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Derek Caelin

DerekCaelin@bookwyrm.social

Joined 1 year, 1 month ago

Seeking a Solarpunk Future

Climate Feminist | Biodiversity | Open Source Software | Civic Tech | Games | Justice | Regenerative Ag | Green Energy | He/Him/His.

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After Geoengineering (Paperback, Verso) No rating

The window for action on climate change is closing rapidly. We are hurtling ever faster …

When we think of environmental maintenance work exclusively as a burden, we miss something important about what motivates people to intervene, to take action, to do this caring work. In current environmental policymaking, writes development scholar Neera Singh, conservation is regarded as a burden that entails high opportunity costs, and so financial incentives come to be seen as critical to offsetting those costs." But in fact, they aren't necessarily so critical. Singh has studied community forests in Odisha, India, for twenty years. What she has found is that when payments are established for ecosystem services, the payments are often insufficient to compensate for lost income and opportunities. Rather, efforts to conserve forested land depend upon a host of nonmonetary, personal, and collective motives, including sacred values and intergenerational concerns. Conservation care is described by Singh as "affective labor," and as a "gift." Affective labor, in contrast to alienated labor, writes Singh, involves self-expression; its ideal is a craftsman or artist, who expresses their inner self and gives to society as a whole. It can't be separated from the person doing it. The relationship between the person and the object of labor is crucial.

In the "gift" paradigm, people act not as buyers and sellers of envionmental services, "but as reciprocal partners who share both the burden and joy of environmental care." Singh cautions that "caring labor framed in the language of a gift can be potentially exploited, as women's caring labor continues to be." But, she explains, this framework also means that markets and purchasing power are no longer the arbiter of how resources are allocated: power is shifted to the gift givers, whose power comes from the reciprocity inherent in the gift. One challenge with a gift paradigm when applied to carbon management, as environmental humanities scholar Karen Pinkus points out, is that the recipients are humans in the future: "On first glance we could say that the recipient cannot give back to the giver because they do not occupy the same space/time except in the most phantasmatic sense. Wouldn't carbon management, then, overcome the temporal aporia that makes the gift impossible?" In this sense, perhaps carbon removal implies a greater ask of the gift: a gift that will go unreciprocated during this generation.

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Good products, bad products (2012, McGraw-Hill) No rating

Let's consider four categories of fit between people and prod- ucts. The first is physical-the interaction of our bones, muscles, hearts, and lungs with built objects. The second is concerned with the senses-vision, touch, smell, and so on. The third is cognitive the mind-machine interaction. Fourth, we will talk about problems resulting from system complexity. Each category demonstrates different aspects of the problem of fit, and each has its own wisdom necessary for the designer of good products.

Good products, bad products by 

This is the first observation of the book that made me sit up and say, "Yes, that's insightful."

Buddhist Economics (Hardcover, 2017, Bloomsbury Press) No rating

"Traditional economics measures the ways in which we spend our income, but doesn't attribute worth …

Interdependence provides us with powerful mandates. We no longer see ourselves as separate beings and no longer strive to maximize our own well-being. We find freedom from our own suffering, and we help to relieve the suffering of other. The personal is connected to the national and global. Individual and community goals merge into the one goal of promoting the well-being of all.

Buddhist Economics by 

Buddhist Economics (Hardcover, 2017, Bloomsbury Press) No rating

"Traditional economics measures the ways in which we spend our income, but doesn't attribute worth …

In 1971, a founder of modern ecology, Barry Commoner, expressed this interdependence as one of the four laws of ecology: "Everything is connected to everything else. There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all."

Buddhist Economics by 

Buddhist Economics (Hardcover, 2017, Bloomsbury Press) No rating

"Traditional economics measures the ways in which we spend our income, but doesn't attribute worth …

At the outset, let's confront the perplexing problem of how to integrate the spiritual approach of Buddhism with the intellectual approach of economics. Indeed, the very term "Buddhist economics" is oxymoronic. Buddhism is spiritual, not conceptual, and economics is a system of concepts.

The Buddhist distinction between relative and ultimate truth can provide a way around this conundrum. As Khyentse Rinpoche teaches, relative truth covers the daily practices. of mindfulness, nonviolence, meditation, vegetarianism, and many others, while ultimate truth is beyond conceptualization and cannot be described. Relative truths are useful in daily life, even if they are not the ultimate truth, and studying them can be very helpful. In this book, I use relative truths as our Buddhist guide in daily life.

Buddhist Economics by 

After Geoengineering (Paperback, Verso) No rating

The window for action on climate change is closing rapidly. We are hurtling ever faster …

Carbon capture and storage is not a singular technology, but rather a practice that combines several verbs: capture, transport, store, monitor. The carbon dioxide is typically captured at the point where it's emitted. Generally, scrubbing the carbon out of gaseous waste streams is done chemically using compounds called amines, which bind carbon dioxide molecules. Then, the carbon is transported to where it will be stored, cooled into liquid form and moved by railway, ships, tanker trucks, and so forth, or conveyed as a gas via pipeline. This all takes a fair bit of energy. Basically, capture of climate-significant amounts of carbon dioxide entails an infrastructure on the same scale of today's oil industry-but to put the carbon back underground. The storage takes place in caverns underground, or in depleted oil wells. And then this carbon must be monitored, to make sure it is staying there. Eventually, it will turn into minerals, dissolve in water, or be trapped in rock.

After Geoengineering by