You have to start somewhere. Just start...

To borrow a really good phrase... "Here goes... "
(AKA My official start as a co-author of this blog. )

Sad but true: if all the insects in the world were to die overnight, the Earth's biosphere would not survive. If all the humans in the world were to die overnight, the Earth's biosphere would once again flourish and thrive.

So, having, for better or worse, been born a human not an insect, what is one to do? 

In the face of the enormity and complexity of the issues, do we decide we are but one small individual, utterly powerless to make a difference, and thus escape responsibility?

Or, do we have faith that everything in the universe has been pre-ordained from the beginning of time, that there is no free will, and thus escape responsibility?

Or, do we look back upon the past and note that human ingenuity has managed to save us quite a few times over the course of history and therefore have confidence that a technological or scientific innovation will appear before us at exactly the last possible moment.... and thus escape responsibility?

You see where this is going...

And yet, if we choose none of the above, and start really observing and thinking and trying to do right by the world and our children.... Well, it gets kind of messy. And we find that we are "at war with ourselves" as you say. We look at our own lives and find a mess of contradictions, conflicts, inconsistencies, and, frankly, just plain "bad stuff" that we can't seem to help ourselves from wanting/doing/having/enjoying.

So the idea for this blog is to kind of start from that rather messy place and not try to have a bunch of trite oversimplified answers like installing new showerheads and screwing in a few high efficiency lightbulbs.

Instead, we’re going to wrestle with the mess. I'm both a bit excited and a bit apprehensive about doing this. Sometimes it may come to some order, and sometimes it might not. But at least in the process I'll be taking responsibility and forcing myself to face myself. And maybe by putting it out there in the cloud, others might chime in and add to my thinking process in some way.

The list of themes previously identified is pretty broad, and I hope to explore most of them in my future posts (with one exception - I will almost certainly leave all that dividend investing stuff to Mr. S. REALITY.)  But I'd like to add one more topic of my own – and that is the topic of the next generation. Because none of this would matter if it weren’t for them.  So, how do we prepare and equip our children to take their places in a sustainable reality of the future? How do we help them learn to be independent and creative thinkers, problem solvers, global citizens, leaders who have the courage to do what’s necessary…  

In the end, the ability to envision a better future is what makes us different from the insects (and all other animals). And so, let’s not squander that gift!


  1. I look forward to your discussion of the contradictions. I see it everywhere: a person who works for the Pembina Institute yet travels to Mexico annually and yet reconciles his carbon consumption by buying carbon offsets. Planting a few trees to replace the many cut down elsewhere is really nothing more than a symbolic jesture. True change really requires behavior change: plant the trees but don't burn the fossil fuels!

    I expect declining fossil fuels will force change on us (or rather our children) whether we like it or not. The question is whether it will be too late.

  2. Dear Anon, Thanks for reading and jumping in with your comments. For some reason the human species finds behaviour change extremely difficult - especially when the rewards for the change appear to be in the distant future. Just one example - when you think that many people have trouble making personal changes in their lives for their own health (e.g., stopping smoking or starting exercising for the benefit of better health later in life) it feels like a hopeless cause that we could collectively make significant enough change to make a difference in the lives of our descendants 100 or 200 years from now. Nevertheless, being an optimist, I prefer to not throw my hands up in despair but to at least do the small things I can.

  3. HOptimist -- thanks for the post, and thanks for joining me as a co-author. I like the fact that you plan to bring in the theme of next generation(s!), as it will balance off my confessed interest in investing. In any case, looking forward to the collaboration.

    Anon - thanks for participating. We're just getting started, but we hope you'll stick around and keep chiming in!