End of Year Housecleaning – Scribbly Notes

My final end-of-year housecleaning task today includes both paper stacks and electronic dregs. I forgot about some notes I’d scribbled from various webinars, videos, random fragments that popped into my head, talks that I was preparing, etc., in the latter part of this past year starting in August. Since it’s nowhere near as large a volume of material as “My Year in Webinars 2020,” a monster post I did back in September where I spewed forth a year and a half’s worth of conference and webinar notes, I’m pasting the text directly in here rather than uploading it as a PDF. Warning: The notes below are mostly just dribs and snips, unlikely to be useful to most folks. But, as always, if you/your community should desire a talk on any of the topics herein, I can either put a talk together for you, or track down other speakers for you. 

Meta-note: I’m doing this radical new thing where I don’t beat myself up and call myself a loser and a train-wreck for having scraps of tiny spiral notebook notes that I’ve left lying around for months without typing them up and doing something with them. This novel “not beating myself up” thing saves a wondrous amount of energy, which I can use to just type the darn notes up already and maybe enjoy the beauty of the day while I’m at it. If this self-leniency resonates with you at all, I encourage you to experiment with it! (As I type, gentle golden light beams over my shoulder and flickers on the wall, in the shape of the leaves of the trees in the yard to the west of my office window. And I hear some of the lighter-weight windchimes gently chiming every once in a while. Bonus: The breeze is strong enough to feel pleasant wafting through the window but not so strong as to scatter my pile of tiny little ballpoint-scribbled papers all over the room.)

Florida Native Plant Society Lunch & Learn Fri 8/20/21

FWF & FDOT study “Economics of Roadside Vegetation”

Partnership to Save Plants: FDOT, FWF, FNPS

FDOT Native Plant Working Group

ETDM planning phase is best time to get involved with a plant rescue

FDOT ETDM environmental screening tool

TRIBE On Homecoming and Belonging

Sebastian Junger

Humans need to feel:

1 – Competent at what they do; 2 – Authentic in their lives; 3 – Connected to others

“Treating combat veterans is different from treating rape victims because rape victims don’t have this idea that some aspects of their experience are worth retaining.”

3 factors seem to crucially affect a combatant’s transition back into civilian life:

1 – Cohesive and egalitarian tribal societies – resource-sharing; “social resilience” – egalitarian wealth distribution

2 – Ex-combatants shouldn’t be seen — or be encouraged to see — themselves as victim

3 – Vets need to feel that they’re just as necessary and productive back in society as they were on the battlefield.

“One way to determine what is missing in day-to-day American life may be to examine what behaviors spontaneously arise when that life is disrupted.”

THE REAL GOAL (notes for a permaculture talk I was putting together perhaps?)

• Can’t always get what we (think we) want

• Social Capital

• Leverage Points

Low: Tinkering with numbers

High: Beauty; what gets defined as beautiful

(Notes for another talk I gave)

Friday talk

– 5 R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle)

– Story of Stuff 2:37 intro

– Cradle to Cradle book McDonough 

– Permaculture ethics; don’t buy anything you wouldn’t be willing to bury in your backyard (tall order but worth aspiring to)

– J2ZW; Terracycle.com

– Modular local plant (Dutch)

– Lo-Tek Resiliency book

– Ants, worms

– “Compost happens”

– New type of bioaccumulation

First permaculture design principle (that I learned) was

Relative location

– Food: grow some of your own and buy from local farmers

– Business: support local shops, restaurants

– Employment: DIY, telecommute

– Education: DIY, homeschool, online, unschool

– Church, community

Permaculture is a set of design principles, inspired by observing how nature works. It’s meant to allow people to more effectively meet their basic needs with less burden on other species and on the ecosystem. In fact, with ecologically smart design, we can actually BENEFIT the ecosystem more than if we were doing nothing (not that doing NOTHING is actually possible) by applying these principles.

I wonder what this country could have been like if African or Native American cultures could have become our dominant culture, instead of bleached Anglo becoming our dominant culture. People idolizing English-looking buildings, lawns, etc. Trucks with trailers carrying ride-on mowers and edgers and leaf-blowers to one piece of ground after another. Our culture is an experiment in what happens when a whole country decides that art and beauty are impractical and optional. 

New England Historic Society webinar

Transmission of material culture from England to New England 1620-1720

“You don’t have sumptuary laws unless people are dressing sumptuously.”

In England, materials were scarce and workers were plentiful. New England was opposite.

Woodlots limited in England – deforestation; wood plentiful in New World

Job opptys limited in England; construction jobs plentiful in New World (my ancestor who came over in 1630 was a house-carpenter and cabinetmaker, as was my ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War)

Colonists enacted regulations re timber harvesting (uh hello! Native Americans had managed forests!)

Ornate chest on left was older — SIMPLE chest on right was newer; relied on technology and transport

Mortise & tenon joinery

A turner could make a chair five times as fast as a joiner could

PW – Peter Woodbury of Beverly

Sawmills were popular in colonies because unlike in England, joiners guilds didn’t fear competition, and also deforestation was not a concern.

Sawmills were the repository of colonial venture capitalist funds


– How did Native Americans cut down trees and make furniture?

Don’t know; wish I had learned. Working on it right now.

Presentation by Nancy ___, senior curator.

Goofy cabinet design on spindly legs — maybe they did it “because they could” (new technology)

COP26 TED Climate Session 1 – YouTube

1) Slide of global tipping points – they cascade. Example: polar ice melting –> temperature turnover over ocean –> alters monsoon pattern in Africa

2) We have surpassed 4 of 9 boundaries


Action Plan for Solving Climate Crisis Now (6 components)

1 electric cars

2 decarbonize

3 food

4 protect nature

5 clean up industry practice

6 tech (mechanical trees etc) for carbon removal

Book cont’d

Climate change amplifies inequities. USA historically largest emitter, MUST go first. 

– to show world it can be done

– to drive down cost, AND

– to fund transition in less rich countries

Climate crisis is humankind’s greatest opportunity to address longstanding inequities.

Speaker on geothermal (young woman – impressive) – Drills, fracturing rock (my opinion it sounds like a deal w the devil) (Her idea of repurposing the oil drilling industry’s skills and equipment is very tempting in its sensibleness, however)

Greenhouse gases (different speaker I think?)

– Nitrous oxide

– Methane (holds heat)

– Carbon dioxide (lingers)

Most methane is from RECENT emissions; cutting methane is fastest most immediate opportunity to slow down warming.

Pie chart shows Ag, Energy, and Waste Management being about equal thirds

Energy production is largest and cheapest to address. Most emissions are from PRODUCING fossil fuels.

Oil fields in Texas are now wasting enough gas to heat 2 million homes. Mainly because government and industry have been DATA-DEPRIVED. But the technology is getting better. 

– Waste management solution: Generate electricity from landfill methane

– Ag: Suppress methane in cow guts. Use digesters to digest manure and make electricity. 

Also ag: RICE. Maintain shallower level of water in rice fields.

Countdown.TED.com or on YouTube channel

Solomon Goldstein-Rose (very young man – impressive)

– He considers nuclear “clean” (I disagree)

– Also seems to assume that our modern Western industrialist models of education, health, etc. are the ideal that we should impose on every other “backward” country (this was just my immed reaction; need to watch video again)

Says we need to multiply today’s global electricity production by 12 times! 

It’s not OK to simply replace today’s world with a “clean” version.