Time to Get Serious...

Photo by Marilyn Cornelius, taken at the Op ML protest outside Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership training in San Francisco, Nov 2012.

Photo by Marilyn Cornelius, taken at the Op ML protest outside Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership training in San Francisco, Nov 2012.

Imagine going to a doctor with a persistent mild fever and a lump the size of a coconut by the side of your head. The doctor examines you and says that the lump is cancerous and causing your fever, but the best he can do is to limit your fever to 2C!

Would you then plead with him to limit your fever to 1.5C? Or would you ask him about the cancerous lump?

When you ask him about the lump, suppose the doctor says, "Oh, that cancer will grow! I will make sure that it doubles in size as quickly as possible!"

Wouldn't you run away from such a doctor?

But that's precisely what our world leaders have been doing in the context of climate change. They are all exercised about the fever that the Earth has contracted while they are studiously ignoring the cancer that is our consumer society, because they are stuck in a growth-oriented socioeconomic system that is based on consumption as an organizing value and competition as an organizing principle. They either don't know how to get unstuck or they are too frightened that they would lose their private plane privileges in an environmentally benign socioeconomic system.

Even the man who inspired us on this path, former Vice President Al Gore, is too frightened to talk about the cancer while he is truly exercised about the fever. And in such a craven political setting, the newly elected US President, Donald Trump, is rightly pointing out that if we are all pretending that the cancer doesn't exist, why don't we also start pretending that the fever doesn't exist?

Why, indeed?

Because reality keeps intruding upon our reverie?

Because billions of human lives are at stake?

Because trillions of non-human lives are at stake?

It is time to get serious.

Our mission is to heal the Earth's climate, not maintain it precariously in an advanced state of disrepair. Since the system cannot support such healing, the system will be changed.

Mewar Angithi Deployment - Phase I

After conducting real world cooking tests in ten different households of four villages in Rajasthan, India, we completed the deployment of approximately 1000 Mewar Angithis (MA) in these villages through our ongoing collaboration with the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), Udaipur. The cooking tests showed that, by and large, the women were able to reduce their wood use by 40% using the MAs. They also noted a significant reduction in smoke during the cooking using the MAs. Unfortunately, our particulate measurement hardware failed in the field and we were not able to quantify the reduction in smoke.

Over time, as the women adjust to the more efficient burning of firewood that the MAs facilitate, we expect the savings to asymptotically improve towards what was observed in lab tests at MPUAT.

The four villages were all located in the Kumbalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary of Udaipur district in Rajasthan:

Karech, with 268 households per 2010 census,
Kyarakhet, with 121 households,
Cheetrawas, with 144 households, and
Reechwara, with 368 households

The revenue village of Reechwara includes four villages, Reechwara, Char Ka Khet, Sakariya and PeepalSarai. 

We conducted meetings in each of these villages to seek the blessings of the villagers, especially the elders, for the deployment. And in each and every village, we were told that the deployment would be welcomed by the women of the village.

We also conducted extensive surveys of women heads of households in 100 representative homes in the four villages to assess current economic and social conditions prior to the deployment. We will be conducting follow-up surveys in these households in January 2016 to assess the impact of our deployment and to evaluate the condition of the MAs after roughly six months of use.

The 1000+ MA units for the deployment were manufactured locally in Udaipur by Sagar Metal Fabricators using 2mm thick High Carbon Stainless steel sheets and laser cutting machinery.

 

The Mewar Angithi: A $1 Device that Transforms a Traditional Chula into a High Efficiency Cook Stove

 The Mewar Angithi: A $1 Device that Transforms a Traditional Chula into a High Efficiency Cook Stove

The controlled use of fire, and more specifically cooking, is a fundamentally human creation that has allowed us to become who we are, an ingenious tool-wielding species that dominates over all other species on Earth. And yet, our infatuation with fire, and specifically cooking, is projected to be the central reason for our ecological Icarian downfall in the near future, unless we take remedial action soon.

The Environmental Message of Deepavali

The Environmental Message of Deepavali

Sanathana Dharma, meaning "Universal Righteousness" and popularly known as Hinduism, is truly the science of enlightenment. At its core, it is based on the simple principle, "Let Go." Its fundamental premise is that every human being is entitled to be enlightened, to reach that natural state of perfect happiness or "Ananda." While happiness itself is boundless and therefore, the quest for perfect happiness is eternal, the lifelong journey on that quest is surely the ideal human experience.

The Khadi Movement of the 21st Century

The Khadi Movement of the 21st Century

Gandhi was fighting for the independence of India. We are now fighting for our survival and for the survival of our children and grandchildren.

Gandhi inspired the people of India to make that one simple change, to take that voluntary step of changing their clothes. We need to inspire people in rich societies - specifically, all people who have access to the internet - to take that voluntary step of changing what we eat, to go vegan.

The Meat Moderates

The Meat Moderates

Unless the "Meat Moderates" abandon their plateaued positions and switch over to veganism, the vegan revolution will not occur and the deforestation of the Amazon and the Congo will continue apace. Just as the civil rights revolution could not occur fifty years ago until the "White Moderates" showed up at the Washington Mall and supported civil rights wholeheartedly.

Go Solar or Go Vegan - What Should We Do First?

Go Solar or Go Vegan - What Should We Do First?

It is very clear that fossil fuel use is going to decline and perhaps end during the 21st century in response to climate change. It is also very clear that a global shift towards veganism will occur during this century to save ourselves from environmental catastrophes and the worst impacts of climate change.

But where should our priorities lie? Should we focus on weaning ourselves from fossil fuel use - go solar, go electric, etc., or should we focus on weaning ourselves from meat, dairy, fish and egg consumption, i.e., go vegan?

In Search of Vegan Climate Scientists

In Search of Vegan Climate Scientists

The off-site social for the Fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in Berkeley, CA, was standing room only. I was excited at the chance of connecting with many climate scientists who contribute to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and in particular, I wanted to find Vegan scientists to invite to the Veganic Summit that we're planning next year.