Monday, December 14, 2009

the sky is falling

I know this may come as a big surprise to you, but an ice cap is melting. Global warming yay or nay, ice cap is melting. Instead of global warming, let's call it climate change. No matter what the data and the politicians and the news media say, we have eyes that can see, don't we?

Nowadays, anytime you open a newspaper, you can read a story of the slow ecological crash. Today's story is an update about the Arctic being ice free. A mere 8 months ago, scientists expected to have to start worrying about the ice cap melting in 2030. But today, we're down to an estimate of 2014, and what do you bet that'll be reconsidered when the latest models come in.
Gotta love this graphic of sea ice predictions. The red line is actual observed sea ice, which makes the models laughable. This kind of thing should make clear the limitations of science and the knowledge of humanity. As big as our brains are, they are overwhelmed by the complexity of the order of the natural world (being...chaos!). We don't seem to grasp the volumes of what we do not know.

Ever hear of the Arctic Dipole? That was yesterday's news. Interesting stuff. I wonder what tomorrow's sky is falling/slow crash keeps on news is going to be.

In my life as a learning person, I've sought out a lot of generalized basic skills, from foraging to sewing, raising food to making bread--anything that interested me, usually focusing on low-tech, low-cost methods of making a living instead of making a dying. It's crazy reading books from the 70's. I feel like many of these authors were my contemporaries. We're interested in the same issues and lifestyles. I'm just amazed that I never even heard about any of this stuff until the last few years. It seems like keeping our habitat a viable living space would be one of our foremost concerns as a thinking and doing culture.

Honestly, though, I think a good many citizens are brainwashed. Whatever and however, many people go through life, distracting themselves by whatever means possible. It's almost like they're robots, because they don't have the capability of saying no. It doesn't even occur to them. It seems like consumer culture has become the global religion, with its god Mammon firmly in place on top of the money-backed hierarchy. Mammon's temples have quick checkout lines for your convenience! There's something about the abstraction of money, something one trades her life for, and the abstraction of stuff, supposedly valued and of value, and these damn screens that keep us occupied, for our every last moment.

Of course, not growing up in a culture of understanding, of having to figure out a way that we can live in a manner that suits us without destroying the foundation of our planet's vital processes, is challenging to say the least. It's a lot of hit and miss, following interests and intuitions, observing feedback and putting plan b in the loop of chaos and seeing what happens.

Fortunately, I feel at some point I stumbled into a positive feedback loop with community at the core. I honestly feel like I walk in the hands of the gods every day. Whatever I need comes to me, in random blessings from others. I do spend a lot of my time and energy in returning these blessings to those I can, but giving and receiving are flip sides of the same coin. It's awesome either way. It is how to have power with instead of power over those in our communities, whether you're talking about a close-knit group of friends you potluck with, or you're talking about the flora and fauna of your habitat.

I feel so very blessed. I don't know how I came to rest at this place, but I am here. I tell you, it looks and feels awfully similar to the garden of eden in my mind's eye. I feel this is a key to the problems we as a global community have right now. There's absolutely no government that can get us out of this, no movement that can stop it, no hope in some wonderful new technology to be our pop-up savior. We have effed up, royally. We can take responsibility for it, talk and think about it, and do SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different outcome is silly.

Part of this is each of us taking responsibility for our own selves, our actions that either consciously support the living processes of our planet or consciously support the Mammon pavement machine. I mean, we are consciously acting, right? I think a lot of people realize that things are messed up, even if they don't have a clue what to do about it. No president seems capable of righting wrongs, only doing complete evil.

We the people have our power back again. We have the power to ask ourselves questions that matter, and to talk to each other about what's for real. What do we value, and how do we support that? How do we live without destroying the ecosystem? How do we share knowledge and skills in a world that demands payment for either? We can create myths and legends that contain meaning, and name every living thing that surrounds us and teach it to our children--on and on, with different questions and answers for each of us. There's so much we can do that does not support empire. There's so much we can do that supports life. We have a choice. We just have to enact it.

Yeah, so what, the sky is falling. It won't be the first time. We pick up the pieces and move on. We cope, we adapt, we create, we change, we pass along what we've learned. This is human culture. We love a challenge.


D. Lollard said...

! <3 !

unitedcats said...

There have been seven thousand or so civilizations in history, most of which are long gone. Yet somehow people manage to muddle through, the Mayans are still around for example, they just said the hell with building cities. It is also interesting how in so many respects Global Warming has been running AHEAD of the worst case models, yet the skeptics don't miss a beat and keep claiming the models are faulty. Yeah, maybe they are ... but when things are worse than the models predict ... doesn't that mean the problem is more serious, not less so? Oh well, worst case scenario, I know how to live off the land. Interesting post.