Category Archives: Leadership

The ongoing challenges of sustainability in a culture that talks sustainability but opposes it in practice.

on June 3, 2024 in Leadership, Nature

For those readers who haven’t signed up to my mailing list, every Monday I send a newsletter of the past week’s posts. For the newsletter’s introduction, I write what amounts to another post, usually a summary, reflection, or noting the highlights. I felt last week’s introduction merited being a post of its own. Here it is: I almost forgot to post that I started my third year off the grid[…] Keep reading →

When changing fast is easier than slow

on June 1, 2024 in Leadership

Here are some projections for global warming based on various assumptions. Note the slow changes, which presumes people not changing our behaviors. The great historical example of changing global culture is abolitionism. It took off first in places without slavery in the territory, like Europe. One of the most challenging places to end the institution was the United States, which profited from it so much, though Europe was happy to[…] Keep reading →

The challenges of trying to act sustainably in a culture that doesn’t value sustainability never end

on May 31, 2024 in Leadership, Stories

I’ve written about how the construction my building is doing means no roof access for likely over six months: I’ve been trying to find other rooftops I can use so I don’t have to carry the equipment so far, risking bumps or drops. I can’t leave the panels unwatched to go to the bathroom or work elsewhere when it gets hot. So far I’ve asked the following, politely, offering to[…] Keep reading →

Why fossil fuel companies love that we chase efficiency, “renewables,” and “clean,” “green,” energy sources (and what to do instead)

on May 28, 2024 in Leadership, Nature

The biggest pushes I see among environmentalists and everyone trying to solve environmental problems are to promote Their hope in these efforts is to lower fossil fuel uses. I support their intent, though not their unintended consequences. Does anyone else see the problems? None of these tactics stop using or extracting fossil fuels. Making anything that uses fossil fuels more efficient doesn’t stop using them. It may use them less[…] Keep reading →

Year 2, day 365 of my apartment disconnected from the electric grid

on May 23, 2024 in Freedom, Leadership, Stories

On May 24, 2022, I opened the main circuit to the electric grid, disconnecting my apartment from it. Two days before I had unplugged my appliances but noticed the outlets next to sinks have LEDs to show they’re safe. Despite what part-time vegetarians say, I don’t believe that not zero is zero, so to consume zero power, including those LEDs, I disconnected the whole apartment. My goal was not using[…] Keep reading →

He who lives by pollution dies by pollution.

on May 21, 2024 in Freedom, Leadership

I was reading an account of Martin Luther King during the Montgomery Bus Boycott and noticed how a few things he said, often quoting or paraphrasing Jesus, applied to today. The big one was “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword,” which doesn’t seem a stretch to say those who live by pollution die by pollution. Despite everyone saying their flying does so much good it’s worth[…] Keep reading →

Another reason we’re failing at sustainability: relying on the wrong people

on May 16, 2024 in Education, Leadership, Nature

When I started graduate school in physics at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the faculty members in the department confused the students. He didn’t confuse us with complex science. He was a world leader in his subject, but the subject was tennis—the physics of tennis. I studied there in 1993-94. When the professor, Howard Brody, died, the New York Times published his obituary, Howard Brody, an Expert in the[…] Keep reading →

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