My opinion is that the stronger your opinion is on something, the more potential you have to be wrong. I feel strongly about that opinion.
I’m no “Oh-ba-gaw the economy is like crashin OMGZ whada ba gonna dooo?” Or “F’n economy communist-socialist-Yankees gonna take my dang guns away I gotta build myself a bunker and equip myself wif an arsenal!” kind of guy…But there are a few things that concern me enough to start thinking of how much I should prepare for. There are a few things that need to change in my lifestyle.
Here’s the thing, I like doing things for the most part the way they are, but as a new friend of mine pointed out yesterday, “If it’s not sustainable….then what is it?”
Seriously, if it’s not sustainable, then we can’t keep doing it forever. If I don’t change my lifestyle now, I can’t teach my son how to live sustainably, and he won’t know what to do when he’s older. So what do I mean exactly? I’ll put together facts, then my opinions, and you, Mr. or Mrs. reader can form your own opinions. Then I’ll show you a potentially good solution I thought of this morning.
Fact: We will run out of oil. We’ve been talking about this for years, so how long can we keep it up if we know it’s going out? According to the inscrutable Yahoo! Answers, it’s about 50 years. Another website says (edit:) that Oil companies are saying they have more than they actually do, and that BP’s prediction of what they have (40 years) left of stated reserves, is “scarcely credible,” because the amount they quote available goes up every so often. Particularly in ’85 b/c they imposed a rule that “the more you have in the ground, the more you’re allowed to sell each year.”
Opinion: We already fighting wars over this stuff, gas keeps raising higher and higher, we continually feed bad stuff into the atmosphere, we need to stop asap. The way things keep sky-rocketing up, it affects everything. If everything goes up, our dollar goes down, if our dollar keeps going down, we become poorer and poorer all at the mercy of an oil barrel. I have to teach my son a proper usage of gas, and a better alternative. That is after he realizes the gas I’m talking about is not the stuff in his diaper that he laughs about.
Fact: The real estate market is down, and has been for a while.
Opinion: It might not come back up real soon. Which means people who thought maybe they haven’t lost all that money who bought several years ago, really did. Our economy is looking ugly for the future, b/c that means lots of debt that with a degrading dollar, will be hard to keep up with.
Fact: Our cheap and fast food culture is one of the big culprits to a high obesity rate in the U.S. Watch Food Inc. or Fast Food Nation.
Opinion: We all need to buy more from farmers markets to support local economy. Buy healthier food, which will in turn, become cheaper. We need to be smart about what we eat. You don’t put crap gas in your car, or fill your house with junk. Well, maybe if you live in Alabama…jk. But if we could just not be dumb about what we’re eating, we could potentially be a less obese nation, with a healthier economy as well.
Fact: Our building materials are not sustainable either. Lots and lots of lumber is used, and our forests are degrading b/c of it.
Opinion: Build with earth! It’s free mostly. It’s easy to learn, environmentally friendly, but ya mostly that free part is great. Check out different ways of building; earthbags, cob, adobe, rammed earth, there’s plenty of other ways too. My favorite is earthbags for several reasons. Here’s a cool earthbag house:
I’m stating the problems, but I ain’t gonna leave you hanging, don’t worry my precious one or two readers. I’m not all doom and gloom you know….I do have an idea to bring this all together. Much of Europe worked “pre-petroleum” era b/c the towns were small and things were either available by walking or by horse. We could use much of the foreclosures happening in nearly every neighborhood in America to re-purpose existing neighborhoods with food, entertainment, some education (at least some sensible green education), and a community center. Just clear out some walls, start a good sized kitchen. Employ people in the neighborhood. Start a good growing garden in the back. Possibly have a rec-room w/games for kids. Run it like a restaurant where it’s open often. Make healthy-as-possible, ‘fast’ food that people would purchase. It could save gas for a trip to the store, help struggling neighborhoods have a sense of community, create revenue, and have a healthier substitute for food. I think it would work, but I have no idea where to take that kind of idea.
In Conclusion, I just wanted to say that permaculture is that way to go. Permaculture is basically the idea of living a life that you can provide your own resources and leave the earth (soil, forest, air, etc) in a better place than it was given to you.