Survival 2100: Can humanity become sustainable?

I apologize, I haven’t posted for awhile, I’ve been busy.

The past three years I have been very busy learning how to live a tinier life and inspire others to do the same. I went to Presidio to learn more about sustainable management, I founded this sustainable education non-profit last year with the 52 week sustainability challenge (now a 501c3) and I retrofit my current dwelling with all manner of sustainable practices, and yet I still felt I needed to take another step closer to the natural world.

This transformation has not been easy in this consumptive American economy. The challenge to my mental, physical and emotional stamina of several resource downsizings, material sheddings, repurposing parties, resource exchanges, and purges has been huge. And totally worth it. It has brought me to a much humbler, happier, mindful and peaceful engagement with the natural world. (BTW, the recycling/repurposing can be viewed at an art gallery starting September 2)

I learned a lot about myself, design, building, gardening, water systems, animals and people.

As an environmental and sustainability advocate I’ve spent several decades decreasing my carbon footprint and spent the last year living on a more humane scale in the woods. The past few weeks, the building of my Net Zero Silver Bullet Tiny House/classroom on wheels has been that next step and will fulfill a decade old dream. I will be chronicling the construction to share how I built this structure from reclaimed, sustainable and green materials;check out my progress here.

Please consider a donation to our Indiegogo Campaign that just went live today!!!

It has been a transformative passage as well. I have shed one kind of community for another. Each day as I get closer to that net zero impact lifestyle my heart feels happier, my mind lighter, and my soul feels not only fed by a moveable feast but free of baggage.

That brings me to what I learned about people this last year when it comes to sustainability.

Many of my students, workshop attendees and readers struggle with what to do in the face of global climate change, diminishing resources, and corporate greed. That often brings us to a discussion about human behavior change, ecological dysfunction and the biases we favor that complicate our adoption of more sustainable choices.

Social scientists suggest the following five biases are responsible:

1. We do what other people do. (the bandwagon effect)

2. We struggle to act on things we cannot see (the Giddens paradox)

3. We demand much more to give up an object (the endowment effect)

4. We prefer immediate pay offs to delayed pay offs (delayed gratification)

5. We ignore obviously negative situations (the Ostrich effect)

In these times, resiliency is an imperative. The sooner we realize the inconvenient truth and take action, the better. During the 2012 – 52 week sustainability challenge I wrote for you, I came face to face with some of these biases. Let us know the effort it took you to transcend them and how it was worth it by responding in the comments section. Thanks.

Deep Dive:

Post Carbon Institute

Whats blocking sustainability? Human nature, cognition, and denial

Arizona Professor Emeritus Guy McPherson’s talk, “Will the Human Race Survive 2100?”

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