Monday, November 26, 2007

And we point fingers at the Brazilians?

How is it that if I gather garbage in my yard, I cannot burn it but rather must pay to haul it away somewhere, but some money-grubbing land developer can set ten acres of forest on fire within city limits and force his neighbors to breathe the pollution for a week or more until his apocalyptic hell-hole has finished smouldering?

I hate land developers. I really hate them.

Someone wrote recently that only a fool hopes for zero growth or stagnation.

I wonder how it is that we became locked into the ever-escalating cycle of consumption and destruction as a good thing, how we have given up on the possibility of anything better.

Said the yeast in the beer barrel to his fellow concerned yeast globule: Of course we must convert this sugar into alcohol. It's called progress. It's the only way to live. You need not concern yourself, young do-gooder, with what will happen when all the sugar is gone and only alcohol remains. This barrel is big enough to last forever.

9 comments:

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Very good points. The truth is that we cannot grow indefinately when our resources is limited.

Take our world population. It has doubled in the last 50years and is expected to double again in another 30 years. Using your yeast in the barrel image, starting with just 1% alcohol and a doubling time of 1 minute, the yeast will have fermented 50% of the barrel in about 6 minutes. At this point, the yeast says, it has taken us more than 6 minutes to get here and we still have half the barrel but actually they only have one more minute.

Ian Lidster said...

You and me and developers, and the obsession with growth at all costs.
We have seen our onetime pristine community turned over to those guys so that rich retirees can come here, drive up real estate costs beyond the reach of ordinary folk, and yet contribute nothing of substance to the community they've invaded.

eastcoastdweller said...

People do have to live somewhere, the population continues to grow and I don't advocate either infanticide or genocide.

So homes do need to be built.

I recognize that.

But does it have to always be a raping of nature rather than an embrace?

Must every tree and bush in the selected acreage be cut down and burned and the topography pounded flatter than a cookie-sheet?

Do we have to continue the obliteration of what few green areas remain around our communities while ignoring all the "brownfields," worn-out neighborhoods and inefficient sprawl that has already been built up?

In other words, can't we at least fix our current messes before we create new ones?

Isn't there some way of life better than the greed-fest of capitalism or the soul-numbing dreariness of socialism?

leslie said...

Eastcoastdweller,
It falls to individuals to make changes. There is no "system" to adopt that we wouldn't chafe under.
Your plea that homebuilders "embrace", rather than rape the ground is absolutely desireable!
When builders become convinced that they can sell, for a premium, thoughtfully crafted, land friendly homes, and 'consumers' become vocal in their demand for them, change will happen.
'Holding your breath' because of the builders has tremendous symbolism...

Kathleen said...

wise observations Leslie and heart felt sympathies with you ECD

we wonder How can the vicious circle and cycle be broken...
the more people there are, the more resources and jobs there must be ....
multiple actions must happen and one whole category of vital importance to Open Up as never before is the green roles and mindset that can be utilized to counter the trends...and at the same time providing for more of the necessary employment and opportunity! ....

we need to take back the word thrown at us as a derogatory- 'treehugger'- with pride and call for our leaders to embrace the word's truest implications .... as no politician would dare not kiss a baby, let none dare to disparage that term...

thomas friedman wrote a wonderful article about the future needs and of the greening of America and our role in the global and national future ... that we need not a 'blue' president nor a 'red' president
but a Green President

Kathleen said...

the power of green

Janice Thomson said...

I remember biking past a beautiful tree that shaded a corner lot for years - it was a site to behold in any season. There came a day when I stopped in my tracks to see workmen chopping down, limb by limb, this ancient and beautiful tree. To say I was sick to my stomach is an understatement for it went far deeper than that. It felt as though a piece of me had been chopped too - and all to line another man's pocket with money.
However I saw the same thing with the next door neighbor who cut down two 150 year old fir trees - trees that I watched the osprey make a home in- trees the raccoons used to play in and trees that gave some much needed shade in my own back yard in summer. As Leslie has mentioned it begins with the individual, starting at home, who is taught from a wee toddler to love nature - to embrace her goodness; it must be taught by the teachers in our schools, by the ministers in our churches and by the leaders of government.

eastcoastdweller said...

Leslie: You are right. It does take individuals, not a system. If I remember my ancient history correctly, the Soviets loved to point out the environmental sins of the West while keeping a very tight lid on the huge-scale, horrible messes they were making in their own domain and talking publicly about how communism was the best thing for the environment.

eastcoastdweller said...

It seems to me that the way to live in harmony, and indeed, the way that people have lived for most of history, is to have people living together in a community, with all necessary resources within walking distance, and surrounding that settlement, a green belt, a definite boundary.

Keep traveling beyond that countryside, sparsely inhabited by hardy folk, and eventually you reach another city.

The natural law is violated when those green belts are eliminated and city meets city with no break in between. And when you have to drive a car to go to the library or buy a gallon of milk. And when there is nowhere for children to play or people to walk.