Another excellent post from Sarenth Odinsson about the future, which seems to me a nice tie in to yesterdays post about the bees.
We are coming to what seems like a turning point in the environment – whether that’s the loss of pollinators, the eventual running out of oil, the eventual burning out of the land we live on, the detriments of monocultured crops, the catastrophically changing climate, the droughts, the fresh water shortages and waste, the pollution of air and waterways, the mountains and mountains of trash… the list goes on and on.
I found this especially poignant:
How do we abandon the outdated models of life and living so that we may, once we have found it, embrace the ground on which we are to build the future?
While each person must find their own solution, here are a few of my thoughts on the matter:
- Each of us must find a way to live in better concert with our local ecosystems.
- Each of us must consume less, grow more, and reuse everything to its capacity.
- What we consume must have some kind of long-term use.
- Land, both the sustainable preservation of and growth on arable land, and the preservation of wild places must be at the top of the priority list. No viable environment, and it will not matter what kind of future we try to make.
- Our communities need to bring its fundamental functions back down to a local level wherever possible.
- Our communities must support its local workers.
- Our communities must, in every way possible, learn to live with LESS: Less Energy Stimulation Stuff.
None of this is easy, but that said, neither is waiting for Peak Oil to take full effect and you, as well as your neighbors, loved ones, friends, and so on, are left scrambling with no real plan to tackle the challenge at hand. Far better to get through the theories and on to practical application while there is still some time left. There is also the thought of ‘do not let the perfect become the enemy of the good’. Do I do all of the above? No. I do not own the land I live on, nor do I have a lot of control as to what comes into or out of the home, but I do what I can, where I can. Even raising awareness of Peak Oil is doing something, though the hard work, as mentioned earlier, will still need to get done sooner or later.
I talk a lot about being the Druid of This Place – that our Druidry needs to take care of the local land as much as it does the whole Earth. Do I always succeed at being a good steward of that land? Absolutely no. My garden is small (only 10ft by 12ft, on a very large lot) in a large yard, and my corporate job means I spend less time caring for it than I probably should. I won’t grow more than enough food to be tasty and occasional for a short period in May/June, not enough even to store for the rest of the year.
As a druid, this often bothers me. I feel like with the resources at my disposal, I should be doing more.
But the thing about all of this?
It’s really fucking hard.
It’s hard to change how you eat, what you eat, how you purchase things, how you spend your spare time, how you live on your land – especially if you live in an apartment. It’s HARD. This isn’t “replace some lightbulbs” this is “fundamentally rethink your lifestyle”.
As much as I try to do, I still drive 35 miles each way to my job every day, I still play video games in the evenings, and I still purchase things I don’t truly “need” (though I try to buy them from small artisans when possible, they’re still not necessary purchases). I don’t cook all of my meals from locally sourced produce, and I don’t even buy organic 100% of the time.
I’m trying to get better at it, but I still fall short of a lot of what I could do to make my “footprint” smaller. I still have lots of skills to learn that would help me be more self-sufficient. Those skills take time though – time that I don’t have a lot of, not least because I spend 2.5 hours a day in traffic.
I don’t really know how to put the two together. How do I continue to live my suburban lifestyle in a way that I can sustain while sustaining the future of the Earth?
It’s a tough question.
I guess I just have to keep working at it, and letting my spirituality help influence my intellectual decisions.