What environment you talkin about?

What often is left out in all the trendy industry talk about environmentalism is that our current culture of rampant consumerism is completely unsustainable. What that means, in everyday terms, is that ethanol will not replace oil. Nor will solar and wind energy. In fact, no alternative energy source will support our current lifestyles.

This isn’t what people want to hear. People want to hear that everything will be the same, the course will be stayed, as long as we pass a few bills and start driving hybrid hydrogen fueled Humvees.

It’s heartening to see that talking about concern for the environment and making conscious decisions to reduce emissions and impact is now an acceptable political, ethical, and economic topic, and no longer relegated to hippies, fringe activists, and bitter apocalyptic visionaries. But it is at the same time disheartening to know that most of the populace still remains completely ignorant of the devastation of their current modes of existence coming their way to a reality near them. The only way we will survive this paradigm collapse is if we can adapt quickly to the dream that has been put aside in our hearts to make way for a flat-land one-dimensional world of commerce, cultural colonization, and mass produced franchise mentalities: the dream of shared plots of land, fresh vegetables, simplicity, and local community. You know, the things that we really want to think that we have evolved beyond, with no hope of return, distant in our immutable individuality and greed.

We’ve got to let go of a lot of the so-called progress we think we’ve attained. The progress of complacency, specialization, and homogenization. The domination of centralized sources of technology, media, and banks. We’ve got to re-wire our brains, re-wire our social relations, re-wire our currencies, re-wire our hearts.

A revolution can only occur synonymously with evolution. Are we ready? Ready to let go of our fears, let go of our illusory separations from each other formed from myths of class, race, and birthplace? Or do we want to keep blindly forging our ways like lemmings towards the cliffside of inevitable gravity from this pinnacle of consumption we’ve created?

World leaders mean nothing. Corporations mean nothing. Banks mean nothing. Nuclear weaponry means nothing.

We—collectively, byte by bit, our desires, our everyday decisions, our subconscious compulsions, our loves, our relation ships—are everything.


Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

5 thoughts on “What environment you talkin about?”

  1. yes it is heartening that this is a mainstream concern and you are dead right about the changes that need to be made. People need access to conversations about this which is what your site opens up, but we also need action and we can’t do life differently alone.

  2. I feel like more conversations are definitely needed as well, even more so than action. I feel like we often stress too much about action, when often non-action is a wiser course. What is needed is for environments to be created that will foster these kinds of open conversations (beyond blogs). Coffee or tea houses and bars can be forums for political discussion and intellectual stimulation, from which action can eventually occur. The first step is just getting people to feel involved in politics, to realize that every decision they make has a power and a consequence, and that they are the true determiners of change, not some old guys in suits. This is why I am considering trying to start some joint that would create this kind of environment, offering a chill atmosphere and a welcoming space where people would come to talk and meet, not just to drink or to sit alone on their laptops or shout at each other over blaringly loud pop music.

  3. good point. Changes in attitudes are needed and conversation is the way. Having people engage is the only way to start a revolution.

    A meeting place like that would be cool. The challenge is to get the cultural shift in attitudes on engaging with other human beings. I would anticipate that initially a lot of the onus will be on the staff you hire (or yourself if no staff initially) to work this atmosphere.

  4. You’re right, there would need to be some kind of facilitator of discussion, who sets the tone and opens the atmosphere. But also I’ve found that the feng-shui of a place is quite important as well; the placement of objects, the arrangement of colors, a space that welcomes people and offers them items of interest, such as intelligent and diverse books, exploratory or chill musics, hookahs, a nice glass of something soothing, and other such things. All these things can easily get people talking.
    Basically, the idea is to run a business that is not overtly run as a business. Rather than creating a space with the primary function of selling you a product as efficiently and quickly as possible, I want to create a space in which the space itself is the purpose of the business—the products for sale are secondary to this purpose, and are only used as props and reasons for being there in the first place. Local coffeehouses often approach this concept, but stop short by focusing solely on free wireless internet and a cup of joe and maybe some cookies.

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