Jul 162010

It can get a little frustrating yammering on about the need for moving towards  sustainable systems when no one really wants to, has time to or can afford to.

My theory is that people change via epiphanies. I think that people move from epiphany to epiphany but it’s hard to tell what brings one about. When an epiphany happens it is just like an electron making a quantum leap. We move from one point to another without traveling through the intervening space. One day, for example, you’re drinking pop. The next day you can’t stand the thought of putting it in your mouth. You have made a quantum leap. You’re not quite sure how it happened; how you got from there to here.

Working towards of goal of real sustainability is foreign to our culture. Up to this point in our history we’ve never run out of space and we’ve never run out of stuff. We’ve never actually run out of gas. The supermarket shelves are stuffed with food; Costco has crap piled high.

Sustainability sounds like a high minded idea. But, really now, who needs it? Everything seems to be okay if you don’t look too deeply.

Unless, of course, you really look into what is happening in the Gulf, Iraq or Afganistan, or Washington DC, or Wall Street, or even Whatcom County where the Council will soon make it easier for developers to develop agricultural land.

Bad things are happening. At some point events will reach a tipping point and we will all be affected. We have financial problems, energy problems and environmental problems. The evidence seems to point to a future with less: less income, less gas, less food. The idea of transition is to get somewhat prepared by developing some sustainability in your daily life. To review:

“Transition means we need to get ready to hunker down, to fend for ourselves, to support each other and work together. It means, on a personal level, getting your financial house in order, getting out of debt, stockpiling some foodstuffs, supplies  and water, finding out what skills you have that are tradeable, considering alternative modes of transportation, growing some food, building strong friendship networks, learning new skills, exchanging some cash for bullion, protecting your assets, making space for additional family members, reducing your carbon footprint, owning a boat (if you live on an island), raising animals for food (or becoming a vegetarian), saving seeds, keeping bees, staying physically fit, learning advanced first aid and self-care, preserving food, etc. etc.”

That said, I’m going to take a bit of a summer break to practice my quantum leaping.


  3 Responses to “Waiting For A Quantum Leap”

  1. “No man is an island, no man stands alone!”

    Pal, until people on Lummi Island function as a community, you ain’t got a chance! You have lost the most basic factor in sustainability, the advantage of community.

    Good thing you are getting away from your computer for awhile. It has had you so lassoed (sp?) that you cannot think outside your self. Stop navel gazing and whining!. Get out and interact with your neighbors, get to know their needs, their capabilities, how what they know complements what you don’t know, how you might work together to be a functional community.

  2. Hmm. Lummi Island is one of the most functional communities I’ve ever lived in. And have you ever met Randy? He and his wife interact with their neighbors a LOT. All of which makes your comments perplexing…

  3. Hi all

    I’m truly puzzled by Deb’s (truly inaccurate) personal attacks on Randy. Deb, Randy truly doesn’t deserve what you wrote. Your comments were not only inaccurate but uncivil. I hope you have apologized to him, at least privately.

    I’m equally puzzled by the assertion that Lummi Islanders don’t “function as a community”. A community is a diverse group of individuals with some common interests — like decent access to the mainland via the ferry; like supporting Beach School; like good EMT and other services (like power, phone and internet), the library, etc. Lummi Island is a community, in this sense.

    Not everyone in a community, on Lummi Island or anywhere else, supports every organization or idea that other community members like. Nor does everyone agree on everything all the time. There are plenty of subsets of groups/mini-communities on Lummi Island just like elsewhere. Communities aren’t clone-hives, just groups of individuals who share some common interests and sometimes work together to achieve common goals or help each other out.

    People in communities, just like families, often argue heatedly about pretty much everything under the sun. This is as true for on-line as well as physical communities. In the best communities, part of being a good citizen is to figure out how to disagree without hurting each other gratuitously.

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