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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Age of Stupid

Posted by steve on May 28, 2009

ageofstupidbadge2As temporary NING-master for the Transition Sweden movement, I was invited to a pre-screening of Franny Armstrongs drama-documentary-animation hybrid ”the Age of Stupid” The film revolves around an archivist in 2055, living in a devastated world, reviewing material from 2008 and asking why people did not react sooner.

The film is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, bringing together the different media, and telling the story through the six separate documentary stories of ordinary people in different parts of the world.

The music, the artwork, the animations all meld together into a film which is obviously a labour of love for all involved.

The message I get from the film is that man-made climate warming is going on, and the signs are all around us. However, we are not doing anything about it. Relying on Peak oil to solve the problem is not good enough, the Earth can still reach a tipping point on the current emissions.

As the film progresses, we come closer to their own involvement in climate change, as victim, as cause, as someone trying to do something about it. In this light, not one of them can be seen to be responsible fully, but it brings it home how everyone on the planet is complicit in the current climate destabilisation.

I felt a growing strong sense of ”do not blame anyone” just take responsibility.

However, some animated cartoon sequences do put the blame squarely on capitalism and the oil industry. And they accuse the US, through the words of Alan Greenspan, of gong to war in Iraq for oil.

At this point, a couple of people left, maybe because the working day was over and they were not getting paid anymore, or they had a hard time with the negativity.

In terms of solutions, they come later in the film, around the last 20 minutes.

If you have seen every film on Peak Oil and climate change, go see this one anyway. We need to be moved emotionally by what is going on, and this film speaks to the heart as well as the head. If you want to understand the issues more clearly, go see the film: it lays it out clearly.

If you are new to climate change and oil, be prepared for a hard-hitting documentary.

And do see the Making Of film on the Guardian site!

The question arises: shall Transition Town initiatives show this film? We had quite a debate afterwards. My response ( and I am keen to do some transition activism in my new home town of Flen, Sweden) is to treat people like adults, and set up film and info/debate meetings before you even talk about transition. Just arrange a series of ”Climate and Oil” film showings and let it take its course.

White paper on Powerdown

Posted by steve on May 16, 2009



… the main business challenge of the 2010’s.  What organizations need to know about the impact of liquid fuels on communities as oil prices hike and availability wanes. For officers in the public and private sector alike, this paper describes 16 main aspects of the coming energy situation. Organisations need to consider these 16 in order to begin to craft energy depletion management strategies.


Video envisioning: Units of Trust

Posted by steve on May 15, 2009

Imagine it were possible to, instead of just consuming, invest your money in local sustainable enterprises. As long as your money is with these enterprises, they provide you with your daily needs at a lower cost. You would need to work less and less as time goes on, with more time over to do what you love doing. If you like the video, do download the White Paper.

Eco units provide Naoki Shiomi’s Half Farmer/Half X lifestyle

Posted by steve on May 11, 2009

The concept of the Half-Farmer/Half-X lifestyle was first proposed in the mid-1990s by the Japanese Naoki Shiomi, who now lives in the city of Ayabe in the north part of Kyoto Prefecture. The basic idea is that people pursue farming, not so much as a business but to grow food for their own family, while being constructively involved in society by realizing their own personal passion — something he called their “X” factor.

The “X” represents the questions each person must answer to find out what they really prefer to do, what they really want to do, and what they can do for others, while discovering their personal mission, their life’s work, or their “true” calling in life.

Mr. Naoki Shiomi

Mr. Naoki Shiomi

Shiomi himself began pursuing this lifestyle years ago, and now helps many people find their own “X.” He said that through these practices, he keenly sensed that this type of lifestyle is a way of making the most of each person’s talent and abandoning the twentieth-century style of mass production, mass consumption, mass and long-distance transportation, and mass disposal, while pointing the way to making happier lives and a sustainable Earth more possible.

Shaomi’s ideas work very well with the concept of the Eco-Unit. The entrepreneur’s centre situated on site allows people to work close to home. Having agriculture surrounding the eco-unit means residents are involved in food production on a daily basis, even if the overall management of food production is under the control of a professional permaculture market gardener.

His ideas also speak well to our ongoing thinking about harmonising who we are/what we do in our lives. Many people find themselves at odds with both aspects in the way they live their lives and are searching for alternative. If you live ecologically then who you are – a responsible citizen of Earth – can manifest with with what you are good at,  meaning what you do and who you are come closer to harmony.

Read more about the Half-Farmer/Half-X lifestyle.

Components of an Eco-UnitComponents of an Eco-Unit

Why we need a change: this is not your ordinary recession

Posted by steve on May 1, 2009

My recent visit to England shows a country nose-diving into a new kind of recession: one that has no end.

As the reams of newspaper articles laying out dismal prospects for 2009 appear before us, there is an underlying belief in that the recovery will come in a few or at most ten years, and 2008 will fade into memory as a year unremarkable. Not so from the perspective of Oil Peak. We are looking into the tangled guts of a system that has stopped working because the cheap and easy oil that feeds it has peaked.  We are looking over the precipice into the long decline, aptly called the long emergency by James Howard Kunstler.

The logic of this is almost too simple, but not anything you will find explained in the mainstream media.
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