116 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 17.10.2020

Oct 18, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We are now part of the TED Circle community in the World (https://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/ted-circles), this is interesting as TED proposes 4 talks to the individual groups each month; we then choose one and use it as a basis for our discussions. We have used TED talks for some time now, and I have the feeling that TED is copying us in what we already did.

The Topic for this month was “Everyone’s Environment” and we watched Per Stokes at

He sketched 5 defences that people have to avoid doing something about climate change:  

Distance vs new social norms, such as adopting the use of solar panels in the home, as the neighbours are doing it, too

Doom vs supportive measures e.g. changes in lifestyle, eating vegetarian, not using the car, etc., recycling

Dissonance vs.  pointing out that climate change creates entire new job areas

Denial vs. transition to energy savings in each household

Identity vs. better Stories

Storytelling seems to be very important to people. He suggested a new story about climate, change, an image, really:

Climate is living air, the air that surrounds us, is a fragile skin for Earth. (5 – 7 miles thick /thin) and we we all breathe the same air all over the planet

The discussion was about how our changes in lifestyle could make a big difference, as in many countries in the world, especially emerging countries, haven’t got the luxury to try to stop climate abuse in their country, and they have the biggest growth in population and energy need.

Climate change will only work if countries like Brazil, Africa and India can create enough jobs for their populations.

Rich countries may be able to afford looking at it.

Ursula von der Leyen wants Europe to be a carbon-neutral continent by 2050.

Madeira is is ahead of Portugal mainland and other areas, we have around 27% renewable energy already, and many projects that will increase the percentage of climate friendly energy production.

Cl. is hopeful that Germany will be at the forefront of climate change. He thinks that the new government to be voted into office next year, will have the Green Party coming in. Green parties should be more prevalent in the EU governments.

The positive points:

Emerging countries can skip steps in their development, e.g. landlines were never an option in Africa, they went right to mobile networks. They can skip R & D costs.

Covid shut down countries for 2 months, if that can be done, climate change can be done as well. In needs goodwill.

“Social Distancing “should be called “solidarity distancing”,  “social Distancing” is at its root, unsocial; it separates people, and humankind is very social.

Such names are important: in South Africa, power cuts were called “power shedding”, to make these service shutdowns more amenable to the people.

What we could do:

We could dim the street lights a bit, we already have LEDs for Christmas decoration. Office buildings should not be lit dsring the night

Fireworks are a no-no, really.

The Madeira Government is doing a good job in education; the people to not dump “monsters” (old fridges, sofas etc) in the riverbeds anymore,.

An Eco-School has a deposit container for recycling but nobody considered that old people may not be able to open the trap doors on the containers because they are too high for them

Fines usually do the trick when the environment is being abused by the population. Barcelona hat a serious dog poo problem which has been solved because the fines are very high

Would it help if climate do-gooders tout their horn?

Cl. explained to us that the debt we are amassing via the European Bank (about 4000€/head) is really our debt because the bank is ours. One day, when inflation rises, the debt can be written off, and nobody will have to pay it because we can cancel it out. Money in itself has no value, it’s just in the books.

Other stuff:

U. entered the “Free the birds” campaign idea into the Orçamento Participativo in Funchal (the Government Orçamento turned it down). We’ll see which projects they chose on Oct 28.

There is a very charming Unusual Guide on corners in Funchal which are little known to the public, have a look. https://novemil.org/unusual-guide/

Nice tips for return clients who want to explore more.

The new petition for the Ferry

has only around 1400 signatures so far, we need 10.000 to be heard by the Government in Lisbon.

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