Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Our Crisis

As any of you who read my blog with any regularity know, I am into linkages, connections, synchronicity and building a well-reasoned and sustainable world from whatever emerges from this time of total world ecosystem rearrangement. And regular readers will also know I often talk of war and military industrial machines.  Today I manage to connect veterans and sustainable practices.  Read on.

Our descendants' descendants will ultimately have to deal with the results of industrial madness that valued property above people, once some environmental stability returns to our ecosystem, if it does. But, and this is a very big but, they will only have this option if those of us who understand the fullness of the severity of Our Crisis act with a fierce determination to build, heal, sustain, educate, and grow unselfish structures in place of greedy and unsustainable short term ones.

This is beyond war and peace, beyond resource depletion and sustainability, beyond patriarchy and egalitarianism, and far beyond insignificant either or false dichotomies.

We are traveling blind but blind isn't without information and knowledge. Put your hand to the door. Is it hot? Don't open the door - just find another way out. Does your guide stick find nothing solid beyond this step? Around and retrace your steps until you are back on the path. We are blind to the future. Some have flashes of insight and glimpses of potential, some have premonitions, some have mathematical and statistical probabilities of extinction rates, climate change, and societal upheaval. There is no way to predict the future. No one knows what is to come.

That is why I really cannot blame individuals who choose to ignore what to me seems like blatant 500 lb. gorilla in the room facts. Most people in our over-privileged stratum of the world see absolutely no correlation between what they do and what happens in the country or world. It is easiest, and least unbalancing to the individual to believe that either what happens is God's will, or that it doesn't matter what any individual may do; destiny is a freight train of accumulated consequence with unstoppable momentum. But that is flat out wrong. Small changes can have large results. Freight trains can be derailed by the smallest of perturbations -- some with intention and some without any conscious effort.

All this philosophical rambling is outgrowth of my stumbling across a website of a network of essentially horizontal thinkers The Grassroots Netroots Alliance is an interesting take on how to integrate progressive action. Its main landing page features climate change, democracy, peace, economic and political issues as aspects of an organically based network. Organic.... in all major meanings of the word.

Like it or not change is coming so we have been told.   In fact,  the most recent research findings back this up.   To get up to speed on what science tells us, I recommend the three part series from Scientific American this past week:
Massive, unprecedented change that will happen at a rate not experienced by humans since the time global weather changes propelled humans out of Africa, at least three different times, is on its way.

A bioregional approach to survival makes the most sense of anything I've seen. Of course I personally like its perspective because I grew up on one of the last of the first wave of U.S. small farms that constituted local networks capable of independently providing food for itself. It is to this smaller scale subsistence that we have to return. The corporation model of farming and world network of markets have built a pace of interaction between bioregions that is unsustainable. This material globalism requires an energy infrastructure that we cannot support without destroying ourselves. We cannot stop the overall cascade of global climatic change, but perhaps we can nudge the trajectory of some of the concomitant reactions to this change along life sustaining paths.

A response to the impacts of war on farming communities is one such path that encourages my hope for the future of humanity. connects veterans and farming jobs and opportunities for the benefit of a much larger community than where the job is.  This is but one way we can begin new ways of doing things now that will have tremendous impact ton the future.  We need a new generation of people farming in new, sensible ways.  This is a perfect coupling. 

How we farm near wetlands can also have a huge impact on mitigation of climate change. 

And urban dwellers can also cultivate green roofs to help create their own sustainable food supply, cool urban temps and have a bit of impact on warming. 

And sensible high density urban planning is another sensible way to cut energy use.  That's right - suburbs and commuting use vastly more energy than concentrated, well planned urban spaces. 

As always, you and I both need to subtly talk, no lectures (she said lecturing) about the little things we do along these lines to encourage others to join in our efforts.

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