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Summary

Paul is talking with Alan Booker about climate change

Paul finds much of the narrative around climate change is too political, and he hasn't any interest in that.

Alan tells a story of a man who's sick, and goes to the doctor.  He has many symptoms including fever but the Doctor focuses on the fever; Alan feels this is a metaphor for the current fixation with carbon footprint - the approach is too narrow.  Focusing on just carbon is unbalanced because the carbon cycle is just one of many interlinked systems.

They agree that they both know a way to combat climate change: people must partner with the biosphere and work with it to solve the issues that mankind has created.  However, we need to motivate enough people.

Paul says he never gets to answer the question "how can I affect climate change" because in a group of 12 people, 11 will immediately interrupt that no one person can do anything meaningful.  He's convinced that this has become a mantra.

Alan says people are more likely to do things if they see how it can improve their lifestyle, and permaculture serves as an example which other people can see, thus having a wider effect.

Alan says that change is driven by people, not politicians or corporations: every intervention is driven from below, short of military coups.  However, people need to have spare capacity to think about things before they will consider non-mainstream solutions.  

Paul asks if 100 million people read "Building a better world in your backyard" whether it would solve climate change.  Alan is non-committal as it would depend where the 100 million are located.  You need about 12% of a population to adopt something to trigger mass spread.  Alan thinks maybe 3% would do something substantial from the book and those 3% would incentivize others; however it takes time.

They conclude that ideally the message needs to go viral, but they're not sure how to achieve that.

Relevant Threads

Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop

Cider Press forum - for discussions on climate change and politics.  Enter at your own risk.

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COMMENTS:
 
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Running Thoughts and Ramblings While Listening

I can relate with the tone of looking at the idea of 'climate change' and the mix of misinformation and political posturing surrounding the crux of the issue with nonsensical fluff. This fluff slows down getting the focus on the most important parts that can be leveraged into change. Alan's story really puts it to words of what we have on our hands. Left, Right, or quite literally Indifferent we have climate 'symptoms' on our hands.

I like Alan's mention on how we (as a whole) tend to tunnel vision on carbon capture and nothing else. I think its a weakness that we want an 'easy' straightforward fix to issues and not a multi-step multifaceted solution that has several moving parts.

People, as a whole, are unreliable when you need them to change from their established habits. Trying to get people to give up perceived comforts in order to address climate change is like herding kittens. It is too much and the idea is shut down before any sort of attempt is tried.

Discussing the changes a person can have that increases their quality of life is intriguing. The possibilities raised by this, and the testimony that can be gained from it can be a coercive way to pulling people towards a greener future. That whole politics thing throws a cog into the wheels though. People these days would rather 'win' than to have a constructive discussion over issues. I should know, I am politically active, but it is important to keep a healthy dose of skepticism to what we consider to be written in stone. Don't ask Paul what to do about climate change. Got it!

I am not against fossil fuels, I am not against renewables, I am for a diverse grid that strikes a balance of resiliency and functionality. This grid however needs to put emphasis on local efficient production rather than a few centralized power producers. The idea of rocket mass heaters crawling into the semi-mainstream as a form of heat generation and independence is a start, for those than can utilize them.

Cognitive Dissonance is a great phrase. I studied in school the psychology of terrorism and the idea of people getting radicalized causing them to suffer enormous amounts of cognitive dissonance. This and how difficult it is to 'de-program' a person back into reality once they have been pulled into the understanding that they are trying to cling to. Trying to change people requires small steps and it is a challenge.

I need to get ahold of your book and read it, I'm figuring if somebody takes the time to read a book they will glean some kind of information that they might incorporate something into their life. It might not be something FROM the book, but the idea is planted in their head. I guess it is planting the seed and making a person want to pursue it is the trick to creating a movement? I just hope the moment won't be brief but something that gains momentum! I'm glad that I'm in the vein of thinking as Paul, the degree of adopting behaviors that are positive to the climate.

The whole Al Gore segment is sobering. A better recipe is needed definitely with those projected results. Influence is needed to be developed and wield to make change in the correct direction. People get a sort of mob-think that they can't do something to help and nobody can break the hypnosis that they are under. Is it a lack of critical thinking in todays people? I'm not sure.

I don't think that is a political statement you said there, but it is rather the reality. Feel-good low-impact actions like waving signs while still bringing in revenue is the game. I think in the internet era with computer bots and AI, corporations are 100% influencing public opinion by putting out fake reviews. It's like nations spreading propaganda but instead its Soda A vs Soda B. A population tends to only go into revolution when they don't feel they are being heard. Creating a false avenue to give the impression that people are being heard then they are less likely to try and go towards revolution. We can learn from the French!

The critical inflection point is new information for me, it seems to make sense. I would love to see data on areas that see higher usage of permaculture principles and how those ideas get spread locally. I'm thinking like the water management on keylines work done in India where farmers teach farmers to succeed.

Sometimes the medicine that people need is bitter, and that is worse to a person than the illness that is taking them. Dressing up the medicine... that is a challenge.

Great podcast guys, really enjoyed it.

 
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I'm not really political.  But everyone should listen to me and do what I say

That's gold XD

Even isolationism is a political stance.  

Good talk thanks.  I should try and collect some thoughts over this one of these days.
 
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