Thursday, August 03, 2006

Let's Put Things In Perspective

In the light of this guy, don't tell me so-and-so lives a simple, sustainable life because he rides a bike, carpools, grows his own and eats natural foods, recycles and reduces waste, and makes environmentally friendly "alternative" lifestyle choices. This guy is the alternative. Otherwise, you're pretty much like everyone else: hooked into this modern life with your reliance not on your own self, but on cars, phones, running water, and things that run on electricity to bring you all that you expect and enjoy. It goes with the territory, so to speak. That is, unless you live on this guy's territory - but you don't. None of us do.

10 comments:

A Green Cowboy said...

False all-or-nothing thinking.

You're right - that guy, the tintype guy, is an example of somebody who actually lives off the grid etc.

But those who reduce their consumption are just as important, nay, more important, because that's where change will come from. From recycling, reducing, reusing - not from extremists such as the tintype guy.

So go ahead and adjust the phrasing to say "so-and-so lives a more sustainable life" instead of "lives a sustainable life," but don't make it all or nothing.

Ilya said...

The claim is not that it is all or nothing, but that the "something," the "more sustainable" part, is a difference without much of a difference. Sure, I'll concede that there is some benefit, that anything is better than nothing, but even the something is part of the problem. To be less abstract, from the point of view of the extremist living off the grid, the person who lives a more sustainable life still lives an unsustainable life, one dependent upon the use of oil, gas, coal, fossil fuels, etc.

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

The clearest way towards sustainable living is for all of us to pull our lips over our heads and swallow.

Anonymous said...

seriously, what is the point of this posting? so people can demonstrate their "abstract" theories and their oh-so-jaded views of the world? maybe you could save a little electricity and turn off the computer.

A Green Cowboy said...

Man - there have been some acidic comments lately.

Hm...Ilya, I think you're wriggling. From the point of view of the tintype guy, yeah, simply living "closer" to sustainability isn't good enough. But his viewpoint doesn't mean much, frankly. I think it makes an absolutely critical difference if everybody lives closer to sustainability, then it gets pushed a little closer, then a little closer...

Of course, by then it will be 2200, and World War Four will end civilization as we know it.

A Green Cowboy said...

*clarification*

Tintype guy's point of view doesn't mean much, in the context of the progress of modern society as a whole moving towards sustainability.

Ilya said...

You said it best, green cowbody, we can push people closer to sustainability, but we'll never get there through recourse to such means. Perhaps the best way toward a better, more sustainable future is by being as unsustainable as possible in the meantime, in order to hasten the creation of truly sustainable solutions in the future.

Ilya said...

Oh, one more thing. It never fails to astonish me that people will take the time to post comments saying how little they care for our discussions. Such protesting belies your claim to indifference, "Anonymous." To paraphrase Shakespeare, thou doth protest too much.

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

I agree with green cowboy and ilya, thou doth protest too much. Not that I added much to their conversation.

A Green Cowboy said...

A thought - Ilya, I'll take that comment at face-value, and say we should push hard for unsustainable living, to hasten the "inevitable."

In that case, today's environmentalists, while being pushed aside and ignored in the short-term, will eventually have their ideas and technologies brought to light and fully employed as a means of salvation.

Thus, green thinking either carries today, or, eventually, it carries tomorrow.