From void into vision, from vision to mind, from mind into speech, from speech to the tribe, from the tribe into din.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Seeing Three Circles: A Fundamental Failure of Environmental Vision

Seeing Three Circles

3 circle image:
Usually seen as equal overlapping circles with a 
sweet spot
in the middle

3 circle reality:
smallest circle economy inside
smaller circle society inside
largest circle environment

Once upon a time,

some MIT enviro scientists
were in Nepal & commissioned
a mandala
It was the usual 3 circles 
all the same size
overlapping in the middle

I asked them why they didn't use
the 3 circle reality

The speaker said they considered it
but liked the usual Venn diagram better


Seems to me this confusion between the image where two human concerns, society and economy, are equivalent to all the rest of entire world and the reality where human economy is smaller than human society and human society is merely a subset of the entire world is the central difficulty in understanding the biosphere and our human place within it.  

The three equal circles overlapping in the center is a design known as the Borromean Rings and is the logo for Ballantine Beer.

Friday, August 11, 2023

BBC Gets Real About Climate

 I stumbled on a BBC documentary called "South Africa: On the edge of darkness" ( a week or so ago.

It was a hard look at the South African energy and climate situation where coal provides 85% of the electricity while the customers endure frequent load shedding (power failures, brownouts, blackouts) and rooftop solar is taking off* as the country attempts to meet its climate pledges, against vehement and entrenched opposition.  The stakes are so high that André De Ruyter, the anti-corruption CEO who took over ESKOM, the South African utility, in 2019, was poisoned the day after he announced his resignation in December 2022.

*  South Africa rooftop solar installations increased from 1MW to 4.4MW in 14 months 
as the unreliability of the energy sector seems to be driving a transition to independent power.

After that program, BBC showed "Life at 50ºC" which is about how people around the world, particularly in the developing world which is feeling the brunt of the damage, are reacting to the changes in the weather, the climate, their lives

What impressed me about the stories presented is the resourcefulness and determination of the people.  It is life and death and they realize that clearly so the purity of their purpose shows through, no matter what they do.

Thanks BBC for presenting the stories of these remarkable people.