Sunday, October 21, 2007

Really like the post about the importance of faith in the future of green cities, I too was drawn to the importance of faith based organizing, the role it's played in the past as one of the leading agents of change. Just to expand on that idea is the idea of change which we have touched on in class, how it is created and who drives it. Many of the posts this week have touched on it. Another earlier post stated the shift to renewable energy only after those which we currently rely on have become sparse. I think I brought up the idea a few weeks ago about how change only happens when the system is ready for it. Meaning change will happen when the system can no longer rely on how it runs, it is no longer economically feasible. I have to admit I'm still not 100% sold on this idea (or maybe I just don't want to be) but it is an interesting idea to consider. Is the system ready for change? Will people make the shift to renewable energy? Apollo brings up many points showing how much renewable energy is becoming the less costly alternative.

Much of the writing this week focused much more on incentives and teaching rather than on shift of mindset. Mostly this is due to the topic (energy tends to be a bit more cut and dry), nonetheless it was a welcomed change for me. During the last behavioral change journal meeting my group got into a discussion about the validity of many of the ideas we have been reading about. They are on such large scales and require such incredible behavioral shifts as well as money, that they just do not seem possible. The Apollo reading laid out many possibilities of incentives based programs which work to make cities more sustainable, but also don't bankrupt the city (or turn into failed Utopian dreams). I have for a long time been a fan of incentives based programs.

As for the specifics after the bit of rambling I just did. The programs I found most interesting in Apollo were those which effected multiple communities, of different income. One of these was in Cayuga County in NY. The idea of collecting manure from different farmers and then processing it into energy, while cleaning the manure. They take a assets based approach (instead of just focusing on what needs to change) to create positive outcomes for farmers and for the whole community. This approach is an important one because it incorporates what is already there, instead of trying to create something completely new. Farmers want their manure taken away, community members want cheaper energy, everyone wants clean water, I don't see the problem.

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