Whimpering Earth Day

SUBHEAD: Make it your responsibility to maximize the living things immediately around you - trees, birds, bugs, bees, etc.

By Juan Wilson on 22 April 2016 for Island Breath -

Image above: Real drink coasters illustrated with icons from an Apple iPhone. Eventually those coasters might be replaced with the blackened screens of defunct real iPhones and iPads used as coasters. From (http://technabob.com/blog/2008/09/29/iphone-coasters-be-sure-to-drink-your-safari/).

Yes another Earth Day is upon us - the 37th since 1970. The significant accomplishments this "observance" or "celebration" may have had were won in the first few years. By the end of of 1970, after President Richard Nixon singed an executive order, the Environmental Protection Agency began operations to reign in the pollution of the our air, water and soil.

By 1972 the Club of Rome published the "Limits to Growth". The warnings contained in it were not heeded. To this day that projection of the future has correctly the modeled population growth, resource depletion, and environmental degradation that have plagued us to this day.  See PDF of the report here as scanned (http://www.donellameadows.org/wp-content/userfiles/Limits-to-Growth-digital-scan-version.pdf) and here as online text (http://collections.dartmouth.edu/teitexts/meadows/diplomatic/meadows_ltg-diplomatic.html).

There was a brief period in the 1970s there was an effort by the "counter-culture" and "back-to-the-land" environmentalists searched to find appropriate technologies to replace the gas guzzling, coal burning resource draining throw-away industrial society we had become. At that time Stewart Brand was publishing the Whole Earth Catalog (http://www.wholeearth.com/index.php). It was the paperback bible to the Green Movement.

However, after a great start the Earth Day effort was passed over by other priorities. Its strongest advocates were out of college and looking for jobs. The war and Vietnam was finally over and much of the counter-culture seemed to wither away as disco music came and a red-white-and-blue American Bicentennial was being planned for 1976.

On one hand President Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House roof, and on the other hand he supported nuclear power even after the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power plant disaster in 1979. Even Stewart Brand became a supporter of nuclear power as the only way forward for civilization.

Archdruid John Michael Greer calls these efforts at producing "appropriate technology" Green Wizardry and has written for years on the subject. See this piece from November 2010 (http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2010/11/sincerest-form-of-reverence.html). Greer sees Green Wizardry as the way to salvage what we can as modern industrial society grinds to a stop.

A year ago I wrote here:
And so Earth Day has become an empty vessel. Environmentalism has become co-opted and transformed into a new approach to corporate consumerism and dragged the Earth Day crowd along for the ride. They do not want to hear the bad news or change what they are doing. Who does? Unless knowing the truth is required to living life in the future.
Well here we are in the future. There is no doubt now about the unraveling of the world system of industrialism, commerce, finance, food production and the resulting environmental degradation from pollution and overpopulation. The signing today of the December 2015 COP21 accord will have little to no effect on our current trajectory.

It comes down to this. What can you salvage now where you are.

Make it your responsibility to maximize the living things immediately around you - trees, birds, bugs, bees, etc.

Provide as much food, water, and energy as you can to minimize the waste stream that you produce.

Never throw away a nail, screw, bolt or nut. Keep all the spare hardware you can store. Visit the scrap metal pile at the transfer station nearest you. 

Gather a library of material you will need for an offline world; How-to books, cookbooks, reference material, classics and anything of interest to you.

Keep in mind the frailty and delicacy of the current internet, cloud, and wireless technology we currently enjoy and have become so dependent on. This website is as about as ethereal as things get. The blogger technology it runs on is a service of Google. It can be interfered with, or stopped at any time.

And when it is not profitable for Google (or Bing or Facebook or Amazon) to fulfill your online request they will disappear as options and your cellphone will become not much more than a blackened drink coaster.

Climb down off that tree limb while you can.

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