Friday, September 15, 2006

Guilty As We Want To Be?

Well, my intention with the previous post list of yesterday...wasn't to inspire guilt...because really, no one is guilty.

We are all living the same lifestyle with the same belief systems. Throughout school, over and over again we were taught the term "agricultural revolution" like it was a good thing. We were taught that how we live is the greatest society of humans ever. It isn't anyone's fault that we all think someone else should make a rule or sacrifice to stop driving. Everybody believes that the use of their own vehicle is necessary. Everbody believes that they need to eat cereal and bread. Who taught you that?

Farming was invented only 10,000 years ago. For the entire time that primates, humans, neandrathals and apes, monkeys have lived on the planet, almost a million years...we didn't need farm foods.

I am not saying that people have to stop driving cars. I am saying, they should be heavily taxed for driving cars. It's a free world, go ahead and drive a car. But a dollar a gallon gas tax is the least we can do to pressure ourselves and car designers to change the manufacturing of vehicles.

I'm not saying people shouldn't live in the suburbs or small towns, or remote locations. But they should pay exhorbitant taxes for such damage to wilderness and the so-called luxury of an eccentric lifestyle. Let the rich continue to live outside the norm like freaks. Let them be selfish...but alone, ha ha ha. Let them stick together. Why do we allow ourselves to pay for their self inflicted segregation?

Who said this is the only way humans can live? Who said that we are the greatest society of humans to live?

Well, who made up that stature? And it's probabably...or at the very least, likely, not true. Humans have lived just fine, without imminent disaster and war around the corner for more than thousands of years...but closer to half a million years.

We had art, pre-literatate narratives, which eventually found their ways into Ovid, Plato, Shakespeare. We knew the earth was round and followed the sun, most people could memorize and predict astronomical events and navigate.

Literature and art are always held up as the "proof" we are an elegant superior human to the pre-farm animal we once were.

Almost no one in our culture reads Shakespeare, Homer or could navigate without some computer system. We are a much inferior human compared to the hunter gatherers before us.

Even birds and turtles can travel the earth without a computer or an aircraft.

Maybe we just need to question what our schools taught us, and then we don't need to feel guilty.

Just a small paradigm shift.

25 comments:

Carmen said...

Nah, you didn't make me feel guilty. You just raised some awareness. :) It's your blog, you should get to write about whatever you want!

We're getting a new Whole Foods down the street from me, soon. I'll have to check out the prices. :)

Anonymous said...

This gets complicated - way too much for a comment post.

Do microwaves, cell phones, cable TV and other 'mod cons' make life more comfortable or more complicated? A little of both, I guess.

It would be great if we could all drive little electric cars and live within walking distance to work, but the more people there are, the more expansive our society becomes.

In short, giving the people what they want is the oldest game in the book. If they didn't want all this junk, they wouldn't have it. The trick is to resist it, but it is hard if we are to continue to live among the humans.

What you're advocating sounds more like the Amish lifestyle than anything else. It's a fine way to live, but it is also isolated.

Red said...

Actually, I would say that we are *all* guilty of taking the planet's resources for granted and squeezing the life out of our beautiful Earth.

As for us being a superior society... I don't buy it for one minute either. People in the western world have never been so obese or susceptible to conditions like heart disease or diabetes. We don't exercise and sit on our asses all day (some of us blogging...!), increasing the risk of ill health.

Kids in their early teens are playing at being adults, making babies and failing to teach them anything worth learning. When I was a teenager, I wasn't even *thinking* about sex... okay, maybe I was thinking about it, but I wasn't doing it! I'd read in magazines about girls getting pregnant and I was terrified of the idea (still am!). Now all I hear about is kids saying, "But then at least, I'd have someone who loves me." And nobody is doing anything to show them that parenthood is not about being loved, but about loving and nurturing. Are they able to do that, or are they too selfish, young, inexperienced, self-involved to do a good job of it? I think the latter.

I look around me and despair at the utter stupidity I see on a daily basis. And these are our future generations...

FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

When anyone wants to convey a message to every living creature on earth, there's no reason for you to feel guilty at all.
You did right.

rauf said...

I thought I was the odd one out refusing to have a cell phone and refusing to own some vehicle.

We better feel guilty now than regret later when we face extinction. Our planet is very smart. i have written about it in various blogs.

Candy Minx said...

Hey y'all!

Carmen, that is really cool about Whole Foods. I was never able to afford them in Canada insanely more expensive than grocery stores and other health food stores. The New York Times had an article about Whole Foods and their mandate to compete costs with regular grocery stores, and for the most part they are accomplishing this. It is also a really pleasant and gorgeous looking store to spend time in. they have organic house wine shiraz for 5.99 which just blows my mind! I hope you have a good experience there. Now, yesterday we couldn't get grass-fed beef. None, they said they couldn't find it. They order and none comes. I fear this is because it sells too quickly and it is too difficult to use the land and allow animals to grass feed...I am looking into the situation though...we got a small SMALL piece of buffalo to share, but it has lots of protein so you don't really need ahuge seving.

And of course the organic tofu...like I said on your blog Carmen, our dinner with tofu and brocoli is almost less than five dollars for BOTH of us!

For tofu fearers out there...I saute as thin as possible slices of tofu with tamari(organic soya sauce) garlic, a dash of cayenne and olive oil. Its delicious. A family of our or five could have dinner for about ten bucks!

Anthony...I suppose this does sound like the Amish way of life. Harpers magazine years ago had an amazing article about these alternative people likeAmish and Mennonites who CHOOSE what innovations they use, they don't just blindly accept all inventions into their lives. They don't have land lines, but may use cell phones...it was a fascinating board meeting they would hold discussing what to incorporate intot heir daily lives.

Anthony, I don't like microwaves...my boyfriends parents bought us one! I am horrified..and never use it, I will likely store it in a cupbooard it just is so freaky. I heat everything up old school and slow cook. I am sad at the waste of materials to make a microwave. We managed to talk them out of buying us an airconditioner and they felt that air conditioners are not bad for the air. Hmm...what can you dow e try to be polite. A microwave is not only un needed for cooking...it alos damages the anti-oxidants in vegetables! So you render the nutritional value of these foods liek squash, red pepeers brocoli as less nutritious. and no one talks about this!

the grea tthing about living ina city is that we are staying away from the wilderness, sharing transportation, walking kids to school and to the store...and there are tns of family owned businesses plus lots of second hand stores. I buy all my clothes...almost all! second hand! That way, we can spend a little extra on some of the organic meat!

Red, you are right...and although I don't have a problem with kids giving us a feeling of love and family, it is our duty to nurture them and guide them...and teach a lifestyel of conservation rather than massive consumption. Kids don't need rides to school, or cell phones, share the tv room like olden times! They also don't need logo infested clothes advertising stores that support dangerous manufacturing and child labour.

Also, the more education adn simple comforts of food and water...the population within a community drops. We need to make sure people have fresh water and information and other countries look up to America and Britain...we need to live a little more simple if we want to inspire other countries!

Frdays child, thank you, we can all spread our ideas and keep learning and using our imaginations!

Rauf, yes you are always writing such challenging thoughts and reporting from India a very different perspective, I love going to your blog!

Buttercup said...

Once again, I comment the spirit of your post, and your attempt to discuss possible solutions. It's so easy to get overwhelmed and think nothing will solve *all* of our problems, so then people do nothing.

With regard to your specific suggestion, a 1$ tax on gas: You seem to suggest that this will punish the rich, but it will punish the poor as well, and possibly even more. It would be nice to tax the gas when it's being used by Hummers or SUVs (as opposed to the cars who use fuel more efficiently). That would get the rich.

Other ideas that would have a positive impact are to (a) Create public transportation in every city (2) Build hybrid or electric cars, and (3) Diesel - apparently in Europe it is common and burns far more efficiently than gas.

One thing that drives me crazy is how much garbage our temporary lifestyles create. I work at a big law firm and stay there long hours, so I often have to order food at my desk. I berate myself for not packing lunch and dinner each day, but I hardly have time to cook, let alone prepare meals to take to work. I'm not trying to make excuses, just sharing my frustration for the amount of plastic and styrafoam I myself consume, though I want to live in an environmentally friendly manner. My firm doesn't even recycle soda cans!! When I multiply that by all of the lawyers in all of the firms, then add in the investment banks, hospitals... the amount of garbage we're producing is INSANE. It freaks the shit out of me.

I know the only way we can battle this is to do it piece by piece, and that's why I applaud you for coming up with a specific proposal.

Darla said...

This reminds me a lot of conversations with my teenager, who is very environmentally aware. We've had a lot of discussions about the trade-offs, and what we're willing as individuals and as a society to compromise. I got quite a bit of ammunition for our next go-round from your post, so thanks. :)

Living in Germany does make a lot of the alternatives clearer, and I'm planning on making the changes we've made stick once we're back in the U.S.

Even farmers here don't live out in the country--they live in the small towns and drive to their fields--which is another trade-off.

Gasoline and cars are heavily taxed here, but there's enough public transportation that it's a viable alternative. Where we lived in the U.S., there was no public transportation. Fortunately, there were sidewalks and bike lanes, but a lot of neighborhoods don't even have that.

Which is why it's important to get involved in local politics. We've talked about this so much at home, that my teenager's seriously thinking about politics & environmental law as a career choice. Hope our bank account can stand it.

Candy Minx said...

Buttercup, hi and thanks. Um, Chicago doesn't recycle!!!

I couldn't believe it! Toronto has a minimal system of recycling, bottels, plastics, cans and papers but thats it.

But Chicago...with the mayor who claims to be a Green mayor all the garbage just goes all together I still can't believe it.

Making lunch is really hard to do, I know. I make lunches for work mostly to save money and I don't like sandwiches...prefer fresh food not cooked in microwaves and aluminum pots...and it's a lot less expensive to make a lunch.

Probably the only way your building and all the law firms could recycle is if you and others started a program...and then likely haveto go your selve to a depot. And that is a daunting task! In Vancouver, tins and bottles can be cashed in for a small amount of money...and what is really cool is often garbage is recycled right on the street! People who live outside dig thought he garbage...and pick up stuff and take it to huge depots where they get a few to several dollars.

Isn't it telling that the egnral public, who lives in houses and probalby have jobs...are the ones NOT recycling and the people with nothing are making this recycling happen.

You can leave a beer bottle on the beach at 2 in the morning and it will be gone within an hour. Just because it's worth a few pennies.

I don't want to see poor and regular people punished by a 1 a gallon gas tax. Not at all. The tax isn't for punishing its for making the decision to drive a more expensive decision...and encouraging through self dicipline to drive Less...plus, trust me, if people started not being able to spend as much money on driving and gas...car manufacturers will innovate within a month. They do not want to lose our money.

Although I understand someone like Diane, a blog friend of mine, lives in a remote area...MOST people do NOT need to drive their kids to school, or for shopping most people could take public transit and drive far less than we do.

If we drove HALF as much as we do now...there would be a ripple effect!

For one thing...we may be helping our soldiers get home faster if we drove less. They are fighting for us to keep driving! This is ridiculous and getting out of hand. We cut our fossil fuel consumption...start buying from Canada the fossil fuel...and scare the countries holding us hostage with gas out of their wits.

But either way, it is a limited resource.

The trouble with ethanol is that it is generally made from corn...but get this. It takes a gallon of oil to produce one bussell of corn?

We don't know these things so we can be constantly ignorant of the goofy solutions governments try to come up with for us. They must just think we are so stupid out here...shopping and driving our brains out.

It's entirely possible I am wrong about the nature of agricultural damage to the earth. Maybe gas and driving isn't harmful. Maybe I'm wrong, I really hope I am...but there is a lot of evidence and studies and just looking at the sky above cities that support my concerns. The lack of areas for animals to live has been compromised for over a century, that is no secret either.

I am a conseervative eprson, and would rather take it easy how we live...to me it is extremeism to drive so much and eat all the farm products we do. One of the best thigns we can do is live ina city. The hippies were wrong, city populations have the most opportunity to avoid damaging the wilderness. there is more pressure to be tolerant of each other and to share transport and resources.

Candy Minx said...

Darla, that is very exciting about the sensitivities of your teenaged daughter. I am glad to hear that you have such informative discussions...as too many parents are afraid when their kids start questioning our social structures and holding their parents, perhaps as accountable and culpable.

Here is an article from the Smithsonian about corn..

http://www.smithsonianmagazine.com/issues/2006/july/presence.php

and an article wondering if farming was the worst mistake..

http://www.agron.iastate.edu/courses/agron342/diamondmistake.html

Your daughter may find these especially interesting.

Jared Diamond wrote the pulizer prize winning book Guns Germs and Steel and now has a book thats been on best seller list for over a year Collapse. I know several teens in Canada that have had his books as required reading!

Anonymous said...

Chey has no real comment as she feels no guilt. Cats live as they need to, taking what they need one day at a time. I think it's okay to shirk responsibilities when you do that--because in living that way, you limit your damage to the environment.

One comment on your assertation that the rich live in the wilderness. In most cases yes they do. However, where I live, it's often the poor or at least Middle Class that lives in the "wilderness" or the edges of what is really suburbia because it's actually cheaper to get housing there. In Seattle it's hard to find affordable housing and so people live on the edges and commute in. Rather than taxing them for trying to find a place to live, we should tax the businesses in the city (and suburbs of Bellevue and Redmond) so that we can at least get public transportation.

There is also a new trend in the desirable areas to tear down two older homes and build a huge mansion. I think anything over about 2500 square feet should get a glutton tax of some sort. Land would be much more affordable for all of us who are needed to work in these areas if the super rich weren't allowing themselves 4000 or 5000 square foot homes.

While I love the outskirt areas like North Bend, Snoqualmie and Fall City (I am a small business owner and have a small business there) I hate the thought that in 15 or 20 years that will all be the suburban sprawl that has swallowed up places like Issaquah.

Candy Minx said...

Hi Bonnie,

Yes suburban sprawl is actually one of the most threatening things to animal life. and where will we be if we don't protect animals and their habitat.

And yes, you make a very good point that some people have ended up living in rural areas so they may own a house...and the price is better. This is exactly what worries me...we need to maintain beautiful affordable housing within cities...and not tax people who live in cities so high. We don't drive to the burbs to use their roads...no one in a city wants to be a tourist in the suburbs. But suburban people come to city centres all the time for sports events and entertainment. City raods are being used by people who don't live in them. We need businesses and residences in downtown cores. In the 80's most downtown cores had been abandonded artists and musicians were able to afford warehouse living...and the streets were extrememly dangerous because people couldn'yt afford to live downtown.

New York City had burned out cars, and people living in parks, and mugging and drug sales everywhere. Now people are living in downtown Manhattan and the place is relativly safe!

also, there is more tolerance for skin colour, religion, and sexual persuation in cities than there is in the countryside. Many gays have to move from small towns to the afety of numbers and anonymity of city life. Women have more freedoms in the city too.

by the rich living in the wilderness, I was at first being metaphoric...in that the rich segregate themselves form the mass of population. If they want to live outside a city, fine they should pay for it.

But we need to encourage at least our children to live in urban centres...and if we already live in the burbs, eventually seell those houses off and move to retirement homes in the urban centres...it will keep older people more in touch with the times and events and other people. We should pahse out the governemtn trend to encourage peopel to leave the cities in the 50's and 60's in america. No wonder driving a car and amterialism became a foremost cultural marker for America. Huge houses with all kinds of silly appliances, it's embarrassing! heh heh!

One of the worst things about living in rural areas is the prejudice, then, the lack of a corner store and that to even buy a quart of milk, you need to drive!

I'm not even sure that buying a house nowadays can really be looked at as a prfoit investment?! There are many financial studies that say people land up paying a bank at least twice the price the house was sold at...that is if they ever do pay off their mortgage...any thoughts?

This bizarre outdated way of living needs to be phased out and pooh poohed!

Anonymous said...

you did make me think today. it's a really hard spot to be in- practical vs environmental. it's going to take some serious effort of behalf of the people most unwilling to do it- big business types. several month ago in (I think) Smithsonian magazine was an article about plastic containers (not really plastic) made from some corn byproduct. walmart has started to use them. it was an interesting article.

maybe I'll write a book about my dog going to chicago!!

per Carmen- I have a Whole Foods that I can go to- I love it for cheese. but it's almost impossible for a regular salary family to by meat there. on special occasions, but I just can't afford it. too bad, really.

Candy Minx said...

Karen,

You have amde a very important point here. Most families and younger parents are really concerned about the state of the world. They recycle, they try to limit their shopping, and their waste. They compost.

Now many DO drive, and they drive too much. the parents have started gaining wieight before they turn thrity...eating hydrogenated oil(in bread, and canned and processed foods) sugar is in so many foods.

BUT the most power a family has is in choosing where they shop. They can pressure Costco and Walmart to buy locally. To find sources of food that are organic and grass-fed. Talk to these companies. Write them letters.

Fortunately, we don't need to eat much meat to live. Everyone could likely eat one third less meat per week, that would EASILY cover the cost of better meat. Meat is one of the foods we really should not buy cheap meat! Yikes!

Walmart executives and the managers of Costco can make way more changes than we can. Telling them with our pocket book we will not shop if they don't find decent made products CAN WORK.

Parents could eat so much less food per week, they will get back in shape...and spend less on food therefore being able to afford the meat at somewhere liek Whole Foods...its really worth thinking about. then HELP me pressure Wholoe Foods into tracking down grass-fed meat!

And honestly...I've never understood why parents buy their kids new clothes...teach your kids to be artist personalities with unique second hand, or if you prefer, vintage- clothes. Parents easily could buy second hand clothes too.

Thanks for stopping by Karen, have a great weekend, yes a book about a dog is always popular, take some photos of your dog in chicago...why not illustrate a book with photos?

Anonymous said...

Well, you raise a lot of good points.

I have to disagree on the suburbs tax thing. I live 15 minutes from the biggest city in Maine. (Maine also has one of the highest tax burdens in the country). If my taxes keep going up the way they have been I will be moving to Northern VT where it is so much cheaper. There will be no way around it. And, most people who live in remote areas are very self sufficent and do not rely on towns or cities for much of anything. If you have almost no town services why should you pay higher taxes? Many people who live remote are very aware of treading lightly on the earth.

I would go crazy if I had to live in a city....too many people, too much noise, too much drama.

BTW I am not rich and not a freak. Just sayin' cause you might want to re-think generalizations if you want people to get on board. It is so much better to be inclusive than exclusive.

Candy Minx said...

Nancy, I absolutely love what you have said and I thank you for pointing out weaknesses in these ideas. We need to work as a group to figure these issues out.

I agree with you when you say..."It is so much better to be inclusive than exclusive." And I feel one of the most healthy inclusive ways to live is in a city. We are emant o live together as an animal. It is not healthy for us to live in remote areas...both ethically and when it comes to tolerance. I believe there was a time when we could get away with a few people living near wilderness and in remote areas. But now we need to consider sacrifices. I understand we may feel we like eating starches. Kids like eating chocolate, but we don't let them. We need to monitor children...and as adults we need to consider monitoring ourselves.

I don't think the rich live in the suburbs or in the wilderness...I am suggesting that we tax the outlying rural areas so LESS PEOPLE live there. the rural areas need to be protected for wil life. We have used up every piece of land for growing food that is possible. There is no land left for growing food in the world. To feed the population we have now...we need to still practice agriculture even though it is agriculture that got us into this very critical situation.

I don't want anyone to starve to death...but lets focus our farms on nutritious food, not bread or rice which is empty of nutrients except for the synthetic vitamins we "enrich" these foods with.

We need wild life. And we need people to allow wild life to have a place to live. We simply can't afford to continue rural sprawl and people to live inr rural areas.

I am very sorry you don't like people enough to live near them...and that concerns me. It is our natural state to live near each other. It provides safety and ethical boundaries.

Nancy, as far as your needs are concerned I am sure you will be able to continue to live in rural areas. And I think that is fine, there is room still to compensate for the few people who feel they need to live outside urban centres. But ...I think following generations will not have that luxury or option. Nor should it be considered. Humans have doen so much damage and compromised life on earth...we should stay in cities.

I really do understand there are many people who feel afraid of cities and do not want to live in them. I understand and realize this change is not for you.

You will probably be the last generation who lives as a working poor outside a city. the rest of us need to save money, even today...and we need jobs. Cities are whewre the jobs are.

I don't think people who live outside cities are freaks.

But I have no qualms about saying that rich people are freaks. They are...especially selfish rich people, I can not imagine how they sleep at night.

Rich people do want to be segregated from their fellow humans as much as possible. One or two isssues of Vanity Fair are proof of this.

Nancy, I am glad you piped in your perspective means a lot to me...

Hopefully, if enough of us sacrifice just a tiny tiny bit and challenge our selves...you and a few others will be able to continue living apart from major populations of humans.

I myself, would feel too guilty to rob a bear, a salmon or a buffalo of their home. Humans are supposed to live in tribes and these days...our tribes are cities.

Adam Frazier said...

I really like the blog, Candy

Candy Minx said...

Hey Adam, thanks for saying hi. I've seen you around here and there, nice to put a name to the face!

Nancy!!

I just had a brainstorm, that could help everyone...maybe? How about implemementing a tax a high high tax...for anyone who moves to the suburbs or rural areas...starting NOW. that way you could remain in the rural areas...and by the time you are older...if it's true what environmentalists say...then everyone else would have abandoned the burbs and rural areas for the most part...and it is more viable to live in cities where theere are lots of people and jobs and we don't rob an animal of his home.

Or if that doesn't work out...we will be suffocating by the time you and I are old...none us, our kids or our grandchildren...won't have much of a life. We need to figure out some idea of a future...together...

Zeus said...

Wilderness philosophy is something that always has intrigued me. How do we justify the act of sawing down acres of trees to build new homes when we know we have only ourselves to answer to? How do we justify the act of utilizing natural resources to the point of exterminating them when we know we will effect millions of lives upon their depletion? How do we justify the extinction of thousands of organisms in an effort to further science by the removal or tinkering of their ecosystems?

I don't think there is one clear cut answer for this, but I do think one word should come up throughout this discussion: moderation. For many years, preservations and conservations have argued consistently for different agendas. However, where is the moderation in this debate? Yes, humans inherited a very big responsibility when we began to till the earth for our food. However, where does this responsibility begin and where does it end?

For example, when we start placing a higher tax on people who choose to live in the suburbs due to the fact that they are helping to increase in the destruction of the wilderness, what we are really implying is that the land (i.e., animals, plants, etc.) have more value and more right to exist than the human who has an inherent right to life. Sure, you can say they can live wherever they choose to live, but you are punishing them for doing the very thing you state they should be able to do freely. You are also assigning a higher value to a nonsentient being than one that is sentient. Is this fair?

(Now, I realize that many people will think I am implying that animals are not sentient, but in the realm of philosophy, that is a debate that is still unanswered, and I am not going to delve into that argument here. There are also many different ways of defining value and rights, and I'm not going to state all of that here either also.)

I don't find myself feeling guilty when arguments such as the Thursday Thirteen are presented. I think they challenge our current environmental awareness and encourage discussion along the lines of wilderness philosophy, especially within the field of outdoor education and environmental responsibility, i.e. wilderness ethics. However, as I stated before, the key to all of this is moderation.

Extremes lead to extreme reactions which lead to extreme outcomes.

Candy Minx said...

Zeus, that is my very feeling.

Moderation. All I am suggesting is moderation.

It seems to me that using all the land posible for farming is extreme.

Everyone driving their kids to school and to the store for milk is extreme.

Overeating is extreme.

Eating food that isn't even nutritional all the time for every meal is extreme.

More and more land being used for suburbs and no countryside or wilderness is exteme.

I am suggesting to spread this out and be conservative. To be more moderate in our use of resources. Right now we are extremist in our use of resources.

My ideas for moderation may be shocking or uncomfortable. Maybe it sounds uncomfortable to consider stop eating bread or nooldes that don't have any nutritive value? maybe is seems uncomfortable to live ina city? Maybe it seems uncomfortable to walk to the store for groceries?

But maybe we need to do something uncomfortable to be environmental?

Why can't we walk to school or the store?

Why not stop eating just a FEW agricultural products. I didn't say stop eating poultry or meat...

I am not suggesting taking up herion! Or chopping off body parts. Just walking!

I mean actually this is hilarious!

Any other suggestions?

I'll tell ya, if the environmentalists are correct...this post will seem like nostaligia and a warm and happy fuzzy feeling. Lets hope with the resistance to suggestions of change that the environmentalists are wrong...

Otherwise, the future is going to be a lot more uncomfortable than walking to the store or school...

Adam Frazier said...

star wars is my life, well - a major part of it! It's one of those things in my life where, i could never marry or be w/ someone who didn't "get it" like I do, ya know? ha.

Candy Minx said...

Hi Adam...I know exactly what you mean! My poor boyfriend was traumatized by Star Wars when it turned out that Darth Vader was Luke and Leia's father! He said he lost his taste for it couldn't watch it again...then I said how could you not know? Darth Vader MEANS dark father! And he agreed to check out the recent prequels and he enjoyed them very much especially the final one...where we find out why Darth Vader became Darth Vader! Star Wars is an amazing metaphor for the very times we live in. Betrayal, ignorance, greed, war, empire agianst the very peopel who pay for the empires dark ways...ah literature and art thank god for the imagination. It is definately easier to talk about our world throught the langauge of metaphor than real actual issues.

Anonymous said...

No guilt here, baby. I ride a bike and have a 4x8' bike trailer that I use to move my paintings - I even used it to move house once! It carries more than an SUV, so so much for "needing" a motor vehicle. Yet, I'm a shameless user of jet fuel for intercontinental travel, but that's only because I can't afford a sailboat yet.

The jist of your article, using tax policy as a way to reduce environmental damage as well as raise money for what - badly needed social programs, research into geothermal, capital cost of building industrial wind turbines etc. is not only good but done much more in better educated places like Germany. That hunter gatherers didn't face imminent war during the regular population shakedowns is probably, by most anthropological evidence to the contrary, a sentimental fantasy. Having said that, without oil agricultural production will plummet because non mechanised farming requires animals like horses that require much more land to feed on than the amount of land they can work to grow human food. The oil boom has caused a population bubble of billions so modern living has merely put off the inevitable monster shakedown when the oil runs out - unless more contries do the 1 child thing. I know you have 1 child Candy! I good one too! Given limited resources it's either birth control or inevitable death control through famine if warfare ultimately over limited resources doesn't get us first - we get to choose. Pierre Berton said when asked about the future of Canada that he is sure we will have electronic spoons to stir our coffee, but there might not be enough food for everyone.

Candy Minx said...

Hey Leif, what a treat to see you here. I should link your web site here to my blog...I love your artwork!

Yes, you make soem incredible ideas up there, some quite scary. I'd like to believe we can work together before mass famine or water losses.

I don't think the idea of hunter gatherers not having the kinds of stresses and violent conflict resolution is a fantasy. I think modern day industrialists and educators would like us to believe that...it helps support the idea that "agriculture is good"

War is always about resources. Follow the money. Ever wonder...if there were no Weapons of Mass Detruction in Iraq, and all the politiicans, it has turned out knew that...WHY go to war?

Follow the money. In 2000, Iraq wanted to stop using American currency to trade, for oil, for goods.

If any countries try to change the currency they sell or buy oil with from American dollars...America will be in deep trouble. In fact, Saudi Arabia has a beuatiful financial agreement with America. They put the money they make from selling oil to America, into American bank accounts.

I am always amazed how many people do not know these details.

We fight for resources...unless we trade...hunter gatherers for thousands of years had lots of resources and less need to defend them, more land and very carefully structured relationships with land and animals. They have long built in schedules for hunting, foraging and minimal travel.

As far as conflict resolution, yes there were wars, but they accelerated after we began to grow food. We needed to protect the storage of food, hoard it and use slaves to buy the food we hoarded, aw heck...we are STILL basing our economy on this very basic situation. :)

But,even a dog knows to give as good as one gets...and yes, hunter gatherers gave as good as they got too...do unto others as blah blah. A basic rule of nature.

Oh now I am just wildly rambling...great to see you Leif!!!!

Anonymous said...

We should make the rich, especially the old rich, convert to vertical housing. It worked for Japan.