Solidarity and Sustainability
A Newsletter on the Socio-Ecological Impacts of Religious Patriarchy

Volume 1 - Number 8 - December 2005 - Supplement
Luis T. Gutierrez

The primary goal of this research is to facilitate progress in the path from patriarchy to solidarity, sustainability, and sustainable human development. This journey attempts to understand how to mitigate all manner of patriarchal and misogynic barriers to human development and, in particular, how to overcome the enormous obstacles caused by religious patriarchy. There is no presumption of new discoveries. Rather, it is a matter of integrating existing knowledge (experience, wisdom, empirical evidence) to show that true religion should never be an obstacle to human development. The United Nations "Millennium Development Goals" (MDGs) are used as point of reference.



Editorial in response to "Debate brews: Has oil production peaked?"
USA Today, 10/17/2005,

By Brian Czech, President,
Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy
5101 South 11th St., Arlington, VA 22204
Reprinted with Permission

USA Today has finally put the issue of Peak Oil where it belongs: front and center ("Debate Brews: Has Oil Production Peaked?" October 17). The take-home message is not that global oil production will peak some day, but that it will peak during the lives of most Americans. Kenneth Deffeyes tells us the peak will be this year; the federal government tells us we have about 25 years. Deffeyes says the outcome will be a “hard landing” at best and an apocalypse at worst; David Yergin sees a prosperous way down. Whether it’s Mad Max or Gilligan’s Island, the future is not bright for an economy based on cheap gas.

Peak Oil, it seems, has been the 800-pound gorilla sneering in the corner of the American domestic policy arena. Or has it? For over 200 years, “doomsayers” have been warning “optimists” about limits to economic growth. The economist Thomas Malthus initiated the debate in 1800 and, in more recent decades, environmentalists have taken up the mantle. Economists these days tend to rebuke Malthus and tell us that technological developments will perpetually increase our capacity for growth. Environmentalists tell us the economists tend to be funded by corporations and that their views on economic growth are devoid of basic physics and ecology.

It’s time to acknowledge that the environmentalists are not all tree-hugging, animal-petting radicals. The 800-pound gorilla is not Peak Oil, but economic growth itself. Economic growth has developed a mystique, thanks to Wall Street and the Fed, but there is nothing mysterious about it. Economic growth is simply an increase in the production and consumption of goods and services. It means increasing population and consumption, and it means more oil. Peak Oil might be the 200-pound monkey in the closet, but it is our number one goal in the domestic policy arena – economic growth – that is littering our countryside with banana peels. We are going to slip, and Deffeyes’s hard landing might be the best we can hope for unless we act, real soon, to tame the gorilla.

Our economy is a collection of agricultural, extractive, manufacturing, and service sectors. Agriculture is the key. Without it, we starve, and agriculture today is tractors, fertilizers, trains and trucks. Gas and natural gas, in other words. The extractive sectors include logging, mining, ranching, commercial fishing, and now even the pumping and trucking of drinking water. More gas for tractors, trucks, ships and pumps. The manufacturing sectors run from heavy to light, from steel production to computer chip production. They run on electricity generated mostly from coal, oil, and natural gas. Service sectors such as transportation do not exist without agricultural, extractive, and manufacturing sectors to serve. Of course, there are specialty sectors such as entertainment. But how do fans of NASCAR, football games, and concerts arrive at the festivities? Too often via SUVs and Hummers.

It may be too much for America to handle at once, the acknowledgement of Peak Oil and the abandoning of economic growth as a national goal. However, once Peak Oil is acknowledged, what economic goals remain in the category of sane? Economic growth seems out of the question in the long run. In the short run, perhaps we can keep the economic machinery running with more nuclear power, more coal, and more damming of rivers. We overlooked the smog and the greenhouse gases emitted by the petrol-burning tractors, trucks and factories, so we can overlook the specter of nuclear waste, the greenhouse gases and acid rains of coal, and the ecological integrity of our rivers, where endangered species now seem as common as the common species.

Of course, there are environmentally friendly, sustainable energy sources, such as solar and wind. They are coming online, but not at the rate the Fed, Wall Street, the President and Congress want our economy to grow. What does this mean? It means that, if the Fed, Wall Street, the President and Congress get their way, we will be using not only more sunlight and wind, but more nuclear power, more coal, and more rivers. We will also be producing more nuclear waste, more acid rain, and more endangered species.

There is another reason for recognizing economic growth as the 800-pound gorilla dwarfing the monkey of Peak Oil. Even if energy sources were unlimited (as some economists continue to insist), a number of thorny problems arise in concert with a growing economy. These include urban sprawl, traffic congestion, and ultimately war, which is often the result of nations competing for scarce resources (such as water in the Middle East). As Malthus noted, waiting always in the wings is famine, the result of pushing our planet’s agricultural capacity beyond the brink. Yes, Malthus was a doomsayer, but doom needs saying if doom is to be averted.

So what then, the optimist might ask, is the solution? If economic growth beyond the level of Peak Oil is the problem, then the solution must be something other than economic growth. Not all economists have been blinded to this, and those who haven’t been call for a gradual but firm transition in national policy from economic growth to a steady state economy. A steady state economy is not the end of the world. It refers simply to stabilized populations and consumption. Yes, that means zero economic growth, something Americans have not been taught to appreciate. At various times in history, neither were Americans taught to appreciate the freedom of blacks, the enfranchisement of women, or the benefits of non-smoking. Times change.

How is a steady state economy implemented? That’s the easy part, for the fiscal and monetary policy levers already exist. They just have to be pushed and pulled into the correct positions. That means tax codes, subsidies, and banking regulations must be reformed. The hard part is the acceptance of the need for a steady state economy, not the implementation.

Politicians, with campaigns invariably financed by corporations, banks, and other bastions of big money, won’t lead the American people to embrace a steady state economy as a policy goal. The movement, as with all great movements, must start with the people. In this case, starting means stopping. Stopping the buying of SUVs instead of sedans, the building of mansions when little houses are cozier, the gobbling of steaks when veggies are better for us anyway. And of course, it means that one or two children per family is a modern form of patriotism; three or more a sign of disregard for the lives of others. It’s common sense, in other words. Beyond that, it means supporting the politician bold enough to identify economic growth as a good goal gone bad.

Consider signing the position on economic growth at

The following trend data is included here to illustrate the timeliness of Brian's editorial:


Peak Oil and Gas Trends, 1930 to 2050
Source: Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO), Wikipedia, 2005.
ASPO currently estimates that oil production will peak around 2007.
For a full size image of the trends, click ASPO2004.
Note: Image copied under the terms of Wikipedia's GNU Free Documentation License.

"I want to bring motherly sensitivity and emotion to the presidency ... hope my win will raise the participation of women not just in Liberia but also in Africa." Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President, Liberia

"Never before in my political life have I been taken so seriously as woman ... and I think that a woman as chancellor can also serve as a good example." Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Germany


Luis T. Gutierrez







Copyright © 2005 by Luis T. Gutierrez

From Patriarchy to Solidarity,
Sustainability, and
Sustainable Development

United Nations
Decade of Education
for Sustainable Development

Click on the image to visit
the UNDESD website

Key Action Themes

Quality Education
Overcoming Poverty
Gender Equality
Health Promotion
Rural Development
Sustainable Consumption
Human Rights
Cultural Diversity
Indigenous knowledge
Media & ICTs
Peace & Human Security
Climate Change
Disaster Reduction
Sustainable Urbanization
Corporate Responsibility
Market Economy

Links to Archive

The following are links to previous issues of the newsletter:

V1 N1 May 2005

  • Cross-Gender Solidarity

V1 N2 June 2005

  • The Phallocentric Syndrome

V1 N3 July 2005

  • From Patriarchy to Solidarity

V1 N4 August 2005

  • Synthesis of Patriarchy and Solidarity

V1 N5 September 2005

  • From Solidarity to Sustainability

V1 N6 October 2005

  • Dimensions of Sustainability

V1 N7 November 2005

  • Analysis and Synthesis of Objective Evidence


The United Nations

The United Nations Organization has an extensive network of websites, some of them including global databases. Some of the most useful are listed below. For an index of all the UN websites, go to the UN Website Locator.

UN Main Portal
UN CyberSchoolBus
UN Development Program
UN Environmental Program
UN Millennium Goals
UN Millennium Campaign
UN Millennium Project
UN Statistical Division
UN University
UN University for Peace
UN WomenWatch
Reform the UN



African Union
Club of Amsterdam
Club of Rome
Earth Global Community
European Union
Global Community Foundation
Global Scenario Group
Global Trade Watch
Int'l Data Base
Int'l Monetary Fund
Int'l Standards Org
SE Asian Nations
Stockholm Environment Institute
Union of Int Assoc
World Bank
World Development
World Energy Council
World Environment Center
Zero Emissions Research
ZNet Communications


United States

Bureau of Economic Statistics
Census Bureau
Endowment for the Humanities
Energy Information
Environmental Health
Environmental Protection
Federal Reserve
Geological Survey
Library of Congress
National Academies
Redefining Progress
U.S. Government
Women's Bureau



Amnesty International
CSRwire Directory
Earth Light
Europe Solidarity Forum
Global Exchange
International Solidarity
Facing the Future
Gender & Development
Gender Equity Links
Gender Issues
Global Issues
Global Security
Mind & Life Institute
New Economics Foundation
Nonviolence International
Religious Freedom Center
Social Capital
South Asian Network
Trade & Gender
Women/Gender Resources



Basic Concepts
Center for Steady State Economy
Climate Change Network
Earth Policy Institute
EcoEarth Info Gateway
Ecocosm Dynamics
Ecoliteracy Center
Ecology and Society
Ecological Economics
Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems
Encyclopedia of Sust Dev
Energy Storm
Env Risk Analysis
Env Sustainability
Env Sustainability Index
Friends of the Earth
Gender & Energy
Gender & Sustainability
Global Sustainability
Intl Geosphere-Biosphere Program
Intl Inst for Sust Dev
New Energy Movement
Novartis Foundation for Sust Dev
Population Coalition
Population & Sustainability
Sustainable Measures
Sustainability e-Journal
Sustainability Institute
Sustainability Now
Sustainability Internetwork
Sustainability Web Ring
Society Human Ecology
The AtKisson Report
The Kyoto Protocol
World Bus Council for Sust Dev


Patriarchy and Gender

Domestic Violence
Eastern Orthodox
Gender & Society
Gender Resources
Lutheran Federation
Patriarchy Website
Roman Catholic
Salvation Army
The Patriarchal Family
Women & Sustainability
World Council of Churches
World Congress of Faiths
World Religious Texts


Web Research Tools

Deep Web Research
Library of Congress
Life Sciences
Online Books Directory
Physical Sciences
Population Index on the Web
Research Discovery Network
Search Engines Directory
Snips, Store & Share
Social Sciences
Social Psychology Network
Vatican Library
Wikipedia Encyclopedia
Worldwide Governments
Worldwide Religions
Worldwide Stock Markets
Worldwide Universities

Fundamental Reminders

United Nations
Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs)

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

2. Achieve universal primary education

3. Promote gender equality and empower women

4. Reduce child mortality

5. Improve maternal health

6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases

7. Ensure environmental sustainability

8. Develop a global partnership for development




Global Dialogue 2006 begins January 1st, 2006, on the Internet, and end August 31st. Roundtable Discussions begin on the Internet today, now. Participate now. No need to wait until August 2006 to dialogue. You can organize your own Discussion Roundtable.

Latest newsletter: Global Dialogue 2006: Politics and Justice without borders, Global Community Earth Government Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 8, November 2005. Theme: "Direct democracy" is a community right on the Scale of Human and Earth Rights.

For more information,
click here.

and other
Symposium on Educating Global Citizens, Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 31 March 2006. Proposals are due 18 November 2005. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by 6 January 2006. Please send proposals to: Diana Bartels,, or Kristi Siegel, For more information, visit Mount Mary's 2006 Symposium.


2006 International Symposium on Technology and Society. Theme: Disaster Preparedness and Recovery. June 8-10, 2006. Queens College, City University of New York New York City, NY. Sponsored by IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology. Abstracts are due December 1, 2005. For further information visit IEEESSIT. Point of contact: Adam Henne, University of Georgia,


The Research Committee on Society and Environment of the International Sociological Association (ISA) is organizing 15 sessions at the ISA 16th World Congress of Sociology, to be held in Durban, South Africa, July 23-29, 2006. To present a paper in one of the sessions, please submit an abstract before October 31, 2005. For more information visit the ISA World Congress.


ICOHTEC 2006. The International Committee for the History of Technology's 33rd Symposium in Leicester, U.K., 15 - 20 August 2006. Theme: Transforming Economies and Civilizations: The Role of Technology. The ICOHTEC welcomes proposals for individual papers and sessions. Deadline for proposals is 1 February 2006. Please send all proposals to James Williams, Program Committee Chair at For more details, visit the ICOHTECH.


The online journal Invisible Culture is seeking papers for an upcoming issue on the theme of The Symptom. The deadline for receipt of submissions of 2,500 to 6,000 words in length is February 1, 2006. Please email inquiries to Michael Williams, or Linda Edwards,


Subscribe to the


Enter your
email address:

Browse Archives at