October, 1974

Introduction to RAIN

[by Steve Johnson]

RAIN is a monthly bulletin board. As stuff comes our way by phone, mail, feet, hands and mouth we make entries, abstracts, paragraphs. We emphasize environmental/energy related and communications kinds of information; and we are interested in the evolutionary possibilities of inter-disciplinary connections.

Our geographic emphasis is the Pacific Northwest, though our prejudice will be Oregon, and more specifically Portland. You can correct our bias by your feedback, sending us information on projects, exciting books, pieces, newsletters, ideas, photos, corrections. (See also reader inquiry card).

Positions and situations (see this page) is a place for you to locate others, more or less without our editorial intervention. If you are thinking about thinking about doing something here's the place to find next steps and connections.

We have spent nearly as much time constructing our mailing list as compiling the newsletter. It is presently composed of environmental educators, people doing energy related research, other newsletters, other centers, community organizers, governmental and private environmentally related groups and industries.

If you have others persons you think should receive RAIN drop us a note.

Why you may not be entered: We don't know about you, you are lost in brown boxes and manila envelopes, or we ran out of time and space.

You will notice initials following some entries: the person submitting the entry is found in the list of contributors.

In addition to RAIN, during the year we expect to publish: 1) City Survival, a short directory (or series) to information resources in Portland, 2) A Directory of Environmental Information resources in the Pacific Northwest, 3) How To Sheets, guides to getting things done, like how to find your way through environmental bureaucracies, 4) An Access Guide, to materials at EEC/Energy Center.

Please mention RAIN when asking for information from individuals and groups; as it encourages those people to keep us posted. (S.J.)

Reader Inquiry Card

Name, address, phone, occupation:

I would like information especially in the areas of:

I would like to submit information regularly, please contact:

SPECIAL FEATURES: which of the following would you like to see done:

1) Environmental directory

2) Impact statement info

3) How to sheets

4) More events

5) Directory of directories

6) Guide to places

7) Guide to media

8) Interviews

9) Guide to newsletters

10) Guide to video resources

11) Guide to bookstores

12) Guide to N.W. fiction


RAIN Volume 1, Number 1

October, 1974

Cover photo: Helen Mapp

[It's my contention that a historic directory of activism can provide, with the help of the web, a fascinating view of activism today. Of course an old activist would say that. But I intend to prove it, by going through old issues of RAIN that I haven't look at for years.

On this page are highlights from RAIN's first issue in 1974. I've left out the addresses and phone numbers since they are universally out of date. RAIN began life as an information exchange for people working for better communities, as can be seen from these excerpts. My comments are in italics and [brackets] ].

- Greg Bryant, April 19, 2013 ]

RAIN is a publication of ECO-NET, an environmental Education network funded by the Hill Foundation and an Environmental Education Grant. The office is at Environmental Education Center. Portland State University.

Eco-Net / Energy Center / OMSI

Charles Auch

Linda Craig

Dean Ivy

Lee Johnson

Marcis Lynch

Mary Lawrence

Bob Philips

Rusty Whitney


Anita Helle

Steve Johnson (editor)

Mary Wells (layout, design)


Randi Krogstad

Don Stotler

Laura Williamson

This issue also thanks to:

Bob Benson

Jack Eyerly

Anne McLoughin

Mark Musick

Ancil Nance (darkroom)

Julie Seltz

Wes Thomas


Free! please limit entries to 40 words.

Co-op to Sell Recycled Materials. Joseph

Anyone wishing help building a methane digester, windmill, or solar heating unit for home, call Peter.

Need people doing crafts, painting, carpentry, schools, etc. to share warehouse space in Community Coffeehouse in SE Portland.

Cheap computer time available; especially interested in use by non-profit groups. Utilities not provided. For interest contact Rusty Whitney, OMSI.


Co Evolution Quarterly

Menlo Park, Ca.

From some of the people who did the Whole Earth Catalog. Emphasis more on energy, food, survival, political action. An exhaustive article on agriculture by Anne and Paul Ehrlich.

[Defunct. CoEvolution Quarterly, or CQ, later the Whole Earth Review, WER, was an excellent and eclectic magazine, avidly read by RAIN's editors -- and RAIN in turn was avidly read by the Whole Earth people. At a RAIN gathering in 1990, one former RAIN editor told me they'd always been impressed by Whole Earth's single notion: "Access to Tools". Behind Whole Earth is Stewart Brand, the writer and former Ken Kesey Merry Prankster, who is unanimously acknowledged for resonant taglines, such as his "Information wants to be free". "Whole Earth" itself came from his 60's campaign to press NASA to take a photograph of the whole earth, which inspired Earth Day and much imagery. At lunch with Brand on his Sausalito houseboat in 2000, he told me that RAIN's people had always impressed him with the real work they did in communities. Irrationally, Stewart Brand now openly supports nuclear power, the latest consequence of a soft spot he's always had for big technology, powerful multinational industries and megalithic institutions.]

Consumers Food Council

Portland OR

As well as consumer legislation they have published pamphlets on pressure cooking, soap-making ...

[Defunct. This group pushed for legislation such as labeling and unit pricing for consumers.]

Proceedings: Bioconversion Energy Research Conference

Institute for man and his environment

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Methane fermentation, solid waste recovery, anaerobic digestion, fuel gas from solid waste.

[Defunct. This Amherst Institute used to primarily publish books and papers surveying natural resources in Massachusetts.]

The 10 countries with the highest per acre yield of agricultural products are: Taiwan, U.A.R., Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, Denmark, West Germany, Republic of Korea, Ceylon, Norway.

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

The study proposed in this document will concentrate on a specific urban neighborhood -- Adams-Morgan in Washington, D.C. -- and will survey the possibilities for a neighborhood-level food system, integrating waste utilization techniques and new local energy generation. Areas of investigation will include urban gardening, hydroponics, aquaculture, biological waste conversion, and solar and wind energy.

[ The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is still going strong some 40 years later.]

The New Alchemists

They are a research and education group working with ecologically derived forms of energy, aquaculture, housing and landscapes. The "New Alchemy Journal" is a beautifully produced periodical for members reporting on current research. $25 per annum. Recent article on the use of a specially fast protein producing fish for small urban or country homesteads.

[The New Alchemy Institute inspired thousands of people and projects ... it has evolved into the Green Center.]

Apocalyption Reconstruction Company

Portland, Or.

Hank Patton, General Manager

In conjunction with Latchkey, currently teaching beekeeping, beneficial insect husbandry, weather systems, cheese and yogurt cultivation. An economy based on protein coupons.

[Hank Patton is currently CEO of Washington's World Steward learning center. Here you can hear him speak to Portland State University's Institute for Sustainable Solutions.]