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“The Good Life” or El Buen Vivir: A North-South Binary on Population and Energy. PRESENTATION VENUE: Sustainability Symposium, Wolfson Campus MDC March 22, 2013

Esmeralda Guevara, Ph.D. PUCE-SI, Ibarra-Ecuador www.esmeche.com

Sponsored by:

Larry M Frolich, Ph.D. Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, Natural Sciences Fulbright Scholar, Ecuador, 2011 www.LarryFrolich.com Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Lewis Thomas 1978

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Tools for better QOL Part One A Biological Principal: Energy and Birth Rates

Part Two • “The Good Life” and El Buen Vivir • A social-cultural binary

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Tools for better QOL Part One A Biological Principal: Energy and Birth Rates

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Energy and Reproduction • Biological systems use energy to grow and reproduce • Fundamental principle of life

Size is main determinant of how Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Energy and Birth Rates: A biological principle

Data from Moses & Brown (2000) Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Natality/Birth Rate (BR)

Energy and Birth Rates: A biological principle 0.05 kg mouse 0.2 W BR = 100

(Melanie Moses & Jam Brown, 2000)

Ma mm monkey 10 kg 20 W BR = 12

Prim

als

ate s

5000 kg elephant 1200 W BR = 4

human metabolic 60 kg 130 W BR = 7

30,000 kg

human 10,000 W extra-metabolic BR < 2

Size of individual/Energy Use Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Natality/Birth Rate (BR)

The environmental movement:

has blamed population growth for the depletion of resources monkey human metabolic human extra-metabolic

Energy Use

But reality is not this simpleâ&#x20AC;Ś

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


The Population Bomb The world ecological crisis is caused by high fertility rates in the “third world” or developing countries. Too many people means too much resource use.

1968

But we know that lowering birth rates leads to higher energy use, which represents a general increase in the use of resources.

If we want to use population control as a way to reduce the use of energy and resources, we should start in the “developed world” suburbs with programs aimed at reducing the number of “30,000 kg apes.” (for example: Palo Alto, California where Paul Ehrlich lives)

So, population, in itself, is not the root of the problem

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Natality/Birth Rate (BR)

The more savvy environmental movement, based on an ecological perspective: asks that we lower our use of energyâ&#x20AC;Ś and at the same time, lower fertility rate. monkey human metabolic human extra-metabolic

Energy Use

But these two goals do not go togetherâ&#x20AC;Ś

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Energy and Birth Rates: A biological principle Birth rates go down only when energy use goes up

Symbol for energy

babies being born

Programs and policies that increase energy use will lead to lower birth rates. (example: urban Ecuador)

Programs and policies that lower birth rates will lead to higher energy use (example: China)

Can we escape from this fundamental biological principle? Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


What does the century before us hold? Fuente: UNEP

World population will reach its peak

Good news is that high-energy-use populations selflimit as birth rates go down, even below 2

The real challenge on the other side: The dependency ratio or the lack of human capital. The Death of Birth: Our Dismal Fertility Rates Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


What does the century before us hold? Source: Exit Mundi

Can we use other capital to replace declining human capital? PROBLEM: Petroleum production will also reach its peak

The real challenge on the other side: New sources of energy or the lack of stored energy capital.

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Tools for better QOL end Part One A Biological Principal: Energy and Birth Rates

Part Two

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• “The Good Life” and El Buen Vivir • A social-cultural binary

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Tools for better QOL

Part Two • “The Good Life” and El Buen Vivir • A social-cultural binary

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Natality/Birth Rate (BR)

“Demographic Transition” (READ: demographic and energy use transition)

De m

monkey human metabolic 60 kg 130 W BR = 7

ogr aph Tra ic/ E nsi tion nergy

human extra-metabolic 30,000 kg 10,000 W BR < 2

Energy Use

Already done in Global/Cultural “North” Happening quickly in Global/Cultural Esmeralda “South” Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Natality/Birth Rate (BR)

Can we find enough energy to get 7B people to 30,000 kg (and 10,000 W of energy use)?

De m

monkey human metabolic 60 kg 130 W BR = 7

ogr aph Tra ic/ E nsi tion nergy

human extra-metabolic 30,000 kg 10,000 W BR < 2

Energy Use

Or can we culturally alter the biological principal that guides the transition? Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


What does the century before us hold? Source: Exit Mundi

Can we use other capital to replace declining human capital? PROBLEM: Petroleum production will also reach its peak

The real challenge on the other side: New sources of energy or the lack of stored energy capital.

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


The “Swoosh” of CO2 and of temperature (“hockey stick curves”)

Source: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


World-wide energy sources

• Petroleum, coal and natural gas dominate, liberating carbon sequestered since the Carbiniferous Period. • Sources that don’t liberate carbon provide 20% of the total

(CMO = Cubic Mile of Oil)

1 CMO ≈ 1.6 × 1020 joules = 160 exajoules ≈ 4.454 × 1013 kilowatt-hours = 44.54 petawatt-hours

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Every hour and a half, the surface of the planet absorbs enough solar energy to provide the 3 CMOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that the total human population uses in one year

The challenge before us is to capture, concentrate and store this energy Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Swooshâ&#x20AC;? of solar and wind energy production

Since 2008, more than half of all new capacity for energy production has been in renewable (non-carbon-liberating) sources. Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


De m

monkey human metabolic 60 kg 130 W BR = 7

ogr aph Tra ic/ E nsi tion nergy

gy ner ic/ E aph ogr sition Dem Tran

Natality/Birth Rate (BR)

Can we find enough energy to get 7B people to 30,000 kg (and 10,000 W of energy use)?

human extra-metabolic 30,000 kg 10,000 W BR < 2

Energy Use

Or can we culturally alter the biological principal that guides the transition? Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


The Economics of Fulfillment shows that: • Increased consumption does not continue to lead to increased fulfillment • Bit a culture based on the pursuit of “The Good Life” may not be able to incorporate this concept. • We need a different cultural frame and Miami is perfectly situated to provide it: El Buen Vivir

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


How do we convince people (ourselves?) that fulfillment, plenitude, prosperity is not just about making it to 30,000 kg?

El Buen Vivir

0

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Good Lifeâ&#x20AC;? binaries

1

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


spiritual values

QUALITY OF LIFE

El Buen Vivir What sustains us?

• El Buen Vivir •

Eduardo Gudynas, Alberto Acosta: Sumak Kawsay--A relation with Pachamama

material values

“The Good Life” How do we sustain the earth? • not with “The Good Life” • Reduce,Reuse,Recycle • Herman Daly—the Earth is a limiting factor

• Max-Neef—nine basic human needs subsistence protection affection understanding participation leisure creation identity freedom

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


CHILD-RAISING The binary calls balance: What is more fundamental to sustainability (and the for future) than how we raise our children? El Buen Vivir • Low-Technology Criar = nourish • Low Energy Use • High Fertility means population increase • Child-raising is criar, nourish, dependence on family

“The Good Life” • High-Technology Raise or bring up = levantar • High Energy Use • Low Fertility means population in decline • Child-raising is “growing up” to be independent

FUTURE QUALITY OF LIFE is a balance in this binary (which means balance in power use)

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


te Re ch ve no rs lo e t g y ra an ns f d er va of lu es

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Re v Te ers ch e T no r a Va lo ns lu gy fe es an r o d f

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


"You know that the duty of the conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are.â&#x20AC;?

Francis of Assisi

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


WHAT IS NEEDED?

El Buen Vivir

integrate People are Sacred BioCultural Life-Scape

VALUES • Family • Children • Conversation • Togetherness TECHNOLOGIES • Home-grown • Artesanal

“The Good Life”

historically dominates

IDEAS

• •

Reverse transference

integrate

integrate

IDEAS

• •

Sacredness of Nature Wilderness Areas

VALUES • Stability • Independence • Self-Motivated • Consume Media Individually TECHNOLOGIES • Digital • Bio-Engineering Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


We are few with access to the power of education

1% of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population goes to college

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


So, what should we do? Promote wind and solar. We all will want energy and noncarbon-based energy can solve some, but not all of our loss of human capital as population peaks.

• Rage against “The Good Life.” • Adopt El Buen Vivir. • Seek true Quality of Life—it’s a win-win for all! Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Thank You’s and propaganda

Los múltiples fuentes de alimentación

www.SustEd.org

Class in Management of Information Resources, PUCE-SI, Campus Virtual, Septiembre 2011

www.LarryFrolich.com www.esmeche.com

Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


What is more fundamental to sustainability (and the future) than our sources of energy?

Energy: “Big History” Meganeura: • 75 cm wing-span Dragonfly • From Carboniferous Period, 300 MYA • How could it fly?

The composition of the atmosphere depends on a balance between the process of photosynthesis and the process of metabolic respiration carried out by living beings. Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


Energy: “Big History”

4.5-4.0 BYA: Earth Forms; First Life—prokaryotic cells

2.0 BYA: Origin of Photosynthesis by Cyanobacteria--O2 into atmosphere

300 MYA: Meganeura; Great Coal Forests, 30% O2

His to

ri a

del

Pla

net

100 MYA: Ability to decompose lignin; 21% O2

aT

ierr

a

1760: Joseph Priestley discovers O2, ,CO2

1800-present: Industrial Revolution: Humans liberate fossilized carbon deposits (“fossil fuel”) Esmeralda Guevara, Larry

CO2 rises M Frolich


Esmeralda Guevara, Larry M Frolich


El Buen Vivir and the Good LIfe: A Biological Perspective on Population and Energy