Some people have a problem with me having Amazon links to books on my site. Not many, but a vocal few who seem to think the free lunch exists and they are entitled to it. Here’s the way it works: If someone clicks on one of the Amazon links AND makes a subsequent purchase from Amazon, I get a commission. I don’t see the problem with that; if you don’t like it, don’t buy from Amazon through me. The content is still yours to enjoy, free.
Now, having established that I do make money writing about climate change, peak oil, going green, and so forth, some question my objectivity. But think about it; I could have chosen to write about anything. I could be writing that global warming is NOT occurring; that would seem a more lucrative field. People get grants from major oil and coal companies and their organizations to do just that. And they have ads, sell items – and have Amazon links on their sites. I haven’t heard of any green writers getting grants from corporations, or governments, or anyone. (Feel free to donate to the cause.)
So, in other words, I – for some reason – picked a less lucrative field to write about. Why on earth would I do that? And why have I been writing in this same field for free, from comments on Reddit, to posts on newgreeneconomy.com and ning.newgreeneconomy.com and greenparty.ca and Celsias – ever since sometime around 2005? That time, not coincidentally, is when I decided to investigate global warming for myself and started researching to determine the truth of the matter, including the actual scientific papers in some cases. Why would I do all this unless I believe in what I’m doing?
And what should I be doing, anyway? Working a job by day and doing all this, ad and revenue-free, just to prove my objectivity?
A Big Green Lever
I am seriously looking for the lever to move the world to go green fast. I think it is critical. I especially want to save my family and country, and I love the incredible beauty of the natural world – that we barely understand a fraction of and yet we destroy so carelessly. Given our oil-dependent path, there will be a collapse; the only question is when. Similarly, climate change is occurring now and, unchecked and continuing on this course, will wipe out civilisation and most of humanity and other species. This is not in question by scientists at all. The only question is when we will pass a tipping point where it becomes inevitable, and when things will get really bad after that.
That’s why I write this site: It’s part of my modest attempt to save the world, to save us from ourselves. To help us grow up as a species. So that we live responsibly and sustainably. So that we waste not and want not.
It does not make enough to support me, nor is that the plan*, but growth has been very rapid. (Thanks especially to redditors for helping me tighten my arguments.) There are a lot of people out there who, well, who aren’t stupid. They – we – can see what’s coming. We may argue about the degree or the timing or the best course of action – but we can see the writing on the wall. There are a hell of a lot of dumbasses, too, and people who are smart but just refuse to look at reality because they’re blinded by their religion or ideology or the size of their bank account, and these smart fools make a lot of noise.
At the same time, the rapid growth and repeat visitors for this site tell me three things:
- There are a lot of people out there who do accept that we face great dangers, or who fear that we do and want to educate themselves about it
- The articles are resonating with many people
- It may be possible to fashion a movement to green the economy quickly to prevent much of the damage; barring that, it is possible that as people’s awareness and concern increases, they will form small, more self-reliant communities by choice, in order to provide maximum security for themselves and their families in the event of any difficulties. I do predict that cooperatives could take off – that’s a subject for another article.
And really, I’ve just tapped the surface. Certain ‘early-adopters’ have picked up on this site – much of my traffic comes from Reddit, where decent moderation from peers and moderators tends to keep the retards from taking over. Stumbleupon has also been significant. At the moment my articles get low traffic from Digg and other similar sites. But, if something is popular on Reddit, it will be popular on Digg and these other sites. At some point, one or more of the popular submitters on Digg and the other sites will find and like my articles and submit them. That will triple or more my traffic.
I say this not to masturbate in public, but to point out that there are a hell of a lot more people out there who are worried about climate change and peak oil and what to do about it than you may think. It sometimes doesn’t seem that way when all you encounter are people clearly detached from reality, who deny climate change, who think the oil will last forever, who just don’t want to hear about problems because it disrupts their comfortable world. There are a heck of a lot of us. We don’t agree on all things, but we do agree on the important things; serious problems are coming and we should be facing up to them.
Knowledge is Personal Power
Finally, many years ago when I did some training for a living, I attended some speakers’s seminars. One speaker in particular said something that has always stuck with me. He said that many speakers are reluctant to sell merchandise. They are afraid that it commercialises them, that people won’t think they’re objective somehow. But in reality, the retention rate from a speech or lecture is very low: maybe 10%. If you believe in what you’re doing, you should be getting information into people’s hands and minds and hearts. You should be sending them home with useful materials that will cement what you told them, that will confirm it from other sources, and that will lead to further exploration – and ideally, action!
I am trying to help you. A collapse is certain, barring a miracle, if we continue on our current path. It may be too late anyway, because we have put off too long converting from oil to other sources of energy. The books I link here are to help you protect yourself and your family. You don’t have to buy them; get them from the library or a local bookstore if you prefer. But in the event of collapse, you can bet the gardening and self-sufficiency books will disappear pretty quickly from libraries and bookstores. And you won’t be able to count on the Internet or your Kindle.
I am trying to help people. If someone thinks I’m full of it, that’s his or her perogative. But don’t expect me – or any of the millions of us who do get it – to think such people are being anything but foolish. Because the difference between us and you is that we accept reality where you live in a world that ignores inconvenient truths.
* I added a clarification about income from the site. If this site is a useful resource for people, then presumably I will make some money from it; how much is impossible to predict and not to be counted upon. I do have other irons in the fire, including a compressed earth block business, and I still do some consulting.