Building a long term perspective

Make Wealth History

I was in a meeting with RSPB Scotland last week, and the subject of long term planning came up. As an example, they mentioned a project in Abernethy that has a particularly bold time scale.

The Abernethy Forest is the largest remaining pinewood forest in the Scottish Highlands. It’s home to a variety of wildlife, including capercaillie, wildcats and ospreys. The plan is to restore wetlands areas, replace plantation areas with natural forest, and expand the forest cover to its natural limit – almost double its size. Restoring and growing a forest is no quick task. The project plan runs for 200 years.

It’s a nice example of the ‘longer now‘ that Alex Evans calls for in his book The Myth Gap. Our culture isn’t very good at taking the long term view. Political terms are short and favour easy wins and quick fixes. Quarterly earnings reports…

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What Walking Depression Is Like

bailsofhemp.com

Lately, I’ve been struggling with depression, so I feel like straight hell. I think it’s being caused by a multitude of things right now: too much stress, anxiety, bad eating habits, lack of exercise, not enough sleep, lack of Vitamin D, no creative free time, the thought of Star Wars sequels, etc. But it’s not the kind of depression that anti-depressant commercials have stereotyped—you know, the sad, gray blob standing under a constant rain cloud, looking like it wants to kill itself.

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Feminism and Veganism Collide

Blog - V-Grits

Nearly every activist has a string of causes they stand behind, and that’s typically because practically all social justice issues correlate. The correlation between veganism and feminism is no outlier. Reading a paragraph comparing the two is actually what convinced me to evolve from pescatarian to vegan a couple years back!

All animal products are the result of animal exploitation, but more specifically, they are the result of exploiting female reproductive systems. Even at the most regulated, grass-fed, free-range dairy farms, any female animal will fall into a vicious cycle of being separated from her mother only moments after her birth, and get artificially inseminated through sodomization. She will continue to live only to be repeatedly, forcibly impregnated, sodomized and have her own babies immediately taken away from her just as she was taken away from her mother. Not only will the mother lose complete control over her reproductive system and have her child taken…

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What’s the climate impact of your diet?

Make Wealth History

Last week I spoke at an event for students at Bedfordshire University, and the topic that generated the most debate was food. It was an event around a meal – part of Tearfund’s Stir Up Supper campaign – so perhaps that’s not surprising. As usual, the big issue was meat. Another contributor spoke about how he had chosen to become a vegetarian and how he had found it easier than he thought it would be. Others said the opposite, that they had tried and given up.

Meat is a carbon intensive food, by and large, so it’s right to focus on it as we look at our diets. But just to fill out the picture, here’s how it would make a difference, and some of the other things to consider:

  • If you do want to consider the vegan route, cutting out meat and dairy will make the biggest difference, slashing…

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The striking climate impact of beef

Make Wealth History

Last year I wrote a whole series of posts about meat, and how we can reduce the environmental impact of our diet. An NRDC report came out last week that demonstrates the point very well. This graph shows America’s food related per capita greenhouse gas emissions. As you can see, there has been a 10% decline in the last decade or so.

That decline is almost entirely down to changing dietary preferences, and Americans eating less beef. In that time, beef consumption fell by 19%. The drop in sales has been equivalent to taking 39 million cars off the road – such is the impact of beef.

In fact, if you look at the top five foods in the American diet and rank them by climate impact, this is what you get:

There’s a simple message in that pie chart. The simplest thing you can do to reduce the…

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Day 154

One Bottle One Glass

To get sober, all you have to do is not drink. Why did it take me so long to figure this out? I’m slowly figuring out why because if nothing else, sobriety gives you lots of mental clarity to reflect on why you drink/drank, and why you aren’t anymore. I think a huge part of my identity was tied to drinking. I knew it was wrong and I knew I wasn’t drinking the way I considered appropriate, but I didn’t know how to not drink. I wasn’t doing anything to learn another way, and sobriety seemed so boring and awful. I was drinking about drinking, but I was doing very little to learn how to live without alcohol. Nowadays, I shudder to think of a hangover again. I rarely crave the awful taste in my mouth after a night of heavy drinking. Not that I particularly enjoyed it, but I 

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