because we have my mom visiting we decided to spend some time shoreward and so tracy found a nice suite for us just a few blocks away. funny thing was, l couldn’t stay there last night. we turned out the lights, snuggled into this 4-foot thick king-sized bed, and i proceeded to stare at the ceiling. it was too soft, too hot, and too stifling. the poor dog was panting to beat all hell. i endured it for as long as i could, then got up, pulled on my pants, and told tracy the dog and i were spending the night one the boat. she thought i was crazy, but it was actually a relief to climb back aboard and hear the wind and water and feel her gentle movements as she tugged at her moorings.
but we are seriously considering selling fainleog. not just considering, i told tracy to go ahead and sell it. and then retracted a bit because i couldn’t stand it. right now we (i) am/are waffling, but only because i’m over emotional. the end of dreams.
i just read an article about soaring food costs expected to soar in Canada,following what has already happened in the third world. there’s nothing herethat we haven’t known was coming since the 70s. but because it was just atheory (like climate change), we could all turn our heads and pretend that ourlives were not built on some very real physical principles, and one we’ve knownfor a long time was unsustainable.
i’m not talking a apocalypse here; i just see a massive shift in western culture away from an enlightenment ideal of a high standard of living for all and a return to the kind of civilisation where a few elites have everything and everyone else scrabbles to survive as best they can. what else can you expect? for 7000 years this has been the normal way that human beings organised their lives; this little 20th century experiment that was so successful (if you happened to live in the west) came about because of one simple fact – abundant, cheap energy in the form of fossilised dinosaurs, swamp grass and prawns. the overall distribution of wealth didn’t change -the elites are just as elite now as they have been throughout history (although perhaps there might be more of them these days), but that the entire distribution curve has risen an incredible amount, buoyed on the back of oil. and the oil is running out.
oil and the basics of modern life are utterly intertwined. without oil, agricultural production plummets because most fertiliser is petroleum based. also, inefficient small scale farming has been abandoned for large scale mechanised farming that requires cheap fuel for machinery. and then there’s transportation requirements to distribute the food.
it’s not that we need oil to grow food; that part has been a recent development; however, we need to oil to have the wonderful selection of out-of season fruits and veggies that we have at the local market. not to mention japanese oranges, salvadorian bananas, and french truffles. start getting use to the idea of porridge and beets unless you happen to be one of those elites.
and don’t expect “them” to come to the rescue, either. you will not be able to get a conversion kit to plug your suv into a wall jack and carry one as if oil was still around. you only have to go back 100 years to see what a world without oil looked like, and it is naive to think that government scientists somewhere will come up with solar panels and wind generators and nuclear moon rocks that will be able to replace oil.
our standard of living came about because of 19th century thinking of resources, exploitation, colonisation, and a very primitive economic-based notion of the good society. it was a social experiment that succeeded beyond it’s wildest dreams, but now we are having to face the real shortsightedness of that vision.
we in the west are wealthy, greedy, fat and destructive, and the whole planet groans under the weight of our excess, the spiritual paucity of that vision. in many ways even our society functions rather poorly, and if that notion bothers you here’s a prozac.
my hope in this is that we are at last done with that ancient enlightenment economic model, and we turn back to ourselves and our planet, like partiers after a drunken orgy, and realise our mistakes and pick up the pieces with a headache and bad stomach, and think never again. a society that is not based on consumption but giving, a society of care and stewardship of the planet and one where community, cooperation, spirituality and thoughtfulness replace the ethos of greed and desire that has dominated the consciousness of the west since those first gushers of oil.