Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ode to the Edmund Fitzgerald

Lest anyone think that "EPIC" storms are a product of modern "global warming, note that the Edmund Fitzgerald sank 36 years ago, in an epic storm in its own right, a pretty common occurrence on the stormy Great Lakes.

Winter storms, even early winter storms, are the norm, not the exception. That's why we distinguish winter from other seasons, at least in most parts of the world (even though they get it backwards in the Southern Hemisphere.

Just as weather varies from year to year, climate varies from decade to decade, century to century, millennia to millennia. Variation is the norm, stability is the temporary exception.

As long as there are ships at sea, there will be shipwrecks, lost lives and widows. And as long as there is weather, there will be climate variation.

Beyond Jobs

Re-imagining Work in the Motor City is an uplifting article about a conference in post-industrial Detroit, where participants are re-examining the idea of jobs and their relationship to necessary and fulfilling work done by city residents.

Focus on jobs emphasizes work for pay rather than work for personal satisfaction and community contribution. It fosters competition, hierarchy, individualism, and, above all meaningless consumption.

Placing the emphasis on meaningful work fosters self-reliance, self-fulfillment, community involvement, responsibility and mutual aid. The entire community benefits from meaningful work, both in the products from that work and in the sense of community built by sharing the work necessary to support the community.

As we build and support local economies, meaningful work for everyone becomes a product we can all cultivate and harvest.