Written by By Davian Views (Traditional Industrial Ecologist)
[You can read Part 6 here, with links to the preceding parts]
To me, our human organisation power structures are upside down. However, even within this top-down hierarchy, there are widely different results. If we use as our two extremes of balance, management that is combative versus co-operative. In my experience, co-operative management is viewed by those being managed as a facilitator allowing the workforce to be able to perform well. In contrast, combative management is corrosive to performance. Over the long run, a co-operative style will out-perform a combative style, because less energy is used to maintain the integrity of the organisational structure.
The key to people engaging is for them to feel part of something; to do that, there are three main factors—a sense of ownership, partnership, and influence. In the case of the commons, ownership is in the form of stewardship. By doing your bit to maintain and enhance the natural habitat, you enjoy the benefits of a stable, flourishing environment, which in energy terms saves your economy from being in a state of shortage and distress. Partnership means that you are not alone, enjoying the sense of community and achievement with others. Influence means you have a voice; you are not powerless and can seek change or continuity in how things are done.
These things are timeless in the human condition; the lack of them causes pain and loss. To illustrate this point, here is an item I wrote some time ago in 2007, since then the peak oil that was due in 2005 has been delayed but not cancelled by, the financial crisis, Ethanol (The Burn Food Plan) and lastly Fracking.
The Carbon Standard 300/30. Member’s experiences. (Projected in 2 years to set up, plus ten years time 2020)
Hi, I’m Dave; I live in a house, consume food, fuel, and manufactured goods, as well as use the infrastructure that delivers these things. Some of these can be measured accurately to calculate their cost in Carbon emissions, but most cannot. I joined the TCS300/30 so that I could enjoy material benefits and benefit the environment at the same time.
My primary power comes from my share in the local “ Mark”. Mark is short for Mirror Ark (A Mirror Ark is different to a regular Ark which floats on top of rising water levels, in that it takes carbon dioxide from the air to make fuel and stops the water level rising in the first place.) that generates electricity using the temperature difference between air and water. The electricity is used either directly via the grid or converted by fuel cells into methanol on which I run my car, and is now used for jet fuel when I go on holiday to Spain.
I heat my house and cook with methane, also produced by fuel cells that use the Carbon Dioxide and water vapour in the atmosphere as the raw materials to manufacture the fuels. In this way, I am carbon neutral by having a share in a Mark. Mark generated fuels are also cheaper because they avoid the green taxes.
My primary source of food is the local Country Club, in which I also have a share. The basic concept is very simple; I own one acre of a thousand-acre mixed farm. On the farm are food storage, a kitchen, and canteen; the farm is organic, producing top quality seasonal vegetables that taste great because the soil has high mineral content. I have a choice of fresh or cooked food that I can eat in the canteen or have it delivered as a ready meal to my house if I am busy at work doing overtime.
Being an owner in the Country Club is my way of helping to pump down and store carbon dioxide by healing the land. When we first started, there was only 30cm of topsoil, but now there are 50cm and a lot more trees. The topsoil acts like a sponge, and we get less flooding from the runoff when it rains heavily.
The mineral ash that we use to build up the topsoil comes from the local coal-fired power station. It is treated first to make sure the mineral content is right, which gives us metals left over, such as Aluminium and Titanium, which go to The Green Garage. The great thing about being an owner of the Country Club is the feeling of being part of a group where things are getting better, in a way you can see, touch, and feel.
The magic of using the coal ash is that we capture ten times the amount of carbon released when the coal was burnt. This means that we get money from selling the Carbon Offsets, which subsidises the farming operation.
The Green Garage is my favourite though, because I have always been a bit of a Petrol Head. One of the easiest ways to save resources is to make things that last longer, are easy to repair and upgrade. We started with cars, which should now run for thirty years, so we only need to build twenty percent of the cars we used to. These cars are not old bangers, they are state of the art because any innovation can be retrofitted, but they are more personal and have a character, unlike the bland, anonymous blobs that roll off the Chinese production lines today.
Finally, there is the money. A bit vulgar, I know, but because I was one of the first to join Bullionaire, the inventions they came up with are now catching on in a big way, I get royalty payments from the various DNAs that were used to develop the technologies. I also get money from the Rownership schemes that are rolled over as we get more people joining. I also made money by saving Fuel bonds, which went well as Peak Oil started to really kick in. I was lucky because I kept my job, and my company did not go under during the recession, so for me, the extra money is like perks, but other members say, without it, they would not have survived financially, especially some of the older members.
To sum up, by joining the TCS300/30, I have energy security, food that is both tasty and healthy, I am part of a group that is prosperous and makes the environment prosper too, what’s not to like?
- TCS300/30 is an ambition to reduce Carbon Dioxide balance in the atmosphere from the current 400ppm to 300ppm in a 30 year period.
- Bullionaire is a term for an asset that is owned without debt or counterparty risk.
- Rownership allows people to rent and buy simultaneously; Rownership for a house, for example, the monthly payment is part rent and part purchase, over time the proportion paid in rent decreases until the property is theirs.
This little story illustrates how beginning at a local level, without all of the trappings of global summits and high-level political policy, change can happen by people getting together and making a difference. This kind of activity is the essence of Renaissance when such endeavours are emulated by different groups around the world; small changes become big changes.