Building Sustainably Community Environmental

Americans are Close to the Soil


‘Americans are close to the soil.’ Faith said to a group of twenty people who gathered last night to discuss The Power of Community.

That was, the film’s director Faith Morgan. The film, released in 2006 captures how the island people of Cuba have formed alternate ways of transportation, organized the decentralization of universities, and have begun to depend on one another in collective efforts of their community to survive the past 20 years.

The full title of the movie, The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, more accurately describes the discussion with Faith Morgan after the viewing. What is Peak Oil? Is there an effort to deal with Peak Coal? How can the secluded and resourceful nature of island people help the U.S. to define and enact false boundary definition in order to train ourselves to use the local resources in our own lives?

Faith Morgan spoke to the power of discussion. By simply living, working and depending on your neighbors, we make one another aware by our interaction of life choices. We slowly spread a sustainable life message and make ourselves available to learning from their life experiences as well.  She and her husband, Pat Murphy, have a mission to ‘ Wake People Up! ‘ To engage communities in community solutions. Ms. Morgan, an avid gardener, painter, and film maker is also the executive director of  Community Solutions, founded by her grandfather in 1940. It is ‘a non-profit organization that advocates for small communities and the benefits of face-to-face relationships in a particular place.’

Our group discussed Faith Morgan’s next film about the German Passive House and joining us in the crowd was Linda Wigington from Waynesburg, Pa of Affordable Comfort, Inc. (ACI). She leads the 1000 Home Challenge – enticing us to be smarter than our energy bills. But, how do we get our communities on board? A few people in the group were skeptical, but there were plenty of examples there in the room. Some people have Net Positive homes, others have built underground houses. Faith discussed an involvement by example, or a demonstration house to exhibit the no-brain-benefits of thickened walls and the importance of order in completing efficient home retrofits. These are for any homeowner who wants to lessen their dependence on electricity or gas in their home. Ultimately affordable comfort aims to provide comfort for you, your wallet and our earth.

Scattered notes that I scribbled in a fit of inspiration over the evening are as follows:


The bicycle transformation of Cuba after the Soviet Union collapsed.

During the special period.

Permaculture and working within boundaries to clean

every square foot of property has turned into an orchard

working with your neighbors promote a local economy.

Social fabric.

What is our existing collective sense of purpose?

You don’t need that much to be happy.



Photo by Javier Galeano, Found at


‘Thank you’ to Faith Morgan and everyone who attended last night’s Book Club Event!

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