Where to build? Where to live? Well this is just out… the USGS & NOAA have issued a report that warns that coastlines are becoming increasingly hazardous and costly to live on due to climate change impacts. Some of the expectations relayed in the report include a rise in health issues for coastal dwellers, stronger storms, changes in precipitation, increasing potential for damage to infrastructure, and higher insurance rates.
Ironically from NASA we’re hearing more reports that climate change can be partially attributed to the sun – in other words it’s not just us. In fact I think they should retitle this recent NASA article to, Climate Change… it’s the Sun Stupid.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for reducing our carbon emissions, getting off fossil fuels, and reducing consumption of all things. I’m also not looking for a scapegoat – I’m happy to think it’s us. But I also don’t want to turn a blind eye to the truth – and the truth that’s emerging for me (after months of tracking news of the sun) is that the climate change we’re witnessing has a lot to do with the sun’s activity – and lack of it.
Hey maybe Al Gore can do a new film… An Inconvenient Sun Spot! Just kidding 🙂
You see the sun has a normal 11-year cycle of ups and downs. During solar a maximum we typically get more sun spots that send energy toward earth. We see the impacts as Aurora Borealis and disruptions to radio transmissions. Right now we’re approaching the end of a solar maximum that looked a lot more like a solar minimum, and has some saying publicly that sun is affecting our climate.
A few even go a step father by pointing out that the last time we saw this trend it was followed by the Maunder Minimum, a period of even quieter solar activity where the sun sparked off very few sun spots and seemingly caused The Little Ice Age during the Middle Ages.
It’s one thing when the alternative media reports on these issues, it’s another when NASA, NOAA, and the USGS start reporting that climate change is serious business and it’s not entirely our fault – and completely out of our control.
Design for Resilience
Which brings me back to housing and the importance of things like mobility, sustainability and resilience – not just for homes but for life. I think we can all safely say that climate change is very real – no matter the cause – and that impacts to life are on the table. So it seems perfectly logical to begin making changes in how we live.
Some core requirements for this design may be:
- Downsize – an ideal strategy with a lot of benefits for today’s world and as a hedge against unforeseen changes tomorrow. Think of it like going for a day hike with a 10 pound pack versus a 50 pound pack- which makes you more agile?
- Mobile – easier for those who’ve downsized. Wheels under your house can help too but it’s really the lifestyle and work you choose that impacts your ability to be flexible.
- Sustainable – also easier to achieve after you’ve chosen to live with less – because there’s less input required to keep things moving.
- Resilient – achieved when you’ve mastered the inputs and outputs – adding that spring back to life.
- Happiness & Peace – the goal ultimately. I realize that some think the goals is power & riches but I think most of us think that’s just crazy. Hopefully someday soon those Yertles will fall from their towers of turtles and the rest of us can go back to living. I just hope the mess doesn’t slow us all down for too long. I guess that will depend greatly on the resilience we build today.
This is just food for thought and a peek into where my head has been lately. It’s one thing to worry about the craziness in the world around us and another to do something positive about it.
I think we’re living in a society where change is afoot and the powers-that-be are scrambling to find a way to stop or slow the changes. Everything in their beings tell them to tighten their grips harder in an attempt to control the situation and keep from falling – not realizing that the game is over.
It’s time to put away the Monopoly Board, pack away the funny money, bag up the houses & hotels, and get back to playing tag outside – rain and all. The paradigm is shifting.