Posted by toadstar on 11:00 PM

11th Hour and Sustainable Living in Houston:
Today I went off to the Lone Star College to join Sustainable Living in Houston for a viewing of 11th hour. The movie was good. It had many interesting points some that I hadn't considered yet. For example the idea that we are living off of ancient sunlight, i.e. oil and coal are the remains of things that were alive a long time ago. Before the Industrial Revolution we were living off of current sunlight, meaning that we ate only the crops that we grew, the animals that we used for both transportation and food were fed off of current sunlight. It's a simple concept really, but something that I had never bothered to look at in that, pardon the pun, light.

I've always thought of it more in these terms. Nature has this amazing ability to restore itself, in fact I would say that nature is the master recycler, for instance when a rabbit dies in the forest it will decompose, before too long there will be no physical trace left of the rabbit (of course there will be nutrients left in the soil and some fat happy bacteria...). Oil and Coal are waste from the past, it's stuff that should have been decomposed, but for some reason the process was stopped or prevented and now we have oil and coal. The reason that we have these substances is sheer dumb luck, and it's stupid to base an entire economy on something unsustainable, especially leftover waste.

Another aspect that I found interesting was when (her name escapes me), but when they were discussing the strongest material we have, kevlar. The manufacturing of kevlar take an enormous amount of energy-a lot of that energy is wasted. In contrast one of the strongest natural materials is a spider silk. It was suggested that we need to find ways of manufacturing more like nature, when a spider makes its silk, energy is not wasted, and the spider does not need to warm up to extreme temperatures to make its silk. We need to find better ways of making textiles, or really anything at all, ones that do not waste so much heat and electricity, ones that are cleaner and safer for both the environment and the people that use them.

Here are some lines from the movie that I found interesting:
We Create our own environment.
Nature is a resource.
One hundred million environmental refugees.
We are facing a convergence of crises.
Seventy countries have no original forests.
You're either humans or property and nature is property.
Cradle to cradle design.
Things are the thief of time.
Love is the force that makes us fully human.

The Sustainable Living in Houston people are great, really passionate and caring and I think that they are doing great things. I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing more of them in the future, I'm thinking of volunteering. If you live in the Houston area and care about our environment, check out their website and help them out in any way possible.


Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas