Humboldt State University

The CCAT Blog, Let’s Talk

Global Worming

Posted on March 24, 2013 by CCAT


 Tule Fog Farm

The United States was once a nation of farmers. Today less than two percent of Americans farm, yet almost half of all land in the country is used to produce crops and livestock. Within three decades after the Second World War an industrial revolution (unprecedented by any other economic sector) occurred along the front-lines of American agriculture. The US economy rebounded  while technological optimism and the rise of the petrochemical industry framed Progressive Era policies. Petroleum-based amendments and fuel coupled with manipulation and mechanization from farm to fare engendered a “Green Revolution.” Technological solutions played polestar in a crusade for economic growth. Grow, the economy did, and as our economy ripened so did the industrial farm system, large-scale monoculture of staple crops and agricultural surplus and dependency upon chemicals and industrial irrigation. Technology overwhelmed sustainable agriculture, leaving a wake of degraded soils, contaminated water and surplus yields. Farmland population has since precipitously declined. Flagging agricultural communities and food deserts have supplanted local and working knowledge systems around the globe. We can change this – visionaries are. Join CCAT and the greater appropriate technology community in our vision/action quest for sustainable agricultural praxis and policy.


Nikki Caputo, CCAT Co-Editor

can food; can war


Community is a Verb

Posted on February 13, 2013 by CCAT

CCAT is in the process of transforming into a consensus-based community. Consensus seeks agreement in policy and praxis by a community as a whole. A collective engagement endeavor, community-based learning calls for symmetric reciprocity in order to arrive at horizontal relationships. Consensus-based systems restructure learning processes and promote learning circles; they democratize the process by which problems are identified and in how they are resolved. CCAT seeks to invigorate the power of community and be the change we want to see. Buckminster Fuller witnessed, “I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing—a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process—an integral function of the universe” (Fuller, 1970). Community is a verb.


Nikki Caputo, CCAT Co-Editor

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home—so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: The neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

~Eleanor Roosevelt, 1958

The One Who Tells the Stories Rules the World

Posted on February 7, 2013 by CCAT


from Casey Tanner's album (f)Art 101
from Casey Tanner’s album (f)Art 101

The One Who Tells the Stories Rules the World ~Hopi Wisdom

What is knowledge? How is knowledge acquired? Who is authorized to be a knowledge producer and whom or what controls the distribution of knowledge? Is knowledge truth?

George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist, sustains that absolute and objective truth is chimeric, a dangerous sociopolitical vehicle of deception. Lakoff proffers that truths are contextual, ‘true only relative to some understanding of it’ (Lakoff, 1980). He maintains that truth is socially and/or experientially-situated.

What is truth? What determines the validity of some way of knowing-of knowledge production? Life is a repository of knowledges. If humans are to flourish, we will listen to the melody of our rich diversity of voice in order to greet the complex challenges of modern times.

Lakoff, George. 1980. “Truth,” Chapter 24, pp. 159-184, Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Prosper, Nikki Caputo CCAT Co-Editor

Elite Tourists?

Posted on December 15, 2012 by CCAT

Community: an environmental health care prescriptive.  

What are the cultural underpinnings of combat with our environment? Misanthropy and myopia frame our sense of intolerance and hatred of our own species. Who and what belongs where? Many in the environmental movement claim humans do not have a functional role in the environment; this fuels a sense of alienation from the environment of which we are a part, framing a sense of intolerance of both self and other. How can we understand human nature and our place within nature, if we are blinded by self-hatred? From where will our well spring? How can we embrace our role within global systems and cycles? Are we “elite tourists1” visiting nature? Are we a virus? Distinguishing humans as other suggests a circular teleological argument for slow suicide–a war-like destruction of self, home and neighbor. Misanthropy leaves “little hope of discovering what an ethical, sustainable, honorable human place in nature might actually look like.”2

Racism and the polarization of nature and humanity share seed in the alienation of humanity. How are we to address the many challenges we face if we see ourselves as alien to nature and from one another? Where do our strategies for energy, food and water securities intersect with ecological stoichiometry? Alienation has created alien nations, grid-locked in conflict and a growing trend of privatization of profits and a corollary externalization of costs. But where exactly lies this “External” kingdom? Where is away?

Impacts of racism and self-enmity begin early, cultivating desires to weed the world (of us). Who and what belongs where? This week’s blog invites us to renovate of our concept of natural–to envisage an alternative socio-environmentalism, targeting preventative measures to strengthen and fortify society as well as our environment. This is an invitation to reexamine nativity as a cultural meme. Recognizing our native and legitimate role within nature can help us lay foundation for sustainable development. “Most of our most serious environmental problems start right here, at home, and if we are to solve those problems, we need an environmental ethic that will tell us as much about using nature as about not using it.”3 Nature is much more than a cathedral. Nature is greater than our concept of wilder-ness. Nature is where we live. Nature is community; nature includes us.


Nikki Caputo, CCAT Co-Editor

He Waka Eke Noa  We are all in this boat together  ~Maori Wisdom



1,2,3 Cronon, William. 1995. “The Trouble with Wilderness or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature” In William Cronon, ed., Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1995, 69-90.

Welcome to the CCAT Blog

Posted on December 7, 2012 by CCAT

This is where we’ll be sharing interesting news articles, opinion pieces, etc. with you from now on. CCAT events and major news will still go on the front page.

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6 Responses to The CCAT Blog, Let’s Talk

  1. Finley says:

    A family business since 1853 with annual earnings of approximately
    $13. Players will get started this drill by operating in spot since fast as they’re able to, keeping their knees high as possible. com, football has been “America’s favorite sport every
    year since 1972.

  2. Jacob A. Bloom says:

    What is community?
    A way of being…
    A means of existence and security… like really,
    Exile from the community is one of the quickest ways to meet an early death
    But it is more than that
    Community is culture
    Shaped by culture
    And the creation of culture
    Community is the trend setter and trend follower.

    Community is family by consensus
    Interconnectedness, collective consciousness, and democratic comfort.
    Community is a process, for individuation and self actualization,
    A means to access the eternal truth
    You have gossip, you have politics
    You have celebrations and you have mourning
    You always have somebody to talk to, and something to talk about

    Community is going out of your way to help ensure another’s happiness even when you have nothing directly to gain yourself…
    But, when you create community
    You’ll always find, that you have much to gain, and many ways to grow

    What is community?
    A compilation of assorted people; geographically, culturally, and… actively…
    You must create community, work at it, be nice to your neighbors, go out of your way to make and strengthen the connections….
    You’re not just a part of a community, you are the community.
    Create, foster the culture of kindness, sharing, of understanding.
    Cultures create communities, and communities create culture. Thrive on the interconnectivity, but embrace individuality, be the agent for change. Cultures can shape you, or you can shape cultures,
    and guess how cultures spread?

    That’s right, community.

  3. Jacob A. Bloom says:

    The sun at the end of the day
    You can look right at it
    A half moon to a crescent
    The sliver slips away, just
    Beyond the curvature of the earth
    We spin back, away from the
    reflecting atmosphere blue
    And face the stars
    Little white pin needles of light
    From who knows how far away.
    Rotating, spinning, millions of
    miles per hour, on this crazy hunk of water,
    earth, and life, through deep space…
    I may have a teen tiny existence…
    but I’m in for a crazy f***ing ride.

    Really happy to be a part of the team!
    Jacob A. Bloom, CCAT Co-Editor

  4. CCAT says:

    Democracy is a verb!

  5. Emily Moloney says:

    I’d like to first say that I think this blog is a great idea and I’m glad to see this up. I’m also curious if you will consider posting guest comments or even guest blog posts. It could be really interesting to have some diverse voices on here.
    Secondly, In response to your post I think you are saying a lot when you speak of this extreme existential pondering the
    Human race dwells on about our role and connection to nature. As we quickly anthropomorphize the natural
    World and turn it into out human civilization we quickly lose our ancestral roots.. As much as I can dwell in my cycinism that the human race especially the elite ruling class has
    No hope and sees no end to the hyper growth mentality of manifest destiny that man has adopted as its policy for
    taming the wild beast that nature Is perceived to be. Frankly I’m disgusted that my fellow humans have carelessly
    Allowed and enabled such destruction of the environment the economy and to social well being. Despite my outrage
    And negativity toward what feels like an abstract group of fellow humans. I have come to embrace this notion of Ubuntu that I practiced with past
    Sustainability groups I’ve been involved with. If you are unfamiliar with the term it come from the African Zulu culture
    And means I am because you are. This is a very important thing to remember and even as is write this the word is
    Taking on another meaning to me, but I still feel that Ubuntu is unifying me to humanity. it allows me to extend my empathic
    Behavior to others. There are reasons for destruction, greed, suffering, and oppression and all of us need compassion. Whether
    We are the perpetrator or the oppressed. All need compassion so we can heal. I think it is important to remember Ubuntu…
    I am because you are. We are all connected to the present to the past and through our hopes for the future. Ubuntu has really
    Become powerful for me because it opens the empathic door to one that is not only anthropocentric but also bio centric and ecocentric.
    Our compassion expands beyond humanity and opens up for empathic behavior toward the earth as an ecosystem in which humanity
    Is woven into. Chief Seattle says “man did not weave the web of life he is mearly a strand in it.” And so we are. Many of us have realized
    This truth and it should be a law by which this globalized corporatized world Operates. Clearly the powers at be do not understand this
    And perhaps never will. Yet for those of us who know the power of interconnection and community, we can redesign our human role on this
    Planet. We just must remember through our American complacency that we in fact are the power that drives this nation. Where do we want
    Our energy investments going? To clearly unsustainable energy systems that are designed to impoverish oppress and degrade the ecosystem
    And it’s people at the benefit of the few? Or to a renewable energy system that thrives on localized systems of human democracy. That thrives from
    Diverse organic gardens to local sustainable ecologically sound investments? This can be our role but have we realized it yet?

    • CCAT says:

      Emily, I LOVE your input! Yes, this space is intended as a discussion forum…thus the comment section (serves to facilitate “guest blogging” – like your piece – bring on the thinktank sessions!).

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