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In transition . . .

Many personal and professional obligations have distracted me from updating this site. I have devoted time to harvesting the different eras and sectors of my life, beginning with my radio and photo journalism in the 60s  You can see the first baskets of this harvest at

Renewing this Indigo Development site is a central but postponed task in my harvest. However, even without updating, the site's value continues:
  • The global movement to create eco-industrial parks is continuing, often supported by the EIP Handbook and papers on this site. Eco-Industrial Parks
  • Most of the basic introduction to industrial ecology I've provided here remains a useful overview, along with the sustainable economic development, sustainable agriculture, and regional planning pages. I plan to better reflect the current state of the discipline and what I've learned by practicing it. Industrial Ecology
  • Other themes have continuing significance, even before the updating I will do. These include adaptation to the impacts of climate change Climate Adaptation, Integrative Regional Action Planning, and recovery from the recession that we still suffer Recovery.
More than anything, I see my harvesting is a way to learn from the failures along the way, as well as the occasional successes. Why were so many of the projects Indigo worked on stillborn? Were the guiding concepts weak, or was the time simply not ready for them?
For instance, in 2008 Ivan Weber, Al Victors, and I consulted on a Sustainable Business Park in Northern Wisconsin. Our report,  Sustainable Community Business Park, recommended recovery of degraded natural resources as the foundation for development of the property at Rhinelander. Before the report could be released the Great Recession began and the key local leader had retired. The time definitely was not right!
Can we respond . . . ?

In the meantime, I fear that nearly all global problems I follow have only gotten worse. In 2010 I posed the "simple" question, Can we respond at the level of the crisis?

Three years later I see few signs that we are responding at the level required, even as the crisis grows deeper. We are likely nearing critical tipping points, the period when systems change to a new state beyond possible recovery. For instance, extreme weather and super-fires are tipping some major forests in North America to a point where they cannot regrow after massive fires.

I avoid despair through these practices:
  • I remember the millions of innovators around the planet who are doing their best to create new solutions and to apply the ones already available.
  • I use the Internet to see the world through diverse lenses, not depending only on US or European media.
  • I spend time every day tending my garden of California native plants and heirloom vegetables and fruit.
  • I remain open to being magnificently surprised by the genius of our species--the deeper human nature we share.
I believe that we already have most of the solutions to support a sustainable response, from local to global levels. We can, most likely, manage the often overwhelming system of crises,
provided that we learn to leap beyond present dysfunctional modes of governance in both private and public sectors. 

Ernest Lowe

"Yes it is impossible,
therefore it will take a little longer."

                          Paolo Lugari

Contact Us | Copyright 2013 Indigo Development | Last Updated: September, 2013