Archive for April, 2008

Converting Lawns into Farms/Gardens Makes the Cover the of the Wall Street Journal

hot news

Woo hoo! Even the Wall Street Journal is picking up on growing food at home.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, you can say you are trend setters. When getting your food from right around your house becomes the coolest thing you can do in the neighborhood, you can rest assured we are on the right track to dealing with Peak Oil.

Wait until Bright Neighbor is launched, when you see how we make it easy to do business as a lawn farmer!

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April 24, 2008 at 12:50 pm 4 comments

Peak Oil Crash = Simultaneous Government and Market Failures

Peak Oil disagreements and conflicts

No one said it would be easy to implement fixes for peak oil or climate change, and it is evident it will only occur with a bottom up and top down approach.

For years now, we have heard the Peak Oil predictions of Kunstler, Simmons, Heinberg, Blume, and other authors preaching their Peak Oil prophecy. As reality begins to pry the fingers from the ears of people who have long ignored our global problems, a critical mass of people have begun to ask “So what are we going to DO about it?”

What are we going to DO about Peak Oil?
What are we going to DO about rapid climate change?
What are we going to DO about market failure?
What are we going to DO about government failure?
What are we going to DO about fixing the food system?
What are we going to DO about fixing the transportation system?

Why is government failing? No one seems to agree, and it is BECAUSE no one seems to agree that man made laws are resisting adaptation to live with nature’s reality. After all, in a consumer driven planet, how can governments force consumer choice if choice is still abundant?

It is exactly for this reason that markets are failing in a growth-oriented global economy. Since resource scarcity is real, we are no longer able to have as much choice of supplies for real world items such as wheat, gasoline, and water.

But we have plenty of crappy niche Web 2.0 applications rushing to save the day, don’t we? Not enough engineers are focused on real world solutions such as local alcohol fuel and food production made from permaculture systems. Software jockeys are too busy drinking and coding Java to look up and see the ship is crashing on the rocks as both government and markets fail at the same time.

And while local municipalities are now actively creating Peak Oil Task Forces and sustainability commissions to help address the issues, they are powerless in the face of consumer choice. After all, money in people’s pocket means permission to consume. While these task forces seek to offer plans and advice for reducing carbon emissions and decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels – we are lacking the human willpower to change in time to mitigate a population and food disaster.

It is for this reason that these task forces can skip budgeting for “Outreach Programs” designed to talk about Peak Oil problems – and begin to look at funding implementing tools designed to support hyper-local communities, such as Bright Neighbor.

Yes, I am biased because that is my company’s solution (and competition is sure to follow). Right now, municipalities could implement tools to quickly help people learn to grow food at home, safely meet and collaborate with their neighbors, buy, sell, and barter at a hyper-local level, lend things out to one another, make ride sharing simple, among many other communications improvements. One problem is that people can do many of these things using a variety of tools available to them, but there needs to be an aggregated set of tools that eliminates redundancy.

For instance, if a community ends up using five different neighbor-to-neighbor applications, there will be neighbors that never connect. An immediate fix for Peak Oil, climate change, market failure, and local food systems would be to deploy an all-in-one tool that addresses life-support systems, supported by local governments or neighborhood leaders. If all the community members with Internet access and mobile devices in a single neighborhood coordinated to use a single communications system, then the chances of that neighborhood collaborating to help one another grow gardens, share resources, and generally improve their community are greatly increased.

It is the mission of Bright Neighbor to deliver community living tools that we can use now, instead of waiting for things to get worse. Why shouldn’t you be able to find someone in your neighborhood who has a 30 foot ladder right now? Or coordinate music jam sessions while bringing pot luck dinners created with locally produced food? Or help single moms locate other single moms that live around them to safely meet one another and share soccer-mom duties.

There are many ways to get started with Bright Neighbor, and they are life affirming reasons, not “doom” tools. We can gain value from better community living systems today. That is why we are excited to announce Bright Neighbor is now actively seeking pilot communities and neighborhoods looking for community organization and sustainability tools.

To sign up your neighborhood for a Bright Neighbor test run, please visit Bright Neighbor.

April 16, 2008 at 5:13 pm 3 comments

How Much Food Can You Grow Around Your House? A Peak Moment Episode You Have To Watch!

April 7, 2008 at 2:27 pm 5 comments

RIP Charlton Heston. Will He Be Turned Into Soylent Green?

Who knows. There are so many people on earth as our ecosystems collapse, it might just end up being a tasty treat we all get used to. Thank goodness for ketchup.

April 6, 2008 at 10:31 am 1 comment


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