Friday, October 10, 2008

Last days of summer

What do you think is going through my head right now?
I'm just a little fish in a big pond?
I'm floating in a sea of debt and uncertainty about our future?
I think I just felt something big swimming under me?
or... this is one of the last warm days of summer and I love to float quietly and soak in the sun... the water isn't too cold for early September.

This is a very powerful time of year when the seeds of our labors throughout the year are maturing and coming to harvest. Oct. 31st is the New Year for many people. This year is particularly ominous.

I'm thinking that maybe the whole economy needs to crash so we can start over. Hopefully with a President Obama instead of McCain. I worry that I may not be able to buy food and keep hold of our house. The answer is not going to be a big Wall Street bailout, but a strengthening of our communities from a local level. We need to work together to figure out how we can sustain ourselves if the value of our dollar drops like Zimbabwe and food is either unavailable or too expensive.

I feel lucky to have many local organic farms near us where I can find food for me and my family. But there aren't enough farms to feed everyone in the county. We have to preserve the remaining open space and encourage people to farm it where site conditions are appropriate for different types of agriculture. I am not proposing a corporate ag model but a community based model where food generated in a county or region is grown by the people in that region and the money and food stays within that region. Surpluses are exported to obtain goods not otherwise available. This is what our markets are supposed to be doing, but the scale of business is so far out of proportion that the consumer is insulated from most of the costs until everything comes crashing down- like now.

Energy is a big part of the problem. With the economy slowing down you would think our consuming, and thereby carbon emissions, would have declined. Check out this article on 2007 carbon emissions from The Guardian, UK or this piece from the NY Times. If we aren't consuming as much and if other countries are faced with similar economic collapse, at least one good side from all of this mess will hopefully be a reduction in emissions over the next year or longer.

We need solutions that involve people not corporations. Let's create an energy infrastructure based on solar and wind where everybody generates some of their own electricity and use energy efficient methods in the home to stretch every Watt. Check out The Apollo Alliance to find out about some great ideas for now, not just the future. If we had spent $850 billion to put solar panels on every house we would be much better off than sinking the money into a bunch of rich, greedy assholes that put us in this position in the first place.

Talk about trimming the government budget? How about ending all of our failed wars, Iraq, Afganistan, and the Drug War. We need a new approach and we are wasting lives and money on our current path. Did you know that over 800,000 people were arrested for marijuana in 2007? This country has to stop persecuting people and families under draconian drug laws that are just a boondoggle for the DEA and local law enforcement. Good people like Dr. Charlie Lynch or Eddy Lepp are helping people by providing medical marijuana legally, but get treated like criminals by a system that is broken and not protective of the people and our civil liberties. Then we end up having to pay the cost of incarcerating people who don't belong there... over 800,000 of them! We've got to stop this national insanity. You really should look into the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, both are excellent sources of fact and reason.

We need to live sustainably, treat our fellow human beings nobly, and respect each other so that we can break free from the dying political grip of the last century's politics and egos. Now is the time to tell our politically appointed leaders that they are responsible to us the people. We can be heard, and we outnumber them. Be active in your local community! I know I need to work on that more and everyone probably does to one extent or another. By helping each other, we can survive this crisis and move into a new paradigm for humanity.

Are you interested?


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