by Kurt Cobb, originally published by Resource Insights
Mark Twain once said, "It ain't what you don't know that gets
you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." And,
there are many, many things that the public and policymakers know for
sure about energy that just ain't so.
That list is very long indeed and getting longer as the fossil fuel
industry (which has little interest in intellectual honesty) continues
its skillful manipulation of a gullible and sometimes careless media.
Below I've listed seven whoppers that it would be charitable to call
misleading. Longtime readers will recognize that I've addressed them
before in various pieces. But I thought that it would be useful to
review the worst of the worst of 2013 as the year ends.
Here are seven things everyone knows about energy that just ain't so:
The Chinese firm Huajian, which makes shoes for Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Naturalizer, Clarkes and other western brands, is building a ‘shoe city’ in Ethiopia.
This global hub for the shoe and accessory industry – ‘a one-stop shop for manufacturers similar to us’ – will house up to 200,000 guest workers on wages that, at US$35 a month, are ten times lower than those in China. Seven-year tax breaks, regulatory exemptions, cheap land, and ‘cost-sharing schemes for foreign experts’ are among additional attractions to global firms. Continue reading...
The natural world is staggeringly complex, and yet amazingly elegant in how it manages the multitude of interconnected parts into organized, unified wholes that thrive. What is the secret for harnessing this elegance for use in human systems? Tim Winton found that observation of the most common patterns found in the natural world led to the development of high level principles which can then be used to address the most complex challenges that human systems face.
After learning some of the common patterns found in all natural systems, we can then begin to recognize these patterns in human systems, and learn how to balance the ones that are skewed, and to integrate in the ones might add a greater level of enduring health. We can “make a deeper difference by changing the system!”
PatternDynamics is a systems thinking tool for creating systems level change that Winton has been developing over 20 years as he’s worked in divers…
In Norway we have the largest immigration numbers of Europe, so industry and the state tell we need to build thousands of new dwellings. At the same time we have the largest per person square metres of dwelling space in the world. The answer is therefore not more houses, but co-housing.
“Developing a process for creating intentional community, whether from no pre-existing organization or by transforming an existing religious or any social organization, is the process called in this writing, “intentioneering.” People simply come up with ideas on how they would like to live, often based upon existing successful communitarian movements, then make agreements on processes that support and perpetuate their desired lifestyle.
With as much attention as the environment has been getting lately, you’d think that we’d be further along in our fight to preserve the world’s species, resources and the beautiful diversity of nature. Unfortunately, things aren’t nearly that rosy. In fact, many of the environmental problems that have received the most public attention are even worse than we thought – from destruction in the rain forest to melting glaciers in the Arctic. We’ve got a lot of work to do.- 7 Environmental Problems That Are Worse Than We Thought – The Environmental eZine
In principle, it is best to make the rules before taking the field, before startingthe meeting. When we decide how we are going to make decisions before we find ourselvesin the tension of making them, it lowers our chances of conflict. It is much easierto establish proposal-development steps and decision criteria in the hypotheticalrather then when actually confronted with a real proposal and with real personalities.
"We'll figure out the rules as we go," rarely turns out fair and often leads to conflict and resentment.
Establishing rules of engagement beforehand lets everyone know what to expect, giveseveryone equal opportunity to participate, and increases chances of creative, peacefuldecisions.
Practical Tip: Before you get to the hard decisions, first establish who gets tovote and who does not, how proposals get developed and discussed, and norms of behavior for meetings. For many groups, such rules are embodied in bylaws and meetingground rules. Imagine the tough situa…
Mate choice and sexual selection is the ultimate evolutionary force that has shaped the human mind. Cognitive mechanisms like consciousness, language ability and emotions are ultimate evolved strategies in the battle over mates. Status, showing off, beauty and the quest for value symbols are universal mate preferences. They are expressed in some form or another in all cultures, through all times.
Fortunately, attractive mate strategies also include the urge to display generosity and cooperation. Game theory reveals these human universals, and under which circumstances they appear and thrive. Human evolutionary past consisted of 'ingroups' in which all members knew each other. These ingroups favoured sexual selection through a well-known …
“COMING HOME: E.F. Schumacher and the Reinvention of the Local Economy, is a new 37 minute film that tells the story of a series of revolutionary innovations by the community of Great Barrington, MA to address, at the local level, some of the economic challenges of our nation’s current hard times.
In 1973, British economist E.F. Schumacher wrote “Small is Beautiful – Economics as if People Mattered”, – a book that offered a vision of an economy driven by a desire for harmony, not greed; a local economy based on community and ecological values, not global financial derivatives. In the 1970s, “Small is Beautiful” helped launch a back-to-the-land movement that is the ancestor to the Local Food Revolution of today.
First let me thank the organisers of this conference for challenging us to prepare an intervention. My circle of friends in Bremen owe it to your programme that we have examined a neglected subject, the historicity of speed. Let me take you right to the core of the issue by expressing my thanks in old-fashioned English: Michiel, ‘God speed thee and thy close!’ Milton’s words would fit the occasion well. ‘To speed’ then meant ‘to prosper’ and not ‘to go fast’.
We come here as a trio to give you a sense of the conversation you have provoked among us. Like myself, Matthias Rieger the musicologist, and Sebastian Trapp the limnologist, owe you a debt. We began to focus — each in his domain — on speed as an age-specific phenomenon. The three of us, a historian, a musicologist and a biologist, are by no means alone. Just as speed played no role in the performance of music, falconry and fishery, so commerce, medicine, and architecture, until the seventeenth century, thrived without reference…
by Kris De Decker, originally published by Low-tech Magazine
High speed rail is marketed as a sustainable alternative to air traffic. According to the International Union of Railways, the high speed train "plays a key role in a stage of sustainable development and combating climate change". As a regular long-distance train traveler in Europe, I have to say that the opposite is true. High speed rail is destroying the most valuable alternative to the airplane; the "low speed" rail network that has been in service for decades.
The introduction of a high speed train connection invariably accompanies the elimination of a slightly slower, but much more affordable, alternative route, forcing passengers to use the new and more expensive product, or abandon the train altogether. As a result, business people switch from full-service planes to high speed trains, while the majority of Europeans are pushed into cars, coaches and low-cost airplanes. Continue reading...
Min bror har alltid hevdet at for å være miljøbevisst må man kjøpe det dyreste og beste, da dette gir varige produkter slik at man skåner miljøet. Mitt Husqvarna kjøleskap var et såkalt dyrt skap med helautomatisk avising og det hele. I dag forstår jeg at avisingssystemet aldri har fungert, det er derfor det har duret og gått uavbrutt dag og natt siden det var nytt. Der vi bodde før var ikke dette noe problem, da kjøkkenet var for seg selv. I dag har vi en såkalt åpen kjøkkenløsning, en uting, noe jeg vil komme tilbake til i en seinere post.
Det siste året har jeg virkelig fått merke denne duringen, da jeg har sovet på rommet under kjøleskapet, noe som nærmest kan sammenlignes med å ha et pressluftsbor i hodet. Naturligvis, i profittens navn har Block Watne droppet å legge inn lydabsorbenter i etasjeskillene, slik at vibreringen fra kjøleskapet har avstedkommet adskillig verre støynivå i underetasjen enn i rommet der det er plassert.
Block Watne har heller ikke avsatt tilstrekkelig p…
- INTELLIGENCE-BASED DESIGN: A SUSTAINABLE FOUNDATION FOR WORLDWIDE ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION Download pdf directly here Description:
Architectural theory as currently taught in modern universities throughout the world no longer provides a plausible basis for the discipline and practice of architecture. Students studying within this model are left to their own inventions if they hope to gain an architectural degree. Forced to formulate a body of work constrained by the paradigm of contemporary design, students learn to copy fashionable images without understanding their geometry; or simply invent forms that look as if they possess a contemporary sense of architecture. By their very nature, such forms are irrelevant to human needs and sensibilities. Contrary to what students are led to believe, this practice does not provide a broader base for creativity, but instead effectively restricts choices to a very narrow design vocabulary. Most arc…
After a lecture of mine, I once heard an architecture student say, "I still don't see why all this has been discussed. Isn't it enough to understand the nature of living structure thoroughly, and try and make life in our buildings? Why do you insist so strongly on the fact that we also need to change our picture of the universe? I have a picture of the universe which is quite flexible enough to contain the idea of living structure".
I did not find myself in agreement with this comment. In my mind, what is most important about the picture painted in these four books is that indeed, our present picture of the universe can not contain the idea of living structure, because it contains no natural way of including the idea of value in the idea of space. What I have constructed, on the other hand, has the idea of value in an a natural way – first in the relevant intensity of different elementary centers as part of the definition of wholeness, and then with more and more de…
I et samfunn der det er religionen som bestemmer alt, blir åndslivet kneblet, og det økonomiske livet blir strengt underlagt statlige reguleringsmekanismer. I et samfunn hvor rettslivet bestemmer alt, utvikles stater som det sovjetkommunistiske, hvor staten får all makt, og det enkelte mennesket ikke har noen personlige rettigheter. I slike stater blir tenkningen også svært ensrettet, ikke bare det økonomiske livet. I samfunn der næringslivet bestemmer alt, bestemmer næringslivet også over åndslivet og samfunnets rettslige prinsipper. - Henning Næss
Trehuslandet Norge har lenge vært en parodi, med kun en tynn garnitur av tre utenpå plast og andre syntetiske materialer. Trepanelet er gjerne også overmalt med plastmaling, dvs. akrylmaling. Alt dette byr en ekte bygningsbiolog i mot.
Hunton Fiber har lenge importert trefiberisolasjon fra Steico sine produksjonslokaler i Polen, men tar nå skrittet og etablerer egen fabrikk i Norge, både for matter og løsfyllsisolasjon.
Lokaler er aktuelt ved RingAlm Tre i Næroset ved Moelv, Gausdal Bruvoll, ved Follum i Hønefoss eller på egen Hunton-tomt i Gjøvik sentrum.
Bygges alt under ett er anslaget på investeringen fra 80-100 millioner kroner. Etter en byggetid på opptil to år er det klart for blåseisolasjon og isolasjonsmatter.
Skal me bry oss om gårsdagens klimarapport må me først kvele vår indre Fred Flintstone, skriver Agnes Ravatn.
Publisert den 27. sep 2013, kl. 22:21 av Agnes Ravatn. Les den originale artikkelen i Dagbladet her.
Gåte: kva er det som er stort og trugande, ikkje har påført oss synleg liding enno, skrir så langsamt fram at ingen legg merke til henne, rammar andre folk enn oss først, og ligg så langt inn i framtida at me har slutta å bry oss?
Denne fotodokumentaren av ødeleggelsene på østsida av Mjøsa ved utbyggingen av ny E6 Kolomoen-Minnesund ble foretatt mandag 9. desember. Alle bildene ble tatt i fart mens jeg kjørte, utsnittene er derfor tilfeldige. Dette gir både uskarpe bilder og underlige motiv, men samtidig synes jeg det gir en ekstra realistisk dimensjon over dokumentasjonen av denne pågående dystopien.
I en kommentar nylig hos Pål Steigan skrev jeg følgende:
I disse dager skjer det også en nådeløs skjending av innlandets dronning, med utbyggingen av nye E6 nede i mjøsstranda, jernbanen legges delvis på fyllinger ute i Mjøsa: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vegarbeider_p%C3%A5_ny_E6_mellom_Kolomoen_og_Minnesund_ved_Mj%C3%B8sa-5.JPG
Selv gleder jeg meg til dette landskapet en dag igjen vil bli oppfylt av beitedyr, men sårene trengs det en ny istid for å utbedre. Frykter også for all isolasjonen som benyttes her til lands, vil anta de fremdeles benytter polystyren.
Mattilsynet følger nå opp regelverket fra EU og anbefaler folk å begrense inntaket av kanel.
EU har fastsatt en grenseverdi på 15 milligram kumarin per kilo bakst. Kumarin er et stoff som finnes i kanel og som kan påføre skader på leveren ved høyt inntak.
Det er anslått at kroppen kan takle et daglig inntak av kanel på 1,4 gram, noe som tilsvarer en halv teskje, ifølge Mattilsynet.
- Det er ingen grunn til bekymring for folk med et variert kosthold. Det er i første rekke bakerne som må tenke litt ekstra på hvor mye kanel de strør på baksten, sier seksjonssjef Atle Wold i Mattilsynet.
Det er bakeren som i utgangspunktet må vurdere kanelinnholdet.
Her i landet brukes kanel blant annet i de bergenske skillingsbollene, og den norske risgrøten er fast innslag på mange familiers bord. Mattilsynet ber foreldre passe på kanelinntaket hos små barn.
- De spiser gjerne mer grøt enn andre, og siden kroppen er liten, tåler de også mindre enn voksne, sier Wold.
Vi husker vel alle "Silent Spring" av Rachel Carson? Dessverre er hennes profeti i ferd med å gå i oppfyllelse. Snart er vi bare en flokk skrålende mennesker tilbake her på vår klode.
Alle fugler få de er
Ni av 14 fuglearter har gått betydelig tilbake i de skandinaviske fjellområdene i løpet av 2000-tallet. Det viser omfattende overvåking av fugl som hekker i fjellområder i Norge, Sverige og Finland, melder Miljødirektoratet.
Klimaendringer kan være årsaken.
Standfugler og arter som overvintrer i nærområdene våre har større tilbakegang enn trekkfugler som overvinter lenger sør.
Det har for eksempel blitt mindre gråsisik. Om det har blitt mer gjøk, er ikke opplyst. (forskning.no/ar)
This sounds like the kind of book I would have loved to have written if I had skills.: "The Diary of Amy, the 14-Year-Old Girl Who Saved the Earth" by Scott Erickson..."A home in Harmony With Nature? What, that's illegal!" Continue reading...
The practical result of government promotion of monoculture development is that for most of us there are two communities: a community in which we work and shop, and a bedroom community in which we are stored. – Kevin Carson
Here we can see the radical nature of Berry’s vision. Our entire economy, our very culture of work, leisure, and home is constructed around the idea of easy mobility and the disintegration of various aspects of our lives. We live in one place, work in another, shop in another, worship in another, and take our leisure somewhere else. According to Berry, an integrated life, a life of integrity, is one characterized by membership in a community in which one lives, works, worships, and conducts the vast majority of other human activities. The choice is stark: “If we do not live where we work, and when we work, we are wasting our lives, and our work too.” – Wendell Berry and the New Urbanism: Agrarian Remedies, Urban Prospects
“Solidarity Co-operatives have been developed as a unique multi-stakeholder Co-operative system since the 1980s. They are unique because co-production members include paid workers, volunteers, service users and social investors. In Italy they provide social care, health services and educational services for local communities. There are now over 14,000 of these Co-ops across Italy providing services to 5 million. The Solidarity Co-op movement has spread in Europe to France, Spain, Portugal, Hungary and Poland. They have been developed in Quebec and in the UK there is early work underway to develop them in England and Wales.
This talk, given on November 25th 2013 at Schumacher College, was the tenth of 11 talks during the autumn of 2013 on Adventures in New Economics – a wide-ranging speaker series covering the key topics in new economic thinking today, presented by Transition Town Totnes, Totnes REconomy Project, and Sch…