Tag Archives: environment

Doha Dreaming

Doha Dreaming

“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?

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Community Based Renewable Energy Programs

City of Victor Harbor

Victor Harbor South Australia

I’ve been inspired recently by genuine grass-roots community initiatives to regain control of their energy security as a buffer against increasing costs and supply disruptions through investment in cooperative style renewable energy.  The City of Victor Harbor in South Australia in particular has made an impressive start – more below, but first some background.

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Doing the dishes?

The Question: (from Europe)

Within a business / home environment what should be considered to be the least environmental pressing way of doing the dishes:

  • washing dishes by hand?

  • automated cleaning of dishes?
  •  buying disposable tableware, plates and cups?

My Answer:

There are so many variables here that no single answer will be the best choice. The impacts of each option above could be large or small depending upon context.

We need to dig a little deeper to find the best approach

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Out of the Blue – a new model for a resilient economy:

10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs 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?

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20s Plenty for Us

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.

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Carbon offset credits?

The Question (from Florida): Are purchasing carbon offset credits really helpful to the environment? Where are the statistics these are actually a positive endeavour?

My Answer:

Lies, damned lies and statistics, to borrow from Mark Twain, seldom convince anyone who doesn’t agree with them in the first place. Proof positive of an environmental benefit is a long time coming in most cases. Unfortunately if we just ‘wait and see’ then it will definitely be too late to avoid harm.

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Interviewed by Willi Paul @ PlanetShifter.com

In the short time I’ve been participating in the Linked In networking forum I’ve connected with some diverse and amazing people from all over the world.  These people have self-identified with certain interests in sustainability and ways toward a more positive resilient future.

A stand out contact is Mr Willi Paul from Northern California who launched his Planet Shifter initiative on Earth Day 2009.  Willi is proof positive that there are people out there doing marvellous things to help make our future look more optimistic.  I was honoured and delighted when he asked me to be interviewed and thereby join the extensive ranks of folks on similar journeys.

You can view the interview at:

The PlanetShifter.com Magazine & Networks Interview with John Cameron:

Consider this: ‘Is it wrong to assume that a huge step to finding solutions to global problems, and averting future crises, will be taken if we can think in the spirit of community and fraternity, not as individual entities? When we accept that this is a world of people all alike, of families all alike, of communities all alike – of countries facing the same challenges – of human beings ultimately seeking the same thing – then we will truly be in a position to foster well being, security and happiness’ The King of Bhutan (2008). The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is the home of the Gross National Happiness index.

The Manpollo Project: How it all ends

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:

Making Green Decisions?

The Question:

Making green decisions: Do it for the environment or for the business?

My Answer: Continue reading

Sick and tired of “green”?

The Question:  (from the USA)

Are you sick and tired of “green.”?

Pretty much none of us want to intentionally waste or harm the environment, but are you sick and tired of “green” everything? The NFL having people use stationary bikes to reduce a so-called “carbon footprint” at a Superbowl; “global warming” commercials showing people in a hurricane implying the world will sink into the sea; and any number of crazy ideas just to say “green.” At what point does this all look like a shakedown instead of smart practices?

My Answer: Continue reading