Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sustainablity

The whole idea that we can consciously manage the environment in some sustainable fashion is ludicrous in the first place. Our intellect and the resulting science -- as much as we admire them -- are not up to the task.

Both intellect and science act on the principle of ignorance, i.e. both accomplish what they accomplish by ignoring most, or as much of the noise as possible. Take for example the idea of sustainable fish farming. A woodland pond formed by a family of beaver is already a sustainable fish farm. However, that is not acceptable to our collective intellect in part because our intellect cannot handle all the variables of a woodland pond, and in part because we are sure that our intellects are somehow supposed to be in charge. So we reduce all the variables possible and end up with a polluting monoculture trout pond. In the end we get more trout for gallon of water in the short run instead of unlimited trout over the long run. The former requires a great deal of human energy and fossil energy to operate. The latter works on solar power and needs no human input, except for holding a pole with string, hook, and worm attached. The trout pond will cease to produce trout almost as soon as it is neglected by humans. The woodland pond will continue to produce trout whether any humans participate or not. Mother Culture tells us that the trout pond is better than the woodland pond. Mother Culture does not like Mother Nature. Though clearly Mother Nature is more skilled at raising fish than is Mother Culture, we Takers side with Mother Culture. This means that the secret to raising fish sustainably resides in the noise that our intellect cannot handle.

Some 10,000 years ago a small culture in Mesopotamia discovered that if people worked hard to eliminate the noise of the environment they could force the land to make more human food than the land did when left alone. Unfortunately, within a generation or two the population of humans grew to match the capacity of the land to produce and the land itself started to decline in its forced food capacity. Fortunately some bright young Turk noticed that they now had a surplus of people that could be used to take more land away from the tribe next door. He told the tribe that if they let him be in charge of food distribution so that he could support an army of non-workers he could get them some more land and they could have more food. In exchange the people only had to sacrifice some of their extra food and some of their extra boys. Voila, a King was born soon to be supported by a Priest, and an Overseer. 10,000 years later give or take that culture found itself on the shores of what they would call North America with the Manifest Destiny to quite the noise of Mother Nature's food production in favor of the quiet of Mother Culture’s food production, which by this time everyone knew that God preferred -- except of course for those heathen Indians that tried to live (shudder) sustainably in the bosom of Mother Nature. We couldn't be having that, and now we don't. But there is the rub. For all practical purposes there is no more land to take.

The Enviro Nazis and the Just Get it All Now Nazis are competing groups of Takers. The Enviro Nazis might slow the pace of noise reduction, but they will not be able to stop it, because they are still living in the bosom of Mother Culture who tells them over and over that they can just think their way out of this trouble. The Just Get it All Now Nazis are told by Mother Culture that Jesus will come back soon and give them a new heaven and earth to quite down.

The odd thing is that we already know what is sustainable and know that it doesn't require any human effort to sustain. We just won't let it happen. Mother Culture tells us that every human that could be born and mature should be born and mature no matter how miserable the ensuing life might be. Mother Nature tells us that not all babies get to grow up, because life is sustained by life. However, Mother Culture tells us that the only life that has a right to exist is us, our food, and the food of our food. All the rest is noise. No one likes to disobey their Mother.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home