Building With the Future in Mind Since 1955

Rick Dubrow’s “On The Level” Column in the Cascadia Weekly; Published 1-11-09

Our economy and environment appear to be rumbling down the same train tracks these days. Poised, hopefully, to prove the adage that one must usually break down before you can break through. It would surely be easier and less painful to break through by simply using logic, science or the wisdom of one’s elders to achieve necessary change, but reality appears to require pain in order to achieve gain. And the greater the urgency for change, the more intense must be the pain in order to climb the seemingly insurmountable mountain.

I ask you to stop reading for a moment and look around. Find something that isn’t made of, transported by, fertilized with, or heated by, petroleum or a related cousin.  Are we addicted to petroleum, or what?  And facing the dual challenges of growing energy scarcity and the need to radically reduce our burning of the stuff, we as a culture have a fierce addiction to break through.

You need not look very far for evidence of the breakdown within our mainstream culture.  Friends and relatives are losing jobs; losing chunks of their retirement; losing income; losing homes.  We’re losing species; losing ice; losing predictable, bearable weather.

Damn, it hurts.

Thirty years ago those willing to open up their eyes and ears were warned that unless we made profound changes to how we lived upon this great planet, that in about three decades a distressing set of symptoms would alight upon our world.  We subsequently changed very little so here we are…….hurting, with very little resilience, with very little self-reliance.  Instead, during those thirty years, we’ve exponentially ramped up our population and the impact per person.  We have, in fact, gone the wrong way.

Has your world broken down enough to empower a break through to the other side? If not, what will it take?  Must you lose your house or income or retirement to see the need for a profound breakthrough?  Today more than 90% of the large fish in the ocean have died off.  What will it take before you break through?  Will 91% do it?  95%?

It’s time to break through, to deconstruct, a system that violates nature; that rapes nature; that rapes you and me.  We are broken because our mainstream system supports a paradigm in which there’s never enough.

It’s killing us to allow people to bear as many children as they’d like; to build as big a home as they’d like; to drive supersized, inefficient vehicles; for 1% of the population to control 95% of the wealth; to continue to ‘legally’ pollute; to succeed by selling underpriced goods that externalize their harm upon you and I; to avoid pollution control by moving production to filthier bergs.

‘Enough’ needs to be regulated; ‘enough’ must be aligned with the needs of our landbase’s carrying capacity.  Until we power down to the point that the readily visible idiot light shuts off, we’re poised to continue breaking down. And it won’t be pretty unless, and until, we break through.

I don’t know about you, but enough already.

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