Sunday, November 13, 2011
lucky to be water born
During the three hours this morning it took me to wake, drink coffee, eat breakfast, read the news, shower and get ready for a walk, humanity had extracted another 378 million barrels of crude oil, 56 million tons of coal, and 36 billion cubic feet of natural gas out of the planet’s steadily depleting reserves. I'll admit right up front the way I spent those three hours contributed to the depletion. Considering the way things are set up in the western world it's very difficult to know how to live in such a way as to not stress the environment. I hate going to big box stores or shopping malls but the fact is I've been engineered to negotiate those spaces whereas, being left to myself in the woods, I couldn't tell one mushroom from another and neither could I find my way out of a good sized park without a map and the help of a kind hearted park ranger. It's pitiful.
It was only a little more than a century ago people pretty much lived in harmony with nature's ability to resupply our natural resources; essentially, work was done by human labor in concert with animals when extra strength was required and power for grinding grain was done by water and wind mills. I wouldn't last a month in that world. Nevertheless, what did happen was the discovery of the planet's non-renewable resources and the serious mistake that was made was to treat them like they were infinite.
Even if I had the inclination I couldn't afford to buy land, tools, seeds, or any of the other multitude of things required to start a farm. If you're interested in the adventures of someone who actually did make a serious try at it please go over to Gfid's blog North of Sanity where she's been describing a time more than 30 years ago when Canada still had some free land on offer. Her experience provides a very entertaining story about what most of us city bred types could hardly imagine doing.
What I am good for is doing all the things we're able to do with the support of modern conveniences. I can cook, clean, read, write, drive, draw, and even ride a bicycle. What I can't do is figure out how to save the world for future generations to enjoy, but if anything is ever going to change for the better, I think alienation is a good place to start. There's a lot worth being alienated from. You don't have to be ashamed of feeling alienated by a world filled with evil, stupidity, greed, and injustice. We've all fallen into the world as it is but if our children's children are to be free, maybe imagining a different world - a world in which we would feel at home - is a good place to start.