action https://www.scienceblogs.com/ en Ambiguous Anniversaries https://www.scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2014/05/22/ambiguous-anniversaries <span>Ambiguous Anniversaries</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Exactly a year ago at the end of a crazy, long week (Eric's final grades due Tues, thought we were getting three kids Wed., annual "hey, let us look under your beds and in your closets" foster care recertification, which annually gives me PTSD because my limited cleaning skills get close scrutiny on Thursday, heavy garden push on Friday... we promised the kids a completely relaxing, laid back, nothing-going on Memorial Day Weekend.  These would be famous last words.</p> <p>At 3:30 on Friday afternoon as I was shaking off the compost from planting almost all my tender plants (a rare efficiency that would turn out to be incredibly moronic, as we had a suprise hard frost on Memorial Day Monday), the phone rang with the county's number.  We did not particularly want any kids that day.  I looked at Eric.  He looked at me.  "I am sure it is not a placement call.  After all, it is 3:30 on the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend - everyone will have gone home.  It is probably just Z's social worker with a question for us.  No big deal."  These would be more famous last words.</p> <p>In fact it was homefinding.  They had six kids, 3mos-10 years.  Would we take some of them?  All of them?  It was complicated - we ended up with four, and not necessarily the four we originally agreed to take.  Two of my children's brothers are in a different home together, although it took a little while for everyone to settle to where they were going to be.   And so came Q., then 16 mos, K. and R. then-3 1/2 year old twins, and D. 10, going rapidly on 11.  With our then-10 month old foster son Z., that gave us four children under 4, and developmentally speaking, five children under 4 (Eli, our autistic eldest operates at about 2-3 years old).  The twins had significant developmental issues - at 3 1/2, behaviorally and cognitively they functioned like 18 month olds (K.) and 2 year olds (R.).  Both raged and tantrumed for hours every day - they had almost no functional language and were responding to both the incredible trauma in their home of origin and the trauma of being removed.  The only words we were sure both children shared on the first day were "bitch" and "booty."  Add in a pre-teen girl who crossed the cusp of puberty thirty seconds after arrival, with all the joys of that mixed up with trauma and removal and well...it was hard.</p> <p>The last year was really hard, actually - although for the most part I realize how hard only in retrospect, since for a year I had little time for reflection.  I was accustomed to saying that nothing I had ever done as a parent - fostering, caring for 7 or 8 kids at a time, dealing with autism, etc... was ever as hard as the first few months of Eli's life when he had colic, screamed 7-10 hours a day, and slept no more than two hours at a stretch.  Indeed, I felt that after baby boot camp, I could handle anything.  And we did handle it - but this came close to matching the Eli experience.</p> <p>In foster care anything can happen and usually does, and well, it did this year.  I can't honestly talk about much of it, but besides the usual traumas my kids underwent (those in their birth home, the trauma of being picked up from your old life and place din a new one, visitation and the back and forth with birth family) there was more.  Lots more.  If you could have a list of "things that can go wrong in foster care and make both the children's and the foster family's life harder" we'd have covered quite a number of them this year - and it ain't over yet.  A year is a very short time in foster care, and while the children are not going anywhere anytime soon, and we will happily adopt them when and if the situation is resolved thus, it will be a while - most likely at least another year.</p> <p>There have been plenty of wonderful things about this very challenging year.  As I wrote previously, Zion's mother surrendered him, and we will finalize our adoption of this amazing little boy (and I can finally post pictures of the intolerable cuteness) on June 11, with friends and family in attendance.  He will be a few weeks short of his second birthday.</p> <p>In a year everyone made an amazing amount of progress.  R. caught up entirely developmentally, making two full years worth of progress in less than a year.  She is now a calm, well behaved, bright, athletic,  loving 4 1/2 year old.  K. has some more serious disabilities, but he made a full year's progress in a year, so is now behind, but moving forward.  He has developed some real strengths - he is by far the kindest of our kids, and is so proud to be our helper with the littler ones.  He no longer cringes every time an adult disciplines him.</p> <p>Q. had spent pretty much her entire life in a playpen and didn't feel she needed adults - but flowered under the love and affection of our family.  She is a very bright, very funny, very loving toddler who adores her almost-twin Zion (she is five months older than he).  The two of them are inseparable - except on the not-too infrequent occasions when they both have to have the same toy.</p> <p>D. had the hardest row, because she was old enough to know what was happening to her, and lord knows, adolescences is hard enough without all the losses that come with removal and foster care.  Add into that her move to other relatives and abrupt and painful return to us, and D. has had a hard year - but has weathered that year and made a lot of progress too in managing her emotions and getting along with others, as well as some much needed academic progress.  We are deeply proud of her.</p> <p>Getting four kids was really bad for my farm, my blog and my writing career.  It was hard on the boys at first, and has continued at times to have challenges as well as pleasures and rewards.  It has exhausted us, stressed our marriage and reduced all of us to tears at times.  It was, however, wholly worth it.  I used this quote in another post once, but it remains the one I think about in terms of foster care "Of course it is hard.  If it wasn't hard everyone would do it.  The hard is what makes it great!" (Tom Hanks on baseball, not foster care in _A League of Their Own_)  I wouldn't change a thing, although I am glad I will not have to live through this year again anytime soon.</p> <p>Now to the future.  Last year we barely farmed, and in many respects, just got by.   In a way, my first experiences of parenting are what got me through that - when I fretted that I hadn't written anything in months, I reminded myself that I wasn't a blogger during my first few parenting years, that you get maternity leave for giving birth or adopting one 8lb baby, and that I can give myself a break for struggling with the sudden acquistion of 120lbs of additional kids ;-).  We will get through it - the farming, the canning, the having time to write, the having time to just sit...it will all come back.  And some of it has.  It will be a small garden this year.  We sold the cow and are selling a number of our goats (if you are looking for Nigerian Dwarf does in upstate NY, we can give you a good deal).   My goal is to put up enough jam, pickles and applesauce - but perhaps not the rest.  But I'm taking the long view on this - the truth is that the rest will come back.</p> <p>And writing?  How much as what kind?  I think that will be coming back too - this summer Eric and I have worked out a schedule so that I can really write again, and I have a couple of things in progress, including a possible book.  I need to revisit my old focus as well - there is so much to write about in terms of energy and climate change and the intersection of that with my poverty work.  Again, I wasn't a writer during my first few years head-down in motherhood, and I have had to give myself that reminder more than once when I felt guilty for not doing more.</p> <p>The other question that is floating around is whether we are done fostering or not?  There is every chance that we are now a permanent family of 11 - do we want to foster anymore?  Do we want to risk breaking our hearts again?  How will the new kids do with that?  Do we want the stress and exhaustion and hassle?  And ultimately, do we want to risk becoming a family of 10 or more kids?  Stay tuned.  The truth is that foster parents are desperately needed, and we have the space and the ability - but maybe not the will.  We shall see.  I feel like I should be saying "Stop me before I foster again!"  But the truth is that we CAN move over a little more and make room, and the need is so desperate, and the kids are suffering so much that it is hard to say no.</p> <p>As I said, we shall see.  What I do know is that now that I understand the system so much better, I want to write and think about it more, because it is a location that DESPERATELY needs attention drawn to its weaknesses, because there is so hugely much at stake in these kids' lives.</p> <p>So I know I have said I am back before, but I think I actually am.  But that could just be more famous last words...;-).</p> <p> </p> <p>Sharon</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/sastyk" lang="" about="/author/sastyk" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sastyk</a></span> <span>Thu, 05/22/2014 - 03:34</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/action" hreflang="en">action</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/adoption" hreflang="en">adoption</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/foster-parenting" hreflang="en">foster parenting</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1888581" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400753284"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I am unable to foster parent at this time, it is, however, something that I have always dreamed about doing. My childhood friend was adopted by her foster mother and I'll never forget her experience with her last visit with her birth mom before she was adopted and realizing that her mother will never be able to care for her.</p> <p>My question is, since I am unable to be a foster parent at this time, how can the people that want to help, in some way, be able to help support the foster program? What would be helpful?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888581&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="1BwF_wb9GTaV5JeVOFS0_x0x7iwn5zmn7cZmzWFp-0Y"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Laura (not verified)</span> on 22 May 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888581">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="78" id="comment-1888582" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400760121"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Laura, that is a GREAT question. There are some formal ways you can do this or informal. One formal way would be to volunteer as a CASA (court-appointed special advocate) to help a foster child keep from getting lost in the legal system. Being a big sister can be helpful for many older foster kids, or volunteering specifically to mentor older kids. There are also preventative programs that involve working with and volunteering to mentor at-risk families, to help keep the kids out of care.</p> <p>In a less formal way, your community may have a foster closet, which provides gently used clothes and toys to foster kids - they can often use donations. Or if your area doesnt have one, starting something like that would be great. </p> <p>You might also call up a local agency or county office and ask if they know a foster family that could use some help (or maybe you already know one) - it is hard to get sitters, but we still have to do the shopping. It can be great to have another adult come along to the lake or the playground. It can be nice just to have someone to vent to. </p> <p>I have heard of volunteer organizations that also bring meals for a few days after new placements for foster families - boy would that be helpful. Even just bringing your kids (or nieces or friend's nice kids) over for a trip to the park - it can be hard for kids to find new friends after a move. Any of that would be welcome.</p> <p>I think the other thing the foster parents I know want more than anything is support without judgement - sometimes things are really complicated and hard, and often we have to hear a lot of things that are tough to hear from other people. We know they mean well, but it can be an incredibly good thing to have a friend that is just on your side, no matter how insane what they are doing seems to be ;-).</p> <p>Thanks so much for asking this!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888582&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="F6a20X8UmHANL26dKqH5vuW0vaqimpsOcUjX8s1t-cg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/sastyk" lang="" about="/author/sastyk" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sastyk</a> on 22 May 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888582">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/sastyk"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/sastyk" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1888583" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400763028"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Nice to see your words again Sharon! That is a busy year, you have my sympathies and my deepest respect.<br /> I've been picking up your books again recently, to reread, just to have your words in my life. It's nice to see you on again, and of course you were missed, and of course you should take all the time you need.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888583&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="f6tHrgnqVlVey2PKWhQI2XG9pw1E15xC53cx4IM8Xf8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Jennie Erwin (not verified)</span> on 22 May 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888583">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1888584" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400784864"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thanks so much for the update. I was following your blog pre-fostering, and was so interested to see you do it. I've adopted 2 of my 5 children from foster care. As older children with histories and pasts. It's the most rewarding, exhausting, frustrating, and satisfying thing I've done. I'm never sure when I'm done, but I know I'm not quite done yet.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888584&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="a8xtZS_LiKB86TBiOyZ1tDV4vk1YH-lEXVEGpOthgI4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Michelle (not verified)</span> on 22 May 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888584">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1888585" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400809178"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Very nice to hear you are still on deck despite everything. I am not a fosterer but I do help out where I can with whatever comes to hand. I appear to have become the local 'go to' person round here :)</p> <p>viv in nz</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888585&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="qa6E-W-dBXRw6lHPJdu5mltuR3IktaHp-9k1z-gYJF0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">knutty knitter (not verified)</span> on 22 May 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888585">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1888586" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400900122"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Hi Sharon, </p> <p>Glad to have you back (and I hope you stick around!). </p> <p>If you were serious or half-serious about “Stop me before I foster again!” here's something to consider: there are only so many kids that you can have in your home before you stop being a family and become more like an orphanage. I'm not sure what the number is, but it's something to think about. </p> <p>Certainly, though, congratulations on the adoption! :-)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888586&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="syknP0mREzaOR0EiYi50WXJE_YuwzowUnfmYFAZ6ISs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Isis (not verified)</span> on 23 May 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888586">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1888587" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400979108"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Nice to have you back again. Whether you take in more kids or not, I think that your blog does much to address the need - it has me thinking about whether I could foster, and what I can do to support those who do. It is serious good work that you are doing.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888587&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="aa8vZppofcQEFrtHcQcRtCdODvZ8VkI8fjC5p0O4A2U"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sarah in Oz (not verified)</span> on 24 May 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888587">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1888588" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1401006460"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I'm glad you had time to write an update; I've been thinking about you and your family, wondering how everyone is doing. Enjoy the sweetness of Adoption Day!</p> <p>Fostering isn't something I'll be doing, at least not within the foreseeable future, but I have read about your fostering experiences with great interest. Without your words I'd have no idea what happens within the foster care system. Thank you for writing about it; it will help me know what to do if someone I know decides to become a foster parent.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888588&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="URIhP5qoE1H7OZqPLkX_Ecc0V5bbNoAY4ICOaKf8gWY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Claire (not verified)</span> on 25 May 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888588">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1888589" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1401139089"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>As a reader of your books and blog, I have truly learned to make life an experience from your example. It is everything to make a difference in the life of a child.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888589&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="hx191ZLo7CqgzBoAmT87S8pHonsz7_6_f9jzBowZDmo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Denise (not verified)</span> on 26 May 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888589">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="78" id="comment-1888590" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1401174404"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Isis, I agree, and of course, know that. The question is where we are in relationship to the family/group home boundary. I know I don't even want to get close to that boundary - I like being a family. But I also don't think I am at this moment. </p> <p>Sharon</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888590&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="PchU1W6lXeyFy4pfm1rsRHem5TLR2VcZ9gh3QtOIA8k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/sastyk" lang="" about="/author/sastyk" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sastyk</a> on 27 May 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888590">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/sastyk"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/sastyk" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1888591" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1401266922"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>What a crazy year! I remain impressed by all you've accomplished - and look forward to seeing more writing as you resurface. :)</p> <p>Speaking of writing - I would love to get my hands on a copy of your book on Green Sex - but I can't seem to find it anywhere! Various online retailers variously say that it is sold out, that the publication was cancelled, that it was published last June, that it was published last October - but the bottom line is that I can't seem to find anyone actually able to sell me a copy. My local library system has listed it as pre-ordered for the past year or more. Has it actually been published - and if so, where can I buy it?!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888591&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="yzTBVwUdkIw-fHreBiPVRYEub9hRoqxcBwYDum6XYyA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Rachel (not verified)</span> on 28 May 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888591">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1888592" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1401374363"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Welcome back Sharon! We have missed your writing - I also have most of your books, but being kept up to date on your current activities is the best. We wish you all the best as you continue your foster care/adoption path.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888592&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="8HnWqXGoFKI_cuR8DggnGTURYW3tKDFRlcRblgKGB2g"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">janine (not verified)</span> on 29 May 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888592">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1888593" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1404909503"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Missed you, Sharon. It's good to see you back, in any capacity. My hat is off to you for all you do.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1888593&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5BLqiScmfmRrrwEsL3xjaCxbD2Vfzki8GwmJYadzF-8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kate (not verified)</span> on 09 Jul 2014 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1888593">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/casaubonsbook/2014/05/22/ambiguous-anniversaries%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Thu, 22 May 2014 07:34:18 +0000 sastyk 64001 at https://www.scienceblogs.com Time to Take Inventory https://www.scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2012/09/06/time-to-take-inventory <span>Time to Take Inventory</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>End of summer is a really good time to sit down and look at your preparations and your food storage and take inventory.  What have you put by?  What do you still need more of?  What did you use over the last year?  What did you have too much of?  Whither from here?  September is National Emergency Preparedness month, so now is the time to think - am I ready for the next crisis (do you even have to ask whether there will be one?)</p> <p>If you’ve been working on this, but you don’t feel you are ready, here are some questions to ask yourself, and some possible remedies if things aren't where you want them to be yet.</p> <p>1. Do I have staple foods that I can rely on as the basis of my meals?  A staple is a nutritious starch that contains some protein as well, and that can meet most of your needs.  It could be a grain – many Americans rely on bread for our staple starch.  But it can also be oatmeal, corn (if you are primarily relying on corn, it must be corn that is nixtamalized, so that you won’t get a major nutritional deficiency – you only have to worry about this if you are mostly eating corn, not if you eat an occasional meal of tortillas – so if you are storing whole corn, know how to process it, and if you are buying cornmeal, buy masa, not plain corn meal), barley, quinoa – or root crops.  You can also rely primarily on potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnips and other roots, or a combination of those.</p> <p>You can order bulk grains online or through a coop or whole foods.  This time of year, you can often get a 50lb sack of potatoes or sweet potatoes quite cheaply.  Ethnic markets often have good deals on grains as well.  Don’t forget popcorn and pasta.</p> <p>Here are a couple of posts about staple foods: <a href="http://sharonastyk.com/2008/07/17/the-storage-life-of-grains-major-and-minor/">http://sharonastyk.com/2008/07/17/the-storage-life-of-grains-major-and-minor/</a></p> <p><a href="http://sharonastyk.com/2008/03/11/living-the-staple-diet/">http://sharonastyk.com/2008/03/11/living-the-staple-diet/</a></p> <p>2. Do I have protein foods that can supplement my staples?  This is not as important as the staples – if you had to, you could get along quite well with just a starch for a while (many people all over the world are forced to do that by high food prices most of the time), but you wouldn’t enjoy it.  And diabetics, hypoglycemics and others would struggle with this.  For most people with normal diets, you need about 1/3 to 1/4 protein dense foods.</p> <p>What are some choices here? The traditional choice is some kind of legume – beans, split peas, lentils, cowpeas.  You could buy dry milk – mixed with oatmeal, or into flour in a dairy bread recipe, that would be enough to sustain you, but it gets kind of boring.  You could can your own meats and fish, or buy pre canned meat and fish that your family likes if you like meat.  You could also add seeds – sunflower, flax, pumpkin seeds, or nuts like almonds or filberts.  Powdered eggs don’t taste very good, but they will allow you to bake, and add necessary protein.  Or perhaps you have eggs, if you just store enough chicken feed.  What you do is up to you and your budget.  Think about foods you know your family will eat and that they like.</p> <p>3. Do I have some fruits and vegetables to add flavor, fiber and nutrition?  The two hardest to cover vitamins are vitamin C and A.  So choosing C and A rich fruits and vegetables to add to your storage reduces the danger of both nutritional deficiency and constipation.  For vitamin A, canned pumpkin, squash or sweet potatoes, or fresh stored orange vegetables are the best option.  For vitamin C, dried elderberries or rose hips are an excellent source.  You can and should also have some seed that can be sprouted for fresh green vegetables if you live in a place where you can’t easily go out and forage a safe, unsprayed supply of greens (dandelions, plantain, chicory, etc…) all year ’round.  Or you should have them if you don’t know how to recognize those foods.  Wheat seeds are easy to sprout, but you might prefer broccoli, radish or others.  These can be bought online or at a supermarket or health food store.  I would recommend more vegetables and fruits as well – either dried, canned or kept in cold storage.</p> <p>Now is the perfect time to dry and can fresh fruits, garden vegetables, even greens that are in abundance at local markets and in your garden (and wild in your yard).  In an emergency, you will be grateful for all the dietary diversity you can get.</p> <p>4. Fat.  You need some cooking oil.  You probably already have preferences on this, but most oils will keep a couple of years in a cool dark place.  Oh, and everyone will probably want some salt (salt is necessary for life, so buy a few boxes) and sweetener.  These are cheap and useful at making food palatable.  Add in as many inexpensive spices as you can afford, or as many home-dried herbs as you can gather.  These make the difference between survival and misery.  You may want some condiments as well - soy sauce, tobasco, homemade salsa, nuoc mam, berbere, harissa, chutney, etc... Almost all of these can be made at home or purchased.</p> <p>4.  Do I have the basic ingredients of making meals we eat?  Think about what you actually eat for breakfast, lunch and dinnner.  Do you like granola?  Well, then you need some oats, nuts or seeds for crunch, maybe a bit of honey and oil.  Can you not imagine a meal without bread?  Make sure you have yeast and salt.  Think about what you need in terms of the things that make you happy.</p> <p>5. Do I have water stored?  This is an easy one – go raid your neighbor’s recycling bins for soda bottles  and fill the bottles with water.  If you don’t plan to rotate them every few months, add a drop of bleach to each one.  All done.  Now make sure you have something to flavor the water, because stored water tastes a little icky – you can get tang, which has vitamin C, tea, coffee, or just go pick some mint to add to your water and hang it up to dry.  Think again about what you need to feel good.</p> <p>6. Do I have multivitamins at a minimum?  What about other supplements that I might need?  Our family keeps not only multivitamins for kids and adults, but also vitamins C, D  and E.  Do I have a reliable way of getting necessary medications?  How about copies of your prescriptions and extra medication for emergencies?</p> <p>7. What about basic hygeine items?  Think soap, shampoo, toothpaste and tooth brushes, vinegar or some other cleaner, laundry detergent or borax, as well as toilet paper.  You can substitute for some of these – you can use diluted Dr. Bronner’s soap for almost all these needs, baking soda in place of tooth paste, and use cloth for toilet paper if need be, but if these items will make you happier and more comfortable, store them.  Make sure you have plenty of soap!  Washing hands will be essential.</p> <p>8. If my basics are covered, are there luxury items I’d like to add?  Are there things my family needs or wants that would be useful? If the crisis overlaps holidays or festivals that are important to me, are there ways of storing items to allow us familiar treats or special foods?</p> <p>Have I prepared for household pets and livestock?  Do I have adequate food for them, or ways of making a nutritious diet for them out of my stored staples?</p> <p>9. Do I have warm clothes, blankets, a way of heating myself, my home and/or food?  Some way to cook the beans and grains?  Do I have flashlights and batteries, a cell phone charger? How will I cook, bathe and do laundry without power?  That is, am I ready for an emergency?  My claim is not that we are facing an immanent one, but that we’ve already seen an increase in emergencies, and a slow down in our response to them – being able to take care of your own needs.</p> <p>Am I prepared to deal with basic medical needs, or to handle an acute situation when I cannot reach a hospital or when they are overflowing?  Do I have a book on first aid, or better yet, have I taken basic first aid, CPR and medical response classes?  Do I have a good first aid kit?  Does my household have a supply of basic OTC medications, and perhaps a broad-spectrum antibiotic (and the wisdom to use it only when truly necessary?)  Do I know how to handle the range of basic injuries?  Check out Chile’s first aid kit info:  <a href="http://chilechews.blogspot.com/2008/10/building-first-aid-kit.html">http://chilechews.blogspot.com/2008/10/building-first-aid-kit.html</a></p> <p>10. Do I have mental health needs met?  That is, can I handle the stress of a difficult period – a job loss, service loss or other crisis?  Do I have ways to keep busy, to feel productive?  Do we have games and educational materials to keep kids entertained and learning?  Does my family have the habit of supporting each other through difficult times – do I have a strategy for dealing with stress productively?  Do we have ways to have fun – music, games, sports equipment, books whatever our family likes to do?  Can I not panic, and keep a sense of perspective</p> <p>Again, none of this should panic you.  Answering “not yet” to some of these is not the end of the world.  In fact, all of us, including me, probably have to say "not yet" at least somewhere.   It should simply move you towards the next step, and the next.</p> <p>Shalom,</p> <p>Sharon</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/sastyk" lang="" about="/author/sastyk" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sastyk</a></span> <span>Thu, 09/06/2012 - 07:58</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/action" hreflang="en">action</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/preparedness" hreflang="en">preparedness</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/inventory" hreflang="en">inventory</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/personal-action" hreflang="en">Personal Action</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1887124" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1346936194"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Funnily enough I started my restock yesterday. It made for a positive step forward against the paralyzing and sanity draining state of Europe at the moment.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1887124&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="RtnWlMkicrl5X8JIm3w6WCW1sW-ZieJTZK-OiUlpNIE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Richard Eis (not verified)</span> on 06 Sep 2012 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1887124">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1887125" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1346936949"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I just stuck my head in one of my pantries...YIKES! It's a chaotic mess in there. I can see that before I take any kind of inventory, I'm going to have to organize that better. </p> <p> I inventoried my pantries/cabinets back in April, before I planted my garden, to see what I had and how much..what did I need to plant more of, did I need to can applesauce this year? (NO!) lol...so I have that list to start from.</p> <p>I'm an old restaurant manager, so my inventorying skills are pretty good. But I have a lot of mishmash too...need to spend a couple of days getting it more organized (for instance, I have dried peaches somewhere and when I went to make granola yesterday, couldn't find them. lol (I used cranberries and Jonathon apple bits instead.)</p> <p> I have a long way to go on stocking up, I can see that...Some food stuffs, but mostly all the other stuff...</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1887125&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="FhlciAm4T2nE6rKH0K-NIz90Lre3PxmLrU7HPT8jNeI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Annie Kelley (not verified)</span> on 06 Sep 2012 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1887125">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1887126" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1346940891"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>When I look at my answers this fall compared to my answers in 2008, I am much better prepared now than then. Then, I didn't even know the answer to the question "What do we actually eat?" let alone "How much of that can we store/grow ourselves?" Thank you, Sharon, for showing my the tools and the path. I am much more prepared - and clam - now, thanks to your advice.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1887126&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="-wklghbXsG620m_yMHsfEwaeL95IQzTcRlE1JW0NT-Y"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Emily (not verified)</span> on 06 Sep 2012 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1887126">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1887127" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1346953412"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>We are further along than last year; have rain barrels now, that I wouldn't care to drink from, but we certainly could, if the alternative was no water. We have short-term emergency cooking covered; I'd like to address the long-term, but it's a ways down the list. Am in mid-preserving, the annual September frenzy, and am behind this year so the inventorying will need to wait until there's time ... ha ... but it's good to be thinking about. A quick mental list shows quite a lot of basic food stuffs -- and a need to store them more securely against breakage from violent events -- specifically, earthquakes that would shatter all my glass jars. We have plenty of long underwear and warm clothes. A need to add pet food storage, but am planning to can meat for them later in the fall.<br /> Also, really urgently need to be labeling and putting away preserved produce, which is currently occupying a good deal of the horizontal space in the kitchen, both counter and floor. it's also high time to go through the bug-out bags and update, not to mention washing and refilling the water bottles, and to sort, organize and update the vitamin/medicine cupboard. Appreciate the timely reminder.<br /> In addition to thinking about emergencies, we're working on just securing the house; having replaced a door and missing molding and insulation, next on the list is replacing a decades-old, inefficient baseboard heater with a new, much more efficient one, for the living room, and replacing a large, single-pane, aluminum frame window with a new one, that won't leak all the baseboard heat straight outdoors. And adding insulation, while the wall is torn apart. Which should keep the house warmer, in the event the power goes out.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1887127&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="fyEIGmcOYHVYocYdYErc3pV0wjH9YapjPvlvwu3YgIs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">NM (not verified)</span> on 06 Sep 2012 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1887127">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1887128" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1348272649"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>How, exactly, does one go about getting "extra medication" to have on hand? Doctors and pharmacies don't exactly hand it out just because you want it.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1887128&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="oHT2d_Q5PBgAYEa-eY4YXmdUY3Uh4-cD1V8rvL9TOaA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Zuska (not verified)</span> on 21 Sep 2012 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1887128">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1887129" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1348752188"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>the way i have accumulated extra medication is to get my 90 day supply one week early. every time. that is allowable under the computer rules in my health insurance. now i have a one month cushion in case of emergency. plus, the likelihood is that i could have significantly more as emergencies don't always happen at the end of a cycle. with foreknowledge, some of my meds could be reduced a bit to make them last longer as well.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1887129&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="iB8ERRHmpzP8OS0POQ2o8G5QToF4PCCGEca0QxFoYDw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">emmer (not verified)</span> on 27 Sep 2012 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1887129">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/casaubonsbook/2012/09/06/time-to-take-inventory%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 11:58:49 +0000 sastyk 63896 at https://www.scienceblogs.com What Does It Matter? https://www.scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2010/12/27/what-does-it-matter <span>What Does It Matter?</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>We are living in the most destructive and, hence, the most stupid period of the history of our species. The list of its undeniable abominations is long and hardly bearable. And these abominations are <strong>not</strong> balanced or compensated or atoned for by the list, endlessly reiterated, of our scientific achievements. Some people are moved, now and again, to deplore one abomination or another. Others - and Hayden Carruth is one - deplore the whole list and its causes. Much protest is naive; it expects quick, visible improvement and despairs and gives up when such improvement does not come. Protesters who hold out longer have perhaps understood that success is not the proper goal. If protest depended on success, there would be little protest of any durability or significance. History simply affords too little evidence that anyone's individual protest is of any use. Protest that endures, I think, is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one's own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence. - Wendell Berry "A Poem of Difficult Hope"</em></p> <p>In the circles I run and write in, it is a common device to claim that other thinkers and writers have failed to understand the real, deepest cause of our problems, and have instead embarked upon too superficial a narrative. What's fascinating about this is that the thinkers doing so are almost always correct - that is, they nearly always right that someone has missed a deep underlying cause. The reason for this is that causes are nearly as ample as effects. Thus, the person who laments America's dependence on foreign oil sources can be usefully corrected by someone who observes that the problem is everyone's dependence on a finite resource, rather than a geopolitical error of resource development. The same person, speaking of finite resources can be accurately corrected by someone who observes that a growing population is the "real problem" - that with few enough people, resource constraints would not be an issue, with many people, they inevitably become one. The person arguing in favor of population as the central underlying issue could then be corrected on several grounds - one might, for example, argue that the fundamental problem is the lack of equity between men and women, in which women lack the means and freedom to control their fertility or personal economies. Or you might argue that the fundamental problem is not population, but social inequity - that the poor have access only to children as a source of improving their well being. Both of these critiques (and plenty of others) would, in fact, be correct, and both of them would also be subject to further correction. It is, as they say in reference to something else, turtles all the way down.</p> <p>I am cautious, then, of trying to identify first causes, because they are so easily overturned. At the same time, however, I find the articulation of origins, if transient and uncertain, to be valuable in that each exercise in imagining a root cause allows us to see our errors in new and useful ways. So recognizing that someone will inevitably argue that something else is truly the root cause and my own articulations are mere symptoms, I would like to suggest that we do not have a resource problem, or a climate problem, or an economic problem - we have a way of life problem.</p> <p>Several years ago I was invited with many other people to attend a protest march on the coal plant that supplied the Capital with energy. Many other people, including Mr. Berry attended this, marching pubically to demand we stop warming the planet with coal. I wished to attend, but was unable to, but when talking to some friends who were in fact planning to attend, I felt that there was a gap in some participants' understanding. Many of the younger people I met who were excited to bus down to Washington understood very well the dangers of coal - of mining and mountaintop removal, of contamination of water or destabilization of the climate and were courageously willing to stand up to stop coal consumption. What was missing from this protest in some cases was a sense of the connection between that and how they would live. Coal is the single largest element in American electric production - how many of them were prepared to live with about half as much electricity?</p> <p>Some undoubtably were. Wendell Berry, who has tried for decades to convince Americans that the pre-electric past was not hell, for example, has an extraordinarily clear idea of this. Most of the young people I met on their way to the protest, and even some of the older ones were not. They felt that we should replace our coal with renewables, and if they understood the technical and resource challenges to doing so, assumed (or preferred to believe) that we could do this rapidly without substantive sacrifice or personal constraint. They saw the merits of the protest, and of closing the coal plant - and these were manifest. Without, however, the corresponding emergence of a daily life, a new American dream that consumes far, far less, however, such protests are doomed to failure, because we do not really want them to succeed, do not really want the life we would get if anyone took us seriously.</p> <p>I believe strongly in political action - I took part in my first protest as a teenager, I have been arrested for political reasons, and I feel public protest is good for the soul, not just for drawing attention or making change. I didn't go, however, because I had to stay home - my son was nursing, my husband was working, the farm needed me, and I have come to think that this staying home had its merits as well. I do not say this to devalue public protest, which I think has an important role - but I do think that protest must be tied to the creation of other kinds of daily change.</p> <p>This prioritization of protest over the emergence of an ordinary, sustainable life is understandable in a society that prefers the large and shiny to the small and domestic, and that demeans daily personal actions and ways of life as unimportant. I have in much of my other work attempted to articulate the ways in which our personal actions are in fact, political and the conventional distinctions between personal and political intellectually bankrupt, and while I may have made a modest fame in doing so, I've mostly failed so far. This is problematic because it is precisely the emergence of a life worth living - and that can be lived by all the 7-9 billion people who will share our planet in the coming years that is most urgently necessary. If creating and modelling some sort of preliminary life of this sort is my project, I come to it well after Berry, and less gracefully. Still, such a vast project with so few participants can always use one more.</p> <p>In many ways, the story of the twentieth and early twenty-first century has been the overturning of one way of life (very broadly construed) and the emergence of another throughout the world. The consequences of this way of life and its variants is evident - we consume more of everything, so much so that we are using more than the planet can sustain, and rapidly, making the future resources of the planet less available.</p> <p>This way of life had some true merits, and I don't want to deny them. Its greatest virtue (and great flaw - and how often our great strengths and flaws are one) has been the recognition of the value of at least some of the people who are here now, a prioritization of the present. I am inclined to be somewhat kinder to this prioritization than Berry is above (and Berry is of course, more nuanced than any single paragraph quote could indicate) and argue that in many ways the present, the people who were here, we calling out to be recognized. Our prioritization of the present is responsible for good for many individuals - the children who did not die before age five, the mothers and fathers who go to keep them, the recognition that it was not enough to wait for heaven's justice, if such a thing exists, to provide freedom and justice for people of color or women, that those who were here now deserved such things. The sense that the people who were here now deserve more now and better now is not inherently a bad thing.</p> <p>The difficulty is that our virtue became the single most destructive flaw of all time. The recognition that those who were here now deserved more became, as such things often do, pathological. Not only did we deserve children not to die before age five and clean water, but also electricity, private transportation, college education for everyone, a personal computer in every home, etc...etc... We moved rapidly beyond what could actually be achieved by every person, while preserving enough to go around and for the future. And the prioritization of the present meant an increase in struggles between multiple presents - the conflict between America and China for supremacy (now largely over and largely lost by the US) can be seen as a conflict between to presents, whose needs cannot simultaneously and equitably be met. Most of the world was never even in the running to have their needs met.</p> <p>Most of all, the story that prioritizes those who are here now erases those who will be here - they have no claim. One could trace the history of the 20th century as a narrative in which a way of life that for all its limitations, presumed that the future had some rights, to the emergence of a way of life in which there is no future, and one's posterity cannot be connected to us, so we cannot be responsible for it. First, the material space in which we lived was altered so that generations of people who expected to live and work in approximately, roughly the same places as their parents and who would expect to be followed by future generations no longer had any connection to place. Mobility was prioritized, and so was separation, so much so that the "generation gap" of the 1960s and the snide jokes about grown children living in their parents' basements came to convince us that the highest role of adulthood was to get away from your past in a literal, material sense. Given that, why preserve what you have? Why hold on to the old house, the old farm, the land, the family history - if you have raised your children with the value of erasing it, of growing beyond it, of abandoning and dismissing it, why preserve? Why limit consumption just because it takes from the future - what certainty do you have that you will have a future, or that your grandchildren will visit? Why think of seven generations ahead, when afterall, after 70 years of understanding at some visceral level that others could destroy the habitability of the world - is it not enough to hold what you can as long as you live?</p> <p>It is, of course, also extremely profitable to consume a great deal and sell the future, so that has taken on its own life. Profitability being what it is, it is most profitable if you can also convince those who have lived quite modestly with fewer resources that they would be better off and happier living like those who have abandoned the future for the present, and this, appealing as it does to our most selfish and petty interests, is not difficult.</p> <p>All of which is simply a complex way of saying that the problem is how we live - the "non-negotiable" American way of life, which is now, with minor variants, the way of life of the whole portion of the planet that can get their hands on it. No one, of course, is willing to take full responsibility for this - thus, we see as we have battles over global warming that debate responsibility. China cannot constrain its emissions, we are told, because it is bringing its people out of poverty and into the way of life that we in America pioneered. America cannot constrain its emissions in part because China will not and also because we must strive mightily to retain what's left of our economic standards. Thus we live in a global game of chicken with little hope of any actual restraint.</p> <p>Except, perhaps this - we could change our way of life. Those of us who perhaps inadvertantly became global trendsetters, telling an idealized story of how much better and happier we are through consumption of what the future might otherwise have used, might consider telling another story, and if it were told compellingly enough, might engage others, as our original story of freedom and happiness gained through the abandonment of future claims, future people and future rights.</p> <p>In the quote I began with, Wendell Berry attempts to articulate what the value of protest is, meditating on Hayden Carruther's poem "On Being Asked to Write a Poem Against the War in Vietnam" - particularly protest that is in many ways doomed to failure. Since "protest doomed to failure" quite aptly describes the work I advocate, I found his arguments quite compelling. I should say that I think it is quite sincerely the case that we could, with protest and action and most of all the emergence of a new way of life, do a great deal to mitigate our circumstances. That said, however, I do think that even were I and the many others who have read the numbers and come to the conclusion that we cannot go on as we are to be successful beyond even my wildest aspirations, we would fail, and indeed, have already failed to save many lives, to protect species and places and the viability of future lives as well as present ones. This is the human condition, to be doomed to failure, and we are at the moment more doomed than average, or as Berry says later in the same essay,:</p> <p><em>And what might have been the spiritual economy of Eden, when there was no knowledge of despair and sorrow? We don't need to worry about that.</em></p> <p>Nearly everyone who thinks about these things knows that we are, to put it bluntly, plenty doomed enough, and it wears on us. I get daily several emails saying essentially, "I agree with you and try to do my part, I consume little and less each year, I grow a garden, I tend my place and my community, and I live each day surrounded by people who destroy what I do in a moment, or who care nothing about this. I feel that I bear all the disadvantages of this - I have less than they do in a culture that doesn't value less, I struggle more with my time in a culture that believes that all labor should be saved by burning fossil fuels, I live as rightly and honestly as I can, but it wears on me to always do the hard thing and have less. How do you live with this?"</p> <p>Berry offers us one possible answer - that the point of our protest is not to change our neighbors, it is not to change the world, it is to create a world in which we have at least preserved the value of things by our valuing of them, we have at least held inside ourselves the fact that these matter. This is small consolation when your dreams are grand and the necessities so vast and urgent. </p> <p>I'd offer another, however, because I believe there is another value to protest - and by this I mean protest in our lives as well as political protest actions. It is this - when protest is successful, on those rare and remarkable and wondrous occasions when resistance is possible, it is successful not because of the pure, clear polticial persistence of actors who carry signs or passively protest or fight legal battles. Instead, it is successful because political protest is chained not to doors or trees but to the emergence of a new way of life. This way of life is not perfect or sufficient, but the overwhelming emergence of something new and different in ordinary and daily ways is a hallmark of almost every successful political protest.</p> <p>The success, thus of the Civil Rights Movement, which hardly eliminated racism or inequity, but did make many things possible that were not before, and did at least transform some of the ways that people lived together. was tied not just to protests, but to the emergence of a new daily way of life in which black and white people who had previously lived together in one set of structure relationships began to tentatively develop a new one. </p> <p>That is the success of protests ranging from Stonewall Riots to peaceful marches to legal challenges to the blood throwing of ACT-UP activists for gay rights has been enchained to the emergence fo a culture in which gay people are openly and honestly members of our own families, neighbors, loved ones, friends, and in which we expect to have Dave and Jim and their daughter over for dinner along with Rose and Steve and their daughter. </p> <p>I know about the daily acts and transformational changes of the Civil Rights movement from those who have managed to recapture the history of ordinary life before, after and during this period of rapid change. I know about the daily acts and transformational changes of the Gay Rights movement because I lived within it - saw the ways that my mothers, together at church, at my school, among our neighbors changed the way people thought. It is much easier to draw attention to a parade, a protest, a legal event, and these matter, but what mattered as much or more was the everyday action of ordinary people who went about the hard work of developing a life in which black and white people, or gay and straight people lived together differently than they had. It is often assumed that the public protests created the way of life, but I would argue otherwise - the public protests are an expression, a call to action, a way of drawing attention. They matter, but they matter only so much as they enable and support an already existing underlying transformation.</p> <p>It is this that is the value of protest, and why I am so very convinced that it matters that we both protest the totalizing, encompassing nature of our consumptive, destructive society, and also that we nurture and create and explore and develop the emergence of a new way of life. I know from watching the lives of my parents that this kind of work is tiring, and it seems to have few public rewards. A protest is dramatic, it is exciting, you can attribute a great deal to it, but it is the life that underlies it that in the end matters most. I understand why it is frustrating to have less and use less, to be mocked or disdained or simply regarded as something strange. I understand why in a society where public protest is regarded as "action" and living is regarded as "inaction" it would seem that nothing was being accomplished or changed.</p> <p>At the same time, when I was 8, and my parents came out to me, they were afraid. They were so afraid that they concealed their relationship, and only even revealed it to their children after a long time. They feared losing custody of my sisters and I, they feared loss of jobs, they feared physical attacks, and they had reason for fear. We could not let people know. </p> <p>Seven years later, my mother and step-mother were foster parents, caring for other people's children, implicitly recognized in many quarters as better parents than a significant number of straight people. Nine years later, my step-mother came and spoke to my high school class about being a lesbian and gay and lesbian issues, with the full support of my school principle. 10 years after that, my mother and step-mother were married in their church, in a celebration that included their grown children, their forthcoming first grandchild in utero and most of their congregation. A few years after that they went were married at city hal in the town they have resided in for nearly 30 years.</p> <p>There were a few moments in my childhood where I looked and said "things are changing" but for the most part, I was barely aware that they and I and my sisters and millions of gay families were engaged in the creation of a way of life that fully included them. I knew many people who despaired at various points, who said "we will never be able to..." and some of them were right, they still aren't able. Yet, many of them were wrong, and now they can. Saying that we have not solved it all, that gay people still suffer discrimination, that gay kids still kill themselves, that the beatings have continued although moral has improved is entirely true - but it doesn't change the fact that the world is diffferent, that gay lives are different, and there is more to be done, but what has been accomplished was worth accomplishing and mattered enormously.</p> <p>We know that it is possible for people to use vastly fewer resources, produce vastly fewer emissions, live with much less than we do and still have good and worthwhile lives. We know that there are things in our present that we need to preserve for our future, and things that we must and can abandon. What those are and how we do this is our project in the world - whether you call it adapting in place or creating a new life or a quiet domestic political protest or whatever you call it this is the only thing left that can save the world - or at least a little piece of it. The political process will follow the emergence of a way of life and there will be plenty of things for us to chain ourselves to, to march against, to speak out for, to go to jail for, to challenge in a court of law. All of those however must be subsequent to this - that we make a life worth living, that allows us all to live, and makes a place for posterity. </p> <p>This is the best that will ever be said of even our most successful efforts to preserve a world in which people can go forward - that we will fail to do enough. Despair, the logical companion of failure is part and parcel of the project - Carruth's poem, Berry's essay are both fundamentally about despair, about failure and the responsibility of those who fail. The odds are good that changing our way of life will not result in anything that we can call success on a world scale, that it is too little, too late. I don't think there's any point in denying this. Nor do I feel it is worth denying that most of the time, even if we succeed in some measure, it will feel as though we aren't doing enough, are paying too high a price, are losing the wars and all the battles. Most of all, we won't get the credit we would for marching and waving our signs, because such things emerge in part as a shorthand for the work of daily action. Without the shorthand to signal our protest, many of the unimaginative won't see it - some of us may forget to see it.</p> <p>It isn't an easy project in a world that assumes a great deal of energy and emissions, that says freedom is consumer choice and that participation is mandatory and that wealth is our goal. So when you are in the garden, when you ride your bicycle or walk, when you explain to your neighbor yet again why you don't want their lawn chemicals on your yard, when hang your laundry, when you deliver a meal to a neighbor who is ill, when you say "no, we don't do that," when you teach your children who you are and why you do the difficult thing, when you try and convince yourself that you aren't too tired, when you get up in the morning and it looks like all you've done is pointless remember this - you are doing something hard and vast and new. Without your work and courage there is no hope at all for all of those with the courage to chain themselves at the gates. Without those who chain themselves at the gates, enough people will not know what you have done. With both together, change begins.</p> <p>Sharon</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/sastyk" lang="" about="/author/sastyk" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sastyk</a></span> <span>Mon, 12/27/2010 - 05:54</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/action" hreflang="en">action</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/adapting-place" hreflang="en">adapting in place</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/personal-action" hreflang="en">Personal Action</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/personal-vs-political-dichotomy" hreflang="en">Personal Vs. Political Dichotomy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/way-life" hreflang="en">Way of Life</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/wendell-berry" hreflang="en">Wendell Berry</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/adapting-place" hreflang="en">adapting in place</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/personal-action" hreflang="en">Personal Action</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/social-sciences" hreflang="en">Social Sciences</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882197" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293450616"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Amen, Sharon. Thank you. I've been feeling overwhelmed by the persistence of the consumer madness. This helps.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882197&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="7dlsqto0PIl1OswRD3raxGcOYAvMZ8sSWxCYA3lvbkU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">BetsyR (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882197">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882198" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293452308"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>So what do we do when <i>neither</i> street protests <i>nor</i> lifestyle changes, in combination, suffice to redirect societal momentum away from the precipice?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882198&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="kgS-dtBTB3vjsPI5YxDnBOJT6TZmAo5GWcWe4BBdOkQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pierce R. Butler (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882198">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882199" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293452855"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Pierce, I think Sharon's already answered that. We keep doing it because it is worth doing and because nothing else stands a chance of succeeding.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882199&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="yqydmJ1BOtXFUbHEK_1UEVcUMDl5fFf-yGfj30bMrY8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://almostdiamonds.blogspot.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Stephanie Z (not verified)</a> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882199">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882200" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293457579"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Stephanie Z - Any time you come up with better strategies and tactics, pls let us know asap!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882200&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="vSWavuVjs6Y3k43akNhZ9fPP50wWo6PhW6qSl7w-hd4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pierce R. Butler (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882200">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882201" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293457950"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Watching my husband and son brewing beer together today, I see joy emanating through the cracks of concentration, the two heads joined in measuring and recipe reading. Sure, they could drive down to the store to pick up a twelve pack, but these two have something else going on besides brewing beer.</p> <p>And that is the point. We have contentment that money cannot buy.</p> <p>Peace to all in the New Year.<br /> Jane</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882201&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="MyvUvFcAgzi7I2Ebrii0cXc0jtKUPNLPcqCRowIZPzM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Java Jane (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882201">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882202" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293459802"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Pierce, what?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882202&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="uekTDkuUZYscBxpGB6skMSrWCqT7SXwx3A2U5y2P0e4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://almostdiamonds.blogspot.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Stephanie Z (not verified)</a> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882202">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882203" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293460659"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Pierce, I think Sharon's already answered that. We keep doing it because it is worth doing and because nothing else stands a chance of succeeding.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882203&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="v5UgfQ1_zO1PpA3hqz1K2Z4iKW2EEJb6pAKjjYxb0tY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.orjinalsupratall.gen.tr" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">supratall (not verified)</a> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882203">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882204" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293461260"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Amerikalı ünlü golf Oyuncusu Tiger Woodsâun çapkınlıÄıyla sarsılan evliliÄi resmen bitti<br /> ÃNCEKi gün golf Åampiyonu Tiger Woods eÅi Elin Nordegren ile resmen boÅandıklarını açıkladı. Ancak Elin Nordegrenâin 750 milyon dolarlık bir anlaÅmayla boÅandıÄı iddiası dikkatleri çiftin üzerine çevirdi. Bir dönem en çok kazanan sporcuların baÅında yer alan Woodsâun bu anlaÅmayla servetinin yarısını ve çocukların velayetini eÅine verdiÄi ifade ediliyor. ingiliz Telegraph Gazetesi, bu boÅanmanın ardından dünyada en pahalı boÅanmaların listesini yayımladı:</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882204&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="w22G2JVV176fd8RxASlsQ9OSHLsmbTsI_vFQ_MWkSL8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.kelebeklive.org" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kelebek indir (not verified)</a> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882204">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882205" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293471957"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Pendikâte park halindeki 18 araç kimliÄi belirsiz kiÅilerce kundakladı. Ãç ayrı mahalledeki araç yangınları, Pendik ve Tuzla itfaiye ekiplerinin çalıÅmalarıyla söndürüldü. Polis, failleri yakalamak için çalıÅma baÅlattı.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882205&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="D6HeNUWYM2UJnFbeUy1TIZUOk6XO7wpM_FmjOb8Mp7k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.ilahiciler.net" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ilahiler (not verified)</a> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882205">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882206" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293475320"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Second that amen BetsyR.<br /> I think JavaJane has an important point too. What I see among my friends is that living with less - even the just slightly less that I live with, causes us to change our focus. My friends bring me bike parts and vegetables and I do welding and repairs for them. We plant trees and ride around looking for fruits. There seem to be more neighborhood potluck parties. We are learning to live well without needing so much money.<br /> I'm happy Sharon for your discussion of failure &amp; despair - I guess I have always more or less assumed that I'd fail at whatever I did, at least part way. It doesn't seem to me that success or failure needs to be the deciding factor. Isn't the good thing still good even if you fail at it?<br /> I still think that living well is still the best way to change things -<br /> "that we make a life worth living, that allows us all to live, and makes a place for posterity."<br /> I like that.<br /> Thanks.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882206&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="IcuCANgQsKHNtgAZ5I668xvQXeKosYS-Mm2sh7ffNjQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Eric in Kansas (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882206">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882207" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293481764"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Stephanie Z @ # 6 (&amp; maybe # 7 - ?) - Let me try to state my position more clearly.</p> <p>I have done, and am doing, both the protesting and the simple-living things near to the limits of my ability and circumstances. After decades of this, it seems painfully proven that the system can absorb both modalities and continue on its juggernaut way with scarcely a hiccup.</p> <p>To actually and significantly turn our species toward less destructive ways of life will require much more involvement by people much better informed and educated than what we see now. (Though I haven't tried it myself, watching the experiences of friends who've tried to save the world by becoming teachers has convinced me that, like holding rallies and gardening, such strategies are at best necessary but rather small components of social change.)</p> <p>Neither the back-to-the-land movement nor ranting about how much harm our present approaches are doing seem anywhere near waking people up. I'd say the peak impact of both tactics occurred, in the US, in the late '60s and the '70s - both kicked easily to the curb by the bad actor elected in 1980 and his posse.</p> <p>I greatly admire what Sharon Astyk is doing, on her blog and on her land, but can't read her writings without major attacks of déjà vu. We need something more, and we need it soon (and I freely confess, as a movement veteran going back ~40 years, I'm not likely to be the one who invents it).</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882207&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="eUQzubLpQxKHBQhyfmsr0UaxQQlGWpMc4WreGHlUUG4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pierce R. Butler (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882207">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882208" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293483159"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Pierce, please!</p> <p>Ronald Reagan was a symptom of a country in trouble. He was not a creator of the demise of the back-to-the-land movement of the 60s/70s or of any other movement back then. The people of the US did not fully understand the dire situation they were in back then any more than they do now. As the Boomers grew up, they seduced themselves with adult toys and accoutrements created by easy money and easy living (partly thanks to North Sea and North Slope oil.) </p> <p>But now, a generation later, they ARE beginning to understand the situation compared to back then, but a critical mass of common understanding has not been reached yet with the general public. It takes time. It takes demonstrations. It takes demonstrations of a different way of life, lived by us here, that shows friends and family that a better life is possible by living smaller.</p> <p>By the way, I voted for Reagan. He was better than Carter, the latter being a man that was so bad of a leader, so un-inspirational that he couldn't have led a worm out of a dropped apple.</p> <p>But I smartened up. I haven't voted for a major party candidate since those 1980s as I think both parties are merely two sides of the same coin. You see, I don't think we will ever change the world for the better by passing more laws and forcing more change on people from the top (government) down. Unless people truly understand WHY change is necessary, unless they see others living the change, they will resist and never buy into the movement, no matter how many "protests" run down the Mall. Reagan was that resistance back then to change not yet fully comprehended by the majority and the Republican flood last month was more of the same.</p> <p>Grassroots change is a large, if not the majority, part of the answer we seek. It always was. Will it be "enough"? Well, no, but nothing is at this late point in time.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882208&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="p9sHW9spLgxxaHPM52_DidsNUU6OTduZGMaWKDBvCJA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Stephen B. (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882208">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882209" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293485391"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The problem stems from our destructive culture. Derrick Jensen has written about this beautifully, and I highly recommend his books. We live in a culture of death; why else would we destroy this planet and everything on it? We must change the culture by educating others and ourselves about what is happening. We have to start today. Right now.</p> <p>The Transition movement (and others, like Common Security Clubs, Gift Circles, Time Banking) help to move us away from this insane relationship with the planet that gives us life. Only by reconnecting with others and our local land, water and air will we be able to make this huge change.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882209&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="WT24AOqyD1dRw7be955fSSHUKJdP9TbEuFgpqrqlWY4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Susan Norris (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882209">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882210" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293485972"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Maybe part of the problem is that even "living with less" you aren't, not really. </p> <p>Sharon's life uses a few less things now, but it was built on a stack 'o privilege and in one sense, still benefits from it. After all, I don't see any Native Americans in her neighborhood. She could buy land. How many people can afford that? I don't know anyone who can without moving to a more marginal environment and causing even more damage in the process. </p> <p>ANd Sharon had an education -- something that was utterly, totally out of reach 100 years ago for all but a vanishingly small number of women. (and is out of reach for many now). </p> <p>The labor-saving uses of energy weren't just labor saving, they allowed a lot of other things to happen that made Sharon's life possible. It's easy to romanticize the way people used to live. </p> <p>The reason some of us focus on wealth distribution is that the whole simple living thing never seems to make a dent, and honestly, never has. But what did make a dent was guaranteeing certain rights of people. That seems to have worked pretty well. And doing that allowed the space to create other kinds of modes of living. </p> <p>It's no accident that nations in the developing world with fewer resource problems tend to be the ones where there is something like democracy operating. Costa Rica, for example, has problems with poverty, but there are refugees showing up there from Nicaragua. (They have an "illegal immigrant" problem not dissimilar to ours). Part of the reason is that people are in a position to make decisions about how resources get used. For instance, the amount of energy and such that go into making a bunch of bombers could be used for something else. I always felt that even just moving around where you put resources makes a gigantic difference. </p> <p>That's the whole problem I have with some of this. There's always this sense I get that people are looking at a bunch of sepia-tinted photos of the past, and withdrawing from the world. I don't think we need more! more! more! but I do think that as a species we've managed to do a lot that I don't think we really want to give up. </p> <p>Think of this: even with all the inequity, something like an education is even on the table for women. It's possible. And many of the energy-hungry, resource-intensive things we do made that possible in the first place. For instance, you no longer need to pump out 13 kids and hope one of them lives to be five so you have some labor on your farm. You aren't likely to die in childbirth, either. That used to be <i>common</i>. </p> <p>One reason for prescribed gender roles in preindustrial settings is that it <i>worked</i> and people could not afford to innovate. The consequences of failure were too high -- innovation in certain areas was too dangerous and risky. It's why a lot of those societies seem rigid. They are. They <i>have</i> to be, or everyone could die, especially in marginal environments. For example, Bob the Inuit says "I have a new way to hunt seal." Joe says "yes, but if you fail, the whole family starves to death. Wanna make a bet?" Bob says, "Yeah, I'll stick with what I know works." (There were people who innovated -- or societies would not change at all -- but there is a reason it took a half a million years to get from one type of stone tool to another, and why someone who was transported from 5000 BC to the birth of Christ would not see much that was that different). </p> <p>I have been to places where kids die early. I think those folks have every right to see their children grow up, and not worry that a prick from a dirty nail, or a fever, or getting pox will kill them, you know?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882210&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="mhy476tWMYrwgdlRQL6rjUnzD_JQrwxDFP6ew6eQT7c"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Jesse (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882210">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882211" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293486116"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Stephen B. - please! (sorry, couldn't help it)</p> <p>If you voted for Ronnie Baby, then you should recall how much of his schtick, on and off the campaign trail, was an explicit backlash against the "rad-libs" - not to mention his successful smearing of Carter as such (about as honestly as contemporary descriptions of Obama as a socialist).</p> <p><i>I don't think we will ever change the world for the better by passing more laws and forcing more change on people from the top (government) down.</i></p> <p>So the civil rights laws (to pick the '60s movement that was most successful) were failures and unnecessary? The Clear Air &amp; Water Acts meant nothing?</p> <p><i>Reagan was that resistance back then to change not yet fully comprehended by the majority and the Republican flood last month was more of the same.</i></p> <p>Here I think we agree, though prob'ly not if we probed more deeply. Reagan was an overt reactionary invoking a mythical past, just like the teabaggers who worship him: both sustained by resentment against loss of social &amp; material privileges. The changes needed to create an ecologically viable economy (just to pick one facet of what SA is urging) will also be perceived as material deprivations, and will be painted that way by pro-<i>status quo</i> scapegoaters. To get past that will necessitate new strategies and better leadership than "progressives" have mustered in my lifetime - but during the time I have left, it would be really nice to see a start made.</p> <p>(Signing off for the night, in hopes of picking up tomorrow...)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882211&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="GCVBAuWJdyNToPf19yxOE5rObfzGRqKxD6UveZV68Ls"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pierce R. Butler (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882211">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882212" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293488190"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Years ago I came to a fork in the road in my life. I started to understand why organic and local was important, and what sustainability meant and I saw others around me trying to make themselves heard, to change the minds of people, to change the world. In my heart I knew that I too could do that, but then I wouldn't have the energy or the time to live a simple sustainable lifestyle. </p> <p>I felt it was more important to be the change I wanted to see, rather than to try and convince the masses that they should change what they were doing. My life is by no means sustainable yet, but I'm working on it. I do occasionally do activist work, but only when it fits into my life. </p> <p>Thank you for writing about how important it is to do that daily round. One of my core values is providing a home for my family and my community. I know it seems boring and kind of old fashioned, but what else do we really have? It's not boring to me when people know they can stop by whenever, because I'm often here at home. It's not boring to me that I have time to do the things I love, because I stay at home. I love my home. I am an intelligent, feminist, pagan woman and I choose to live a simple life full of meaning and simple pleasures of good food and companionship. It's well worth going against the mainstream. The fact that it's good for the planet and for humanity is just icing on the cake.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882212&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="G6pMj6tLA1hhZ24NtkWmg4kw5ZWv40R9PVGGK2sdJwU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://dandelionladyseeds.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">melissa (not verified)</a> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882212">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882213" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293488706"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>I don't think we will ever change the world for the better by passing more laws and forcing more change on people from the top (government) down.</i></p> <p>Yes, because I think we've reached a point of very diminished returns on more government laws. While the major ones you cited were good laws, we've passed SO many laws and regulations, many very minute ones, that people are simply being overwhelmed. I'm thinking laws about cell phone use, for minors, behind the wheel, laws about how quickly one must shovel the sidewalk out front of your apartment or be ticketed by the city, the no-chickens in the backyard laws, the no-clothesline laws, the obtuse tax laws that NOBODY understands completely come 1040 time, the law MA has about paying my town $100 for the privilege of me digging an ordinary hole in my back yard, etc. etc. etc.</p> <p>Let's not even talk about the failed drug laws, S510, TSA personal freedom intrusions, The Patriot Act, etc, etc. etc.</p> <p>I doubt a single person in the US can get through a single day, let alone a week, without breaking some regulation or law that requires at least a $100 fine or jail time if only they knew about the law or regulation.</p> <p>It's so bad now even people such as myself are finding themselves overwhelmed and in backlash mode against any more government control.</p> <p>No, change for a simpler, less consumptive life at this point starts with the people. The government at this point is hell bent on creating more complexity because that is what justifies government's existence at this point (along with the highly paid and benefited govt. politician and appointee positions.) That and the federal government controlling all of our trade via controlling our money supply via The Federal Reserve and more and more of us down at the grassroots level have had quite enough.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882213&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="WDEEV8sU4EBiY14pvGFEkyKOa134ApWTT4NDhZC9dYM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Stephen B. (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882213">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882214" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293489180"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>As well, the Civil Rights laws came about because enough people at the grass roots level, were ready for it. </p> <p>That is, government FOLLOWED, rather than led the evolution.</p> <p>The trouble is, government is following further and further behind every day, nowadays, on things that matter.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882214&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="kuYD9Dzr406qtYcw3P6IPYOUIchcFPWlUmZ68tWLafA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Stephen B. (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882214">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882215" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293490105"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I know what will finally change people's ways for the better: Holocausts. Fields of starved and dead. Killer weather making agriculture and community impossible in places that were previously habitable. Brownouts, blackouts, water rationing of the sort most of us have never known.</p> <p>So bring on that eco-apocalypse. It's gonna suck and we might not make it as a species, but it's the only way to get junior out of the Hummvee. At that point, the Sharon Astyks of the world will be called on for their experience trying to do things right. Won't that be nice?</p> <p>-</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882215&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="lbjaXa8ruKGiUGFOiC_A0pqq5yozpzKzzSdAD6RRoe4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">CS Shelton (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882215">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882216" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293491643"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I would argue that this is the least stupid period in the history of our species, if only because if you think this era is stupid - which it is to a maddening extent - look at the past.</p> <p>People wonder why I don't like most people.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882216&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="C5AHwodK9V06Q7mG--y_fT_QfbXepYcYAJQpvN9UNps"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Katharine (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882216">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882217" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293491929"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>I know what will finally change people's ways for the better: Holocausts. Fields of starved and dead. Killer weather making agriculture and community impossible in places that were previously habitable. Brownouts, blackouts, water rationing of the sort most of us have never known.</p> <p>So bring on that eco-apocalypse. It's gonna suck and we might not make it as a species, but it's the only way to get junior out of the Hummvee. At that point, the Sharon Astyks of the world will be called on for their experience trying to do things right. Won't that be nice?</p></blockquote> <p>What about those of us who aren't terminal idiots about all this? Do we get the same punishment?</p> <p>Seriously, have you thought about this much?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882217&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Lq5l6RKAWbi9dfsfHnnMfManGuBjFNuB11Mkvs__TH8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Katharine (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882217">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882218" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293493853"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I didn't say anything about anyone deserving anything. There's no justice in this world and I didn't imply there was. I feel really bad for the species we've extincted so far and preemptively bad for the ones we're working on and it gives me no comfort that stupid people will suffer along with the righteous.</p> <p>I'm just saying everything must get worse before it gets better, and that's exactly how this is playing out.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882218&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="pLh6a8W9pEFOawIJBwl1dIhBQ_q5vm3HZ2tKS_9wX1o"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">CS Shelton (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882218">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882219" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293502544"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I think that hope lies in human beings having what may be an unlimited capacity to learn. The predicament is that we apply this capacity almost exclusively to our outer world and have come to believe that everything that is wrong is somehow the fault of someone outside, and everything can be fixed by changing things on the outside - the neighbours, the government. </p> <p>It is pretty obvious though that this approach simply does not work. It appeared to work when we were trying to get a piece of wood turned into something that better served us, spoons, chairs, heat, but when it comes to the vastly more complex issues us as a species of 7 billion with all the inequality and waste etc, it isn't working. I think it is because of the way we think, and it is the way we have been predominately thinking for millions of years. So, it may be better to focus our extraordinary capacities in a different direction.</p> <p>It turns out that this is very hard and extremely slippery! But, the less time and energy we put into looking elsewhere for solutions the more we have to apply in what might be a more fruitful direction. </p> <p>If, and this might be a big if, human beings have an ultimate purpose then I believe that the purpose is the same now as it was 100,000 years ago, and quite possibly time has nothing to do with it. Looking at time to solve the problems might be the biggest red herring of them all.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882219&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="k7sIHtsJz-A9U3852kqusocCN4Y6DEmntB-7QcB3qvc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Andrew Ramponi (not verified)</span> on 27 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882219">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882220" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293527594"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thank you for articulating this in such a useful and profound way. It is encouraging.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882220&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="hW2SZUIfo-OEXc2vqkwolaI6IxV0ADtVoQ2UsfZHhUs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://k" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathryn (not verified)</a> on 28 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882220">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882221" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293534694"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Stephen B @ # 18: <i>... the Civil Rights laws came about because enough people at the grass roots level, were ready ... That is, government FOLLOWED, rather than led the evolution.</i></p> <p>As a native Mississippian whose personal experience dates back before the Civil Rights laws, let me tell ya: no way, José!</p> <p>A major fraction, perhaps even a plurality (nothing close to a majority) of Americans were "ready for it" - but much of US society, primarily but not at all exclusively in the South, had to be dragged kicking and screaming out of the segregation era. It couldn't have happened without the grassroots, but the National Guard, courts, FBI, etc, also played crucial roles.</p> <p>Given that everything else you've said here echoes standard libertarian tropes (a kernel of truth magnified far out of proportion), I'm not a bit surprised that you omitted any response to my other example of positive social change from the '60s/'70s, the Clean Water and Air Acts. Perhaps closer to your ideological home, consider another federal intervention that I was kicking myself for not including when I clicked the "Post" button last night: <i>Roe v. Wade</i>.</p> <p>We were able to implement major changes from the bottom-up a generation or so ago. Now, just about every social trend - yes, especially the Tea Party, even (gasp!) Facebook - is corporate-driven. How do we change how we change things?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882221&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ooNAsyQYpXZx42fJVTaTkZkrJx6seewj5cLTH5bIdPU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pierce R. Butler (not verified)</span> on 28 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882221">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882222" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293545347"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I didn't "omit" what you said. Rather, I said the "major" laws you cited were good laws....and by that I meant the pollution control laws you just cited again.</p> <p>Still, I think we've reached the point where, because government has attempted to micro-manage SO many behaviors as of late (see again my previous examples), we've gotten to the point where there is a significant backlash against government attempting anything more.</p> <p>How do we deal with the corporatism? Well, as I see it, big, centralized government located far away goes hand in hand with corporatism. Many of the laws we have implemented can only be borne by large organizations. Small enterprises have been largely wiped out, not just by modern economics, but by their inability to cope with all the rules and regulations. (Think for a moment, of the many essays Sharon, Joel Salatin, et al have written about the illegality of running a small farm.) Large, unresponsive government has been taken over by the corporations that alone can work within the framework created by large government.</p> <p>I have no problem with many of the major laws government has passed over the years except that it doesn't know when to stop and becomes an all consuming, all encompassing entity all in itself that has in turn made a simple, lower impact life outside of the formal economy all the more difficult to lead.</p> <p>Another way we change things is by not applying labels to others without their permission, thereby alienating them.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882222&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="T-Xav32-_XZM_4iycncLEW6rQ7dUVdwF3fDZRjJuASw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Stephen B. (not verified)</span> on 28 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882222">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882223" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293547213"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Stephen B - my apologies if I "alienated" you, and my thanks for an intelligent reply that undermines the stereotype I had previously perceived.</p> <p>That said, I think the problem of over-regulation derives directly from the problem of over-population: we don't (yet, sfaik) have any rules requiring everyone to bathe daily, but those who spend a lot of time in crowded elevators have probably entertained the thought that such a law might help.</p> <p>However, now or in less-peopled centuries past, we (humans) show little evidence of being able to reshape our institutions and worldviews in the ways now obviously needed. From here in Usofa, it looks like the Japanese have had the most success in reinventing their own culture - but nothing has yet trickled out to my neighborhood indicating that their "Green" component has gotten beyond the energy-/water-/space-saving stage (though American society remains decades behind on that level).</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882223&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="3FhnpGU8rGtsTGaci7Cq2U_H1fbo1SGBVrvuikOebyY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pierce R. Butler (not verified)</span> on 28 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882223">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882224" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293561774"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I learned a long time ago it's nothing about the destination but rather the adventures in our journeys to get there. Individually and collectively, we have power to bring about change. This keeps me from getting discouraged.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882224&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="iL4fmXJOwjEUF7xz0_S2RM7PmOGQWb-fPY7ovz-EYQY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.downtownseattlechiropractic.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">seattle chiropractor (not verified)</a> on 28 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882224">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882225" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293562099"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Pierce, you really got me thinking about something all day today while I was at work. </p> <p>The question I had was just how far *do* I expect government to go to solve our problems. Thinking about successes such as the Voting Rights Act and the Clean Air Act, one has to say, yes, government can help fix things. But then I think about the more recent record of government and I have to wonder.</p> <p>Earlier, I ran a laundry list of all the penny ante rules and regulations that government, at all levels has imposed on us, from clothesline rules to the implementation of the Patriot Act. I could go on and point out that my own town here in MA has literally doubled the size of its health code book over the past dozen years that I've lived here, a code book, that in my opinion, was already substantial before. Now I have nothing against health enforcement, but when one gets really into it, the minute details that our town goes into now regarding everything to do with health, really boggles the mind.</p> <p>There was an interesting study some years ago that found out that Massachusetts residents, along with several other, "liberal", large government states, gave a lower percentage of their income to charity than did several less, liberal states. Nothing was proven, but the researchers did get several comments from those in the higher tax states that those residents felt less need to help the needy because they thought and expected the government to already be helping those that needed help.</p> <p>My point here is that we're expecting government to do more and more while we, the individuals, do less and less. We needn't worry about doing things in a healthy way, since, if there was a problem, there must already be a rule and if there isn't a health code rule prohibiting something that must mean that it's something that's safe to do. (That is, at a certain level, we're so sure that the government has all the bases covered, we neednât cover the bag ourselves any longer.)</p> <p>Going further with this, Sharon, several years ago, wrote a blog entry about religion and Peak Oil I think it was. In any case, I recall her writing and challenging those who would call her religion a "fairy tale." Fine she said, but if not for religion, who was going to bury the dead, do the marriages, and celebrate the other life milestones she asked? Government just doesn't do as good a job of those celebrations as people in their religious, or other private, non-governmental organizations do.</p> <p>What I'm getting at is we simply cannot expect government to do it all, but that's exactly what many seem to be counting on when we try to legislate nearly everything before the population, at least in some kind of majority, is ready for the change.</p> <p>The Voting Rights Act came, perhaps not because the people of Mississippi in the majority were ready, but because the people, as expressed through their Congress and President, around enough of the rest of the country were. I happen to think we need some government action on Global Warming, (that is one reason I resist the libertarian label for myself :-) )but clearly the population as a whole, sadly, isn't ready to go there regarding GW amelioration via government edict.</p> <p>One thing government has done recently, is put forth a ban on incandescent light bulbs. Fine. I havenât had many of those things in my own house in years for the obvious reason that they use too much electricity, contribute too much CO2 for that electricity, and are basically a bad investment personally. But I do have a few. Iâm thinking of the one inside my oven. I happen to like being able to see my pie baking without opening the oven door, but what to do when the incandescent bulbs are gone? Compact fluorescents wonât withstand the oven heat. Ditto that for LED bulbs. I guess the government will grant an exemption for incandescents for baking oven lights. Score one more for an even more complicated regulation book regarding the manufacturing of light bulbs without really solving the problem.</p> <p>Now if only we could continue to get more and more of the population to dump the incandescent bulbs along with all the other excess light bulbs, we wouldnât need a cumbersome government regulation. But again, when we expect government to always provide the answer, without us in our own lives doing the legwork first, we get a situation that is increasingly unworkable. Government grows ever larger, and less responsive, all while growing into an instrument to channel corporate power as you pointed out, and yet things continue to fall apart.</p> <p>Iâm not against government being used as one tool to improve things for all of us, but we have to recognize its limits, for right now too many people, on the left side of the isle especially, think they can simply fix all thatâs wrong with the world by government edict, and frankly, I just donât see it working that way, all that well.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882225&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="LIvJNuL-jCbKEK_x5e-Nvr-B6lmnrMRXPiMZhe7k0bA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Stephen B. (not verified)</span> on 28 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882225">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882226" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293562321"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>On further thought, I'll probably be getting a wood cook stove sometime soon, and I'll *have* to get used to checking on the pies by opening the door :)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882226&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="4V14y0q03axkupbxT_BH1ivzQQRtehud1OLAP3LVnDA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Stephen B. (not verified)</span> on 28 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882226">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882227" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293569812"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>sigh.<br /> to Pierce and Stephen, and the rest of us...<br /> .<br /> Sharon wrote a wonderful piece several years ago, and has since re-posted it. It's The Theory of Anyway.<br /> .<br /> And the jist of it is this. We must do these things we are discussing, not because we can save the world, or our ourselves, children, families, communities... we must do it anyway, because we KNOW it's the right thing to do.<br /> .<br /> We have to live with ourselves.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882227&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Jzy9Ogo72MRdWhw6gz4-rzsJK1k_Fto0iMITFXQumro"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara in Alabama (not verified)</span> on 28 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882227">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882228" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293576295"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Stephen - you raise a lot of worthwhile questions, and perhaps more than I can respond to adequately tonight.</p> <p>I intend to start on a reply, but under multitasking conditions, so may have only a partial answer before tucking myself in this eve.</p> <p>With enough digging - no reason it shouldn't be public record - I expect you'll find a Horror Story⢠behind just about all of those health code regs. Massachusetts bureaucrats may be more pro-active than most others, but do you have to wait until somebody gets hurt in your territory before banning practices that have hurt people elsewhere?</p> <p>Consider the famous story of the McDonald's coffee burn. It's well known what temperatures will cause burns if a fluid is spilled, and they were serving coffee well above that temp from a drivethru on a street full of potholes. (Once it was clear that the restaurant had received numerous complaints about this exact situation, is it any wonder the jury socked it to Mickey D with both fists?) Anyway, MA healthocrats probably started working on an ordinance as soon as they realized that yes, profit-making businesspeople <b>can</b> be that stupidly negligent. (In most of these stories, the industry under review promptly throws lawyers &amp; lobbyists into the fray, and that's when the resulting documents really start to put on some pounds.)</p> <p><i>... we're expecting government to do more and more while we, the individuals, do less and less.</i></p> <p>Quite so. Mostly it's just individuals doing less and less and expecting more and more to be done for them. In many ways, the corporate sector has moved deeper into this territory than the snoopiest government. Better education might go a long way toward addressing this, but so would better job opportunities to motivate better studying. </p> <p><i>There was an interesting study some years ago that found out that Massachusetts residents, along with several other, "liberal", large government states, gave a lower percentage of their income to charity than did several less, liberal states.</i></p> <p>I wouldn't have time/energy to follow up if you posted a link, but my knee-jerk reaction is to distrust such conclusions, or at least to ask a few questions:</p> <p>* "Liberal", "schmiberal" - isn't the proper comparison between high-tax and low-tax states?</p> <p>* "... <i>several</i> less liberal states" sounds too much like cherry-picking. 50 is not an overwhelming data set.</p> <p>* "charity"? If church donations are included, then probably the bible belt states put everybody else in the shade. Even conceding that some fraction of that total actually provides some material help to humans who seriously need it, I would urge citizens of whatever state gives the least to organized superstition to take pride in that.</p> <p><i>... but if not for religion, who was going to bury the dead, do the marriages, and celebrate the other life milestones she asked?</i></p> <p>I know lots of people who jump those hurdles without any assistance from churches. Those who cannot build a social support system without superstition are to be pitied, not emulated.</p> <p><i>...clearly the population as a whole, sadly, isn't ready to go there regarding GW amelioration via government edict.</i></p> <p>Hell, not even the most "liberal" politician is calling for slightly lower speed limits - though there are half a dozen good non-climatological reasons for same. As long as the voting population remains mesmerized by, and has its reality defined by, corporate-controlled tv, this "popular" consensus will continue.</p> <p><i>One thing government has done recently, is put forth a ban on incandescent light bulbs.</i></p> <p>They had a big shelf-full last time I was in a home-supply store.</p> <p>No doubt the LED, fiber optics and related-tech crews have high-temp R&amp;D labs (many operating on tax $) whose spinoff products may well assist in baking many a future pie. Have you any reason to think thermal-equipment manufacturers haven't approached their regulators about the oven question and found willingness to negotiate exceptions? So what if it makes the code book fatter? You just cannot run a high-tech society from a brief scroll of lofty principles (nor a medieval society, judging from the record).</p> <p><i>... for right now too many people, on the left side of the isle especially, think they can simply fix all thatâs wrong with the world by government edict...</i></p> <p>Aww, now you're sounding like a libbie again. Most of the lefties I know (quite a few) consider government "edicts" as only one necessary step in the process of fixing what needs fixing. (Most of the other steps entail public involvement, which as you note is in deficient supply now.)</p> <p>It's been 24 years since I used a wood stove, but even then some of the less backward nations had models with glass windows, plus thermometers and *flashlights*.</p> <p>Okay, enough! Have a good night...</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882228&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="rKL0Xfvs2MnpJzlwpqY9W1zNW6t_PRVDLXFTJwXf4_0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pierce R. Butler (not verified)</span> on 28 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882228">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882229" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293576648"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Sara in Alabama - while not disagreeing with anything you say, my goal is action with <b>results</b> that increase planetary/human viability. A clear conscience would be nice, but I consider that personally moot already...</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882229&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="a8VIVgHA92icqB3i7zXkJyEc9O6VU4QRkjNGeMtEYok"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pierce R. Butler (not verified)</span> on 28 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882229">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882230" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293610654"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"One thing government has done recently, is put forth a ban on incandescent light bulbs.</p> <p>They had a big shelf-full last time I was in a home-supply store."</p> <p>The ban is to be phased in over the next two or so years. They're starting with the higher wattages, and then moving onto the lower ones. Specialty and appliance bulbs are exempt. Like I said, it's complicated rule-making. How are they going to police the difference between a medium base oven light bulb and one that fits into a living room fixture is beyond me, given that there are millions upon millions of ovens and room light fixtures out there that are compatible with each other currently and won't be retired for years and years yet.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882230&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Bf5TklyRZKOi3blXy1SAzSi4ma1rW8oUHeGcNWogr-c"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Stephen B. (not verified)</span> on 29 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882230">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882231" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293612043"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Sharon's excellent post helps us feel connected to a shared truth about what's happening and how we can live in response. For me, the live presence of other humans exploring these ideas, even a very small number, helps create the deep-sigh space where we can confront it, or live what's happening, together. While I confess this has been difficult to do (and currently is) because we confuse ideology with being-in-this-together, it's the "answer" that has most encouraged and blessed me. </p> <p>Onwards and downwards and upwards!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882231&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="bgC4AF_w-54t3X27PoQzOefHaRG0tK-2IwcshUgs2TU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.RadicalRelocalization.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Andrew MacDonald (not verified)</a> on 29 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882231">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882232" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293615268"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Stephen B. - Do you really think the FBI is going to run around investigating whether people are putting specialty oven bulbs in their living room lamps? The point is saving energy, which seems very likely to be accomplished. The main threat in this realm is whether the regs are written in such a way as to interfere with the introduction of LED bulbs if &amp; when those become cost-competitive.</p> <p>May I take it that your silence on my other points equals agreement?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882232&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5Ya6Y4M5_zOZOGj5jqjxmVcNrv7j6cn7XYA84_3JUAQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pierce R. Butler (not verified)</span> on 29 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882232">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882233" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293621688"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Yes, it's a way of life problem.</p> <p>I must tell you though, that at this point, when I hear "Wendell Berry says" I quit listening.</p> <p>He's the perfect example of why the views he espouses gain no traction. His voice is only heard and understood by- those who already understand.</p> <p>Time to find a new voice- he's useless. Cute, nostalgic, intelligent, yeah, yeah; and a complete failure in communication.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882233&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="_77IKGHwI6KWjdecKh8KxVYAJXoKL79Kuf9vUPyadgk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ranklebiter (not verified)</span> on 29 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882233">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882234" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293621892"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>oh, yeah, I was thinking this part was obvious, but that was stupid of me:</p> <p>At your best, Sharon, you are a much more effective communicator, to non-choir persons, than Berry is. So we do have choices there.</p> <p>My preference (personal) - quit citing Berry; make your points without him. I really think, at this juncture, he's a negative factor.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882234&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="utxV_lkQb7NVd-NsPo8-uxeWac6w6urBX8P5RbOkBw8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ranklebiter (not verified)</span> on 29 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882234">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882235" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293627959"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Sharon-Your post was wise. Many of us can consume less and should for many reasons that you explained very well. </p> <p>However, farmers did not leave family farms because of dissatisfaction with their lifestyle. Small farmers left for the city because larger farms and, then, factory farms undermined their ability to make a sufficient income on a small farm. The culture of frugality that accompanied small farms and businesses disappeared as a result of economic change. Also, mass marketing and mass production undermines traditional skills and products. (See Susan Strasser's Waste and Want, for instance.) </p> <p>We can, with some effort, avoid or resist much of this marketing, but everyone needs sufficient means of support.</p> <p>Maybe circumstances will lead to a change to a new culture of sufficiency and more of us will return to the days of bricolage, repair and neighborliness.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882235&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5cytrpHcZfjZbQzol9ZJVygw9UxcygNcaXGlGxKl0zw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tom L (not verified)</span> on 29 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882235">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882236" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293633751"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thought you'd like the work of this artist covering just about all the points you made in this post. <a href="http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/franke-james?utm_content=JamesF_WhatCanOnePersonDo">http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/franke-james?utm_content=JamesF_WhatC…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882236&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ivx9Z0FM44bLy3UpKngpiU_37JgddNfMngqpK7IwG0I"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://amandakovattana.blogspot.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Amanda Kovattana (not verified)</a> on 29 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882236">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882237" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293653493"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This is a wonderful post. Bravo. I especially like:</p> <p>"Those of us who perhaps inadvertantly became global trendsetters, telling an idealized story of how much better and happier we are through consumption of what the future might otherwise have used, might consider telling another story, and if it were told compellingly enough, might engage others, as our original story of freedom and happiness gained through the abandonment of future claims, future people and future rights."</p> <p>Amen. We need a new narrative, into which we can invite folks to step.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882237&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="M6mS9zsEsauz2-d2tBiGD2I8fSf1aSVj4cZo4U9VVU0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.practicingresurrection.wordpress.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Bill (not verified)</a> on 29 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882237">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882238" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293688052"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>fenerbahçe Kulübü, turkcell Süper Lig'de kalan haftalarda maçların aynı saatte baÅlatılması için Futbol Federasyonu'na (TFF) baÅvurdu. fenerbahçe Kulübü'nün internet sitesinde yapılan açıklamada, TFF'nin açıkladıÄı programa göre, hafta sonundaki 31. hafta maçlarının farklı saatlerde oynanacaÄı hatırlatılarak, bunun Åampiyonluk yarıÅında ve düÅme hattında mücadele eden takımları olumsuz etkileyeceÄi ve spekülasyonlara neden olacaÄı ifade edildi.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882238&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="7RTTlCxpTg59JBnpBqYNdhk39iTtDQb1uxieLA7IHec"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.islamciyiz.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">islami sohbet (not verified)</a> on 30 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882238">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882239" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293801614"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I'll tentatively venture a deeper level of understanding on this topic: the problems that we have are related to the nature of life in general.</p> <p>In a sense it seems similar to saying that protons are made up of quarks since our way of life is what actually has bearing on the physical world, but it seems to me that our collective predicament has some similarities to bacteria in a petri dish or elk on an island. </p> <p>Diamond's description of a successful society on a small island (the details of which I don't remember very well at the moment)belies my idea, but if I recall he says that all the people living there Understood the finiteness of the island.</p> <p>Without full understanding of the limits of nature by everybody, I think that any social system we can devise is doomed to failure because (a bit of a slippery slope coming up here with some vague terms) someone who doesn't understand will act in their own interest by acquiring more power and using more resources. Others who also don't understand will follow their example since they don't see any reason not to which leads to an unsustainable situation. I suppose that it might be a tipping point situation where there might be some understanding percentage of a population that would keep the society from plunging into an unsustainable spiral. </p> <p>The financial collapse seems to be a pretty good example of this (although I'm no expert). My take on it though is that after the Great Depression there were some good regulations that were put in place, but were worn down over a number of years by people who didn't fully understand why they were created. They then (I assume mostly inadvertently) proceeded to create an economic bubble in order to enrich themselves.</p> <p>Unexpectedly to me, the problem seems to be pointing to a solution through education. As a Canadian, I listened to a lecture recently about the American Constitution and was moved by the idea that it requires people to be properly educated in order to it to be upheld. Very similarly, in order for 'natural law' (?) to be upheld, people must be worthy of it. </p> <p>To me, this seems like an issue that should be dealt with before deciding on the details of how we live. However, since Sharon somehow seems to know just about everything important, I assume that there must be some good reason why it isn't discussed.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882239&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="3LHFwHEm94TP85KHwZEzdP8VWBELHKlqXF5DDHhtPIE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Calvin (not verified)</span> on 31 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882239">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1882240" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1293803505"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>Without full understanding of the limits of nature by everybody, I think that any social system we can devise is doomed to failure because.. someone who doesn't understand will act in their own interest by acquiring more power and using more resources. Others who also don't understand will follow their example since they don't see any reason not to..</p></blockquote> <p>"Understanding" the situation is irrelevant to its outcome. Bacteria in a Petri dish, rats in a cage, deer on an island, humans in the biosphere.. will exploit the resources provided by their environments until those resources are exhausted and populations collapse. The only thing that will prevent this outcome is if competitors, predators, parasites &amp; disease keep population at or below the level that can be sustained indefinitely by the resources the environment provides. Maintaining population at this level can only occur in a biodiverse, complex, functioning ecosystem. A Petri dish, cage, or island doesn't provide such an ecosystem. In the case of humans, our natural competitors, predators, parasites &amp; diseases have largely been circumvented and we have discovered how to exploit the potential energy provided by photosynthesis &amp; reduced fossil carbon, to massively grow our population far beyond the level that can be indefinitely sustained by the resources provided by the environment. The unavoidable outcome is that human population will crash. This outcome is inevitable whether people understand the implications of acting as if infinite economic &amp; population growth is possible on a finite planet, or not. People "will act in their own interest by acquiring more power and using more resources" whether or not they understand the implications. In fact, providing people with such "understanding" via education or outreach only equips them with better means of acting in their own personal or familial interests to the detriment of the group and of the environment the group operates in and consciously or unconsciously seeks to destroy.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1882240&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="OgEr8-SCQc4vhFTzg8Z2jvxez7DFk5tmRqCTxUFV-Ho"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">darwinsdog (not verified)</span> on 31 Dec 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1882240">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/casaubonsbook/2010/12/27/what-does-it-matter%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Mon, 27 Dec 2010 10:54:36 +0000 sastyk 63555 at https://www.scienceblogs.com Going Forward: On the Subject of the Previous Post https://www.scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2010/08/25/on-the-subject-of-the-previous <span>Going Forward: On the Subject of the Previous Post</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It is tempting to despair of all action. And sometimes those who despair are right. But sometimes they aren't. And this, I think is an important and central point for everyone who hits those moments when they simply don't believe society will self-correct in any measure from its impending ecological disaster. I should be clear - I don't believe it will self-correct in every measure, or even as much as I wish desperately it would. But I also do not believe that what one does to mitigate suffering, soften impacts, make life livable or plan for a better outcome is wasted. </p> <p>I'd tell you why I believe this, but I think the best ever articulation of this reason, the reason why I talk about rationing and rational possible responses to depletion and limitation even when they may not happen, was made by Thomas Princen, author of the wonderful and intellectually illuminating book _The Logic of Sufficiency_. Princen writes:</p> <p><em>I take heart not in the occasional enviornmental law passed, the tightening of one country's automobile efficiency standards, the international agreement on ozone or timber or toxic substances, but in the hard cases, those little-noticed but nontrivial instances of restrained timber cutting or shortened lobster fishing or community rejection of full automobility. And I take heart in, of call places, sites like the Middle East or Sri Lana and the Koreas. I discovered in my earlier research on international conflict resolution that however intractable an intersocietal conflict may be, there are always people working on the solution. Pick the direst time in the Middle East conflict, for example, and you can find someone hidden away in a basement drawing up maps for the water and sewer lines, the lines that wil connect the two societies and that must be built <strong>when peace is reached</strong>, as inconceivable as that is at the time. Someone else is sketching the constitution for the new country, the one that is also inconceivable at the time. And someone else is outlining the terms of trade for the as yet unproduced goods that will traverse the two societies' border. We do not hear about these people because it is the nature of their work, including the dangers of their activities that make it so. Surrounded by intense conflict, hatred and violence, these people appear the fool, idealists who do not know or can not accept the reality of their societies' situation. If they really knew that situation, others would say, they would be 'realists'; they would concentrate their efforts on hard bargaining, economic incentives and military force. But in practice, when the threshold is passed, when leaders shake hands or a jailed dissident is freed or families from the two sides join together, everyone casts about for new ways to organize.</em></p> <p>My prognosis, foolish and idealistic as it may seem to some, is that that threshold, that day of biophysical reckoning, is near. And with it, serious questioning about humans' patterns of material provisioning, their production, their conumption, their work and tehir play. Then the premises of modern industrial societies - capitalist, socialist, communist - will crumble. Efficiency will provide little guidance because it so readily translates to continuing material throughput. A little intensification here, some specialization there just will not make things better. A feedlot is still a feedlot, a conveyor belt still a conveyor belt. When it becomes obvious that efficiency-driven societies can no longer continue their excesses, displace their costs, postpone their investments in natural capital, when it is obvious they can no longer grow their way out of climate change and species extinction and aquifer depletion and the bioaccumulation of persistant toxic substances, people everywhere will indeed be casting about. Some will gravitate to the extremes - religious fundamentalism, survivalist homesteading, totalitarian government. Many, though, will seek paths that are familiar, if not prevalent. Notions of moderation and prudence and stewardship will stand up, as if they were just waiting to be noticed, waiting for their time, even though, in many realms, they were already there. (Princen, _The Logic of Sufficiency_ 359-360) </p> <p>Thomas Princen is not, if you meet him, a wide eyed optimist in the sense that we think of it - he's a professor of Natural Resource and Environmental Policy at U Michigan. His book isn't a feel-good crunchy narrative, but a close examination of the economic and ecological impact of the ideas of efficiency in energy and economics and examples of restraint. And yet, I think his kind of optimism is available to us, and should be - it is not that it is inevitable that the leaders that have been making war will make peace - we know it isn't. It is that it is possible. </p> <p>We have closed off a great number of options - and that's a deep and profound disappointment. In my lifetime it would have been possible to do a great deal to make the realities of depletion and climate change a great deal less severe, and we didn't do it. Now our options are frankly less palatable, less appealing and more painful - the choices are harder, the results are going to be a lot less good. It would be easy to conclude from the fact that my parents' generation and those who came before them who tried to address these issues failed, that failure is inevitable. And if you set up success as outside the realm of real possibility - constraint of climate change back to old ways, not having to radically change of life, failure will be, as John Michael Greer has observed, inevitable.</p> <p>But we also know that in our human history are many examples of the unthinkable becoming thinkable, quite rapidly even. There are any number of examples - who would have believed that slavery in the US, the basis of a huge portion of our economy, could be done away with? Who would have believed that truth and reconciliation and change could have brought about an end to apartheid? Who would have believed, growing up as I did in an America where my mother and step-mother had to keep an empty room for my step-mother to pretend to sleep in, so that the landlord and the courts that could take my mother's children away from her would not know that she was a lesbian, that by the time all their children were grown, my mother and step-mother would be married in both their church and in their state? </p> <p>Change happens - it happens slowly, painfully, incrementally, and rapidly, agonizingly, ripping things apart as it goes. It never goes fast enough, it never comes exactly as we predict, but when it comes the strategies that enable us to go forward are desperately needed. It is quite possible that the two warring leaders will never shake hands, and will continue to lay waste to their countries. It is certain that without strategies for negotiating peace, they will continue to do so until everything is destroyed. And it is possible that given those interventions, they may yet make an inconceivable piece and a place to begin going forward from.</p> <p>So call me a lunatic optimist - I'm good with it. But damn it, take time to consider before you abandon lunatic optimism, before you assume that we will never change, or only for the worst. Consider once, consider twice, consider a third time and consider anyway doing the work that would enable us not to march to our doom, or not a quickly, or not as many. If it is not one strategy, find another, one that suits you, a map you can make in your basement, if needed, a garden you can grow behind your house, as you also make the plans for the day when the maps come into the light and the gardens stretch out in front yards as far as your eyes can see.</p> <p>Sharon</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/sastyk" lang="" about="/author/sastyk" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sastyk</a></span> <span>Wed, 08/25/2010 - 04:44</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/future" hreflang="en">future</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/action" hreflang="en">action</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/despair" hreflang="en">despair</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/rationing" hreflang="en">rationing</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/future-0" hreflang="en">The Future</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/social-sciences" hreflang="en">Social Sciences</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880539" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282729255"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Well said, Sharon. Standing, clapping.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880539&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="YXaEaoIXFgBoULIADlW2jyYTwd3hIcjWNTgLLIW-90g"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">NM (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880539">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880540" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282729702"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>You're not a lunatic optimist. But so long as you talk about rationing as a solution to the allocation of scarce natural resources, you sound to anyone who is economically literate much as someone who proposes a perpetual motion machine as a solution to energy supply does to a physicist. And it doesn't matter how scarce the resource gets or how vital it is. Just as it doesn't matter what combination of pulleys, rotating gears, and floats that perpetual motion machine uses. </p> <p>And yeah, if you make a comparison between oil and kidneys for transplant, that's much like the advocate of a perpetual motion machine pointing out that the universe hasn't run down yet. Not all economics is bunk. And studying it won't turn you into a Republican.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880540&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="v5r6GIB9-RUVKYcB4Hvsxhu-qwtQ5_XiTVZ8PoXrVq0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://rturpin.wordpress.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Russell (not verified)</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880540">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880541" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282735661"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>take time to consider before you abandon lunatic optimism, before you assume that we will never change, or only for the worst.</p></blockquote> <p>unless we change our ways. Human population collapse is inevitable, period. This is no reason for despair, however. It will likely happen after we, personally, are dead, and despair is a futile reaction to nature taking its course, in any case. Do the right thing not because it will make any difference in the overall picture. Do the right thing because it makes you feel better. And have fun doing it.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880541&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="JTGVGUKHmzBMFTMDtbzzK0pZ0l2utKyhba7yn-YULkE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">darwinsdog (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880541">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880542" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282736153"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"Not all economics is bunk. And studying it won't turn you into a Republican. "</p> <p>The only economics that is *NOT* bunk is biophysical economics that takes into consideration the physical laws governing our world and understands that all economics is a subset of the natural world. Everything else has about as much value as social science based on astrological charts.<br /> All mathy and sciency sounding but without the advantage of falsifiability and the predictive value of a true scientific theory.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880542&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="yndLwOMC4xTVv6IR_eqgtA7j-Ossuhl_Cm8IWL2IhP8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Fred Magyar (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880542">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880543" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282736898"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>The only economics that is *NOT* bunk is biophysical economics that takes into consideration the physical laws governing our world and understands that all economics is a subset of the natural world.</p></blockquote> <p>If economists were sufficiently intelligent to grasp "the physical (and biological) laws governing our world" they would have studied the physical &amp; biological sciences rather than the silly stuff they pretend is real. </p> <p>Sorry for the formatting error in post #3.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880543&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="2IYgoX_DFGiixKhDOmSIEyRLE2EnkNJdTYn3Sl7ML1M"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">darwinsdog (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880543">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880544" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282737077"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Sharon, I think the very fact that you're having to double-down, dig in your heels, and defend your optimism should be cause to question whether your hope is realistic.</p> <p>Respectfully, the sorts of essays that read the way yours do tend to occur on the part of those who are in the death throes of a losing argument, shortly before they buckle under the weight of the obvious and concede that they were wrong.</p> <p>I mean, all along you are conceding to the negative trendlines and STILL coming to a positive conclusion. This starts to veer into 2012 style thinking that one day we'll all see the light, rather than the grinding decline and endless short-term triage and muddling-through that Greer envisions.</p> <p>The "overnight epiphany" idea is intoxicatingly appealing for us doomers. I'd love it to be true, but it's not very likely.</p> <p>We've had various media events that touch on doom (Earth 2100, 11th Hour, Inconvenient Truth, Ruppert's Collapse, "Avatar Blues", Wall-E). I keep on waiting for the mass culture shift and it just fades away like The Wave at a stadium. We've had climate catastrophes such as Pakistan and Russia this year (I'm not even including Katrina). It seems like nothing short of Klaatu making the earth stand still could possibly cause the kind of rapid consciousness shift that you're talking about. We've become numb to doom, or we just don't connect the dots, or we just don't see the point in changing our behavior or ideology to address it (fatalism).</p> <p>Have you paid attention to a shift in tone on the part of your peers such as Kunstler, Heinberg, or McKibben? You're aware of their most recent writings, are you not?</p> <p>Richard Heinberg spoke a few months ago in Lexington and there was very little hope on tap from him, unlike the tone he originally struck when he arrived on the peaker scene.</p> <p>Activists these days have the careworn look of a thousand "dark nights of the soul", awkward pregnant pauses, and a strained body language that betrays whatever positive veneer they layer on for public consumption.</p> <p>I was at an Eaarth book discussion a while back, full of well-to-do professionals and I'd say 80% of them including the head of the environmental group were pretty much confessing to each-other that we're screwed.</p> <p>Lester Brown seems to be the only guy still clinging to the original techno-fix playbook, with his ever-revised Plan B series.</p> <p>I'm all for hoping for the best, and doing the right thing as a matter of principle, but I still expect the worst. That wasn't the case 5 years ago, but the verdict is coming in. With every ecological event, every additional down-leg on the economy, every poll that indicates people burying their heads deeper and deeper in the sands.</p> <p>I am going to continue to strive in one way or another for a better future, but I don't think it's likely to avert an (eventual) future that anybody with two brain cells would interpret as a Charlton Heston-grade dystopia.</p> <p>If someone told me when I was a kid that the icecaps would be melting and species would be going extinct at a rapid clip I'd feel that this world, despite the iPhones and Xboxes, would be a dystopia. So like Bill's premise with Eaarth, what we wanted to preserve has already irrevocably lost, and in a literal blink of an eye. What we have left to save is now a rapidly moving target and people just don't give a crap as long as they have cheap Big Macs and American Idol.</p> <p>As pathetic as it sounds, for the most part, all I expect out of the future is a close circle of people who do give a crap that I can lean on for suppport. That's pretty much my minimal definition of "success" which might actually be achievable in the midst of everything still crumbling all around me.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880544&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ExX1Oy_Hf6r3v9vC2BKvvn5u3xIRHnIr1MKQ5L6kOR8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://doomsteaddiary.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ed Straker (not verified)</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880544">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880545" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282740162"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I'm confused by why so many commenters here feel that it is obviously false that we as a society would embrace something like rationing, even going so far as to liken it to a perpetual motion machine. I mean, I don't think we'll all jump on the bandwagon tomorrow or anything, but clearly false? I can't see why. The biggest reason why I don't buy that is that *we've done it before*. Everyone knows that there was strict rationing in place during WWII; and everyone should know that this was coming on the heels of one of the most decadent periods in American history, during which, lo and behold, no one would have dreamed that rationing would be embraced. So could it happen again? Of course it could. Is it likely? Not particularly. But likening it to a perpetual motion machine is simply a false analogy. Perpetual motion machines are physically impossible; there is absolutely no law--physical, sociological, natural, or any other--that would preclude rationing happening again in America.</p> <p>For myself, I look to a group that no one else ever does for hope--Generation X. You see, as a generation, this group has pretty much given up on everything else--the idea of retirement, of Social Security, of having a secure job or secure lifestyle, or anything else that the generations before take for granted. What we haven't given up on is community, and family, and taking care of our own, and working together on a small scale to make change (because we've mostly given up on large scale, national level change, even though we might in principle favor it). I suspect that a great deal of Gen-Xers would be content to live with rationing--especially at the community level--if it meant a little more for everyone. No one else believes it, but we don't have much of a sense of entitlement, probably because we've spent our whole lives having others tell us that we'll have a lower standard of living than our parents and that we probably deserve it. Magically, it's exactly this downtrodden, defeatist attitude so prevalent in my generation that might carry us through. Sure, we'll take the hit, we'll lose the jobs, take the pay cuts, submit to rationing, so that our kids can have a more secure childhood and a better community to live in, and just maybe our country will pull through. Frankly, I don't think many of us expected much different anyhow.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880545&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="YyMLZRuUj9jQbYbdoRdiFoiBhktB7GdklrPILPagL8g"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://adaptinginplace.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robyn M. (not verified)</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880545">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880546" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282741347"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I suspect Russell will recognize that I am not an economist when I say that I would rather accept limits on what I could buy than heedlessly consume such a large share that food prices rose beyond what others in my community could bear and they were driven to desperation.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880546&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="zNXlmzkyYiXt0sImU9Cx1fzFLd7RYggakM3JaTCTtMs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dewey (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880546">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880547" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282742278"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Robyn: Well said. I think also that many of us Gen-Xers have been anticipating doom in the back of our minds for most of our lives, so anything we can do to cushion the blow, we'll do.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880547&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="tFskFYQZXjC0RZps2C8J0rSzqkqn3GYNDtITrFtVaVA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Laura (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880547">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880548" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282743511"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Darwinsdog, please feel free to explain why eliminating the rationing and price controls on oil eliminated the gas lines of the 70s, though the underlying physics of oil extraction remained the same. Robyn, I didn't compare rationing or society's acceptance of it to a perpetual motion machine. I compared belief that it does anything to solve the problem of fossil fuel scarcity to the belief in perpetual motion machines. I would like those who speak about resource limits from a physical perspective to sound like they are half-way educated on related topics, also. And I sincerely hope the "decadent" decade to which you referred was the 90s, and not the 30s. Dewey, I share your preference. One way of implementing that trade might be to put everyone over 21 BMI into a dog cage and feed them dandelions until they are back below that. Sound great? There are more and less painful ways to deal with limits. Rationing natural resources to individuals would be one of the more painful and costly. Fortunately, it's no more likely than dog cages for the chubby.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880548&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="O2sYRH2700Gc1Mn9FIRB0YxPG9yNdhEfz-bb5fZijr4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://rturpin.wordpress.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Russell (not verified)</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880548">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880549" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282744065"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>You're a lunatic optimist. But I guess someone has to do it.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880549&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="wVD9vseB_tAMwlWGB7BxPZNMXydw9luAO3rIEgyDRVk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">theshortearedowl (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880549">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880550" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282744638"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>Darwinsdog, please feel free to explain why eliminating the rationing and price controls on oil eliminated the gas lines of the 70s, though the underlying physics of oil extraction remained the same.</p></blockquote> <p>What eliminated the gas lines of the 70s was that OPEC lifted the embargo. </p> <p>Since that time, the underlying physics of oil extraction may not have changed but the accessibility of remaining oil reserves has changed dramatically. The world is now at the position the US was in circa 1972 on Hubbert's asymmetric logistic production curve, i.e., just to the right and a little below the apex of the distribution. Since the distribution is left skewed the descent will be more abrupt and quicker than the ascent. All the easy to extract oil is already gone. Sucking the dregs will ensure that production is more expensive, dirtier, more difficult and more prone to accidents.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880550&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="xEiIEUZ7FkGOjcutGgTC0xxQEuUg6E8G20CAtN_CaDw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">darwinsdog (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880550">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880551" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282745284"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"For myself, I look to a group that no one else ever does for hope--Generation X."</p> <p>I'm Generation-X and I can say that while we did have an inferiority complex growing up, overshadowed by the demographic bulge of the baby boomers, the dot com boom of the 90s and the associated narrative of "the geeks shall inherit the earth" went a LONG way to wiping away the early 90s grunge slacker outlook that we used to have.</p> <p>Today, Generation-X who met with success during the tech boom are now just another generation of yuppies living in McMansions and spending all their time distracted by gadgets and watching reality TV, consumed with nostalgia which drives all these remakes and reboots.</p> <p>That's not that different from any generation that ages into the prime earning stage.</p> <p>That's why you have Hummer ads featuring Asteroids.</p> <p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P6_jMNDL44">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P6_jMNDL44</a></p> <p>Madison Avenue finally welcomed us to the machine and we embraced it with open arms.</p> <p>So if you happen to know where all the Gen-Xers are that are living in yurts and building food forests, let me know, because I don't see them.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880551&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="uT2tMspcXlXInYMifhhzbLW1eKE9p0gG8PIBjAhjmMc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://doomsteaddiary.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ed Straker (not verified)</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880551">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880552" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282745405"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>"What eliminated the gas lines of the 70s was that OPEC lifted the embargo."</i></p> <p>True, for the oil crisis of 1973. But the lines returned in the late 70s, during the Iranian revolution. What ended those lines? And we didn't we see a return of gas lines, even when prices a couple of years back went higher than then?</p> <p><i>"Since the distribution is left skewed the descent will be more abrupt and quicker than the ascent."</i></p> <p>Care to place a friendly wager on that? It shouldn't be too hard to pick some criteria to measure that. It's just physics, right? ;-)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880552&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="OsWIQv5NQUF7Yz3j5uYM71d1z2N_sFRqIX-xdTYgZ4c"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://rturpin.wordpress.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Russell (not verified)</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880552">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880553" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282746986"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>"What eliminated the gas lines of the 70s was that OPEC lifted the embargo."</p> <p>True, for the oil crisis of 1973. But the lines returned in the late 70s, during the Iranian revolution. What ended those lines? And we didn't we see a return of gas lines, even when prices a couple of years back went higher than then?</p></blockquote> <p>I've been driving since 1969 or '70. I remember the OPEC embargo. I was in the army at the time. I don't think I ever waited in line to buy gas, probably because I bought gas on base. I don't remember any lines at all in the late '70s. I was in college at the time, drove a gas-guzzling F-350 truck and had quite a commute from where I lived in rural Illinois to town. Maybe there were gas lines regionally but I don't remember ever waiting in line to buy gas in those days. </p> <p>In 2008 when oil hit its all-time high price so far, there was no supply bottleneck and hence no shortage. On the contrary, high prices motivated a production peak that will probably never be exceeded. Those high prices reduced demand which in turn resulted in reduced prices. The so-called 'powers-that-be' would like for people to believe that reduced demand &amp; prices motivated reduced production, and that production could be ramped back up should demand &amp; price re-inflate, but the truth is that the world was pumping at its flat-out maximum rate and that rate could probably not be achieved again regardless of price.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880553&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="uU-C_4lI0Wp1L_48LYQEwKlZiFjefccmiZH5W3fQ94k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">darwinsdog (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880553">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880554" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282749121"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Russell sez: "One way of implementing that trade might be to put everyone over 21 BMI into a dog cage and feed them dandelions until they are back below that. Sound great?"</p> <p>How'd you know I'm planning just that for the D(F)H? Just keep quiet until I can lure him into the basement, will ya?</p> <p>Seems to me that if there were to be a food crisis - let's define this as one to several years during which harvests simply do not provide enough grain for BAU - there would be several approaches to avoiding starvation.</p> <p>1. The state could ration very scarce commodities to make sure the non-rich can have some, and/or ration resource-gobbling commodities like grain-fed meat as a way of coercing lower total consumption. Yes, this would be "painful and costly."</p> <p>2. The state could outright prohibit the most wasteful uses, e.g. turning corn into SUV-juice. This would also be painful and costly, especially for the ethanol plant owners (though they wouldn't starve), but also for anyone whose favorite form of gluttony was affected.</p> <p>3. The state could buy up a chunk of the crop using tax dollars, at market prices, and give food directly to the needy. This might be better than coupons all around. Of course, it would still have costs, and would increase the price of food, tipping some of the semi-needy over the edge into neediness.</p> <p>4. The state could prohibit the export of food so enough would remain on the domestic market to prevent local unrest. The cost is that many developing-country consumers whose own farmers were deliberately driven out of business by subsidized grain imports would starve before they could revitalize their own agricultural systems (which may require land reform and training a whole new generation of farmers). I find this utterly repulsive, and it would provide a legitimate motive for "blowback," but it's a likely response by many governments.</p> <p>5. Or, of course, the state could just let the all-powerful market do whatever it likes with the grain, and provide its own hungry people with cash welfare so they can go on eating. Costs include higher taxes, higher deficits, and possible inflation.</p> <p>Russell, do you think any of those would be more tolerable, or do you have any other ideas that I haven't seen?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880554&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="fZY_ihoj0Li2PJwcP3_c5NFgAdW2nxqJNdYOzFAdOwk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dewey (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880554">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="78" id="comment-1880555" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282750927"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Honestly, Russell, I know studying economics won't turn me into a Republican - but it might make me do things like pretend that economics is a science. I think it is interesting that the parallels you use are to hard sciences - this is, of course, the great myth that economists of all stripes have tried to propagate, that economics is a science. This is, of course, also wrong.</p> <p>Economics is a social science, and its assumptions, "laws" and rules are like those of any social science - of moderate and interesting value (my own training is in the humanities and social sciences and I have a high regard for the use of those disciplines to examine the world), possibly at times revealing deep and important things - but not on the order of science, not provable, and built on assumptions that are theory - not in the scientific sense, but in the sense that historical theories are theory, or theories of political science are theory. </p> <p>Economics as a discipline is so invested in the false notion that its underlying assumptions are, in fact, science that it actually has managed to convince most of its adherents that it is one. But that doesn't make it true. It is true that what I'm saying may look like someone coming to a physicist with a perpetual motion machine to an economist, but that's as much the problem of the economist as mine - the economist has accepted a set of principles that are not written in stone, that are properly seen as theory in the liberal arts sense, and believes that they are theory in the scientific sense. That's such a vast intellectual error that as deep and profound as my errors may be, I'm not sure that most economists can actually point them out. </p> <p>Sharon</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880555&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ArQoXRh76jURaMieqGrYiQhmxbAxibbwnrz7vBVzXOg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/sastyk" lang="" about="/author/sastyk" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sastyk</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880555">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/sastyk"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/sastyk" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880556" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282750937"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>1) would cause shortages and make the food crisis worse, a terrible idea all around. 2) isn't needed, since corn production for ethanol would drop to zero once state subsidies for that are dropped. 4) wouldn't serve the purpose you want, likely just causing a further decrease in harvest. 3) might help some, but would be terribly inefficient as people tried to sell their grain allotment for what else they need, with a lot of grain then going to waste. Of all the things you propose, 5) is by far the best choice. </p> <p>All that said, I think the probability of the food crisis you describe happening in the US in our lifetime is about nil. And no, it doesn't follow as a direct consequence of peak oil.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880556&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="sDXQcAU7x-ExPSYuD0uRIEd4svoi2zC9cjVTdD8rYt4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://rturpin.wordpress.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Russell (not verified)</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880556">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="78" id="comment-1880557" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282751626"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Ed, I don't think you and I are talking about the same things - the optimism we have here is not the bullshit of The Great Turning or that other sort of crap. It is simply the recognition that things happen to make people deal with them. They can deal ill or badly, but they will deal - and probably through a mix of both. The odds are also statistically in favor of the idea that critical moments will occur that force people to deal before we're all struck by a meteor and all life is extinguished.</p> <p>I actually think you are going to have to make a better case - you mean having to defend optimism is always proof you are failing? Really? Even when Winston Churchill did it? Even when Gandhi did? Look, I'm not Winnie or Gandhi, and don't pretend to be, but that's not the strongest argument - whenever there are reasons to despair, there's always a lively debate about how despairing you should be. It isn't proof of anything.</p> <p>As for my colleagues - pointing out that I'm less doomy than Jim Kunstler probably isn't the best way to persuade me I'm wrong ;-) - this is the guy who said we were going all die during Y2K and the Dow was going to hit 2000 in 2005. Richard has been in despair about the human race since before I was born. And McKibben basically says what I do - we're fucked, but it isn't clear that we can't pull anything out of being fucked.</p> <p>Sharon</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880557&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="dxjiqQKhjIjv6fqoXeZKNKi1ApZX7KFd9I-0bbBs4hc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/sastyk" lang="" about="/author/sastyk" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sastyk</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880557">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/sastyk"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/sastyk" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880558" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282752876"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I think it's a deep error to think that any finding in a social science can be dismissed, just because they're not hard sciences. Someone who claims that humans don't show confirmation bias or that humans 10,000 years past had no tool technology is just showing ignorance, and not just a difference of opinion that can be defended by saying that psychology and history are social sciences, and hence their claims are only "of moderate and interesting value.., possibly at times revealing deep and important things - but not on the order of science, not provable."</p> <p>I agree -- I suspect most economists would agree! -- that many of the mathematical models that field has produced have run quite a ways away from the data. One reason for studying a field is to get a sense for where its uncertainties lie. And I suspect that part of what makes the social sciences seem "soft" with respect to the hard sciences is that they have much larger areas where the uncertainty is uncertain. ;-) But they each, including economics, have areas that are pretty damn proven.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880558&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="iODjr_xkgMag3piPSDDpX6VyMTzoIDN8bvtM-kbd9tA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://rturpin.wordpress.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Russell (not verified)</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880558">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880559" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282753234"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Russell - Thanks, that was an informative and helpful response (I concede you may be right to favor cash welfare payments), except for the possible mindreading effort at the end. I have never thought that a food crisis should be a direct consequence of peak oil. It might, however, plausibly result from an unfortunate confluence of events, such as a serious epidemic of a fungal disease of wheat, weather extremes that kill crops in some agricultural areas, the disappearance of glaciers that feed others, and a major segment of China's or Australia's farmers finally exhausting their water supplies. All of these things are either happening right now or plausibly likely to happen within my lifetime. If they should all happen around the same time, things could get ugly. I would certainly prefer that that did not happen (though I suspect that it will at some point, because if we avoid it now it will only mean more growth and more depletion by the time the next crisis hits).</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880559&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="UepUTJ3THsxg0aE0Tw8iGgDzHCP5KQ6Ml6Bsbc-Pj7w"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dewey (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880559">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880560" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282758597"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Arguably, slavery was done away with because it became cheaper for rich people to operate the way they do, now. Slaves and their upkeep weren't cheap, after all. Slavery never really went away, when you think about Third World working conditions. </p> <p>The same class of people has been in charge this whole time. Worsening economic conditions increase the likelihood of highly profitable wars, which only make them more powerful and capable of mercilessly crushing dissent. The government has never served anything but the interests of the ruling class. </p> <p>Persecution of gay people have fallen out of favor, but persecution of Muslims is increasing proportionately. </p> <p>Optimism, in itself, is not a good thing. Optimism that one might be rich, too, one day is a big part of what keeps people from revolting. I just don't see the point to anything beyond self sufficiency and adaptation to poverty. </p> <p>If communities truly became self-sufficient and independent of The System on any kind of meaningful scale, it would start to be harshly punished. Consider that you have to pay taxes in US dollars on barter transactions. It is literally illegal not to participate. </p> <p>At what point does continued optimism become intellectually dishonest?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880560&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="e9SaNadOgIwGNcC6bnV2FuknMf-nwr9CeRBO9VcrPXA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">inverse_agonist (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880560">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880561" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282764666"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"McKibben basically says what I do - we're fucked, but it isn't clear that we can't pull anything out of being fucked."</p> <p>--</p> <p>It will be interesting to see if he comes across that way when he speaks this weekend, and if so, how people react to such an, um, inspiring message. That will at least give you a real datapoint to work with ;)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880561&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="4W1hM5Lh3jDOOcX3bzdoYKj1Dht2Le2nEF0v4YojOh8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://doomsteaddiary.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ed Straker (not verified)</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880561">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880562" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282766877"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>inverse_agonist:</p> <blockquote><p>Arguably, slavery was done away with because it became cheaper for rich people to operate the way they do, now.</p></blockquote> <p>There's quite a bit of economic argument about the relative efficiency of slavery, and historical argument about the external cost of maintaining it by state and federal enforcement. That said, as a matter of history, there was considerable wealth invested in it, and it didn't disappear due to competition, the way vacuum tubes lost out to solid state circuitry or Kodachrome has to digital photo arrays. Slavery was eliminated by moral crusade and war. Cultural forces rather than purely economic ones did it in. So arguing whether it might have survived as a profitable institution as the economy and technology changed is one of those counterfactuals where it's easy to spin tales both ways.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880562&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="qE9EDhQ8jgRAek0zWE2aFrX7XxINN3BEIJHu6xQ-uVs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://rturpin.wordpress.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Russell (not verified)</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880562">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880563" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282770322"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>darwinsdog (#15), I personally sat in gas lines in 1979. This was in suburban Philadelphia, where my birth family lived at the time. That summer, while I was between college and grad school, I was working for a chemical company about 20 or so miles from home, commuting back and forth in a 1974 Maverick (a terrible car, BTW, but I digress). More than once I left work for an hour or two in the middle of the day so I wouldn't have to sit in line for longer than that, which I'd have had to do if I'd tried to buy it during rush hour. No one minded, in fact they were doing the same thing.</p> <p>Someone mentioned odd-even day rationing in the previous post. Pennsylvania was doing that that summer, exactly as described - you could buy gas on an even-numbered day if your license plate ended in an even number, on an odd-numbered day otherwise. The Maverick got poor gas mileage and had a small gas tank besides. It wouldn't get across the entire east-west distance of the state without a fill-up. I traveled to grad school, in Illinois, late that summer. We had to pick the day so I could buy gas that day. My mom's station wagon (she was helping to transport some of my things) had a big enough tank to get across the state, so it was my car that was the limiting factor. Once we got into Ohio, there was no rationing. Something about being on the East Coast was the difference. I don't remember why and haven't researched it, but gasoline supplies were short that summer on the East Coast but not in the Midwest.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880563&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="VwTv4KY2noop0dsf6PZ9dyaZtSrIBhMslqKe0vK2pYs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Claire (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880563">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880564" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282772994"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Robyn M.,</p> <p>Yes, we did rationing before. This time, though, rationing would hurt commercial and retail interests; it didn't during WWII because it was a scarce economy, and the major market was the war effort and unaffected by rationing.</p> <p>This time, reducing purchases would cost jobs from the affected employers. You can read about the way deflation has hurt Japan over the last decade, and how deflation is reducing the ability of our economy to again sustain the nation as well as the government's excesses. Deflation happens because people don't buy as much. In our consumerist economy, industry, commerce, and government are all based on the assumption of continued buying by consumers. "Cash For Clunkers" was supposed support and grow industry - it was always a terrible thing to do to honest citizens. It grew debt - one of the important aspects of combating deflation. Today's news about companies "hoarding" cash (not spending it on wages or expansion), and especially on banks trying to increase the number of loans they are making, are significant and troubling signs of deflation at the national level. There is no accepted, proven government policy that will defuse deflation and turn it around, because deflation depends on whether people want to buy, which depends on expectations and fears and hopes about the future.</p> <p>Anyway. Deflation aside, anything that reduces consumer buying may help reduce consumer debt, and may increase options for preparation or savings. But slowing buying at any level <em>will</em> hurt the economy, slow tax revenue, increase national debt, hurt employers, and threaten those in need depending on government support. Rationing or systemic slowing of buying will help buyers - but increases strain on the economy the rest of the nation depends upon.</p> <p>This kind of either-or economy didn't exist during WWII.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880564&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5qfDHoOS7k5DP0LP2Ar9Zbnus6K3S801nOL5qANsG7g"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.itsaboutmakingbabies.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Brad K. (not verified)</a> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880564">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880565" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282776892"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Went crabbing under oar power today. Limited, actually brought home more calories than I burned. I still drove the 3 miles to my anchorage though. Next step is converting the Burlely tykes bicycle trailer to a cargo trailer to haul gear to the boat and crab back. Then the "Low Carbon Crab Company" will live. No paying customers, just feed us and share with the neighbors.<br /> The point is, that's my optimistic activity; using human muscle to do useful work feeding family and community, when all others use 10 to 200 H.P. motors to do the same.</p> <p>Glenn,</p> <p>Marrowstone Island</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880565&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="hulfLlTPJEueQ4FXdIflQmGUaxR80SXHH5TMavgF6ls"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Glenn (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880565">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880566" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282777011"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>OK Sharon. Will you bring back The Theory of Anyway NOW?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880566&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="jrTaR_6cgECOx_u9YrNsnZeqaj87amNOPfFCHUIaurg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara in Alabama (not verified)</span> on 25 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880566">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880567" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282805359"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Difficult to call and situation varies around the world.</p> <p>Unfortunately I think people's inertia + the momentum of the working masses, schooled in a growth mental model - means that BAU must be seen to crash, and very badly at that, before anything will change significantly.</p> <p>When I say badly I mean a collapse to the point that TV is off air, there has been death through starvation in your neighbourhood and you personally are genuinely worried about making it through next winter.</p> <p>I fear that that's the level of distress needed to make people think "Me going to work is part of the problem".</p> <p>Because that IS the problem. We are trained to keep the system going, and us all going to work just perpetuates the system. Yes, I go to work. I don't see a way out of this. </p> <p>Unless people en-masse drop the entire lifestyle (= decades of training) BAU will claim us in perpetuity.</p> <p>So what can I do?? Try for some land (hah! I'm in England, living in a down-at-heel area. Problem: there is just so little land; I need to raise somewhere north of $300,000 for 1/4 acre with house. Hence stupid time-consuming "work"); read Greer, CB, EB, try to raise people's awareness. But they just don't care.</p> <p>OK. One step at a time....</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880567&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="zYRdQemrWhVGULBP9YX9bXZYnl6tOolp5Ut96BY7anY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steve (not verified)</span> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880567">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880568" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282806488"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"Today, Generation-X who met with success during the tech boom are now just another generation of yuppies living in McMansions and spending all their time distracted by gadgets and watching reality TV, consumed with nostalgia which drives all these remakes and reboots."</p> <p>Ed, I agree that this has happened to some Gen-Xers. Do you know any of them yourself, by chance? The ones who've met with success and now drive HumVees? I've heard a lot about them, mostly from others, but have never had the chance to actually meet one myself. Of course, I also don't know many Gen-Xers who're building food forests, either, but I do know at least a couple of them. By and large, the Gen-Xers I know are struggling to make ends meet on crappy pay, often living with parents, or sometimes with parents living with them. Usually we have kids and are trying to make good homelives. A few of us, I've heard, even own flat-screen tvs.</p> <p>The effect you're describing of us downtrodden folks making good during the tech boom didn't really have much of an effect on me, because, well, it didn't have much of an effect on me or anyone I knew. I don't know anyone who "made good" the way you describe (I suppose there might be someone from my high school graduating class who did this, but I'm unaware of it.) On the other hand, this story had a significant effect on my parents and their generation, who were all waiting patiently for me to make my first "second comma" so that they could safely rely on me for their retirement (which I believe they blew on starting a restaurant in the mid-90's). Everyone one generation up from me seemed to believe that we were all either driving around in HumVees, or finishing our comp sci degrees and would soon be making said purchase. Of course, now we know that comp sci degrees are a dime a dozen, with double Cisco certifications in my town you can reasonably expect to pull down $28k/year, and the folks driving the HumVees live in very different neighborhoods from me.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880568&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="IcmR2f_pYlyR9ZL4A7t21j3fg-eCAYd9Fa4nfABKRrc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://adaptinginplace.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robyn M. (not verified)</a> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880568">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880569" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282812145"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Robyn M., one of the Gen X-ers living in a McMansion (his third, BTW, and he lost money on both the first two to boot) is my youngest brother, born in 1970. But even so, I think you are more in line with most Gen X-ers' experience; my brother is the fortunate exception, at least at this point. I'm a late boomer, born in 1957, and there are just so many of us that we've kind of hogged up most of the employment. Your generation already had demographics against it; now you've got depletion to compound the problem. </p> <p>Actually, when people talk about the boomers, most of what they describe is true only for the earlier boomers, born before the mid 50s. Younger boomers like myself came of age in the 1970s, a quite different time from the 1960s. Our teenage years included Watergate and the 1970s gas crises. Many if not most of us expected to die in a nuclear war before we turned 30. I still consider it a miracle that I'm alive at 53 to write this.</p> <p>The 1979 gas rationing system in PA worked because at the time, there was no such thing as self-service gas pumps. This was put forth as a safety consideration: attendants could ensure that car engines were turned off and other safety precautions were followed. For those of you too young to remember attendants at gas pumps, you drove up to a pump, an attendant came to your window, you told him (I don't remember ever seeing a female attendant) how much gas you wanted, he put the gas in, you paid him and drove off. Thus the attendants could control who got gas when by observing your license plate number - a simple enough system to work pretty well, and fair enough that people only grumbled a little. Mostly they adapted to it. I'm not sure how long it lasted because I moved to Illinois before it ended, but I think it was over by the time I came home for the winter holidays.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880569&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="dRLgZbKUMUiPRdEg3OuqWPFoYwdynacXpzvublFC5tw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Claire (not verified)</span> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880569">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880570" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282814185"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In the absence of an overwhelmingly convincing reason to commit to either emotion - and unless you've got a God's eye view of the universe, it's probably safe to say that you don't have an overwhelmingly convincing reason - neither optimism nor pessimism is appropriate. Just get on with what needs to be done.</p> <p>And it's a small - minute, really - point but I don't think Churchill could really be characterized as an optimist; surely more a case of bloody-minded determination and a refusal to give in against overwhelming odds, which is not quite the same thing.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880570&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="H3ycTDExPgqbW2HZ-yQ_SFRcMU8IyIqNoTDPB9UcqJM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Name? Mind your own. (not verified)</span> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880570">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880571" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282814675"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Robyn - I totally agree about the Gen-X thing. I dunno about the guys who made it big in the techboom/Googleworld, not being part of that crowd, but as for me and mine...</p> <p>Our circle of friends (of the more creative/bookish/non-career-driven bent, admittedly) are at very least mentally flexible enough to imagine collapse and not despair. We've used (consciously or not) our cultural awareness and (endless!) ironic humor to build a world where it's easy to imagine NOT going to the mall, NOT eating fast food. Or doing so with a little smirk and a shrug if we have to, since, really, if that's your only option, why not?</p> <p>We haven't attached our identities to cultural signposts like owning new cars, or wearing new clothes, or insisting that others listen to the same music as we do. I don't think thrift shop fashion has been a conscious preparation for hard times, but you can see how it's a useful skill. If it's already cool, you're a little ahead of the curve when it becomes the only option. </p> <p>It probably happens somewhat naturally, any time humans are confronted with a big dip in standards of living: a group of kids gets together somewhere in an empty garage, spikes their hair up, starts wearing kilts and listening to their friends scream and smash their guitars. Punk rock. It'll be fun to see what adaptation we come up with this time.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880571&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="kJdvKuVeEPratqHyb7cyUpHwF2EBsi3IEXTZO3ThIKA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Jerah (not verified)</span> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880571">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880572" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282818256"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Sharon, I admire your optimism even if I don't share it, but its definately a usefull approach. I haven't been reading this blog long, but I get the feeling that most commentors feel that everything will end in a dystopian crash, ignoring the possibility that what may happen is more of a gradual decline. In the former scenario, sure the best strategy is guns, ammo, and a bootleg copy of 'red dawn', but I would argue that is also an unlikely scenario. An optimistic approach of preparedness makes you more flexible for an evolving economic, environmental, and political reality. </p> <p>As for economics, well... as a former scientist, I've always thought that economics has physics envy, and wastes a lot of time trying to promulgate universal theories of economic activity without any data, when instead it should be like ecology, which is essentially the study of the carbon, nitrodgen, and phosphorus economy of this planet. There is a lot of lessons (and theory) economists could learn from ecologists, though I suspect the stock brokers won't appreciate the ear-tags and radio collars.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880572&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="_qGnzbiOf5PJtU_bBYGfPjwgJcw4gOkoEylpzRYAvWg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://themuseumofcuriosities.blogspot.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Oikoman (not verified)</a> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880572">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880573" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282822957"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>#25:</p> <blockquote><p>I don't remember why and haven't researched it, but gasoline supplies were short that summer on the East Coast but not in the Midwest.</p></blockquote> <p>Thanks Claire. I've seen gas lines in the late '70s mentioned before but didn't remember them in Illinois at all. </p> <p>My wife had a Ford Maverick and I believe it was a '74 also altho I don't rightly recall. It had a straight-six engine &amp; three speed manual tranny. When our youngest son was a baby she left him in the baby seat in the back seat of the Maverick while this Navajo guy crawled under the car to weld the shock absorber mount to the frame, after it had broken off due to the washboarded condition of the roads on the Rez. He managed to get the floorboard red hot which set fire to the padding in the back seat. Smoke was rolling out of the car and the baby was still in there. She opened the door and pulled the little fellow out. The welder didn't have a fire extinguisher and had to put the fire out with a garden hose. I could still drive the Maverick after that but that incident was pretty much the end of it.</p> <p>#31:</p> <blockquote><p>Actually, when people talk about the boomers, most of what they describe is true only for the earlier boomers, born before the mid 50s. Younger boomers like myself came of age in the 1970s, a quite different time from the 1960s.</p></blockquote> <p>I was born in 1955 and was coming of age in the late '60s, which I remember well, especially the music scene. But you're right, it was the early '70s when I really gained freedom &amp; independence, primarily by virtue of being able to drive. </p> <p>#34:</p> <blockquote><p>..ecology, which is essentially the study of the carbon, nitrodgen, and phosphorus economy of this planet.</p></blockquote> <p>The discipline you describe is called biogeochemistry, which could perhaps be considered a subdiscipline of ecology, but there's a lot more to ecology than just the cycling dynamics of three prominent nutrient elements. </p> <p>I don't read much fiction and hence didn't participate in Sharon's thread about apocalyptic novels. I would recommend instead that everyone read William Schlesinger's text "Biogeochemistry," 2nd edition 1997. Anyone who hasn't read this text or its equivalent really has no business positing an opinion regarding resource depletion or nutrient element cycling disruption issues. The final chapter, on how human activity is disrupting the cycling dynamics of crucial nutrient elements, and uncoupling the cycling dynamics of elements one from another, is scarier than any fiction you will ever read.</p> <blockquote><p>There is a lot of lessons (and theory) economists could learn from ecologists</p></blockquote> <p>Some of the differential equations economists and ecologists use to model the systems they study, are exactly the same.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880573&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="8o6OHITmjTvH4QYBqUdqA2RsyXGqw2l-Q0FD20tBG1s"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">darwinsdog (not verified)</span> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880573">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880574" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282827913"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Darwinsdog - biogeochemistry isn't really what I am thinking of, though it is apt. In many areas of ecology, the movement of energy (carbon in this case, though referring to carbon bonds more than the element) and valuable minerals (phosphorus and nitrogen among others) is the focus of the research.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880574&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="GTJB6Z7OCaLvrhmjhe2UHIPLLtbeByMOQIq_zhkP3KY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://themuseumofcuriosities.blogspot.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Oikoman (not verified)</a> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880574">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880575" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282830479"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thanks for replying Oikoman.</p> <blockquote><p>In many areas of ecology, the movement of energy (carbon in this case, though referring to carbon bonds more than the element) and valuable minerals (phosphorus and nitrogen among others) is the focus of the research.</p></blockquote> <p>You have to be careful here. There is potential energy stored in the covalent C-C bonds of reduced organic compounds, whether these compounds be hydrocarbons or carbohydrates, as you say. When these bonds are broken this energy is released and may be captured, whether in the form of the phosphorylation of ADP or as heat to turn a turbine and generate electricity or to push a piston down. But energy is a one way street: it always goes from a more useful to a less useful form. It ends up being lost as heat to space. This is why I hate the term "renewable energy." Atoms of nutrient elements, on the other hand, cycle thru the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere &amp; atmosphere (some of them). Don't confuse the energy locked up in molecules by virtue of shared pairs of electrons, which always tends towards entropy, with the atoms themselves which cycle thru nature on their own characteristic time scales.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880575&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="n2Q5COrQaNX50YednAUez4SGUPYu1Fn2XkLvvQ2dBtQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">darwinsdog (not verified)</span> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880575">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880576" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282831307"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Um, I do know what I'm talking about. What I'm referring to is that when ecologists look at a system, what they are typically looking at is the movement of energy from capture at the level of photosynthesis through the various pathways of the foodweb (herbivores, predators, detritavore) to eventual loss. Carbon may be a poor choice of words as it can be misunderstood in many ways, but typically the energy value of something can be measured through the amount of carbon it contains (e.g., by burning it, among other ways). The movement of hard-to-get elements such as nitrodgen and phosphorus are also measured as these are typically limiting factors in an ecological web, and can be important in affecting the interactions and choices of the variousl players. Its obviously not the only aspect of ecology, but these sort of measurements are playing a larger part, as they describe the economy of a given ecological network. These sort of studies are conducted at the level of a given environment (e.g., a pond, a section of tundra, or a river system) and help scientists understand how the networks move energy and nutrients from level to level, and how the system adjusts to changes in inputs. </p> <p>In otherwords, exactly what economists purport to be studying in human systems.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880576&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="IQkBioru3-8GGAq787nGKQxL5LNYRWsm2YG_cWaTzsg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://themuseumofcuriosities.blogspot.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Oikoman (not verified)</a> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880576">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880577" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282835698"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>..when ecologists look at a system, what they are typically looking at is the movement of energy from capture.. to eventual loss.</p></blockquote> <p>Study of energy flow through an ecosystem is an important aspect of ecology but hardly the only aspect, and not to be confused with the distinct, tho interrelated, study of nutrient cycling. And don't forget that photoautotrophs aren't the only primary producers. Important ecosystems have various sorts of chemoautotrophs at the base of their trophic pyramids.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880577&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="SyGgRXIy0bCP1Mc4Pp9NUhrB3XFD0zpPCX84WvqGRos"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">darwinsdog (not verified)</span> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880577">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880578" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282838719"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I believe I did say it wasn't the only aspect... and nutrient cycling within communities is an important part of understanding the ecology. As for the importance of chemoautotrophs, they are only really significant in specialized habitats such as black smokers and caves. </p> <p>I'm not really sure what your point is... mine is simply that ecology provides a better model for economics than the 'hard' sciences of physics which they try to emulate.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880578&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="714IXI2-ajwVjw4UUeN2yWmU3Qy6Kb9lbBXZvH23New"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://themuseumofcuriosities.blogspot.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Oikoman (not verified)</a> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880578">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1880579" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1282852028"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"In the former scenario, sure the best strategy is guns, ammo, and a bootleg copy of 'red dawn', but I would argue that is also an unlikely scenario."</p> <p>And why is it an unlikely scenario? I find it curious that people who, presumably, have watched Al Bartlett's lecture, read Limits to Growth, Lovelock's books, Catton's Overshoot, and stay current with the steady IV drip of ecological doomer-porn that graces even the MSM these days still come to the conclusion that a malthusian die-off to a billion or less humans is an "unlikely scenario".</p> <p>I'd call it extremely likely. As I recall, there was only one scenario in the World3 model that kind of had population leveling out rather than crashing, and the LTG 30 year update is already kind of out of date insofar as not really factoring in all of the bleak ecological data gathered in the last few years.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1880579&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="oIsRZyrC6UFyD0ql_gPUlsA6IBwfPGxxf96m0ThvaAw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://doomsteaddiary.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ed Straker (not verified)</a> on 26 Aug 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1880579">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/casaubonsbook/2010/08/25/on-the-subject-of-the-previous%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Wed, 25 Aug 2010 08:44:46 +0000 sastyk 63455 at https://www.scienceblogs.com My Purim Spiel https://www.scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2010/02/22/my-purim-spiel <span>My Purim Spiel</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>Note: It is customary at the Jewish holiday of Purim to give money to charity, and also to give out Mishloach Manot, or gifts of food to friends and family. This week, besides being just a bit more than a month before my book deadline, is the grand baking festival of hamantaschen. Hamantaschen are filled cookies, shaped like the legendary three cornered hat of the bad dude, Haman. We're making about 200 of these, plus unbelievable amounts of spiced almonds and gingerbread, so posting may be light. Also, it is traditional at Purim to get drunk - Purim is a holiday of wild exuberance, celebrating life, and the tradition says you are supposed to get so smashed that you can't tell the difference between Haman (who has all the markers of evil, twirls a mustache and has a three-cornered hat) and Mordechai (good dude, notably different hat, expression of kindness and generosity and all that goody-goody stuff) - this requires a lot of alcohol (ok, in a woman who nursed for a combined 8 years and lost her tolerance, this might take as much as three glasses of wine). So your blogiste may be a little less attentive to detail than usual this week ;-), and maybe a little hung over this weekend. All of which is just a long way of saying "I'm busy, here's a re-run." ;-)</em></p> <p>We are getting ready for Purim at our house. Someone or other once pointed out that pretty much all Jewish festivals can be summed as "They tried to destroy the Jewish people, they were foiled, let's eat." And so it is - Purim celebrates the story of Esther, and the preservation of the Jewish people. It is a lot of fun - people wear costumes, drink, dance, make noise and are silly. And we are commanded to (twice!) rehear the story that explains all this revelry. </p> <p>The "hearing" is not very sedate - don't think "Bible reading" think "Rocky Horror show" - it is acted out in comic plays, the text is read aloud but half the time you can't hear it because when Haman's name is mentioned everyone yells and rattles noisemakers to block out his memory. Still, if you'll forgive me for making something serious out of something silly, there's a story in there worth hearing.</p> <p>Esther didn't particularly want to be a heroine. She was pleased to get to be queen (the queen of a rather sleazy king, who had dumped his previous wife, Vashti because she refused to come display himself for his male friends), and there is no real indication in the story that she is at all displeased to have assimilated into non-Jewish culture. She conceals that she is a Jew because her uncle fears that king will not take her as a wife, not out of any particularly noble motive, and she doesn't seem much troubled by it. </p> <p>Megilla Esther is first and foremost the story of acceptance by and of the dominant culture, of not making too many waves, of assimilation. But what separates Esther is her refusal (and Mordechai's) to allow her commitment to and investment in the dominant culture to shape her moral thinking.</p> <p>When Haman calls for the people of Ahasauerus's realm to murder all the Jews within it and plunder their goods, Mordechai calls upon Esther to plead with the king to preserve the Jews. Esther is understandably frightened both to reveal herself as a Jew and also to go before the king without his summoning her, since the penalty for that is death. She tells Mordechai if he tries to speak to the king, she will die. And Mordechai's answer is decidedly un-avuncular, essentially "So what?":</p> <p>"Do not imagine that you, of all the Jews, will excape with your life by being in the king's palace. On the contrary, if you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another quarter, while you and your father's house will perish. And who knows, perhaps you have attained to your position for just such a crisis."</p> <p>Mordechai has raised Esther as a daughter, but he does not fail to speak harshly to her of her duty. And so she risks death twice, first by going to the king, and then by asking that he spare his queen and her people. And, of course (or we would not be celebrating) Ahasaueros does - the bad guy gets the gallows, the good guy wins, like all such stories. Esther ends up right at the end, of course, but she does so by recognizing that if she came to power in the dominant culture, it does not absolve her of moral responsibility, but heightens her obligation. </p> <p>Peter Parker said it too, "With great power comes great responsibility." I think most of us have no idea how powerful we are, and thus, how responsible we are. Virtually all Americans command power and wealth unimaginable to most of the people in the world. Virtually all Americans are wealthier than 90% of the world's population. Most of us have more education - even if we graduated only from high school - than a majority of the world's population. It doesn't feel that way, when you are in debt and struggling economically, but most Americans are richer and more priveleged than Kings in most of history.</p> <p>Because we do not see ourselves as powerful and rich - we view ourselves mostly in comparison to our neighbors who are similarly powerful and rich, and we are all caught up (me too) in our struggles. We do not tend to think that *we* are the people who have great responsibility in the world, that we are responsible to act. Other people are powerful, not us - and there's some truth in that - but only some. Other people can change things, not us - and again, there's some truth here, but only some. We have a thousand good reasons not to act - we are merely getting along, we do not have time, we do not have energy, we do not have money enough to spare.</p> <p>But if we do not, who on earth has the time and the money, the energy and the power to change the world, to make things better, to prepare us for what's coming? Who will you ask to do it for you? Someone poorer and weaker and less priveleged? Someone who has had less good fortune?</p> <p>In many cases they *are* doing that work - all over the world, the poor have spoken up about climate change and resource use, land reform and sustainability. I have read analyses of global warming and the WTO written by 12 year olds from Nicaraugua and India that put the writing of professional adults to shame. The world is full of people who work harder than you and I, who have harder lives, fewer and whose very lives are set at stake by the changes in our world, and who still have time to stand up and speak out. </p> <p>I have written this elsewhere, but I repeat it, and will keep repeating it as long as necessary: almost all that is good in human history over the last three centuries is that oppressed and frightened, impoverished and angry people have stood up to those that did them harm, that mortgaged their future and endangered their lives and said "No More." This was never simple, it was never easy, but surprisingly often, they succeeded in winning, despite lack of things you and I have plentifully - power, money, education, comfort. Our own national history includes, along with its dark side, a remarkable and courageous tradition of not counting the cost to do what is right. And virtually every single person who has ever stood up in resistance has been less well educated, less wealthy, less priveleged, less safe, less comfortable than you and I are today. How is it that we keep finding reasons to do less than they?</p> <p>Most of us are not living up to our moral responsibilities, or using our privelege and wealth to create justice. We, like Esther, are afraid, although our stakes aren't as high as hers. We are afraid we will lose our comfort, some of our wealth and our privelege. We are afraid to take full responsibility for the changes that have to come - we would rather put them off on future generations. The thought that we might have to give upthings we are accustomed to and change to something entirely new is frightening. So mostly, we are a silent. </p> <p>But Mordechai's words "Perhaps you have attained your position for just such a crisis," should speak to us all. Whether you believe in G-d or good fortune, in the randomness of all things or in some sort of intentionality, perhaps if we are very lucky, it is because we are supposed to, or perhaps simply morally obligated to, use what power we have transformatively. Perhaps we are meant to lead, no matter how little we like the work, how frightened we are of the consequences, or how comfortable we are ensconced in the dominant culture. </p> <p>We are like Esther. We are afraid of what it would mean to stand forth from the culture and demand that it change. We are comfortable in our palaces, and happy with our embroidered robes. And we, like Esther, are tempted only to act if we can forsee happy consequences for ourselves. But as Mordechai rightly points out, sometimes what happens to us isn't really the point - sometimes what matters is that we, in our power, have done the right thing, without counting the cost to ourselves. It takes courage. And that is not in over-great supply. But I suspect there is more of it out there than we like to admit, even to ourselves.</p> <p>Chag Sameach! A happy Purim to all!</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/sastyk" lang="" about="/author/sastyk" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sastyk</a></span> <span>Mon, 02/22/2010 - 02:49</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/action" hreflang="en">action</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/judaism" hreflang="en">judaism</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/esther" hreflang="en">esther</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/moral" hreflang="en">moral</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/purim" hreflang="en">purim</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/resistence" hreflang="en">resistence</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/responsibility" hreflang="en">responsibility</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876986" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1266836223"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"We do not tend to think that *we* are the people who have great responsibility in the world, that we are responsible to act."</p> <p>The United States, just in the realm of foreign policy, halted and in many cases, threw back the Soviet Union, held the Chinese in check, stopped genocide in Bosnia, stopped genocide in Kosovo, threw back Serbian aggression in Croatia in 1995, helped the Serbs liberate themselves from Milosevic in 2000, liberated the women of Afghanistan from the Taliban, liberated Iraq from Saddam Hussein, and keep Islamic fundamentalism in as much check as European surrender to will allow. </p> <p>The US did this will at best modest support from the rest of the world, and, with the exception of those we liberated and saved, for the most part, nothing but carping and ill-informed criticism.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876986&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="KShI8ODE-ozC6Y5vIh1CWdyXldkHo8VdzZCb2xH9l0o"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://historyanarchy.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">History Punk (not verified)</a> on 22 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876986">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876987" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1266848188"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Liberated the women of Afghanistan from the Taliban? The women of Afghanistan who had been guaranteed equal rights with men by the Afghan constitution in 1976âa clause that is to this day not in the US Constitution, by the wayâuntil the US gave money and weapons to GUESS WHOM the TALIBAN (among other right-wing Islamic fundamentalist groups) to fight the Soviets for us? That kind of carping and ill-informed criticism, you mean?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876987&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="WhQ5kkdp5HM5evWTwef7PsIcZFWcHSPuqLsv7f6LqlI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cavanaugh (not verified)</span> on 22 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876987">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876988" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1266852064"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>thank you for this thoughtful post. there's so much more than face value to most things, but especially to holidays for sure. i love the idea of looking to "characters" such as esther for lessons and examples, as well as non-examples. often an excellent teaching tool as well. beyond food for thought, there's an element of critical thinking that is amazing to model and teach. purim is a great place to embed a lesson like that!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876988&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Q7k8FwhdaxoKZa2BCluY3-S9P6LZAQrfIfmt-k3LzWU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://tcjewfolk.com/category/minnesota-mamaleh/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Minnesota Mamaleh (not verified)</a> on 22 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876988">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876989" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1266854978"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thank you, Sharon, and Cavanaugh.<br /> Beautifully said.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876989&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="iORwi_lnV8t3qU-D_6lZprI3xKz5pJEMVVBTfN_1srg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">NM (not verified)</span> on 22 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876989">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876990" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1266861895"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Again Sharon, it depends upon how you want to define The Great Work, and concepts like tikkum olam.</p> <p>Humanity as a species has lost touch with true spirituality and has thus been lost in "the nightmare of history", a point well known for centuries by some who dedicated their lives to the spiritual advancement of humanity. And in the past 50 years, a large number of people all over the world have woken up and tried to dedicate their lives to this "Great Work", this re-emergence of esoteric spirituality and an exploration of the innate spiritual potential we are capable of.</p> <p>Go back and listen to the Moody Blues "A Question of Balance" or George Harrison's "Within You, Without You" as examples of the incredible spirituality that tried to sprout up between the cracks of our spiritually degenerate *civilization* and got crushed by _____?.....I'll leave it blank so as to give anyone who cares to the space to explore that question for him or herself.</p> <p>I agree with all you do and advocate, it is simply that there is a LOT more to all of this than you are aware of, and without which you couldnt even be who and what you are today.</p> <p>I just read that the US has spent around 5 trillion dollars on the military the past decade. 5 trillion......Did not the 60's counter-culture try to warn everyone about the severity of the situation, only to be spit on and then crushed?</p> <p>So as far as I am concerned, people just freaking out today over the insane way of life we are living are to some extent johnny-come-latelys. So, as for you advocation of things like you mention above, and things like tikkun olam, all I can say is "welcome to the club." However, when I speak of tikkun olam, I am thinking about Lurianic kabbalah and similar esoteric spiritual systems, and that places the human drama in a whole larger context.</p> <p>Perhaps such a context goes beyond the parameters of a Peak Everything blog. Then again, the very act of my writing this may itself be just one small sample of tikkun olam itself. So here you go.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876990&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="dzaliqqZPsBGrgdpoMhFmNuRVxrozsSwU2BOfTg4x3s"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Joseph (not verified)</span> on 22 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876990">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876991" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1266872204"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I know this has nothing to do with the greater message of your post, but it's something I am curious about. My DH got a Jewish calendar for the current year from the Interfaith Partnership organization that he does some volunteer work for. The illustration for the month of February is titled "Purim" and shows someone wearing a three-cornered hat whom I assume to be Haman from your description above (we aren't Jewish so I did not know the meaning of the holiday before reading your post). What I find interesting and curious is that the colors of the costume worn by Haman are similar to the colors associated with Mardi Gras (gold, green, and purple) and Haman looks very much as if he's ready to celebrate Mardi Gras. Your description of the celebration itself reminds me a lot of Mardi Gras: wild drunken partying being the key Mardi Gras theme. Maybe there is some cross-pollination of traditions that resulted in the similarities. Or not. Do you have any ideas about this?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876991&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="tOJCn_9F3ExQ0Is7Rw49tp_HYo3clCsstO4u0GFgMP8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Claire (not verified)</span> on 22 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876991">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876992" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1266888248"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Here is a quote:</p> <p>"The question our century puts before us is: Is it possible to regain the lost dimension, the encounter with the Sacred, the dimension that cuts through the world and goes down to that which is not world but is the mystery of the Ground of Being?"</p> <p>Theologian Paul Tillich, Hillel Society, Harvard University, 1956 </p> <p>Had we done that - addressed that question and made it the basis of our existence - starting around 1956, instead of blowing our fossil fuel inheritance creating consumer fantasyland built on Imperial exploitation, we wouldnt be in the situation we are in today, and all those who dedicated their lives to such a proposition were spiritually advancing the human race as best they could.</p> <p>I mention this because your post seems to have a bit of a brow-beating, guilt-tripping tone, and that is not really appropriate for the kind of people reading this blog because many have probably done their share of trying to lesson the suffering of those around them and helped them prepare in one form or another.</p> <p>I only suggest that that tone is better directed at the super-rich and the power elites, who are the ones who REALLY need to hear it.</p> <p>BTW, Nader's latest, "Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us" is at least a masterful attempt on his part to say to the wealthy and the very wealthy, "Hey, you need to use your wealth to jump-start-fund The Revolution needed."</p> <p>As I have said before, the message I got a long time ago was about trying to redirect and utilize the macroeconomic wealth of civilization to create a controlled descent instead of a Crash, and minimize the suffering as much as possible.</p> <p>That may no longer be possible, I dont know, but I hope Nader's ideas catch on with enough of the rich and the super-rich to make a difference.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876992&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ok1Mnl8sz_FRDi4tDlUerEhBslAC_UdPvPzGCs8HXqo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Joseph (not verified)</span> on 22 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876992">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876993" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1266902973"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In answer to Claire's question about the similarity of woodcut images of Purim celebrations to Mardi Gras celebrations. While the objectives of a "Purim Party" and "Mardi Gras" are totally different:- A Purim Party celebrates good guys over bad guys and Mardi Gras is a "last hurrah" before the commencement of Lent. I would feel that the Jews of the day shown in the woodcut, cut around 16th or 17th century of the common era, simply took their queues from how their neighbours threw a party. Very much in tune with the idea of the format of the Seder meal at Pessach following the format of a Greek Symposia.<br /> My recollection is that the "masked" Purim Party first came in the Purim parties of Italian Jewry and then became the Ashkenaz (European) vogue. I could be corrected on whether masking or disguise is part of the tradition of Sephardi (Mediteranean) Jewry.<br /> The idea of masking, disguise, things being not as they seem is a very strong theme in Purim discussion and tradition.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876993&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="9WQcgzsokk7eCZmMt5D3Xx51oxNkEeMEsagAcWDVqqE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Larry Langman (not verified)</span> on 23 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876993">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876994" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1266951155"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I'm perplexed by the G-d thing. Why not just write God? Would that be taking His name in vain? Are your non-believer readers sensitive? Would the scienceblogs people give you a hard time? </p> <p>I mean, you're writing about a religious holiday that you are celebrating, the cat's out of the bag.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876994&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="A2_7T1NvoUSj5HB0EFS8JmJj7lypBW0qcUno_Tmgvgk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">hickchick (not verified)</span> on 23 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876994">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876995" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1266958673"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I have to agree at least partly with History Punk on this - a large portion of the military expenditures of the United States since World War II should actually be considered a kind of foreign aid. With an isolationist foreign policy, the USA almost certainly would have developed both more generous social programs and a vastly smaller national debt, probably at the cost of leaving considerable portions of the rest of the world in worse shape than they are today.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876995&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="i0Bt-u3E2arh3ys4JZg4-vMFdPT8uBMBpmMMFio7djA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://rpsg73.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Paul S. (not verified)</a> on 23 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876995">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876996" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1266968137"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Hickchick, I'm not all that familiar with the Jewish faith and it's been awhile since Sharon wrote about this (on ye olde blogge), but as I recall, one of the tenets of the faith is that God's name shouldn't be lightly written out.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876996&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="PdoGKVrAfNlTf4qJNAmbDwEHLG4YfSnew9cOUsXZyLM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">NM (not verified)</span> on 23 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876996">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="78" id="comment-1876997" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1266994284"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Hickchick, it is a jewish custom not to name G-d in media that are transient. It has nothing to do with science blogs, just Jewish practice. </p> <p>Paul and History Punk - Do we count it as foreign aid even when the population had no desire for our help, or when we killed more of them than the dictator in question did? One doesn't have to be isolationist to question whether all of that stuff counts as aid.</p> <p>Sharon</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876997&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="O_1sA9RUDF8FZmiclJYVrFK5J_Vv3-8P3PVMpSf2jNs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/sastyk" lang="" about="/author/sastyk" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sastyk</a> on 24 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876997">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/sastyk"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/sastyk" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876998" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1267000768"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>Do we count it as foreign aid even when the population had no desire for our help, or when we killed more of them than the dictator in question did?</i></p> <p>Well, in pretty much every military intervention that the US has ever participated in, there has been part of the population that desires the intervention and part of the population that opposes it. There has never, as far as I know, been a case where 100% of "the population" has had no desire for US intervention. I'm not sure if there has ever been a case where the US killed more civilians than their opponents, either - both sides in any war generally blame as many civilian casualties on the other side as they can while minimizing those caused by their own side, so it can be almost impossible to get anything even close to an objective account.</p> <p>There is also a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" quality to so much that the US does in other countries. If we had never done any military intervention in Afghanistan or Iraq, it is highly likely that we would be severely criticized for NOT intervening - and some of the critics would be the same people who have condemned our involvement. Likewise, it is often deplored that the United States did NOT intervene in Rwanda in the 1990s, but if we had intervened and then got bogged down in a long-running guerrilla war with high casualties, I am almost certain that the USA would be blamed for "screwing up" Rwanda, regardless of how bad the situation had been before.</p> <p>I instinctively greet the "Americans are the source of most of the world's problems" claims with a lot of skepticism. I realize that the original post was referring more to people from all relatively wealthy countries, not specifically Americans, but I do agree with History Punk that when the United States does try to help, it tends to get little credit. If the US had, by some twist of history, become a world leader in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and moving toward a society that was less wasteful of resources, I suspect that it would not be any more popular around the world than it is today.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876998&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="V7Oov5Fi57JUjKkopkI73V6lsUxTol5hLbXl0GceCFg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://rpsg73.blogspot.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Paul S. (not verified)</a> on 24 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876998">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1876999" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1267000990"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>You made an important point, Sharon, that isn't taught enough in this crazy world - sometimes, you just have to stand up for what is right, no matter what. So what if you don't want to do it - if you don't you'll perish anyway.</p> <p>We live in such an age of appeasement, with blinders on, never wanting to offend anyone - G-d forbid! - that the "right thing" gets lost in seas of relativist rhetoric. </p> <p>I sometimes wonder if G-d's reason for making the Harry Potter books so wildly, unreasonably, insanely popular, was precisely to teach that message to a whole generation of children - a message that our schools, society and many parents are not transmitting.</p> <p>We may soon be in need of that lesson as events in Iran show that Haman's descendants are no less committed than he was to sowing destruction. Where is our Queen Esther? Perhaps the answer is that she is in each one of us.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1876999&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="f_Vm0LFzNFfnvaX4YY0FtSeAzsXjUsUjiyb80o_iBUE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.jerusalem-insiders-guide.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Mitzimi @ jerusalem-insiders-guide.com">Mitzimi @ jeru… (not verified)</a> on 24 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1876999">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1877000" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1267291094"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I'm glad to learn this is just Jewish convention. I've had a hard enough time being taken seriously by science types because I have breasts. I try to keep all mention of faith out of discussions because I can practically see the estimation of my intelligence dropping.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1877000&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="pONM-4U8vjY9h9eRE8vK5o7ZwYEx7FPCm-tcmuGFD_E"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">hickchick (not verified)</span> on 27 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1877000">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="78" id="comment-1877001" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1267347324"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I think there's a real difference between not 100%, and "popularly wanted" - and while I agree with you that the US is not the only source of world trouble by any means, I think categorizing most of our interventions as "foreign aid" is self-serving at best. I don't think there's a credible case to be made that we invaded Iraq for the betterment of its people. As for Afghanistan - there was a credible case for the invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11, but that was a response to attack, not a humanitarian impulse. I don't deny that some of American military interventions in the world have had humanitarian intent - but categorizing the most recents ones or vast majority of them that way involves a serious rewriting of history.</p> <p>Sharon</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1877001&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="0ArVtIpCvupnKQxS2rtGCQw8YuQtWuodMPyUW3mLAgg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/sastyk" lang="" about="/author/sastyk" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sastyk</a> on 28 Feb 2010 <a href="https://www.scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/15882/feed#comment-1877001">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/sastyk"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/sastyk" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/casaubonsbook/2010/02/22/my-purim-spiel%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Mon, 22 Feb 2010 07:49:02 +0000 sastyk 63279 at https://www.scienceblogs.com