Wednesday, September 09, 2009

ingredients for a crisis

Forgive me for going on about these things again, but I was wondering why Canada has only a single signatory on an important letter to the Queen. Where are our country's activist thinkers? (Note: The letter is a response to one written by the British Academy to the queen in which they claim to be explaining the "diverse ingredients which together resulted in the global financial crisis.")

Anyway, I extract a chunk here but the whole thing is worth a read. As is anything found on Transition Culture (but then I'm a Rob Hopkins groupie...)! Tip: the Links page is a veritable goldmine.

Our premise is that our current economic malaise is symptomatic of a far more serious systemic failure to acknowledge what Archbishop Rowan Williams has identified in saying “It has been said that ‘the economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment’. The earth itself is what ultimately controls economic activity because it is the source of the materials upon which economic activity works”.

Energy underlies everything – Scylla and Charybdis of peak oil and climate change. The underlying cause of the current economic meltdown is a multi-generational debt-binge inextricably linked to a concomitant multi-generational energy-binge. The Academy’s letter focuses on some “imbalances in the global economy”. However, the key to addressing our current situation is to recognise the far more serious imbalances between our insatiable hunger for energy, its finite nature and the environmental pollution in its use.

Energy is the lifeblood of any economy. Our exponential debt-based money system is in turn based on exponentially increasing energy supplies. It is therefore clear that the supply of that energy deserves our very highest attention. That this attention doesn’t appear in the Academy’s analysis is deeply worrying.

I'd say that this attention doesn't appear in mainstream public consciousness is what is deeply worrying! What would it take for Canada to truly start addressing the realities? Would an administration change make a difference? It just seems to me that other countries are far ahead. (Did you hear about the EU's willingness to act?)

Personal change, I don't believe, is enough (though we should all nonetheless be doing it!). There is sadly still such a long way to go to Transition the world, isn't there? If the thinkers are to speak up will that push things along?

Friday, September 04, 2009

friday's bump

Another quake this morning, but different in that it was a quick, strongish jolt that didn't leave things, like my long-legged plant table next to the desk, swaying afterwards. It also confirmed that G now officially knows the drill: I dashed out of the den towards the front door as she was dashing out of the diningroom in the same direction. Smart mutt!

Aside from that, life marches on, though for a change, I won't talk about work! Last weekend we stocked the mutt away at Dogs Inc. (so she could have some quality "pack time") and went hiking in the mountains of Ome/Oku-tama, which are still in the Tokyo metropolitan area but you'd never know it. The "Rock Garden", a narrow valley filled with streams strewn with mossy rocks, was particularly beautiful. Unfortunately we never caught a glimpse of the famed flying squirrels that supposedly live around there. I'll post photos soon. (>Now posted.)

It was certainly nice to be exerting physical energy out in the fresh air, though I was frustrated by a side-effect of the prophylactic migraine meds I've been taking. Beta-blockers are tough on the lungs and I was wheezing like a geezer on the steeps. Five weeks in and it still remains to be seen if they'll be worth it (I've been averaging a migraine a week, instead of two.)

Anyway, back in town this week, the hot weather seems to have finally ended. It's nice to wear long sleeves again occasionally, after months of dressing as lightly as possible and still being constantly slicked in sweat. Maybe I'll even make a soup this weekend.

Also want to visit Tokyo Hacker Space and see if I've finally found a way to get my food dehydrator and solar oven built!

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