Culture Change
26 May 2024
Good News/Bad News for Consumers in an Increasingly Energy-Challenged, Shipping-Dependent World
by Jan Lundberg   
ImageOil-Dependent Maritime Shipping Is Achilles Heel in Hoped-for Renewable Energy Economy 

Here is good news and bad news for getting your cherished consumer goods shipped across the seas. Hadn’t thought much about it? Have you thought about the oil-dependent ships’ pollution and their readiness to switch to clean renewable energy? Well, they’re not ready, and even if they could be, they don't want to be.

Good news: by now you may have heard of the revival of sail transport for what is now a niche market of delivering near-zero-carbon goods.

Using What We Each Have Inside Us for People Power: Meeting The Challenge for Our Sustainable Future
by Jan Lundberg   
Picture an unknown, young Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen singing at an audition without guitar accompaniment, a standard not written by them. They might have been summarily sent out the door — especially in the case of an older Dylan or Cohen with their now deteriorated and aged voices. In the real world, such famous artists known for their individuality don’t appeal to everyone, but each of their lifetime records of success, uniqueness, and diehard following cannot be denied.

You might agree that such singers, in the above hypothetical situation, were either not utilizing, or were not being permitted to use, what they really have, whether their ability was known or unbeknownst to themselves.

Sail cargo's imminent achievement: Timbercoast's Steel Schooner, the Avontuur
by Jan Lundberg   

My report and photo shoot from Germany last month after attending the Paris COP21 climate meeting:

Elsfleth, Germany, near the North Sea - This is the Timbercoast project, renovating the Avontuur that was built in the Netherlands in 1920.

I found that she is speeding on to re-launch, with much work being efficiently done. She will be the biggest sail transporter on the planet, with a 70-ton capacity ( = 3 twenty-foot containers). This 44-meter (length from tip of bowsprit to stern) schooner is getting a complete remake. This vessel was looking good to me from my visits to the holds and from observing the work on board and in the ship yard.

World Wars I and II As Key to Waking Up to Our Culture
by Jan Lundberg   
Image World Wars I and II could have taught us something that would have changed society fundamentally.  Very few people then could see the big picture: the near future would see us revving up the war on nature (e.g., the Sixth Extinction). What can we learn in retrospect about the social context of the two world wars of the 20th century, and apply to today’s challenges?  

The recently named Anthropocene is the new geological epoch driven by humans. The concept serves as a key lesson of 20th century “progress,” dating from first atomic bomb blast as kicking off the Anthropocene. But there is much more about our industrial culture to confront, if we are to step back from the ecological precipice on which we are teetering.

COP21 Follow-up for Sail Transport and Its Fight against Shipping Emissions and for Resilience
by Jan Lundberg   
Frgn. Minister, Marshall Is.
Section 1. - UN Climate Agreement Wrap-up

The Paris agreement is essentially a promise to make real promises later.

It is a positive development that the nations of the world agree to try harder (later, as promised). One key improvement over past Conferences of the Parties (COP) is that China (a so-called Developing Nation, even though it is the top emitter) has finally been joined with the U.S. and other Developed Nations, as to taking responsibility.

Shipping Emissions Must Be Tackled at COP21 with Advances such as Sail Power
by Charlene Caprio   
Image [Note: this article was written by Charlene Caprio, Policy and Strategy Consultant for STN/SAIL MED.]

The UN Climate Conference in Paris (COP21) is well underway with positive momentum to adopt a new climate change agreement. The draft Paris agreement calls for parties to keep the global temperature well below 2°C (or below 1.5°C if this language is chosen) above pre-industrial levels. Each party shows how it will do its part by submitting an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC); 186 parties are represented so far in INDCs. Unfortunately, though, the INDCs fall short of getting us even to 2 °C.

Maritime shipping emissions must be part of the global solution.

The Next Tango in Paris
by Albert Bates   
Image "Sweden has decided to decommission all its nuclear plants but has yet to propose a similar program to phase out its wind turbines."

"Carbon-neutral is so 20th century. We really need to get beyond zero. That is what ecovillages can offer."

We were just concluding a conference call for Global Ecovillage Network delegates in the run-up to the UN climate summit one month from now in Paris when we said that. The discussion had turned to what our message should be. There is a very good program initiated by ten European ecovillages, called the Fossil-Fuel Free Community Challenge. It is very ambitious, and tracks what Sweden, already carbon-neutral, has recently pledged.

Time to Stop Worshipping Economic Growth
by Brent Blackwelder   
Publisher's note: The modus operandi of Western Civilization has been expansion at any cost. The leaders and beneficiaries have exploited and oppressed the inferiors--one of whom was Mother Nature who seemed indestructible. Intelligent people have seen the dangers of rampaging industrial development, but seldom see Western Civilization or "growth" as the root issue. Even environmental organizations and "green" leaders put the economy first in their climate protection priorities: relying almost entirely on a technofix for an eventual "clean energy economy" through financing different industries than fossil fuels. Meanwhile, immediate curtailment of energy consumption is far quicker and more effective. We must counteract the inadvertent guardians of the status quo. - J L
Maine Sail Freight — America Gets Serious about Clean, Renewable Energy for Transport
by Jan Lundberg   
Image Last month the traditional schooner, Adventure, sailed from Portland, Maine to Boston with 11 tons of local products. It has been many decades since a concerted sail-transport feat like this happened on the New England coast.

Maine Sail Freight is the first significant sail-transport project in two years in the uncrowded sail-transport scene in the U.S. This is still the story of how Northern Europe, with EU support, is running rings around North America in terms of sailing cargo and R&D. There is a new industry for the post-peak oil and greenhouse world, holding much promise for growth. So, one would think the U.S. must not miss the boat.

by Richard Adrian Reese   
Image Henry David Thoreau had a mind that was intelligent, complex, and rigidly righteous. He was born in Concord, Massachusetts in 1817, into a family of uppity Unitarian abolitionists. After attending Harvard, he worked as a schoolteacher for a few years. Later, he lived with Ralph Waldo Emerson, serving as a tutor, handyman, and editorial assistant. Emerson took him under his wing, and encouraged his literary efforts. Emerson owned land on Walden Pond, and he allowed the young man to build a cabin there. Living by the pond led to experiences that inspired Thoreau’s classic, Walden.
Why the Cash Economy in Greece May Be Ending
by Jan Lundberg   
Image Many believe we have a teetering world economy, even without Greece as an indicator. Now Greece is looming ever larger as a critical if unknown actor. It is mostly considered a bad one, for the entire European, and even the worldwide, financial system and economy. The Greek economy is approaching an almost unprecedented standstill. For clear reasons it probably will never get back to a "normal" or desirable level of consumption. When stepping back from witnessing the daily crisis, it would appear timely to ask what are the real factors in the big picture? Was the crisis brought on just by second-rate policies combined with inefficiency, corruption, and oppression?
The Tres Hombres Ship is Homeward Bound
by Jan Lundberg   
Pico, Azores
The world’s foremost cargo sailing ship, the beautiful square-rigged Tres Hombres, is now sailing back to Europe from the Dominican Republic.

Another successful round-trip voyage from The Netherlands to the Caribbean is coming to a close. The star example of zero-carbon shipping, the 32-meter brigantine Tres Hombres cargo sailing ship has made good progress across the Atlantic, and has left the Azores going northeast.

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