Thursday, July 29, 2010

Unsustainable In Every Way

This is going to be a nice "lead out" / "Lead in" post to a new blog I am going to be starting in the future. This site was supposed to be dedicated to more global and political issues and solutions. However, I often end up writing about more then just such issues and how affect us generally on a political scale, but also more personally. I have learned a lot about what "makes us tic" as humans in the past year. It was another layer of the onion. I think a different venue will be in order to offer these ideas. I think it will be titled "The Human System”. The two web sites together I believe will be combined to one day wrote the book I seemed to have been born to write.

I have always known the reality of sustainability and its role, but a few years back, me and a friend were sharing beers and he put the concept together in a few sentences for me. What isn't sustainable isn't natural. What isn't natural, will either deplete, fade into extinction, or crumble under its own weight. Look around us. What will you participate in today that “isn’t natural”? If you are reading this, then the first one that should come to mind is the computer, internet, and electricity. Is your home heated or cooled? Did you catapult yourself down the road today at speeds far exceeding a “terminal velocity”? All of these things require the taking of resources with out giving back.

Our unsustainable behavior doesn’t just stop at our consumption of natural resources. It occurs with regard to our economics, population, and socialization as well. We really seem to collectively have no “Future sense” or vision. Everything is about right here, right now what is going to make me feel good. “There is no tomorrow, there was no yesterday. I trust nobody but myself and that is all that matters. I deserve mine as much if not more then the next guy, and I am going to take it before he does.” And of course my favorite and the mother of all, “I know it is bad for me, but I do it anyway because it makes me feel good.” We have become a “borderline society” thatDr. Kreisman and Hal Stratus predicted that we would back in the 70’s and early 80’s. It is unbelievable the things we think we can't live without. Even more unbelievable is that which we think we can't live with. But don't worry there is a pill for that.

Economically we use money that we haven’t even earned yet. Many of us feel “we will die before we actually get our debts paid off” and that is a good thing. “its not our fault we didn't have the money to pay for the things we 'needed'. Our government has let this counterfeit financial resource flood the market. Then to make maters worse we ship our real money off to foreign economies. They have consumed all of that and are now forced to accept our fictitious “credit” money. This can not sustain. It is unnatural to any economic structure. We have already seen it start to crumble. What is worse are the people who ignorantly benefited from this “feel good today” mentality are now crying for the government to “bail them out”. While it was credit and financial lending institutes that caused this problem, the government saw the biggest problem as being the fact that “banks have no money to lend”!! There wasn’t (and still isn’t) anything rational coming out of their mouths. What was offered seemed to be geared towards what to say to please the most voters. Again we see consumption with out replacement.

Our population is outpacing “natural” and healthy growth. I remember growing up people saying things like, “there is plenty of land in this country”. This statement completely ignores the reality that it takes more then just space to maintain a life form. More then that, it takes more then just existence to have a life. Great, our new farming techniques can feed 10 times as many people as we used to. So, technically we could accept 10 times as many people into our geographical borders. But what are these new citizens going to do? We don't need them to farm. As we make up stuff for them to do, and they become capable of having offspring, what are these offspring to do? Then there is the waste each of us produce, the space that we require, and the things that separate that grey line between life and actually living. Yes, the vast majority of us have the ability to have a child, but it is not a “God Given” right to do so when we don't know how we are going to sustain and enlighten that child.

Oh the things I will get in trouble for, called a “socialist” over, and condemned for if I were ruling this mess. One would be the encouragement of birth control for ever citizen. Also the submittable of a “business plan” for every child born. How do you plan on paying for the nourishment, shelter, and clothing of the child? Who is actually going to be raising the child, you or the government? How many hours per week do you plan on spending with the child during the first 6 yrs of life?

All of this leads to an unsustainable social structure. We don't know our neighbors, we don't care to. We have laws set up to ensure that getting to know them comes with great risk. When you do get to know them. It becomes a pissing match. Who has the most, biggest, shiniest stuff. We waste valuable resources to water grass. So it can grow bright green, and we can pull out our petro burning mowers and chop it down.

We don't even know our own family. Going through the divorce recently my ex's sister was on the stand. My attorney asked her sister, “you say you know your sister. What did you talk about?” her sister said, “raising kids. How our family is doing. You know sister stuff.” My attorney, “so you didn't know she had a drinking problem, you didn't know she was unhappy in her situation, you didn't know she was using drugs, you didn't know she hated her life growing up and considered herself to be 'the black sheep', you didn't know......” and my lawyer went on to spell out a lot of things that had come out that you should know about your family members. We don't even talk to those we are supposedly closest to. If you are going to sustain a functional society, there must be easy flow of communication. Now we have developed this great tool for doing it, and we just turned it into a way to meet up with old flings, gamble, and pleasure ourselves.

So religion will save us and our morality right? This is where our culture will gain its moral compass. Right it people are being lead to cults, then the “valid” religions are headed by greedy hypocrites using the money for their own pleasure. The biggest religion in the world has had a 20 plus year struggle defending the fact its ranks are plagued with child molesters. I can say I once had the pleasure of getting chastised about eating meat on Friday during lent from a soul that was in the process of divorcing me. “Umm, errrr, let's check the hand book on this one. Up here is it, I happen to have the 'Ten Commandments' tabbed. Eating meat on Friday..... Eating meat on Friday.... Nope, not mentioned.” Its all good though. Because most of us already assume from birth that we are dammed to hell, so why bother trying to right our wrongs. We'll just pass this dammdation on down to the next generation so we won't be so lonely in hell.

WE CAN NOT CONTINUE WITH THE WAY WE HAVE CONDUCTED OURSELVES FOR THE PAST 75 TO 100 YEARS. It is unsustainable behavior. It will erode and eventually collapse all we have come to value upon us. We do have some inalienable rights. But destroying the world in this child like fashion is not one of them. As each generation passes it will get harder to understand why this seemingly obvious point is factual. “But we deserve....”

"Mom's gonna Fix it all soon, Mom's coming 'round to put it back the way it aught to beeeee." (Tool, Aenima)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oil Spill: Responsibility and Sensibility

Alright, it has been too long. I hope to pick up the thread a little more regularly.

So even in my attempt to avoid the news, a few issues you just can’t ignore. The BP oil leak is the biggest one. With my contempt for our persistence on this practice without any real movement towards discontinuation is certainly not hidden in these posts. An event like this one just frustrates me further.

That said, I have to shake my head that when it happened and the world seems to have been surprised. My initial reaction was, “well no shit”. It was bound to happen. Yes the chances were miniscule, but real all the same. I think what did take me by surprise was that there was no contingency plan to quickly reduce the impact.

In my day to day, we have to often make decisions that could potentially impact thousands of lives. Now the actual chances are often very minuscule. However, that doesn’t stop us from having a “risk assessment” meeting where these risks are assessed. An approach to minimize those risks and a contingency plan in case the worst case scenario should occur are developed. There are events that happen on a regular basis that a meeting isn’t needed but the results of the initial assessment are attached and understood. Much like these oil platforms are scattered around the world and the process has become common.

I am just beside myself that there was no plan to address this potential danger and the factions of the government that license these companies to do this didn’t require one. But it isn’t hard to see how that much money clouds the judgment to require such formalities.

I am not amazed at the publics reaction. However, it is clueless and ignorant as usual in these types of situation. Everybody is in an uproar over this spill. But, really what is the other option. Buying our oil from other countries? Only drilling in shallower more manageable beds? This would drive the price of an American gallon of gasoline sky high. That of course would choke our economy and cause everybody to think the sitting president was not doing their job to the best interest of the voting public. So that same public that is now collectively in an uproar over the oil spill would instead be throwing their voting interest behind the candidate that screamed "Drill baby drill". The president had to “show” more openly his contempt for that incident. Because Americans can only believe you are angry if they see you making irrational and non functional body movements.

So what was the way to avoid this catastrophe should have been avoided? The most obvious action should have been that every license awarded to drill was awarded to contractor who had a proven contingency plan in order to stop any leak. But that would have been seen as congress impeding business.

This situation epitomizes the trait of a free enterprise/ democratic society that is both its greatest asset and most dangerous fault. When we have a problem that needs solved, there is great inspiration to find a solution. However, as that solution becomes common, acceptable, and cheap, better solutions have a nearly impossible task of entering the market. We all know "green energy" is a great substitute and at least will reduce the impact that fossil fuels put on our environment, safety, and economy. Yet, it is "too expensive" to use such technology. In a system not driven by financial reward, benefit of the community would drive solutions.

I have taken awhile to post on this. This morning I was glad. I heard a comment that highlights another relative facet of this issue. A lady was on CNN begging President Obamma to reinstate the drilling privileges (lift the ban) on the existing BP oil rigs. This exemplifies the problem and the frustration I have with our culture. “Lady, look out at the ocean, look at what your husband did.” Yet the vast majority of us do not see a connection between what we do as an occupation and its adverse affect on the greater community. We consider the fact that "we are just doing our job" and "following orders" absolves us from responsibility. This kind of mentality has lead to heinous acts of violence and destruction lead against humanity.

This "self entitlement" to employment no matter what the cost is at the core of all I find offensive about our western culture. It was only last year that "roughnecks" were being glamorized with their own TV show. They talked about the dangers to their life and limb. But the guys who did the job were "willing to risk it all to strike 'Black Gold'". The general population are too shallow in the intellectual pool to realize they had made a livelihood off a destructive force. They had for many generations. The money generated allowed more offspring who then needed to rely on the economic revenue of this destructive force. It is a parasites mentality. We all know what happens to both the parasite and the host every time.

Irresponsibility and lack of foresight runs from top to bottom of this issue. But there is just sooo much money involved in ignoring the dangers, impact, and contingencies. Every single one of us who has to pump gas into our vehicles to get to work share some responsibility to that destructive incident in the gulf.

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