Monday, February 12, 2007
I don't think of myself as an extremist. I try not to shout "the end is coming" from the rooftops.
But I do believe it's coming. Not the end of the owrld, but the end of our age of convenience, luxury and laziness.
The end of taking a hummer to the grocery store and spending more on gas than we do on food for our families. The end of sports figures who earn in one year what I will not see in ten; to play a game. A game.
There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people playing baseball who get paid enormous amounts of money...to play a game. Same with football and basketball. Take a guess at what Michael Jordan earned in his prime.
$31.3 million. That's before his $47 million in endorsements.
I see the end of that kind of income for a basketball player. Even a really good one.
The price of gas being what it is, we have already seen a huge number of people start to examine the way they get around. There are a growing number of people who have no choice but to use public transportation because they cannot afford a vehicle. The maintenence, insurance, and repairs are all more than the monthly income; and that is BEFORE the gas is pumped into it!
There are folks who see the way the world is "progressing". Some of us are learning how to be a little more self-reliant. We're learning how to make our own bread so that when it costs more than is reasonable, we have an option. We're learning how to make jam so that we no longer need to run to the grocery store across town where it is cheapest. We are re-learning the fine art of family fun night, we are teaching ourselves the crafts that may one day prove useful. Why pay $20.00 for a scarf when you can knit one for a $10.00 investment in needles and yarn? (Remember, those needles will pay for themselves again with the next project.) Some of us are learning how to grow lettuce, carrots and radishes in an apartment so we are not forced to pay $10 for produce from the grocery store the next time we want a salad.
Some of us have gone even further and are learning how to survive.
How to build a fire and keep it going. How to build our own homes. How to grow fruits and veggies that we can put by and ensure our families will eat during the winter. Some are even learning how to raise chickens so they have fresh eggs. Some are learning how to build with what nature gives them, like trees and stone. We are learning how to install solar panels so that our families experience little discomfort when the power goes out as it did on August 14th, 2003. I can tell you that many of my neighbours had no way of cooking their dinner that night, and many were lured to my patio by the smelling of cooking bacon. More than a few were shocked to see me happily making bacon, eggs and toast for dinner! An investment in a barbeque two years before and cast iron pans changed our menu possibilites dramatically. Because I knew that anything can happen.
Our world might not end anytime soon, but I do know that it's changing. I see it in our weather patterns, our rising cost of living, and the many ways we are dependent on someone else to provide our food.
It's time to change that while we still can.