Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pavement is the answer! Is Jesus the question?

Mind you all, like everywhere else in the world I expect there's some sort of territorial pissing match going on about who is going to be in control of the world's future. For myself, I only fight winnable battles, and I'm afraid just surviving this one will be a victory. Endurance is my forte. That being said, here in Hawaii, it's all about the pro-growth forces who haven't figured out yet, or more likely don't care--that if you paved every square inch of the island it might impact tourism, huh? We could still have laser light shows, right? -- never mind it would preclude everything else, like agriculture or families or a quiet still night sky or other trivial things like that. . .--and those who understand what's actually going on here and what needs to be preserved.

What needs to be preserved most preciously is the lifestyle, every bit as much as the land, or anything else. All else follows. If you preserve the lifestyle, you will preserve the forest, or the reefs, or the taro patches, and all the rest too. The more complicated the pro-growth people make life the less likely anyone will have the time to sit around on the porch and have a good time with friends playing music. The more expensive they make life the more likely people will steal koa or hapu'u ferns out of the forest to pay their property tax. I'm not kidding. It's wholly corollary. Of course we all know that by now, don't we? I mean really?

Anyway, take a listen to good Darren here and his buddies.

This is authenticity.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Whoa there, Bessie!

Ok, so I get a lot of e-mail that says "I'm so glad to find other people who believe the world is going to collapse like I do."

Well, OK. The problem is I don't believe the world is going to collapse. And while some may make of this a fine distinction I disagree. Again, I don't believe the world is going to collapse, but I do believe for very good and thoroughly researched reasons, that at least on the macro scale we've seen the end of human expansion. I also believe we've blown beyond what the planet can bear sustainably by a great deal, maybe even an order of magnitude. So sure, while I agree all of this is going to suck and be difficult, I'm damn determined that the world isn't going to end, at least locally, for me. I feel pretty optimistic in all that. Now if you ask me how the average dufus is going to fair, well, that's a different story. "Out there" I expect some areas will be downright ugly. Sure, we all know that. It's important, however, to not focus on end of the world thinking as it's inherently a self-defeating attitude. Plan for a planned future, and do what you know you can do. Throwing up one's hands and expecting the end of the world is every bit as much a cowards cop-out as denying the reality of the situation we're in. We need now, more than ever, thoughtful rational preparation.'

So sure. There's a good chance by the time the century draws to a close that 1/4 of all higher species on the planet will be extinct, and the human population may be under a billion people. That will no doubt be a drag to live through, in a world especailly that looks like it's dying, and may well be doing just that. It will take some backbone to hang in there, no doubt. Most of what you love will be dead, and that will be depressing. Is this the end of the world? Of course not. Most of the biomass on this planet is microorganisms, fungi, and worms that look like they're eager to crawl some unwelcome place--I expect these will fare just fine. For us, however, things look less promising. I doubt anyone really disagrees with that--we're not so much looking at the "end of the world" as a "really difficult change" in it. Really, really, actually, difficult change in it.

Why do I bring this up? Because the "deny anything is happening" crowd and the "it's all going to end" crowd are the same people. Both positions simply represent groups who are advocating a position that conveniently absolves them of their personal responsibility to the present--and that's just bullshit.

I'd suggest it's high time to figure that out. They only "peoples " you is fooling is you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Great Schism II?

Got rained out early today and am sitting here with a bit of time to consider a lot of stuff that's been on my mind hard for the last couple of weeks.

Do you feel the vibe out there? It's getting ugly.

For the last 25 years it's been very convenient to lump people into one of two camps: liberal or conservative. That was pretty stupid, and a lot of us didn't fit either of those camps very well, but the distinctions were useful for the media to use while enlightening us all about where the world was going. Really, never more than a caricature, but a useful one for a lot of people who had an invested interest in dumbing down the issues. It was exploited to the greatest degree, because you could win elections on trumping up the prolife/prochoice-- gun rights/gun control-- gay rights/burn all gays in bonfires false alternatives. What I find most interesting is the very rapid rise of the 3rd group, which most all of us fit into--those who recognize that we must have sustainable policy and we're looking square in the face at trainwreck of collapse if we don't get it together. The rest of that shit is just foolishness. Ideology has very little to do with it. One of things I enjoy about this site is the wide range of perspectives. While outright whackoism isn't tolerated, and while those with conservative bents may be more focused on taxation and the debt issues involved in sustainability, and others with ecological bents may be focused on climate change and ecosystem destruction, we're ALL interested in the destruction of watersheds and the depletion of minerals or fuel souces. You bet. It's a big picture perspective with very heavy first principles, and it's getting to the point quite quickly, quicker than many of us would have expected, where these issues will be day to day realities.

And then, there are those, who just don't want to think about all that. Here is where the gulf is. The gulf exists not between liberal and conservative or any of that bullshit, but rather between the people who understand that the ways of living of the last 50 years or so are over, never to return--and those who simply don't want to think about it. It's between those who understand that NINJA loans are a bad idea and that a nation that runs credit almost to the exclusion of productivity cannot maintain an economy-- and those who just don't want to think about it. It's beween those who understand if we haven't passed peak oil, we will by 2020, and we're unprepared for either--and those who just don't want to think about it. It's beween those who understand that while technology is a good thing, mostly, there ARE NO viable alternative fuels even on the drawing board or hypothesized that compete on a manner of scale with our current fossil fuel dependence-- and again, those who just DON'T want to think about it. I could go on and on and on-- but it's really between those who understand viscerally that our way of living is going to change, either by choice or duress or necessity, soon-- and those who just don't want to think about it. At all, ever. For good reasons too, as it would involve involving oneself in a thought process that if it had the slightest amount of intellectual integrity would require radical changes in priorities in what one did and how one lived one's life. That would be a pain in the butt, wouldn't it? But it's harder to maintain those narrow ideas every day, isn't it? And so the deliberate attempts to remain willfully and comfortably uninformed is getting downright snarly to anyone who suggests that perhaps the conversation should be broadened a bit. That "bit" I'd suggest, would be an honest comprehensive look at the state of the world--its resources, its state of health, its population, and every other pertinent detail and then projecting a sensible forecast. It doesn't bother me much if that forecast differs from mind, just that people do it. Then, and only then, we can work together perhaps. It is absolutely foolish in the extreme to stick with the status quo, a prediction no more sophisticated than this one: tomorrow will be just like today. While "statistically" that projection is 8 or 9 times out of ten true, no one cares. What we care about is not so much people who can forecast when things don't change, but when they DO change. That's what requires action. And in spite of the fact that anyone credible is screaming "train wreck!" there's next to no response from the "I don't want to think about it, damn it!" crowd. We need to realize that this isn't so much a difference of opinion, but rather sanity attempting to deal with a pathology.

Christ. . .

So what to do? Well, just what we're doing. Keep soldiering on personally working for a better future. Hopefully one that would be better for many, but better for oneself in the last resort. This is no small thing. It's going to get harder every day to live in denial, even in the level of denial that all of us who try our best to understand where the world is going still embrace in our lives. . .the Les Paul? Ah phooey. Easier to construct than a pipe organ! The amp too!

Anyway, just thoughts as we tumble down the rabbit hole.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Really worth a listen. . .

It will take a little bit to get through it all, but it's very helpful.

I mean really. If you've got the time. . .listen.