Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Sometimes I think that the world's so small, that we can never get away from the sprawl"-Arcade Fire

George Will is an idiot. This much is true. This week I was reading both Collaspe and The Place You Love Is Gone which are both about the same thing in different ways- humans overtaking the resources that are avaliable to them.

People like George Will don't get it. We're not so much concerned about whether in a million years the carbon levels will go down. We're worried about the human population crashing due to hunger, lack of resources like water, animals, and farmland, natural disasters due to climate change, and wars over resources. Yes, people like Pierson do talk about aesthetics, which is important to humans psychologically. Yes, maybe places where the sea comes in and destroys human settlements will come back, but the people displaced have been dealt a strong blow to their psyche, and their livelihoods in the small blink of time which is their lives.

I ask people like George Will to consider the value of what they are willing to destroy things like our forests, our water, our air for. Is it another pharmacy on a road with five? Is it short term gain in the stock market, followed by a crash? We can't keep growing forever, and maybe instead of forever growing outwards, and hoping that somehow things will be alright, we need to plan for growth, and use things we already have, such as buildings empty from the last time we were convinced that that new Wal Mart was the answer to all woes- Pierson speaks of the retail economy as neighbors finding jobs taking each other's washing in- a sterile circle.

Maybe we could live in houses that do not have home theater rooms[yes, these exist. I've been in two homes that have them], and work with the huge housing stock that we already have. Of course, that's crazy talk, like building a grocery store in an area of the city that lacks one!

And anyway George Will needs to fill column inches- better invest that Newsweek salary in some oil stock. Drill in our last wild places! Spill and pollute the water and the land! The earth doesn't care, so we shouldn't.

2 comments:

Nathan said...

Did you get to the part of Collapse where Jared Diamond is applauding the environmental record of BP?

shannon said...

I think it was Chevron. It's sad that folks gotta be all "I'm not anti business! Look! Chevon didn't destroy New Guinea this time!" but he has good points in the rest of the book.