This week we’ve got the first of 2 mini-interviews with David Strahan, author of the excellent book “The Last Oil Shock”. This week David talks about whether the developed world has really become more energy efficient, a key question if we want to hang onto the world-view that technology will save us. (HINT: I’m growing veggies in my backyard.) Check out David’s take on the subject at http://www.howtoboilafrog.com/#video.
Our Book o’ the Update is “Peak Everything” by Richard Heinberg, a must-read overview of our current situation that goes way beyond just limits to our global oil supply (topping out now) into all energy sources, topsoil, forest, fish, phosphates, you name it, we’re using it up at unsustainable rates. Richard’s work is key to understanding that this is NOT JUST A BUNCH OF ISOLATED PROBLEMS you’re seeing on the news everyday. We’re looking at a systemic problem (too many people, too little planet) and all the symptoms are going to hit us at once: sniffles, aches, fever, insomnia, indigestion, gout, itching, swelling, shrinkage, annoying hair growth and a bunch of other things for which there is no easy remedy. That’s the real Domino Theory we need to learn about, and Richard’s book is a great place to start. Check it out at http://www.howtoboilafrog.com/#books.
Once again we’re replacing all 5 Essential Articles with new ones, to keep up with those dominoes. Note there’s an emotional progression of these articles – sort of like the flow from “Death Proof” into “Planet Terror” – so read all 5 in one sitting if you can put down the iPod/laptop/TV remote/Crackberry that long.
Up first is “An Inconvenient Talk” by Chris Turner, which tells the story of Calgary-based geoscientist Dave Hughes and his mission of spreading the basic facts about peak oil. Why this article isn’t on the cover of, say, everything, escapes me.
Move on from there to “What You Don’t Know Makes You Nervous” by Daniel Gilbert. You’ll find that, no, it isn’t just you - we’re all stuck in a kind of nervous ambivalence, knowing we should change our behavior but not doing it because maybe – just maybe – we won’t have to. So the question becomes, after you read this article, will you take action? Still not convinced?
Then move on to “Too Big to Fail: Ecological Ignorance and Economic Collapse” by Chip Ward, as he explains the cycles of the economy by looking at Nature…and takes you into your feelings. Continue that journey with…
“Solastalgia” by Sanjay Khanna, who wants to come up with a better name for what we’re feeling than “I-know-I-shouldn’t-drive-and-fly-and-consume-mass-quantities-of-conveniently-packaged-stuff-because-I’m-killing-the-polar-bears-and-my-great-grandchildren-but-it’s-too-hard-to-change-and-we-all-die-anyway-itis.” She got it down to 4 syllables, and came up with some good insights on how to get to action too. So now that you’ve felt your feelings, finish off with…
“Family Farmers: The Return” by Herve Kempf. A good career reminder: the real green jobs of the future are going to be in growing green stuff! Lawns are so 20th century. Zuke flower salads from the backyard are in! All these fine wordsmiths await you at http://www.howtoboilafrog.com/#articles.
After all that reading, it’s time to move on to our Essential Movie, and not only is it free, but I guarantee it will dazzle you. It’s “The History of Oil”, written and performed by Robert Newman. Witty, beautifully shot and entirely powered by guys on stationary bikes, this is one of the most brilliant pieces of entertainment I’ve seen in a long time. Just click on http://www.howtoboilafrog.com/#movies and sit back for an hour of something I wish there were a lot more of. For more on this extraordinary comedian, songwriter & activist, visit http://www.robnewman.com/index.html
Our Essential Funny Web Short is called “Stop Pollution”, an animated featurette with penguins & polar bears, who by the way will soon be indigenous to Cleveland. Waitin’ for you at http://www.howtoboilafrog.com/#webshorts.
We’ve also replaced all 5 Essential Links because there’s so dang much great stuff happening online right now.
Start with The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, if you’re looking for a new and extraordinary kind of commitment to saving Humanity. HTBAF the Movie advocates a voluntary restriction to one child (and adoption after that) – here’s the next step beyond!
Next is the GrowthBusters website, brought to you by Friend O’ the Frog Dave Gardner. Like HTBAF, this is both a website and an upcoming film!
New Society Publishers is a local publishing house with an amazing catalogue – a must-browse!
World-changing has a great motto – “Change your thinking” – from that all else flows. The link on our site goes to a page that has a video on urban eco-villages, which turn out to be nothing like what I had in my head. Check it out and then cruise the site for a zillion free resources.
We’ve got a couple of different Actions o’ the Week. If you happen to be lucky enough to live in and around lovely Vancouver, BC, check out the summer courses being offered at Langara College by Village Vancouver – just click on http://www.villagevancouver.ca/ to see what’s happening on the skill-building front. (If you live elsewhere, try googling Transition Towns to see what’s available in your area.) Or if you’re in the mood for some trouble-making, try out http://beyondtalk.net/ to sign up for civil disobedience or action offsets!
And don’t forget to check out the first review of HTBAF the movie at http://energybulletin.net/node/49188. Not bad for a movie nobody's allowed to see yet! Thanks to FOF's Bart Anderson at http://www.energybulletin.net/ and Kathy McMahon at http://www.peakoilblues.com/ for spreading the word about the movie!
And, as always, please spread this email to others who are not yet Frog-aware, and discuss with them some of what you see and read here. What you do matters!
Till next time,