2010 San Francisco Green Festival

After flying into San Fran last week to help my girl friend move to Cincinnati I stumbled across a brochure for the San Francisco Green Festival.  Much to my joy it just so happened to be taking place the day I picked up the brochure. I also stumbled across a flyer for the premier of the film “2012: Time for Change” by Daniel Pinchbeck and starring interviews with Sting, David Lynch, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Paul Stamets and many other movers & shakers in Evolutionary Scene. This Premier was going to host a Q & A after the showing with the Film Makers Daniel Pinchbeck, Joao Amorim, as well as Paul Stamets (the Mushroom Guru of the planet and major Evolutionary), John Barlow (Grateful Dead Lyricist), and several others. Little did I know I would be stumbling into such major pivotal green events in my travels, since I tend to dedicate so much time these days to the local and demonstration….. course the spirit had a grander plan!

To begin, Saturday’s list of events included Hunter Lovins, (a wonderful consultant and visionary at the top of the Green Heap, working with the largest organizations in the world, whether corporate or Governmental), Amy Goodman (Host of the radical News show “Democracy Now”), Starhawk (a Fringe Permaculturalist pushing the boundary’s on many fronts including earth spirituality). Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts I missed these speakers. However We did make it in time to catch Barbara Marx Hubbard, a visionary and freedom thinker that is well known in many progressive circles. Her talk was, well, more self reflective about the budding human evolution occurring on the planet and about where it is going in the next several years. I found her talk insightful, yet not very useful for getting this green evolution onto the ground. After that We found ourselves at a talk by Paul Stamets, which was inspirational, directional and fruitful in terms of where we need to go and how we need to proceed along that path (how could it not be with a sub title of “How Mushrooms can save the World”, which is a pretty radical statement by any main stream standards, but the bottom line is that it is true! I’ve heard his talk before and have had several friends who were students and devotees of his work, as it is so evolutionary in its thinking and results, how could one not want to follow and learn from such a great visionary. I find this type of thinking and energy so common in Permaculture circles its no wonder when one comes across this stuff one cannot help but get inspired and motivated to join the scene and evolve out minds. It is a Sea Course Change for Humanity. Paul took us on the wonderment of how foundational Fungus is to all life on the planet, how it can solve so many of our pollution problems, how it evolves very quickly to solve problems like breaking down newly encountered pollution and turning it into food. In Short, Mycelium is Like the Neuro-network of the planet, evolving, networking, and supporting all of this natural beauty on this planet. After his inspirational talk and finding a new convert in my girl friend, we wondered around the convention floor to see the many varied and diverse exhibitors that numbered over 200. They were selling everything under the sky, from clothes, to food, to green building, to art. Much to my dismay Permaculture had a relatively dismal representation, although we at OM Valley Permaculture hope to shift that as it is so fundamental to helping people see through the green washing, and most importantly help us learn how to live on this planet for the next millenium. Many of these exhibitors miss this larger picture and thus I question their viability over the 20, 100, or 1000 years. These are the ones that will be the fad, that will come and go when peoples whimsy’s evolve and shift.  Coming from a Automobile/product design background, I’m very familiar with this cycle, one that must be broken if we are to be successful species on this planet.

Sunday brought several more fruits, of which some were useful and others, well, not so. I’ll share the high points in respect to your time. We unfortunately showed a little too late to catch Paul Stamets talk on Cultivating Mushrooms (fortunately there are books as well my Colleague Romain Picasso, a current resident of Cincy and student of Paul’s can help on that front), so we spent the afternoon wandering through many booths, observing, learning and evolving, catching some talks here and there that we meandered in to. The highlight for the Green Festival on Sunday was a Tribute to the recently passed Howard Zinn (Author of “A Peoples History of the United States” and professor). This Tribute included Actor Danny Glover, Writer Alice Walker (the Color Purple), a film maker who has made a film on Howard and a few others. It was very insightful and inspiritional as well. Although, I still must express my disappointment  with the lack awareness of permaculture and the fruits it can bring to this planet, Overall it was very inspirational yet…. missing the necessary foundation for the evolution that the green scene needs, that of inspiration, Vision and action that can be taken on the individual level. That of a Sea Course Change for Humanity. One of Evolving from Net Consumers of the planets bank account of soil and resources to one of Net Producers of the planets Resources…. as simple as that.

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