Oct 12th, 2007 by Clark Humphrey

…Nobel Peace Prize, here’s a lucid and elequent congratulatory essay by local-boy-made-good (and done good) Alex Steffen.

I first knew Steffen when he ran Steelhead, one of the most intelligent and handsome local zines this burg has ever produced.

Since then, he’s traveled much of the world, written a lot of important things, and in 2003 guest-edited the last, never-printed, issue of Whole Earth magazine, the last descendant of Stewart Brand’s old Whole Earth Catalog.

book coverYou’ll find vast acreage of smart prose by Steffen and compatriots at WorldChanging.com, his site dedicated to “bright green” eco-solutions.

I’m currently halfway through the huge (600-plus pages) WorldChanging book, edited by Steffen and written by himself and several dozen appropriate-tech experts. (Gore contributed a short introduction.)

WorldChanging’s shtick has been described as an update of the Whole Earth “Access to Tools” shtick, adapted for a generation of bloggers and a post-WTO sensibility.

Unlike a lot of the gloom-n’-doom nihilism preached by eco-leftists, Steffen and his team concentrate on solutions to the planet’s big and small problems. The book covers everything from urban planning and refugee camps to renewable energy and adequate water supplies. The emphasis throughout is on Things We Can Really Do About It.

If Barack Obama bills himself as the politician of hope, Steffen is its scribe.

As Steffen writes in his Gore piece today:

“If we do our jobs right, life will get better. The systems we currently rely on don’t just destroy the environment, they limit our happiness. We do not live in the best of all possible worlds. We know it is possible to create lives which are not only profoundly more sustainable, but more prosperous, comfortable, stylish, healthy, safe and fun. If we do our jobs right, a bright green future will be downright sexy.”

Oct 12th, 2007 by Clark Humphrey

…to Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore. I believe the standard lefty-blog-O-sphere response is to ponder that, had the ’00 election not been nakedly stolen, we’d have a “peace president” instead of what we got.

Jun 29th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

…this time against the new imperial Presidency:

“Our ingrained American distrust of concentrated power has very little to do with the character or persona of the individual who wields that power. It is the power itself that must be constrained, checked, dispersed and carefully balanced, in order to ensure the survival of freedom. In addition, our founders taught us that public fear is the most dangerous enemy of democracy because under the right circumstances it can trigger the temptation of those who govern themselves to surrender that power to someone who promises strength and offers safety, security and freedom from fear.”

May 26th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

…as a more dynamic, more forceful speaker. Most recent example: His rant calling Bush “the most dishonest President since Richard Nixon:”

“They resent any constraint as an insult to their will to dominate and exercise power. Their appetite for power is astonishing. It has led them to introduce a new level of viciousness in partisan politics.”

AL GORE has suddenly become…
Feb 16th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

…the dynamic, no-holds-barred fighting intellectual he should’ve been in the 2000 election, except back then he was under the thumb of the Democratic Leadership Council wussies. At a speech in NYC two weeks ago, he said something I’d been thinking: George W. Bush isn’t the second George Bush, he’s the second Richard Nixon, a cynical manipulator exploiting fear and bigotry.

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