyramid, compass azimuths, compasses)
56. climate manipulation (seeding, etc.)
57. money (state-financial decisions about money and exchange are equally a commodity and infrastructural issue influenced by the materiality of the commodity in question and politics of choice; local currency strategies, rice, metals/coins/bullion, paper, checks, digital transfers, stones, shells, salt, cider, cigarettes, etc.])
58. remediation (zeolite, recycling filtration, etc.; various types of water and soil cleansing technologies dependent upon physical characteristics of the materials utilized, learning options, etc.)
59. dentistry
60. stimulants
61. hallucinogens
62. intoxicants
63. narcotics
64. hypnotics
65. psychedelics/entheogens
66. anesthetics
67. chemically inert materials.
68. poisons/antidotes/purgatives
69. surgical tools
70. experimental models
71. antiseptics

Bring your problems. Bring your solutions. Bring your desires of what you want to see as well.

Post something like the text above to for your area--or just provide the link to this post. (If you have the inclination to pay the starter fee, it's a useful service they offer to take getting the word out off your personal back, and onto the web--along with making it easy for the people in a particular area joining, able to contact each other.


2. The other institution that is required in all watersheds is a “CDI” a CIVIC DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION for the following rationales:

Chapter 21 of Toward A Bioregional State (2005) book addresses both urban and rural aspects of such self-organization feedback against unsustainability, with a civic democratic institution that is non-governmental. It is just a way of networking people on the local level regardless of location, by recognizing people who are widely admired already instead of based on promises of what they will (fail to) do in the future.

A pithy quote about it adapted from the book:



Featured in Article I. of the Constitution of Sustainability (bioregional letter #20), is a framework that provides checks and balances between informal, local, geographically specific coalition and leadership building--and external, clientelistic, ideological, party politics.

The CDI thus provides a check and balance between informal and formal politics, by making sure that formal politics, through despatialized informal parties, is unable to gatekeep against more geographically locused and specific political agendas of citizens of local, state, and/or federal governments due to lack of organization.



It can either make or break a successful mobilization to have a widely shared sense of activities and interpretations of the world.

Especially in nation-states, political parties tend to be the reifying structures with the widest political identity participation, and thus these nation-state political parties both aid in defining nation-state culture, as well as prescribing certain cultural motifs and identities and demoting others to suit systemic interests. This can leave local areas shortchanged culturally speaking and without voice or variation of voice to represent their particular geo-specific interests and concerns on the national level. Crenson’s understanding of a lot of politics as “non-politics” (or ignoring, dropping, and selectively appropriating citizen concerns) is readily witnessed in the selectivity or triage of national-political parties in discussing local issues.

This “non-politics” is particularly seen in the United States when it comes to the Republican and Democratic parties with a host of common environmental and social issues from: environmental sustainability, environmental risk, pollution, pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified crops, cancer clusters, food safety, industrial pollution, food access, transportation choices, voting security, corporate subsidies, and media consolidation.

The CDI aids in local area formulation of an area’s own political cultural frames and discourses, based on their community interests which are created out of their local political processes. The Civic Democratic Institution form (CDI) is a structure for defensibly maintaining and registering local sentiment in a form of a ‘living poll,’ if you will, to recognize any individuals who are admired or culturally trusted in social relations.

The CDI conception is so webbed into social feedback effects it’s rather germane to discuss it in terms of what it does, than what it ‘is.’ The CDI ‘grounds’ coalition building into existing cultural networks. It uses existing thoughts and feelings towards other citizens, pools them together and delivers a tally to the people of whom they find representative or admire, as a group. This brings local politics into integration with local cultural forms. As a consequence, it makes state elites work to maintain their power. Instead of local actors working to get the state’s or a political party’s attention, the latter groups have to acquiesce more when there is a stronger and more vocal local cultural milieu which is less dependent and more resistant to external ideas about what is ‘good policy.’

The CDI’s checks and balances makes sure that its membership is:

(1) popular amongst various groups instead of merely their own ‘political machine,’
(2) with a cultural sense of creating an intermediary and facilitating role in cultural sense, instead of creating an ideological reactionary influence,
(3) and in addition, the CDI makes sure they are personally motivated to fulfill this role without any incentives besides the status recognition which becomes a symbolic rallying frame for them in a social and political capacity by the CDI recognition.

The CDI aims at popularizing local political coalitional development as a cultural process, within already existing cultural networks. The CDI, per se, has nothing to do with changing government structure, or changing voting law, etc.

The checks and balances in the CDI are effected by its dual-tier voting structure, and that the turnover period of one CDI is short enough (one year) to allow for issues to develop as soon as they become widely pertinent, instead of growing unobserved and unaddressed by government and exploding into violent conflict. The CDI voting mechanism is described in Article I of the Constitution of Sustainability, and I turn the reader to examine it further there.

In the CDI, legitimacy comes from their personal vote totals, though no one is actually running against anyone else which minimizes the mass psychological issues of manipulation to be forced to choose one or the other, or any at all. After the group individual recognitions, organizational politics take a very different geographically local and more complex systemic base than gatekept elite public power structures in society.

And back at Letter #20:

Article I.

Section 1.

...To further secure the blessing of sustainability, and to assure that the roots of democracy and sustainability thrive, check, and balance any nascent semblances of a corrupt governmental apparatus, a council of citizens shall be established in all watersheds as a monitoring and civic appreciation body along the following lines and for the following rationales: the framework of the citizen councils shall be a facilitation tool for coalitional building, for the prioritizing of political interests in particular geographies, for environmental monitoring, and for political party agenda formation. To whit, this is summarized in six sections, as follows.

Section 2.
There shall be two stages of voting for the council members, in accordance with two tiers, or procedures and levels, of voting. This is to avoid political party clientelism and to assure the representation of a wide variety of groups and interests. These council members are informal and external to the governmental apparatus, though their existence has a great influence upon later formal politics, grounding and adhering to a particular geography of interests, instead of being manipulated from afar by ideological interests.

There shall be a long first tier followed by a short second tier of voting. All voters with the below qualification can vote once for any persons who have resided in their watershed for at least 10 years. The candidates are the pool of all people who have lived in the watershed for 10 years or shall have been born within a particular watershed and reached ten years of age. The voters for these candidates shall be all citizens over the age of five, though with these residency and/or watershed naturalization requirements. The voters can vote for as many candidates as they want who fulfill their qualification. This is to be a culturally representative body, designed to be comprised of those whom a society of voters in aggregate feels worthy of recognition.

The accumulated social totals will reveal who and where the potentially admired leaders are, without requiring them to ‘run’ for an office—which draws a different caliber of people. This procedure simply ‘spots’ in an informal capacity any citizens
in society, in whatever capacities in which they are already being successful or widely admired. It’s a recognition for what they are doing already, instead of related to how well they can convince people of their future good intentions.

The first tier of voting shall be a nine month period. It is so long as to allow for a slow accumulation of voting totals, instead of only the rush of one day’s voting. This allows time for reflection, discussion, and even withdrawal of one’s vote later if this person does something within the nine month period which warrants poorly on their potential recognition and representation role. Votes can be withdrawn in this nine month period, as well as cast, by submitting another vote, a negative vote, for the previous person in question. The second tier of voting begins after the publication of the first tier’s totals. This list of everyone in the first tier shall become the billet for the second tier of voting.

The second tier is short. It lasts for only a month, in which people can vote for or against anyone on this billet of potential candidates (just like the first nine months, except without one’s vote going to the same person’s total twice). This allows a ‘whittling down’ of vote totals, so that the people who would prefer to avoid seeing this candidate as a cultural representative (and want to vote against them to show it) can do something about it. While this is occurring, citizens can simultaneously can be chipping in’ as well for other candidates, if there is someone whom the first tier of voting has recognized that was forgotten about or who the public was unaware of and whom they feel would be a good cultural representative for the watershed.


Section 3.

These Civic Democratic Institutions in the watershed shall exhibit equality of sex representation. To avoid the ungainliness of the body of potential cultural representatives in terms of sheer size, and to avoid the potentiality that these watershed representatives’ will have incredibly low vote totals for the entire ten month period of voting and will ‘squeeze by’ and be accorded the same public recognition and role as those with larger vote totals, the least common multiple of the sex with the least overall votes (or a multiple the CDI decides themselves) after the second voting tier completion, shall be the determining equal number of the other sex. That addresses the potential ungainly size as well as addresses the equity of gender representation publicly. The ‘trimming’ occurs from both the top and the bottom of the other group because this addresses a potential ‘stacking’ of the vote totals for any one gender group when the process of creating a public parity is the purpose of the civic democratic institution. This additionally is a means to avoid vote ‘stacking’ because it is counterproductive and it avoids people with large numbers of votes which may result in polarizing a populace. Why explicitly address sex/gender in coalition facilitation? This assures that the CDI is a representative body which can deal equitably with the very different lives and experiences that men and women lead, and it assures that typically patriarchal (or even matriarchal) forms of localized socialization will be checked and balanced against. Different genders have different economic and social positionalities taken as a group, and neglecting this would leave certain social issues innately covered over if this was unaddressed. If a transsexual person is elected to the CDI, they shall determine whether they are counted as a female, a male, or both (which would leave the male and female total numbers unchanged, thus a neutral effect), in the trimming that achieves the watershed council.

The CDI is designed to widen the cultural discourse upon which politics is based, allowing for more potential for coalition building. In this capacity, the CDI can be a place of developing leadership and speaking skills in a public venue as well.


Section 4.

After the voting totals and sexual parity have been achieved, the CDI is responsible for creating its own procedures of voting, meeting, visiting, investigating—whatever they feel capable of doing as individuals or groups.

Section 5.

In another two months after this process is completed, a first tier of voting commences once more for the subsequent year and the cycle repeats. Thus, each watershed cultural council lasts at least one full year. Beginning with the second year’s watershed council, the previous watershed council shall be body with jurisdiction and conflict resolution within the voting process, and shall
vacate the CDI in the next year.

Section 6.

Particular members of the previous year of course are capable of being reelected to the subsequent year’s CDI, given Section 2. The previous year's CDI shall be the majority ruling body for passing judgment on cases of questionable voting or vote fraud in the next year's tallies, personally recusing themselves from the CDI if they are personally affected with potential reelection.

Section 7.

All watersheds within the Constitution of Sustainability shall have a watershed council inclusive of border regions that occasionally will likely be inclusive of multiple local political jurisdictions, states, or even countries. The watershed is the basis for accurate local representation of a people’s geographic interest, and thus is a foundational principle of the Constitution of Sustainability.

The young ages help accustom children to participate and ponder their democratic place in a locality, as well as how the CDI serves as a primer for later life, in more formal democratic situations. It sort of sets up two rites of passage at five and ten years of age, when respectively they can become watershed voters and when they can become candidates themselves by acclimation.


Blogger ericswan said...

Do cows get the vote?
Love your neighbour.

Water running downhill should pay taxes. We labour and we pay taxes.

Here, let me make it clear.

5/28/2007 8:07 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

With all the politics of labeling (or lack thereof) noted in a previous post, one point I can add to the commodity ecology that I had in notes elsewhere:

The commodity ecology meeting would have as an incentive for producers a "local watershed product label" that participating and verified groups involved in the commodity ecology could put on their products.

For example, where I live, there would be an

"Upper Rock Watershed, Locally Sustainable, Commodity Ecology Approved"

sticker or label that the 71 producers could utilize and popularize at the yearly fair or year round on their products. It could be of course sold outside that watershed as well, and could be popularized that way--perhaps with an internet address to visit on it for more information.

I see nothing the matter with expanding scale as long as the local issues of health, ecology, and economy in a particular watershed are kept from experiencing externalities. If people do want to limit their purchases and sales to a particular watershed, well that is of course up to the individual.

And this means that a local watershed civic body, approved of democratically in the commodity ecology meetings, would have jurisdiction over their own products and food items instead of a distant corrupt government--that refuses to label things despite wide outcry to do so. This can create a more discriminating consumer, aware of the risks as well as the long term implications of their purchasing behavior instead of consuming ambivalently multiple risks without knowledge--as most supply-side frameworks of consumption wish them to, basically.

6/01/2007 5:48 PM  
Blogger Kalmart said...

Just wanted to say thanks for an interesting read.

3/24/2008 8:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home