Lesson 6 Activism and Economics

Please purchase the course before starting the lesson.
Lesson 6 Part 1: Economics And Activism

Getting active means doing what each of us individuals can actively do to make a better world. The crises are so enormous now it sometimes feels overwhelming. But if we can recognize what is most important to do, we can eliminate districting relatively trivial things and get on with something effective. With all of us having varying degrees of immediate potential for positive influence and actual physical impact, some can take larger strides than others. It may be learning more before we act is the best action, but with commitment to dedicated to physical action as soon as we are ready, we are acting already. Overall there are Six Big Issues that have to be faced head on and can no longer be postponed: 1.) population – too many, 2.) agriculture – too much energy, chemical and machine dependence, 3.) the built infrastructure – designed more for cars than people, 4.) natural carbon sequestration – by way of helping nature shift carbon from air to soil and sediments, not by forcing nature with yet more machines, chemicals and energy use, 5.) generosity – for investing in the above four, giving back to nature that has given us life and sustenance, 6. Education – as if an emergency existed, as it does – education about the above five. That’s a whole complex system, but simplified by now knowing our priorities so we are better prepared for action. From changing diet to using birth control, from voting for measures for shifting city design toward expanding car-free areas in the city to simply taking the effort and sometimes risk of talking to friends about what’s needed, which is called education – those are all most needed activist roles to be assumed, on all levels and can be exercised in many of our activities including those called economic.


General slide sequence by topics:

  • The BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Disaster and living on the brink
  • 50 simple things to save the Earth won’t work. We need the few that really will:
  • Gradually non-violently reduce overpopulation – think “family planning”
  • Change from high energy, chemical and machine farming to more organic, knowledge based and hands on
  • Adopting ecocity layout and design in plans for city, town and village transition
  • Adopting strategies for natural carbon sequestration
  • Adopting attitudes and actions of generosity, personally, collectively and politically
  • And education about the above five. Taken together these are the six big issues that can’t be postponed any longer
  • Richard has a leg up on the solutions with his connection to Qiu Baoxing, shown here in a Bejiing restaurant together – Qiu is counselor to the President of the country
  • But they and we have to acknowledge the problem with cars, still very actively promoted in the US and China (Mr. Qiu is against car promoting policies)
  • Activist style Richard turned this 360 horsepower Pontiac GTO into a vegetable garden
  • Activists need imagery, some of the sorts Richard has tried out over the years
  • A key notion is to effect change in your own region promoted here with the “Bigger Bay
  • Ecotropolis Initiative” for the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • The idea of a simple image holding whole systems complex meaning: “postcard breakthrough”
  • Images can lead into real restoration projects
  • The creek critter marking of curbs in all of Berkeley 1989… …influencing Seoul, South Korea in 2004
  • Fruit trees in the streets from individual and collective effort, Berkeley and Barcelona
  • Among the heroes that took on the car, Ken Schneider, author of Autokind vs. Mankind
  • Irony and cartoons often speak louder than logic and facts
  • Depaving – anyone can organize depaving, but need to find cooperative land owners or authorities
  • Heroes help make personal lessons – let’s make great evolutionists heroes: Margulis, Darwin and Wallace
  • Economic theory should embrace a clear idea of what building has to do with economics – Franklin Roosevelt understood this
  • Detroit proved radical retooling and remissioning has worked, saved democracy in
  • WWII, can work to solve our current problems
  • Smart investment can go into debt to physically built economic recovery as John
  • Maynard Keynes proved
  • High labor salaries sometimes pay off for capitalists as Henry ford proved
  • And… we have three great sources of wealth available – avoided by almost everyone: The three sacred golden cows: the very rich, the military and the auto infrastructure the wealth and skills of which could be reinvested in ecocities and nature
  • Green jobs yes but vastly more of them if we rebuild cities in a major enterprise
  • Common jobs like running businesses and building buildings are “green” when in proper locations
  • Educational campaigns needed, such as the Car Wars campaign that spoke the truth about cars
  • The International Ecocity Conference series: created by activist to provide a publically accessible opportunity for experiencing the best of ecocity innovation
  • Photos of the first ten ecocity conferences: Berkeley, Adelaide, Dakar, Curitiba,
  • Shenzhen, Bangalore, San Francisco, Istanbul, Monteral and Nantes, France
  • Opportunity in Detroit
  • Measuring and encouraging ecocity changes with the Ecocity Standards chart in mind
  • Ecotropolis for all!
Back to: Ecocities > Ecocities Lesson 6