The Silver Bullet vs.The Golden Hammer

At tiny house workshops and festivals I am often asked why I named the tiny house I have been building for the last year, the “Silver Bullet”. Three reasons:

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“The phrase typically appears with an expectation that some new technological development or practice will easily cure a major prevailing problem.” There is no one “Silver Bullet” for the world’s climate change crisis or its diminishing resources. However, empowering people with appropriate techniques, skills and technologies to live healthier, more economic and sustainably responsible lives compatible with nature and the planet’s resources is the basis for the Silver Bullet Project.

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“The concept known as the law of the instrumentMaslow’s hammerGavel or a golden hammer[a] is an over-reliance on a familiar tool; as Abraham Maslow said in 1966, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”[1] “Overuse of one tool for all purposes” directly correlates with America’s reliance on debt for capitalism and consumerism or fossil fuel dependance for decades when other clean energy solutions were available. (Not to mention the selective confirmation bias of a certain political party regarding climate change).

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Yeah, its true, I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and spent many Minnesota winters either skiing or watching TV shows whose characters are highly responsible for having built my character, personal integrity and moral compass. I personally identify with the non-violent morality of Paladin in Have Gun/Will Travel, the moral codes and partnership between Tonto and the Lone Ranger, who used his silver bullets (and his horse “Silver” to dispense justice), and of course, Star Trek, which introduced me via sic-fi metaphor to political and social issues of the 60’s and 70’s. (I met my favorites: Clayton Moore, Jay Silverheels, Leonard Nimoy and William Boyd back in the day)


*You can read more about what I think of the American Dream here, how I began my in deeper commitment to an even more sustainable life here, or my recent post on ethical sourcing and consumerism here.

The Beginning of the Silver Bullet

At first, I thought the best way to change minds about global warming, climate change and ecological dysfunction was by getting myself educated in sustainability practices so I could influence the corporate world to change their design principles and their social/financial responsibility to the communities from which they remove resources and in which they manufacture their goods.

I succeeded for a decade in helping small businesses change their BAU (Business As Usual) cultures, products and practices to embrace the quadruple bottom line of sustainable best practices (Environmental, Social, Cultural and Financial Responsibility). But I found resistance and biases everywhere. So I went back to school again.

After graduating from Presidio (EC6), I realized the greater challenge is in educating the public about choices and practices so they can influence and raise the sustainable consciousness of their own families, corporations, communities, schools and workplaces with their own voices and pocketbooks. I know, an ambitious idea of mine to think I can help humanity save its resources by changing human behavior.

You know what, I’m going to try and I’m going to start with getting myself to a more sustainable existence. I started this five year journey in 2008 that has culminated in a new career, new path, and a re-energized passion for sustainable living.

Within the coming year I will start the build of the Silver Bullet off-the-grid sustainable tiny home on wheels that will serve as a traveling classroom base. This website will tell that story.