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Ideas for activists

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Eco-friendly ideas for activists

To spare more ink in the world, it would be better if mankind used better fonts. In current word processor programs, there are quite good fonts which can save more paper, for example, "Liberation Sans Narrow". However, we want to save more ink as well, and we could possibly do that by omitting some parts of the glyphs, for example, we could omit the upper straight part of the letter P, making the glyph something like a hook. In fashion and branding, there are already similar solutions for other letters, and they are popular. The creation of a public domain font which would change all or most of the letter glyphs in a similar manner, could cause a considerable saving of ink for mankind, if it becomes fashionable. This font could differ so much from the conventional latin letters that we could use another name for it. I (the author) am not a professional font developer, but I found a public domain font on the Internet, and changed it with the open-source program FontForge, spending much of my free time on it for many days, and it turned out that the font would consume more paper than others. That is why more time and expertise is needed here.

Some environmentalist organizations offer translation work to some activists, but a translator activist can translate environmentalist materials even without cooperation. Books that are already in the public domain are a good choice for this. The text of the CIA World Factbook, for example, which can be found on the website of CIA, is in the public domain and it contains very much information relevant to environmentalism, so it would be welcome to read it in other languages. There are also some classic works which are relevant to environmentalism, for example, "The Coal Question" by William Stanley Jevons, or "An essay on the Principle of Population" by Thomas Malthus. As there are lots of new and free, but not public domain environmentalist materials issued by organizations like the UNEP and others, a translator activist could also have the idea of translating a specific publication, and try to ask permission for it. However, it is really worth of translating only those publications which were successful in their original language, and will be read by many, because there are many choices in free environmentalist works, and quality matters very much.

On the Internet, there are lots of free documents in connection with environmentalism. An activist who has a computer and an Internet-connection, could create one or more collections of documents from these, to fit on one CD or DVD, like the 2008/9 Wikipedia Selection for schools, or the Project Gutenberg's CD and DVD project. (Note that the licenses should be read carefully before doing this.) This CD or DVD could even be shared with other activists. This way the activists would depend less on the Internet service, and this can be handy in case of a crisis. However, it can be useful not only in a crisis, but when suggesting reading ideas to other activists, or in case when it is feared that there is a surveillance on the Internet about what a person reads. However, if an activist creates a collection of documents, the trustworthiness of that activist is really important. It is better if there are more activists working on this, preferably associated with an environmentalist organization, and check their work multiple times.

In the time of the writing of this, many petitions can be found on the Internet connected to environmentalism, which can be signed by anyone. By signing these, we may contribute to the success of the petitions, which means environmentalist success. Here it is important to note that it is not worth signing all of the petitions, because the texts of many petitions are not perfect. For example, I (the author) probably signed some imperfect petitions formerly, but I do not want to sign any more such petitions in the future. Petitions which are sent to their recipients in a different language than the signers' known languages are not perfect. Petition websites that do not show exactly what is signed by the signer and what is got by the recipient, are imperfect. Petitions that tell anything about the future as a certainty, or present uncommon knowledge as certainly known by the signers, are imperfect. Anyway, the petition is only worth signing if we deem it probable that

the petition is beneficial, and

the statements written in the petition are true, and this holds


more often

if the petition was made by a famous organization. In addition to that, for our own sake it is probably not worth signing those petitions either that need our home addresses to sign them,

or which are only hosted on a website that has too strict or risky conditions of use,

or that send separate emails to the recipient in the name of each signer. Those petitions, however, in which we do not find any error, are worth signing for the sake of our environment

, and it is worth sharing them with some of our acquaintances


Further readings

(these were not necessarily read by the author):

Dr. Gene Sharp - The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Vol. 2: The Methods of Nonviolent Action (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1973)

Randy Shaw - The Activist's Handbook (University of California Press; 1996, 2001)

Eco-friendly ideas for passive people (chapter left out)

In a world where the good learners were richer, the free version of this book could have more chapters by this, too.