This Sustainable Life
251: Let's make overpopulation only a finance issue
Here are my notes that I read from for this episode.
- New comment from reading Countdown by Alan Weisman
- Overpopulation is major issue.
- Challenges are culture, religion, lack of education, lack of birth control
- He presented research results of demand for birth control by women -- about 250 million. Figure about a guy for each: 500 million
- I figure low because many don't know it exists or are swayed by not seeing it so not realizing they could want it
- He also showed results that unwanted children lead to poverty while smaller families where most people live today, ie cities, prosper
- Combination of huge unmet demand that when met leads to money tells me birth control isn't a moral issue, nor legal, religion, or charity issue but a finance issue. The money comes later if demand is met
- Should be profitable if someone can figure out financing
- Many people may default, may be hard to keep track, but look at how huge the demand
- Women risk their lives and die for abortions. No products or services have that kind of demand. Maybe heroin, which is also profitable.
- In all of environmental efforts, reduction being major goal and profit coming from growth, profit rarely comes from conserving environment
- Most would-be environmentally sustainable businesses look like steam engine, which I've talked about before. It looked like it would lower coal use and did for each use but increased it overall
- Making meeting the interests of half a billion people a finance issue seems a huge change in perspective
- Don't have to look for charity or government aid
- As for morals and legality, Coca-Cola shows what happens when profits face against morality. They sell unhealthy sugar water everywhere in the world, including parched places with no water, charge for it, and people keep investing in it.
- Could be a major route to bringing human population down to sustainable level of a couple billion.
- Signs I see show we are over sustainable and projections people say imply we're leveling off still show growth in 2100.
- I hope some enterprising entrepreneur sees opportunity and meets it.
- Many stories of successful family planning nationwide in Thailand, Iran, Mexico, Costa Rica, as well as cultural shifts in Japan, Italy, and more
- And economics seem likely, unlike growth economics which are failing everywhere, environmentally, culturally, socially, failing in every way but making a few people incredibly wealthy, mostly by birth
431: I sang every day for two months, unplugged (still going)
What do you do if you use less power? No social media? No listening to music? No TV?Sound like a fate worse than death?Inspired by guests on my podcast who find amazing activities to live by their environmental values, I committed to turning off all my electronics to sing every day. I've almost never sung in my life beyond Happy Birthday and The Star Spangled Banner so I'm mortified to play my remedial results live, but I love it. I know I'll keep going so today's recording isn't the end.I recorded singing a couple songs at the beginning. to record I opened the laptop, all other times I sang with the power off. At night I had to open the door to the hallway to read the words until I started singing outside during my daily walks picking up litter.So far I've spent zero dollars on it. The first two weeks I sang fifteen minutes a day. Later I shifted to at least one song, so a few minutes a day.Today's episode starts with my describing the experience and a few stories, then with neither pride nor shame, I play the "before" recording, then the "after."The track listing:Before14:42 The Beatles, Across the Universe19:30 The Beatles, While My Guitar Gently WeepsAfter22:40 The Beatles, Across the Universe26:28 The Beatles, While My Guitar Gently Weeps28:44 John Denver, I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane31:26 Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi33:01 Spandau Ballet, True36:12 The Cure, Pictures of You38:54 Earth, Wind, and Fire, September42:19 Woody Guthrie, This Land Is Your Land
430: Rabbi Yonatan Neril, part 1: The Eco Bible
In the midst of several episodes on religious approaches to sustainability I learned of today's guest, Rabbi Yonatan Neril's book The Eco Bible: An Ecological Commentary on Genesis and Exodus.He founded and directs the international Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, including its Jewish Eco Seminars branch. He wrote the book to shine new light on how the Hebrew Bible and great religious thinkers have urged human care and stewardship of nature for thousands of years as a central message of spiritual wisdom.He has spoken internationally on religion and the environment, including at the UN Environment Assembly, the Fez Climate Conscience Summit, the Parliament of World Religions, and the Pontifical Urban University. He co-organized twelve interfaith environmental conferences in Jerusalem, New York City, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Los Angeles, and elsewhere.On a personal note, I saw the chance to learn about my family and upbringing. My father is the person I know most knowledgeable and practicing about Judaism. He is also among the people I know among the most resistant to reconsidering views on nature, pollution, and considering changing how he interacts with it. I was curious how his religion influences him.Yonatan presented another approach full of joy, community, connection, service, and faith. I can't say others all approach it like a chore or burden, like something wehave to do butreally don't want to, but I sure see that approach more. I like Yonatan's mood more.
429: What about jobs?
"What about jobs?" people often ask to counter proposals to constrain some activity. Today's episode answers.Here are the notes I read from:What about jobs?People out of work drain on society, not so happyStore near me that sells trinketsOf any value?I'd prefer a hug, shoulder rub, or make me dinnerMany stages to make: plastic from oil, factory to make, transportation, store clerkFactory, put near landfillWhat about trucks and boats?Better to drive and sail around in circlesAbsurd, but actually better world paying to do worthless work with more hugs, shoulder rubs, and home-made dinners, oil in ground, people not displaced, skies clearerClassic historical case of buggy whipsIf legislated, people wouldn't die.People out of work now clamor to work. People love to serve.I don't know where people's faith in entrepreneurship goes. Constraints breed creativity.Need problem to exist to solve it. If you wait for planned jobs to exist before demand, will never happen. If you keep going in counterproductive industries, we'll destroy Earth's ability to sustain life and society.Economists are incredibly wrong in this area, especially free-market, Ayn Rand types.I'm studying Edwards Deming. Japan: government and industry post WWII did what would be anticompetitive in U.S., but transformed nation and world, more happiness and products, no shortage of competition. Have you seen pictures of Sao Paolo before and after banning billboards.So I'm pretty sure that if we outlawed just producing dioxins and PFOS and carcinogens and created some jobs programs to teach Initiative, which would be enough, or something better if you know, as other nations without our addiction problems do, we'd improve the world by everyone's standards, including the free-market, Ayn Rand types.I think at the root is a belief that people want to be lazy. I just don't see it in at least 99%. If last 1% say 5% scare you, are you really going to let your fears of 5% of people drive economic policy to ecological ruin?I would much rather have shoulder-rubs, dinner made for me, or to make dinner for her, hugs, and what entrepreneurs come up with than destroyed planet. Remember, all those trinkets mean extracting oil for materials, to drive factories, truck, boats, etc to deliver, $1.6B to haul away.When São Paulo introduced its Clean City Law (Lei Cidade Limpa) a decade ago, over 15,000 marketing billboards were taken down.Sao Paulo: The City With No Outdoor AdvertisementsWikipedia's page on Lei Cidade Limpa (Portuguese for clean city law)Five Years After Banning Outdoor Ads, Brazil's Largest City Is More Vibrant Than EverAd Ban in São Paulo São Paulo No LogoAlsoReddit post with many before and after pictures of Poland banning billboards