podcast 412 – Building a better world

Published 5 years ago in Podcasts - 0 Comments

Shawn has listened to most of Paul’s podcasts and heard Paul mention wanting to make a book out of his various writings. So Shawn volunteered to help him do that.

Originally, they were just going to mash it all together and do a kickstarter to get it out to the public. But, after working on it for a few weeks, they were really enjoying it. They decided to spend the extra time to really polish it up. After 8 months they are 80% done and the book is looking really, really good.

For the title alone, they put in about 5 hours of work and basically ended up very close to what they started with. “Building a Better World in Your Backyard Instead of Being Angry at the Bad Guys”

Paul spent about 6.5 hours on the cover and Shawn has spent about 10 hours on it. This book is not about gardening. The cover has lots of icons on it to represent the different topics covered in the book. Paul wanted the cover to be like an album cover for a band. There will be a vote soon on the two possible covers.

This book is for people in apartments or the ones who have a house and yard or for people who have acreage.

It breaks the world problems down into three parts. Carbon footprint which is at 30 ton per year per person. Petroleum footprint which is at 1,000 gallons per year per person, and toxic fairy dust.

The book is almost ready to move into the publishing phase. It still has several layers of editing that needs to happen and the layout.

Paul is planning a kickstarter for January 2nd. He expects the book to be finished in another month and a half but the end of the year is not a good time to start a kickstarter so they will use the extra time for refining.

The book is broken into the introduction, the three problem footprints, and then the strategies for fixing them. It is actually a severely condensed form of lots and lots of articles, essays and information. The aim is for 200 pages.

The majority of the book is really about the strategies. It deals with

  • Zone zero stuff – in the house
  • Energy use – how to live a more luxuriant life
  • Gardening – but not your usual stuff. Will include some hugelkultur
  • Grey water
  • Electricity harvesting
  • Homestead level stuff – orchard vs food forest, poop beasts, critters, replacing petroleum with people, WOFATI’s and natural swiming pools.

A huge part of what’s in this book is what is not available in other areas. Actually Paul just recently heard about a movie with a similar title and was freaking out that someone else had written a book and made a movie about what they have been working so hard on writing. But after watching it, no problem. The movie was about meditating, modifying a diesel truck to run on veggie oil and using solar. It did mention Joseph Jenkins and Humanure though.

Paul and Shawn decided to have the book printed in black and white which is only 1/2 the cost and would make the book accessible to more people. It has lots of line art drawings in it from Tracy Wandling.

Their first thought was to print 800-1,000 copies but now it has been polished up to print 2 million copies and fund that with the kickstarter. It will have 2 phases of editing and a professional layout. They have about 1 year of effort into the book now.

If the kickstarter does well, they can see other books being written in the future.

This book is written for people to buy several copies and give them to their friends to infect more brains. They intend to mostly sell them by the dozen. For example, one book may be $20 but if you buy a dozen, they may be $7 a piece.

This book should be a fun and easy read. It will convey the ideas of the podcasts, condensed into an easily readable style.

Shawn did tons of research on LED’s when they were writing that part and he got really mad about what he discovered too. The LED light spectrum is very problematic. It has too much blue in it and that messes up your sleep cycle. The warm spectrum LED’s are better but still off.

Podcast listeners can give feedback about the book on the forums.

Different chapters have been posted and reviewed by different groups in the permies forums.

For every podcast published, there is a permies.com thread where they can post comments about the podcast.

Paul has split his Patreon in account into three. One each for podcasts, videos and articles. The result is that he’s running in the red again for making new artifacts. He will continue to make podcasts and videos regardless but will be able to make more if there is more Patreon support.

Paul reads the intro to the book.

He quotes “A Tale of Two Cities” about the best of times and the worst of times and compares it to our current world.

Most of the book is very strongly focused on the solutions that you can do at home and not on any political or government or bad guys solutions.

Paul says so many people today are angry because they care but they get stuck at being angry and this book gives you lots of solutions to the problems. Others will envy your life when you employ these strategies and then want to emulate you.

This book is a compilation of Paul’s (and now Shawn’s) ideas.

There are lots of footnotes on each page but to make them less obtrusive, they are links to permies.com discussions.

Most of the solutions from the book are based on Permaculture (permanent agriculture) and homesteading.

Come out to this podcast thread and let Paul and Shawn know what you think of the book.

Buy a piece of “pie” (about $3.00) and there are several chapters listed in the pie forum that you can read and make comments about. Most of the comments have been very good and useful.

Credit: Penny McLoughlin

Support the podcast on Patreon

Relevant Threads

being angry at bad guys vs. build a better world
paul wheaton’s permaculture podcasts
Permaculture Inner-circle Elite (PIE)


You can discuss this podcast on this thread at Permies.

This podcast was made possible thanks to:

Full Name
Bill Crim
wade L
James Tutor
Suleiman ALAQEL
Josh Phillips
Jocelyn Campbell
Jason Hower
Ash Jackson
thomas adams
Julia Mason
Dominic Crolius
David Ingraham
Miroslav Ultrama
Bill Erickson
Lisa Goodspeed
G Cooper
Wayne Fajkus
Eivind W. Bjoerkavaag
Keith Kuhnsman
Dylan Butler
Dana Martin
Cody W.

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