Steady State Revolution Is On Hiatus

I’d love to say that I have tons of time to write and maintain this blog right now, but it’s far from the truth. So, much to my personal chagrin, I’ve put Steady State Revolution on Hiatus for the time being. I’ll be back once things calm down a bit in my personal and professional lives.

What have I been doing?

  • Building a Movement with the Post Growth Institute. Check out our campaigns – Free Money Day and The (En)Rich List.
  • Creating My WordPress Development Business. I’ve been working on websites pro-bono for a long time, now I’m officially doing it for some income, too. Learn about my WordPress development services.
  • Building a Strong, Healthy Family Life. It’s important, and now is the time to focus a bit on my family’s health and well-being.

So, I’ll be back on Steady State Revolution – hopefully finishing up my numerous draft posts – soon enough. For now, I’ve got a lot on my plate.

I’ve launched my personal site, where I will occasionally blog from now on.

Climate Change v. Global Warming v. AGW

Q: Why was it called global warming for so long, if the weather everywhere isn’t actually warming? Why aren’t they using that term as much anymore?

A: It was called global warming because the average global temperature is rising due to an increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, this as led to misunderstanding and the anti-climate-science media campaigns have shown us the value of a more accurate and easily understood meaning.

Q: Why do some people refer to it as Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)?

A: This is a term used to create a devision between “global warming” that is occurring naturally, versus “global warming” that is the result of human society (AGW). While our planet’s climate changes on large swings, it happens slowly – in geological time frames. The climate today is changing much faster than the natural swing and can be directly related to human beings burning fossil fuels.

Q: Why “climate change” then?

A: This is a more accurate term now used to help make it clear in the midst of massive amounts of anti-science misinformation and media campaigns by polluters. Tehcnically, it would be even more accurate to call it Global Climate Disruption, as the increase in greenhouse gases throws every part of the ecosystem off balance – cause floods in some areas, droughts in others, increased severity and frequency of storms, causing some areas to cool (N. Europe and Northeast US) while others burn (Texas, Pakistan, Australia).

Q: Where is all this misunderstanding coming from?

A: Bil Oil and Coal dump unbelievable amounts of money into campaigns to make the public distrust the science (that’s right, science, the thing that is allow you to read this, drive your car, and in many cases be alive today – the basis for modern human existence). By undermining the public’s trust in climate science these companies can distort the facts so that we “debate” the existence of something that is considered “unequivocal” by credible scientists.

Continue reading “Climate Change v. Global Warming v. AGW”

Climate Awareness Shift?

Occasionally I have to fly for my day job. I’m not a huge fan of it – I can handle the actual act of flying, but I hate the whole experience, from the pre-boarding body search to the crammed-in-a-seat-built-for-someone-two-feet-shorter-than-me. Not to mention that it is the worst way to travel if you care about the climate. Alas, I still have to do it from time to time (though I am trying to phase it out all together).

I recently had to fly down to Davis, CA for a site visit on a project of mine in construction. While waiting to board my flight I talked with a gentleman from outside Tulsa, Oklahoma on his way home. He lamented on the horrible destruction of the tornados that recently hit the area. We talked briefly of the sporadic and crazy weather there and elsewhere. Then I said the two ominous words in any discussion with a stranger: “climate change.”

In all honesty, and to my own personal shame, I expected this man from the south to call me a lunatic or spout off some climate denier propaganda. But to his credit he nodded in agreement, as did another lady next to us who was listening in.

I went on to say that our atmospheric CO2 concentration is now at 394ppm and in order to maintain a planet in which life evolved and is accustomed too, the maximum safe level is 350ppm. Neither of my fellow travels appeared to be aware of this fact, there was shock on their face when I explained the numbers.

The women to my right speculated that we will evolve, but I felt compelled to correct her. All evidence is the the contrary. We’ve stamped out life on Earth quicker and with more vigor not seen since the extinction of the dinosaurs. There are absolutely no guarantees of our survival going forward.

Flooding in Pakistan, drought in Texas (and Pakistan), record tornados in Oklahoma and elsewhere the likes of which has never before been seen in record history. All pointing to the fact that climate change has arrived, it’s no longer “on it’s way.” Because of all of this (not to mention that it’s undeniable science, really) I feel more and more that the “debate,” for which I no longer bother engaging in with climate deniers, might finally be coming to an end soon. We all see the craziness now. We’ve entered into a new geologic era. Perhaps now our lifestyles can finally shift.

The gentlemen from Tulsa asked me if I worked in this area or if I was just interested in the subject. “Concerned, deeply,” I replied. “I have a young son, how could I not be concerned?” We all nodded in agreement. As Mark Hertsgaard says in his book Hot:Living Through The Next Fifty Years On Earth, taking action against climate change is now “part of a parent’s job description, no less vital than tending to your child’s diet, health or eduction.” The tides of awareness are changing. Are you coming along?

Quick Update

Just a little note on the goings-on recently. Friday I had a great time at the Town Hall Seattle event with Paul Gilding. Paul has a lot of fresh, inspiring ideas about climate change and the end of the world as we know it. I was lucky enough to introduce him and chat with him a bit as CASSE’s Washington Chapter Director. I also met with some other sustainable gurus in the Seattle area from Sustainable West Seattle and SCALLOPS.

I’m putting together a more thorough overview of the night that will be up soon, once the video is available online. In the meantime, please take a moment to check out Paul Gilding’s book! I highly recommend it (that’s why it’s this month’s feature book on SSR)

Best Green Think Tank: CASSE

CASSE Wins Best Think Tank!

TreeHugger, by far one of the largest green blogs in the world, recently announced it’s Best of Green 2011 awards. And in the category for Best Green Think Tank? No other than the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy! CASSE folks are delighted, of course!

Here’s what TreeHugger had to say about the award:

“You well may be exclaiming ‘who?!’ right now and that’s OK.”And in all honesty awarding the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy a Best of Green Award this year is as much about promise as past action.

“When it comes down to advocating for what we humbly submit to TreeHugger readers as the single most important economic concept of the 21st century, CASSE comes out on top. We highly urge you to look into their work.”

Check it out here.

Are Nuclear Fears Unfounded?

Nuclear Power PlantsI have a great respect for George Monbiot. He is an amazing writer (I loved his book Heat), a fearless journalist and a strong-willed political activist. He an deeply committed environmentalist, and also (so it appears, see below) a supporter of nuclear power.

Recently he engaged in a debate over the nuclear debacle in Japan with staunch anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott. After hunting for scientific evidence to support the claims of the anti-nuclear movement in general. Seeing as how I’ve been musing on the Japan nuclear quagmire, I thought I would share his piece with you.

From his recent article, “Evidence Meltdown,”

“Failing to provide sources, refuting data with anecdote, cherry-picking studies, scorning the scientific consensus, invoking a cover-up to explain it: all this is horribly familiar. These are the habits of climate change deniers, against which the green movement has struggled valiantly, calling science to its aid. It is distressing to discover that when the facts don’t suit them, members of this movement resort to the follies they have denounced.

“We have a duty to base our judgements on the best available information. This is not just because we owe it to other people to represent the issues fairly, but also because we owe it to ourselves not to squander our lives on fairytales. A great wrong has been done by this movement. We must put it right.”

Clearly a energy policy that does not rely on greenhouse gas emitting, non-renewable technologies is necessary. There is potential for nuclear power to provide a stop-gap to get us between our current technology level to when we will have more efficient, cheaper solar, wind, geothermal and wave/tidal power or potentially other more advance energy sources (fusion, hydrogen, etc). I also know that we could utilize all of these without nuclear power now, but I’m not so sure about the political feasibly of it all. And I am not keen on relying on unknown future technologies to save us in the present.

On the flip side, here’s Brian Czech’s most recent post on The Daly News.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Image Credit: Inhabitat

Save Public Broadcasting

The House of Representatives recently voted to eliminate public broadcasting. This means no more NPR, no more Sesame Street (won’t somebody think of the children?!), no more Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me, no more PBS Kids. As a parent with a child who loves Elmo, as well as a frequent listener of npr’s great programs, I cannot remain silent while this great resource is voted out of existence. I know that our corporate house representatives want to make this last public supported media resource, I do not!If you won’t listen to me, listen to Mr. Roger’s saving public broadcasting in 1969.

Check out this infographic released by the campaign to save public broadcasting, 170 Million Americans:

Tell you senator to vote against this bill.

Perhaps instead of eliminating a valuable public resource (that costs relatively nothing when compared to the rest of the budget) we should start taxing our corporations – you know those business that make billions of dollars a year and pay practically nothing in taxes! Read my last post about the One Good Cut Campaign or check out the newest issue of Mother Jones to see just how much we pay and how little those big fat cats pay.

One Good Cut

When you first learn about how our money is controlled, created and loaned you might very well not believe it. In fact, it is both so simple and so outrageous that often people think it is a lie. The reality is that our privately owned, corporate banking institutions have the power to create money out of thin air, then charge you for it. There is no real effective oversight either. Another lesser known fact is that the Federal Reserve, which set interest rates for banks and oversees banking in general, is not a entirely government agency. It is mostly controlled by the very private, corporate banks that it oversees.

All of this information just shows how distorted our banking systems and how reprehensible the actions of these banks are that led to a massive taxpayer bailout. They still show record profits and give out million dollar bonuses. These are just people who manage our money, not doctors or nurses or teachers – people who give real benefit to our society. Instead, because of the economic collapse caused by our bankers we have to lay off doctors, nursers, police officers and teachers while banks pull in still greater profits. Do they really provide such a useful service to our society that they should make millions while our basic social services are cut?

The creation of our money should be entirely in the hands of our publicly represented government, where we can see and control it! Banks provide a very basic service to our society, but when it comes down to it they shouldn’t run the world or have the power to ruin it.

One Good Cut is a great little film put together by Positive Money that outlines this issue and how we can repair it. Check it out:

Check out more on the One Good Cut website and take action!