“There is surely a correspondence between an exhausted culture and a populace devolved so far into mental dullness that it can’t recognize its predicament. We don’t seem to get how much the industrial production spree of the past 200 years has just plumb worn us out, not to mention the ecosystem we were designed to dwell in” writes James Howard Kunstler under the title “Modernity Bites” this November 26, 2012.
James’ thesis is that we are at the end of the industrial era and that the economic structures it has spawned are imploding around us.
What if we just accept the reality that the industrial spree was a self-limiting adventure and now we have to move on?
Posted in Wise words of others
Tagged climate, climate change, Doha, economy, energy, environment, epochal changes, james howard kunstler, renewable energy, resilience, science, sustainability, sustainability debate
Returning to business as usual as soon as possible was the mainstream mantra after September 2008; such was the shock of the collapse. A crash like that is never an easy time for considered reform and few countries had the resources to make any serious attempt in any case, so invested were we all in the good old days of cheap abundant energy and exponential growth. August 2011; here we go again?
What a delight to stumble across the website of 20’s Plenty for Us!
My hypothetical Parallel Universe turns out to be in the UK…
In March 2010 when I first wrote about an imaginary futuristic world where the maximum speed of any powered road transport device is 30-km/h within urban areas the notion seemed plausible to me, but most readers politely suggested the idea would remain a dream. It turns out that dreams can come true: The 20’s Plenty for Us movement in the UK (20 mph = 32-km/h) appears to be gaining some real traction.
Already 5m residents live in towns which are adopting or have adopted this policy. Most importantly, through democratic debate those communities have decided that “20s Plenty Where People Live”. And it is those same communities who have then changed their behaviour to drive slower in residential streets and where people walk and cycle.
via 20s Plenty for Us.
Posted in Wise words of others
Tagged community, design, eco-friendly, environment, green, innovation, peak oil, positive development, resilience, transition towns, transport, urban design
“Drew Dellinger is one of the most respected and admired performers in the field of deep ecology / awakening / planetary work.”
– Rob Hopkins, Founder of the Transition Town movement.
“Drew is the Earth’s grapevine, the transcendent delivery man, the vocable giver, the dispatcher of the unremembered, the confabulating oath keeper, the stand-in for the intimate grief that holds us in thrall. His poems are bodies of light seen by startled new eyes and long after he speaks they weave the unconscious, stitching us to our collective and uncertain future.”
– Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest and The Ecology of Commerce
See more: http://drewdellinger.org/
Hans Rosling is fast moving up my list of inspirational thinkers and influencers. Not only does he have some of the best graphical data representation to be seen, he is also a highly entertaining and very compelling speaker.
His thesis on population really opened my eyes to another perspective on that question.
This TED Talk is yet another unique perspective on some of the issues and challenges of our times:
“What was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution? Hans Rosling makes the case for the washing machine. With newly designed graphics from Gapminder, Rosling shows us the magic that pops up when economic growth and electricity turn a boring wash day into an intellectual day of reading.” Recorded at TEDWomen, December 2010, in Washington, DC.
Greg Craven, an American high school science teacher, posted a 2007 viral video (not “a virus”, rather it’s popularity spread rapidly) on YouTube: “The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See”; an appeal to act on climate change. It received over four million hits in the first six months online.
This grew into the Manpollo Project, in their words:
So what is Manpollo, anyway?
We provide a risk-management perspective to the often political debate of global warming. We aim to quantify the possible consequences of international, national, statewide, and personal action, based upon economic and climate models provided by top scientists in their respective fields.
Our goal is to get people asking the right questions about global warming. We believe that, as citizens, we should NOT be debating whether global warming exists, and we should NOT be debating whether we’re responsible for it. Instead, we should use the various opinions from credible experts in these fields to answer a much more important question: “Given the risks and uncertainties of global warming, what is the best action (or no action) to take?”
I highly recommend taking 10 minutes to view Greg’s presentation on why we don’t need to believe in global warming/climate change before deciding to take action:
The Cold Within
By John Patrick Kinney
Six men trapped by happenstance
In dark and bitter cold;
Each one possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story’s told.
Their dying fire in need of logs,
The first man held his back,
For of the faces round the fire,
He noticed one was black.
The next man looked across the way,
Saw one not of his church,
And couldn’t bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.
The third man, dressed in tattered clothes,
Then gave his coat a hitch,
Why should his log be given up
To warm the idle rich?
The rich man sat back thinking of
The wealth he had in store,
And how he to keep what he had earned
From going to the poor.
The black man’s face bespoke revenge
While fire passed from sight.
Saw only in his stick of wood,
A way to spite the white.
The last man of this forlorn group,
Did nothing but for gain.
Give only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.
The logs held firm in death-stilled hands
Was proof of human sin.
They died not from the cold without
But from the cold within.