Posts Tagged ‘green’

My very existence is an admission of guilt. Placed before a blank sheet of paper, any blank sheet of paper, I instinctively begin to set down the list of my latest crimes. What else can I do? The very thoughts of a person like me are crimes against the state. All I have to do is think: and immediately I become guilty. In spite of all my efforts to correct this lamentable tendency to subversiveness and intellectual sabotage, I cannot possibly get rid of it. ~ Sir Thomas Merton, 1960

Mainstream consciousness made a relatively big step in the last year, from environmentalism being something of birkenstock granola’s to the now hip greening of just about everything, and that isn’t nothing. However, it remains mostly a marketing tool and a way to claim a degree of responsibleness. The true green economy is not something one can buy at Safeway, Wal-mart, or any other corporate entity. Rather, it is more likely to be found at the local farm store, in a how-to handbook or a DIY project around your own community; this may be the next layer of development for mainstream consciousness. This is an evolutionary tale after all.

While our elected officials piddle away the time with silliness like the new CAFE standards for vehicle efficiency and the so-called Energy Bill, making target of 35 mpg by 2020, most of Europe is already there. The truth of our future scenario lies somewhere between communalism and anarchy, of which, the federal government will be a minor player, if at all – short of a truly revolutionary leadership mind coming forward and not being utterly ignored by today’s version of what passes for media. The first step many of us can take that would be truly green might be to turn the television on it’s side and make a planter box of it.

Other commentors of present day on these topics of peak-oil, climate change, and the slipping economy are beginning to suggest that we have arrived at crucial times. Bill McKibbon speaks of having already passed the target point of CO2 in the atmosphere, “The biggest political and economic task we’ve ever faced: weaning ourselves from coal, gas and oil – has to happen now, and everywhere. No more passing the buck. We need huge changes in every aspect of your daily life. . . . The problems of global equity alone may be too much — the Chinese aren’t going to stop burning coal unless we give them some other way to pull people out of poverty.” Frankly, I think he’s really on to something here, giving China something. We could eliminate our military and use the defense budget to send food and cash, maybe send some to the middle east while we’re at it. Oh, yeah, right – I forgot about all those pesky terrorists, hmm . . . .

Tom Whipple writes this week of a coming “perfect storm” of sorts, “Within the next year our liquidity problems, unsatisfied demand for oil, growing food and water shortages, and other consequences of overindulgence appear likely to merge into an unprecedented economic storm.” He also breaches the notion of ‘peak resources’ in general, which I also touched on a couple years back. James Kuntsler reviews circumstances in the USSR pre-collapse, “Official Soviet agriculture was such a fiasco for half a century that the Soviet people were long-conditioned to provide for themselves. For decades, 90 percent of the food was coming from tiny household gardens, wherever it was possible to grow stuff.” Then goes on to note that what served local communities best was maintaining personal networks based on mutual trust. Sounds to me a familiar foreshadow,

Just what would America look like if 90% of food was coming from tiny household gardens? I wonder what sort of “green marketing” scheme Safeway would be engaged in. I wonder if we even need Safeway? I wonder if Safeway will take the lead on developing networks of local producers? I wonder if Exxon will take the lead on developing solar and wind and hydrogen systems? I wonder if the federal government will maintain it’s irrelevance? I wonder if a flavor of post-modern DIY communalistic anarchy (aka local networks) will develop a level of sophisticated integration in time enough to substantially limit our collective emissions and waste? There are clues that this new anarchy is beginning to develop, and by this ‘anarchy’, I mean simply individuals and local communities acting independently, leading through small acts on very local levels. Maybe we are beginning to get it, if only the mainstream would catch on in a real and meaningful way. In any case, there is likely to be a die-off somewhere along the way and I imagine that a version of survival-of-the-fittest and Karma will dictate those terms.


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