The Great Propping Up

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You and I exist for one reason, fossil fuels. It took from the beginning of humanity until the early 19th century for our population to reach one billion. The Industrial Revolution took it from there as we’ve breached 7 billion. So in other words we went from a gradual increase to reach a billion people in 1800 to a dramatic increase of 6 billion more in about 200 years. How did this happen?

The basics needs for human survival are food, water and shelter. Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas have allowed most of us to exist by providing these three staples of life support. Food can now be created on a massive industrial level, shipped to our local store and picked up by car. A fossil fuel support system is our way of life.

Living within the industrial model has allowed most of us to take water for granted. We turn on a municipal tap and our cup runneth over. Millions of people living in the American Southwest is just one example of how fossil fuels have made it possible for the multitudes to live in such a harsh climate. We no longer have to secure our own drinking water. The power of fossil fuels provides for many of us. Just turn on the tap.

Our well lit, optimum temperature houses were built for us. No longer do we need the skill set to create a shelter that keeps us warm or cool when necessary. We pay someone to do that for us. Those materials and their assembly are at our disposal because of fossil fuels. We just pay someone and it’s taken care of.

We have been propped up. Most of us were born into the industrial model with no skill set other than the one that allows us to continue our participation in it. We can have children without being concerned of overshooting our resources. We can waste food and water without being concerned about running out. We can be oblivious to the social and environmental atrocities that are required to provide such an existence because we don’t have to see it. We can go on thinking this will last forever because why wouldn’t it?

So this holiday season when we have those moments of contemplation and self-reflection and we begin to ask questions like why we’re here or why we’re so blessed, all we have to do is open our eyes and scan the area we’re currently in. Chances are that space will be littered with structures, items and products that were produced by fossil fuels. That space also includes you.

Pay The Ferryman

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Currently the Fukushima nuclear power plant is undergoing an operation that could have an even more devastating effect than what has already occurred. In other news not found in our feed; approximately 200 species go extinct every day. Approximately 200,000 people are added to the over 7 billion of us that currently inhabit the earth. The oceans of the world are losing fish and gaining plastic on a massive level. Climate change has reached tipping points from which there is no return. We chose the road less traveled and paved it to be well traveled.

I’m a white, able bodied, middle class, male born in the United States to educated Christian parents. Geography has given power to my categories. Time has allowed me to become oblivious to such power. Being born in the 20th century has created a circumstance from which there is no escape. The very privileges that have been afforded me by geography and time are the same privileges that will ultimately serve as a curse.

It has been said that if one is looking for someone to blame then one need only to look into a mirror. This of course is false. When looking to place blame for climate change, environmental collapse, and the inevitability of humanity there is no need to look upon the habits we have formed with total ill will. After all when we were born we certainly weren’t given a choice. We were instructed how the world worked and how to be successful in it. Our ancestors made sure any such knowledge that may give rise to questioning the status quo was quickly and brutally squashed and their ancestors provided the same service for them. You see our ilk, civilized humanity, has been doomed from the start. From the very beginning of this grand experiment there were those who knew it was born to fail. Those who knew were imprisoned, enslaved, raped and murdered. We were then told the myth of infinite growth on a finite planet and have since continued to pass it on through the generations.

The myth of our lives has lead us to believe we are somehow entitled to anything and everything. It has lead us to objectify what we don’t understand and to place it into a compartment so as to avoid any and all possible connections it may hold to the other realms of life. It has distorted our insight which in turn has taken mere perspectives and made truth from them. This truth has given us purpose which has formed a feeling of supremacy within us. Supremacy has lead to the violent destruction of all we know and have failed to know in our lives.

You see it’s quite simple really. It’s been there the whole time. Those whom we have slaughtered have been saying it for 12,000 years … take what you need and give back more than you take. The problem lies in our definition of need. We believe wants and needs are the same. What we need to do is fall back into the fold of what we have always been. Unfortunately doing so won’t pay the ferryman. I suggest we use our time wisely to connect with what we never knew was possible. Then take that coin and use it for the only thing it was ever good for … a return trip to our true nature.