Building With the Future in Mind Since 1955

Rick Dubrow’s “On The Level” Column in the Cascadia Weekly; published 5-23-07

When I was born in 1951 the average square footage in a new home, per person, was about 300 square feet.  Compare this to about 900 square feet per person in 2003, an increase of three times in just 50 years.

With this increase comes a surprising impact: our homes demand more energy consumption (12.2 barrels per person per year) than the food we eat (10 barrels per year) and the cars we drive (9 barrels per year). With this consumption comes the inherent fact that our homes generate more pollution and global warming gases than our cars!

No wonder we’re referred to as consumers, chewing up the natural world at such an alarming rate.  An unsustainable rate.  A rate that is destroying the natural capital that provides the sustenance we, and all other animals and plants, rely upon for our basic needs.

Mainstream media will pound you with today’s stock market performance.  The health of our economy takes center stage while the health of our natural fabric of sustenance seems hidden behind countless curtains.  Back stage our natural world dies off while our houses expand and our culture applauds the increased number of housing starts.  Our culture continues to parade the American Dream of that 900 square feet per person as one’s most courageous badge of success!  What madness!

If you’re paying attention, and your source(s) of income does not reply upon this addiction that ‘more is better’, you know that we’re overdue to give up our bloated role as consumers and morph into citizens who take no more from our natural world than it is capable of replacing.

How do we do this while we’re bombarded by mainstream media?  Advertising seduces you to be dissatisfied with yourself — what you own; what you look like; how you smell; even how you sleep. ‘Talk to your doctor about..…’

It’s time for me to play doctor.

Learn to ‘no’ thyself.

Accept the fact that advertising exists to stroke the economy while our natural world dies off.  It bombards us with enough material information that I’ll bet you can look around your living room and know what you next TV (or easy chair or…….) will be, as opposed to feeling grateful about that which you already posses.

For a moment, imagine a TV commercial about feeling grateful about that which you already possess!  What a refreshing idea, eh?

“Ahhhhhhhhhhh….. sit back and relax into your easy chair as you breathe deeply the fresher air that results from your core strength in retaining that same chair you’ve owned for oh so many years.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………..feel grateful for your special chair.”

Media bombardment will continue to work unless one learns how to ‘no’ thyself.  But how?

As your doctor, I so wish I could prescribe a green pill for you to take once a day to reduce your degree of consumption.  Here, take this prescription for 20 mg. of  ‘Dowithlessocor’.

Instead I ask you this:  if you’re caught beneath a bombardment of any kind, what should you do?

Take cover!

Advertising is so damn effective that one needs to create mind armor of sorts.  This might mean turning your TV into a fish tank instead.  Or……………

I don’t know what it means for you.  That’s your job.  You know thyself.  Create your own armor and learn to ‘no’ thyself.

Take cover.

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