Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia region in the heart of Turkey. Capadocia; Katpatukya, Turkish Kapadokya, from Greek: Καππαδοκία / Kappadokía















Cappadocia region was created three million years ago through several eruptions of the volcanoes Mt. Erciyes and Mt. Hasan. By water and wind, the tuff mountains eroded to a spectacial shape. As the rock below the top layer of basalt is extremely soft, it can be easily carved, communities took advantage of this to make their home in the rock pillars and under the ground. Today, these examples of homes, churches and whole cities abound in Cappadocia can bee seen, where humans settle down as long ago as 2500-2000 BC. 


Now, it is forbidden to live in the mountains because of the risk of collapse, but some of the mountains has new houses, as the two restaurants we went to, and a carpet weaving and a pot making place.

Houses keeps a temperature of 16 degrees C even if its below freezing point or above 30 degrees C outside.Very environmentally sound!

Picture to the left. My brother Jakob took a tour in the Göreme open air museum. We traveled in Cappadocia for two days, which was too few days, we could been here for months I guess.



















Most visited in the region: The Göreme Open - an air museum with carved painted churches; the underground cities of Kaymaklý or Derinkuyu where around 40 000 people lived in the past with their animals and children. A huge underground city, with 8 stores, kitchen, wine production, stables, churches, places for sleep, all inside the mountain. The smoke was led in long digged pipes so enimies couldn't see where they were. And another very special thing is the fairy chimneys seen in last picture. These things often appears in three; something known as the trinity. Cappadocia is listed as a heritage site.
 











Thursday, December 17, 2009

Summary of Ecocity World Summit 2009

With a goal to collect thoughts around the world, the 8th Ecocity World Summit was held in Istanbul 13th to 15th of December. The conference cost between 150 euro (for one day) to a regular ticket 500 euro, plus flight ticket and hotel cost it would be around 1000 euro up to double for non-Istanbul people. Who can come? Give it a thought.

homepage http://www.ecocity2009.com/
and program

I have to say that the answer would be; People who see the conference as an investment; companies that want to sell something. So next question would be; is an ecocity something that companies can invest in or is it more of an utopia?

We saw big projects from the company Varyap, Kucukcekmece Project and NewVista. Big scale projects with renewable energy and a lot of green room. The densed living and open up other green areas was in focus. Hiroaki Suzuki from World Bank told us about the concept Eco2 Cities, cities with both ecological and economic in focus. Suzuki also told us, that we have to build new houses for people, that is as many as the already existing buildings! New cities, big scale and repaplicated? Or rebuiding existing areas in a smarter way as examples from Montreal, Vancouver and Freiburg showed.

Richard Register's ground though about connect urban and rural areas in a more densed way so we can call it a ”city” can be what we call a small town, a village or a neighborhood today; it dosn't have t be A CITY. The ”city” part of the word ecocity means that ”like in a city, you have everything close to you”, it is unfortunately not what we can say about our cities today or the surroundings of the cities- sprawl and suburbs. Richard Register was very sensitive about talking too much about his concept, something that enjoyed me a lot- it is his concept- he should tell people what the main ideas are. Not hide them inside the book.

Can we build a society based on humans and not stuff, where we have everything we need close to us? Do we need Ecocities or Ecological modernization?
Good health and joy is all we need (?), and in the cities today we don't create it directly; it's a long way.. fist we let the people go sick from smog, bad quality of water, sedentary work, and stressful surroundings, and then we might help them back in the heath care. There is more food programs and non-fat products than ever, but people are also fatter and eat more unheathy than ever. Gyms and lifecoaching programs shows up in every corner; "do this" and "do this"- things that tells us to make us less stressed, makes us more stressed- because we have to have time to do the things. Hospitals, psychologists, life coaching, and even materialist consumption can go under what I would like to call; high speed, unhealthy societies. People have forgot what makes them happy.

Closeness and collaboration should be worlds for what an ecocity really is.

A sustainable society can only work in the long term (which is in the term sustainable..); if people have the right to own their property together with other people which will make them care about it, also important is to gain good group synergy and there we have it; a society that takes what it have and share thoughts, knowledge and pleasure.

Ostroms principles about sharing property can be read here, about sustainability here and about my perspective what an ecocity is here (links in this blog)

A very nice reading about the conference can be read at Daily Cos The Power of Nearness - DK Greenroots (or maybe its more about the real concept of the ecocity).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Visible Strategies

So much to tell, but I start with this; one of todays speaker at Ecocity world summit 2009

-Colin Grant from the company Visible Strategies, Vancouver.

Visible Strategies work with the tool "see-it", that can be used for better overviews for projects. City government can for example show their citizens and other intrested people how their plans will be to cut CO2 emissions. This, to create a better understanding of environmental problems and really "see it". Here you can view the tool "see-it" in "Inconvenient truth and convenient solutions" for environmental problems, and here is not only bad news, they show also some good examples!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

End of mankind

This week, two articles, one seminare, one movie and two books have to be connected under the titel; the end of mankind.

Darwin himself wrote in 1871, Descent of man, that it's likely that human will become extinct. In the daily newspaper I read in a small novise that newfound evidence from last week says that things that was too extreme he hide in an urn found last week. This secret documents says that, as due to a small brain and ugly appearance, man will die. (This is a bit funny if we just think a bit that Darwin didn't know about Cosmetic Surgery, and then doe to this; people that might not attrac each other if they looked natural "mix with each other" (my argumentation have to stop here, you can imagine the rest), at his time, I guess he was more into the mixed culture and rases, that everyone would look the same in the end).

Next reading was the autor about the self-regulating Earth; The Gaia Theory, who says that now is the end of humanity; climate change caused by humans is nothing that Gaia can fix by herself. Lovelock (click to read the essay) prepare himself to go with the first open space ship and see the view of the earth. "Enjoy life while you can. Because if you're lucky it's going to be 20 years before it hits the fan."

In the same time we have the premiere of the movie "2012", which can be connected to the "year 2012" which the Inca people predicted. And this is very interesting, because it can also be interpreted as a "tipping year" or the year when the world will change not end. When people all over the globe will gathering and do something together, as a deeper understanding with our inner selves and a broader consciousness in the Inca spirital way. But might, of course, also be as that humans will be more aware of the nature as in a deeper part of our consciousness.

I also read two books from Malcolm Gladwell. In the second of these books, he meant that mostly it is chance that determines whether we will succeed or not. In the book Outliers- the story of success we can see this clearly when hockey players mostley are born in the months of January, February and March, just because it's in January as they pick out new players for the intake. They simply select the boys even then they are in their teens, those who are at biggest size in January. The advantage gives them the confidence to stay in hockey. And for others to quit.

Similar non-real ranks of success is to play the stock market which I heard about four days ago in a seminare day about Economy and Financial Markets at my old school; School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg. Tommy Gärling, Professor in Psychology told us about the human touch in the Stock Market; most of the people in the Stock Exchange echo each other. It's more about psychology than superclever people; They follow if they are not sure, they sell late when it is in decline and premature when it is on the rise, which touches to a small-offset S-curve with some kind of equilibrium. If not even the economy is driven with a purpose, which everything in our world are depending at in these days- what is then?

Is it just a lot of coincidences that is in power in the world?

Now with just some days before the COP 15, a meeting which should prepare us all for the future- but a meeting that noone really believe in-, we can ask us these questions; can we fix it with hard work? (in an combination with coincidences, also Gladwell), have we already reached the tipping point? as Lovelock says, or would we just go bad and ugly as Darwin tells us? or again, is this the tipping point when we at last understand and do something about it?, as Gladwell tells us in his first book "Tipping point, how little things can makes big differences".

Can we fix it? Perhaps, but it depends who you ask (click to read another intresting article at the homepage of the newspaper Independent).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Living in future






How shall we live in year 2030?






The idea of Ecocities, Transition Towns, Biotechture and some real Sustainable cities have one thing in common; we have to think in another direction for future. Green energy is only a part of the solution, not The solution. Instead we have to change the way we think and look at things. That is; if we live in a good environment we will behave good, and the opposite. Only in a world with a surrounding that allow us to make good decisions without even think about it, instead of a world full of "bad for the environment", can help us to a sustainable future or if you want another word for it; a livable place to live.

How we live in 2030 deeply depends on how we plan and act right now. Projects in this way are already built, other in its process. What's happen right now its that it is spreading, the knowledge and examples.

The concept of Ecocities can be read in the wonderful book Ecocities- rebuiding the cities in balance with nature from 2006. Ecocity Builders, the small organisation with the huge message have consulating others in seminares, lectures at the university in San Francisco and next month they holds the 8:th International Ecocity Conference 13:th of December to 15:th of December this year in Istanbul. Last conference was last year in San Francisco and before that approximately one every 2-4 year from 1990. The speak in 1990 conference started with the now famous quote;

Cities and towns are the largest things humans build and the way we’re building them is destroying the planet. Why not, instead, build cities in balance with nature?

And from the book, the very truthful quote;

Transportation is what you do when you're not where you want to be [places where we want to stay are needed]


> New Mexico, US
To build cities with more green spots are one of the main point with all of these concepts. Someone that really takes that seriously is Mike Reynolds, with the concept of Earthship Biotecture. He have been building houses that are self subsistence with water from the rain, heat from the sun and cool from the ground for almost 40 years. Inside the house there is room for a small food production. The material that he build the houses from is garbage. The movie "Garbage warrior" was produced in 2007 and Reynolds have made some handbooks and movies to inspire others. Biotecture talks for itself in this video.












>Arcocanti, Arisona, US
The architecture in Earthships is similar to what is built in Arcosanti, but this is planned to be a whole city. The project in Arisona is designed according to the concept of arcology (architecture + ecology), developed by Italian architect Paolo Soleri. In Arcocanti the project have been going on since 1970 as a working place in a continuous development and an education center. More than 60 000 have participate in the construction, where now 160 persons live, but are planned to be around 5000.

The ground concept in Paolo Soleri's ideas is the dense living, to collect people in a small area to leave other space intact. Also in Arisona, Paolo Soleri have his office in Cosanti; an invented word that shows his ideas; from the two Italian words, "cosa", "things" and "anti", "against". Soleri have published a lot of books, the latest Soleri: Architecture as Human Ecology. He will present Work at “3D City: Future China” Exhibit in Beijing November 29, 2009 – February 28, 2010. Year 2010 is the 40 year anniversary of the Arcosanti, with workshops starting every second month.












> Started in England
A very new idea is the The Transition Town network that started 2006 in the town Tones in England with a change in an already settle community. Instead of focusing on the buildnings they are focusing on the people to make a change for their own. They even have their own Handbook with ideas of how to interact people in local projects, and projects are going on at a lot of places; more than a 100 towns call themselves Transition Towns. The basic idea about growing your own food, local money systems and the local solutions for Peak Oil and Climate change have given it attention in media and made the idea spread very quickly around the world. Message is simple and clear; local people have to do something by themselves- we can't wait for the politics to do it.

May 19th to May24th, 2010 is the date for "European Transition Town Conference". People from Transition Town initatives and those interested in the Transition Town movement from all over Europe is invited to gather in the camp that will be held in the ecovillage of Sieben Linden in Northern Germany - a newly built resilient village.














>Västra Hamnen, Western Habour, Malmö Sweden
Compared to the organization work or community work we also have some real project that have been built. Western Harbour in Malmö is a great example of new architecture in an initiative from the city government itself. Buildnings in different levels, a lot of common space, green spots, water, a diverse area with shops, restaurants, close to school and healthcare is in the concept.












>Tübingen, Germany
From Germany we have examples from Tübingen where an old garnison area where transformed to a diverse neighborhood in an architecture competition. Every block had their own discussion group of how they wanted to have it. The result; a lot of greenspot, common space, different buildings and attention in media.

>Exibithion Älvrummet, Gothenburg Sweden
In Gothenburg a similar thing is going on down the river where they want to build houses instead of port activities. It is the municipal owned company Älvstranden Utveckling AB that runs the project. The vision of "The Good City" is the basis of their work. The Good City is emerging on both sides of river. This interact work, housing, education, commerce, science, culture and recreation in a fruitful manner. The rooms of people created a character full of water and close environment, with the human meeting as an ideal. The mixed construction and existing buildings will be in harmony with the water and the environment. An exibithion room is there for the dialog with the citizens. "We want more access to the water in Gothenburg", "It's important with diversity both in the environment and the people here" and "Open for everybody" have been some of the most common votes.

Feel free to comment and describe more projects that are ongoing during this time! Good examples leads us further into the future.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blind spot

Film about Peak Oil from 2008 with some positive foresights! A good summary of the problem and it also tells us that we can make a transition with knowledge we have now.



Take a look at the whole film here

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Interviewing for solutions try #2

Found this from my note book, from last year. Interviewed myself, with a focus on solutions and not the problem.

Interviewing for solutions, 3 edition (by Peter De Jong and Insoo Kim Berg, 2008) is a book that we used to find new technics when interviewing, especially when it's about tricky questions, and with help from these technics go from the ordinary "focusing on the problem" to instead "focusing on the solution" or building solutions. The practitioner will just help or lead the client so him/herself find the solution and his/her inner power to deal with the problem.

The example here, is a personal story, but the dialog I just made up in the paper. The practitioner try to help Anna to find her inner strengths. So its a dubble up. We will try to, with the inner strenghts, find the inner strenghts.



Practitioners;-Why are you here?
Anna; - I was asked the other day, what my inner strengths are, and I just laughed and could not think of anything. I felt very embarressed, like if I do not have any inner strengths. And I try to understand why it's so hard to think of my inner strenghts.
- I can imagine that you felt embarrassed, maybe that's why you laugh?

But it is a difficult question. What did you think was the worst in this situation?
- Yes, that's right, difficult question. Thank you for your understanding. The worst was the other three people there who were asked later, all three listens to the conversation.. There were two persons who was interviewing and they just asked if I might have that or that personality or if I could imagine the same question in a job interview.
-How did you feel then?
- Very stessed, blocked. I thought that was why I laughed. And then I felt even more embarrassed.
- If I ask you now, what your inner strengts are, what would you like to be different in the situation of the time?
- Hm. I havn't thought about my inner strengths so much. so I think that if there are no other people here is a good start. So I can be calm. And I would like you to take it easy and let me find it by myself. But with a little help in any way.
- Your inner strengths... Was it in a special subject matter or just how you are as a person?
- I personally, when I search for a job, for example. As "which inner strengths do you have, that can help you to get the job."
- Do you think it is a stupid question?
- Stupid? Not at all, I think it is very interesting. I just think I'm too stupid to have a job. I do not even know what my strengths are..
- If you go to another situation that you know about, and look at your strengths in that situation instead. What can we find? Give me three situations where you feel safe? And we will look at them instead.
- Hmm, I do not know.
- What are you doing in your life? What do you think is fun?
- Cooking ..
Ride.

When I sit on the train I am very calm
I like to travel, explore new cities.
- There you have three situations! Good. Why do you like to cook?
- Because I'm good at it. Fun, to cook for other people. Since I am a vegan, they seem to be surprised to see me cook this delicious food. Some of them think vegan food is boring.
- How does it feel to talk about it in this way?
- Pretty selfish. I don't like it.
- Tell me about riding (horses). Why do you like it?
- When you have a 'good' horse, you will become one with it. I like being outdoors, exercising, be into the weather, feel the muscles and movements of the horse.
- Alone or with others?
- Could be both. It's just a feeling. It's there anyway.
- And if you have a 'bad' horse?
- Then I get very insecure and think I need to practice more. And more specifically, I do not want to be with others when it happens. I want to be alone and practice / fix / control the situation.
- And what can you tell about the trip, travelling?
- I travel a lot. Not necassary abroad, but between cities. I like to move. See new things. Explore. I can really enjoy a train journey. Feel the journey through time and space.
- How do you like to fly?
- No, I became very confused. You have to wait so much and then you have no idea where you are.

-Maps?
- Yes.. But still, is the airport outside the city and you must go there and then there is certainly no map. You will only take the bus / taxi to the airport.
- Anna. I think everything you said has a meaning. Do you think so? Can you see any kind of pattern in this story?

- Yes..
First of all, I think it is very difficult to talk about things I like, I feel most like I'm only trying to say how good I am in different situations. It seems that I want to have control around me. and that I feel a lot. And I find it hard to show others when I am not sure or secured about things, then I would rather be alone.
- Wow. Impressive. You just did an analysis of yourself. How do you feel?
- It's ok. But I can not see any strengths yet.

- We don't have time restrictions. The process here is very important. We will talk some more and it will come from nothing. Just focusing on the question we just talked about.
- Ok.
- Why do you think you chose those three things?

- Because I'm good at them.
I mean, uhm .. I like to cook, to ride and travel. And sometimes I feel very safe in these situations.
- Can you explain that feeling?- Perhaps a sense of belonging? I know something that other people like and appreciate. Perhaps it can be a strength?
I like to have control and work with other people?
No ... I have never seen myself like that.
It is perhaps a sense of belonging? Be a part. An important element. Yes. I work very well when I get trusted and have expectations on me. It gives me energy. I want to be visible and important.
But.! It is the opposite of what I normally feel .. I do not understand.. And it might not even be strengths.
- It is good that you start to argue. We will return to it. Now I want you to go back to cooking.
- Ok.

- What in the process is the most fun? If you divide it from shoping to the table ....

Monday, November 23, 2009

Human footprint

A documentary about the human footprint, here divided in 10 parts from National Geographics Channel and the Wildlife Conservation Society. More about the Human Footprint here; http://www.wcs.org/humanfootprint/




























Sunday, November 22, 2009

Participation in Göteborg

The big event for the Festival for Climate this weekend was today and the reason why I first and formost wanted to go to the whole festival; my dear friend Jonas Gren, a talent journalist and a wonderful human, talked about the Transition Town idea and his own experience when he met people in the Transition town movement in England.

The session today inpired a whole workshop to discuss the question how to work with the issue here in Gothenburg. More than 40 people participate in an open space themed workshop, it was runned just in a short of time but with a lot of intelligent and active people that wants to act now.

The most important part is in the starting point and how to get people involved in the processs, a process that have to be in the community and within the community.
 We agreed that if we want a transiton it would work the best way to arrange a meeting with already existing organistations or groups. We can from those groups take the key person to see what they want to do, what their goal are, with the arrangement they are already involved in. In this process we will get the information to continue the work.
 When gathering people in this way, we see a lot of issues they have in common, and also what they really want to do within the community.

To listen to this and to help the key people to themself develop their thoughts, will inspire them to do more for their work.

A special room or house for this kind of work is important. In the room the thoughts should be on the wall, so everyone can see it and in this way participate in the process, and also be inspired to participate in the next meetings.

We can only do something with the society if we carefully listen to what people wants. And when we collect them, they will understand it even more and work together to reach their goals.

I hope we can use participatory methods in a larger scale. Some people asked me about a lecture or a guide today, it's just to start the participation work!

From San Francisco to London without flying

This is just amazing.. read the story and see the movies

at Flightfree Transatlantic Blog Entries

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Climate festival!

3 days. Lectures, workshops, a lot of women, vegan food, spoken words, planting of pear trees in a city park.

Program (ups! google tool translated)

----------


Want to share this picture from the small magazine "Dealing with distractions, confronting Green Capitalism in Copenhagen & Beyond"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Exhibition sustainable food system

The environmentally friendly week or "the green week" is the annual event Naturskyddsföreningen (Society for Swedish nature conservation) organizes. This year's topic was; Mat för ett bättre klimat or something like; CHANGE FOOD INSTEAD OF CLIMATE

The Uppsala division could contribute with;
  • exhibition in the main library
  • interview in the local radio Tuesday morning
  • local producers and the fair trade shop met people in the exhibition in tuesday
  • posters/brochures in and outside supermarkets (5), coffee shop (4), fair trade shop (1) and a book store (1)
  • lecture from professor Charlotte Lagerberg Fogelberg from CUL, Center for sustainable agriculture, and a local organic producer and speaker Kjell Sjelin, Kjell & Ylva Sjelin Lantbruk

And some activities outside the exhibition;
  • discussion evening
  • guided tour in the supermarket, guided from the staff
  • food party; exchange of food, recipes and thoughts


From the ceiling, we hung milk package (the local produced brand); one liter of package was equal to one kilo of a carbon dioxide equivalent.




The beef had then 18 packages when the methane was recalculated to carbon dioxide, compared to beans 0,2 packages or 0,2 kilo of carbon dioxide. Every number was to one kilo of the product.


A map to the local milk producers and some information about how and where to buy local produced food in Uppsala.








A cubic meter of water (1000 liter), inside the wood, can only give 1 liter milk or 64,5 gram of beef.



Some brochures; people could read at the table or take with them.



A corner with books and recipes.
















Here is a "wall" (a cube in the middle of the room) where the visitors could write their own thoughts about the environmentally friendly food;"share your own Eco-friendly food tips", they could also put their own recipes up and evaluate the exhibition.


My work in this week was to hold the activities outside the exhibition and to have the interview in the radio. I didn't plan for the exhibition because I live in a city 500 km away. So I planned for the activities, had a collaboration with Studiefrämjandet (The Study Promotion Association), booked rooms, talked to the staff in the supermarket and printed papers and posters. But then on Wednesday when no one had signed up for the activities, I went to put posters all over the city. The next day I signed the papers for my apartment to be sold 300 km away, but in Friday when I came back and still no one on my list, I re-arrange the exhibition. The pictures showed and the text was the result. In Saturday with only 12 people coming to the lectures, I gave up. A "green week" about food without food did not work!

This is not the first time we see that information-about-things is not enough. People will not just show up because of some posters. Or people will not change behavior just because of an exhibition.




Last picture; I desperate try to get more people into the exhibition; "you can still eat some meat, come inside and have a look how"(down). The upper sign is the title of Uppsala's exhibithion "Food- hero for nature or a climate villain" (Swedish: Mat- naturhjälte eller klimatbov. Is not as fun in English).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Transition Network.org

Sweden had a visit from Naresh Giangrande, Co Founder Transition Town Totnes and Transition Training in October. He was in Gothenburg to have some lectures and I had the opportunity to have a word with him. We took a walk in Slottskogen, the park with animals.

Naresh is one of the people that started the transition of the town Totnes in England, now he work as a workshop leader and teaches people about sustainability. It seems as he is doing something that I want to be doing. Also the whole concept of Transition town is something as what I try to explain in this blog;

  • We need to build resilient communities
  • We need to think in small scale and locally produced, both in goods and services
  • We need to work more within communities
  • To do that we need to better understand and use communication methods that directly involve and activate people.

Sitting here with the Transition handbook, have to see if I can learn something new! My six years of studies might be there inside as a shortcut!



Naresh wrote about his visit in Sweden here; http://transitionculture.org/2009/11/05/sweden-in-transition/ . He did not mention the animal park, but he explain his expression from the Transition Training tour to Sweden as very good.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Borneo's remaining rainforests


Sunrise over the rain forest in Danum Valley, Sabah


The majesty of Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world, split between Maylasia, Indonesia and Brunei, an island right on the equator, and a perfect condition for rain forest with it's endemic amazing flora and fauna. Borneo has one of two natural habitat for the orangutan, the Mountain Mount Kinabalu is protected as Kinabalu National park and are one of the worlds hotspot in species diversity, Borneo have their own small elephant, the (Bornean) Asian elephant, famous for its aggressive temper, here thrive the carnivorous plants in the genus Nephenthes, huge butterflies and huntsman spiders (family Sparassidae).

The huge butterfly of 20 cm in wingspan appeared at the island where we snorkel to see the coral reefs outside Kota kinabalu.The monkey sat in Bako national park, an intresting place, with mangrove, limestone flora and rainforest, side by side. We meet mr bearded pig for the first time and two species of small monkeys, all of them thieves and we saw the endemic proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus, not in picture), famous for its strange hanging nose and very red but small penis. My favorite animal the Slow lori (genus Nycticebus) also lives here, but too shy to wanna show up.

Baby in the mangrove, Bako National Park
Huge butterfly at the island Pulau Mamutik
outside Kota Kinabalu

Genus Nephenthes, Bako National park.

Bornean horned frog, Megophrys nasuta,
Danum Valley Borneo



Deforestation because of palm oil.

Image originally from treehugger.com

The deforestation of Borneo is fast and much. At the bus from Mount Kinabalu to Danum Valley, approximately 6 hours, oil palms, oil palms and oil.. Borneo's rain forest have decreased by almost half . Instead, 1.8 million hectare of oil palm plantation.Under the trees its just soil- nothing else can grow here.


Here it is, a plant of an oil palm
Oil palm monocrops in Sabah, Borneo.

The fruit of the oil palm can be used for a lot of things, frying oil especially in Asia and in oil, butter, candies, cookies, potato chips and cosmetics all over the world. Plans, we heard was to make one of the world's largest ethanol plant for car use. I don't know what happened from 2007 to now, except that we in the North countries didn't like that fuel to much..

And we meet the truck. Bye bye forest.

Most tedious, this is not the only rain forest which is disappearing. Same trend can be found in the forest of Amazon, Madagascar and all other places where rain forest thrive. Were we saw green viper snakes, huge spiders and funny bugs, where I ran in the rain forest when the rain came, barefoot and where the clouds are so low and the trees so high so they can touch the tree canopy, is diapering more rapidly everyday because of the fact that we want junk food, and junk lifestyles.

Deforestation in Bolivia (found at the web. all other pictures was taken on the trip by me)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

..the ambulant story

there is an ambulance on the street next to a multi-residential. half on the sidewalk, half on the street and it has the warning lights on. I think of my grandmother and hurries on. in one of the lit apartment, I see the ambulance staff. a television is on in the background, a flat panel television, a black and white new action film. the ambulance people in the apartment looks down and bends down, they seem worried, but moves slowly. I pass the ambulance out on the street and heard when I passed, the sound of a man who cries out in a hopeless condition. not loud but deep. I peer into the half-lit area and sees a dark figure sitting on the stone edge at the sidewalk outside the house. and I had already passed. it was 20-30 meters away from the man in the dark and I thought in the 1 /100 second when I saw and heard him, that I wanted to go to him, but what would I say? Was his girlfriend ill? Their child? He sat outside but the staff was in the house, so it was already too late? Was he the one, who had beaten his wife? So badly that she was now dead? Approximately one million questions, and I did not go. What would you do?

Now safe home, I have a bit bad conscience. But will drive this all the way to the Big Problem Climate change debate. We know the picture and why it's important. We hear the warnings on radio, from people and organisations, we see it in the newspaper and magazines. We even know what to do. Compare it and you will see that the decision to do something about it for people and politican is hopeless. It is so complicated, so we just continue to walk, but with a slight feeling of remorse.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Power Of Community - How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

Just remembered the Cuba film. I think it should be here too.

1991 the Cuban nation met the crisis that we all would meet. In this movie we can follow their work from nothing to a sustainable agriculture in such a good way that they now export.

From the film;

"It's not the technology it's the human relationship"

"If we don't take care of nature, the nature will take care of us- get rid of us"

"The world is only one, and it's for all of us"

See the film here

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We can build a sustainable world, but we need to re-think.


















Picture from the book Ecocities- rebuilding cities in balance with nature

Eco, eco, eco. Everything is about getting into the ecological approach in our way of life. To change our lifestyle to one who buys organic clothing products, a new "environmentally friendly" car and organic foods is not enough.

We see now more and more different possible solutions, but most of them just want to replace, not to change. But we have to change if it should work.

Ecocities, towns based on ecological principles, is such a change. Ecocity perspective goes beyond the Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm or the eco-villages as we see built. It is about rebuilding our cities. Ecocities deals with small scale, close-by, 3-dimensionally construction and joy. It's about what is important to us; meetings, new impressions, quiet, close to what we need, perhaps even a small project which involve people in something they themselves think is important.













In the real Ecocity, there are no stress that exists today, for everything is near to you.

The basic idea is simple, compact construction and creativity. Stores/offices will be on the ground floor of each house and can also be in other layers but will not occupy whole buildings. The 3-dimensional way of building will create open spaces where you can meet, socialize, relax, grab a coffee, sit in the sun. To look at running water or a moving animal is not something we have to go out of town to do. It's there. Near us. There are also things close to us that are important for children, teenagers, elderly. Diversity is a word that makes one think about different cultures, different perspectives, different cultures and different countries. Diversity is also a word that describes an Ecocity.

If the city is built in this way, we don't need large shopping center on the outlines, where you need a car to go, (incidentally, is a new phenomenon which is spread ever faster) the shopping center are virtually everywhere. Diversity is the key and diversity is the word to describe this kind of change.

It's not a dream. There are many examples of this type of project. But perhaps needed now is a pla
n to "build back" cities and towns to which they looked like many years ago. When it was exciting to go to a new location for where it looked different, with new stores and new people. But in this kind of city we don't need to carry us at all, unless we want to. Richard Register who started the concept Ecocities believe that "Transportation is what you do when you're not where you want to be."

Türbingen and Freiburg in Germany are examples. West Harbor in Malmö is another. We can re-think, we can change and it is now happening.










 



 Biblioteca parque España, Medellin, Colombia

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The mouse trap of our lives

The world's economy and therefore our selves are stuck. Stuck in a un-sustainable way of thinking.

Money is the word for it and even more exact it is about the interest. Interest is what makes the capitalist way of seing the world going, in an ongoing process where money loose their meaning.

The word economy comes from the Greek words οἰκονόμος "one who manages a household" (derived from οἴκος "house", and νέμω "distribute (especially, manage)"), οἰκονομία "household management", and οἰκονομικός "of a household or family". But what we are doing with economy nowadays are the opposite.

When having a system based on interest, we base the system on an accelerate growth which means that we need new resourses, well before we use the old.

Resourses in this world are limited.

A good example is when developing countries borrow money. Normally they live in a world with sustainable but small agriculture. When borrowing the money they have to make their system grown to pay back the interest. The income is depending on the outcome or production (to pay back the loan, i.e interest).

What will happen in the end is just one result; collapse. Either the collapse of economy or ecology. In the first senario we have to rethink of our system but the last we can't do anything about.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Playgrounds aren't just for kids


Or why diversity of shapes, colors, weather, sounds, smells, creates different feelings and therefore different moods in humans.

Fall in Sweden. Some people just love it, other says that this is the worse season in the year.

The low sun and the colors.. it does a lot for the mood.

A walk in this weather makes me happy into my heart.

Some leaves at a car, and the first frost that makes the color into another
color. Some tiny thing that you can see in an early morning.

In a city, we make, construct playgrounds to kids. But kids can also see the playground in a forest or just a small spot.

What is it that do the little spot- for them?

And what is it that is doing the little spot for an adult person, the spot where we want to sit down and enjoy a little?

Is it so, that we, adult people are a little more demanding what's good for us? Is it so that we need a diverse place to see, to hear, to smell? The little spot where we can recover a bit, is difficult to just create compare to the kids..

Here a playground in the tree.



There are green spots, large green areas with some grass on. We can do some sports like succer or we can have a party. But the little spot.. The spot that just creates the mood of "I want to sit down a little". What is it that makes it?

"To hear the leaves when they fall to the ground"

  "a stair with grass in every step"

In the book "Last child in the woods", Richard Louv discuss about how to save our children from nature-deficit disorder. But isn't it the same for adults? What's the name for it then? "Not enough nature and creativity in the outdoor environment"-?


A kindergarten with a lot of greens around. Some of the old buildings are there left as a wall. Old small trees makes the environment for kids to love.


An old old house in the fall season.

Do we build different for kids than for adult humans? I walked through a neighbourhood with their own restaurant and they also had a garden with a small greenhouse and a closure for chickens (with a rooster sign on the top).

The restaurant also had a terrace next to this garden. And next to the garden there was a forest on a hill. The balconies on the building was intergrating in this garden and it felt a little bit forbidden to be inside, as inside their place. A wonderful place to live. It was a rest home


A small lake with ducks and some people feed them. Here, some benches where you can sit down.


An old house in the forest of fall.

A pelvic in the grass land with some dead leaves makes a small ecosystem of its own. Do you see it?

In this spot, hundred years ago, a hospital was built for people with turbeculosis. It was built in the forest with this huge balcony where sick people could lay outside and watch the garden, green meadows and a water pool.

Nowadays a big green area with some trees and a lot of kids playing around.

When we build today. Do we think about people? Even if the people in the hospital was sick, the area was created for them. A wonderful area with water, flowers and fresh air. The house and the pool still remains. Around the area, kindergarten and children are running and playing at the meadows. The plan is now to rebuild the building to apartments. Will the green area and the spot of diversity stay here?

Adult people also want to have a place to "just be" for a while, isn't it so? Outside in the summer, inside in the wintertime, but a place where we can rest, sit down and have all the impressions that we humans need to feel happiness. No?

Playgrounds aren't just for kids. Every human needs a "playground" to play a little with the senses, to feel human.

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