Seeking to Empower Humanity with the Perspective to Manifest Evolutionary Change Everywhere

In the last few decades, it has become increasingly clear that humanity is facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions. The problems that stand in the way are not of economical or technological nature. The deepest sources of the global crisis lie inside the human personality and reflect the level of consciousness evolution of our species.

- Dr. Stanislav Grof

Monday, June 21, 2010

Global Oil Addiction (i.e. Wake Up!)

Transparency is a harsh mistress.

As promised - proof a relapsing Oil Addict. Yes, during the Low Oil Challenge, a friend of mine traveled to Boston to be part of a baby shower for a married couple with whom we are close friends. I thought that the fact that I was wearing a Live Green shirt would drive home the shear surrealness of the event.

Oil hits Fort Walton Beach FL, Azure Resort - CNN iReport

(Embedded video removed at reader request)

Accountability is even harsher.

Do we call this hypocrisy? Madness? Grandstanding? All of the above?

Possibly. More than anything else, I call it evidence of how dysfunctional things are.

Case in point - the cost of this car trip to Boston per person? Factoring in gas and sunk costs (prorated car payments and insurance), $76.65 each. If we had taken the train and rented a zipcar to get down to the baby shower - the socioeconomic impact (or cost as they say) to us would have been $170.90 each.

That's right - we live in such a skewed world that it costs more to be responsible.

And what about CO2 emissions? To push two bodies from DC to Boston; Boston to the Cape and back; and back to DC...

In a Automobile only: 564 lbs of CO2*
In a Train to Boston and back, and a car to the Cape and back: 440 lbs of CO2*

Considering that CO2 is trading for about $6.35 per metric ton (or 2200 lbs), there's hardly any significant price impetus for me to have chosen taking the train vs. driving.

My point? Until we stop hiding the total cost of unsustainable energy systems, how can we really expect people to choose differently? And when the actual negative ecological and social impacts are so far-reaching, so complex and so devestating that its difficult for us to put a monetary value to them - then we need to do more than just change price signals.

We need to shut the system down outright.

*Do your own math on carbon emissions here:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On Oil Spills, responses and the battle for credibility

Today's post is in the form of a poem. I hope you enjoy.

April Two Zero
Can you recall?
When BO and BP
Went to the Ball

They oiled their pelicans
And shredded their work
Lied to the media
And played quite the Jerk

Stunning scientists, pundits,
Young shrimpers and old
With the fishiest story
That’s ever been told

“Why one thousand,
No five, or maybe five more?
But not ten or fifteen.
And none on the shore!”

“And do not listen”, they clamored
“To the man in the back,
His numbers are quacky
He’s certainly a hack.”

And when the man in the back
Had made quite a scene
And burst on the stage
With a look oh so keen

The crowd in their caution
Looked round about
And between authority and power
They scarce hid their doubt

“The numbers I’ve crunched!
The data I’ve chewed!
Reviewed all the tapes!
And counted all oil spewed!”

His figure, they asked
All the voices in the crowd
“Where is it? How big?”
With a shout oh-so-loud

“Why look down”, he said
“On the carpet you stand.
It won’t fit on a stage
Not a number that grand.”

And at once they looked down
At the expert’s wild queues
Their hearts skipped a beat
And then fell in their shoes

“How enormous!” “How impossible!”
“How hard to believe!”
“Is this really quite possible,
Or do you aim to deceive?”

“Oh no!” shouts the scientist
“I dare not do that.
Gentle-men and women -
What you use as a mat

Is a mere estimate they say
A Conservative Sum
Not to get you riled
Feeling antsy or glum

I apologize for the confusion
Delay or the bore
For eeking this out was, well
Quite the chore

But a billion odd barrels
Between you and I
Is hardly a thing
To even bat an eye

So go back to your homes
And worry not a wink
You’ll soon get your own oil
Out of your kitchen sink!”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Low Oil Challenge, Day 8

Updates about my trip to Boston are coming - including photographic evidence of a relapsing oil addict (yikes!).

In the meantime, chew on this: an article about the health and environmental impact of an American cow. People asked why giving up meat was part of the Low Oil Challenge - well, each cow uses about 284 gallons of oil to raise to slaughter. That's about 6 months of driving for the average American.

When you conisider that au naturale, a cow uses zero oil to become fat and delicious enough to eat (eating grass and not corn - or dead cows), you can start to realize just how big of a problem this might be. And the positive impact that cutting American agri-beef out of your diet can be.

P.S. Personally, I advocate for free-range, grass-fed, organic, no antibiotic bison. It is QUITE tasty.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Live Green's Low Oil Challenge, Day 2

Here's some motivation from another amazing blog - Capitol Green Girls. How much starker the dangers of from oil are when we realize how little we have in tools to fix the damage it causes?

Take These Lemons and Shake Up Green Business

The Gulf of Mexico has been destroyed to the point of no return in many areas -- and that in turn means coastal economies will suffer, including the Louisiana economy already devastated by Katrina. We've been lied to, continue to be lied to, and most likely will be lied to in the future because those of us who were privy to inside information knew the dramatic effects that were taking place in the water, the toll that would be taken on marine wildlife, and the actual events taking place versus those reported in the media. There's not much that can be done now with a polluted water column suffering from toxic shock. What we can do is use this as an opportunity to reinvest in an area that desperately needs it. Forget the emergency funds. Don't worry about businesses that can't possibly be salvaged. Now is the time for new businesses to emerge -- with a greener focus. Those poor souls along the coast won't be able to repair their ways of life or their businesses for quite some time if at all, but they can venture out into new branches of economy.

Dispersants are a joke, but there isn't any one proven solution to patching up a gaping and disastrous, toxic hole in the middle of a water body that stretches past several states. Ironically, despite decades of drilling and the inventions of supercalifragilistic new products every day, the global community is still without adequate repair products. The best we have are: chemicals just as bad as the oil floating on top of the water -- but no one discussed the potential harm they pose to undersea marine life, plugging up pipes with old junk, and of course antiquated booms that are the equivalent of a bunch of toddler floatee wings strung together in the water to prevent the oil skimming the surface from going on shore. Right there. That's an open forum for commerce -- to invent something that takes all others out of the equation while being environmentally friendly and actually helping the problem instead of just sidestepping it.

There are many ways to build businesses around such catastrophes -- to show how green works and that it does work in the face of tragedy. We can focus on more than the Gulf of Mexico slip up. We can invest in other areas downtrodden with less than green circumstances. We can capitalize on ways to help those trying to enhance the country with better, greener opportunities. There are so many untapped intellectual resources out there, but fear and apathy stand in the way. Until we get government to subsidize such endeavors, until we get venture capitalists to see the worth in green economy, until we take that step toward our own inventions, businesses and hopes, we will still be mired in a sea of toxic greed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Live Green's Low Oil Challenge, Day 1

For those not in the know, Live Green has thrown down the gauntlet about our unsustainable energy situation and our addiction to fossil fuels. In their two-week Low Oil Challenge, participants will seek to not purchase any new durable goods, eat vegan and not buy gasoline.

While I am not able to perform the challenge to the letter (I have to drive to my day job, and I'm not really cut out to be a vegan). I am going to be cutting meat out of my diet, dropping imported food (my apologies to Chilean farmers) and minimizing my driving - in addition to buying nihil novo (nothing new).

I'll keep you posted about interesting developments, but I have to say that I expect that it will put me further down the road towards living sustainably. And that is definitely a good thing!