This week Awesome Stories brings you open source seeds, heart habits, and renewable energy myths.
Numerous organizations are working to create more diversity and access to seeds. Currently, a few companies like Monsanto dominate the market which has dramatically reduced the variety, increased price, and limited access. The Open Source Seeds group in Germany and Open Source Seeds Initiative in Wisconsin are both working to make seeds more accessible and affordable. OSS uses German law to both protect seeds and allow sharing and development. If a seed is licensed under German law, the seed and all further developments and modifications [of that seed] fall under this license. This allows people to modify and develop new varieties, make money, and use the seeds, but not control or own the seed as with a patent. The US group has a similar objective to maintain fair and open access to seeds and plant genetic resources for farmers, gardeners, breeders, and communities. There are also organizations working to preserve seeds in seed banks that can survive climate change and disaster like the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the Arctic built by Norway.
Healthy Heart Habits
Do we have enough resolve in our hearts to act courageously, relentlessly, without giving up, trusting our fellow citizens to join with us in our determined pursuit of a living democracy? —Terry Tempest Williams
Here is another wonderful article from Parker Palmer about using our hearts courageously to help transform democracy and our lives. The phrase “heart habits” is his term for heart capacities that can heal our democracy and create politics worthy of the human spirit. They are really more like principals to guide our hearts and lives in a way that supports growth and cooperation. The five heart habits are simple and common sense, but not easy to live and embody in our lives. The 5 principals are; we are in this together, appreciation of others, capacity to hold creative tension, sense of voice and agency, and creating community.
Renewable Energy Myths
It is a romantic view of the future to believe that all of our energy will come from energy sources such as the wind and the sun. ~ Milt Caplan
Believe me, up until a year or two ago, I was in the 100% renewable energy fan club. It has been widely promoted as the magic panacea to move us away from fossil fuels and prevent climate disaster. Unfortunately, as Milt Caplan points out, renewables alone can’t meet our energy needs and replace fossil fuels. In 2107 the world started waking up to the myth of 100% renewables. 21 prominent scientists published a report called the “Evaluation of a proposal for reliable low-cost grid power with 100% wind, water, and solar” addressing the fallacies of 100% renewable energy. Additionally, more countries including France, Sweden, Korea, India, Japan, and China all decided to move forward with more nuclear energy as the most viable way to address climate change. As the author points out, renewables are a great way to reduce the impact of fossil fuels, but not to replace them. Notice in the chart, even with aggressive renewable projections, fossil fuels will still supply about half of our energy in 2040. Hydro and nuclear are the only large-scale baseload energy sources that are both reliable and low carbon. The only way to massively and quickly replace fossil fuels without hurting the climate is with hydro and nuclear. Here’s a Facebook group called Nuclear in Arkansas to help you learn more about nuclear energy. Please help spread the word and make 2018 the year we shift toward a truly sustainable energy future.
May your week be full of courage, connection, sharing, and truth.