Ellen Hodgson Brown’s Web of Debt and a state bank initiative

Web of DebtI’ve now heard Ellen Brown talk about our dysfunctional money system twice, and started to read her book Web of Debt. I have to agree with Thom Hartmann’s review when he  says “Web of Debt not only demystefies money, but provides some thought-provoking and realistic solutions to our nation’s dangerous dependence on a for-profit banking system that is sucking the financial life-blood out of our nation…buy it, read it, get active.”  I personally have experienced her presentations and explanations as bresh of fresh air, cleansing and clearing the mental atmosphere around money from its deceptions and dissimulations. One of her most strikingly obvious and convincing positive suggestions is for California to establish its own state-owned, not-for-profit bank. The only state that has one, North Dakota, is also the only state that is at present not in a sinkhole of debt and budget deficits. According to Ellen Brown, there are now about half-a-dozen states that are considering following North Dakota’s example.

Along those lines, there is a website: www.californiagreenbacks.org, which is beginning a campaign to do just that in California. This is definitely worth supporting.

Why do we need a Sustainable California State Bank Initiative?

Imagine if our state could put everyone who wants a job to work building a sustainable California? …A Sustainable California State Bank (SCSB) fashioned after the state Bank of North Dakota would be able to deposit all state, county and city funds into its own public bank. With this solid capital foundation the Sustainable California State Bank (SCSB) could initially lend $150 billions dollars or more into the economy of California. …

The pension funds and other rainy day investments for all 14,000 government agencies within the state are estimated to be worth trillions of dollars! As state agencies choose to add their investments to the Sustainable California State Banks reserves, over time the bank could lend out trillions! Today private banks are turning our deposits into their profits. So why can’t the state of California use our tax deposits to turn California into a sustainable economy? …

Most people believe that the State of California is insolvent. We are being told that we will have to cut state services and public sector jobs. We will have to close down or sell off our State Parks and public buildings. We will have to privatize our public utilities.

Taking democratic control of the money supply is our only chance to create a better tomorrow for our children. We need a fiscal policy that works for us. A state bank is our best chance of moving beyond casino capitalism. … We are sinking in a sea of debt…. As a higher and higher percentage of money goes to servicing debt, we have less available cash and credit to pay the mortgage or start a new business. These trends are unsustainable and will continue to collapse the dollar and economy.

If the SCSB bought back California’s outstanding debt and charged the state (itself) zero percent interest the state would save $5 billion dollars a year in interest payments on its bonds.  The state could also finance its own deficit. That’s billions of dollars we can send to Californians on Main Street instead of CEOs on Wall Street.

Creating a Sustainable California State Bank (SCSB) is the only way we can halt this insane race to the bottom. We have a right to defend a strong middle class. We have a right to change destructive fiscal policies that leave us bankrupt. We have the right to use our sweat to turn the natural resources of California into a sustainable future.


Brilliant 5-minute animated cartoon on the history of fossil fuels

The creative folks at the Post-Carbon Institute in Santa Rosa, Northern California, have come up with an excellent short video giving a condensed history of the rise and impending fall of fossil fuel economies in the modern world. Narrated by Richard Heinberg, it deserves to be widely disseminated and repeatedly viewed.

Fossil fuels have powered human growth and ingenuity for centuries. Now that we’re reaching the end of cheap and abundant oil and coal supplies, we’re in for an exciting ride. While there’s a real risk that we’ll fall off a cliff, there’s still time to control our transition to a post-carbon future.


It’s definitely time – past due – to start planning for the post-oil future in your life.


A non-denominational, spiritual confession of faith, by a business education leader

The statement below was formulated by Gifford Pinchot, co-founder and president of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, which offers an MBA centered around values of sustainability. He is credited with developing the concept of intrapreneuring, a way of developing sustainability innovations within a corporation. He writes (on his website),

I long for a resilient, ecologically restorative and more egalitarian civilization. A resilient civilization is one that has great capacity to adapt to shocks, shortages, attacks and subsystem failures.”

The statement below was sent to me by my friends Brian and Mary Natrass, who have taught at Bainbridge and work as consultants to businesses on sustability practices:

The Creed of the Gaian Church of God

I am a member of the Gaian Church of God. I am a Christian, a Moslem, a Buddhist, a Hindu, an Animist, a Druid and a Jew. I pray for the followers of all faiths, named or unnamed.

I stand in awe of the mysteries of existence, the vastness of the universe and the complexity of nature. I work to live in comfort with the mystery and a sense that something is going on that is infinitely bigger, more significant and more causative than me. Yet I am a small part of the mystery and am growing to include more of it without needing to understand it all. I seek to do my part.

I am a Gaian in the sense that I live on this planet and care deeply about the vitality of the life system of which I am part. I am a loyal member of life. I commit myself to defending life on Earth from whatever threatens to reduce, degrade or eliminate it …