Thursday, June 24, 2010

Time to rethink this whole petro civilization thing

There's a new documentary entitled "Gasland." HBO recently gave it a showing. The movie shows the problems caused by hydro fracking and other gas industry practices. The process seems to be causing methane to seep into water aquifers. There's footage of people lighting their tap water on fire. That can't be good.

The horror in the Gulf goes on and on. Lately on the news I hear all this talk about clean up and restoration. Who do they think they are fooling? Before something is cleaned up, the mess making has to be stopped. It's like trying to remodel a house while it's on fire. Until the leak is stopped, all talk of restoration is more than a bit premature.

Let's look at commonalities. The environment is being destroyed in a frantic attempt to squeeze a bit more energy out of the ground. Does it really matter how much energy is down there if we have to destroy the earth to get it? Clean water is more valuable than petrochemicals. You can live without petrochemicals, you can't live without clean water.

The one thing that absolutely needs ever increasing volumes of fossil fuel is the financial system. Money is not wealth. Oil is wealth. The gold standard was abandoned in the 70s. In effect, it's been replaced with the petrodollar. Almost all oil transactions take place with dollars as the medium of exchange. The ever expanding supply of dollars can only be supported by an ever expanding oil supply. The elite want to keep the game going as long as possible as they've profited enormously from it.

Do not expect solutions from those who are profiting from the current system. The financial system doesn't want to change. Government doesn't want real change either. Your leaders will not lead you to a new promised land. It's been that way since Moses wandered the desert for 40 years. Had he been able to head straight line to his destination, they'd have left the desert behind in a few months. Expect our current leaders to run us around in circles too.

Imagine if most people could take care of their basic needs for themselves. They could provide their own clean water, most of their food, and generate power on-site. Things beyond basic needs could be provided by a few hours work per week. Some are doing it with off the shelf technology and techniques. For water they use a private well or rain catchment. Intensive permaculture or other growing methods provide much of their food. Some solar panels and/or a wind generator supplies their electricity. Now imagine you are that person. Of what use is government or big business to you?

I'll tell you what they are: impediments to a sustainable lifestyle. Governments demand taxes, banks demand loan payments, and big business attacks any threat to their business model. The only way to build a new way of life is to build a new way of life in spite of the obstacles put in place by The Powers that Be.

Most people can't do it overnight, however, every single step away from the petro civilization model is a step towards something better. A tomato grown in a pot on a deck is one small step to victory. 50 watts of solar power is a little bit of independence from the dominate system. Baby steps, but essential ones.

We did not set up the world this way. It was chosen for us, most likely before most of us were even born. It's not our fault that we think it's normal. The brain washing started right in our cribs. It's time to grow up and choose the world we want to live in. For some, even the horrors of a destroyed ecosystem aren't enough to wake them up. I'm hoping that there's enough people willing to find new paths that it'll reach a critical mass. Let's face it, the old system isn't really working that well for most of us, is it? Once better ways of living prove successful, it'll be a path others can follow.


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