And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Two Things

Okay, first off I need to announce to the world at large that my Wonderful - Fabulous - Incredible Honorary Uncle came up to do the house inspection last night and gave it a good report. He also (wowowowowow) offered to donate one full day of work to fix the few things that need fixing (some doggy damage and a leaky sink) as a housewarming gift. I really appreciate that so much, because as a general handy-man he has been hit hard by the economy tanking. No one wants to do home improvements or fix the things that are only a little broken when they have to worry about gas to get to work or food to eat.

And he is the best fixer-upper dude I know. A total perfectionist in every way.

I am so excited.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The second thing is one that I swore to myself I would no longer discuss on my blog. So I am breaking that promise in the hopes that Mr. Barefoot won't read this, and if he does that he doesn't mention it at home. Hehe.

I happened to peek at one of the cable news channels at work last night (something I try really hard to avoid) and caught the tail end of a discussion between someone from the McCain camp and someone from the Obama camp. They were going at each other tooth and nail over the "Energy Crisis" and why their candidate had THE ANSWER and the other was just a fool.

One phrase that stuck out in my mind (I have no idea who said it) is that we are "the Saudi Arabia of coal".

This is a good thing? I don't know about the rest of this country, but I haven't bought into the advertising saying that coal is "clean energy". Not only that, but it is a fossil fuel which (by definition) means it takes millions of years to create and is a FINITE source of fuel. It will run out eventually. I suppose I am the only one who sees something wrong with trading one set of issues for another ~ equally bad ~ set of issues?

The one thing that neither party brought up in even the most obscure way was our nation's need to conserve the resources we have and to learn to do with less consumption.

I tell you who I will vote for:

I will vote for the candidate who stands up and says for all the world to hear that he is going to take Crunchy's "Freeze Yer Buns" Challenge while in the White House. I will vote for the candidate who is willing to stand up to the American Public and inspire them to live in a manner that the earth can support. I will vote for the candidate who turns their back on the age old tradition of pointing fingers at the other candidate and, instead, points their finger at the American Public and says "You are the reason we are in crisis right now. All it takes is a few simple changes in your lives to make a big impact, and I am here to lead the way in making these changes. I am here to tell you that it is not about buying your way to a green life. It is not about spending all our time trying to find a way around making changes. It is about facing those changes bravely and with conviction. It is about 'biting the bullet' and moving forward into a different way of life, rather than desperately trying to hold on to one that no longer works. I am here to show you how, to help you make the changes needed, to pave the way for a new era in our history."

Yeah, that's the candidate I want in the White House.....Maybe I should run? Or we could all vote for Crunchy! Or something....

I have to go on record here as saying that, for me, the issue has never been about Peak Oil, Climate Change, or anything else.

In my mind, the bottom line is that it is irresponsible to live in a manner where you do more damage than good. Any organism that lives off another and gives nothing back is a parasite. I don't wanna be a you? But that is what we are. And a very devastating one at that. We scalp, rape, and destroy the earth in our search for ways to live in a manner more and more removed from the natural rhythms of our host (the earth, for those of you who aren't following). Much like any other parasite, we take what we want without any regard for what it is doing to the very organism we are dependent on for life.

We are tapeworms. Yuck.

You know, I used to have nightmares where I was being chased by a monster or a "bad man". I would run and run till I was exhausted. Then, when all my strength had been sapped by my long flight and evasive maneuvering, I would turn to fight only to find that I was not strong enough to win. Only when I learned to train myself (in sleep and in real life) to turn and face the monster RIGHT AWAY did I find the strength to beat it.

I feel like we are in the same position as a country. We have spent so much time trying to avoid the problem or even deny it's existence that the issue has become bigger and bigger. A problem that would have been easy to fix in it's infancy has been allowed to grow into a grotesque giant that we feel less and less able to conquer.

So I get a little frustrated when the candidates get so caught up in telling each other that they are wrong. There is no doubt anymore that we live in a manner that the earth cannot sustain indefinitely. It doesn't matter what "Crash Theory" you subscribe to or who you blame for the whole mess. It doesn't matter if we have reached Peak or if we can delay it for a few years. Those issues are just the tentacles of the beast, and they will lose their power once the main creature is killed. We have to learn to live more lightly on the earth.

Bottom line.

Disclaimer: I write this on my energy-sucking computer with a movie in
the DVD player (babysitting Little Sprout) in an apartment with the air
conditioner on (it IS really hot and stuffy today) and Big Sprout in her room
with probably two lamps on and HER tv. I am not saying I am any better than
anyone else. I am just stating what I see as facts.


Gina said...

Ironically (and sadly), prez carter in the 70's asked Americans to cut back, reserve some of our resources (he even reportedly put solar panels up on the White House and Reagan had them removed). Americans got angry instead of seeing the light.

Maybe it stuck in the minds of us 70's kids (and 80's kids too).

I'd vote for a president like that too!

questionsaboutfaith said...

Really good quotes.

Just blog surfing.

Deb said...

Amen. Our way of life must stop being one of greed and denial.

Em said...

The house stuff sounds very exciting.

And I'm with you on the prez thing. And really...someone thought it would be a good thing to say we were the Saudi Arabia of coal?? That seems like something to be ashamed of. I like your description of a good president.

And I like your disclaimer. We all have work to do...but at least we are aware and are trying.

barefoot gardener said...

Gina- I didn't know that about prez Carter...though, now I think about it Dad always said he liked Carter better than any of the prez' since so I should have known he was an environmental-type guy.

Q- Glad you like the quotes. I have been an avid collector of quotes since I was a Young Sprout. I keep planning to change them out on a regular basis, but...hey, I guess life gets ahead of all of us, huh?

Deb- Ah, the relief of having folks AGREE with me for a change!

Em- I think the comment about us being the Saudi Arabia of coal was meant to imply that we have lots of it available on native soil. Personally, I don't care if the whole dang country is 20 miles deep in the isn't worth it to me to see all the strip mining operations that could result from that kind of thinking and all the air pollution that burning it would create. One of the biggest complaints during the coal "era" was how filthy it was and how the soot covered everything. Why we would wanna go back to that is beyond me....

jenny said...

Living in coal country, I have to say that coal is not such a great thing. Yes it does power our homes and gives us warmth, but the price we pay for it with human lives is something else entirely. Not just mines collapsing but black lung and the environmental impact of strip mining combined is appalling.

Do you know what they do with some of the old empty mines that have not collapsed on their own? They use them as landfills. Yes-- they actually shove trash down in the old mines. When we learned that, we doubled our efforts to reduce our waste because there is not much of a recycling program in the state. We actually save our plastic and glass and give it to our inlaws in Va to recycle for us. We save our cans to take to the metal place and newspapers to the local high school. Most everything else gets burned or composted. We take trash once a month to the landfill and it averages about 8 bags of trash. I wish we could do more, but these are the options we can do for now.

Kati said...

What needs to be done is a mass emailing/calling of the Obama (because he's the liklier of the two to actually SAY something like what you're wishing for) offices and tell them (through email or vocally or in person if you can get to a campaign office) that you want to see this candidate take public transportation seriously, take a revision of the support for small farmers seriously, and take the climate seriously. That we should make our rail system more of a focus than our road system. That we should work on a victory garden campaign, and encourage more of the money for our groceries to go to the farmers, and less to the manufacturers who attempt to turn real food into junk food. And that being ecologically sound doesn't mean giving up your 3 year old Hyundai for a brand-new Prius and giving your 16 year old the hyundai for their first vehical. (Dang it people, buy the 16 year old a bicycle, or tell them to hoof it! Personal pet peeve.) Being ecologically sound means using a clothes line instead of a drier, and composting and other such activities. Ones that use very little energy, and reduce energy elsewhere as well.

THESE are the sorts of things I've emailed Obama's campaign organisers myself, much to MY Hubby's chagrin. *wry smile*

Hope you don't get flamed by the hubby for this, BG!

RuthieJ said...

I'm ready to vote for the Barefoot/Kati ticket!

You've definitely hit the nail on the head with this post, Barefoot. I've been listening to some of the commercials and sound bites too and not once have I heard any mention of conservation and changing our habits--which is truly where the solution lies. I've made some changes at home that I know Mr. Johnson isn't thrilled with (he didn't like freezing his buns much last winter), but I like to think I'm doing my part and always happy to find more ways to "reduce, reuse & recycle."

Wendy said...

Having grown up in a part of the country where coal is (and has been for decades) mined, I have to say that nothing about coal is clean. Nothing about mining coal is good - for the communities dependent on mining as an economic base, for the people who end up disabled due to black lung or something else, for the land from which it is stripped or dug out.

I'm seriously thinking about NOT voting - for the first time in many years, I'm afraid, because there really is no good choice as far as I'm concerned. There's not even a "lesser of two evils" this time around. At first I thought BO might be a good choice, but when he said he thought there should be a second stimulus sent out to people on unemployment, I wanted to scream. Hello? The first time it didn't work, and if those people don't have jobs now, ya think they're going to spend their money on anything except rent, food or fuel? - None of which will "stimulate" the economy the way those checks were intended.

I'd love to see the President freezing his buns off, but I won't hold my breath ....

P.S. The solar system Carter installed on the White House now resides at Unity College here in Maine ;). He was probably the best President this country had, and did just what you want our President to do, and no one liked him. Sad, really.