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Stephen Hren
Stephen Hren takes a holistic view towards how our lives need to be rearranged to create a sustainable and empowering existence. He has rehabbed homes to wean them from fossil fuels, built an off-grid house out of cob, installed solar air heating equipment, worked to establish a worker -- and community-owned cooperative grocery, been a member of an edible landscaping collective, coauthored two books on renewable energy and written articles for Homepower and Backwoods magazines, and is currently employed at a restaurant in downtown Durham focusing on local foods. Visit his Website to see more and read more, including more photos and video of folks profiled in this book. Or send him an email and tell him your crazy sustainable adventure at

Entries by Stephen Hren

Why I'm Breaking up With Google

(11) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 1:51 PM

Google has broken my heart and left me for another. It's a group actually, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and it can't have both of us at the same time. That's because ALEC, the love child of the Koch brothers, is the enemy of all that...

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The Reward for Being Right About Peak Oil: Scorn Heaped With Derision

(18) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 11:01 PM

Right before the end of the millennium, the clues started piling up. The world had been scoured many times over in the quest for the ultimate bounty, gushers of light sweet crude. Discoveries of new oil had peaked in the decade of the 1960s and had been falling ever since....

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Hurricanes, Assault Rifles, and Women's Breasts -- Which Is the Most Dangerous? Fortunately Our Legislators Know!

(2) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 8:48 PM

I just want to take a moment to thank the fine hard-working and morally upstanding legislators down in Raleigh for protecting me and my family against the gravest threat that is facing my beautiful state of North Carolina. You might think we have to worry about some serious...

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Imagining the World of Tomorrow With Bua and Goldfarb's Architectural Inventions

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2013 | 6:30 PM

How we interact with our world is determined by the space that we inhabit. The space we inhabit in the future is determined by what we build today. Our current interactions with nature -- both living and mineral -- are defined by what people built in the past. Since this...

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The 2nd Amendment Is a Fatal Flaw in Our Constitution

(56) Comments | Posted December 26, 2012 | 2:00 PM

Watching the movie Lincoln yesterday with my family, it occurred to me that the Second Amendment is potentially the second fatal flaw in our nation's Constitution, the first being, of course, slavery. That our Founding Fathers were brilliant men, worthy of adulation for their accomplishments in forming the first truly...

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Maya to Us: 'Grow Up!'

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 2:59 PM

We are well-advised to heed warnings of collapse from a civilization that didn't even make it to its own supposed apocalypse! In these days of climate disruption, economic mutation, and ceaseless technological and political change, how can we not be on the cusp of something unimaginably colossal -- a global...

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My Year as a Killatarian

(10) Comments | Posted March 16, 2012 | 4:14 PM

Have you ever killed your dinner? I did a few times in the last year, but I don't think I'm going to bother anymore. Last March I started dating a vegan. Not the in-your-face PETA variety, more the kind with the quiet integrity, who tries not to be a bother...

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My Decade of Being "Peak Oil Aware"

(28) Comments | Posted February 10, 2012 | 2:19 PM

Science Magazine just published a great article about peak oil, and I realized it's been exactly a decade since I became "peak oil aware." 9/11 had just happened, and to try and understand the world I did something I wasn't, as an American, supposed to do -- I...

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Our Drug War Is the Virus Spreading Our Violent Economy to Mexico

(7) Comments | Posted January 23, 2012 | 1:48 AM

It seems our brother nation to the south has caught our disease. Mexico is in the grips of a civil war, fought with our guns to provide us with illegal drugs. Gangs fight each other, the police fight the army, and the feds kidnap citizens and torture them...

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Lesson From Iraq: Bring Back the Draft!

(68) Comments | Posted December 28, 2011 | 4:07 PM

If the Tea Party actually gave a damn about what the Founding Fathers said, they'd be screaming at the top of their lungs about getting rid of the most pernicious threat to our liberty and solvency that ever existed: our military. Forget about the two to six trillion dollar cost...

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Occupy Bankruptcy!

(61) Comments | Posted November 12, 2011 | 6:39 PM

Things fail. Businesses, relationships, cars, you name it. Everyone knows this, and as humans we are an adaptable species capable of learning from our failures, processing the lessons learned, and building a better system the next time around. It's only when we become ossified and refuse to accept the risk...

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Conceding to Consensus with Occupy Durham

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2011 | 7:38 PM

I've felt a little like a grizzled old veteran amongst the jejune activists at the Occupy Durham general assemblies -- thrilled to see the sudden burst of enthusiasm, terrified lest most of it perish like the radish seedlings that I just thinned in the fall salad garden, perishing in the...

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