Monday, August 29, 2005

GAIA theory ... time to get to know what it is all about?

Professor James Lovelock is the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis, which suggests the Earth functions as a single organism which maintains the conditions necessary for its survival.

Many scientists have asked the question ”does the Earth have a thermostat?” Lovelock takes the idea one step further to suggest the Earth acts not as a mechanical system but as a living organism, and responds to threats to its existence by, in this case, creating extreme weather conditions.

Read more on the BBC’s excellent site “Planet Under Pressure” (Link).

Friday, August 26, 2005

Australia first to analyse fuel shortage impacts

Queensland Australia: Parliament member Andrew McNamara chairs the Back bench committee working on a report to recommend how Australia should address oil peaking.
Andrew McNamara began to look into the peak oil issue after reading Richard Heinberg’s book. He quickly realized that his constituent city, Hervey Bay, with poor rail and sea links is especially vulnerable to gasoline price hikes.

To my knowledge it is the first study of a region's vulnerability to energy shortages due to global oil peak.

Speaking in an interview for Global Public Media (Link) he explains how Australian oil production is already in serious decline, and how there is a lack of preparedness for cheap energy shortfalls starting with National policy and going all the way down to local planning.

IFTSP comment: anyone involved in planning should follow the progress of the report and consider a study in their own area. As cheap energy sources may stop within ten years, mitigation planning should already be ongoing.
There should also be a major review of the plans of all organizations to see how much they are based on the assumption that oil prices, for example, will remain in the $30-40 range, and to what extent they address the risk of energy shortfalls.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

No Waste Like Home...Starting tonight

Hats off to the BBC for bringing sustainability right into our living room with their program on reducing household waste and saving money.
BBC 2 8:30 pm Thursdays.

It's about time. Industry has been working on these issues a long time, just to see each household using more energy and producing more waste.

Program lead
and eco-expert Penney Poyzer visits one of Britain's most environmentally-unfriendly and wasteful households each week, changing their ways and shocking people by uncovering wastefullness and then giving them the eco-know how to save money and become less of an environmentatl hazard.

Great invention. Keep 'em coming!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Fuel efficiency actually declines in US vehicle park

Carmakers are doing little towards increasing fuel efficiency.

One downside is the energy security issue. Consuming 25% of the world's oil and having a megre few month's supply left in its land, the US is dependant on oil from countries that could one day for some reason decide to stop supply.

An EPA report leaked to the New York Times shows that loopholes in American fuel economy regulations have allowed automakers to produce cars and trucks that are significantly less fuel-efficient, on average, than they were in the late 1980's.

click here for full article

Click on heading or link to see graphic

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Finding the cure for addiction part three

Tapescript Journey to the cure for addiction #3
See earlier scripts


Looking for a cure for addiction to short term hits of happiness. An addiction-fostering environment means that there is no “natural” way for you to handle the addiction once you have started to exhibit additive behaviour. You simply have to consciously bring yourself out of it.

In this series of Imagestreams I am in a program of treatments.

In the departure hall the leaves of the rubber plant appear behind my bench in the waiting area.

I go to the grey lift, the nurse catches me up. “Wait for me”

Getting in the lift I press “3” I don’t know why.

As the lift ascends I check her uniform out – fairly standard.

“You are nearly finished with the sessions,” she says.

The lift opens and she takes me to my room where I get changed. I walk past the swimming pool and enter the room where the others were before. We wait for the leader. She takes her leave.

In the corner stands the Alpha wave sculpture, filled with water to a certain point. I wonder what you strike it with. Metal?

I pick up a metal hammer and give it the lightest tap - and get a chunky sound.

The guy enters saying he’ll show us the sculpture later and asks us to sit in the ring.

“Have you been practicing finding a quiet time? The quietness is your anchor in the story of this modern life,” he says.

Adrenaline exhaustion is what I have probably; I am living close to burning myself out.

He asks: “What shall we do now do you think?”

“We need to consciously work out how to get ourselves back- how we can pull ourselves away from the addiction side of the line,” I venture.

“Yes!” He says. “Now you know what best practice is, and you know what worst practice is as you are doing it so you need to draw the line between them.”

Everyone is in a ring around the circle on the floor.
"When-then" is the formula?

He explains: “When that happens then I do this…that is drawing the line. That is the line you need to focus on to bring you back.”

We break up into groups I go into the handling personal living space group, which is my chosen problem area.

When I pick something up and don’t have a place to put it what do I do then?

I put it in a place …the place for things with no place.

Then they will pile up.

When they Pile up THEN I will organize a place for them.

The others have a go.

“WHEN my house looks dirty THEN I will immediately decide a time when I will do the cleaning."
“When I see something lying around THEN I will go and put it back immediately.”

(“I’ll be at it all day,” I object in my thoughts but then realize if I did this regularly I would not be at it all day)

“Is it this easy?” I ask.

“Yes, if the situation is draining your energy.”


“How long do you do it for?”

“All the time till it becomes automatic.”

Then you do it for the other areas as well.

You start with what is your situation..

A workbook is good, to have everything available and to draw the sections out and your priorities.

In the zone you will feel what you want to do and naturally get back.

The thing in the corner does not work - it is probably just a joke I think.

“If you run your finger round the rim you will get a sound. It is meant to stimulate alpha waves.” The leader says.

I think I understand, I must fill my form in for the when then bottom line. What it is and how it makes you feel. For each area, describe the situation - how bad does it make you feel, how do you want to fell. What is best practice and what is your strategy application of best practice. And then what are you going to do to keep yourself in the zone. And then everything will happen naturally. Your deeper desires will come to you and you will get the chance to adjust more naturally. With quiet time you will attune yourself more to yourself.

Look at your file everyday to keep yourself on track everyday.

To keep inspired to keep on track put a letter to yourself in the front of the file.

Follow up this treatment to write

Why you care what your situation was

* How you were feeling
* What you found out
* What you decided to do about it, what you hope for so you can go back and see where you came from and see your own progress.
* What you decided
* Your request to yourself to help keep you on track.

The final part is the planning. Then there are other treatments you can do to help with relaxation, the physical side, the physical regime of exercise to help you.

You can go now on your way and good luck.

I ask the nurse if that is it, what I do next. She thinks I should do the treatment. Construct the workbook for myself and go through it. Then maybe use that to work out what is best for what I should do.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Willits Community heads towards Localization

Very few communities, to our knowledge, have come so far as the city of Willits in California, USA. Starting from viewings of THE END OF SUBURBIA there are some 65 volunteers working to create a thriving, vibrant community with local energy and food production, sustainable water management and local manufacture.

Click the link to hear Jason Bradford, founder of the Willits Economic Localization (WELL), speaking with Global Public Media’s David Room about climate change, oil peak, and how Willits is preparing for an energy-constrained future. He discusses how WELL got started, the efforts of the group, and their progress.
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