The Human Island: Reflections

The Human Island is finally complete! And it only took me three months longer than I had hoped. This had it’s benefits though – especially in extra time to accumulate information, but more so some of the event that subjects orbited around were unexpected but when they happened, I instantly saw my angle for relevant chapter.

The Human Island stands as my introduction for Gen[A]. I don’t feel that regulating carbon emissions or setting biodiversity goals / restricting land use will help us that much from the mess we’ve made for ourselves. As I’ve found with my own son, the secret is not to come down like an ogre with tight rules and expectations, but rather by promoting positive behaviour to the contrary.

Much of the recent ‘carbon taxing’ talk here in Australia is hated by the majority and understood by far less. Some of it is certainly good – of course it will seem a burden because carbon would be gaining a more appropriate price and we will have to see it no longer as a cheap and easy fuel. Business-as-usual should be more expensive than we know it. This is required if people are to genuinely believe that change is necessary.

On the other hand (and this is what really interests me), by promoting behavioural changes, the overall effect on the community could be negligible, if not actually positive. GPD might drop by a couple percent (boohoo), but if economic models measured humanistic values, there would undoubtedly be improvements.

There is much that community level governance can achieve – this is what I hope Gen[A] can promote, with my angle (and I believe Megan also) focused on urban productivity. Political will and industry shifts will be the slowest to budge (arguably the failure at Copenhagen, the recent political shuffles – Rudd of instance – and even the “Climategate” nonsense have bought political leaders time in having to demonstrate genuine leadership). However, the community is both the voter and the “consumer” so again, I feel that the community can really make a difference and by promoting productive urban landscapes I feel we can assist behavioural changes for the better, which will lead people to expect better from their political and industrial leaders.

The .pdf version of The Human Island is now available.


2 thoughts on “The Human Island: Reflections

  1. Speaking of urban productivity, check this out.

    I haven’t checked to see which of these are still going, but it’s a great idea.

    The idea of ensuring that anyone can benefit from your excess apricots or oregano while you pick up some figs and a pumpkin is terrific. All for no cost other than running your own garden in the first place. (I also think it’s a great antidote to the obsessive self-sufficiency nuts. They can turn into nearly anti-social types when they get it wrong.)


    1. This is exactly why I believe you to be invaluable to Gen[A] – you’ve always got great perils of wisdom and excellent resources! 🙂
      I agree with you about the self-sufficiency people – it’s about rebuilding a sense of community, not self-sufficiency.
      I think I’ll contact them to see if there is any chance of synergy. My boss presented at ‘Plains to Plates’, so maybe I should also to some investigation along that front also.
      Thanks for the link!


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