Building Resilience While Running the Man Out of Business

I was particularly moved by an essay Magi referenced a couple of weeks ago by Marc Doll. At the beginning of the essay he squarely lays out the climate crisis by leading each paragraph with But it is worse than that.

It was the last long paragraph that set me thinking in a new direction. I have encountered most of these ideas before. Maybe it is just the way he frames it.

There is a path forward.

But every day we delay the path forward includes fewer of us. Build community, build resilience, work for food security, think regeneration, plant food-producing trees, think perennial food production, turn your waste products into resources and if that isn't possible, don't consume it! Eat food that does not mine the soil and is locally produced, eat meat that is grass fed in a holistic or intensively rotated (ideally holistically grazed in a silvopasture ) that is used to provide nutrients to vegetation, get to know a farmer or become one yourself. Don't be a carnivore, herbivore or an omnivore... be a 'greenivore'. Park your car, do not vote for anyone who either ignores climate change or says we can have our cake and eat it too, quit your job if it is fossil fuel related (it is better than losing it... which you will), stop buying shit, stop buying expensive cars and overly large houses and then complain that local planet saving food costs more than Costco. Stop buying things that are designed to break and be disposed-of, let go of this society slowly and by your own volition (its better than being forced to do it quickly), Rip up your lawn and plant a garden with perennial veggies, fruit bushes, fruit trees, and nut trees. Learn to compost your own poop (it is easy and doesn't stink). Buy an apple with a blemish, Get a smaller house on a bigger lot and regenerate that land, Plant a guerrilla garden on a city road allowance. Return to the multi-generational house, Realize that growth has only been a thing in human civilization for 250 years and it is about to end and make preparations for this change. If you are perusing Wealth; Stop! Nothing on the planet is more destructive and brings upon more violence, pain, and climate destruction and, by willful ignorance, all at arms reach and without the wealth seeker's knowledge labour or effort. Teach these lessons and this reality to your children. Buy only the necessities, Don't buy new clothes-go to the thrift store. Don't use single-use plastic or if you do re-purpose it, Unplug your garburator (yes Facebook spell check, that is a word) and compost everything, Relearn old forgotten skills. Don't let yourself get away with the argument that the plane is going there anyway when you book a holiday. Understand that there is no such thing as the new normal because next year will be worse, Understand before you make the argument that we need to reduce human population ... meaning the population elsewhere... that it is not overpopulation in China or India that is causing the current problem... It is us and our "western" lifestyle, Understand that those that are currently arguing against refugees and climate change are both increasing the effects of climate change and causing millions of climate refugees... which will be arriving on Canada's doorstep because Canada, due to our size and Northern Latitude, will, on the whole, have some of the best climate refugees. Understand that every baby using disposable diapers is responsible for the equivalent of a cube van full and every woman using disposable feminine hygiene products is responsible for an equivalent amount of un-compostable incredibly high energy intensive waste that will be here for 500 years. Also, understand that there are alternatives to both.
Understand that the densification of cities is condemning those in that density to a food-less future. Stop tolerating the middle ground on climate change. there is no middle ground on gravity, the earth is round, and we are on the verge of collapse.

I don't have the ability to do all of these things, but I can do some of them. It seems to me that part of the focus of the Extinction Rebellion could be to publish a simple clear HOWTO on some of these changes, just like the government did for the Victory Gardens during WWII. Did you know that those gardens ultimately supplied 40% of local food?

And they also ought to supply clear instructions on how to convert a car from gas to electric. Hopefully many climate conscious auto mechanics would pick up on this and start providing the service at a decent price.

And a solar electric car battery charger should be included.

Extinction Rebellion would still focus on non-violent protests, but include education on how to change our habits. And as a result of large groups of people no longer buying clothes, buying Big Ag products, or buying gas boycotts will naturally evolve.

This is may sound too simplistic for some. It is true that ultimately big changes need to occur from folks with power. Anyway, I can personally do a few things in the last paragraph of Marc's essay. I am going for it, while also endeavoring to appreciate the present moment, those around me, the beauty of nature, and gifts of creativity. I hear this message in many of the essays here at c99.

Hope I communicated this well enough to generate a bit of discussion.

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Comments

QMS's picture

With you here Mare. Got the solar charging car bit going. Maybe enough small steps, we can make a big difference?
Thanks for sharing the potential for good going forward. It is needed big time.

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13 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

mhagle's picture

@QMS

The guy in the video. Clearly an expert. Paid $1000 for the car. I should write him and ask about $$ of replacement parts. And the cost of solar charging? In my mind it doesn't make sense to dump all existing cars and manufacture all new electric cars.

Glad you are with me/us!

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11 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

QMS's picture

@mhagle
over 200K miles. Supposed to be self charging, but. Got a bunch of parts online to build a 144 vdc charger for about $50 (can't buy one off-the-shelf). Plug it into the panels on my shop. She still gets 70 mpg, all aluminum. two seater. Just picked up another one for $1k. People throw away too much good stuff.

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Listen to your higher mind.

mhagle's picture

@QMS

Have you done an essay on that build?

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

janis b's picture

@QMS

what is best to do with regard to my 23 year old Toyota. Selling or scrapping, and buying a hybrid car? I am torn between keeping it (as it's been with me for 18 years) and appears that it could go on forever, and buying a hybrid I think would be better environmentally. I have not thought of or heard before about swapping the engine over. Is it one or the other, gas or electric? Can it be converted to hybrid?

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Hawkfish's picture

@janis b

Used are even better. And there are a surprising number of them out there - I found 10+ used Teslas in Manassas VA the other day (I needed leverage with a car dealer). The secondary market is coming: My used 2015 Leaf is becoming old school. I wonder if you can swap out the batteries for newer ones?

Retrofitting is good too - the problem is that most people can’t do it themselves. Sounds like a great coop business plan.

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

janis b's picture

@Hawkfish

I agree 'used is better'. I will have plenty of free time soon to do some research, and hopefully find a good solution. Good luck to you too.

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mhagle's picture

@janis b

Here is a sample:

A team of students at Middle Tennessee State University have developed a kit that can turn any car into a fuel-efficient hybrid. Dr. Charles Perry has lead the research since 2008, and his team used a 1994 Honda station wagon as their platform.

There are videos that use solar to create a hybrid. Might be a great first stage option for many of us.

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4 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

janis b's picture

@mhagle

I am starting to look at the possibilities here. I will have time soon to do some research in preparation for hopefully reaching a good solution.

This guy here is passionate about the subject! ...

http://kiwiev.com/the-original-kiwi-ev-conversion/

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mhagle's picture

@janis b

Great story. Thanks Janis!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

@mhagle Just introduced a bill to increase the license plate fee on EV's to $1000 annually compared to $101 for a fossil fuel vehicle here in Il. His justification is they don't use gas so they don't pay road use tax. I expect it will pass now that IL. is in full control of the Dems. No good deed goes unpunished.

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mhagle's picture

@pro left

Sad. So sad. But not unexpected that there would be this kind of resistance. That's why we need a loud Extinction Rebellion movement speaking loudly against it.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Hawkfish's picture

@pro left

A Democrat made the proposal too. Fortunately it didn’t go anywhere but with friends like these...

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

Dawn's Meta's picture

@pro left

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Lookout's picture

Eat food that does not mine the soil and is locally produced, eat meat that is grass fed in a holistic or intensively rotated (ideally holistically grazed in a silvopasture ) that is used to provide nutrients to vegetation, get to know a farmer or become one yourself. Don't be a carnivore, herbivore or an omnivore... be a 'greenivore'. Park your car,

...and funny you mention electric cars, when my engine craps out on my '92 Geo Tracker I'm electrifying. http://atlantaelectriccarcompany.com/

And using solar panels to charge a battery bank to recharge. I keep waiting for environmentally friendly salt water batteries
https://phys.org/news/2018-01-inexpensive-stablethe-salt-battery.html
Unlike flow batteries, lithium ion batteries, and lead acid batteries, our Aspen batteries are made using abundant, nontoxic materials and modern low cost manufacturing techniques. Our saltwater batteries are maintenance-free and optimized for daily deep cycling.
http://aquionenergy.com/technology/deep-cycle-battery/

That's my long term goal. Driving with sunlight. That's how I heat (mostly).

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15 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mhagle's picture

@Lookout

I get so much inspiration from you!

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7 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Raggedy Ann's picture

The list - it can be overwhelming, but which is not necessary? I, like you, am trying to do some. We have solar to about 85% of our home. We harvest rainwater. We garden. Have chickens for our own eggs. We compost ~ we’re trying to do our part. It’s a fraction of what needs to be done, but it’s my part for now.

I need to get a hybrid or solar car. I live rurally, so everything is far. It’s on my list for next year.

Baby steps. Pleasantry

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“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”

-- Voltaire

mhagle's picture

@Raggedy Ann

All the things you are doing are fabulous and inspire me too. Being OK with doing what we can realistically do is important IMO.

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8 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Hawkfish's picture

@Raggedy Ann

The other day for about $31K. 111k miles and 300+ range. Kind of a boat and not used car cheap but the secondary market is definitely growing fast. Many new models (Bolt, Leaf) have 240 range and next year some may enter that market too.

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6 users have voted.

We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Hawkfish
I definitely need to look into my options and will only buy used. Didn't think of Tesla, but hey - they're an option! Pleasantry

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3 users have voted.

“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”

-- Voltaire

smiley7's picture

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7 users have voted.

Thank you for this. For most of the last two decades my focus of activities has been local because national and state politics seemed too corrupt to allow for change. I have worked with transition towns and other such entities to help develop local self-suffiency, resilliency and am now looking to develop and off-the-grid, energy-independent home with an edible forest to allow our family as much self-suffiency as possible. It is my view that this is one of the best things one can invest in, not just because of the resilliency it affords, but also because it to a small extent it starves the corporate beast and, in my case, it removes investments from Wall Street, where my retirement funds must, by law, be invested. This will be my retirement investment, so that when I die I may leave behind some small infrastructure that can sustain others. I am painfully aware, that most people cannot afford to do this even as part of eco-communities, but we really must do all we can.

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magiamma's picture

@Blue Meany
My thinking is things need to be underground to keep cool and warm. But also dry is important.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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mhagle's picture

@Blue Meany

please post essays on what you are doing!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Anja Geitz's picture

Thank you. Being conscious and determined is half the battle.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

magiamma's picture

So much. You are a climate ambassador. Lol

Composting toilets. We really need to be on top of those. Heh. Bc that will b a big issue as things break down.

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8 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

mhagle's picture

@magiamma @magiamma

There are only aerial views of my garden. So there is a composting toilet and soon an outdoor shower. Nice to be still that wild.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

janis b's picture

for a very clear and succinct condensation of what really matters, and is realistic.

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Dawn's Meta's picture

I really like using homes, apartments and other buildings for solar, wind and growing things. It strikes at the heart of independence from corporations especially energy corps. I personally believe these essential items for living should belong to the CommonWealth and not to for profit companies.

When I see solar farms, I see corporations trying to hang on to their control. When I see lots of solar on roof tops, I see decentralization. In cities and suburbs I always scan for orientation and unshaded access of roofs to sun.
Here is a 'decorist' idea which is catching on:
Green Walls

Association of Green Roofs and Walls

I agree cars are a big item in the climate change list of things to remedy. But there are so many corporate entities we have no control over, I can't think how we get them or break them up. Not sure what percentage of our problems are captive and what we percentage we can influence. Like you, I think we should do everything we can.

I will probably drop some mention of the Knepp Estate Experiment "Wilding" a Sussex farm SW of London, any chance I can, because it is so encouraging, uplifting and quicker to execute than anyone thought possible.

Thanks Marilyn.

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3 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

mhagle's picture

@Dawn's Meta

Definitely all kinds of urban growing whether on walls or in abandoned subways like the one in England. Have been meaning to do an essay about Cuban agriculture. Sanctions have forced them to grow their own food. Sort of starved and had hard times for a few years and then figured out how to make it work. Food is growing everywhere in cities and the countryside. And now they use oxen rather than tractors.

This wilding project is definitely inspiring!

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2 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Dawn's Meta's picture

@mhagle

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2 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

I used to think that whatever small steps individuals could take to combat climate change and pollution would be insignificant compared to the power of commercial interests. But in this crisis every every small step is a vote for or against destruction.

A big problem is convincing people they have power, power to do something that will add up to something bigger, from city dweller to rural dweller. We are so easily played against each other. Stupid small minded country goobers/smug clueless latte sipping urban dwellers. Then there is the holier than thou ecofreak who points to everything being done by individuals as not good enough. "you compost and have solar panels, but you FLEW IN A PLANE FOR VACATION?" Eye roll!!

Another problem is the policy of selling the rights to pollute. So you conserve, that's worth something. You sell your conservation to a corporation that uses it to continue polluting, in the form of a credit. This is wrong. We cleaned up many of our lakes and rivers by using government tax and grants, stick and carrots to do the job. Not "we'll only dump waste into half the lakes and rivers and leave the rest alone".

Somehow we need to not disrespect people for only doing a few things on that list, if that's what they can do. We also need to have the knowledge of what is possible, the do-it-youselfers to show individuals how it can be done.

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mhagle's picture

@Snode

Somehow we need to not disrespect people for only doing a few things on that list, if that's what they can do. We also need to have the knowledge of what is possible, the do-it-youselfers to show individuals how it can be done.

This sums it up nicely! Thanks!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

A path forward. It strikes me as being a Tolkienish phrase.
I suppose we don't actually know if there is a path forward, but it seems to me that is how it has always been. Nobody has ever known how much time they have to travel the path forward. We have never known when exactly we will drop dead. Certainly a new element in our perception of the human condition is the dawning realization that we are causing our own demise. Our collective actions have ensured that we will drop dead sooner rather than later, so hence the crisis.

Now that we know that our actions have imperiled the next generations and all the living things on the planet, we can see the need to embark on our travels with great care. This is perhaps our opportunity to live up to our better potentials. The age-old questions that great minds posed way back when such as: what is a good life?, how should we live? what is really important? may prove relevant. Those questions were always posed in a classical liberal arts education in the philosophy 101 class. They were also generally dismissed as ridiculous by the students because we all know that the most important thing to learn in our society is how to make the most money. But now that our error about how to live on this planet has been glaringly exposed and is so obvious, we may consider those questions seriously.

As more people recognize that our time here is running out due to our own sloppy behavior, and that that will be our legacy to the following generations, more people may take better care. I hope so. I think this crisis can change us in a good way, if we take that opportunity. Though the planet will outlast our sloppy behavior, everything else will not.

If we had a seriously ill person in our household whose time left to live was potentially in peril, we would shower that person with love and minister to them with great care and try to meet their every need with kindness. We would realize that our time may be very short with this person and we would want to be with them. This is how I am coming to see my time left on this earth. I want to take care of it as best I can. For me that involves the steps all of you have been talking about.

I'm so glad you referenced this article again Marilyn. I saw it as well in magiamma's Thursday roundup. The

path forward

paragraph was also my favorite part and I grasped onto it with what I can only describe as a feeling of consolation. Like a good Hobbit, I plan on traveling that path forward with the best of intentions.
Thanks again Marilyn, once again, I am reminded why I love the people here.

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mhagle's picture

@randtntx

It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.

Bilbo Baggins, J.R.R.Tolkien.

This is truly at the core of our existence now. Beautifully written. Thank you.

If we had a seriously ill person in our household whose time left to live was potentially in peril, we would shower that person with love and minister to them with great care and try to meet their every need with kindness. We would realize that our time may be very short with this person and we would want to be with them. This is how I am coming to see my time left on this earth. I want to take care of it as best I can. For me that involves the steps all of you have been talking about.

Great comments from all the folks here.

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3 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

but you can do a good job of living in an ethical way.

We are 7.5 billion people, and will be 10 in a few decades. CO2 has just been measured at 415ppm. we are just about at twice the limit of CO2 increase of 350.org above pre industrial levels. It's increasing and accelerating.

A truly sustainable civilization will stop all CO2 emissions, will begin to sequester CO2 from the air and oceans and will reduce our human footprint to regrow the forests. We have very little time to do this and show no willingness to even consider this. There is no other solution except to go back to a primitive hunter-gatherer species with a top population in the millions. There is no in between. It takes a lot of technology and fossil fuel to run our current civilization. Want to try subsistence farming? I know a few folks that tried that in the 60s and 70s. Absolutely brutal. Can we live off of the scraps of technical civilization? No not really and not over any period of time. Even a small farm needs a tractor and diesel fuel. Ever plow a field with a tractor? I have. It is very energy intensive. You will never get there with a small electric motor and a few lead acid batteries. To go electric requires a highly technological civilization with all of the engineering and manufacturing support to develop an electric farm tractor. Politics is the only solution, because only government can force the solution to these problems. The problem is that right now there are no realistic programs on the table to save civilization and there is no political movement. So, I have two questions for all of you reading this. 1) Are you willing to back a serious program to develop a sustainable civilization and 2) Are you willing to protest?

Don't get me wrong, I applaud you if you take the steps outlined by the essayist and some of the commentators. Bravo! I try to do as much as I can. I drive an EV, I've replaced all of my light bulbs and appliances. I use a heatpump in the in between seasons and shut off my furnace. I have a vegetable garden out back. I try to buy all locally produced food. But I don't kid myself, I can't save civilization this way.

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Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

mhagle's picture

@The Wizard

Your assertions are valid. Absolutely. I would say this essay is really about attitude, not about whether or not it will actually work. It's about to live and work and be.

However, the protests give me an inkling of hope. I would not have believed them possible a year ago. And if a well organized group like extinction rebellion spread resilience HOWTOs, we could be surprised again.

It is also taking stock about what I can and cannot do. Then not worrying about the stuff I can't do. Because it won't help.

Thanks for your comment. It is an important perspective!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo