Thursday, 01 November 2012 13:58
Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.
— United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
By Kristie Snyder,
One benefit of GreenStar membership is that you can see the results of supporting the Co-op right in your own community — in the flourishing of local farms, the growing network of food justice initiatives in the area, the happy employees in the stores, and myriad other ways. But what about other co-ops in other towns? Or other countries? What's the effect when you add up all of that community-building, support for sustainability and social responsibility, and cooperation?
The answer is impressive. According to the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), the US is home to approximately 30,000 co-ops, generating $500 billion in total revenue, $25 billion in wages and benefits, and nearly 1 million jobs. Then there are the less measurable effects, like member benefits such as member refunds, discounts, and dividends, and the investments that co-ops make in their local communities. Around the world, according to the International Cooperative Association, nearly one billion people are cooperative owners, and nearly 100 million are employed by co-ops. The world's largest 300 cooperatives generated revenues of $1.6 trillion in 2011 — comparable to the GDP of Spain, the world's ninth largest economy. That's a lot of economic power.
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 23:13
By Patrice Lockert Anthony
Last year I spent about four days in the hospital, unconscious in the ICU, with a tube down my throat and main lines spilling from my body. If that doesn't make a pretty picture for you, it made an even less pretty picture for me. I have a theory or two about the cause. The air pressure changed. I probably wouldn't have felt it if something hadn't already been brewing inside my lower respiratory tract. The air pressure changed, and I could quite literally feel the shift in my lungs. I felt the corresponding pressure in my lungs shift, and I knew what it meant. I began to take corrective measures ... to no avail. I called 911. Within five minutes, I was calling again, because I was fading fast (that's asthma-speak for dying). I remember being hunched over, holding on, and trying to figure out who would call my mother in California, and tell her that her youngest child had died on a city street in Ithaca. That's not high drama; it was that bad. At that moment Fire & Rescue arrived and put oxygen on me. The ambulance was right behind. By the time they got my legs on the gurney, I was unconscious. I was told later they were unable to intubate me, or start an IV. At the hospital, in the ER, it took a few more people trying before someone was finally able to get a tube down my throat. Next crisis please. My blood pressure shot up to obscenely high digits and no meds were working to lower it. According to one of my nurses, it was the considered opinion that I would stroke out if they couldn't find the right medicine. As it turns out, the right medicine was pain medication. Main arterial lines took the place of regular IV's and a few days later I woke up when someone extubated me.
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