WHAT THERE IS
IS ALL THERE IS
A world created on the assumption of always MORE is obviously unsustainable: Unending growth of an economy, unending riches. No, this is not about oil. It may well be that the supply of oil that is easy to get out of the ground, and therefore cheap, is running out, but sooner or later it becomes unsustainable to rely on oil, or coal, for energy. Why moan about the price of oil when we should get ourselves ready to do without?
Yes, there are undoubtedly other ways to get energy to run an immensely wasteful so-called civilization that is not sustainable regardless of what kind of energy we use, but wouldn’t it be smarter if we took stock of the underpinnings of how we live, how we have created this world we live in? We use too much of everything, and throw away more than the earth can absorb. And, of course, throwing away what is not biodegradable is creating dumps that will choke our children’s and grandchildren’s world. No, we must learn again to do without.
Our scientists have told us for years that fast food -- junk food -- is bad for us; too much fat, too much sugar, and the wrong kinds of fat and sugar. Not only is manufactured food bad for us but it has the potential to be dangerous as well. It is not at all difficult to grow vegetables. Admittedly, that means we eat strawberries only when they are in season, and what’s wrong with that? Doesn’t that make them all the more delicious, even more special? And we’d savor oranges only if they grow in the next valley, not imported from half a world away.
Long distance transport requires picking the fruit long before it is ripe; profit requires “forcing” the plant with bad chemicals to produce more and “better” oranges: All the same size, perfectly round. In truth, nothing tastes as good as an orange (or any fruit) when picked ripe, in season, from a tree that has had no artificial aids to produce bigger fruit (which kills the tree earlier than its natural life span). For many years I survived without oranges. There is vitamin C in many other fruits, apples, pears, a variety of berries.
I’ve read that in the 1920s and ‘30s cities, even medium sized cities, had street cars, or other forms of mass transport, public transportation. American car manufacturers bought the street cars of Los Angeles, tore down the overhead lines and the tracks, so that the city would have to buy buses. Big corporations sold us on the idea that everybody should have their own car -- four door cars, with room for five, driven by one person to work.