Category Archives: Nature

Know the 2 carbon cycles and don’t confuse them.

on July 25, 2021 in Models, Nature, Visualization

Can we grow enough forests and use enough regenerative agriculture to sequester enough carbon to undo global warming? To answer this question you have to understand the two carbon cycles. I’m simplifying, but you can think of two different cycles of carbon. One is the regular life cycle of carbon-based life forms. When something lives, it contains carbon, including trees, humans, and everything living in dirt and the oceans. When[…] Keep reading →

Communicating with tech geeks on sustainability

on July 24, 2021 in Nature

Regular readers know I work to communicate effectively with groups that don’t know or act much on sustainability. My goal is to lead them to where they want to act for their own reasons, expecting success. I’ve succeeded with conservatives and evangelicals. Other groups are more challenging. Geeky communities like Slashdot and Hacker News tend to like nuclear, escaping to Mars, and other tech-based solutions. They seem to miss unintended[…] Keep reading →

We will soon see plastic the way we see asbestos, leaded gasoline, and marketing cigarettes to children

on July 22, 2021 in Nature

Asbestos, leaded gasoline, and marketing cigarettes to children made a lot of money. If you believe profitable sales mean a fair trade of money for products or services, therefore improving the world, they were good. Whatever their benefits, they also killed people. I don’t know anyone who argues we should let markets alone regulate selling cigarettes to children. Nearly everyone agrees on laws regulating putting lead in gas. Your IQ[…] Keep reading →

Personal action: Nobody said act once and stop. Act, learn, act more, lead others.

on July 20, 2021 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Freedom, Habits, Nature, Podcast

People who don’t want to act on the environment will create and believe any rationalization to justify not acting. A common one is to say what they do doesn’t matter. Or that their results wouldn’t make a difference. I kept myself from acting for years for “reasons” like these. Nobody said to act once and stop. Any one individual action divided by the results of billions of others rounds to[…] Keep reading →

Eugenics, anti-miscegenation, and ecofascism, especially in the United States

on July 18, 2021 in Nature

Hitler was vegetarian. If you want to work on sustainability, you will face people pointing out this history. They don’t point out that he also promoted larger families, but many feel like it checkmates all cases for changing diet. Beyond diet, I’ve talked a lot about population since reading podcast guest Alan Weisman‘s Countdown and learning of guest Mechai Viravaidya‘s lowering Thailand’s birth rate through purely voluntary, often fun, means.[…] Keep reading →

The best presentation on population I’ve seen, by TV and movie star Alexandra Paul

on July 16, 2021 in Education, Nature

Alexandra Paul has risen to the top of my list of the few people who live in the intersection of experience necessary to lead effectively on the environment. She has experience leading, she knows the science, and she lives the values she suggests for others: She was a recent guest on my podcast, This Sustainable Life. She mentioned a presentation she has since given at Sand Diego State University. I[…] Keep reading →

Doing something nonpolluting doesn’t offset something polluting

on July 11, 2021 in Nature, Visualization

Posting yesterday that Eating something healthy doesn’t offset something unhealthy suggested a parallel with polluting. People dream that if they do polluting things, they can do something nonpolluting to average it out, as if carbon offsets or recycling had negative pollution that averaged with flying’s positive pollution to zero pollution. Offsets don’t negative pollute. They’re nice, but they don’t put pollution we took from underground back underground permanently. You can’t[…] Keep reading →

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