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In Defense of Earthship Communities

for general press release: as soon as possible.

The following facts can all be substantiated:
Solar Survival Architecture, under direction of Michael Reynolds has
developed three SELF-SUSTAINING INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES over the last five
years near Taos, New Mexico.
These communities are a forum for the demonstration and evolution of the
Earthship concept which is a result of almost 30 years of research and
development and which presents serious steps toward solutions to the
These self-sustaining communities were formed with extensive legal
supervision and have been in existence for over five years. Over 50
building permits have been issued in these communities during this time by
the State of New Mexico and Taos County.
The most visible community (The Greater World Community) has become a
school and an environmental theme park of sorts as a result of world wide
interest in the many environmentally appropriate energy, water, sewage, and
building evolutions on display. This community represents the results of
almost 30 years of research by Architect Michael Reynolds and promises to
continue to provide very pragmatic methods of using natural phenomenon to
provide utilities for energy efficient housing made from problem
by-products of our society.
All research and developmental work both leading up to and during the
existence of these communities has been hand in hand with the Uniform
Building Code and the New Mexico Construction Industries Division as the
objective of this work is to provide solutions that will dovetail into
existing dogma.
Officials of the Taos County Planning department (pressured by local
conventional developers) challenged the nature of these communities in late
1993 regarding a possible violation of subdivision law. At that time an
examination of the communities was conducted by the county attorney and the
communities were given a "green light".
As a result of this "green light" by the Taos County Attorney, many
individuals became involved and much more time, energy and money was
invested to take this evolution and demonstration project to new levels
specifically at the Greater World Community.
Now in 1997, new people are in office as county attorney and county planner
and private developers have again urged a challenge on the research and
development work going on in these communities, specifically The Greater
World Community.
President Clinton has recently declared that the green house effect is now
fact not just theory. He is urging the encouragement of more environmentally
 appropriate methods of living as well as more creative methods of
encouraging citizens to use these methods.
In that the Greater World Community needs no public utilities, no
infrastructure, and is being used as a single tract of land with many
people building on it, thus eliminating expensive surveying costs; the
price for an individual to (on a membership basis) purchase the right to
build an energy efficient home here is radically less expensive than
conventional land developments. This, in turn, results in a very creative
method of encouraging people to build an energy efficient and more
environmentally appropriate home. The result is that private individuals
are actually supporting and participating in the evolution of
energy-efficient housing.
As a result of the recent challenge by current Taos County politics,
building permits have been held up at the Earthship Communities of Taos,
New Mexico and "Stop Orders" have been issued.
In view of the current condition of the planet and the resulting urgency
there of, we do not feel the actions of local authorities are appropriate.
The people of the Greater World Community who are actively participating in
the evolution, development and presentation of more appropriate and
sustainable ways to live on this planet are now being forced to defy the
local politicians and stand to suffer serious consequences for their
actions. We feel our right to survive is being threatened and we feel we
are acting in self defense.
Our solution is to declare the Greater World Community an Environmental
Research and Development Institute. People already come from all over the
world to observe and stay in Earthships and to participate in our school
which has been in existence for six years. In a State the has designated
several thousand acres for the development and testing of nuclear devices
for the destruction of humanity, it would only seem appropriate to
designate 650 acres for research and development toward the survival of

For those interested in writting a letter, we have written an endorsement
letter for you to copy, print, sign or use in any way in this matter:

To Whom it may concern:

We are aware of the work and research of Michael Reynolds in the realm of
energy efficient housing in the Taos, New Mexico area. We are aware of the
fact that this work touches upon solutions to many State, National and
Global problems. These passive solar homes, which are built from recycled
automobile tires, collect their own power and water, treat and contain
their own sewage, heat and cool themselves and produce some food. These
homes are being built in an intentional community funded by its
participants which also involves a school that has been in existence for
six years teaching the results of almost 30 years of research. Part of this
project is even reclaiming an existing gravel pit with architecture that
"greens up" around itself due to the contained sewage systems. We are aware
of the fact that Michael Reynolds has worked very closely with the New
Mexico C.I.D. regarding code compliance and specific permission to conduct
this ongoing research for almost thirty years. We understand that his
projects have received global recognition and exist in many foreign
countries such as Bolivia, Japan, Mexico , Australia, etc.

In view of the Presidents recent proclamation regarding global warming and
the resulting urgency of the environmental situation, we support and urge
action to be taken regarding Mr. Reynolds request to have his 650 acre
project site be proclaimed an Environmental Research and Development
Institute. It is our feeling that this act will pacify the local developers
and county planning officials that are harassing Mr. Reynolds with regard
to basic subdivision law (which we understand has not been legally violated
anyway). This harassment has resulted in a "stop order" on Mr. Reynolds
work. We feel that Mr. Reynolds 30 year body of work on a global level of
environmental and energy issues warrants priority over local politics. In a
State that designated several thousand acres for testing of nuclear devices
for the destruction of humanity, it only seems appropriate to designate 650
acres for research toward the survival of humanity.

Michael and Jonah Reynolds
Earthship Global Operations

Become Part of Lemuria and reclaim a
Gravel Pit !