Saturday, October 1, 2016

perspective: climate change and the meaning of power

While the media focus all their resources and airtime to The Donald and Hillary Clinton arguing about how he treated a former Miss Universe,  I read a headline from a very small, minor player in the online journalistic landscape. Basically, we have gone beyond the point of no return in terms of climate change. Even with our best efforts we cannot bring the Earth's climate back down to a cooler, safer level anymore. We will continue to warm year by year and eventually the climate will become too hot for life to be sustainable.
Tonight, all the majot news outlets talked about what may well be the most rigged, corrupt and predictable election in US history. None of them reported on the climate change issue. Not one.
When I. realized this, I knew that things were, well, FUBAR (Fucked Up beyond All Repair).
Countries will continue to fight over oil.
People will still demand cheap gasoline to run their cars.
Communities will continue to grow based on a gasoline economy.
And millions of people will bury their heads in the sand.
Because exercising power TO is sometimes harder than exercising power OVER, especially when those with power OVER seem huge and undefeatable.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins tomorrow night. Jews around the world will spend the next ten days contemplating the start of a new year for the soul, and focus on making amends for mistakes of the past year so we can move forward on a good path.
And my struggle will include questions of not only right livelihood, but right living.
I will ask what it means to exercise power TO so that I can truly make my own choices, and gain at least a little bit of indenepdence from the corporations that benefit from trying to convince me that I cannot live without a car, new clothes and all the other trappings of a middle class life that don't really seem so urgent to me.
What is the best way to live when the world is on a collision course with extinction? 
and what do we do if that extinction is not millions or thousands of years away, but mere hundreds -- or less?
Just riding my bike everywhere or using public transit will not be enough. Just everyone i know choosing the same will not make a dent.
I suspect that in the coming months, I will either need to put my head in the sand in order to keep living the way i do; or I will need to reconsider my daily choices in light of a much larger picture.
I can't pedict where I will head in my thinking.
But I do know that this blog will talk less and less about the acquisition of new stuff. This blog will stop covering new developments, in bicycle sport and manufacture. Because one thing I've known for awhile now is that we cannot buy our way out of poverty, any more than we can buy our way out of death.
So future posts will talk about the bicycle life from a much more sustainable angle, including scavenging, recycling, repurposing and other D-I-Y approaches that will make it possible to shop less and live more.
I will also begin to explore the meaning of work, value and the choices that compel us to work in excess of forty hours a week, at the expense of family life, education, social life and community-building, and physical and emotional well-being. 
I promise the there will be bicycle content. 
I will just offer it up through another lens.
For my Jewish reeaders, I hope you have a sweet New Year.
For everyone, keep the rubber side down and happy riding.

No comments: