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Monday, December 29, 2008

Earthchurch Needs a New Leader

Earthchurch is dormant, and has been for about a year. It still
exists, in the form of the website and the email list. There are still
27 people subscribed to the discussion list, but no discussions are
happening. There is also a small announcement list, but it's been a
long time since the last announcement. There are also archives of the
discussions that we had in the past. These are here:

Of course I could simply abandon it, but everytime I read the
introduction on the website, about our fantastic planet, I always feel
this organization is needed. I think it's too potentially important to

But I'm not the person for the job. Someone is needed who has more
energy than me, and who is more naturally sociable and charismatic.
Mainly, someone who will keep pushing and not give up. The truth is
that I'm old and tired and dispirited. I'm not optimistic about our
planet's future. (Of course I mean the biosphere; I'm not worried
about the rock and sand.)

So my plan is simply to be a caretaker until our new leader appears.

Nominations are welcome.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's so hard to form new habits!

I don't know if any of you guys ever deliberately form new habits. I have done it many times. The latest one that I've been working on for over a year (!) is to take my canvas shopping bags from my car into the grocery store. A cupla years ago, before I realized that the natural world was doomed, I bought a couple of canvas grocery bags. My initial motivation was to help reduce the plastic bag count on our planet's surface. After using them a cupla times I found that they are much better bags than the plastic ones. They have better handles that are easier to find and don't hurt your hands. Plus, when loaded, you can set them down and they stay upright. That even works when you are also loaded!

But after you get home and put away the stuff, you have to get the bags back to the car for the next trip. That has not been a serious problem because I hang the empty bags on the doorknob. That way, I can't leave the house without seeing them, so I take them out to the car with me. But, they tend to stay in the car! :(

One must develop the habit of taking them from the car into the grocery store. I forget to do this about half the time. Sometimes I don't realize it until I'm in the checkout line; then it's too late to do anything. But often I will realize it when I'm in the middle of shopping. Many times I have quickly left the store, gone quickly to my car, and brought the bags into the store. I do this in an effort to train myself. I'm amazed at how long it has taken, and I'm still not completely trained! Perhaps this particular habit is difficult to form because I only shop about twice a week. Also, exiting the car is something one does frequently for various reasons, not just to go grocery shopping. Besides, I have been buying groceries for fifty years, using the store bags.

Hopefully, writing this may increase my awareness of this issue, and lead me to finally have this new habit!


Friday, February 8, 2008

Denial and Motivation and the Future of the Planet

As you probably know, denial is a common human phenomenon. People commonly avoid thinking about behavior that they repeat to their own disadvantage. Sometimes individuals grow enough to overcome the denial and change the behavior. A key to this is motivation. The source of the motivation is the hope that confronting the behavior will lead to some improvements in one's life. It is commonly accepted that without motivation there will be no change in the behavior, nor in the denial.

Now, zooming out to the big picture, we see that the behavior of most humans is causing the slow destruction of the biological earth. Furthermore, denial is in full bloom. Most humans avoid the awareness of this. Now, what's their motivation to become aware? Unfortunately, if an individual becomes aware of the phenomenon, it
does not make his life any better. If anything, it may make him/her
less happy, or more depressed, as the case may be. It does not help
the planet to any significant degree either; that would take
collective action by billions, or at least by their thousands of

This is not a new phenomenon; it was given a name long ago: "The
Tragedy of the Commons". Originally, it applied to a local situation,
such as a common area used for grazing. But now it applies to the
biological earth.


Click for Earthchurch website.