Which Future?


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17 Responses to Which Future?

  1. gregoryzaller says:

    This is thought provoking.

    I can’t make the connection that only the rich can live ecologically. The Native Americans weren’t millionaires and they lived ecologically.

    The economic boom future would be more the one I would expect to find millionaires a part of. This is the crass consumerism they use to fuel the economy they ride on top of.

    Has anyone read One Straw Revolution by Fukuoka? It describes the good life of a Japanese farmer who lived close to the earth in ingenious ways. His life was an inspiration to me.

    • rl crabb says:

      The reason I ran this cartoon was in response to a letter to the editor in The Union from Chuck Durrett. I’m a big fan of Chuck’s work in the sustainable co-housing field, but in the letter he states that all people should live in towns to preserve the countryside for open space. I am of the opinion that people should have the choice to live where they want, as long as they don’t abuse their property rights.
      If you want to see an area where only millionaires can afford to live in the country, look no further than Marin County, or any coastal county in California. When the government ties up enough rural properties, the law of supply and demand takes over and only the fortunate few will be able to keep their homes in the woods. The one thing that frightens them is the threat of affordable housing. (This was illustrated in the recent rejection of George Lucas’ attempt to build a new facility in Marin. When the locals wouldn’t approve his plan, he decided to turn the property into affordable housing. The neighbors went into convulsions.)
      I’m all for open space and land trusts, but I reject manipulating zoning to favor a new rural elitism. It was this attitude that led to the defeat of NH2020 in Nevada County.

  2. gregoryzaller says:

    I agree with you that people should be allowed to live where they want if they don’t abuse their property rights. But whose right is it to have a balanced ecosystem without species going extinct at a rate that is estimated to be one to ten thousand times faster than normal? How much is our right to consume resources? These types of questions should be on the table when the issue of property rights comes up. Property rights should not be simply a issue between neighbors.

  3. George Rebane says:

    GregoryZ 239pm – “The Native Americans weren’t millionaires and they lived ecologically.” As a liberal posterboard, you are a joy (actually I’m laughing through tears) to conservetarians like me; but let’s just stick to your Indian remark. The aborigines of this continent lived no more ecologically than any poor people anywhere. Their impact on the environment was minimal because there were so few of them, and as they despoiled one area/meadow/valley they moved on – consider their driving a couple hundred buffalo off a cliff to harvest a handful. (They were the first to demonstrate Garrett Hardin’s observation of ‘The solution to pollution is dilution.’ as a working mantra.) This does not denigrate them, for they, as peoples everywhere, did the best they could with the intellectual resources at hand and as allowed by their traditions.

    Even the smarter ones who built permanent dwellings weren’t able to make a go of it (i.e. build a sustainable civilization or use a wheel instead of dragging what you can’t carry). As examples, the pragmatic facets of their belief system forced them to expose their old and infirm. Their populations were kept small by incessant warfare and disease. The only thing that endured were hyper-conservative traditions that kept them overwhelmingly ignorant – no identifiable advances in centuries until the European exploitation of their lands. The notion of ‘noble savage’ arrived on sailing ships from the east. That notion now is established, ingrained, and institutionalized propaganda. (And now you may consider your ‘hot button’ pushed.)

    • Bjorn V. says:

      Mr. Rebane, I must take exception to your comment that native Americans ran rampant over the land, abusing it at every turn, then moving on. To a very small extent that may be somewhat true They were remarkably resourceful, using whatever they had at hand in order to survive, no mean feat in a hostile environment. Those that were agrarians did not use pesticides to protect their crops from bugs, nor did they pollute the rivers, lakes and streams with industrial waste. The early immigrant settlers and later the industrial revolution had far more destructive impact than all the American Indians combined. The Indians respected their environment a great deal more than you suggest. Your last paragraph, in it’s entirety, does not even deserve a reply other than to say you don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about. I think you could have taught history in the 1800’s.

    • gregoryzaller says:

      Nice to hear from you George.

      You are the liberal (open to new behaviors or opinions and willing to discard traditional values) and I am the conservative (holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation). Liberals, like you, deny that their life style is consuming the earth’s resources literally at least a million times faster than any other previous life on the planet. They arrogantly hide behind ignorant ideas about freedom, thinking that any calculation about rights is only between themselves. They kid themselves that they smarter and can dismiss any contradictions so they can continue in their bubble of self serving exploitation.

      No, RL I don’t want to “put” you back in a mud hut with your cell phone because I point out the obvious. Telling others what to do is something the current liberals (so called conservatives), want to do, relying on the premise that they are superior.

      I’m not taking one side or the other, but I can sure see that in most respects that the civilization Rebane brags about is pushing its limits, and a more humble attitude might do a world of good.

      • rl crabb says:

        I think both left and right would agree that we are headed for some rather radical lifestyle changes in the coming decades. What form those changes take is up to us. While I don’t buy the right’s argument that we can develop our way back to the prosperity of the 20th Century, I share their apprehension of an overbearing government that, when realizing the carrot isn’t working, resorts to the stick. The stick usually has a bayonet on the end of it.

        • gregoryzaller says:

          Mother nature is holding the stick.

          These coming “radical lifestyle changes” will and are effecting everyone and everything on the planet and may continue for hundreds or thousands of years. We and our governments come and go.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            “The sky hasn’t been falling for 17 years! The sky hasn’t been falling for 17 years!”

            Imagine how Chicken Little would have been remembered with that alarm. GregZ, even the chair of the IPCC now admits there’s been no warming for the past 17 years.

            A few years ago, when there was an apparent decade gap in the warming seen in the HadCRUT dataset, Phil Jones of the UAE CRU (and possibly the lead Climategater) said there would be no reason to question the models predicting doom until there was 15 years with no warming. When it hit 16 years, he decided to redraw the line in the sand and said a 20 year gap was needed.

            Pachauri, not wanting a showdown in 2016, now thinks it should be 30 or 40 years of no significant warming before the world yanks the IPCC’s funding.

          • gregoryzaller says:

            I am not interested in whether there is “global warming” or “climate change” or whatever you want to call it.

            My point is that the first thing we need to do is face up to what a mess “civilization” is making of the earth. If you are comfortable with it, then that is your choice, GG.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            GZ, what I am not comfortable with is making the middle classes poor, and the poor even more miserable, in a mistaken cause to save the world.

            The world is not facing a CO2 driven catastrophe. The hard left will stop using that as a cudgel sooner or later, and the later it is, the worse the backlash will be. Your choice.

          • gregoryzaller says:

            Apparently we are talking past each other.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            So then, which part of the AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, isn’t about making carbon fuels and electricity expensive as hell, and if there is no Global Warming to solve, why are we on a path of sky high energy rates?

            “Mother Earth” isn’t holding that stick; the politicians in Sacramento are.

  4. rl crabb says:

    Native Americans were/are human beings like the rest of us, and subject to the same strengths and weaknesses. The Aztecs built great cities from the bones of their neighbors. The Mayans built pyramids, but couldn’t sustain their population. On the other hand, in reading the stories and writings that have survived, there were great philosophers and leaders who were mercilessly slaughtered by Manifest Destiny in acts of genocide that rank right up there with Nazi Germany.
    As to Greg’s outlook on Western Civilization and capitalism, I sometimes wonder if the master plan of the progressive movement is to put us back in mud huts with oxcarts. Oh yeah, but we’d have I-phones.

  5. Ben Emery says:

    Nice one. The dilemma we find ourselves as a “developed” culture is living on a finite planet. Increasing the use of resources that took millions and billions of years to develop without replenishing or replacing them in any significant way is irresponsible not progress. The answer is to conserve and reduce our lifestyles not to just switch resources until their depletion.

    George in his normal offensive way makes a good point without truly understanding what he was talking about. Indigenous peoples all over the planet were and are tens of thousands more advanced on the learning curve. Many of the older clans/ nations/ tribes did in fact hunt some animals to extinction and altered ecosystems until they were destroyed. These things occurred when they were a younger culture and were in the process of learning how to live a sustained existence within the closed circle. Knowing which plants were medicinal or poisonous came with trial and error. Knowing how to have a balanced equitable society comes with experience do to forced and unforced circumstances. The number one factor that makes an equitable, balanced, and sustainable society/ culture is what we value collectively. Many indigenous cultures revered those who gave away and took care of those who weren’t as privileged. It became the way to measure greatness, those who were confident in their abilities would give away virtually everything knowing they would soon replace what they have given away.

    Those like George who believe in perpetual growth think strength is taking because you can. Where a ***sustainable society believes in strength as being able to take but leaving it for others and future generations.

    *** What people promote as sustainable today is not a true sustainable society. Much like indigenous learning curve we will be forced to reshape and rethink the way we live.
    Paul Gilding “The Great Disruption”

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