This one isn’t so much a guide as it is me rambling about something. Wait…that’s what all of my posts are. Well, carry on. It dawned on me today that we are an entirely unique species on this planet for a number of reasons, but one stands out more than others. While every other species falls into a certain order with its surrounding environment, we try to force and bend the environment to fit around us.
Most species in nature will either adapt to survive in their surroundings, or simply die off. That’s the order of things and they all accept it. We even accepted that at one point in our evolution. Somewhere along the way though we determined that the earth was a mechanism to further our species advancement and we now use it as a tool. And as a tool we accept that it will sometimes break down, need repair, and eventually be thrown away and replaced (think moon colonies). If we see a species that is going extinct, or marked as endangered, we put many restrictions and laws in place to protect that species. We don’t let nature take its course. Granted, in most of these cases we were actually the reason why the species was dying to begin with, but stay with me.
Instead of migrating and following food sources, climate changes, etc in order to survive, we decided that we would stay in one place. We would bend the environment to suit our needs. We would cage animals in order to maintain a constant food source. We would burn natural resources in order to combat changing weather. We would start storing food for extreme periods of time, not for survival, but for convenience. We’ve come so far that not only do we not hunt, or gather, for our daily meals, we can’t even do so much as go to the market on a daily basis. People buy groceries a month’s worth at a time.
Here we are, we’ve polluted the planet, we’re using up every last resource on the planet, including water (thanks matt for turning me on to this), and what are we doing to stop it? We’re desperately searching the cosmos, trying to find some planet that could sustain life. Of course we market this as a search for intelligent life elsewhere. Exploration. It’s not done out of curiosity. It’s done out of desperation. We’re searching for the only lifeboat left on the titanic. We’re not even sure if there is one, but we scramble desperately, trying to find it. What good will be gained from spending millions upon millions studying other planets, or distant moons? Will knowing the origins of the universe, or even the origins of our own planet somehow help us survive the future of this planet? Why not reinvest that money into education programs, and new legislation that actually puts a bridle on the massive beast that has become modern industrialization?
Of course, I’m not innocent by a long shot. Even now, I type this blog on a laptop, charged with electricity, running on a battery that will eventually die and then rot in a landfill. I lie in a bed covered in linens made by slave labor around the world, and not by a craftsmen in my local area with local materials. I live in a house, not a portable shelter, and I have no intention of moving on when the temperature drops and herds and flocks migrate, or hybernate. I have no intention of giving the land a rest while I move on to another area. Tomorrow I will drive my gas powered car, not even a hybrid, to my job where I help people buy things that they don’t need. I will shower with water heated by fossil fuels. I will drink a soda made with synthetic materials and then may or may not even recycle the can that it comes in.
To quote Jules in Pulp Fiction, “But I’m trying. I’m trying real hard.” I’m quadrupling my garden this year. I’m focusing on growing things that can be canned or preserved so that I can rely on the ultimate locally grown produce for the entire year. I’ve planted raspberry bushes, grape vines, and a peach tree. We’ll be growing bananas, citrus fruit, and pineapple indoors. We buy locally raised and processed meat. We’re trying to water all of our vegetables with collected rain water, instead of city water. We’re trying to reuse or recycle everything that we can. We’re slowly moving in the right direction, but it worries me how comfortable we’ve become with the idea that the earth is fighting back against us. It’s trying to eradicate us, and we are the sickness that just keeps growing. No matter how many floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, or tornadoes the earth brings at us, we just keep multiplying and going on.
As always, I offer no solutions, only words. My only advice would be to start small. Don’t try to save the world because you’ll fail quite miserably. Don’t try to limit your hot showers, or start recycling everything in your house, or even ride your bike to work. These are all a pain in the ass. Doing something very achievable and enjoyable. Start a garden, even a small one. Our garden started as an 8’x4′ box made out of 8 boards and 32 screws. It took about 30 minutes to build and another 15 to fill with dirt. It’s relaxing to work in, the food tastes great, and you’re helping just a bit. Trust me, you’ll dig it. Oh AWFUL pun. Had to do it. Alright, I”m tired.
Until Next Time