With life returning to something resembling normality, I have a few drafts compiled and a few ideas stewing. My biggest problem currently is grappling with a demon on my shoulder; how do I obtain the impact in my writing that reflects the reality of the situation whilst not tending to sensational alarmism?
My favourite quote from Vaclav Smil will probably help me get over this hurdle;
“You see, we are smart, so we see these small things coming and we see the trend is going. But we are unwilling to act unless it’s a bit too late or unless it is inevitable to act, really… Not that we are bad at recognising the trends. We see them, you would have to be stupid not to see many of these trends, right? But we are unwilling to act because it’s easier not to act than to act. Because to act, it is always some sort of sacrifice. And we are not willing to take voluntary sacrifice.”
In short, it’s probably not the impact or even placing a time frame on anything (ie. 4 or more degrees C of warming by 2100 means little to the vast majority of us for instance) that will make a difference. Talking, rather than sitting silently, is probably the best tool we all share. The power of the meme.
Anyway, watch this space as I’m sure to have some new posts up in the very near future.
Until then, I attended an Ag Institute forum on Tuesday. There were many great speeches as well as discussions of the problems and potential for food production into the future. The two highlights for me were;
|Brian Keating “Food security and Australian Agriculture”Podcast (44 mins)Slides (PDF)|
|Mike Raupach “Energy-water-carbon intersection – implications for agriculture”Podcast (42 mins)Slides (PDF)|
And Wayne Meyer made a point I somewhat attempted to allude to in both Innovation is Key and The Human Island, in that the future landscape must be one that reflects something natural environmental modelling (ie. evolving ecosystems) had worked out long before mammalian species had even appeared. That is that they are mixed mosaics of functions which are all interconnected.
His example focused on mainly agriculture, but I’m certain the application should go far wider. You can’t build a car with a tool box full of identical Philips-head screwdrivers. Diversity is fundamental to services and thus production.
Anyway, more on that in the coming weeks!