Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dick Smith - Wilberforce Award

"So today I am announcing Dick Smith’s Wilberforce Award – $1 million to go to a young person under 30 who can impress me by becoming famous through his or her ability to show leadership in communicating an alternative to our population and consumption growth-obsessed economy. I will be looking for candidates whose actions over the next year show that they have what it takes to be among the next generation of leaders our incredible planet so badly needs.

Candidates will need to have a firm belief that we can have a viable and strong world economy that is no longer obsessed with growth for its own sake, but instead encourages both a stable population and sustainable consumption of energy and resources. They must be able to communicate that we cannot continue to squander the resources that will be needed by future generations, and they must also be able to communicate a plan that offers an alternative to our growth addiction.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A lesson on population density

It strikes me that the disaster in Japan may serve as a lesson on the perils of high density population.

I am not trying to say it is any one's fault or in any way make this bad situation any worse.

I am merely noting that if the areas hit by the Earthquake and Tsunami had been less densely populated that there would be significantly fewer ramifications.

For example, in a densely populated area you may have to put your nuclear reactors near your people.

In a densely populated country single events affect a higher number of people simply because there are more people there.

In a densely populated country just where do you send the homeless when the rest of the country is full or devastated? Do these people have to leave their homeland, their country?

Imagine if a bigger event took place. An event that affects more than just one country. Maybe it affects many or half the world...maybe even more!

One day such an event will occur in the form of a meteor strike.

If the world is full of people where do the affected masses go? The Space Shuttle is retiring you know and even it only carries 8 people max and it can't even reach the moon.

So, a sustainable population density means that we humans can endure such disasters much less painfully.

As long as we cram ourselves into every ridiculous danger zone on the planet we can expect to witness human suffering on a great scale.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Earthquakes,Tsunamis and the end of the world

I feel terrible for the people of Japan.
Only a little over a year back my wife and I visited Japan.
The people are lovely and the place is magnificent.
I can't comprehend what they've been through and I can't see how they'll recover..but I know they will.

As a side effect of all this I've seen and heard a lot of daft talk about "the end of days", "the planet's revenge" and so forth.

Of course this is all bullshit.

As the image above shows, Japan has a grand history of Earthquakes and Tsunamis. They knew it was coming and they prepared as best they could.

But we all know the Earth is far more powerful than anything we can prepare for.

On a planetary scale this stuff is quite normal. It has been going on for as long as the Earth has been around and it will keep happening for as long as we'll be around to notice.

The science of this is well documented and clearly explained.

Yet for some reason we humans are surprised when those of us living on fault lines experience Earthquakes. We stare in awe as those of us who live at sea level get inundated by rains and Tsunamis. We can't comprehend that the town at the base of a volcano gets engulfed by ash, molten magma and mud.

So, in the surprise and shock of it all some of us start to notice a pattern. The Earth is bored with us and is evicting us...

She's sick of us, our pollution and our global warming.

The problem is that the human brain likes order and links unrelated events. It also doesn't do mathematical probability all that well. It thinks "co-incidences" are more than random happenings that kind-of look related.

Mind you, if the dummies want to think global warming has made the Earth mad then fine.

Doubly fine if it makes them think twice about polluting and reproducing.

Global warming is most likely real, but there are doubters. Nothing like a few global omens to make up for where logic and brain power fails ;-)