Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lately I have been resisting the temptation to sign out library books in an attempt to motivate myself to study/excercize/enrich my life in general.  The main result has been that I have picked up my Mom's choice in library book, and have been reading this.
Sharon Astyk is a wife who shares over a decade of education between herself and her husband.  She's also a blogger ( although I haven't actually spent much time on her site.  What defines her, as you may already have deduced, is that she's chosen to live much as my parents do.  Part of a family of five, she largely homeschools and raises as much of their own food as she can.  A lifestyle known to it's participants as "self sustainable". 
Now, she is more extreme in many cases.  She makes a valid argument for population control.  My Dad has been known to say that everyone in the world could own and acre of land in Saskatchewan.  Her main purpose of argument stem from peak oil and climate change.  My parents are fond of stating their pet reasons why climate change is a conspiracy theory.  However, for their own purposes they've both been relatively successful in returning to a more sustainable form of living.
Sharon's case is that in the face of impeding disaster we're focusing on trying to find solutions that allow us to maintain our current standards of living, and this will become and impossibility.  Interesting, and the first part is certainly true.  We would prefer to ignore possible demise then actually forfeit some of our current comforts or conveniences.
Is life better because of these things now then, say, 100 years ago?  Most would say yes.  But it could use a little considering.
I don't necessarily agree with Sharon.  I do, however, think that this planet wasn't meant to bear what it currently is.  Because of political or environmental instability I do concur that we will be hard pressed to maintain the level of consumption we currently hold in the developed world.
Now, any steps are better then none.  I am especially a firm believer in reducing and reusing.  I'm thrilled at the move towards local and organic eating.  Many of my favourite clothes come from thrift shops.  I ride my bike when possible, and shower outside in the summer and recycle cereal boxes.  I have the luxury of being able to make these decisions.  More of them need to be made. 
The thought of "returning to the land" is so traditional it's almost novel.  And I grew up immersed, more then most, in this mindset.  Maybe it requires a little more thought.

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