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Yesterday's diary Slouching toward neofeudalism was right on target.  

http://www.dailykos.com/...

The neo-feudal lords and plundering plutocrats thrive on our money, which is to say, our consumption habits.   This means you can help pull the plug on them, or at least remove your consent.  

More on the flip.

E.C.S.T.A.S.Y.End Consumption, Save The Air & Sea, Y'all!

A support group and discussion forum for those who want to kick the habits of consumption that are damaging the world we live in.

----

The key to de-throning the lords of looting, is to deprive them of the money that is the souce of their power.   Since they are so dependent on their lavish lifestyles, huge income streams, and huge capital flows, even a small percentage decrease will have a significant effect.

First, align your purchasing with your economic class interests as well as your ecological interests.

What you're looking for are companies that have strong and effective employee ownership, or strong and effective unions.  Rank-order your options accordingly.   For example, give them letter grades as follows:

A:  Strong employee ownership or strong union.
B:  Weak employee ownership or weak union.
C:  No employee ownership or no union.
D:  Known exploiter of labor or source of plutocracy.
F:  Notorious exploiter of labor or source of plutocracy.

Always try to do business with the As and Bs, and avoid the Ds and Fs like plague.

In theory, certain Wall Street baddies are partnerships, that function in a manner similar to that of employee-owned companies, but clearly that doesn't make them any more worker-friendly than your typical overseas sweat shop.  

Second, move your personal savings to a Credit Union.

Credit unions are by definition (and by statute) consumer co-ops that are owned by their members.  This means one person, one vote, and you get to vote for the Board of Directors.  You can also run for the Board, and in many credit unions, you will have a good chance of getting elected.  At that point, you have a direct say in the financial policies that affect your community.  

Also by statute, credit unions are limited to lending money to members of their local communities:  home loans, car loans, home improvement loans, and personal loans including credit cards.  This means that the money stays in the community, where it fuels the local economy.  

Unlike banks, credit unions do not return a profit to investors.  This means they can pay slightly higher interest on various forms of savings, can have lower costs for checking accounts, and lower interest rates on credit cards.   Keeping your dough in the credit union will cost you less and earn you more, than keeping it in one of the big rotten banks that just looted the economy.  

"But I need to have ATMs all over town!"  In fact you do: the credit unions have a co-op ATM network, so your debit card should work in any credit union's ATM without paying a nasty fee.   In any case, you can always get cash back when you use a credit union card at the grocery store, and beyond that, a little bit of planning will make it unnecessary to even think about using off-network ATMs.  

Bottom line is, there's every good reason to move your dough, and no good reason to wait another day.  Look in your local telco Yellow Pages under Credit Union.  In the current edition of the Oakland California Yellow Pages, that's on page 290 - 291, and there are about 24 different credit unions listed.  

With enough people...

If enough people move their money out of the big rotten banks and into credit unions, two things will happen.

First, local economies will benefit from the money being lent and circulated locally.   Relocalization is a key pillar of sustainable economics.  

Second, the big rotten banks will take a serious hit.  A few years ago they were so paranoid about this that they tried to get the law changed to effectively shut down all credit unions.  Fortunately the fight-back was so intense that they lost.  

Think about this:  the big rotten banks were so threatened by credit unions, that they tried to outlaw them.  That should tell you something about how much power you have by simply moving your money.  

Now go out and do it.  

----

Here are a few important links:

  1. Annie Leonard's crucial movie, The Story of Stuff.
  1. An invaluable tool for calculating the ecological footprint of your lifestyle, from the good folks at Redefining Progress.  What's your score?
  1. The Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping
  1.  SCRAP - a creative reuse center, store and workshop space.

Donations of high quality, low cost, re-usable materials such as textiles, paper, jewelry findings, wood, buttons and plastics are collected from businesses, institutions and individuals then sorted, displayed and distributed by SCRAP for artists, educational and community groups.
For more creative reuse centers around the country, click here.

  1. Philosophical perspectives on sustainability, civilization and the role of human nature from Jason Godesky.
  1. Freecycle.  

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,793 groups with 7,208,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on “Browse Groups” above the search box. Have fun!

If you have a resource that should be included in ECSTASY diaries, please include the link and a few words about it in the comments.

ECSTASY diaries will appear most often on weekends and Wednesday evenings.  All diaries dealing with the problems of living in a Consumerist society are potential candidates.  If you think you've got something to contribute, please contact WarrenS and he'll schedule you in.

The next diary planned is expected on Sunday, May 9, when rb137 will tell us about war and metals in the Central African Congo.

The ECSTASY series thus far:

February 28: Introducing ECSTASY.
March 7: The Work of Julian Lee and Juliet Schor: Two Voices of Sanity.
March 10: G2Geek's Measure The Power.
March 14: Earthfire promoted Annie Leonard's appearance in Washington, DC.
March 21: RL Miller tells us about Chickens.
March 24: G2Geek prompts an unbelievable discussion about the
difference between Consumerist Time and Hunter-Gatherer Time.

March 28: citisven shares a thought-provoking and aesthetically satisfying look at the ways that one person's trash is another person's art materials.
April 4: WarrenS gives us the good word on Making Homemade Musical Instruments.
April 7: G2geek talks about what makes for robust and sustainable technology.
April 11: B Amer tells us how to find ECSTASY on our bicycles.
April 18: rb137 reviews Judith Levine's book, "Not Buying It!"
April 25: mwmwm's powerful rumination on our collective complicity in consumerism.
April 29: G2geek discusses the need for a new economic and emotional narrative.
May 2: WarrenS gives us perspectives on time and our lives with Eight Thoughts About Timescale.

Originally posted to G2geek on Thu May 06, 2010 at 06:48 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  i was debating what to post this week... (11+ / 0-)

    On one hand, following up on WarrenS's fantastic diary on Sunday about temporal mass.

    On the other hand, a basic lesson on the limits to growth, since it appears some folks on dKos don't get it yet.  

    On the third hand, continuation of the discussion about neo-feudalism from yesterday, on the theory level.

    And on the fourth hand, Warren was suggesting I write something with a practical outcome this time.  

    The third and fourth hands won this round.  

    •  The myth of continual growth... (11+ / 0-)

      ...is part of the American ethos.  Our national legend-making apparatus has evolved a set of archetypes and archetypal behaviors which reinforce the idea that there's always: more space / more resources / a better place over the next hill / prosperity around the corner.

      It's extremely hard to get people to abandon something that's been part of their dream structure from the onset of consciousness.

      I like Edward Abbey's quote: "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."  But that's probably because I hate our freedoms, or something.

      Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

      by WarrenS on Thu May 06, 2010 at 07:11:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Frontier Forever myth. (12+ / 0-)

        I tend to believe that the source of this comes down to the experience of the frontier.  There's always somewhere new to go, somewhere new to grow, provided that one doesn't mind slaughtering the natives first.  

        The frontier is closed.  But it's going to take a few more generations before the mindset changes.  

        •  not only (5+ / 0-)

          we have the same myth here in continental europe,and you really cant say that we have had much of a frontier experience anytime within the last 5 to ten centuries.

          where that really comes from I dont know. It cant be older than 150 yrs now. But there it is the belief that growth is indispensable. Why? did they need growth in Colbert´s France? in Germany there have been several memorable events burned into the national psyche, in the last hundred years, and one of them was the Wirtschaftswunder, the explosive spurt of growth and wealth after the second world war - out of utter ruination, into sudden material wealth in which no questions were asked about the recent past. for Germans that has set a model "how it has to be". But this crazy growth belief is quite everywhere so it cant come from local specialties, where it really comes from I dont know.

          Ici s´arrète la loi.

          by marsanges on Thu May 06, 2010 at 09:29:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Isn't the impetus to growth a natural response to (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RunawayRose, G2geek, WarrenS, linkage

            some types of limited stress? I'm thinking in base terms such as the pruning of a plant or the reaction of a population to local environmental opportunity, i.e, the thinning of a forest promoting the growth of the remaining individual trees.

            In other words, couldn't there be an evolutionary component that would tend to favor the predisposition towards growth as a selected trait?

            Could that be a contributing factor in this "myth" being discussed, if only as part of our genetic make-up being ready for exploitation due to other triggers?

            As marsanges points out, they have some of the same issues in Europe without the relatively recent "frontier expansion" experience, but with plenty of stress to local populations for a variety of reasons within that same, say 150 year period.

            Just thinking out loud.

            •  two factors: (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RunawayRose, WarrenS, confitesprit

              One, sex feels good, and thus we get population growth.

              Two, we inherited the chimp instinct to grasp at objects that are "shiny and new," and thus we get consumption growth.  As I've said before, how many people ran out and bought an iPad in the first week, even though it did nothing that their existing technology didn't do already?  

              Other animals multiply up to the limit of their food supply.  Humans have managed to dump fossil fuels into that equation to artificially expand the food supply three times in the past century:  nitrate fertilizers produced from natural gas, tractors and other powered farm equipment, and pesticides also produced from petrochemicals.  

              When any animals hit the limit of their food supply, they have a die-back to a level that is sustainable on whatever food remains available.  If it's particularly severe, it's a dieoff: a large plurality to a majority of a population dies of hunger, disease, and fighting over resources.  

              So now we have three forces converging: a) continued increase in human population, and decrease in available food supply due to b) climate change and c) peak oil.  

              It's gonna' be a doozy of a dieoff.  

          •  Wirtschaftswunder (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RunawayRose, WarrenS, confitesprit

            I think the difference was:

            Human population was far less, cheap oil was still available, and natural resources were still relatively plentiful.  

            Those factors made it easier to rebuild.  

            And those factors are no longer the case.  

      •  Myth as conditioned behavior (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose

        It's not just myth: also conditioned behaviors.

        Case in point: last week, the Boston metro area's water main broke.  The water supply folks acted fast, shut off water to that main & switched on several emergency reservoirs, which meant, effectively, that water in people's homes was higher quality than piped water in much of the third world: reasonably clean lake water. So the water folks issued a "boil water" order as a precaution (though as it turned out, the precaution wasn't necessary).

        Hmmm.... It's Saturday. Should you, faced with potentially unsafe water:

        a) boil water, which takes 15 minutes for 1 gallon, uses about $0.15 of piped natural gas and a fraction of a penny of piped water, and doesn't require you to leave the house;

        or

        b) buy water, which takes an hour of driving around to find a store that's not cleaned out($2.80 for fuel) and costs about $5.00/gallon (because all that's left is Poland Spring in 1 litre bottles).

        Predictably, and depressingly, people chose option b in droves, and cleared out every bottle of water from every store in the greater Boston area within a few hours of the announcement.

        People are trained: problem? Get in your car and buy a product. Even when the sensible, rational answer would save you money, time, and hassle: get in your car and buy a product.

        The problem is the nature of the solution. If step 2 is "buy," step one is so often "get in your car," that the conditioned step one becomes "get in your car." Problem? Get in your car. Crisis? Get in your car. Opportunity? Get in your car. Get-in-your-car becomes the first step to any out-of-house solution, and all solutions become out-of-house. Wal-Mart & Sam's Club and Home Depot prop up the myth of frontier with the help of get-in-your-car.

    •  The neo-feudalism discussion (9+ / 0-)

      was great, but I'm really glad to have all the great practical suggestions for getting along without buying stuff. Thank you!

  •  Credit unions are also a heck of a lot more.... (11+ / 0-)

    friendly than big rotten banks.

    By which I mean:

    Not only do they recognize every member on sight, by first name ("Hi G2G..." and "Hi Ms. Smith..." and so on).  But they also have policies that make the huge difference in day to day business.  

    I'm a PBX engineer in private practice, but that does not mean I'm wealthy (working class income here!).  A new installation for a client can be in the low to mid 5-figure range.  In some cases I'll get checks from a client's main branch in another state.

    How long does your bank hold your checks?

    My credit union gives me "insta-clear."  I might have a mid 4-figure balance at the moment and walk in with a check for $25k, and "OK, G2G, the money's in your account."

    This means I can immediately purchase the equipment for the client's installation, and complete the project on time.  That has saved my ass more than once.  I'll have a story about that momentarily in another posting.  

  •  We do some of our saving... (7+ / 0-)

    ...with a local CU, and some of our banking with a local bank where we've had accounts for over twenty years.  The CU isn't open at convenient times, unfortunately.  

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Thu May 06, 2010 at 07:05:25 PM PDT

  •  And they saved my ass bigtime once. (12+ / 0-)

    True story, from about ten years ago.

    New client in San Francisco.  Client has an old PBX of a particularly nasty kind, that has fuses on the power supply, and bubble memory to store the system database.  

    It's something like 3PM and the cable crew are in the ceiling ("Ceiling Cat is wirin' yer network!"), and I'm in the switchroom with another tech mapping out the cross-connect (connections we'll have to make for the new phones).   Our plan is to get everything prepped and then cut over to the new system in an orderly manner in a few days.  Friday afternoons are good for cutovers (system conversions), call volume is typically low and if we stay late, no one has to get up early the next day.  

    But then... (dramatic music up).... someone makes a slip with a punchdown tool (tool used to connect wires), and bridges two pins on a 66-block (terminal block where wires are connected).  

    There is a tiny little spark.  

    And then ....silence.  Uh-oh.  The switch went down.  

    That means no phone service, twenty to thirty people in an office with no telephones.  This is the equivalent of being a surgeon and seeing the cardiac monitor go flatline.  

    "OK guys, we're going to swing the cut overnight.  Who's in for it?"  Two out of three can stay late, plus me.  OK, good.  The cable crew are just about wrapped up, and at this point we can start moving connections freely.

    So I gather up my courage and walk into the head honcho's office.  "Your existing system was really fragile and we just knocked it off line.  There's no time to reprogram it now, we're going to bring the new system online overnight, and you'll be fully operational by 9:00AM tomorrow."   Deep breath.

    Client says "OK, that'll work."  

    I say, "One thing though.  If you have the check for the new equipment, that'll be majorly helpful."  

    Client says "Yeah, it's right here."  Hands me check.  Low five-figure amount.

    I jump in the truck and race across the bridge, walk into the credit union, and pray.   I get up to the teller window.  "Hi Mr. Geek, how's it goin'?"  

    "Uh, OK, except we have a rush job and I have to get the equipment like right now."  I hand him the check.  "Is there any way...?..."  he anticipates the rest of the question and says, "the money's in your account.  Have a good day!"

    Wow.   Just friggin' wow.  Saved my ass, saved my crews' asses, saved the job, saved the client from a couple of days of no telephone service, or at minimum, a couple of days of having to answer calls on hastily-rigged single line sets on the receptionist's desk (think of a desk with six or eight phones on it, all jangling away, as the receptionist juggles the receivers and tells callers she'll have to take a message).  

    So I jump back in the truck, head over to the distributor's warehouse, pick up everything I need for the job:  new PBX, a few cases of digital telephones, and some misc parts.  And I write the check.  And as is the distro's practice, they call in to verify funds.   Clean and green!   All good!

    Race back to job site.   By this time it's about 5:00 - 5:30.  Arrive on site.  "Yo dudes!  I've got the goodies, let's do it!"  

    Crew swings into action and starts cross-connecting phones while I hastily program the PBX.  The last of the cable terminations gets done while the last of the phones are being cross-connected, and shortly thereafter, programmed.

    Whew!

    I think we finished before midnight.  I think we were too wiped out to go for the usual post-cutover feast, but frankly I can't remember that part because the rest of it was such a wild blur.  

    The client had all their telephones working when they opened for business.  

    That morning I walked in to do my usual follow-up, with user training and Q&A and minor programming changes.  

    They were quite pleased.  They wrote the check for the labor component of the job, right on the spot.  

    The phones worked.

    Because the credit union cleared the client's check instantly.

    That, my friends, is the difference that community financial institutions make for small business.

    And you can be darn sure that if we had our accounts at one of the big rotten banks, that story would not have had a happy ending.  

    •  Thank you for the story - N/T (3+ / 0-)

      "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

      by linkage on Thu May 06, 2010 at 10:36:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  G2g, ahh the good ole days. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose

      2000 extension cuts over a weekend.  Yesss.  Punching down 66 blocks, oh the memories.

      The credit union scenario I think has changed.  They are also caught up in the finance mess somehow.  Credit unions are merging quite a bit.

      They are tightening credit which is good.  But longtime members with good history are being rejected for short term loans.

      There is something going on. I'm not sure this would work in today's climate.

      I have a friend at my own credit union.  They used to be a Federal Credit Union, but are no longer.  They are part of NCUA, which I believe is a consortium of private credit unions.  And my local group just merged with another from out of state.

      Maybe I'll get the whole story some day.

      "Never, desist till we ... extinguish this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, will scarce believe that it suffered a disgrace and dishonor to this country.

      by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Fri May 07, 2010 at 10:00:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A buddy of mine is as conservative as they come, (10+ / 0-)

    his money is in a credit union, and his electricity is provided by a co-op. I wonder if he realizes he's a socialist? Seriously, though, a lot of what you say is non-partisan. I don't see how Republicans can possibly be against decentralization and stronger communities. Great diary as always.

    eKos: Environmental diaries @ DK

    by patrickz on Thu May 06, 2010 at 07:32:27 PM PDT

  •  I've always been pretty frugal spending wise, so (6+ / 0-)

    that should help in the long run.  My last credit card bill, for between March 20 and April 20, was a little under $400.  This bill represents all food, gas, entertainment, medication, etc purchases for the month.  And around $120 was for new interviewing clothes!!

    This doesn't mean that I don't spend money.  Sometimes I can really spend.  My usual bill is around 6-700 a month.  There are things I'd like to buy, but it seems I'm more interested in my financial bottom line than the company's!!  So much of my furniture and furnishings were/are hand-me-downs or gifts for various occasions.  I was using one of my grandparents kitchen table and chairs for more than 15 years before buying a new set.  I'm using my parents old bedroom set now and they got it in the early 60's.  There's nothing wrong with it and it's probably much more sturdy than what's generally being made today.  Now, books.....I buy lots of novels every year ($250 worth a year???), but I also reread them many times.  I've got a huge list of architectural history/theory books I'd like to get.... maybe some day.  (before you say check them out from the local library... we basically don't have one any longer - it flooded out in June 2008 and architecture books just aren't a priority.)

    •  you're doing pretty well, especially.... (5+ / 0-)

      ...considering the ecological impacts of your choices.  

      I think if you got new furniture you'd be really disappointed, compared to the old stuff you presently have.  Really there is no comparison.  

      And then there's the paradox that one often has to spend a bunch to get to where one can be more frugal or sustainable: for example, replacing an energy-hog fridge with one that uses half the electricity per year.

      Books are always good.  And better in printed form than on Kindle, which you can't give to a friend when you're done reading.  

      •  Yeah, instead of just 'fixing' the 12yo furnace (7+ / 0-)

        ac last September, I went ahead and spent 6k on a new, more efficient furnaceac.  My bills went down quite a bit immediately.  I got about half back in rebates from the utilities and the tax credit.  My Feb gas bill was $120, which was lower than the previous Feb bill despite the temp outside being much colder and my being home during the day and keeping the temp up from previous years.

        "especially....
        ...considering the ecological impacts of your choices."

        I'm not sure if I understand what you mean by this, because it almost sounds negative to me.....

        •  what i meant was.... (6+ / 0-)

          The choices you are making are also reducing your ecological impacts.  You're living a pretty low-impact lifestyle, which is all to the good.  That wasn't a negative implied or intended.  

          For example buying books is always good; they provide high value with minimum ecological impact, and they last a long time so they can be passed around among friends and family members.  Reading combines entertainment with learning, improves peoples' verbal skills, and improves peoples' imaginations.

          People who read a lot can also visualize better than people who don't.  If you're into architecture you probably do this all the time and don't even think it's anything special.  But people who don't read, and get all their information in the form of videos of one kind or another, can't do it nearly as well.  

           

  •  It's definitely time to move to a CU (8+ / 0-)

    We went with a local bank for our mortgage... then it was bought by Meryl Lynch... and then BofA.

    But something awesome came of the TARP mess... BofA had to get liquid assets to pay back the TARP money... so the local bank, which had a lot of capital, bought itself back from BofA... and is now local again!  Yay.

    They are unfortunately now acting like a "private bank", though.  Which means really high minimum balances and account fees ... even for people like us who are giving them tens of thousands per year in mortgage interest.

    I was not really happy with the lack-luster response I got when I pointed out that they may want to consider waiving minimum fees for mortgage holders.

    Anyway... it's time to move to a CU, for sure.

    On a side not about choosing what businesses to support:  Check out B-corporations.  It's a whole new way to run corporations, where many of the externalities are actually accounted for in the business plan(as they should be!)

    I've posted that link here at DKos a few times, and for some reason, it doesn't seem to garner much interest, which surprises me.

    And finally... thanks for the diary and series!

    "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

    by Hopeful Skeptic on Thu May 06, 2010 at 08:01:45 PM PDT

    •  I would like to see a diary.... (5+ / 0-)

      ...about B-corporations.  Would you like to do something in this series?

      Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

      by WarrenS on Thu May 06, 2010 at 08:10:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  isn't it interesting how they can.... (5+ / 0-)

      ...just change their conditions on mortgage holders, and the only resource is to get refinanced via another institution.  

      One thing to look around at when you're looking for a CU, is if they can refinance your mortgage, and if they can keep it in-house.  CUs also have very low foreclosure levels because they are lending their own money and lending in the community, so that's a point for ethical business also.

      Re. B-corps, I'll reply to that point under Warren's reply to you.

      •  yeah, one of the most frustrating parts (6+ / 0-)

        of the whole thing is that we get a 0.6% (0.6%!!!) interest rate deduction for having our mortgage payments come out of an account with their bank.  So they kinda have us over a barrel.  We just have to suck it up for now and let them keep the minimum balance.

        And it doesn't help that we bought in 2006, and almost all of our down payment and equity gains are now gone... so refinancing would require coming up with more of a down payment to get the mortgage below 85% of the appraised value...

        "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

        by Hopeful Skeptic on Thu May 06, 2010 at 08:57:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  eeyow. (6+ / 0-)

          Debt peonage.  

          But the underlying bug in the system there, is the idea that real estate should be a profit-making investment.  The first-order effect of that is to make it impossible for kids to grow up and live in their own neighborhood.  The second-order effect is to trap people in debt on the downside of bubbles.  

          People didn't count on their house as their major investment in life, when there were strong unions and universal pension plans.  There's another piece of the puzzle that needs to be fixed.  Collective bargaining, secure jobs, secure pensions.  

          This is also an ingredient in neo-feudalism.  Use debt to keep people trapped in their houses, and use employment-based health insurance to keep them trapped in their jobs.   The serfs are thereby chained, while the lords are free to skate.  

  •  very good diary (5+ / 0-)

    you know G2Geek you´re doing maybe the best what can be done at current in the US (or here), building counterculture. Getting people to ignore consumerism. Great thing. It´s what the early socialists did in the latter part of the 19th century. recommended!

    Ici s´arrète la loi.

    by marsanges on Thu May 06, 2010 at 09:20:53 PM PDT

    •  thanks.... and... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, WarrenS

      ... there was a counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s that also had anti-consumption values.  Then something changed: somewhere between "disco" culture and the "Reagan Revolution," it flipped 180 degrees.  

      As with racism, I thought this was a battle that people won before my time.

      But if not, then we fight it again.  

      Ultimately what's at stake now is the climate crisis, and the risk of human extinction.  Ecological overshoot and population crash.  So this time is not a test, and is not an option: it's a necessity.  

      I was talking with one of my fellow tribe members* tonight, and she was describing the steps needed to get passive solar benefits by planting trees in a certain orientation in respect to a house.  Apparently this is going to be done with some new construction on our land when there's the $$ to do it.   But this issue interacts with climate impacts on certain tree species, so we have to plan ahead as to what types of trees will be viable.  And this is not "optional" either: solar thermal plus passive solar, are what we can count on for heat sources; all other fuels are questionable in the long haul (plus or minus a large utility solar, wind, or nuclear installation, on our part of the grid).  

      Once you start actually doing the planning for "climate preps" (preparation for the impact of climate instability), you start to see how everything is connected to everything else in the most concrete way of how it affects your own subsistence.  This is not an abstraction for me.  As soon as I move to the land, it's going to be the stuff of my daily life, including whether there's heat in the winter and enough to eat.  But at least we have our seats on the Natural Selection Bus, so our future is more secure than the futures of those who think business as usual can continue.  

      Anyone who doesn't take the climate crisis seriously should do the exercise.  They will quickly discover what's important and what they can do without.

      ---

      *Tribe:  When we use that term we mean: a group of people consisting of more than one genetic family line, who share means of subsistence and a common meme-set, and who act in a purposive manner as a group.  We do not imply ethnic or religious exclusivity, or a less-friendly posture toward other groups.  

  •  Thank You - N/T (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, G2geek, WarrenS

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Thu May 06, 2010 at 10:48:29 PM PDT

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