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On Sunday I reported to my SolSeed colleagues and various relatives on the trip I took to Biosphere 2 last month, at the end of a two-week vacation that mostly involved visiting relatives in California and Las Vegas.

On Monday I found out I’ve been accepted into the Pachamama Alliance’s Game Changer Intensive program, which will supposedly require 3 hours per week for seven weeks starting at the end of March. Whether this will help me get over my aversion to seeking leadership roles in activism remains to be seen.

On Monday evening I attended a meeting of WAmend, the coalition that formed a couple years back (thanks largely to the efforts of the Get Money Out of Politics working group of Occupy Seattle) to pass a resolution in Washington State supporting a pro-campaign-finance-regulation and anti-corporate-personhood amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This year’s initiative campaign is just getting off the ground, but looks like it has a much better chance of success than last year’s, which failed to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot. This time we’re better organized and will have much more time to collect the signatures, since we’re targeting the 2016 election.

On Tuesday evening I went to a talk at Seattle Town Hall by Denis Hayes, founder of Earth Day, talking about humanity’s (and especially Americans’) love affair with cows, and proposing we aim to cut national beef consumption to about half its current level. In response to my question about the opposing extreme claims of the Savory Institute and the Worldwatch Institute about livestock’s impact on the climate crisis, Hayes and his wife took the middle ground, supporting the UN’s numbers on their current impact (14-16% of emissions rather than Worldwatch’s 51%) and asserting that using livestock to draw down gigatons of carbon is “crazy,” although Savory’s grazing methods are hugely beneficial in other respects.

On Wednesday I left work early for an abbreviated Democracy School program from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (four hours instead of the usual 1-3 days). The presenter, Kai Huschke, described CELDF’s view of the legal “box” that supposedly prevents activists from ever succeeding in blocking destructive corporate projects, and laid out their plan for local community ordinances that “break out of the box,” state constitutional amendments to make those ordinances legal, and ultimately a partial rewrite of the U.S. Constitution to favor the rights of people, communities, and nature over those of corporations. (Unsurprisingly, a WAmend member was in attendance and passed around a sign-up sheet for volunteers.) Kai emphasized that the campaign would likely take decades, just like past efforts to expand people’s rights (particularly the abolitionist and women’s suffrage movements), which he observed were always followed by a “spring back” toward centralization of power. But he also said we don’t have time for an “incrementalist” approach because “the climate is collapsing.” This seeming contradiction, plus the fact that I carpooled to and from the event with two fellow volunteers for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, which has in fact worked within the system to block over 150 destructive corporate projects (coal-fired power plants) and schedule over 180 existing ones to be shut down, only reinforced my conviction that abolishing corporate rights can’t be a prerequisite for solving the global climate crisis.

On Thursday evening, during the SolSeed online work bee, I wrote an email to author Steven Wolfe (which I had been meaning to do for months) asking why his novel, set in 1992 and partly in Tucson, and supporting the concept of Gaia giving birth to new worlds, didn’t mention Biosphere 2 once. He responded the same evening, saying he supported Biosphere 2 and had even said so on his blog, but the idea of including it in his book just hadn’t occurred to him.

This morning I woke up at 5 after a crazy semi-lucid dream about living in a Mars colony that was “invaded” by giant aliens who gave us peanut butter and wanted us to make movies about them. The only reason I’m currently making time to write a blog entry is because I gave up on falling back asleep. I really need to do something about my worsening insomnia.

Tonight I’ll be making matters slightly worse by going to a birthday party for my author/activist friend Saab in Edmonds, from which I likely won’t get home until 11:30. Then tomorrow I’m attending a legislative town hall event at Redmond City Hall, where I’ll hopefully get the chance to ask my state reps a question about the bill currently in process that would have Puget Sound Energy and other Washington State utilities stop using coal-fired power from Montana and replace it with renewable energy.

My alarm goes off in a few minutes, so I don’t really have time to go into depth on “what it all means,” but the headline is clear: I’m diving back into activism even though I still think we’re probably all doomed.

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Yes, believe it or not, I haven't actually forgotten about this blog or this series of posts.

In tenth grade I took a one-semester Science Fiction Literature/Composition class, from which I only remember one piece of knowledge: toward the end of a traditional fantasy quest narrative, there is always a point called the Abyss, where it appears that the villain is about to win and the hero is helpless to prevent it. This is immediately followed by some kind of unexpected reversal that allows the hero to save the day.

The standard activist narrative on the climate crisis works the same way. "Greenhouse emissions are increasing faster than ever, and we only have a few years before it will be impossible to restore the climate to a healthy state -- but if we all get together and demand drastic action from world leaders, we can still save the world!" And I've bought into this narrative for years, dismissing or forgetting about the numerous challenges to its plausibility, because the alternative was to admit that within my lifetime, civilization will almost certainly slide into a new dark age.

Paul Gilding's first thesis in The Great Disruption is that the crash is inevitable because we won't develop the will to prevent it until it's too late. But this points the way to a deeper truth: even if we had the will, we probably can't prevent the crash, no matter how hard we try. (Contrary to the title of this post, I'm not going to spend time here trying to figure out what Gilding said that forced me to acknowledge that truth.)

One of the earliest challenges to the activist narrative that I've successfully avoided thinking about was a set of three graphs in the book Affluenza: the All-Consuming Epidemic, which was one of the readings for my Intro to Environmental Analysis class in college. In reverse order, the graphs are "The Carbon Dioxide Spike" (p. 161), "The Consumption Spike" (p. 154), and "The Extinction Spike" (p. 92). Each of these graphs shows a classic hockey-stick exponential growth curve, demonstrating clearly that these trends are accelerating beyond all hope of control. Similar graphs could be drawn for topsoil loss, falling water tables, pollution of surface water, deforestation, and ocean acidification, among others. This means that our food and water supplies can't be maintained at current levels much longer, and even the rate of global oxygen production by plants and algae is under threat.

One common reaction to all this rapid change is to say, "Look how powerful we've become! Humans can now change natural systems on a global scale! Surely we can use that power to bring those systems back to healthy norms and stabilize them there!"

But that's crazy. Imagine that half a second ago, you accidentally cut open a major vein on your arm with a knife that you made. Does the power of that knife to release massive quantities of your blood mean that, even with no real first-aid training, you'll be able to stop the bleeding and sew up the wound within the next half-second? That's how absurd it is to claim that our current technological capabilities are up to the task of saving us from the destruction we've wrought in the few decades before it overwhelms and destroys our current civilization.

If it were only greenhouse emissions that we had to worry about, we might stand a chance. Something like Gilding's "One-Degree War Plan," described in chapter 10 of The Great Disruption, might suffice to bring carbon-dioxide levels back down below 350 parts per million by century's end. And to be fair, part of that plan involves sequestering carbon in soil and biomass, which would also help rebuild topsoil and forest cover. But given the enormous complexity of Earth's systems, there's not really much chance that we could figure out how to calibrate our actions carefully enough to get close to the climate we want and then stabilize there, and there's a very high likelihood that the massive spike in construction of energy infrastructure and so-called "reversible geoengineering actions" will cause other problems to worsen even faster.

Now, I just attended my fourth Bioneers conference last weekend, and I know what the Bioneers answer would be: "Gaia has the solutions to everything. All we have to do is mimic what natural ecosystems would do to solve these problems."

But there are two fatal problems with this answer. One is that Gaia works slowly; for instance, it certainly took a whole lot more than one century for life to recover from the asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs.

The other problem is that Gaia doesn't actually care about keeping the climate as stable as our current civilization needs it to be (and the same likely applies to the other factors I listed). If you look at a graph of temperature over hundreds of thousands of years, you see that the current interglacial period, the Holocene, in which temperature fluctuations stayed within a narrow range for ten thousand years, is highly unusual. The last several interglacials have been far less stable, and then of course there are the Ice Ages, which last much longer, and which Gaia has clearly done nothing to prevent. From Gaia's perspective, the "healthy norm" for climate is anything that doesn't totally freeze the oceans or turn all the land to desert.

So, as 350.org founder Bill McKibben pointed out in his book Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet (a stark challenge to the activist narrative espoused by 350.org itself), we have a clear task ahead of us: learn to be resilient to changes in Earth's systems vastly larger than any we've seen in the history of civilization. Science and technology have produced many tools that could be useful in this regard, but to keep those tools, we'll have to start by overhauling our whole manufacturing infrastructure to cope with these massive disruptions, while doing what we can to slow down all those accelerating trends to give ourselves more time. And we'll need to store our knowledge in a durable form that even crazed combatants in some future war won't be able to destroy, so that any tools we lose can be rebuilt again later.

Eventually we might assemble a set of resilient strategies powerful enough to maintain something like our present quality of life despite the endless string of crises. Perhaps then we could think about launching a second Space Age, but that won't be possible until long after I die. Thus, for the first time in my life, I've been forced to admit that we won't even make any real progress toward the future I dream of within my lifetime, and my only consolation is that I might be able to help make that world more likely to happen in some distant future.

In short, our present moment, dark as it may seem, is not the Abyss in our quest story. It's actually more like the moment just after the introduction, when the protagonists are forced from their comfortable homes and into a long, hard journey through great perils. But in our case, the perils are real and we have no narrative structures to defend us from a tragic ending.

Good luck then, to all of us. We're going to need it.

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I’d like to go back to my sadness at the state we are in and to the personal psychology of despair. It is very sad that we are going to wipe out 50 percent of global biodiversity that took billions of years to evolve. It is very sad that the changes that will now unfold in the global ecosystem means that billions of people will face painful, widespread, and long-lasting personal suffering. . . .

However, it is what it is. Grieving is an appropriate response, but sustained despair is not.

- The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding, p. 113

Okay, so unsurprisingly it’s been more than two weeks since I promised to post this, and here I am posting what will probably be only the first 20-25% of what I want to say on the subject. All I can say is it turns out to be more complicated than I expected, and I’ve been doing my best to be thorough in working through my self-analysis.

The first question to tackle here is whether the premise is sound. Have I actually given in to despair? To look at my actions over the last few weeks, which include planning for and participating in a Beyond Coal rally and tabling at the Mother Earth News Fair, plus continuing to sign online petitions on various important issues, you’d assume the answer is no. But there are numerous explanations for why I would keep going despite a lack of hope. Here are a few of them:

  • Sheer inertia/habit.
  • Not wanting to break my promises to fellow activists.
  • Knowledge that if I drop my activist habits due to despair, it’s a short step to dropping my habit of going to work in the morning.
  • Knowledge that my current understanding of where the world is headed could be flawed. (As Paul Krafel says, “Don’t let your current understanding keep you from doing this work.”)
  • Love for the world (or for my own life) that forces me to keep trying even though it appears totally obvious that we will fail to prevent the coming collapse. (This is the basis for anarcho-primitivist Derrick Jensen’s writing and activism.)

The next question is, if I have given in to despair within the past month or two, why has it taken this long? After all, I’ve been fully aware of the terrifying global threats we face for a decade and more, and as Al Gore points out, the most common response to such an immense challenge is to “leap straight from denial to despair,” much as an unarmed man being attacked by a tiger would generally flee and hide rather than trying to fight. In other words, scale paralysis prevents most people from becoming activists in the first place. But then again, youthful idealism can overcome that roadblock quite easily – as Joss Whedon pointed out in a recent graduation speech, every college student thinks s/he can change the world.

Still, it’s been seven years since I graduated, and in that time I’ve encountered plenty of strong arguments for the assertion that the problems we face really are too big to solve, not only for political reasons but due to the biology and physics of the Earth system itself, or “geophysiology” as James Lovelock calls it. Lovelock, who developed the Gaia hypothesis, believes that a hotter global climate regime that will last for millions of years is now developing, and no matter how hard we try, we won’t be able to return Earth’s climate to the way it was before the industrial era. Of course Lovelock is a controversial figure, but I’ve also heard Professor David Battisti’s description of the overall climate science community’s belief in a best-case scenario that looks like a nightmare to climate activists. And even Bill McKibben, the world’s leading climate activist, agrees that at this point we’re only fighting to “stabilize the planet at its current level of disruption.” That’s not the same as hopelessness, obviously, but it certainly puts a stark upper limit on how bright my future can be.

But up until last month, I just didn’t buy into that message. When I thought about it at all, I guess my assumption was that the climate is too unpredictable, some magical carbon-capture tech might be developed, or just “where there’s life there’s hope.” In short, my continuing habit of environmental activism was enabled by denial of the full severity of the problem.

In the next installment, which I already have mostly finished, I’ll explore my first major theory about why Paul Gilding’s book was able to cut through this partial denial and flip it to a state of “zombie activism,” in which I keep on doing what I’ve been doing without any real belief that it will help anything in the long run. Meanwhile, the day after tomorrow I’m participating in a workshop called “The Work That Reconnects” that’s designed specifically to help environmentalists face the depths of their despair and work through it to somehow regain their “empowerment.” However that turns out, I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say about it later in this series.

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The wind turbine is the most recognizable symbol of the renewable energy revolution.  A solar array in silhouette is just a rectangle, and almost nobody would recognize a geothermal or tidal power plant, and hydroelectric dams are a little too morally questionable, so wind turbines are the image of choice.  At least two artists have come up with the bright idea of linking them to a famous patriotic photo from World War II:

This leads me to wonder whether environmentalists are now focusing on wind power at the expense of other important power sources, and if so, whether it’s just because the symbol works so well.  I remember reading in a couple places recently that wind power creates a lot more jobs per kilowatt than coal, but I don’t think there was any mention of how solar energy compared.

More broadly, of course, there’s the question of whether renewables can possibly be scaled up fast enough to meet scientifically mandated greenhouse emission reduction targets, the latest version of which is 80% by 2020 (rather than 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, which would be much easier).  Or would nuclear or even natural-gas-fired power plants be a better choice for scaling up in the short term to meet the world’s demand for electric power?

Lester Brown answers both questions in his book Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization:

“At the heart of Plan B is a crash program to develop 3,000 gigawatts (3 million megawatts) of wind generating capacity by 2020, enough to satisfy 40 percent of world electricity needs [assuming zero expansion of demand from today’s levels thanks to efficiency measures].  This will require a near doubling of capacity every two years, up from a doubling every three years over the last decade. . . .

“Wind turbines can be mass-produced on assembly lines, much as B-24 bombers were in World War II at Ford’s massive Willow Run assembly plant in Michigan.  Indeed, the idled capacity in the U.S. automobile industry is sufficient to produce all the wind turbines the world needs to reach the Plan B global goal.  Not only do the idle plants exist, but there are skilled workers in these communities eager to return to work. . . .

“The appeal of wind energy can be seen in its growth relative to other energy sources.  In 2008, for example, wind accounted for 36 percent of new generating capacity in the European Union compared with 29 percent for natural gas, 18 percent for [solar] photovoltaics, 10 percent for oil, and only 3 percent for coal.  In the United States, new wind generating capacity has exceeded coal by a wide margin each year since 2005.  Worldwide, no new nuclear-generating capacity came online in 2008, while new wind generating capacity totaled 27,000 megawatts.  The structure of the world energy economy is not just changing, it is changing fast.

Objections )

The main takeaway here is that renewable energy in sufficient quantity to meet world demand is already on its way; we just need to get there somewhat faster.  And wind power, far from being a figurehead of little real import, is already on track to become the biggest slice of the new energy pie.

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“Global humanity, for example, resembles a pioneer species colonizing a new niche; to achieve the global equivalent of successional maturity--to last in the biospheric long run--we will have to increase our connections with other species, and recycle our materials more adeptly through global biosystems of greater diversity and complexity.”

- Eric D. Schneider, “Gaia: Toward a Thermodynamics of Life,” in Scientists Debate Gaia: The Next Century


The Rare Earth hypothesis claims that planets with complex life (i.e. anything bigger than a bacterium) are probably exceedingly rare, which makes them indescribably precious. This is the premise used by Klaatu in the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still to justify destroying humanity. Which might make sense, if we were an actual threat to the existence of complex life on Earth. The quote above, along with the fact that Earth has weathered five previous mass extinction events in which a large percentage of all species died out (around 90% in one case), strongly suggests otherwise.

It's not all life on Earth that's in danger--just the relative environmental stability that makes our current technological civilization possible. If Klaatu just waits a few more decades and we continue to damage that stability, the problem will resolve itself--and of course, if we instead figure out how to become a more ecologically mature species using new technologies, Klaatu will likewise no longer have to worry.

Now, maybe twenty years from now we'll invent some superweapon capable of sterilizing the whole planet, and maybe that's what Klaatu's masters were predicting. But without making that explicit, the premise of the movie just looks stupid. (Unfortunately, with that addition, the whole thing would spiral dangerously close to imitating the plot of Plan 9 from Outer Space, widely regarded as one of the worst movies of all time.)

Spoilers )

All in all, this movie was unhelpful, and quite possibly harmful, to the environmental movement.

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“What does it mean to 'Bring Life' to each of us, to all of us, and to the entire galaxy?”

- Theme question for SolSeed's first organized event

“Rational hyper-intelligent critters would realize that even hyper-intelligent critters can make mistakes and having backups is a good idea. In this case having a terrestrial planet people can live on [without high technology] in the event of a really massive systems crash is a good idea ...”

- [livejournal.com profile] bdunbar , in a comment thread here

“Taking and not giving back, demanding that 'productivity' and 'earnings' keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity--most of the World, animal, vegetable and mineral, is laid waste in the process. The System may or may not understand that it's only buying time. And that time is an artificial resource to begin with, of no value to anyone or anything but the System, which sooner or later must crash to its death, when its addiction to energy has become more than the rest of the World can supply, dragging with it innocent souls all along the chain of life.”

- Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, pp. 480-481

Many sources agree that more solar energy falls on Earth's surface in an hour than humanity currently uses in a year. But according to Nikolai Kardashev, eventually we could reach a point where we use it all, along with every erg of available nuclear, chemical, and geothermal energy this planet can produce.

Okay, in actual fact you can be a so-called Kardashev Type I civilization just by using a total of around two hundred quadrillion watts, however obtained. But let's take it literally for a moment. It's a pretty insane idea, really... )

As if Type I weren't crazy enough, Kardashev Types II and III involve harnessing all the energy of a star and a galaxy, respectively. The premise I don't buy here is that increasingly advanced civilizations must always use ever-growing amounts of energy.  It's infantile, really--why assume that there is no such thing as “enough?”

Now, I'm all for getting out there and building some colonies and big solar arrays in space, on Mars, and on extrasolar planets. Even a Ringworld or a Dyson sphere could be pretty cool if we figured out how to do it right. But I think that in all these adventures, we're really going to want to take samples of our biosphere along for the ride. It's what created us, after all--and for the time being, we really can't live without it.
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"--there is no alternative to global cooperation. We have to admit and celebrate our interdependence, and work in solidarity with every living thing. All God's creatures are living on this planet in one big complex organism, and we've got to act like that now. . . . Recall what it looked like here even five years ago. You can't help but admit that huge changes have already come.

"Now what do those changes mean? Nobody knows. Where will they lead? Nobody knows. This is what everyone has to remember; no one can tell what the future will bring. Anything can happen. Anything at all. We stand at the start of a steep ski run. Black diamond for sure. I see the black diamonds twinkling everywhere down there. Down the slope of the next decade we will ski. The moguls will be on us so fast we won't believe it. There'll be no time for lengthy studies initiated by political administrations that never actually do anything, that hope for business as usual for one more term, after which they will take off for their fortress mansions and leave the rest of us to pick up the pieces. That won't work, not even for them. You can get offshore, but you can't get off planet.

"It's all one world now. The United States still has its historical role to fulfill, as the country of countries, the mixture and amalgam of all humanity, trying things out and seeing how they work. The United States is child of the world, you might say, and the world watches with the usual parental fascination and horror, anxiety and pride.

"So we have to grow up. If we were to turn into just another imperial bully and idiot, the story of history would be ruined, its best hope dashed. We have to give up the bad, give back the good. Franklin Delano Roosevelt described what was needed from America very aptly, in a time just as dangerous as ours: he called for a course of 'bold and persistent experimentation.' That's what I plan to do also. No more empire, no more head in the sand pretending things are okay while a few rich guys wreck everything. It's time to join the effort to invent a global civilization that we can hand off to all the children and say, 'This will work, keep it going, make it better.' That's permaculture, as some people call it, and really now we have no choice; it's either permaculture or catastrophe. Let's choose the good fight, and work so that each generation can hand to the next one the livelihood we are given by this beautiful world.

"That's the plan, folks. I intend to convince the Democratic Party to continue its historic work of helping to improve the lot of every man, woman, child, animal and plant on this planet. That's the vision that has been behind all the party's successes so far, and moving away from those core values has been part of the problem and the failure of our time. Together we'll join humanity in making a world that is beautiful and just."

-Presidential candidacy announcement of Senator Phil Chase, from the novel Fifty Degrees Below by Kim Stanley Robinson
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    "Believe it or not, nuclear reactors have existed since long before man, and a fossil natural nuclear reactor was recently discovered in Gabon, in Africa. . . . Thus life probably began under conditions of radioactivity far more intense than those which trouble the minds of certain present-day environmentalists. . . . The present dangers are real but tend to be exaggerated. These rays are part of the natural environment and always have been."

    "Towards the end of 1975 the United States National Academy of Sciences issued a report by . . . those expert in the effects of nuclear explosions and all things subsequent to them. The report suggested that if half of all the nuclear weapons in the world's arsenals, about 10,000 megatons, were used in nuclear war the effects on most of the human and man-made ecosystems of the world would be small at first and would become negligible within thirty years. Both aggressor and victim nations would of course suffer catastrophic local devastation, but areas remote from the battle and, especially important in the biosphere, marine and coastal ecosystems would be minimally disturbed.
    "To date, there seems to be only one serious scientific criticism of the report, namely, of the claim that the major global effect would be the partial destruction of the ozone layer by oxides of nitrogen generated in the heat of the nuclear explosions. We now suspect that this claim is false . . . There was, of course, at the time of the report a strange and disproportionate concern in America about stratospheric ozone. It might in the end prove to be prescient, but then as now it was a speculation based on very tenuous evidence."

    "So strongly expressed, however, has been public concern over the dangers of genetic manipulation involving DNA itself, that it was good to have no less an authority than John Postgate* confirm that . . . there must be many taboos written into the genetic coding, the universal language shared by every living cell. There must also be an intricate security system to ensure that exotic outlaw species do not evolve into rampantly criminal syndicates. Vast numbers of viable genetic combinations must have been tried out, through countless generations of micro-organisms, during the history of life.
    "Perhaps our continuing orderly existence over so long a period can be attributed to yet another Gaian regulatory process, which makes sure that cheats can never become dominant."

Yes, believe it or not, all of these quotes are from Gaia: A new look at life on Earth by James Lovelock, first published in 1979. In his preface to the 2000 edition he admits that he made some mistakes, but doesn't mention any of the above passages, although the theory of nuclear winter established in the early 1980s is a compelling reason to believe that full-scale nuclear war would be a global catastrophe for all land-dwelling multicellular organisms.

The preface also chides environmentalists for "attacking all science-based large companies of the First World especially where there was a link, however tenuous, with a threat to humanity," since "Our much too vociferous advocates, the consumer lobbies, and we the consumers are equally responsible for the gaseous greenhouse and the extinction of wildlife. The multinational companies would not exist if we had not demanded their products and at a price that forces them to produce without enough care for the consequences."

* The linked article is problematic in that it doesn't properly address the danger of genetically modifying plants and animals, which have much larger genomes and reproduce far more slowly than bacteria, and so experience a far lower rate of natural genetic mutations with major phenotypic effects.
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"Pollution is not, as we are so often told, a product of moral turpitude. It is an inevitable consequence of life at work. The second law of thermodynamics clearly states that the low entropy and intricate, dynamic organization of a living system can only function through the excretion of low-grade products and low-grade energy to the environment. Criticism is only justified if we fail to find neat and satisfactory solutions which eliminate the problem while turning it to advantage. To grass, beetles, and even farmers, the cow's dung is not pollution but a valued gift. In a sensible world, industrial waste would not be banned but put to good use. The negative, unconstructive response of prohibition by law seems as idiotic as legislating against the emission of dung from cows."

- James Lovelock, Gaia: A new look at life on Earth, which I have finally gotten around to purchasing and reading.
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"Seeds of Gaia" is a short but extremely complex piece of animation with bits of live-action thrown in. I created it for the "clone project" in a Digital Cinema course. It's a music video about a possible future in which Earth is dying, but with the help of some rogue colonists, other worlds are coming to life. It goes by really fast, for two reasons: animation is hard work, and the timing has to be roughly in line with the music track, which is less than a minute long.

"World of the Ninja" isn't really mine. I helped make it, but it was written and directed by Diego Bustamante, a member of the Really Ambitious Filmmaking Team, which I founded. It's a parody of National Geographic specials, and apart from that, the title speaks for itself.

March 2015

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