Are you familiar with this book?
small is beautiful – a study of economics as if people mattered by EF Schumacher.
It was published in 1974. To me, it’s prescient. It forecasts our world today.
When I read the chapter titled “The Proper Use of Land”, I thought of you. The first paragraph starts off –
“Among material resources, the greatest, unquestionably, is the land. Study how a society uses its land, and you can come to pretty reliable conclusions as to what its future will be”.
….“Man, whether civilized or savage, is a child of nature — he is not the master of nature. He must conform his actions to certain natural laws if he is to maintain his dominance of his environment. When he tries to circumvent the laws of nature, he usually destroys the natural environment that sustains him. And when his environment deteriorates rapidly, his civilization declines”.
Yes, there’s Sustainable Settings. But for every 350 acres of soil that’s righteous and healthy, millions of acres of soil are destroyed daily – rainforests decimated, soil poisoned, oil and gas extraction, black pavement where there used to healthy soil. Our country is 5% of the world’s population, but we use 40% of its resources.
The recent hurricanes are a prelude to what’s coming. But all branches of our government are fully controlled by those who don’t believe that man is largely responsible for climate change. Our government and 37 states are led by RINO’s (republicans in name only), those whose beliefs and daily practices amount to “rape culture”, as Manape LaMere, Government representative of the Sioux Nation of Indians and Headsmen of the Oceti Sakowin said in his speech at the Give Keystone XL the Boot rally I attended.
Manape’s speech moved me. Listen to it here. It’s a little over 7 minutes. His words are not just about his tribe — they speak to something far greater and to our ruin, unless we start thinking 7 generations ahead.
“When I showed up here (on the steps of the NE state capitol) I seen this huge phallic symbol. And it reminds me of the rape culture that’s plagued the United States. The misogyny. I look at Mother Earth, I look at the pipelines. They just do it, without consent. And that’s a rape culture. So not only were we trying to combat pipelines at Standing Rock, but also we were trying to deal with the misogyny rape culture that seems to plague us, this continent”.
“…but we have to stop this disease of greed and rape culture. And if you don’t know about it now you do. We want to bring balance to the whole system, that’s what our traditional government is about”.
Manape speaks of those who value profit, not people. Robber barons who go to church each Sunday and read from the bible, but don’t practice its teachings.
It’s not just Trump and his gang of crooks, i.e., today’s Republican Party that’s blind to what the bible teaches. Millions, probably more, seem to have no motivation to create life for the next 7 generations, as the Indians did. Their faith is in God, not science. Their thing is to get to end times ASAP. Because then they can meet their Creator, go to Heaven.
These blind souls believe that while the rest of us are being swept away into the sewer of Hell, they’ll be above the grate — standing on the curb in their Sunday dress holding suit cases stuffed full of cash, waiting for the bus to take them to paradise.
We’ve got to admit we’re on a speeding train to a brick wall. Then realize we’ve lived for years on beliefs made of sand. Some of which, are that resources are infinite and growth (GDP) is the only measure of a healthy society. To see where its got us – our soil is contaminated, the environment we created gives us cancer, we’re choking. To see that growth didn’t factor in people and now people everywhere are suffering.
As bad as things are, all is not lost. But technology, government, and the new iPhone won’t save us. No. Only the people now, can save Mother Earth.
I think the only hope is to reach today’s youth. I think it’s our noblesse oblige, to present our children in black and white with what we see and know. I think they’ll listen, because deep down they know “there must be something more than this“.
We had the 60’s and 70’s, MLK, rock & roll, peace and love, people we looked up to. Our kids have Facebook and tech. I think deep down they want something more than this. Maybe they thought Obama was it, but he wasn’t as advertised. Maybe they held out for Bernie? That didn’t work out either. So they’ve retreated to what they know and trust, their tech.
I have to believe they long for something deeper and more meaningful, even if they don’t know it yet — because they don’t know what they don’t know. I think they’ll change the world, but not until we light the path. Then we need to get out of their way — because it has to be their thing, not ours.
We love our rock & roll, but haven’t paid much attention to the lyrics. We haven’t taken care of the land. Now, we see our mistakes.
Now that we know what we know, we must share. Again, it’s our noblesse oblige. If our kids can be convinced to join Facebook or to buy an iPhone, surely we can get them to change the world. To see that in doing so they’ll be forever proud, joyous and free.
Then they’ll be known for something really important, something way cooler and far greater than anything we had or were part of.
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