Dear MOTHER: June/July 2010

Reader letters about creating a sustainable society, homestead dreams, garden planning, MAX and more.

| June/July 2010

  • Solar installer
    Reader Robin Bariel alerted us to a tuition change for San Juan College’s solar energy programs since we printed our article on How to Start a Solar Career.
  • Escape from Berkeley team
    Jack McCornack responded to critiques and concerns regarding the design of MAX.
  • Gourdkins
    Accidental cross-pollination led to some fun, funky hybrids — and reader Alison Sheafor-Joy is delighted with her goofy gourds.
  • Green Fields
    "We need to collectively commit to changing not just our light bulbs, but our way of thinking and our levels of consumption." — Reader Tina Hurlbert
  • Healthy garden
    Get a head start: You can use a spreadsheet (such as Excel) or our new Garden Planner to map out your garden crops.
  • Cat on sheep
    Oliver the cat stays warm snuggling in Ada’s warm wool.

  • Solar installer
  • Escape from Berkeley team
  • Gourdkins
  • Green Fields
  • Healthy garden
  • Cat on sheep

We received a heartening collection of thoughtful, positive reader letters in response to Creating a Sustainable Society: Four Questions We Should Ask , written by MOTHER’s publisher, Bryan Welch. The idea that creating a sustainable society can — and must — be a work of repeatable beauty, abundance and fairness, rather than a path of fear and forced asceticism, clearly resonated with you as much as it did with us. It also opened up a constructive dialogue, as readers with a range of opinions all shared respectful feedback. Not only was this refreshing, but it illuminated the power of these ideas as common ground from which we can all work together to build the best possible future.

We’ve printed a few of the letters below. You can find more in the comments section of the article. We’d love for you to join the discussion by posting your own comment to that article. — MOTHER

Be Mindful

The overall message of the need for a positive vision in Bryan Welch’s Creating a Sustainable Society: Four Questions We Should Ask resonated with me. I think that we must not completely discount, however, that some people may only be motivated to make fundamental changes to their behavior through fear of loss. We need to both strive for abundance and beauty and be mindful of what is likely to befall us all if we don’t change our current ways.

Heather Martin
Lincoln, California

Meaningful Transformation

I wholeheartedly agree with Bryan Welch’s emphasis on inspiration and beauty. Certainly, we need to be aware of the depths of the ecological and social crises we face, but guilt and fear will never prove to be sufficient motivation for the radical changes that are required in the way we live. Love, beauty, creativity and joy must be at the heart of meaningful transformation.

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