The Next Generation Asks: Why Not Act on Climate Change? (Video)

Young People Demanding Action

Young people worldwide are demanding answers on climate change. Watch their auditions and add your voice. Thousands heard the call from all over the planet and while it wasn’t easy, we’ve been able to select eight inspiring young people to attend the United Nations Climate Summit in New York on September 23 and ask “Why […]

Toxic Hot Seat (Video) – Ineffective Flame Retardants and our Health

Toxic Flame Retardents

I have written about this topic before in an early post, Toxic flame retardants: In our homes, our dust, our lives, but this HBO special covers this topic in much greater detail and packages it in video ;-) I believe it is very important for everyone to understand the level of chemical experimentation that is happening […]

Our Modern Food (Health) Crisis – Jamie Oliver TED (Video)

Even milk can't escape sugar infusion.

An very inspiring (TED-Talks award winning) speech on the state of our health with relation to how and what we eat. Jamie Oliver wants people to educate kids about what they eat, and give them the knowledge of what exactly they are eating and what is in their school lunches. As he says so brilliantly […]

Troubling news about drastically declining world fish stocks


Here are some of the recent headlines: Northeast, two other US fishing areas declared disasters – Reuters Commerce secretary declares Alaska salmon disaster – Seattle Times Call to freeze fishing in Europe to replenish stocks – BBC ‘Profound’ decline in fish stocks shown in UK records – BBC Study: 40 Mediterranean fish species could vanish – […]

Is this an intelligent use of resources for 1 liter of water?

Water Bottle Energy Use

“It takes a quarter of a liter of oil and 3 liters of water to deliver 1 liter of bottled water. This is an intelligent use of the human ability to reason, right?” I wrote a post before on this subject; OK, Enough with the bottled water already, this is just a quick addendum […]

Peak Oil is Here, but don’t worry, there is still plenty of oil, we just can’t afford it (Video)

Peak Oil

Peak oil is here, there is no doubt about it. But the industry (and our politicians) say there is plenty of fossil fuels still, termed “UN-conventional oil”, or “UN-conventional fossil fuels”. So what does that mean exactly. Well UN-conventional oil is simply oil and gas reserves that we extract using UN-conventional methods from UN-conventional sources, such […]

The Story of Change (Video)

If you haven’t already viewed my post “The Story of Stuff“, I would highly recommend it. This video is from the same people and and is narrated by Annie Leonard as well. Below is a blog post from Annie Leonard discussing the premise of their latest video. And of course you can view the video below as well ;-)

I used to think the truth would set us free. Like many who care about the environment, I spent years thinking that information would lead to change. So I wrote reports, gave speeches, even testified before Congress.

Some things changed. Sadly, the big picture didn’t.

For a long time I couldn’t understand why. Now I’ve realized that it isn’t because we don’t have enough data, white papers or experts to tell us we’re in trouble. The problem is we’ve forgotten what it takes to make change.
My new movie, The Story of Change, argues that’s partly because we’ve gotten stuck in consumer mode.

I’ve come to see that we have two parts to ourselves; it’s almost like two muscles – a consumer muscle and a citizen muscle. Our consumer muscle, which is fed and exercised constantly, has grown strong. So strong that “consumer” has become our primary identity, our reason for being. We’re told so often that we’re a nation of consumers that we don’t blink when the media use “consumer” and “person” interchangeably.

Meanwhile, our citizen muscle has gotten flabby. There’s no marketing campaign reminding us to engage as citizens. On the contrary, we’re bombarded with lists of simple things we can buy or do to save the planet, without going out of our way or breaking a sweat.

No wonder that faced with daunting problems and discouraged by the intransigence of the status quo, we instinctively flex our power in the only way we know how – as consumers. Plastic garbage choking the oceans? Carry your own shopping bag. Formaldehyde in baby shampoo? Buy the brand with the green seal. Global warming threatening life as we know it? Change your lightbulb. (As Michael Maniates, a professor of political and environmental science at Allegheny College, says: “Never has so little been asked of so many.”)

Now, all of those are good things to do. When we shop, it’s good to choose products without toxic chemicals and unnecessary packaging, made by locally-based companies that treat their workers well. But our real power is not in choosing from items on a limited menu; it is in determining what gets on that menu. The way to ensure that toxic, climate-disrupting choices are replaced with safe and healthy alternatives – for everyone, not just those who can afford them – is by engaging as citizens: working together for bigger, bolder change than we could ever accomplish as individual consumers.

Look back at successful movements – civil rights, anti-apartheid, the early environmental victories – and you’ll see that three things are needed to make change at the scale we need today.

First, we need a Big Idea of how things could be better – a morally compelling, ecologically sustainable and socially just idea that will not just make things a little better for a few, but a lot better for everyone. Millions around the world already have that idea: an economy based on the needs of people and the planet, not corporate profit.

Second, we need a commitment to work together. In history’s most transformative social movements, people didn’t say “I will perfect my individual daily choices,” but “We will work together until the problem is solved.” Today, it’s easier than ever to work together, online and off.

Finally, we need all of us who share that Big Idea to get active. We need to move from a place of shared concern, frustration and fear to a place of engaged citizen action. That’s how we build the power to make real change.
We have to aim high, work together and act boldly. It’s not simple, and it won’t be easy. But history is on our side. Let’s get to work to make the kind of change we know is possible.

TED Talks – Johan Rockstrom: Let the environment guide our development (Video)

A very interesting video on an important subject.

About Johan Rockstrom:

Johan Rockstrom is a leader of a new approach to sustainability: planetary boundaries. Working with a team of 29 leading scientists across disciplines, Rockstrom and the Stockholm Resilience Centre identified nine key Earth processes or systems — and marked the upper limit beyond which each system could touch off a major system crash. Climate change is certainly in the mix — but so are other human-made threats such as ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity, chemical pollution.

Our Brief History with Fossil Fuels (Video)

This short animated film made by the Post Carbon Institute gives a quick and entertaining history of our use of fossil fuels to power most of our lives, and what the post-carbon world might look like … The most striking thing to me was the mention that from the beginning of the industrial revolution to now is only an amount of time equivalent to about 3 human lifetimes. So much has changed in such a short period, and it’s a reminder that we can change again. Not as fast as many of us would like, but we can do it. The important thing is to steer towards a better world.

Michael Graham Richard

Read more about our post carbon future here at the Post Carbon Institute.