February 25, 2010

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

Soil erosion now exceeds new soil formation on about 30 percent of the world's cropland

Since 1990, the developing world has lost about 32 million acres of forest a year.

Water tables are now falling in countries that together contain half the world's people

World population has more than doubled since 1950.

The melting of the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheets, combined with thermal expansion of the oceans, is likely to raise sea levels significantly.

The shrinking of the glaciers in the mountains of Asia represents the largest threat to food security humanity has ever faced.

The number of hungry people is likely to rise to an estimated 1.2 billion or more by 2015.

Environmental refugees are on the increase fueled by the advance of deserts and rising seas.

If we continue with business as usual, there will be millions of environmental refugees in the decades ahead.

We have squandered the precious gift of fossil fuels on trips to the supermarket and joy riding. We always knew it was a finite resource. This gift should have been used to develop the technologies of the future but its employment was diverted to produce profits for the few. Despite governmental cowardice in producing a long term strategy for sustainable power supplies, there are glimmers of hope:

Worldwide, annual solar installations are doubling every two years.

The available wind energy in China is seven times the country's electricity consumption. Three states (North Dakota, Kansas and Texas) have enough harnessable wind energy to satisfy total US energy needs.

The UK could produce 5 times more energy through wind power than it uses

The Earth's geothermal energy resources far exceed the world's current energy needs.

The technology for hydrogen fuel cells, high lipid algae and tidal energy is being advanced

Sweden has taken the biggest energy step of any advanced western economy by trying to wean itself off oil completely within 10 years - without building a new generation of nuclear power stations. Norway produces the majority of its electricity through Hydro and Iceland just over 70%.

Climate change or no climate change, we always knew the oil and gas would run out. Now we are playing catch-up, and nowhere near winning the game. We are told the lights might go out, yet always we knew that we would need to find sustainable technologies to support us in the future. Copenhagen succeeded in showing us one thing: we cannot wait for governments to act when their chief concern is votes, not welfare.

Localisation is the way forward: local power supplies, locally sourced food, clothing and furniture, jobs nearer home. This doesn’t mean we have to do it the hard way, but it does mean we can be secure, sustainable – and much happier.

Can we become the generation that changes direction, moving the world onto a path of sustained progress? The choice will be made by our generation, but it will affect life on Earth for many generations to come.

Plan B 3.0 is a comprehensive plan for reversing the trends that are undermining civilization. Its four overriding goals are climate stabilization, population stabilization, poverty eradication and the restoration of the Earth's ecosystems. At the heart of the initiative is a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent by 2020.



"Human history is a race between education and catastrophe." HG Wells

The problems associated with food and energy vex us because food and energy, or indeed the essentials of life, are not part of our upbringing and education.

Control food and energy and you control people. Control you own food and energy and you are liberated. Food & Energy are the essentials of life yet they play little part in our upbringing and education.

Food and energy should be at the top of our social agenda and the baseline for learning.

• Feeding us is the ground we stand on

• All forms of human learning, literacy and erudition come from this ground.

• Food, soil, water and energy are seen as foundation subjects.

• The teaching of these subjects is inclusive, and indicative too of a mood change, of a healing process.

New Literacy makes a compelling case for this universal education. Based on essentials, this education has lasting benefits

The file “Education of the Essentials” expands the FE argument. It’s accessible via http://www.newliteracy.co.uk/files/nl-educ-essentials.pdf. For any enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact Mario on 01622 662524 or email him mario@newliteracy.co.uk

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