There’s a lot to love in Kick It Over’s Manifesto, (they’re the young economics students, remember, who are leading a revolution on campuses around the world to reformulate the geo-political paradigm to include a recognition of the ecological and social costs of the modern way of doing business, redefining thereby what makes a successful economy), but my favorite bit is probably the end:
“…we will chase you old goats out of power. Then, in the months and years that follow, we will begin the work of reprogramming your doomsday machine.”
Some of you, gentle readers, may consider “doomsday machine” to be a little strong. But that’s actually just what we’re riding in, right now. Watch this quick little cartoon, probably the most important example of the art ever made, from the Post Carbon Institute:
Did you watch it? We’re hitting that wall, folks, one way or another. Instead of letting that frighten us, why not let it motivate us? All hands on deck, yes.
We finally watched, recently, a movie that, despite my long awareness that we’ve been riding in a doomsday machine, left me feeling exceedingly hopeful. It was Dirt! The Movie, a documentary that manages to entertain while it informs, moves, and motivates. Check out the trailer:
I don’t think it’ll spoil the movie to say that things are becoming dire. Food prices are rising, causing unrest, clean water and clean air are far too rare, and desertification continues at a terrifying rate. But the beauty part is that there’s already a movement underway to fix what we’ve broken. While it may take nature a hundred years to make an inch of topsoil, we can drastically speed up that process with simple methods like composting. If we plant the right things in the right places, start intentionally greening the world instead of cutting things down and paving them over, not only can we restore the skin of the world within ten years, but that restored skin, that layer of soil, lovingly held by roots, will clean the water, and the leaves of the plants will clean the air.
We can turn this ship around. But it WILL take all hands on deck. We have, geologically and culturally speaking, a narrow window of opportunity within which to save ourselves. And I don’t say save the planet. Because the planet will be fine, either way. We either learn to live within our limits, or we die, and the planet will be forced to heal without our help. Earth has all the time in the world. We do not.
My next post will list the top ten things we all can and must do to get us headed in the right direction.