Saturday, April 21, 2012

Earth Day

So a friend ( I use the term loosely, for sure) says. . .

"Hey Jay, saw your last post, how's your Earth Day?"

I respond. "Actually, I've never actually done the Earth Day thing much, and pretty much think it's stupid."

He snickers, "Yeah, but you seem a little down in the dumps about all that. . ."

"Sure," I say, "The big picture is grim indeed."

"Tell me something I don't know," he rolls his eyes. "Told ya so."

"Did you?" I reply. "Must not have been paying much attention."

He grins. "So what you going to do now that you've given up on sustainability?"

"Well," I say, "Let's be clear. Sustainability could have worked. It worked for me. We as a culture simply had to care enough to make the sacrifices to lead the world by example for a future where it worked out for everyone." I pause. "I haven't given up on sustainability at all, it's just that as a concept it's obsolete. Now it's a basic matter of survival."

"Sure," He laughs, "Must get ya down."

I shake my head, "Intellectually, absolutely. But strategically in my personal life it seems things couldn't be better."

"I bet." He replies.

"Look," I say, "I've got 9 acres of mixed forest and koa trees, more food outside the door than I could eat, even if kinda boring. It's paid for.  I've got really no bills to pay at all. I've learned a great deal about sustainability and learned primarily that sustainability was about efficiency, economy, and diligence. About doing the math and being as slick and skillful as possible. That's where your quality of life comes from." I pause. "I've the skills and infrastructure to live on a footprint that isn't even 10% of my peers, and on an income that most would consider dire poverty. It's pretty comfortable really."

"Bullshit" he snorts. "I love the inefficiency of my F250, and I can afford it. I like my big house. I like spending money, even before I made it." He leans in for effect. "I love spotted owl eggs for breakfast."

"Very nice," I reply. "It may be that efficiency is an acquired taste."

There in the air lingers an awkward pause.

"So," he grins, "you still haven't answered my question. What you going to do for your next stunt?"

"Funny you should ask," I reply. "I filed all the paperwork last week. I'll be bidding against you. . ."


IslandNotes said...

Seems to me that both you and your "friend" are speaking rather honestly as regards your respective recognitions of consumption as it relates to sustainability. From a reader's perspective it's hardly earth-shaking at all. From a personal perspective, the two ethos must inform most all of your respective relationships. It means nothing, and everything...

Bob Hall said...

Conservative backlash against progressive ideas seems to really paint people into an odd corner. I like driving pickups, and I get that it's satisfying to have a powerful truck when you're pulling a heavy trailer. But it's fucked up to be happy that your truck gets 12 mpg while you're picking up groceries.

You get the same backlash against food. Lots of people say "Michelle Obama's not gonna tell me what to eat. It's fried chicken and milk shakes for me! Have fun eating at your snooty Whole Foods buffet." But I mean seriously, don't you care about your health?? You're not really proving me wrong by being a fat-ass with diabetes.