Good Reads & More

Good Reads

Sophy Banks on How sustainable is Transition, really?

“…the motivation for doing stuff isn’t that we succeed, but that it’s the right thing, or even the only thing, to do…”

John Michael Greer on the role of faith in human decision-making:

“…the fact that human thinking has certain predictable bugs in the programming, and tends to go haywire in certain standard ways, does not make human thinking useless or evil. We aren’t gods, disembodied bubbles of pure intellect, or anything else other than what we are: organic, biological, animal beings with a remarkable but not unlimited capacity for representing the universe around us in symbolic form and doing interesting things with the resulting symbols. Being what we are, we tend to run up against certain repetitive problems when we try to use our thinking to do things for which evolution did little to prepare it. It’s only the bizarre collective egotism of contemporary industrial culture that convinces so many people that we ought to be exempt from limits to our intelligence—a notion just as mistaken and unproductive as the claim that we’re exempt from limits in any other way….

That answer is faith: the recognition, discussed in a previous post in this sequence, that some choices have to be made on the basis of values rather than facts, because the facts can’t be known for certain but a choice must be made anyway—and choosing not to choose is still a choice…”

A few more DEP documents

Next Steps for PSU Energy Strategic Planning

The DEP decision is a disappointment, couched in odd language, but not unexpected. The permitting system is designed to give emitters explicit permission to pollute, not withhold permission.

So, after crawling into bed with the dog to mope, and crawling back out again, and thinking about things, my next energy writing project is to use the projected gas consumption data in the DEP approval document to explore the financial impact on Penn State’s energy budget for best case, medium case and worst case natural gas production and delivery cost scenarios over the crucial next two decades.

Without the Energy Strategic Master Plan, we can only speculate about Penn State’s cost assumptions – although I think I read in one of the recently-obtained documents that they expect today’s current and historically low prices to hold steady for at least 20 years. Optimistic, to say the least.

Other activists are still considering next moves – including additional lobbying to encourage local elected leaders to enforce local and state environmental and air quality laws with respect to the West Campus Steam Plant, and additional filings with the state Environmental Hearing Board.

And one reader suggested that an energy activist/PSU alum consider running for one of the three open seats on the Penn State Board of Trustees. An intriguing suggestion…

Reader thoughts on the relative merits of engaging in the struggle from “the inside” v. “the outside?”

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