“Earth’s Life Support Systems Failing”

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

I was so happy Weds. morning. Going about my life. See, I’ve been on a big “clean out the house” binge — boy does that feel good! A “get organized” binge — trust me it was needed after years of not, and BOY does that feel GOOD. A “get rid of it if you don’t need it, watch out I’m dropping bags of stuff I think you need off on your front porch under cover of darkness” binge. OK, I”m actually calling people or emailing them to see if they really want the stuff.

Taken stuff to the Kid’s Consignment Shop. Goodwill. I mean, the computer monitor that was stuffed in the corner 5 YEARS ago to take… somewhere… Well, WA State changed laws, and now you can drop them off at any Goodwill, and there’s one about 12 blocks from my house! That happened 2 years ago, I’m all set, eh? Well the monitor is now in trunk of car, and all I have to do is remember it when I’m near the Goodwill!

OK OK, I got out the right tool and made a note to myself to remember. (Speedy forgetful, or “Quick Smart” people take note: that tool is a business card as small enuf to fit in pocket, make notes on the back throughout the day as to where you need to go, keep in pocket when you go out, consult and follow the directions. No charge.)

I mean, you know? I’m on a fantastic roll here. But from zipping around the house got a bit tired, so sat down, opened computer, to learn and rest at same time. “Hmmmmm, I’ll try CommonDreams, see what they have for news today.”

(Headline below the fold.)

Earth’s Life Support Systems Failing

Oh. OK, then. Well.

That does put a damper on the day, doesn’t it? I mean, I’m retraining for a new career, to help wierd-ish children, mostly, wouldn’t that be wonderful, but it’s expensive, time-consuming, and hard work.

Life Support Systems failing, hmmm, doesn’t sound like that retraining will pay off for long, does it? How about the house-cleaning? Nope. How about the gardening? Yes, maybe I should be working working to make it bigger so I can survive if the Safeway trucks stop rolling… But what about my life? What about making the house payments if I  garden all day? I have to have a career of some sort….

Life Support Systems Failing. The Earth’s systems, that is.

And nobody seems to be paying the least attention. Oh, maybe you and you are, but what about the PTB? It’s as though we’re on the Titanic, and the band’s playing louder. On a raft heading towards Niagara Falls, and the world’s leaders are singing louder, to drown out the noise of the falls — and doing NOTHING to organize people rowing towards the shore upstream of the falls.

Oh, a pittance here, a pittance there.

Every time I go through this, I conclude (here’s the hope tag): If it’s to be, it’s up to me. Tho I usually don’t think anything so smarmy and cutesy-sounding.

I think: I’ve gotta do the solar panels and garden and set up the clothesline… and convince others to do likewise, if there’s any way I can. And the efforts

This is the ONE arena where I truly thought Obama and team would hit the ground running. Green energy. What a chump I was.

But leaving that aside, what about you? How do you deal with this stuff? What are you doing on your own? Do you have friends and neighbors who’re conscious of all this? Are you working together with anyone?

Or still like the leaders, thinking you might and you oughta, but nothin’ goin’ on yet?

[Subject of essay changed via edit]

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  1. consuming habits, the entire country would change.

    Heck, the entire WORLD would change, because 50% of the most wasteful consumers in the world would be scaling back.

    Make sense to you?

  2. trying to become as self sufficient as possible.  Certainly not there yet but I have a 20′ x 20′ vege garden plot ready for next spring.  I’m slowly purchasing the items I need such as a generator, food supplies, etc.  My brother just received an $3000 order of freeze dried meals (MREs), we’re thinking of buying a commune in Idaho or Montana. All the while working to stop the impending doom by yelling louder.  

    • Miep on October 15, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I’ve been CRS for years.

    It’s made me somewhat less than sympathetic towards people who use being CRS as an excuse for not coming through. I mean, at least admit you just couldn’t deal with it, okay? I think when they do this. Don’t give me this “Writing something with a pencil on a postit and sticking it on my computer monitor is too much for amazing people like me!”

    I’d even be willing to donate postits, yaknowwhatImean?

    Okay, I voted for glowing, because I’m a green snob, but I’m still nowhere good enough, because we must reinvent the infrastructure as well as the economy, and I’m still stuck in both.

    Here’s my green snob list:

    1. I never learned to drive a car, let alone own one.

    2. I live where it gets to 110 in the summer and I don’t have an air conditioner.

    3. I never go anywhere outside of town (I don’t like that; where’s my horse???)

    4. I rarely eat meat, including fish and bacon (many think that fish and bacon are exempt; I’ve always found that funny).

    5. I grow some produce in my yard. Not enough, though. I need some help with this; a good strong young assistant could help me get hundreds of percent more yield.

    6. I give stuff and sometimes money away to strangers. This is green because it says fuck you to the evil corporate economic system.

    7. I buy food direct from organic producers as much as I can.

    8. I try to teach people about working with their natural environment in a friendly manner, and have spent a huge amount of time doing this, almost entirely online in response to inquiries.

    9. I’m in the 2000 watt club, far as reducing energy usage goes. I’ve looked into this and I qualify for yearly energy consumption below that limit.

    Here’s my green failure list:

    1. I have a dog, he weighs about 50#, his diet includes CAFO meat and commercial pet food. It’s really expensive to get outside of that, and I don’t believe dogs should be vegetarians. They evolved to be scavengers and hunters, and eat a fair amount of meat. The plant portion of his diet often includes stuff I grow myself, and I’m moving into using organically grown grains as well (part of what that’s about is that it mimics gut content). I wish I could share him more. I avoided getting a dog for a long time, because of these issues, but I was getting stalked by people and had to start living alone again, and could not function with that level of anxiety.

    2. I don’t have solar. I’m still on the grid, and a lot of it’s about coal.  

    3. I don’t have friends or contacts around here. That’s my biggest failure, my inability to organize locally. It’s not an easy place to do it, by far, but I still feel guilty.

    There’s likely more, but that’ll do for now.

  3. I like your writing style, relaxing to read.

  4. If all the people who’re aware that life-style changes MUST happen for us to survive as a species were to make those changes, the entire country would look and be different.

    Heck, the entire WORLD would change, because 50% of the most wasteful consumers in the world would be scaling back.

    Yaknow what I mean?

    And are you taking steps, any steps?

    (Edited comment, which means rewrite and repost, on tip from RUKind, with thanks and a hat tip.)

  5. Why.

    Because it’s not about the enviornment really, it’s about a global tax to give money to the Bernie Maddoff characters of the world.  Ya think they will come to your house with a free solar system?

    They got the wrong marketing theme with CO2.  What they could have said was that a solar coronal mass ejection in say the year 2012 will wipe out electrical power distribution worldwide.  That way the only solution would be localized impractical Amish type communities.

    Why push politicians to take your energy use away and give it to Bernie Madoff?

  6. My foot print is quite small, like my house. Tiny two bed room,1 bath, 2 window A/C’s I only use when humidity gets unbearable, but I do have ceiling fans. The house is made of concrete blocks which keeps it cool in the hot summers we have.

    My garden was a total failure this year, but I have a plan B when that happens, I buy from a local farmer not too far away. Don’t eat much meat, but when I do it’s from my niece. She has happy chickens and her husband hunts. The fish I buy is caught locally, no farm fish! Most of the time I bake my own bread, but my starter died and now I have to wait for the humidity to go down so I can start another one. So for the time being I buy from a french bakery.

    I really miss my greenhouse (Gustav trashed it) and trying to figure out how to rebuilt from recycables.

    I don’t own a washer or dryer, I wash by hand and line dry. I’m working on getting material together for a solar generator, instruction found on ‘Instructables.com’ ( I love that site!). This will eventually help me save even more on electricity.

    I do own a car and a bicycle, but the car I only use to get to work (no public transportation where I need to go) and I do my errands on the way. I use less than $20 a week on gas.

    I try to live in harmony with my environment, not always easy ( I live in ‘The Hood’), but I manage. I have a large garden with a small pond which attracts coons, possums, birds, squirrels and kittehs and I feed them all. Since I’m such an eccentric people love to help me save them all and give me food scraps. Did you know coons love junk food?


  7. ‘the world’s smallest house’ – which of course is patently false, but it is a tiny WW II Cape Cod with a plastic shower from the Sears Catalog up on the 2d floor 1/2 bath

    Other ways we try are NOT too unusual or earth=shattering:

    *We dress warm and use very little heat in winter, essentially 0 AC.

    *Much of the backyard [ca 1 1/3 acres] is left wild for critters and butterflies and birds

    * As much as I can I combine trips for needs [Prius];

    * telecommute when possible

    * To extent we can afford we use ONLY recyclable paper goods for home and my office; found green trash bags so get those as affordable tho we are on a tight budget

    So it’s really only the basic; plus we try to reuse everything. AND I pull some of hubby’s items out of trash if they can go into recycles bin instead [eeewww!!!] but the thought of those mountains of trash is VERY dispiriting…

    Compared to so many here, we get no awards…. PLUS


    Letting go. hoarding can be trouble! I should do more recycling – esp to the needy

    If we had money I would add solar – but then again it rains in our state CONSTANTLY so it might be pointless…


    • banger on October 15, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    when it comes to our environment. I think the most important thing we can do is make sure our own inner environment works for us and isn’t stupid and wasteful.

    Cutting back on energy use is ok and getting people to do the same is nice but it will do next to nothing to avoid environmental catastrophe — I think it is mainly a symbolic task and good in itself but not as a “solution”. You can get millions of people in the U.S. to consume less but the rest of the people will just consume more — and I mean the people of the world not just the U.S.

    I sympathize with being torn between your garden and your career in the cash economy. But the problem is the cash economy rather than overconsumption. We must create an alternative to the cash economy because not only is it destructive to the environment but profoundly destructive to social and spiritual life. Yet, progressives are totally averse to creating alternative institutions because we all like our little spaces, our retirement funds, our property, our little toys and that space that a little money provides. We don’t want to come together in community and share property so that we don’t each need to buy the same piece of equipment that we use 3 times a year or whatever. We can build our own businesses using the talents we possess rather than selling ourselves to the highest bidder to maintain our isolated cocoon of a house. The solutions are at hand. The tools physical, legal, technical, political are all there for our use — we just lack the social consciousness and faith to do anything that will make a difference. I assure you nothing other than decoupling from the system will do — our grandchildren will be serfs if their lucky.

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