Cool Thinking and Common Sense on Climate Change

Climate change is an area of conflicting and confusing announcements from scientific experts as well as obviously self-serving and cowardly pronouncements from politicians and their multinational corporate sponsors/owners.

My vote for the most cautiously optimistic overview of issues and strategic solutions is Lester R. Brown’s work, in his continuously updated books – the latest of which is Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. It’s available online at www.earthpolicy.org.

Sample quote: “Grids and appliances need to become smarter… in the simplest terms, a smart grid is one that takes advantage of advances in information technology, integrating this technology into the electrical generating, delivery and user system, enabling utilities to communicate directly with customers.”

My vote for the most practical, brief guidelines for activists and those who want to become more active are the materials prepared by Starhawk for her permaculture courses (www.earthactivisttraining.org/climate_resources.html). I totally agree with those who say that permaculture is the integrated design science which is the minimum necessary basis for sustainable, locally grounded civilizations. They have a (downloadable) Climate Change Primer, which gives a quick overview of the terms being used and the real scope of the solutions available. An even simpler and basic educational tool is a two-page flyer of No’s and Yes’es, also downloadable from their website.

Some of the No’s:

No coal.

No oil.

No nukes.

No global energy casino (cap and trade, offsets, etc).

Some of the Yes’es:

Conservation and energy efficiency.

Safe and renewable energy sources (solar, geothermal, wind, microhydro, etc.)

Social justice.

Localization.

Building soil.

Safeguarding water.

Starhawk says:

So don’t throw that plate at the TV, or smash your computer in frustration. We are all part of Gaia’s transition team, and if we continue to work together, we can make the shift from the bottom up instead of the top down. Who knows—it may even be more firmly grounded that way!

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