Global Challenges

The Sola Roof solution for family food security and resilient communities is the Agri POD, a design for implementation of regenerative systems within a "living structure", which is an example of Ecomimicry Architecture. This POD design was co-created by Richard Nelson and Bruce Edgar, and Bruce was asked to present to the Forum4theFuture in Oslo near the end of 2011. This network and many others are looking at the same kind of collaborative innovation to come up with answers to the combined Global Challenges of food + energy + finance. I noted that their site is a Drupal website created by New Digital Partnership and I will approach them to see if they might be able to help us with our community portal development.

We have submitted a similar discussion paper for the Rio+20 event - our concept, as written by a consortium of Norwegian companies and government agencies and universities who have formed a Private and Public Partnership for the support of the submission called FEED Brazil 2012


At this point, in the first months of 2013, I have been sharing a couple deeply disturbing videos (below) that don't hold back on presenting just how far we, all of humanity, are living in peril. The Global Challenges are now trending so strongly, with such factors for acceleration by the positive feedback (a very negative result) with the result that anticipated crisis will be more extreme and will come upon us far sooner than was thought perviously.

First, the problem of Climate Change is no longer a dilemma where we must chose between "growth" and economic prosperity or a healthy planetary ecology. No, the challenge is presented (with support of much evidence) as a probable scenario where Climate Change may be so extreme as to end life as we know it and the trend of acceleration of Global Warming becomes "runaway" and might be unstoppable. This is a message that is very difficult to communicate and for the most part few would want to be the bearer of such bad news. Therefore, when Guy McPherson takes on this mission it is difficult to ignore the evidence of acceleration and the potential overwhelming challenges this presents to humanity.

Second, even while the acceleration of Climate Change is likely to become very dangerous, we have a number of other great challenges that centre on food/water/energy, with the projections of severe scarcity as presented very ably in this video by Professor Julian Cribb discussing his latest book, The Coming Famine, which predicts a global food shortage that threatens to hit by mid-century.

Also, see this in depth presentation (about 1 hour 15min) on food & agriculture' to understand the problem (but not the solution) more deeply:

At 1hr 8:48 Mr. David Tilman is asked about vertical agriculture (in greenhouses) and in his answer at 1:9:45 he states "but greenhouses are never going to replace the 85 million acres of farmland we have in the United States. You know it's wonderful to eat locally; its a fabulous thing to try to do, but if we all tried doing that, 3/4s would starve to death. You can't grow enough food locally to actually meet total local needs for most of the country. In a rural area you can probably do it; but in LA, New York City and DC forget it. Right, I am delighted about how many people care about food and know about many food issues and things that people are trying to doing to address these issues. There is another thing I want to say, I do not want to burst any bubbles, but the energy it takes to move food around the world is about 2% of our total global GHG emissions, its really tiny. So, eating local has many advantages but it doesn't really effect GHG very much, that's not the big point. So, sorry to burst that bubble." This shows where the "experts" are unable to think about System Change and therefore offer only the past failure dressed up in the latest and greatest "new clothes". The best solution proposed is to take more unspoiled, natural land in Africa away from the billion of "farmers lacking in capital and know how" and to put this last frontier under the most "modern" management by the agribusiness sector. At a point in the lecture it is apparent that these experts are to some degree sales reps for big agrochemical industry.

I think that these above three videos present the "problem" and do not leave room for much hope that humanity has a chance to avert a future of collapse of civilization - in fact, some experts see a rapid decent to chaos that breaks down the industrial/consumer system as a "good thing" since this could be the only way to avoid the runaway Global Warming that could bring a total ecological collapse. Individually we can feel very helpless and we now that Governments are ineffective and business is a driver of the problem. However, when people work together and create solutions that we can implement at home and in our local community - these small and beautiful projects can go viral and that is the big solution that might be more "unstoppable" than those trends that now dominate. Can we turn the tide? Yes, if we care enough then we will act - together we can build a small space to make the world a better place.


Our POD Fresh Food campaign is a realistic, accessible to all answer to THE PROBLEM, as presented above.

Richard Nelson, Richard Hogan and Franz Naradah (Right to Left) have continued a discussion today on the subject FEED The World - our Google #hangoutsonair session today can be viewed here: