Was heartened just before the COVID-19 quarantine when Praxis Peace Institute in Sonoma, brought Frances Moore Lappe’ to town, famous for her Diet for a Small Planet, and advocate for  a heathy democracy and planet.  A “canopy of hope” is what her current book, Daring Democracy, offers and it is available widely. “It is all too easy to fall into despair,” says Noam Chomsky in a backpage blurb, “but instead we can join the many others who are “daring democracy” in many ways, as we learn from this instructive account of hopeful prospects”.

Seems we should have chosen to Make Democracy Great Again following Frances Moore Lappe’s marvelous early work, many books and presentations offering a global how-to on boosting real democratic values in our culture by making it hyper-local.  YOU can change your school board.  YOU can organize kids to clean up a creek, add a salmon hatchery and make it a forever high school project!  The entire Occupy movement could have learned a bunch from Frankie – or did they? DIY Democracy comes out loud and clear in whatever Frankie says and writes.

Her sort of colorful and practical solutions are needed to energize the phoenix we need to rise out of fire, a just society, globally, in the midst of greed, theft and disregard for humanities’ frailties and joys.  Democracy in the USA now? Just bad politics, guys and gals.

Wonderful to have this shero of mine in the room and to recall the Californians in Dialogue for the Common Good project I worked on a year where Frances Moore Lappe’ and then husband, Paul Martin DuBois (grandson of W.E.B. DuBois) were a tag-team selling hot democracy as The Center for Living Democracy on the East Coast, their passionate dialogue on bringing democracy alive in our communities, convincing thousands of folks young and older to get involved in their own LOCAL politics! Jerry Brown was a minor player in this and Frankie and Paul were excited about meeting him and possibly working together.

So I mentioned Jerry Brown’s new California-China Institute to Frankie, as it resides in Berkeley, where her remarkable daughter, Anna Lappe’ lives with the grandchildren. I’m hoping there will be a Jerry Brown/Frances Moore Lappe’ meet up as they did during our project. What a blend of ideals and practical ideas would fly through the room.

Frankie asked for more info. on the new Institute with Jerry Brown at it’s helm and I found this: https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Jerry-Brown-to-head-California-China-institute-to-14454114.php#

(from the Chron article)”Former Gov. Jerry Brown is teaming up with China to continue his climate crusade.

Brown will chair the newly formed California-China Climate Institute, a trans-Pacific research initiative to develop and export policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions — and to serve as a counterweight to President Trump, whom Brown called “the head of a demolition derby to destroy decades of environmental law.”

“If it’s just California, that’s not as strong,” Brown said in an interview last week. “It’s not just California leading some resistance. It’s California as a part of a global movement to take climate change seriously in the face of Trump and his tweets that have gone over the edge.”

The institute was formally announced Monday (Sept. 2019) in New York during an event with Xie Zhenhua, China’s top climate change official, for Climate Week NYC. It will be housed at UC Berkeley, where Brown was hired as a visiting professor in July, and partner with Tsinghua University in Beijing, where Xie runs an institute for climate change and sustainable development research.

The idea for the project arose in 2017 after Trump announced the U.S. would pull out of the Paris climate change accord. Brown visited China twice on trade missions during his most recent governorship, from 2011 to 2019, promoting clean energy and green-technology businesses.

Currently, we are looking to hire some research assistants for Winter 2019 and Spring 2020 for policy research on the following topics:

  • California’s 2045 Carbon Neutral Goal and Policies
  • Low-carbon transportation and zero emission vehicles
  • Carbon pricing
  • Climate adaptation and resilience
  • Sustainable land use and climate-smart agriculture
  • Carbon capture and storage

Contact us at ccci@berkeley.edu to express interest in our program, would like to discuss, or to apply (resume and a brief statement of interest).

The California-China Institute (CCCI) is intriguing to me as I feel strongly we must have a partnership with China to face off the worst and maybe even the least effects of climate crisis.

Scanning the academics and attorneys and political figures Jerry Brown has assembled at CCCI for this momental and promising project, it seems voices from the non-profit and deep ecology persuasion might add an essential starter for actually addressing climate crisisand the just recovery we all need.






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