'Immense Possibilities'

Using new technologies such as Skype and streaming video, community activist Jeff Golden on Tuesday launched "Immense Possibilities," a new public television show that explores sustainability, food and energy issues, showcasing local, national and world experts along with call-in viewers.

The show premiered with Golden, a former Jackson County commissioner and broadcast talk show host, interviewing noted author and environmentalist Frances Moore Lappe via Skype, the free Internet video phone service.

The interview, focusing on food, hope and "engaged democracy," said Lappe, can be viewed at www.immensepossibilities.com — or it can be streamed live or at any time from that website to computers or smartphones. The show airs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays on Southern Oregon Public Television Channel 8.

"People want to get active and bring communities together and bring the most inspiring people together," Golden said. "Effective activism is not about pulling people to your opinion, but in making a difference in a big way so their lives are better for it."

Golden says the show aims to tap on-screen the wisdom of noted experts anywhere in the world, and connecting them with local people working on the same issues, technologies and solutions.

"It's a really good local effort, testing the concept of streaming on the Internet and blending national content to make local points," said Brad Fay, SOPTV director of content and services. "It's an immediate blend of national and local, with the intent of reaching a growing niche of people interested in new solutions to old problems."

The show will include videos supplied by presenters and may have secondary interviews, such as the one Tuesday with Kellie Holloway, an organizer of Camp Odyssey in Oregon, which explores biases and fosters tolerance and respect for differences among people.

Future shows, Golden says, will have interviews with Matthew Domingo of Rogue Valley Farm to School and editor Sarah van Gelder of "Yes!" Magazine, an advertisement-free, print and online magazine dedicated to publishing solutions for improving communities and the planet.

For the "Immense Possibilities" show and website, Golden is raising funds and receiving in-kind contributions from SOPTV, he says. The show is not part of Golden's Project Rogue Valley, which he started with resources from his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for county commissioner, but serves similar values of investment in an environmentally sound and sustainable economy, with locally owned businesses and small farms.

Lappe, author of "Diet for a Small Planet" and a friend of Golden's, said she's excited about the show's potential, as it moves beyond the violent fare of much TV and helps people have "eyes-wide-open hope that we all need to stay alive."

Author of 18 books, Lappe said her life has been about "telling stories of possibility, with the focus on food choices."

"What we put in our minds and hearts is of maximum importance," she said in an interview from her home in Cambridge, Mass. "Hope is work. We've got to make an effort to find out what is possible in a living democracy and avoid the sense of despair that comes from not engaging. Hope is not for wimps. That's the core of my message. We have to engage in stories of possibility because we're not finding them in the media."

Promoting her new book, "EcoMind," Lappe said much of humanity's woes are rooted in a false premise of "scarcity of both goods and goodness ... which puts us in fear and struggle mode. It's a pretty common environmental message, with the 'finite Earth' having the premise of lack.

"These ideas are killing us," she said. "In an aligned Earth, there is no lack and there's plenty of food."

John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.

Share This Story