Our economy is said to be the most powerful force in the world today. It can do tremendous good — lift entire cultures out of poverty, but it can also lead to unimaginable devastation. If 98% of the world’s climate scientists are to be believed, our fossil fuel based way of doing business is leading us over an environmental cliff. TM&A’s work in this area is to promote what we call ‘regenerative economics.’ In contrast to our current economy, which is inherently extractive, regenerative economic systems leave the world a better place and restore relationships. People engaged in regenerative economics tend to give more than they take. We have helped to initiate a number of such alternative economic endeavors, a few of which are listed below.
Valley Trade Connection
Tad Montgomery, in partnership with Tim Cohen-Mitchell of the Youth Entrepreneurial Society and Gurunam Kaur Khalsa, started the Valley Trade Connection (VTC) in 1995. This network issued a paper currency in conjunction with a formalized barter network that flourished in the Pioneer Valley during the late 1990’s. It introduced roughly $1.5 million into the local economy during its lifetime and generated an alternative source of revenue for hundreds of small businesses.
Green Business Center
The following report was provided as written testimony to the Vermont Senate’s Economic Development Committee in March of 2012 as background for a proposed ecological technology research and development center in Brattleboro:
Proposal for an Ecological Technology Research, Development and Business Incubation Center
The focus of the testimony included specific proposals in each of the following areas that TM&A is involved in:
Agroforestry – Making Vermont’s forests much more healthy and productive by expanding the range of products that are grown in them.
Biochar – A new technology for converting agricultural and forestry waste into a soil amendment in a manner that can reverse global warming.
Myco-Remediation – Developing techniques to bio-remediate brownfields using specialized strains of fungus.
Regenerative Agriculture – New paradigms in agriculture that build soil and increase the nutrient density of food.
Energy Amplification – A new energy production technology that converts high-level radioactive waste, i.e. spent fuel rods from conventional nuclear power plants, into inert substances.
Building Energy Conservation – Developing the practice of ‘deep energy retrofits’ to grow it substantially and help it to become much more cost effective for building owners.
More economics to come.