I know I created this show to be a getaway from your everyday life, but something has made me look at our everyday lives in a very different way, and it's something I have to get off my chest this week. If you haven't seen the movie Collapse, I highly recommend watching it. It will change the way you look at everything — and really, I don't want to be the only one who goes through such a change.
If there's something positive about this week's episode, though, it's this: I found out what Joanna de Seyne's been up to these days.
Playlist for Dave's Lounge #193:
- Rena Jones, "Photosynthesys" Buy from: iTunes | eMusic
- Mouchette, "Every Day" Buy from: iTunes | Bandcamp
- Hopscotch, "Bright" Buy from: iTunes | eMusic
- The Atomica Project, "Forecast" Buy from: iTunes | eMusic
- Joanna de Seyne, "Still Can't See The Sun" Buy from: iTunes | eMusic
- Microbunny, "Ether" Buy from: Microbunny.com
- Caitlyn Hessell, "Always There (Toby Benson Remix)" Buy from: iTunes | eMusic
- Emptyself, "Doll-Faced Vulture" Buy from: iTunes | eMusic
- Endless Blue, "Undone" Buy from: iTunes
- Under, "Under" Buy from: iTunes | eMusic
- Slovo, "Killing Me" Buy from: iTunes
Thank you for listening.
I haven’t seen Collapse but I have reflected on what changes might occur with the transition from cheap energy (oil) to something more sustainable but probably more expensive. Perhaps it won’t be all for the worse. The Western world is literally killing itself with the food choices and sedentary lifestyles that we have.
So perhaps I won’t be able to access cheap airfares anymore, perhaps I will have to wait much longer for that wanted luxury item, perhaps I’ll have to car-pool or grow my own vegetables. Maybe my entertainment choices will be more localised and perhaps local communities will flourish again. Maybe I don’t need to buy those roses, flown from Europe, to express my love for my partner. I could go on but you get the general idea.
The future can be frightening but it can also help us to see that our current choices are less than ideal and that for many of us our autonomy has become a prison.
Feel better. There is cheap energy on the horizon. Renewables are getting better. Wind towers are popping up all over the place. Cheap solar panels are available (payoff in less than 10 years) and are getting cheaper all the time. Also, I’m excited about wave energy at the moment. Imagine capturing the enormous energy of the tide as it flows in and out of a channel a couple times a day.
Also, even though it has a bad rep, nuclear is an excellent solution. Don’t believe the bad press about it. Nuclear is safe and very clean. France has been using first generation nuclear reactors safely for over 50 years. 4th generation designs are smaller, cheaper, and safer. The only thing that keeps nuclear from solving our problems is it’s image.
When the cheap power thing is solved, oil/coal won’t be an issue. They will become cheap again because no one will need it for power, but the harvesting systems will already be in place (we can use it for legacy devices during the changeover).
Everything we make from fossil oil right now can be made from plant/algae/natural/renewable oils, with some modification to the process. Also, cellulose can be used to make disposable wrappings and such (degrade in less than a year).
Plastics that last forever are not a bad thing, but a good thing. We should use them for long term items and projects, fences, housing material, cars, etc. When an items finish wears off, or it goes out of style, it can be melted down (with cheap energy) and reformed, used again.
Doomsday movies and books aren’t there to tell you the solution, only to prey on your fears about the future.
Feel better. There are solutions, and they are coming. Some are here now.
Hang out at http://www.ted.com to hear some optimistic folks talk about what they love (solutions to this kind of problem).
Don’t doubt it – a collapse, or at least a HUGE change is coming, most likely in the next 20-50 years. The Book of Eli has a moment where Eli talks about how he lived in a time (our current time) where people had so much that we throw away things that they currently would kill to have. And it’s true.
We can look at this as depressing – or we can face it like we should and make the changes NOW, instead of waiting. But everyone has to be on the same page – or at least a majority, to have enough momentum to make those changes happen.
Fear not, my good man – the fact that you’re even thinking about this puts you light years of those that don’t.
Here’s to a brighter future…one full of all the right changes.
yeah, plastic is totally insane. it drives me crazy how much of it we use for disposable purposes. our society makes it impossible to avoid. there’s hardly any alternative to buying food packaged in plastic. i’m thankful to live where we have a year round farmer’s market.
this is why lovespirals wanted to go all-digital but the fans really wanted us to make a physical product, so we went about doing it the best way we could, choosing packaging that used recycled plastic bottles for the trays, recycled paper for the cover, soy inks, and vegetable coatings. its not much, but its something. we talk about eco issues quite often on our band podcast.
the more you see, the more you learn, the more you realize how sad and tenuous this life is.
Funny you should mention farmer’s markets because I’m planning on exploring the ones we have around here. One friend of a friend is already doing that:
There’s a fairly decent local food movement here in Durham, and I’m definitely feeling a greater urge to be part of it. I just have to figure out how to balance my interest in local food with my interest in European football. Premier League games kick off on Saturday mornings, the main time the farmer’s markets are open. I don’t like watching games on DVR delay, but I’ll probably do it so that I can be part of this.
Incidentally, there was a great piece on Treehugger this week about what we’re using most of our oil for these days:
I’ll quote a key piece of it here:
“Currently the US uses about 19.7 million barrels of oil a day (23% of the world total demand, for roughly 4% of global population). Of that, 71% goes to transportation via cars, trucks, buses, airplanes; 23% goes to industrial purposes (manufacturing, plastics, chemicals, etc); the remaining 6% goes to residential and commercial uses, plus a small amount of electricity generation. Those stats are so skewed that it’s worth stating it plainly again.”
“71% of all oil use in the United States goes to transporting ourselves, the things we buy, and the things we eat. That’s not the goods themselves, mind you, just moving them around, and moving ourselves so we can consume them. If we’re really going to start consuming less oil, this is where we ought to be putting most of our effort.”
It goes on to talk about how we should be building more walker- and biker-friendly communities. I think this was one of my attractions to Philadelphia. It’s very much a walking town.
There’s a blues dance event in D.C. this weekend. Instead of driving myself up that way, like I did last month, I’ve decided to take a train. I’ll probably be tweeting about that all weekend. (Follow me at @permanent4.)
We need to re think where the money paradigm is taking us …we must create a new energy paradigm separate from burning oil…save it for all other uses but stop burning it ….peak oil will be a reality sooner or later …