ecosystems   798

« earlier    

How to Prepare for the Next Recession: Automate the Rescue Plan
San Diego 4h ago
As someone with an engineering background (both education and mindset) this kind of simplistic design of complex systems is very concerning.

If anyone remembers Nassim Tal...
complexity  economic_downturn  ecosystems  howto  letters_to_the_editor  modelling  models  Nassim_Taleb  oversimplification  preparation  recessions  from notes
4 days ago by jerryking
[Essay] | Faustian Economics, by Wendell Berry | Harper's Magazine
"The general reaction to the apparent end of the era of cheap fossil fuel, as to other readily foreseeable curtailments, has been to delay any sort of reckoning. The strategies of delay, so far, have been a sort of willed oblivion, or visions of large profits to the manufacturers of such “biofuels” as ethanol from corn or switchgrass, or the familiar unscientific faith that “science will find an answer.” The dominant response, in short, is a dogged belief that what we call the American Way of Life will prove somehow indestructible. We will keep on consuming, spending, wasting, and driving, as before, at any cost to anything and everybody but ourselves.

This belief was always indefensible — the real names of global warming are Waste and Greed — and by now it is manifestly foolish. But foolishness on this scale looks disturbingly like a sort of national insanity. We seem to have come to a collective delusion of grandeur, insisting that all of us are “free” to be as conspicuously greedy and wasteful as the most corrupt of kings and queens. (Perhaps by devoting more and more of our already abused cropland to fuel production we will at last cure ourselves of obesity and become fashionably skeletal, hungry but — thank God! — still driving.)"

"The normalization of the doctrine of limitlessness has produced a sort of moral minimalism: the desire to be efficient at any cost, to be unencumbered by complexity. The minimization of neighborliness, respect, reverence, responsibility, accountability, and self-subordination — this is the culture of which our present leaders and heroes are the spoiled children.

Our national faith so far has been: “There’s always more.” Our true religion is a sort of autistic industrialism. People of intelligence and ability seem now to be genuinely embarrassed by any solution to any problem that does not involve high technology, a great expenditure of energy, or a big machine. Thus an X marked on a paper ballot no longer fulfills our idea of voting. One problem with this state of affairs is that the work now most needing to be done — that of neighborliness and caretaking — cannot be done by remote control with the greatest power on the largest scale. A second problem is that the economic fantasy of limitlessness in a limited world calls fearfully into question the value of our monetary wealth, which does not reliably stand for the real wealth of land, resources, and workmanship but instead wastes and depletes it.

That human limitlessness is a fantasy means, obviously, that its life expectancy is limited. There is now a growing perception, and not just among a few experts, that we are entering a time of inescapable limits. We are not likely to be granted another world to plunder in compensation for our pillage of this one. Nor are we likely to believe much longer in our ability to outsmart, by means of science and technology, our economic stupidity. The hope that we can cure the ills of industrialism by the homeopathy of more technology seems at last to be losing status. We are, in short, coming under pressure to understand ourselves as limited creatures in a limited world.

This constraint, however, is not the condemnation it may seem. On the contrary, it returns us to our real condition and to our human heritage, from which our self-definition as limitless animals has for too long cut us off. Every cultural and religious tradition that I know about, while fully acknowledging our animal nature, defines us specifically as humans — that is, as animals (if the word still applies) capable of living not only within natural limits but also within cultural limits, self-imposed. As earthly creatures, we live, because we must, within natural limits, which we may describe by such names as “earth” or “ecosystem” or “watershed” or “place.” But as humans, we may elect to respond to this necessary placement by the self-restraints implied in neighborliness, stewardship, thrift, temperance, generosity, care, kindness, friendship, loyalty, and love.

In our limitless selfishness, we have tried to define “freedom,” for example, as an escape from all restraint. But, as my friend Bert Hornback has explained in his book The Wisdom in Words, “free” is etymologically related to “friend.” These words come from the same Indo-European root, which carries the sense of “dear” or “beloved.” We set our friends free by our love for them, with the implied restraints of faithfulness or loyalty. And this suggests that our “identity” is located not in the impulse of selfhood but in deliberately maintained connections."

"And so our cultural tradition is in large part the record of our continuing effort to understand ourselves as beings specifically human: to say that, as humans, we must do certain things and we must not do certain things. We must have limits or we will cease to exist as humans; perhaps we will cease to exist, period. At times, for example, some of us humans have thought that human beings, properly so called, did not make war against civilian populations, or hold prisoners without a fair trial, or use torture for any reason.

Some of us would-be humans have thought too that we should not be free at anybody else’s expense. And yet in the phrase “free market,” the word “free” has come to mean unlimited economic power for some, with the necessary consequence of economic powerlessness for others. Several years ago, after I had spoken at a meeting, two earnest and obviously troubled young veterinarians approached me with a question: How could they practice veterinary medicine without serious economic damage to the farmers who were their clients? Underlying their question was the fact that for a long time veterinary help for a sheep or a pig has been likely to cost more than the animal is worth. I had to answer that, in my opinion, so long as their practice relied heavily on selling patented drugs, they had no choice, since the market for medicinal drugs was entirely controlled by the drug companies, whereas most farmers had no control at all over the market for agricultural products. My questioners were asking in effect if a predatory economy can have a beneficent result. The answer too often is No. And that is because there is an absolute discontinuity between the economy of the seller of medicines and the economy of the buyer, as there is in the health industry as a whole. The drug industry is interested in the survival of patients, we have to suppose, because surviving patients will continue to consume drugs.

Now let us consider a contrary example. Recently, at another meeting, I talked for some time with an elderly, and some would say an old-fashioned, farmer from Nebraska. Unable to farm any longer himself, he had rented his land to a younger farmer on the basis of what he called “crop share” instead of a price paid or owed in advance. Thus, as the old farmer said of his renter, “If he has a good year, I have a good year. If he has a bad year, I have a bad one.” This is what I would call community economics. It is a sharing of fate. It assures an economic continuity and a common interest between the two partners to the trade. This is as far as possible from the economy in which the young veterinarians were caught, in which the powerful are limitlessly “free” to trade, to the disadvantage, and ultimately the ruin, of the powerless.

It is this economy of community destruction that, wittingly or unwittingly, most scientists and technicians have served for the past two hundred years. These scientists and technicians have justified themselves by the proposition that they are the vanguard of progress, enlarging human knowledge and power, and thus they have romanticized both themselves and the predatory enterprises that they have served."

"If the idea of appropriate limitation seems unacceptable to us, that may be because, like Marlowe’s Faustus and Milton’s Satan, we confuse limits with confinement. But that, as I think Marlowe and Milton and others were trying to tell us, is a great and potentially a fatal mistake. Satan’s fault, as Milton understood it and perhaps with some sympathy, was precisely that he could not tolerate his proper limitation; he could not subordinate himself to anything whatever. Faustus’s error was his unwillingness to remain “Faustus, and a man.” In our age of the world it is not rare to find writers, critics, and teachers of literature, as well as scientists and technicians, who regard Satan’s and Faustus’s defiance as salutary and heroic.

On the contrary, our human and earthly limits, properly understood, are not confinements but rather inducements to formal elaboration and elegance, to fullness of relationship and meaning. Perhaps our most serious cultural loss in recent centuries is the knowledge that some things, though limited, are inexhaustible. For example, an ecosystem, even that of a working forest or farm, so long as it remains ecologically intact, is inexhaustible. A small place, as I know from my own experience, can provide opportunities of work and learning, and a fund of beauty, solace, and pleasure — in addition to its difficulties — that cannot be exhausted in a lifetime or in generations.

To recover from our disease of limitlessness, we will have to give up the idea that we have a right to be godlike animals, that we are potentially omniscient and omnipotent, ready to discover “the secret of the universe.” We will have to start over, with a different and much older premise: the naturalness and, for creatures of limited intelligence, the necessity, of limits. We must learn again to ask how we can make the most of what we are, what we have, what we have been given. If we always have a theoretically better substitute available from somebody or someplace else, we will never make the most of anything. It is hard to make the most of one life. If we each had two lives, we would not make much of either. Or … [more]
wendellberry  2008  economics  science  technology  art  limits  limitlessness  arts  ecosystems  limitations  local  humanism  humanity  humility  community  communities  knowledge  power  expansion  growth  interdependence  greed  neighborliness  stewardship  thrift  temperance  christianity  generosity  care  kindness  friendship  loyalty  love  self-restraint  restraint  watershed  land  caring  caretaking  morality  accountability  responsibility  respect  reverence  corruption  capitalism  technosolutionism  fossilfuels  waste 
16 days ago by robertogreco
ICYMI: Our CEO explores how building could out-perform single products and services in te…
ecosystems  from twitter_favs
10 weeks ago by freerange_inc
"Educating for a Sustainable Future

We prepare school systems and their communities to educate for a sustainable future by inspiring educators and engaging students through meaningful content and learner-centered instruction.

What We Do
Our work with Pre K-12 schools, school systems, and Higher Education institutions all revolves around the curriculum, instruction and assessment, aspects of Education for Sustainability, as well as organizational and leadership development.

Why We Do It
To equip students, teachers, and school systems with the new knowledge and ways of thinking we need to achieve economic prosperity and responsible citizenship while restoring the health of the living systems upon which our lives depend.

Who We Serve
Our community is made up of clients - past and present, students, friends, and practitioners in our network around the U.S. and all over the world. We learn from one another as we share questions, insights and effective practices.

Play The Fish Game
Play The Fish Game Online!
The objective of the game is to catch as many fish as possible within 10 rounds. Will you break the system?

EfS Digital Library
The EfS Digital Library houses units, lessons, templates, assessment protocols, design tools, workshop handouts, videos and podcasts that support education for sustainability.

Green Schools Conference
April 8 - 10, 2019 | The Green Schools Conference & Expo
May 24 - 26, 2019 | Goethe-Institut Sustainability Summit "
cloudinstitute  jaimecloud  sustainability  education  lcproject  openstudioproject  future  optimism  k12  highereducation  highered  systemsthinking  change  adaptability  ecosystems  responsibility  leadership  systems  criticalthinking  hope 
february 2019 by robertogreco
Think Like a Scientist: Renewal on Vimeo
[via: "How the Elwha River Was Saved: The inside story of the largest dam removal project in US history."

"I know firsthand what a hydroelectric dam can do to the environment. As a tribal member growing up on the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe’s reservation, the Elwha River and its two hydroelectric dams were in my backyard. Before the dams, whose construction began in 1910, the river was rich with several species of fish, including steelhead trout, and all five species of Pacific salmon. My great-grandfather and tribal elder, Edward Sampson, shared stories with me of catching 100-pound Chinook salmon, then watching the salmon populations decline when the dams came. Salmon have always been culturally and spiritually important to my tribe. They are treated reverently, and celebrated with ceremonies after the first catch of each year.

The Elwha dams were built without fish ladders, gently sloping structures that connect waters on either side of the dam. These ladders are important for anadromous fish, meaning stream-born fish that live part of their lives in the ocean and later return to their natal streams to spawn. Salmons are anadromous, and carry with them marine-derived nutrients that are important to the entire Elwha watershed ecosystem. Salmon carcasses provide nutrients for other wildlife and fertilizer for riparian vegetation.

My work has strengthened my ties to my home.

Without fish ladders, the dams blocked access by salmon to 90 percent of their historic spawning grounds, halted the flow of marine-derived nutrients into the ecosystem, and dramatically reduced salmon populations. They also negated agreements in the tribe’s 1855 Point No Point Treaty, which stated that it would have permanent fishing rights on the Elwha River.

The history of the dam was tightly woven in the history of my own family. My grandfather worked for the company that ran the dams for his entire career, while my grandmother was an activist working to remove the dams and restore the salmon populations. Then, on Sept. 17, 2011, the largest dam removal and river restoration project in United States history was set into motion. Both dams were removed, and the Elwha River began to flow freely again for the first time in 100 years.

My realization of the role people have in ecosystem health, brought about in part by watching my tribe fight for the removal of the dams and the restoration of the salmon, inspired me to pursue a career working in natural resources. I decided to return to my home on the reservation to pursue a degree in environmental science at Western Washington University, after attending the University of Hawaii at Mānoa for two years and studying marine biology. I was hired as an intern for the tribe’s wildlife program in 2014. Four months into my internship, I was hired for a part-time position by the tribe’s wildlife program manager, Kim Sager-Fradkin, while maintaining a full-time student schedule. In addition to a Columbian black-tailed deer mortality study, this program gave me an opportunity to study Elwha river otters and to be a part of an Elwha River Restoration wildlife monitoring project.

I am particularly proud of my involvement in the three-year, collaborative study monitoring Elwha wildlife recolonization. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, the United States Geological Survey, the National Park Service, and Western Washington University were all involved. The study gave me the opportunity to survey beavers, songbirds, deer and elk, vegetation and large woody debris, and small mammal trapping surveys. The experiences I’ve had during this study observing wildlife interactions with the environment over time have reinforced my desire to further my education studying population ecology. Because of this, I will be starting graduate school at the University of Idaho with a newly-funded project to study cougar population size and structure on the Olympic Peninsula.

My work has strengthened my ties to my home. In the years since I’ve returned, I’ve become closer with my tribal and scientific communities, and have grown an even stronger appreciation for the Elwha River ecosystem. The river restoration has been a major success for the Klallam people, and proves the effectiveness of methods for ecosystem restoration that will hopefully be used as a model in other restoration efforts worldwide. And for me personally, the experience of working on this restoration project and seeing firsthand the regeneration of the former lakebeds and of the historic lands of my people has been incredibly reaffirming."]
elwah  elwahiver  washingtonstate  2018  cameronmacias  rivers  nature  conservation  ecosystems  ecology  wildlife  dams  salmon  multispecies  morethanhuman  fish  klallam  olympicpeninsula  clallamcounty  restoration 
february 2019 by robertogreco
RT : When will understand and stop killing ?
is very simple! We must stop burn…
ExitOil  ClimateChange  Ecosystems  from twitter
february 2019 by sustainitycoach

« earlier    

related tags

$project_freelancing  %on_github  1972  1988  2008  2016  2017  2018  2088  aarhusuniversity  aboriginal  academia  access  accountability  action  adaptability  adaptationism  advice  agriculture  ai  alexanderpschera  algorithms  alicewalker  andrewschrock  android  animals  annalowenhaupttsing  annatsing  anthropocene  anthropology  api_driven  apis  app_stores  applications  apps  aquatic  archiving  art  artificial_intelligence  artificialintelligence  arts  atlases  australia  austria  babson  banks  beavers  best_of  biodiversity  biodynamics  biology  biomimetics  biomimicry  biophilia  bioregions  biosphere  birds  blockchain  brazil  brunolatour  buddhism  business_strategy  california  cameras  cameronmacias  canada  canon  capitalism  care  caretaking  caring  catastrophe  certainty  ch1  ch3  change  chiehhuang  chile  china  chrissandbrook  christianity  christinaeisenberg  circulareconomy  cities  clairehoch  clallamcounty  classideas  climate  climatechange  cloudinstitute  co  cognition  cognitivescience  cohabitation  collaboration  collapse  collectivism  collectivity  communities  community  complexity  computing  connectivity  conservation  cooperation  correction  corruption  course  creativity  criticalthinking  crops  crosschannel  cultivation  culture  cx  cyberspace  dams  data-access  data  dataviz  davidabram  dawkins  death  decentralization  deep  design  determinism  developers  development  digital  digitaltransformation  disruption  distributed  do-nothingfarming  donnaharaway  doug_erwin  drew  dual-use  earth  ecology  economic_downturn  economics  ecosystem  education  educationweek  eleanorrosch  elwah  elwahiver  endangersspecies  engineering  environment  eowilson  esb6  escapism  evanthompson  everyday  evidence  exitoil  expansion  extensions  extinction  farming  fauna  favorites  federalreserve  fintech  fish  flora  food  forestry  form  fossilfuels  fractal+patterns  francesmoorelappé  franciscovarela  free  friendship  fta-view  future  gardens  geeky  gene  generosity  genetics  geography  geology  georgesperec  github  global  goodancestors  governance  government  gps  gradualism  greed  groundswell  growth  guardian  hartelab  health  highered  highereducation  highmodernism  history  honey  hope  how-to  howto  howwelearn  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  humanism  humanity  humans  humility  hydrology  ideas  idleness  implicit  inaturalist  indigeneity  indigenous  infographics  information  infrastructure  infrastructures  inland  innovation  insects  instinct  intellectual_property  intelligence  interdependence  interesting  internet  invention  ios  jaimecloud  jamescscott  janinebenyus  japan  jared  jasonlewis  javascript  jennyodell  jensbenöhr  johannesfritz  johncage  johnmcphee  k12  kauffmanfoundation  kenya  kimmerer  kimtallbear  kindness  klallam  knowledge  kristofferwhitney  labor  laboratories  land  landasplatform  landscape  landscapes  language  law  lcproject  leadership  learning  legal  legibility  leliasalgado  lent  letters_to_the_editor  libraries  lidar  limitations  limitlessness  limits  lobsters  local  love  loyalty  mac  manure  mapping  maps  margulis  marine  markets  martinwikelski  masasobufukuoka  mathematics  measures  menubar  metaphors  metaplatform  methodology  microbiology  microbiome  microsoft  military-industrial_complex  modeling  modelling  models  monotheism  morality  morethanhuman  moth-snowstorm  multispecies  namibia  nassim_taleb  naturalhistory  nature  navitas  neat  neighborliness  network_effects  networking  networks  nielsbohr  nitrogen  no-till  nothing  notifications  olympicpeninsula  omidyar  online  online_courses  openness  openstudioproject  optimism  ou  oversimplification  paid  paleontology  paths  patience  patricklynch  patterned  patterning  perception  personhood  pesticide  pesticides  peterkahn  philosophy  photography  planetearth  plants  platform  platforms  pnas  point  policy  politics  power  prairie  preparation  price:$3  process  productivity  progress  push  push_notifications  quantum_computing  racism  ranking  rankings  ranunculus  reactjs  recessions  reforestation  relationships  religion  report  resilience  resources  respect  responsibility  restoration  restraint  reverence  reversibility  richardweller  rights  rivers  roads  robertpark  robin  rwanda  rwm  salmon  samuelmorton  sanitation  sarahendren  sbeconomy  scalability  scale  science  scientism  sebastiaosalgado  seeinglikeastate  self-driving_cars  self-restraint  selfish  selfishness  semiconductors  service  shinkansen  shinkasen  silicon_valley  sixth_mass_extinction  slow  slowness  slowthinking  small  smithsonian  socialengineering  socialservices  society  sociology  soil  solarpunk  spaceshipearth  species  spool  stability  startup  statistics  stephenjaygould  stephyin  stevewoolgar  stewardship  storytelling  strategy  subsistence  surveillance  sustainability  sustainabledesign  systems  systemsthinking  talk  taylorchapple  taylorism  technology  technosolutionism  ted  tegabrain  telemetry  temperance  terraratiums  tesla  thaliafield  thinking  thrift  time  tipping-points  tokens  toxicity  tracking  trains  transportation  trees  u.s._navy  uncertainty  upcycling  urban  urbanism  urbanization  urbanplanning  video  vigilance  visualization  vonnegut  walking  wall  war  warming  washingtonstate  waste  wastefulness  watershed  waymo  weath  web  weeds  wendellberry  wetlands  whelks  wildlife  windscreen-phenomenon  work  xanaduus  youtube 

Copy this bookmark: