Finally, a section where I can talk about good things in a non-sarcastic way (I hope you caught the sarcasm earlier). The good thing is, there is another option. We do not have to continue the trudge towards ultimate progress. There is another destination, and that is… dadadadahhhhhhh!
The ability to sustain ourselves, our planet, and each other both in the present and in the future. It is a destination both within our power and within our reach. Ok, we foolishly grabbed all the hidden treasure, went running with it, spending it as fast as we could. Whoops. Well when you make mistakes, you learn and move on. Let’s do that. Let’s take what we have left and save it. What else can we do? We can start working to make our own money. And by money, I of course metaphorically mean energy. We do not need the concentrated energy sources to survive. We as a species got along just fine without them before and we can do so again. It will be a lot of work, but it will be rewarding work. Work that is moving in a positive direction for once. No, we can not power all our gadgets, but with alternative renewable energy sources, we can still power some. Maybe a couple lights, a water heater, and a radio. Maybe more. But we do not need more. We can get by just fine without them. And maybe, just maybe, we will get by even better. Here’s why.
How would we all eat if we were living sustainable lives? We would eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Maybe, on occasion, we would have some meat sparingly when our milking cow got old. What would our milking cow eat? Grass. Ludicrous, right? If we can get past the fact that we don’t all need a serving of meet with every meal, we will eat a lot less meat and will be able to stop cramming as many cows as possible into small fenced in areas and feeding them food from the fields where we could be growing some of our own food. That is why meat is so energy inefficient. We spend vast amounts of energy growing crops which we feed to animals which very slowly grow, and then years later, after they have eaten hundreds of thousands of pounds of food, we slaughter them for significantly less usable energy. So yes, the cows can eat grass from the fields! I mean, people already pay extra for this kind of meat. So our cows would be healthier, we would be healthier, and it would still be a step towards sustainability.
Another benefit. We can stop working pointless jobs. Let’s admit it, there are a lot of pointless, unsatisfying jobs out there. Why? I think it is because we have no idea what we are working for. Money, yes, but what else? Living sustainable lives would require hard work from everyone. Hard satisfying work. Like the motor in a car, we are driven by the chemical energy stored in plants. However, we can use the relatively diffuse energy stored in plants in their natural form on the surface. This gives us a huge advantage compared to motors and machines running on fossil fuels. It takes a couple of weeks for a plant to grow and become edible. We can grow plants on the surface repeatedly such that it is a sustainable process. Yes, there is still energy waste and lost, but it would finally be balanced by the energy we are taking in from the sun. Imagine that, on any given day,we don’t need to use more energy than is delivered by the sun, we would no longer be in the red. You can only spend more than you earn for so long before someone comes knocking. Well not only nature, but most of or own consciousnesses have come knocking. Working for food and money as well as towards a sustainable life is more fulfilling than working just for money. Knowing our lifestyle is not greedily using more than it should is fulfillilng.
Finally, by moving towards sustainable lifestyles, we are moving away from… 5. The Bad and 6. The Ugly