Let's talk about serious things for a minute

Well the reason for the tamale dinner was to feed a small crowd of brainstormers
(thinking can make you hungry, you know.)

Jesse and I have been talking about how we can get involved with the Deepwater
Horizon oil situation. After a few days of abstract musings, we needed to get
something down on paper. So the two of us and the lovely Francisco sat down and
thought. This is what we came up with by the time we were all half-asleep. Please
leave feedback here, and let me know if you would like to join this conversation.

This image can be read like so: top to bottom is the progression of questions we
were answering, and left to right are subsets of the answers after sorting them
into relevant groups.

The image is hard to read, so here is everything, typed out. Look back to the
image for drawings and better groupings.

If you'd like to host your own brainstorming session, I'd be happy to write more
about our process, just say the word.

More ideas, more concrete images, more voices to be posted soon, my apologies
for the amateur photoshopping, and please expect this (and food) to be the main
focus of this blog for the next long while.


Anonymous said...

comment: I dont see anything about governance. For the short term, until Peak Oil, we are stuck with oil rigs. While the dependence on oil will naturally correct itself as the supply shrinks, the problem with BP is a social problem. Social systems(a series of overlapping beaurocracies) failed.Failed to prevent the disaster, failed to provide insurance against a known risk, failed to price that risk into the product.

Theres not always an individual action one can take. Buying organic veggies or riding a bicycle to work have nothing to do with this problem. What we need is an effective civil service that is not complacent or corrupt, and which has the power to ensure that the right actions may be taken.

What can I do? or You? pray to the God of Civil Service, So the first step is to find out that god's name.

sadie sosha said...

I would like to agree that the problem will naturally correct itself once the oil supply is on the decline. However it is not a given that we all need to twiddle our thumbs about it until that point. There is absolutely no harm in correcting the problem before we "need" to.

Bike commuting and buying local produce are miniscule steps compared to the scale we are facing, but they do discourage oil usage in shipping produce from needlessly far away when we can get things in the next zip code. To that end, places like Walmart are starting to sell local produce, which is MUCH bigger than you or I shopping at a farmer's market, and thus puts the action in a more grandiose light.

It's important (at least for my psyche) to remember that lots of people doing one little thing can still add up.

An effective civil service would be great, but no person or group of persons will ever be able to ensure that the rights actions will be taken, because "right" is not universal. So we may as well do our part in decellerating carbon buildup while we work on perfecting human nature.

Ally Berke said...

I'm interested in what we can do to help with the oil spill as well (particularly in terms of cleanup, rescuing wildlife, and setting aside more space as untouchable to drilling/nature preserves.) A lot of that is probably a fundraising/lobbying problem; there was also a recent call for proposals for new technologies to help clean, capture, or at least track the spill, which is something we can think about as engineering students, even if my own work doesn't seem directly applicable.

I wonder how much personal action is reasonable; one of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of pollution one is personally responsible for is to stop eating meat, but people react to that proposal like it's a personal affront, so I don't even know how they'd respond to growing their own produce or not owning a car. I don't even think that people feel guilty or underinformed about those decisions (to drive someplace they could take public transportation to; to eat non-local and meat-based food instead of something better for the environment).