Loomio
Tue 26 Jul 2022 3:34PM

The 'WTF can I do?' Project

OS Oli SB Public Seen by 126

This is an idea for a collective experiment: Could we crowdsource an action list of simple things which anyone can do to help avert the climate crisis?

OK, I think you see where I'm going with this now... ;) we need to DO MORE to make an impact... but what can each one of us actually do that will make a difference? There are plenty of 'top 10' lists which try to highlight the small changes every one of us can make (like 'turning the lights off' and 'turning the tap off when you're brushing your teeth') but no clear consensus (that I know of) on which actions are most impactful.

So what if we tried to crowd-source the answers, right here, or on a web page, or open survey, or Reddit thread or somewhere...?

What is the worse that could happen?

Would you find it useful - to have a peer-reviewed list of the most impactful actions all citizens of planet earth can take to help avert the climate crisis?

I

Ivana Mon 22 Aug 2022 9:52AM

A few more thoughts on WTF can we do. One of the thngs that was on my mind recently is the concept of 'value'. Many people talk about it, how their business or startup or wahtever creates value... They define it in different ways, which can be quite convoluted and hard to understand or it can be simple...

But I think what is necessary it to take a step back and think about what is the primary, or True Value on this planet? To my mind it is its ability to create and support Life. Without Life, the Earth would be just one more dusty bit of rock flying around in the vast largely empty universe... So for us, living beings, its main value is its ability to create and support Life of which we are one expression.

With that in mind, all businesses do a degree of damage to the planet's ability to create and support Life, and therefore they DECREASE the True Value and they do not increase it. In other words, what they are telling us about value creation is not true.

If we agree that the Earth's True Value is its ability to support LIfe, and only Life (or living systems) has the ability to create more of itself, then any business that supports Life might contribute to the True Value, but any business that disregards it, actually decreases the True Value on this planet.

So what we might do is when we talk about Value, Value creation, Adding value, Value proposition etc.. .in other words, any time we talk about Value in the context of business, take a step back and put that business activity in the bigger picture and see if your proposition contributes to more Life and thus True Value, or to less Life. That can serve as a simple guide for all of us thinking about starting business activities, or even working in exisiting ones.

If we're honest, then we have to say that by doing business we mostly do damage to Life, and just admitting it fully I hope will lead to wondering how we could change that in everything we do.

I

Ivana Mon 22 Aug 2022 8:30AM

So we have a list of things, but we don't know if anybody looked at it or what they did about it. That list, like many others, tells people what to do. But I often wonder what would happen if we had a way of asking people: OK, what do you think should be done? What do you think you could do? What do you think you could change? What would you like to change, if you could? What skills/time/materials could you contribute to that change? Etc.

My point is that most people are never ever asked for input to anything of any importance. The ads tell them what to buy, as do special offers, discounts, etc, media tell them what to think, schools tell them what the world is like, bosses tell them what to do (and many times how to do it too), politicians tell them whatever the hell they like. But most people are never, ever asked what they themselves think about anything. Not once.

As a consequence, even if they were asked, many probably wouldn't immediately know what to say. Or they would say something of little import. They would maybe look blankly and some would feel bad because they realise they have nothing to say, others wouldn't.

But in all those people who are exhausted from treading water, or who are driven to bad habits or illness by their bullshit jobs, emptyness inside and out, cacophony of voices telling them what to do, commuting, bills, expectations - there is a spark of life. Perhaps it is asleep from boredom and from never being called upon? But I would give all I have to witness the waking up of that spark of life in all of us. Or at least in enough of us. So... maybe instead of lists that tell people what to do, or as well as those lists, how can the Spark of LIfe be woken up and be built into a Passion that knows no obstacles? How can we (you, me, somebody else) ask people to think and feel and truly take part in what we are all together living now or in the future?

One example of the Spark of Life. Once I came across a simple man, mannerless and so simple that he wasn't even aware of his own behaviour. He lead hard life close to the bottom of social ladder, where nobody ever expected anything from him other than to do as told, and earned his pension that way too... One day I asked him to stop what he was doing for a moment and listen to the wind blowing through the trees. It sounded exactly like the sound of the sea waves on a high wind day. He stood, heard it, got it, it touched him so deeply, that his eyes welled up. And seeing the tender part in this roughly hewn example of humanity, which he unwittingly and unknowingly showed me for a moment, I too was deeply touched. I also felt justified in my belief that humans are like a lake: you look from one angle and all you see is stinky, murky, dark waters with little life in them. But you look from another angle, and you see a reflection of the sky.

So... for me the Spark of Life resides in that tender heartedness. There is no way that any tender hearted person could treat others badly, could kill an animal, go to war, smuggle slaves. That is the seat of wisdom, of kindness, of connection to each other and to the nature of which we are a part. What would tender hearted economy look like?

D

DaveDarby Mon 1 Aug 2022 10:10AM

Feel free to use Lowimpact's resources - 240ish topics in various categories - plus an 'easy' category to kick off with. https://www.lowimpact.org/

SG

Simon Grant Mon 1 Aug 2022 5:39AM

This looks very live to me. Alive. Lots of great comments about stopping being such an individual and get with others collectively. Then … how do you do that? How do I know where my impact (yes, yes, it's not the right word but let's live with that for the moment) will be greatest? Surely, I can't work that out through my own logical thinking – the global ecosystem is way too complex for that to be practical.

So, my next move onwards: yes, join with others, and make it first a mutual exploration into sensing into where one can make the best ‘impact’. I've started to explore this in two sets of writings, about collective ikigai and about relating in collectivity. That's just my perspective, though.

I also find the regeneration.org stuff fascinating. I see Paul Hawken is behind that. Curiously, I appear to have no mutual LinkedIn connections with any of his team. Does anyone else? Which to me speaks of silos and individual, disconnected efforts. Yes, there is a whole lot of excellent material on that site. How does it relate to all the other excellent work that is going on? How does it relate to other perspectives (such as sensibly mentioned here as well)? How can we help any initiative like this embed its excellence into a wider ‘ecosystem’ of dialogue, to discern what any particular one is most valuable for, and to point to others in other areas? It's a similar question to that for an individual, “what can I do” but scaled up to “what can we best do together?”, and this is the heart of what I am trying to get at through the concept of collective ikigai.

OS

Oli SB Sun 31 Jul 2022 4:04PM

That site is amazing - thanks for the link. It seems they have largely done what I was suggesting above, although there's no place for feedback, or peer-review... but still, there's a huge amount of info on there... perhaps we should highlight this project and use our time to develop other ideas!?

I

Ivana Fri 29 Jul 2022 8:13AM

here's a good list https://regeneration.org/ scroll down and see What can I do?

I

Ivana Thu 28 Jul 2022 8:58PM

I've always had green fingers, but now growing fruit and vegetables to eat has acquired new meaning: it saves on transport, packaging, storage, refrigeration, it relies on my labour of love, rather than somebody else's slave labour, it is organic, it improves my health, it provides me with meaningful exercise, meaningful learning, pleasure, joy, sometimes sadness and annoyance too. It absorbs carbon, improves soil fertility, feeds a few insects, mice, spiders, lizzards, wasps, bees, ... It's one of the most meaningful things I have ever done. In all the different forums and social media and whatnot that I sometimes follow, I often want to ask: and do you also grow part of your own food? I don't ask it, because I sense that many will be offended by such 'vulgar' question, not intellectual enough? But I recommend it. And so does Bill Mollison “The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”

DJ

Diogo Jorge Thu 28 Jul 2022 3:31PM

These concerns led me to search for collective action glocally, maybe creating "the"app, and it all started during the open coop conference in 2020. I am very thankful for that moment and in this spirit of reciprocity I would like to share my journey since.

From there I joined a web2 network and started sharing my actions and philosophy of a rooted society of intergenerational food forest commons. Very much like indigenous culture do. Inheriting food forests stewarding it and leaving it better for the next gens.

2 years of monthly agroforest journals went by (https://earth-regenerators.mn.co/posts/safmv20-report9-mar2021), and in 2022 I decided to enter a learning journey on web3 and how it could be used to create the food forest commons.

With the awareness that many earth boundaries have been crossed, the goal is not so revert climate change or save the planet but just to shed light to a kind of human culture that can provide peace of mind, coherence and hope for those involved.

So I created a telegram group that is turning into a DAO with the goal of building an incentive's system for those willing to coordinate for food forest commons. This is done by creating recognition, reputation, credentials, bounties and training for the different actors involved in the process of stewarding long term agroforest systems and their products.

We can use web3 tools to acknowledge social, intellectual, cultural, natural and financial capital, within the community, and have engagement, content and context creation rewarded.

This is the way I found to tackle these fundamental issues even from rural Brazil where I am located. If you would like to learn more about we are doing send me an email or follow us on Twitter @agroforestdao

Thanks again for open room for sense making. I hope you all continue doing this.

Love,
Diogo Jorge

Em qui, 28 de jul de 2022 06:49, Oli SB (via Loomio) escreveu:

OS

Oli SB Thu 28 Jul 2022 9:49AM

Hi All,

These are great comments, thanks to everyone that replied :)

I think what Josef highlights, that Bill McKibben says, is key here:

the best thing people can do is to join together with others to take collective actions

It's so obviously true. We are far more powerful in groups, and groups of groups, than we are alone... and networks of groups, as XR have shown, can be very effective...

Matt also has a very valid point, if we're being honest we may have to recognise that we have passed some climatic tipping points already, so adaptation strategies which reduce suffering are now a key requirement.

And Naomi is on to something essential too; not all actions are available to everyone so any list of suggested actions would be much more valuable if it was filterable for context...

But what exactly makes it onto the list? If we look at all the things on the excellent list which Josef shared from Ethical Consumer, they're all very 'material' things like 'use less gas, aviation fuel and meat...' etc... but where does "transfer your earning and spending to the commons economy, even just slightly" fit on that list? (by which I mean trying to use mutual credit, a time bank or similar...) or is it a more effective use of time to start a local co-op or to set up a node on the https://openfoodnetwork.org.uk/ or to spend time letting down tires of 4x4s!?!? Or to form small teams and start building the various different components of PLANET?

Obviously, not all of these actions are equally accessible to everyone... and they all probably have varying different chances of achieving impact and progress on the path to a regenerative economy, but that's the point. Wouldn't it be useful to have a peer-reviewed list, including all types of ideas and actions (not just the usual 'turn the tap off while brushing your teeth' things) which was ranked according to everyone's ratings?

NJS

Naomi Joy Smith Wed 27 Jul 2022 9:47AM

A quick two-cents: how to filter for context relevance (e.g. by location/climate? health/accessibility requirements? number of dependents?)

MS

Matthew Slater Tue 26 Jul 2022 5:46PM

Sorry I don't have any answers but I want to challenge the question.

Have an impact on what? There's a danger of focusing too much on trying to mitigate climate change when catastophic change is already baked in. We should be thinking as much if not more about adaptation. How can we, individually and collectively reduce the damage and suffering, and not only in our own medium term future, but if we want to think wider, has been going on in the form of colonialism for centuries.

That can mean political action, community organising, or more on a more personal and familial level, getting out of debt and working to build more resilience into our supplies of food / energy / medicine etc.

JD

Josef Davies-Coates Tue 26 Jul 2022 4:42PM

Bill McKibben is often asked what individuals can do and his go-to answer is: stop being such an individual! i.e. the best thing people can do is to join together with others to take collective actions (e.g. force changes in local council policies, join XR/ Just Stop Oil etc etc).

Saying that, Ethical Consumer covered what people can do recently here:

https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/sites/default/files/flipbook/Issue194/44/

(download here https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/media/2539/download )

Key figures in my tweet here:

https://twitter.com/jdaviescoates/status/1479177102045990912

(although they have "switch car to EV" as a good one, but methinks "stop driving" is probably the best thing anyone who drives could/should do to directly reduce emissions given transport is the biggest chunk of UK emissions)

But, yeah, I reckon a good well referenced and widely shared list (incorporating all the above) would be great and potentially very useful (climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe points out that you don't have to be a particular kind of human to care about climate change, you just have to be human: even in the US over 80% of people are already worried about Climate Change, they just don't know what to do).

Basically an update to the good 'ol 12 steps I put together back in the day (although they were broader than just climate change stuff as that wasn't the focus at the time):

http://web.archive.org/web/20040605151400/http://www.uniteddiversity.com:80/12steps

(PS I'm ever so mildly ashamed that back in 2004 I still thought offsetting was something worth doing, so see also https://uniteddiversity.coop/2006/11/01/carbon-con/ and https://uniteddiversity.coop/2007/03/05/carbon-con-update/ - a couple of years later I'd realised the madness of it all)