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
520: Blake Haxton, part 1: Paralympic victory and maybe the most important message I've heard on sustainability
I learned of Blake through the mailing list of the maker of my rowing machine, Concept2. Their piece on him described him as a Paralympic bound athlete. I was impressed, but only thought of him as a potential guest on watching his TEDx talk.I think my message to his agent describes what I saw in him and when we talked about in this episode:In Blake's case, I heard a message I've never heard with such clarity and experience I wonder if he realizes how much it applies to stewardship and the environment. It's almost the exact message nearly everyone needs. I can't put it as well as he can, but what he shared starting around minute 3 of his TEDx talk of a system breaking down, where most people would be ready to give up, technology being important, but relationships, faith, support, and laughter being the core of what worked.I see roughly 350 million Americans and 7.9 billion humans ready to give in and accept a system breaking down. Then I see Blake living the opposite of their resignation leading to a better life, and there's been almost a decade since leading to what I read as yet more improvement.In my book coming out next year, I quote Churchill's speeches during the blitz -- that it's bad, it will get worse, but we will fight on the beaches, we will never surrender, it will be our finest hour. I heard in Blake's message from a decade ago what America and the world would benefit most from hearing today. I expect it's stronger today.Since he also just won a silver medal, I also ask him about the training and competing.Blake's TEDx talk, The Advantage of Adversity
519: Terik Weekes, Chief Engineer for Elroy Air: The future of electric flight
Should you prepare for a future of clean air travel, curb your flying, or other?I saw Terik speak on a panel on electric flight. As Chief Engineer at a company winning awards for battery-powered planes, he knew what he was talking about. He has to know about the cutting edge of various fields, including batteries, aeronautics, and materials.When the Wright Brothers first flew a heavier-than-air craft in 1903, nobody could have predicted a 747. Are electric planes today at the Wright Brothers stage of development, with electric 747s around the corner, are they at the closing end of that line of development with few advances left, or something else?The news covers the drone market taking off, advances in batteries, and small planes going short distances. I'm curious about the prospect of planes flying people across oceans. Can it happen? If so, when? If not, why not and what does that mean for a culture that values air travel, or may be addicted to it.What does someone at the frontier of the field anticipate, professionally for electric flying and personally for spending time with his distant family?Terik and I cover all these questions and more.Elroy Air
518: Killing cities, gardens, and parks, New York's cruel "Open Restaurants" overreach
Don't outdoor restaurants sound nice? During the pandemic, New York City allowed restaurants that couldn't host people indoors to serve them outdoors. Many restaurant owners credit the rule for keeping them in business. We neighbors happily supported businesses in need.The landlords saw the huge profit in keeping this public space for their private property, started raising rents---profiting from a deadly pandemic---and tried to get politicians to give them that public land permanently.I might not mind if that space were coming from just car spaces, or if restaurants weren't polluting the area so much with plastic, burning fossil fuels to heat the outdoors while California is on fire, other packaging, and noise.There is a better alternative that no one thought of because we didn't know the city was willing to convert space from parking spaces and open sidewalk. We could turn it to living green spaces: community gardens, playgrounds, farmers markets, bike lanes, public pedestrian spaces, and such. There was already huge demand for such spaces. People wait years for plots in the tiny spaces we have. But search the web for "Manhattan community gardens" and you'll find almost nothing, especially around Greenwich Village.This program is already raising rents, making new restaurants harder to start. It helps a few individuals while hurting the industry it purports to help.Those who know New York City's history will see this land grab from the public on par with the failed Lower Manhattan Expressway. People organized to protect what became global destinations: Soho, Nolita, Tribeca, the Lower East Side.If you have influence with New York City politics, end this program of pollution and destruction.See images and videos I made of what Open Restaurants contributes to:https://joshuaspodek.com/another-morning-walk-seeing-litter-in-my-neighborhoodhttps://joshuaspodek.com/pride-destroyed-the-park-washington-square-park-after-a-parade (video and pictures)https://joshuaspodek.com/video-whats-wrong-with-new-york-city (video and pictures)