Introduction to Climate Change Grant

Climate change presents the single greatest existential threat to life on earth. While the scientific support for this phenomena is robust, the technological, socio-cultural, and spiritual frameworks for how to confront this issue are in their infancy. Outreach to the general public is central in the search for climate change solutions that are acceptable to the masses. Often the barriers to acceptance of a scientific idea derive from the accessibility of an idea to a person’s preexisting belief structures. If a scientific idea contradicts a deeply held belief, it is often rejected. Nowhere is this more evident than in the interface of science and faith, evolutionary ideas often are held to be contradictory to those structures of religion. With climate change, we are confronted by the higher probability of civil unrest due to the strain of natural resources in supporting populations. Civil wars will become more common as water resources become more pressed, crop yields change due to drought and shifting weather patterns, and as access to energy resources become more strained. For example, recent evidence indicates that the Syrian civil war and greater unrest in the Arab Spring may have been sparked by geological fluctuations in the fertile crescent due to climate change. With the rise of global terrorism, this war places the need for sustainability frameworks to confront climate change into sharp focus. Do we want an Orwellian 1984-style militarized global police state to serve as a “stabilizing force” over adopting compassionate policies that incorporate scientific understanding of climate change to promote the acceptance of refugees in new safe locations in developed countries. Industrialized democracies were early emitters of carbon at the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Thus, they bear a responsibility to care for those people who are impacted by their “ecological karma/sin.” Here in Minneapolis, we are presented with an opportunity to present to the world a model system for what can be a beacon of hope in the face of the climate change disaster. We do not need to accept that climate change is an apocalyptic event. Rather, it can be a spark for the reevaluation of socio-cultural and spiritual values that inform the development of compassionate technology that is promotes maximal happiness for the greatest number of people. Here, I outline an urban farming, permaculture, and public science and ethics training program that seeks to address this pressing need for a 21st full of hope in the face of climate change.  The central goal of this program will be to confront Islamophobia head on.  Inter-religious conflict is at present a highly divisive issue, that fueled by the American media enterprise, needs grassroots efforts to eradicate.  We see today in the media a paranoia of those from the Middle East as anti-American.  What is needed is for people to stand up to this intolerance with sound science and religious courage.  Interfaith cooperation, a cooling salve for a warming planet.

About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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