This Sustainable Life

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426: Why unplug?

Ep. 426

I'm in my second month since I unplugged my fridge. Why unplug it?

Not because I think its power makes anything more than a negligible difference. This episode describes why.

Here are my notes I read from:

The other two reasons I unplug the fridge. The first was after reading Vietnam and much of the world ferments, I was curious to learn fermentation. Second is reading how much backup power a grid needs to maintain perfect uptime. Resilience. Each bit after 99% costs a lot more. Alternatively, 95% requires almost no backup. Third is to learn and grow myself. Neediness and entitlement, especially to things that hurt others and nobody needed for hundreds of thousands of years, doesn't make me better person. Do you know anyone spoiled? Do you describe them as "You know what I love about Kate? She's spoiled and acts entitled."


Low Tech Magazine's two articles I mentioned, plus a third on how resilience increases security too

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1/17/2021

429: What about jobs?

Ep. 429
"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
1/15/2021

428: Vanessa Friedman: The New York Times Fashion Director and Chief Fashion Critic

Ep. 428
Vanessa Friedman sees the fashion world from a vantage point few others can as the Fashion Director and Chief Fashion Critic at the New York Times. She arrived there after pioneering roles covering fashion at Financial Times in a first-ever role there, InStyle, Vogue, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, and Elle.She shares the industry's forays into sustainability---or responsible fashion in her terms---as well as sharing her thoughts on it.Right off the bat she talked about reducing consumption, which I differentiate from reusing and recycling, which most people jump to, but I consider tactical. Reducing is strategic. Harder to get at first, but leads to easier life and work.I was awkward, as I don't know the fashion world, but you can hear from her that environmental responsibility is catching on in fashion. Barely so far, but in some places at least authentically and growing. It looks like there's hope in the industry, though they have a long way to go, a lot of resistance, and many players acting in the opposite direction.I'm also glad to hear Vanessa's personal attention, thoughtfulness, interest, which all sounded heartfelt, thorough, and genuine. At the New York Times she's at a leverage point so I suspect she will influence. I like that celebrities are acting because, however small that change, they influence others. I believe they can help change culture.How Vanessa Friedman Became One of the Foremost Critics in the Fashion Industry