Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks

Almighty God!

We thank you for that which we are about to receive from your bountiful blessing.

We thank you for this turkey and for the factory farm that raised it in abject misery, and for the antibiotics and steroids that produced such a pitiful creature that could not feed itself nor reproduce.

We thank you for the feed lots in which animals were raised in mire and filth to bring such bounty to our groaning tables. We thank you for the slaughter houses where these animals were brought in terror and pain to be cruelly dispatched for our pleasure.

We thank your for the agribusiness corporations who sprayed the fields with toxic chemicals, who invented the genetically modified plants to withstand the poisons, so that these beautiful and tasteless vegetables could grace our tables.

We thank you for gasoline to truck these foods to our grocery stores, and for the thousands of our soldiers sent to far away lands to kill innocent women and children to make the oil fields safe for our oil companies to produce our gasoline. We thank you for the hundreds of thousands of human beings slaughtered on the battlefields, and for the families bereft of their fathers and brothers, and for the homes destroyed, the fields plowed under, the orchards ripped apart by bulldozers, so that our families can enjoy this fine meal in peace and safety.

Most of all, Merciful Father, we thank you for staying the hand of those who hate us for what we have done to them.

Building the wall around the gas stations

The Pentagon Garrisons the Gulf

No big surprises here. Those Who Pay Attention have already noted that we are building Fortresses Iraq and Afghanistan to make those countries safe for Awl Bidness. Sleight of hand, smoke and mirrors abound, attempting to avert the public's eyes from the obvious occupation and oppression of these countries to guarantee US "interests," aka oil.

Recent projections are strongly confirming that world Peak Oil occurred in late 2008 and we are beginning the long slide down to Valley Oil, where we will have much less energy available than we did at the Peak Oil moment. The length and steepness of this long glide will depend on global economic and political outcomes of the scramble to dominate that last remaining oil reserves, as well as the response of the consuming public to rapidly rising gasoline and fuel oil prices.

At some point, everyone who depends on oil and natural gas for heating and cooking will have to decide between gasoline powered transportation and staying warm and well-fed. The economics of transportation will change the way we live and work, shop and entertain ourselves. We'll see many small neighborhood "convenience" stores become real neighborhood markets again, we'll see people turning to their neighbors and families to produce their own locally grown entertainment, as we did throughout the country in the early 20th Century and especially during World War II. We're already seeing increased interest in home and neighborhood gardens, sharing networks and local currencies as the centralized economic and food system increasingly fails to provide for local needs.

There is a movement in the UK and the United States called the Transition Network, bringing together people interested in helping their neighbors and friends prepare for this transition to a post oil economy and culture. This is an attempt to assess our present communities, visualize the coming transition to a new energy reality, and helping to plan a path to the new energy future.

A key document toward this end is the Energy Descent Action Plan, that brings these elements together in a coherent plan for the future for our local communities, based on the energy and climate realities we face.

The Transition Movement understands that we cannot stop Peak Oil and Climate Change, so we must do everything we can to prepare a plan to accommodate the inevitable changes. This is the rational humanistic approach: mutual aid, localism, self-reliance, dare we say it? Anarchism in action.

Instead of building walls, we're opening doors.

They Ain't making Any More of It

Mankind Using Earth's Resources at Alarming Rate

First, there's that word: "resources." It implies that everything on the Earth is to be used for human benefit. Animals and plants don't use resources, so they'll be left out. Seems questionable taste.

While Mankind may potentially be the reasoning animal, setting Homo sapiens inevitably apart from other creatures, to date Homo has failed to live up to the sapiens part of the name.

It is entirely possible for the human race to take its rightful place alongside all other life forms on this planet, not for spiritual reasons, not for ethical or moral reasons, but for the enlightened realization that humans cannot live on this planet in the absence of all other species that make this the only place in the Universe, as far as we know, where life flourishes.

Mankind is the only animal that can peer into the future and contemplate the consequences of our actions. We can see that we are rapidly drawing down the planetary credit amassed during billions of years of rampant evolution and geomorphology. We can forecast that at some point in the not too distant future we will no longer be able to extract key biological and/or geological products of the Earth that keep our various societies and cultures growing and developing. We can understand what this means in terms of the future of Homo sapiens on this Earth.

And we can do something to postpone or even eliminate that inevitable event...or not. It's up to us. We know what to do. We know how to do it.

If we don't change our profligate ways, Mom will step in and clean our room for us, and we won't be happy with the outcome, if indeed we are still around to contemplate our plight.