Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. — Margaret Mead
- The primary purpose of this website is to assist in my effort to acquire philanthropic support. Without financial backing, I cannot move forward. That is why I am seeking philanthropic gift capital from like-minded philanthropists. I believe that if you truly understand the depth of the ecological destruction we are wreaking, and truly want to make a difference — a real difference — then you should contact me. If you are a philanthropist and would like to contact me, my contact information is below. Let’s meet! Let’s talk. Let’s discuss how to save the planet. Don’t let another moment slip by without taking immediate action. It all starts with one person, sending me one email. Do it today! Be that person! Take immediate action to help save the planet for future generations. And thanks!
- Additionally, there may also be sympathetic, like-minded people who can help in some other capacity. By offering professional services, pro bono, for instance. [e.g. publicists, entrepreneurs, radio producers, film directors, proofreaders, editors, authors, writers, bloggers, interviewers, administrative assistants, personal assistants, research assistants, archivists, scientists/experts/professionals in various fields, those with expertise in advertising, IT, fundraising, marketing, PR, legal issues, intellectual property rights, speech coaching, (etc.)] See contact information below.
- I would also like to assemble a very strong team of individuals, who think like I do (or at least agree in principle, on certain key points). If you have read most of what’s on this website, believe we think very much alike, and would like to help with this work, then please contact me. I am particularly keen on hearing from other “idea people,” who have a tremendous work ethic, and find the prospect of designing tomorrow’s world, very exciting.
Please bear in mind that keeping on top of email can be immensely time-consuming. If you expect a response, please be patient, and avoid using subject lines that resemble spam. Thanks!
(And please also indicate in your email how you found out about this website. Thanks!)
My contact information: EcoIdeaMan at Gmail.com [ecoideaman at gmail.com]
***New: [I am now on Facebook and Twitter. Search those sites for Paul Reinicke ecoideaman, or Paul A. Reinicke ecoideaman, respectively.] ***New!
*** Below, I’ve created a new additional blog space for this website. One reason I have decided to do this is because I simply have such an enormous amount of material that I could be putting up. This will have a different flavor than the other blog spaces on this website (on the Home page, on the Links page, and on the Afterword page). Each one is distinct in its own way. One characteristic that will distinguish this new blog is size. It’s for what I term quickies. I intend to keep these short (or relatively short). That way, it will be easier for me to post something new, and to do so on a more frequent and consistent basis. I suspect that as time goes by, a clearer picture will begin to emerge, as to what sets this blog apart from the other three that are on this website. *** Content may be edited or deleted after the posting date (WordPress makes this virtually effortless).
6/26/17 Today, I’ll share my idea about how to fix the gerrymandering problem. And, in so doing, demonstrate the sharp distinction between having an idea, but no ability to follow through, with having an idea, and having the capital to translate that idea into reality. Because without funding, this idea will go nowhere; but if, hypothetically speaking, a billionaire took a liking to it, you can probably imagine how quickly this idea can come to fruition.
One thing I might not have communicated sufficiently on this website is that the initial funding that I am seeking is only the “seed” funding. It is just the first step. If we are successful in saving the planet, it will ultimately, of course, over time, have cost billions. That is why I think it is so essential to get some billionaires on board. This solution to the gerrymandering problem, which I am about to share, is a perfect illustration of how a billionaire can single-handedly take the bull by the horns and begin the process of fixing this problem, that has persisted for 205 years, once and for all; and even make it look easy.
In a recent Times op-ed (“The Rising Power of Philanthropy,” June 20), David Callahan wrote that “today’s biggest donors aren’t much interested in … old-style charity.” They choose instead to aim their philanthropy towards making “‘systemic‘ changes in society.” Well, what I am about to share is a sterling example of how to initiate systemic change.
The New York Times, in a recent editorial (Free Speech at The Supreme Court,” June 20), stated that the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving partisan gerrymandering. To illustrate how egregious partisan gerrymandering can be, the Times editorial states that in 2012, in Wisconsin, “Republican assembly candidates received less than half the statewide vote and yet won 60 of 99 assembly seats. They took even more seats in 2014, while winning just a bare majority of the vote.” The editorial aptly points out that while Republicans and Democrats both engage in the practice, “the benefits over the past decade have flowed overwhelmingly to Republicans.” What to do? It’s not an easy problem to fix, it might seem. Politicians can’t be trusted; and courts are reluctant to intervene.
“The court has agreed that partisan gerrymandering could in theory become so extreme that it violates the Constitution,” the editorial states, “but it has never settled on who should make that determination or on what standards to use.”
My solution? Take the “who” out of the equation. Don’t let political parties do any of it. Have computer software designed, that can do it for us. And then, have a judge/the courts check it over and give (or not give) their stamp of approval. Judges can have experts examine the code. And, if necessary, throw out partisan coding in favor of nonpartisan coding.
If I had the financial resources and decided to do this myself, I would find some of the best computer programmers around (with broad political affiliation), and pay them to design software that would draw electoral districts, fairly. I am not a computer programmer, but can think of numerous ways of accomplishing that. It should be child’s play in an age where we can design vehicles that don’t even need drivers, or steering wheels. It has been decades since the computer Deep Blue defeated World Champion Garry Kasparov, in a chess match, so designing software today to fairly draw election districts should be comparatively easy.
Once such software is designed and tested and shown to be exemplary, commentators would clamor for it. (“Build a better mouse-trap, and the world will beat a path to your door,” the saying goes.) In op-eds, all across the country, they would extol the benefits of implementing such a system. And the court system would have a simple solution for when there are examples of egregious overreach. Rather than scratch their heads and say “Now what?” they can issue a ruling that the software be used to redraw the districts.
Could software still be designed to favor one side? Of course. But if it’s not done in some back room behind closed doors, but instead is all in computer code that can be examined (and rewritten), then there’s a world of difference between those two approaches.
I say, let’s do it! Partisan gerrymandering should be illegal.
Callahan also stated in his op-ed that Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos (he’s worth over $80 billion), recently “posted on Twitter a ‘request for ideas’ for a philanthropic strategy he should pursue.” So here’s how I’ll end this post: Mr. Bezos, are you listening?
5/29/17 Of the three book reviews in yesterday’s Sunday New York Times Book Review, dealing with books about the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes and the Colorado River, it is Robert Moor’s review (“Five Alive / An aquatic biography of the Great Lakes looks to the polluted past and a murky future.”) of Dan Egan’s The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, that I found the most interesting and recommend that you read.
I also agree with the proposed solution involving closing the seaway to overseas freighters, and then sending cargo on through the rest of the way by train instead.
5/6/17 I am so glad the brilliant Stephen Hawking now realizes the situation is much worse than he previously thought. But I still disagree with Hawking’s focus on getting off this planet. Ultimately, if interstellar travel ever proved possible, that might be a logical thing to pursue — after all, our sun will eventually supernova; but for now, our focus must be on saving the Earth. If we can’t save the planet we’re living on now, what chance would we have of surviving on some other planet, somewhere else?
3/19/17 This Sunday New York Times had some good stuff. The Book Review section’s page 27 essays pertaining to the question “Which dystopian novel got it right: Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World?, I enjoyed reading. A letter on the Letters page of this same section suggests adding Constance FitzGibbon’s When the Kissing Had to Stop “to the list of books that resonate in today’s political climate.” And then goes on to note that The London Daily Mail said that book “relegates Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World to the nursery.”
In this same section, Helen MacDonald reviews Elena Passarello’s Animals Strike Curious Poses; and it is very fair to say that she did enjoy the book. For example, MacDonald states in her review:
I’ve spent decades reading books on the roles animals play in human cultures, but none have ever made me think, and feel, as much as this one. It’s a devastating meditation on our relationship to the natural world. It might be the best book on animals I’ve ever read. It’s also the only one that’s made me laugh out loud.
I loved reading about Mozart’s pet starling.
Also, particularly worth noting, is an opinion piece (“Chickens Can Help Save Wildlife”) by Richard Conniff, which appears in the Sunday Review section. I skimmed it and read most of it, but haven’t read it in its entirety. It deals with an immensely important topic, and one that ironically is virtually never discussed. For example, I can’t recall this topic ever being discussed or brought up in any presidential or vice-presidential debate in this country (or any presidential press conference). But then again, that’s not too unusual concerning environmental issues. This article concerns the rapid depletion of wildlife — particularly in the more impoverished regions of the planet — and how chickens (if made plentiful and affordable) could substitute for and help wean people off eating wildlife, which is a major cause of mammalian extinction.
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand it attempts to address a major crisis that should be setting off alarm bells all over the planet; and on its surface it looks like a potentially very effective approach. On the other hand, it appears to fly directly into the face of that admonition of Albert Einstein that I also referenced in yesterday’s Home page blog post (I’ve emboldened a portion of it, here, for emphasis): “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
Additionally, I find it vexing that we have no trouble pointing to something like this as a potential solution, but never talk about, or moreover grapple with, the hugely significant related topic concerning the constantly rising total world human population. The statistic I usually cite estimates that we are adding 1,000,000 people to the total world population every 108 hours (every four and one third days). And many people, when I ask them how long they think it takes to add one million people to the planet (compensating for deaths), will guess something like “ten months?,” or “a year?” And all of those additional people will want a place to live, food, a job, a family, the freedom to do whatever they please, and lots and lots and lots of material things.
3/17/17 To save money and balance my budget, I get The New York Times delivered on Sunday mornings only (the cost usually comes to $31.20 a month for that service — worth every cent, and then some). The rest of the week, I just sneak a peek at the cover stories and if I find anything particularly appealing, then I write myself a reminder to buy it on my way home from work. Yesterday, was one of those days. “This is perfect!” I thought, as I scanned over the cover page.
Actually, it’s the opposite of perfect; but that was my point. By “perfect,” I meant in terms of having the ability to convey just how (especially) messed up things are right now in this age of Trump.
One of the things you notice on the cover is a photo of a large body of dead coral and the caption appearing underneath the title “Grim Fate for a Natural Wonder,” which reads: “Scientists say huge section of the Great Barrier Reef, a coral ecosystem off the coast of Australia so large it can be seen from space, are dead and dying because of rising sea temperatures. Page A8.”
But also on this same page, there is an article (Alan Rappaport, Glenn Thrush “Trump Budget Seeks Big Tilt To the Military / Sharp cuts for E.P.A. and the State Dept.” Mar. 16, 2017) that reports that the budget President Trump will be submitting to Congress, cuts out almost a third of the Environmental Protection Agency budget. In total, he wants to cut $2.6 billion from its budget, while trimming off twenty percent of its staff. The article states that if enacted, this “would cut the agency’s budget to its lowest level in 40 years,” when adjusted for inflation. One of the things that would be eliminated altogether would be funding for climate change research. How bizarre and surreal is that?
The article referred to in the caption described above (Damien Cave, Justin Gillis, “Great Barrier Reef Is Imperiled, Much Of It Dying or Dead / Scientists Find Escalating Damage” Mar. 16, 2017), begins by stating that “the Great Barrier Reef in Australia has long been one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders, so enormous it can be seen from space, so beautiful it can move visitors to tears.”
I’m afraid that in the future, visitors might also be moved to tears, but for entirely different reasons. Because it appears evident that the Great Barrier Reef and all the life that aquatic ecosystem supports, is in great danger.
The article also states that “Australia is the largest coal exporter in the world.” This reminds me of that saying “If you’re in a ditch, the first thing you should do is stop digging!” And if you’re a doctor, while its not in the Hippocratic Oath, “First, do no harm!” is a good general directive. Well, similarly, if you’re in a coal mine and there are numerous dead canaries all over the place, then you should immediately take notice and act accordingly. But we’re not doing that. We’re doing the opposite. If someone is drowning, you don’t throw buckets of water on them. And yet that’s what we’re doing. It’s sad, but it’s a fitting metaphor. If we want to have any hope of saving the planet, there are so many things we’re going to have to do differently.
Here’s something we need to remember: How goes the Great Barrier Reef, so goes the planet!
2/6/17 In yesterday’s Business Section of the Sunday edition of The New York Times, Robert Frank’s “Inside Wealth” column (“America’s Most Expensive House … Times Two”) provides a glimpse into how some of the world’s extraordinarily wealthy individuals live. It describes one home that has an official price tag of $250 million. But that’s small, compared to the one being listed for a whopping $500 million.
The $250 million home currently belongs to Bruce Makowsky. As the article states, Makowsky “made his fortune as a handbag designer,” but has now turned his attention to “developing and flipping mansions.” He is also described as a man who “wears $500,000 watches and drives $2 million cars.”
It’s hard to argue with his logic. He notes that in recent years, sales of yachts longer than 300 feet have risen sharply, some with price tags as high as $400 million. “It didn’t make sense to me,” he states, “that somebody would spend $300 million on a boat that they use eight weeks a year and live in a house that only cost $20 million or $30 million.” Fittingly, he describes the $250 million home, as being “like a land yacht.” A “land yacht” that comes complete with its own $30 million car collection (one car alone is valued at $15 million), 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms and three kitchens.
The other Bel Air home, the $500 million one, is called “The One,” and Nile Niami is its developer. The article states that it is still under construction, but “will have at least four pools and other interesting water features.” Frank writes that “some have likened the house to a giant mall or oversize resort, out of scale with a personal home.” Nevertheless, Niami is unfazed by its asking price, stating “all my houses always sell.”
My guess is that whoever winds up buying these homes, it’s probably safe to say they aren’t much concerned with saving the planet. That’s just my hunch.
1/30/17 The recent passing of Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017), brought to mind a quotation that had almost made it onto my Quotations page. The quotation comes not from Mary Tyler Moore, but from Ed Asner. Together, they starred on the hit TV sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Here is the quotation:
We all moan and groan about the loss of the quality of life through the destruction of our ecology, and yet every one of us, in our own little comfortable ways, contributes daily to that destruction. It’s time now to awaken in each one of us the respect and attention our beloved Mother deserves. — Ed Asner
One thing I don’t like about this quotation is that he says “we all moan and groan about … the destruction of our ecology.” I couldn’t disagree more. In fact, I’ve coined a term. You’ve heard of psychopaths? Sociopaths? Well, how about ecopaths? To describe people who can cause great destruction to nature, natural ecosystems, and so forth, without batting an eye, without showing even the slightest remorse or concern. And there are so many people like that. I don’t actually use the term, ever, but it does pop into my head every so often when I’m reading a news story about what is happening somewhere in the world that results in more destruction of habitat, more loss of biodiversity, more pollution, more despoliation of aquifers, and so forth. And the only green many of those people care about is the green currency that ends up in their wallet or bank account as a result.
Want to help save the planet? Here’s what you can do:
(1) You can read this website.
(2) If you are a multi-millionaire or billionaire, especially, please read this website!
(3) If you are not a multi-millionaire, please see the green message at the bottom of this page.
(4) There are oceans of information out there just waiting to be discovered or rediscovered. Read! Do independent research! Think! Use your imagination! Make a real difference in the world, and become a change agent for substantive, meaningful change. And remember: when it comes to saving the planet, don’t think small, think BIG!
(5) If you have constructive suggestions for how to improve this website, or on where to advertise (keep in mind, my budget is very tight), please share them. And thanks!