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For those in the Portland area, please join other NWEI volunteers and staffers at the  Do the Math Tour Documentary Premiere and Panel Discussion, to be held Sunday, April 21st at 6pm at the Ecotrust building, 721 NW 9th Ave., Portland. NWEI Executive Director Mike Mercer will be talking about NWEI’s work as part of the panel discussion. Below is an invitation from Mike Rosen, who is organizing the showing.
What better way to spend Earth Day Eve than at the Portland premiere of‘s documentary on the Do the Math Tour?  Doors open at 5:30 pm, at Ecotrust (located at 721 NW 9th Avenue, 2nd floor).  Join us for a 1 hour panel discussion at 6pm with local leaders to learn about their efforts to combat Global Warming.  From 5:30 to 6 and from 8 to 9 you can browse our information tables.  At 7 pm we will have the Portland premiere of the Do the Math Tour documentary.  After the film our panel will reconvene for further discussion. The $3 charge covers the cost of the venue.  Anyone needing free tickets should contact Mike Rosen @

Today we are excited to share a guest blog post from a former Peace Corps volunteer and current NWEI discussion course organizer who now lives in Traverse City, Michigan. Cheryl, who wrote the post below, recently convened two of Northwest Earth Institute’s discussion courses in her community.

“Today, the leaders who influence our faith and action are those who convene (or moderate or enable) the conversations that change our life…”

from “Theology After Google” by Philip Clayton

As a very new Peace Corps volunteer, I attended a community planning meeting in the town of 5,000 that I was assigned to.  As people brainstormed community needs, one woman said, “What this town needs is more leaders.” Did she mean what I thought she meant? –That leaders were something to be imported, like books, computers or construction equipment?

Yes, she did.  I wasn’t really one to speak up at that point in my life, especially in a room full of people I didn’t know, in a language I could barely manage.  But I was so taken aback that I managed to splutter, “But YOU are the leaders!”

I feel the same way when I hear someone say, “I wish someone would lead a group on sustainability, or energy or voluntary simplicity.”  YOU are the leaders! It’s really easy to lead a discussion group based on the NWEI discussion guides.  Just gather a few people, order the books, do the readings and talk! If you need more guidance on how to publicize the meeting, or any other aspect of hosting a group, the NWEI staff will help you.  Real people actually read and answer your emails!

indexI just hosted two groups in Northern Michigan based on the Global Warming:  Changing Course discussion course book. One group filled with 11 people after only one email was sent out and the other group was over-subscribed with 17 people.  Of course, my primary audience was Unitarian Universalists as they are very inclined to be socially aware and active.  (If you’re convening a group in your community, be sure to let the UU churches know.  You’ll likely find interested participants there.)

People were very engaged in the discussions and we shared fears about climate change, doubts about our own ability to make a difference, but also hope.  The groups are coalescing around action.

Be the person who convenes a conversation that will change lives!  The NWEI discussion guides are perfectly suited to help you make it happen.


We are excited to announce that two of our classic discussion courses are now offered at a reduced rate.

Published in 2008,  NWEI’s first course on climate change, Global Warming: Changing CO2urse is now available for $15. This four session course contains useful information about our current state of affairs based upon human-caused climate change, how we got here and what we can do to change course. Place your  order online, or call us at 503-227-2807 to purchase this informative and useful discussion course. Also, stay tuned for info about an upcoming supplement to this course, available in spring 2012!

Healthy Children, Healthy Planet is now available for $12. As relevant today as it was when first published, Healthy Children, Healthy Planet examines the impact of media culture on our children, explores alternatives to the material focus of celebrations, considers the importance of nutrition and healthful eating, and addresses the importance of a child’s connection to nature. Healthy Children, Healthy Planet shows that to care for Earth is to care for your family.

We encourage to you to promote sustainability in your community by organizing an NWEI course this winter! Remember, the right conversations can changes lives. Happy New Year!

Today we continue our focus on transportation by looking at ways to broaden our reach. Individual behavior change is necessary and important in creating the world in which we want to live. Individual actions inspire, motivate, and change culture, especially when enough people work together to make a difference.  Here at NWEI, we focus on individual behavior change and small group learning through our discussion courses and in our EcoChallenge.

But we also see the vital importance of working together to change our infrastructure, political systems, and broader cultural constructs, as well.

Today’s proposed action is: Broaden your reach.

Cars produce about 20 percent of U.S. carbon emissions and consume about 44 percent of the oil we use. Consider contacting your representative about implementing a fuel tax or raising the standards for fuel efficiency in your state. Environment America is working on some great campaigns aimed at getting America off oil.

Also, consider contacting your Congressperson and Department of Transportation and telling them of the merits of a U.S. Bicycle Route System,  an interstate network of bicycle routes for national non-motorized transportation. You can find out more information here and see what’s going on in your state here.

For the weekend:

Enjoy non-motorized fun, for your health and for the health of the planet. Go for a bike ride, either to a destination you’ve already planned, or just for fun. Or take a hike and enjoy the weather your area has to offer in the spring. Take a picture celebrating your surroundings and how you got there.  Send your pictures to, and we’ll post them on our blog!

Kathleen Dean Moore “wants future generations to have a world that is rich with possibilities, where her granddaughter can hear the sound of frog songs.”

As part of the Moral Ground Movement,  Kathleen and over 100 other contributors ask the question, What will move people to act to save their beloved Earth?

To learn more about this movement, join in a conversation with Scott Russell Sanders, Kathleen Dean Moore, and Bill McKibben on January 18 at 7 pm eastern time to discuss the moral imperative of taking action on the climate crisis. The important new book Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril explores the notion of the ethical duty to take meaningful action to curb climate change.

This is a unique opportunity to hear from some leading voices in this ethical action discussion, and to share your own thoughts and questions.

When: 7 pm Eastern time, 4 pm Pacific, January 18. This is a free event, but normal long distance rates apply.

Call in using these numbers:
Access code: 581688569#

If you find that line is full or busy, join us by using this secondary number:
Access code: 452001681#

This conversation will be moderated by Orion Magazine staffers and recorded. The audio will be made available for listening at any time on Orion’s website.

Feel free to email your questions or thoughts for the panelists in advance to:

Additionally, Kathleen Dean Moore will be reading at Powell’s Philosophy Café on February 6th, 2011.

4:00 pm
Powell’s Books
1005 W Burnside
Portland, OR

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