Second Series – Open to Build Something Great!

Now that the Innovation series is complete and following this, I’ve covered some points regarding a couple noisy deniers, I would like to state that as far as my blog is concerned, I’ve provided enough evidence and reasoning as to why climate change is real and occurring and that there is enough evidence to suggest that it is our actions that are playing a significant role in amplifying change as well as degrading landscapes and ecosystems, which in turn is further limiting their resilience to this change. Enough said.

Dwelling on these points and repeating these facts is tedious, boring and ultimately depressing.

What I really want to do is build up from the Innovation series to talk about how all species can best adapt to this changing world – especially how our future generations are most likely to enjoy the best standards of living and ecological benefits. I want to make lemonade from these lemons. We are a clever bunch and by no means beat by the inevitable changes at hand.

At first, I figured I would make random posts, using the Innovation series as the foundation. The farming post a few days ago was the first of this. However, I grew bored quickly in the lack of direction. Even when limiting myself, I was able to put around 20,000 words together for the Innovation series and have had quite a lot of positive feedback. I’m most productive in this format, with direction.

The idea for the next series came to me as I drifted off to sleep last night and has sat in me until just now. A number of the bloggers I have on my reader as well as the feedback I get on my own has painted a clear image of  frustration (largely at the lack of political will) and disbelief (largely at the lack of concern expressed by what appears to be a large group of our species). We could continue to post all the evidence we have in nice little blogs until the sea water inundates our computers, or we can take climate change as a given, ignore the deniers and start talking loudly of how we can effectively address the future.

To do this, I put forth the idea for my next series; which I am calling out for assistance. I know that I have a number of very intelligent people looking over my work here – a number of which who also have a strong readership on their blogs, with even more people reading them. We are not short of grey-matter and expertise, only focus.

In this series, I would like to put forth chapters that look at one area of human activity that emits greenhouse gases and ask how practices can be changed to start to make a difference. It will be decades before fossil fuelled power stations will be decommissioned, it will be much sooner that internal combustion engine vehicles will become too expensive for most people to run and it is already hitting the prices of food. We can, however, begin to make a difference and certainly can start that change in practices – not with new technology, but simply through doing things differently. If we can demonstrate how it can be done, and make enough noise about this, it will encourage the majority (who are generally hearing nothing but doom and gloom) that there are practical options.

Maybe once a week (let’s say a Monday), I’ll post my introduction out for each chapter and everyone who is interested, or knows of others who might have some ideas, can add to the discussions and over the following weekend we can put the final chapter piece out on a new rolling page. Following this, we can stylise it up a bit and provide the complete work (with all the contributors and references included) as a complete .pdf E-book which can be downloaded, shared and also used as a basis for further discussion. Between all of us, we have a fair weight of literature and ideas. I certainly feel that this could be a beneficial piece that can demonstrate a positive spin on the way forward.

My first run through for chapter ideas is:

  1. Transport
  2. Personal housing
  3. Agriculture – food
  4. Agriculture – non-food
  5. Aquaculture
  6. Water Security
  7. Services (location and type)
  8. Entertainment
  9. Waste and recycling (non-water)
  10. Landscape use and modification (including carbon sequestering and sustainable harvest)

Of course, this list is open to discussion and modifiable.

What does everyone think? If it’s plan, I’ll start the first chapter and post it on this coming Monday.

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16 thoughts on “Second Series – Open to Build Something Great!

  1. Good plan.

    It occurred to me after reading this yesterday that Hugh Stretton’s book might be relevant to the personal housing and agriculture-food categories. I read it when it first came out in 1976 (and I can’t see my own copy just now) and he gives an interesting view on the interactions of housing and economics (and home-grown food).

    Capitalism, Socialism and the Environment. Any good reference library would have it in town planning, economics or half a dozen other categories.

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    1. Opportunities beyond carbon. Ed. O’Brien got me really interested in this field of thinking. I’m nowhere near an expert however, but like yourself, I’ve witnessed the sprawl of Adelaide and can’t help but think that we’ve got it wrong in out desire for open space.
      Cheers for the heads up – I might have a look in my local library.
      I’m really hoping I get others adding bits to this series; there is a lot of frustration out there which I feel could be fuel to produce something worthwhile.
      We must watch out for anything with the “S” word in it though – apparently people that think as we do are part of some insane global government plot. 😉

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  2. I think it’s an excellent idea. I’m wondering if your topics might be a bit general – a topic like ‘personal housing’ could spawn a huge amount of useful material. I guess you’d need to be careful – will you try to compile all ideas, or pick specific actions which have high impact/low effort from the suggestions you create/receive?

    I suppose it’s not a hard and fast framework you’ve made yet – get it going, and see how it shapes up!

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    1. We’ll see how much interest I get from this (I’m really hoping to get a wide range of ideas and background and spend the week nutting out different ideas that we can compile into something meaningful). I certainly hope to extend on the basic ideas and would love to focus on other aspects as well. I think I’ll be structuring my initial posts for each chapter as an intro and see what feedback I get. Unlike the Innovation series, I don’t want this to be my work, but something that is the result of a lot of frustrated, intelligent people who wanted to put together a piece to illustrate practical methods that we can employ to lower carbon emissions while maintaining (if not improving) standards of living. 🙂
      Could be fun!

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  3. Oh, and (sorry for the double post) I just finished reading “Don’t Be Such A Scientist” by Randy Olson, which is a science communication primer. It’s got some really interesting points (I will be reviewing it fully when I digest it…) but one is the importance of getting away from the negative culture of science (rejection, criticism etc) and being positive and proactive to reach a wider audience – he used the example of Oprah, whose show is all fluff stories about reaching dreams and stuff.

    Working substance (science/progressive ideas) into a positive story is a great place to take your blog, I think! Especially now you’ve done your Innovation thesis!

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  4. Waddya mean insane global government plot?

    I’ve already got my CV ready for any number of commissar job opportunities. Currently I fancy myself for Commissar Controlling ……… anything that comes to mind.

    Of course, being a global government lackey I’d obviously be a totally idle, ineffective, foolish slacker – so why would anyone be worried?

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  5. I don’t want to be too alarming, but this website about the Gulf Oil Spill does sound a bit worrysome.

    “How BP Gulf disaster may have triggered a ‘world-killing’ event ”

    Ominous reports are leaking past the BP Gulf salvage operation news blackout that the disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico may be about to reach biblical proportions.

    http://www.helium.com/items/1882339-doomsday-how-bp-gulf-disaster-may-have-triggered-a-world-killing-event

    This is pretty frightening stuff

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    1. I don’t think such a thing will occur. The problem is certainly horrible and will spread – the gulf will not be the same for a very very long time. However, I doubt the effects will be so outreaching.

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      1. That is not what I am hearing. 2 million barrels a day are pouring from the well.
        The real danger is the methane.

        There are several reports of possible tsunamis and hurricanes as a result of this. The media is in almost total blackout.

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      2. There is no doubt that there is a disgusting amount of chemicals spewing out. I was unaware that there was a media lock-down. The problem with that is that there will no doubt be a lot of speculation and conspiracy theories. For that reason, I’m reluctant to make a great deal of that article. I’ve working in air quality monitoring and has seen enough to completely agree about the threat the air quality of the region will have on all species around there.
        If the article is right, there is really nothing we can do and will know the result in a very short time. I suspect it’s a lot worse than is generally covered, but I feel that a mass extinction event would be the very upper limit. I feel this event will be a very dark mark on human history, but I’m sceptical about it being “doomsday”.

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  6. Agreed that there are a lot of conspiracy theories. Also, I heard one authoritative source discussing this as abiotic oil, which I don’t think there has been any evidence of existing, so that made me very suspicious.

    However, the media blackout stuff worries me.
    Like you say, there is very little we can do except wait and hope.

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    1. Indeed… We’ll have to take speculation with a grain of salt.
      Media blackout seems to me to be unethical. Especially when hydrocarbons and other chemicals are no doubt poisoning people.
      Obviously I hope that we solve this problem as best we can, but I also hope that this lesson serves to teach us how unhealthy our addiction to fossil fuels is and question the lengths we go to, to be able to use it.

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  7. Found an article in the ABCs Organic Gardening magazine (had a quick look at their website but couldn’t spot it there). We’ve all heard of Slow Food, what about Slow Money? Basically it’s about finding ways to get people to align their personal ethical beliefs with their investment behaviour – like investing in enterprises within a 50 mile radius of your home, for example. Thought it might link to a couple of your proposed items.

    An author named Woody Tasch has written “Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered”. I’ll check if our local library has it (I expect it will have to be ordered in, as usual for anything that interests us).

    Just noticed a link at the bottom of the page. http://www.slowmoneyalliance.org I’ll have a quick gander at that in a minute.

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  8. It’s an interesting idea. I think a chapter a week might be a bit ambitious, though, especially for a collaborative effort.

    You’re right to think that there has to be a way forward from circular arguments – but at the same time I don’t think we can give up (or at least we can’t all give up).

    I don’t know if I can be any help or not, but I’ll certainly be interested to see how the concept develops.

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    1. It probably is ambitious.. What I mean more so is that I’ll provide an intro each Monday and people can add to it. I’ll then over the following weekend try to provide a cleaned up version on another page (with both the original post still live and the new page workable).
      I certainly don’t plan to give up myself – the Innovation series came about because I got tired of repeating myself. I’ve since gone further with my look into both the skeptical handbook and Scientific guide to the skeptical handbook. In that way, I’ll refer others to read that stuff rather than repeat myself and can instead work on forward ideas.
      I’m not sure I’m much help either! lol.. My background is ecology and environmental monitoring so I might be somewhat naive on planning etc… But I guess what I hope for is to get a look of clever people together to provide hope and direction – start to make a point about this lack of political will to develop and adapt.
      BTW, I really enjoy the work on your blog! 🙂

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