Monday, December 17, 2007

Live where we live

Rather than spending a lot of time wondering just how long our species can go on without taking some serious left turns from our present hell bent course of destruction, I find that my energy is better invested in actually trying to imagine what a carbon constrained, climate change challenged world might really look like.

And, I'm not talking about the "eve of destruction" stuff that you find in many peak oil sites. No, I'm talking more about the kind of policies and the kind of cultural changes that we will need to make in order to not only dramatically reduce our carbon emissions, but to also begin to mine the carbon that we have placed into the biosphere back into a sequestered place.

As bad as many would have us believe it's going to be, (there will be some convulsions) many of the changes that we will need to make don't sound that bad, and in many ways, they might be downright good for us.

For example, the consumer society as we know it will simply have to be transformed. If a good is made, it will have to be what its name implies... GOOD. No longer will we be able to allow the planned obsolescence mentalilty that currently prevails in the marketplace. If something is made, then it will need to be made in such a way that it lasts or can be easily transformed.

That means everything that we build, our cars, our homes, our tools, will have to be made to persevere, be easily upgraded, or completely recycled. The manufacturing maxims of the "age of waste" will clearly need to be substituted with a new ethic which strangely enough sounds very much like the so called protestant ethic that existed just a half a century ago.

Many of us still remember those times.

Instead of buying closets full of cheap oil based threads, which require energy to make, and will, in time, release their carbon to the environment, we will go back to natural fibers which actually mine the carbon out of the air. Wool and Cotton fabrics will be seen as superior "carbon mining" fabrics. We will save our sweaters, and our shirts, and our wool suits in hopes that they can passed down to our children or grandchildren. I still have and cherish my grandfather's super soft sweater that he gave me 40 years ago.

Virtually nothing should go into our dumps.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we will have to rethink the use of concrete and concrete blocks, and instead move towards building materials that do not have large amounts of carbon based energy embedded in their manufacture. We will need to build homes and offices out of the carbon that is mined from the air, and these structures will need to last for hundreds of years. Tearing down a house would be virtually unthinkable.

Our cars, or whatever we use for personal transporation, will last for 20 years.

Our glassware and our dishware will be made to last for generations.

Silverware will be polished and kept in a special place.

In my view, this all sounds pretty civilized and very much like it used to be before we took that sharp far right turn about 6 decades ago, when we allowed ourselves to be hoodwinked into thinking that we are consumers, instead of humanbeings.

The only problem of course is this.

What do we do with the 12 billion square feet of retail that we have covered the landscape with? (The French have a tenth as much retail per capita as the US does) Perhaps we can turn them into dance studios and indoor gardens.

On the energy side of things,

Our homes and offices will be zero energy structures

Their surfaces will be covered with new age photonic materials,

that have been created from the carbon in our air.

These advanced structures will seemlessly integrate themselves

into the photonic web.

That photonic web, our personal transporation device, (if we have one)

and the entire built environment will meld into a unified whole.

The concept of "fuel" will disappear,

as we learn to power all of our tools, toys, and extensions

with the light of creation.

Polluting the air will be as civilized

as taking a crap on a busy sidewalk.

And just like the other more advanced species,

we will finally reform ourselves from

destroying everyone's habitat,

including our own.

And we will

"Live where we live",

In the Creation.



Blogger oZ said...

After my workout, I made a few changes to the post around 7 PM.

5:58 PM  

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