Our Regeneration

EcoActive – Transition to a sustainable life with Ease

Ourglass is helping to facilitate the creation of EcoActive, which will be an online portal to the most innovative, regenerative and sustainable products and services available. The intention is for Ourglass to be an information hub that clearly articulates the essence of the obstacles that face humanity, and for EcoActive to be the action hub that makes it simple and intuitive for everyone to live more aligned with their values and with our planet’s ecosystems. Below is a list of solutions, starting with political and economic, winding through current energy technologies, and finishing with personal solutions. To experience a portal to the most innovative, regenerative and sustainable companies on the market, click here.


Political and Economic

Implementing Fee and Dividend

What is currently being proposed and implemented to limit carbon emissions is called cap and trade. The fossil fuel industry wants to avoid regulation and is spending copious amounts of money on lobbyists to make sure that any new legislation damages their profits as little as possible.1  The “cap” part of cap and trade is a tax on people rather than the fossil fuel companies, and the “trade” part would be a new carbon trading market that many argue would only benefit the financial elite who would be at the center of the new carbon trading economy. In contrast, fee and dividend would be a straightforward rising tax on fossil fuel companies, either at the point of extraction or at the place of import, starting somewhere around $15 per barrel and set to rise steadily. This fee would go into a fund that would be distributed to the people in the form of a dividend every quarter, either to their bank account or to their debit card if they did not have a bank account. Every adult would receive a full dividend, and children would receive half dividends, up to two children per family. This would help people cope with increased energy prices, and it would incentivize both individuals and the private sector to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Click here to take action.

 
Ending Subsidies

According to Naomi Klein, each year, the global aggregate of the subsidies received by the fossil fuel industry is between $775 billion and $1 trillion. These figures must be brought into the sphere of public discussion, addressed, and eliminated. Industrial agriculture and industrial animal agriculture receive $360 billion in annual subsidies form Western governments, which also must be removed in order to incentivize investments in more sustainable, local, and regenerative forms of agriculture.4  Click here to take action. 

Divesting from fossil fuels

Another very important step is to pressure large and respected institutions to divest from fossil fuels. This will not bankrupt the fossil fuel industries, but it will tarnish their moral license and help form the critical public realization that if it is immoral to wreck our climate system, then it is immoral to profit from that wreckage.5  Ourglass is currently involved in an effort to get Loyola Marymount University to divest its endowment from fossil fuels.

Click here to take action. 

  • Hanson, J. Storms of my Grandchildren (Ch. 10 ~ 1:03:20) [Bloomsbury USA,                                             2010]. [Narrated by John Allen Nelson]. Tantor Audio, 2009 [Audible].
  • 2 Hanson, J. Storms of my Grandchildren (Ch. 10 ~ 1:11:55) [Bloomsbury USA,                                           2010]. [Narrated by John Allen Nelson]. Tantor Audio, 2009 [Audible].
  • Klein, N. This Changes Everything (Ch. 4 ~ 15:10) [Simon & Schuster, 2014]. [Narrated by                       Ellen Archer]. Simon & Schuster Audio, 2014 [Audible]. 
  • Keith, L. The Vegetarian Myth (Ch. 15 ~ 10:40) [PM Press, 2009]. [Narrated by Joyce Bean].                     Brilliance Audio. 2012 [Audible].
  • McKibben, B. Oil and Honey (Ch. 5 ~ 47:38) [St. Martin’s Griffin, 2014]. [Narrated by Kevin                     T. Collins]. Macmillan, Audio, 2013 [Audible].
Overturning Citizens United

In 2010, the Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United officially removed the limits to corporate spending on political campaigns. The “logic” is that corporations are people, and as people they have freedom of speech. Spending money on political campaigns has now been equated to freedom of speech, and so any limitation on corporate or billionaire political spending is now seen as a violation of the first amendment. In order to bring integrity back to our failing democracy, it is essential that we get corporate money out of politics. Deregulated capitalism has become a rogue force on our planet, and if we allow corporations to make the most important decisions for us, those decisions will be shortsighted and profit seeking. This model has dominated the world more than any other in the past four decades, and is clearly no longer working. Instead, we need to cultivate the art of saying “no” to big business so we can create long term, sustainable strategies in the interest of a future in which we thrive as a species while enhancing Earth’s ecosystems.

Click here to take action and here to stay informed on this and other issues.

Preserving Net Neutrality

In February 2015, the FCC passed legislation protecting a fair and open internet, and in the ensuing three months, six lawsuits were filed against the FCC by telecommunication companies. It is important to protect a free and open internet because the internet is one of our best platforms to organize the kind of movement that will allow this human experiment to avoid the worst effects of climate change, and to consciously adapt to the changes that are already unavoidable. In this way, we can leverage the ecological crisis to create a shift in global human consciousness. We must understand and recognize the underlying unity of our seemingly physical reality and allow this new perspective to create a joyful, equitable and sustainable future for all people everywhere. Click here to get involved.

Blockadia

Blockadia is a global movement to prevent multinational corporations from extracting resources, abusing native people and destroying ecosystems. It stretches from militant resistance to Shell’s abuse of the Niger Delta and direct action to slow their Arctic drilling, to activism against high risk drilling off the coast of Greece, to mass protests of the Tar Sands, and active interference along the Keystone XL pipeline. To learn how a global movement is leveraging indigenous and First Nation land rights to block extraction projects, click here.

Click here to help block the Keystone XL pipeline.

Click here to help the movement to leave oil in the soil.

Current Technology
Energy Efficiency

The best way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is through energy efficiency. The blossoming industries of cleantech and biomimicry are making it much easier to save energy through efficiency, than to produce new energy with renewables. Most everyone agrees that the largest gains can be made in energy efficiency. Cogeneration is a term used for combined heat and power and it is an effective way to increase energy efficiency. The total amount of energy lost as waste-heat in power generation in the U.S. exceeds the energy used by the people of Japan for all purposes. Cogeneration is an important way to maximize energy potential and reduce overall energy consumption.1  Another vitally important step to take toward a renewable energy future in the U.S. is to create a national smart grid that could transport electrons across the country, and would allow homeowners to sell any extra renewable energy that they produce to their utility.

Click here to learn more about what a smart grid would do for this country.

Solar Thermal Power Stations

As of now, solar thermal power plants are the most efficient way to transmute the sun’s energy into useful energy for human purposes. Solar thermal uses mirrors to direct the sun’s light at a central tower that heats water and essentially functions as a steam turbine that is power by the sun. The use of steam accumulators can store enough energy to keep the turbines running for hours, even after the sun goes down. Solar thermal steam generators would only need to cover 3,600 square miles in the Southwest, in order to create enough energy to power the entire United States. This area is the equivalent of 3.15% of Arizona and the European Union could do something similar in the Sahara or Southern Spain.2

Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

In the United States this technology has a 30% federal tax incentive through the end of 2016, which allows most Americans to power their homes with solar energy by financing a system over the course of 12 years. The monthly payments are often lower than a homeowner’s current electric bill and there are no upfront costs. In other words, most homeowners can get off fossil fuels for zero down, while saving money each month and then after 12 years, they pay nothing for electricity because they own the PV system. Some rooftops are not practical for PV, but many are and every homeowner should look into this technology for their personal use.

Click here for the best way to go solar in Southern California. 

Wind Power and More

Wind turbines are a promising renewable technology, but they can be very resource intensive, and the use of cement in the production process releases substantial amounts of carbon dioxide. For instance, a standard one Gigawatt wind farm would require two million tons of concrete and this process would release one million megatons of carbon dioxide.3  This technology is rapidly improving, but it is a mistake to think of this or any renewable technology as entirely clean or emission free, because the materials and chemicals that go into their production often take a toll on the Earth’s ecosystems. Even combining all of these renewable energy sources along with geo-thermal, tidal, and hyrdo-electric, it would be difficult to find a utility executive that thinks renewable energy will be enough to power the world. It is a general consensus among utility experts that civilization either needs fossil fuels or nuclear power, and because the former is changing our climate and acidifying our oceans, we are left with nuclear. Luckily not all nuclear is created equal and there have been incredible improvements to the technology that have been suppressed. For information on 4th generation nuclear power, also known as fast breeder reactors, click here. 

  • 1 Schendler, A. Getting Green Done (Ch. 2 ~ 06:55) [Public Affairs, 2010]. [Narrated by Walter                    Dixon]. Gilden Media, 2009 [Audible].
  • Lovelock, J. The Vanishing Face of Gaia (Ch. 4 ~ 06:24) [Basic Books, 2010].  [Narrated by                      Simon Vance]. Post Hypnotic Press, 2011. [Audible].  
  • Lovelock, J. The Vanishing Face of Gaia (Ch. 1 ~ 59:20) [Basic Books, 2010].  [Narrated by                      Simon Vance]. Post Hypnotic Press, 2011. [Audible]. 
Personal Solutions
Be The Change 

The external state of the planet is merely a reflection of the predominant internal state of the individuals who control our most influential organizations, which is characterized by fear, greed, lust, selfishness and egoic power grabs. We have been conditioned to search for fulfillment and happiness outside ourselves, when inside each of us, we have everything we have ever needed to experience peace and tranquility in each moment. It is our state of consciousness that determines how we experience life, and there is an unprecedented global evolution in human consciousness that is recognizing the illusion of duality and realizing our intrinsic unity with all that is. When we make it a habit to experience life through our senses moment by moment rather than living in a thought about the past or a projection of the future, we become able to enjoy our experience regardless of the fluctuating external circumstances that make up our life situation. From this place of self-realization, it becomes easy to let go of egoic clinging and materialism and to pursue a more rewarding way of living that honors life and rather than possessions. Other than direct action to dismantle the systems that are destroying the planet, the three biggest steps anyone can take toward a sustainable future are: to not have children, to not drive a car, and to grow your own food. Click here to join Avaaz: a global activist group.

Eat Local, Vegetarian, Organic and Non-GMO

Few things are more harmful to our planet’s ecosystems than the pesticides used in industrial agriculture. These untested chemicals that are recklessly deployed by chemical companies are wreaking havoc on the health of all life on Earth, including us.1  Perhaps the biggest step we can take toward a sustainable future is by rethinking what we eat. With every purchase, we are voting for what kind of a world we want. If we eat what is grown locally and in season, we reduce the emissions from transporting our food. It takes a bit of time and effort, but learning to cook vegan or vegetarian meals is much easier than you may think, and it makes buying organic local produce very affordable. When meat and dairy are removed from a grocery list, the price drops dramatically, leaving room in the budget to buy all organic.  Vegans and vegetarians must be careful to ensure that they get enough nutrients to maintain healthy bodily functions. If individuals choose to eat animal products, the best options are free range eggs, and grass fed cows or buffalo. Cows evolved to eat grass, not grains. If cows eat grass that grows naturally, and don’t overgraze, they actually contribute to the creation of topsoil, which is vital to the health of an ecosystem and for the production of food. 

Click here to have local, organic produce delivered to your door.

Meditate, Get Exercise and Connect

Whenever a feeling of inferiority, emptiness or sadness triggers you to want junk food or to go on a shopping spree, take a breath and choose another path. Meditation and exercise do so much more for our short term and long term happiness, but we are more likely to shop than to take care of our body and mind because we have been conditioned by the corporate controlled media and entertainment industries to do exactly that. Our pre-frontal cortex is the part of our brains that developed last and allows for self-awareness and self-control. Studies using brain scans show a noticeable increase in both neural connectivity and grey matter in the pre-frontal cortex after only two months of daily five minute meditations.2  This means that we can simply sit and focus on our breath for five minutes each day, and actively contribute to the evolution of the most advanced part of our brains.  Another powerful step to take is to broaden our community and to associate with people who are compassionate, accepting, loving and consciously working toward creating a new paradigm on Earth.

Click here or here for guided meditations.

Go Beyond Competition and Consumption 

Material things do not bring us lasting happiness, they cannot and they never will. We have been conditioned to buy things that we do not need and that we cannot afford, to impress people that are stuck in the illusion that happiness and self-worth come from material possessions. In an odd way, we have been conditioned to define our sense of self by how often we contribute to the destruction of our natural world, through the consumption of material possessions. Step off this treadmill of ecological destruction and realize that anyone who is trapped in the paradigm of judging others cannot be truly happy or fulfilled, because the conditioned thought patterns that judge others, also judge us when we fail to live up to whatever standards we have for ourselves. Also, make an effort to understand that at a subatomic level everything is one infinite interconnected web of energy. The world of duality is an illusion created by our limited sense perceptions. Quantum physicists have proven what Buddhists and enlightened beings have know for thousands of years: at a subatomic level, every particle in existence is connected to every other particle and all particles can behave as waves of energy. Reality is literally one infinite connected field of energy, that vibrates at different frequencies to create everything that we misperceive as separate objects: chairs, plains, forks, people, books, animals, trees.  We are all made of atoms, which are 99.9999% empty space. If a scientist was able to expand the nucleus of an atom to the size of a basketball, the electrons would be the size of pinheads. The pinheads would be orbiting the basketball at a distance of 20 miles in every direction. Everything that we perceive as physical and solid, is, in reality, almost entirely empty space. We are all stardust that has somehow become so sophisticated that we are conscious of ourselves and the world around us. Embrace your freedom of thought, resist corporate conditioning and step outside the unconscious paradigm that is rendering our beautiful Earth less alive every day. Understand that peace, joy, bliss and love can never be found in the world of things, these experiences arise from the full acceptance of each moment as we surrender to the eternal now, in which our entire life transpires. Out of these realizations, lets create a new global system, based on love, equity, transparency, collaboration and compassion. Lets work to align business and society with the planet so that we can continue to evolve while respecting all life on Earth. The other option is to continue business as usual and watch the slow motion collapse of the ecosystems that support human civilization and all life on Earth.

To continue research, click here for a list of quality information sources.

  • Klein, N. This Changes Everything (Ch. 8 ~ 1:08:55) [Simon & Schuster, 2014]. [Narrated by                    Ellen Archer]. Simon & Schuster Audio, 2014 [Audible].
  • 2 McGonigal, K. The Willpower Instinct (Ch. 2 ~ 31:35) [Avery, 2013]. [Narrated by Walter                          Dixon]. Gildan Media, 2012. [Audible].