subscribe to the RSS Feed

Friday, February 24, 2017

Going for a bigger blog

Posted by steve on April 29, 2009

Regular readers may know that I have kept work on INVENTING separate from my consulting work with A Very Beautiful Place. Recently, realised that the two really do fit well together so I’m migrating my main blogging over to AVBP.net

I came to the realisation that peace and sustainable development go hand in hand. And that they are as much about realising who you are as knowing the benefits of e.g. urine separation.

Shall I post my imagestreams in future? I’m not sure. Your feedback is welcome!

Connecting peace and sustainable development

Posted by steve on April 27, 2009

Sometimes I can’t get things out of my head. It felt like a long shot, but as I stepped onto the plane to Berlin to attend a Words of Peace conference with Prem Rawat, I couldn’t ignore my intuition telling me that peace and sustainable development were linked somehow and that maybe the journey and time with him was going to provide some insights.
Berlinfor the first time in my life, old images of the war, the division of the two countries and its uniting cropped up. But there was no wall, no division. I strained to work out if I was in the East or West, but no. Just people. This is the way it should be. No divisions. No wars. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

The Science of sustainable food production #Phosphorous

Posted by steve on


Find more videos like this on TRANSITION UNITED STATES

The Sustainable City of Porena

Posted by steve on

The sustainable city of Porena is the result of about 15-20 Imagestreaming sessions . I had asked a simple question: “what would a sustainable society, with the knowledge we possess today, look like?” WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

World oil production and consumption set to fall

Posted by steve on April 26, 2009

It may sound incredible, but there HAS to be a finite amount of oil in the world. The figures here are based on what is already discovered and what is thought to be available. And they are finding  less and less oil by the year.  So with the world population slated to grow by another 30-40 % up to 2050, we can see coming generations are not going to have the opportunities for cheap and easy energy supply that we have enjoyed.

From now on, energy constraints are going to upset most business plans and probably make the world hunger problem worse, as a lot of fuel is needed for modern agriculture.

Even though estimates of remaining oil vary, they all mean the same thing: we are on the other side of the slope. Never again will we see the current  levels of oil production per capita.

What will this mean for our way of life? For the economy? It is an opportunity to rethink money and to innovate. What could this look like? Sign up for updated by e-mail or come back.

In the meantime, the world fossil fuel output per capita is discussed at length on the Oil Drum.

Why don’t they get it?

Posted by steve on April 24, 2009

At the last meeting of our Oil Awareness group, one concern seemed to be shared by everyone present: ”why don’t they get it?”. What members are referring to is the feeling that colleagues, government, officers of authorities just don’t seem to ”get” the significance of
1) the vast amounts of energy we are using to sustain daily life
2) the sources of this energy are rapidly depleting
3) our current economic system is dependant on them

I know why they don’t get it. If you are interested in knowing bear with me. I need to tell you a few stories first.

When Christopher Columbus arrived in what is now America, natives standing on the shore did not see the ships approaching. The explanation is that they had never encountered anything like it in their life before, and their brain simply did not register it. A priest noticed strange wave patterns (the wake of the boats) and stared at them trying to make sense of them. Eventually he saw the ships, called others to him, and they stated to see the ships too.

The other story is of research I have read into perception. Researchers showed rather upper class middle aged women a series of pictures and words rapidly, and asked them to remember them. Interspersed with “ordinary” words were foul language expressions of the sort these ladies would never use. Interestingly when asked, these subjects remembered all the ordinary words but were certain they never saw the foul ones.

Obviously they “saw” the words, but in terms of perception, like the natives on the shores of America, they did not “register” them.

Countless other experiments and stories illustrate the same thing: that people do not always perceive what they are seeing. Sometimes because it is outside their experience, sometimes because to see it would change them in some way.

This is a powerful mechanism. People often do not perceive things in situations where their position in society, for example their job, would be threatened.

So why do our neighbours, politicians, not “get” the significance of the peaking of oil production and the consequences for life on Earth?

One reason is because it is not in their life experience to even contemplate a serious, long term global energy shortage. Another is that their jobs, position in society etc depend on it. You have to remember that we are flock animals. In our DNA, our wiring, is that exclusion means death.

For sustainable development fanatics this can have drastic consequences. Say, as a friend of the environment, you start to think how the bus lane over a narrow bridge into town could be used to promote lift –sharing. Say every car with three or more passengers would be allowed the fast route past the queues.

Good for the environment… so you think of proposing it. But, the unseen forces of flock pressure will work against you. Think about it…. That could be a third of the cars used, a third of the petrol, a third of the gas sales, a reduction in staff needed, a reduction in tax income.. and so on. What you are suggesting will impact economic growth, something the flock is committed to. That will make you an outsider. You will find many reasons why this suggestion should not go further. For example “ no one will listen to me anyway”.

So any good ideas that could come up get squashed by your internal monitoring machine that is wired to keep you OK with the flock.

There ARE ways around this machine. Something for my next post……

Today is the first day

Posted by steve on

This is the 0.05 version of the new AVBP website. We will be updating it as we go along over the next few day. Be sure to come back, It’s going to be Awesome!

WHY DON’T THEY GET IT?

Posted by steve on April 22, 2009

At the last meeting of our Oil Awareness group, one concern seemed to be shared by everyone present: ”why don’t they get it?”. What members are referring to is the feeling that colleagues, government, officers of authorities just don’t seem to ”get” the significance of
1) the vast amounts of energy we are using to sustain daily life
2) the sources of this energy are rapidly depleting
3) our current economic system is dependant on them

I know why they don’t get it. If you are interested in knowing bear with me. I need to tell you a few stories first.

When Christopher Columbus arrived in what is now America, natives standing on the shore did not see the ships approaching. The explanation is that they had never encountered anything like it in their life before, and their brain simply did not register it. A priest noticed strange wave patterns (the wake of the boats) and stared at them trying to make sense of them. Eventually he saw the ships, called others to him, and they stated to see the ships too.

The other story is of research I have read into perception. Researchers showed rather upper class middle aged women a series of pictures and words rapidly, and asked them to remember them. Interspersed with “ordinary” words were foul language expressions of the sort these ladies would never use. Interestingly when asked, these subjects remembered all the ordinary words but were certain they never saw the foul ones.

Obviously they “saw” the words, but in terms of perception, like the natives on the shores of America, they did not “register” them.

Countless other experiments and stories illustrate the same thing: that people do not always perceive what they are seeing. Sometimes because it is outside their experience, sometimes because to see it would change them in some way.

This is a powerful mechanism. People often do not perceive things in situations where their position in society, for example their job, would be threatened.

So why do our neighbours, politicians, not “get” the significance of the peaking of oil production and the consequences for life on Earth?

One reason is because it is not in their life experience to even contemplate a serious, long term global energy shortage. Another is that their jobs, position in society etc depend on it. You have to remember that we are flock animals. In our DNA, our wiring, is that exclusion means death.

For sustainable development fanatics this can have drastic consequences. Say, as a friend of the environment, you start to think how the bus lane over a narrow bridge into town could be used to promote lift –sharing. Say every car with three or more passengers would be allowed the fast route past the queues.

Good for the environment… so you think of proposing it. But, the unseen forces of flock pressure will work against you. Think about it…. That could be a third of the cars used, a third of the petrol, a third of the gas sales, a reduction in staff needed, a reduction in tax income.. and so on. What you are suggesting will impact economic growth, something the flock is committed to. That will make you an outsider. You will find many reasons why this suggestion should not go further. For example “ no one will listen to me anyway”.

So any good ideas that could come up get squashed by your internal monitoring machine that is wired to keep you OK with the flock.

There ARE ways around this machine. Something for my next post……