Monday, February 28, 2011

Zeitgeist 3

The third documentary of the Zeitgeist series has been released. At the current rhythm director and activist Peter Joseph is producing one every year. Zeitgeist - Moving Forward is available freely. It is revising all the same topics of the previous Zeitgeist movies, with less emphasis on religion and spirituality. The goal remains a bias-less, science-founded, money free society that is using a resource-based economy. Certain individual freedoms will be compromised to accomplish this sustainable planet. But we have heavy restrictions on our freedoms today in the capitalistic society (and others). The 1% of the super-rich can bypass some of the restrictions on freedom, but the middle class and lower have no escape route. I belief that absolute personal freedom is illusionary and unfair. Since freedom ends where injustice begins, it is acceptable to me to seek a society that balances sustainability (isn't sustainability nothing else than the freedom of the future generations?) with current freedoms. Oversimplified, if we want to give future generations the freedom to use some oil, we have to reduce our oil consumption today. It is worth watching. Just like the in previous Zeitgeist documentaries, I remain somewhat sceptical about the dependence on high technology. I believe it to be risky and it as well needs to balances with "low technology", even if it just as an insurance policy. Placing all eggs in the same "hi-tech" basket, is not a wise choice for the basis of the whole planet. Watch it, form your own opinion.

PS: Here is a good critique, or a warning, about the Zeitgeist thoughts by James Corbett called The last Word on Utopia.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

10 Roads to Happiness

Again from YES Magazine is this list of "10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy". The list is simple enough to try a few of these 10 ideas. While they will not guarantee happiness they will not cause any harm either.

Friday, February 18, 2011

51 Ways to Spark a Commons Revolution

Under the title "51 Ways to Spark a Commons Revolution" YES Magazine list dozens of ideas on how we can live, play and work together to make us happier, more self-sufficient and sustainable. 51 ideas to strengthen the commons and to take benefits from them. All of us can find a few points on that list that we can easily and meaningfully integrate into our on lives right now.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Peak Oil

WikiLeaks released US Embassy cables that emphasize a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom's crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 300bn barrels, that is nearly 40%. This embassy cable caused a whole bunch of reports in various new outlets. The UK Guardian reports "Saudi Arabia cannot pump enough oil to keep a lid on the price". The Oil Drum has a discussion on these cables. What shall we make of that?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Food and Energy

This video is worth watching, because it gets the key message about the relationship between food and energy consumption across in only 3 minutes. It is entitled "Watch your (Fo)odometer". Approximately 20% of all the energy used in the US is spent on food production, food packaging, and food transportation.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Age of Stupid

The documentary "The Age of Stupid" has been released in 2008, but I just got to see it now. A trailer is here. The full 90-min documentary can be found here. And "The Making of The Age of Stupid" is online as well. It is a gloomy look back from 2025 to our generation, asking these questions: Why did we not see the coming environmental predicament? Why did we not change direction when we still had the possibility to do so? Why did we not change direction as a global community? For more info go to the official website. The most memorable scene from the film was when a woman from Nigeria had to wash a fish that she just caught at the shore with laundry detergent because it was covered with crude oil.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

43 Million

According to the latest data (Nov 2010) more than 43 million Americans received food stamps. In other words, more than 14% of the US population draws food stamps. Mind boggling. This is just one more piece in the puzzle showing that the political and social system of the richest nation has failed. It is time to rethink.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

War and Food

This video entitled "The End of Farming in the Fertile Crescent" outlines in 5 minutes the relationship between the Iraqi war and the Iraqi food independence. Now that the US has placed a person from the US agro-business as chief of the Iraqi agriculture, subsidized imported US food (wheat, rice, soy, etc) undermine the local market, local seeds have been destroyed through the war, and saving any left over local seeds has been made illegal. Imported seeds and fertilizers have increased 100s of percent making the local farming cost higher than prices of imported US grains. As a result Iraqi farmers are unable to work the land and the idle land erodes and converts itself into salt flats and desert. A few US corporations gain while Iraqis lose their jobs, income and land fertility. With food dependency achieved, the Iraqis are enslaved not only militarily but also in the food dimension.