Archive for behavior

A Current Conundrum

Posted in Big Questions, Desires, Dilemma's and Solutions, Feelings with tags , , , on November 26, 2011 by matthewstruth

 

Yesterday, I drove my Subaru 15 miles to listen to a wonderful talk by a climate researcher and author. Indeed a profound dissertation.

Early on in the presentation he inquired of the audience, “How many of you think that humans are responsible for climate change?” Startling to him, everyone in this group on the coast of Maine raised their hand for “Yes, we are”. Usually he said it’s 50/50.

The roadways leading to the library where the talk was to be held were completely filled with auto’s clothed in the greatest colorful array of progressive bumper stickers imaginable, mine too……….and not a parking space for blocks.

At the talks conclusion, he stated that from his perspective it will take a new discovery of an alternative energy source to stem the tide of runaway carbon dioxide increases.

I am beyond perplexed, saddened and disheartened.

Here we were in this room, all in agreement to our role in harming the current stability of Earth, and what behaviors are any of us actually changing? In the face of overwhelming research, I feel powerless. And yet as he stated, we are more powerful that can be understood, we’ve been putting these forces at work for a while now, us, probably you and me, and everyone that we know. And yet, we’re not going to change, but just wait for some new source of energy??

Why is it that our current way of life, with all of its entitled comforts is not negotiable? These alleged comforts have only been around for a relatively short while. Why does it seem that we aren’t willing to modify our behavior all that much? And what would this look like if indeed we did modify ourselves? Why are automobiles, which from the perspective of a pedestrian are violent contraptions for inducing a lazy apathetic consumer culture, deemed to be a prerequisite for life within this nation?

I am dumbfounded. We in this room all drove, something that we know is inherently wasteful, harmful, on so many distinct levels, dangerous. Are we not capable of imagining a society without these things, and the multitudes of other dastardly conveniences? Can we get beyond the “I want it now syndrome?”

If we know that we a part of the problem, what will have to evolve in us in order to change course? What will we be willing to let go of? Isn’t this the greatest conundrum?—What will have to evolve in “us“?

While I live here now in this society, I do envision a vastly different one, and that one does not have automobiles at the center of our neighborhoods. It has us, working together for the things that matter dearly to us. This “working together” seems like the crucial point and something that many have lost the ability to accomplish. Some of our individual actions will not change the big picture, but we can choose which influence we’ll exert.

May we answer these questions, and even more importantly, share with each other what we discover. I know deep within me, and you probably do too, that our lives can be so much richer than we’ve been currently accustomed too. Even though I have not yet physically experienced this new way, I do feel its presence getting closer. And for that I am extremely grateful.

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Confounded “Carbon Conundrum” Continue’s

Posted in Big Questions, Not your normal letter to the editor with tags , , , , on February 4, 2011 by matthewstruth

 

(This is a letter to my local newspaper regarding a five-week series on the damages of fossil fuel burning. Our resort town of 2800 people in the north part of this valley is located 30 miles from the closest traffic light and 4 hours from a larger population center, also known as a “middle of nowhere paradise”.)

Yes, this “carbon conundrum” is here to stay. Thank you to the author and publishers of our paper for devoting so much time and space to this issue. We are blessed to have the many knowledgeable resource people quoted in this region doing great work on our behalf. Thank you all.

Now could be the time to address deeper, more difficult and potentially even more interesting questions—Why are we here? Why after billions of years in the creation of this universe are you and I here?

After answering these we could inquire—Why are we willing to accept the current status quo consensus reality of living the American Dream when it is detrimental to the health and wellbeing of most people? Why are we so easily brainwashed into thinking that one more new electronic device will bring happiness?

Really, this conundrum of climate change, peak oil, economic collapse, spiritual bankruptcy, these can all lead us to go further within and ask—What is the point of our lives? This fantastic confluence of events, billions of years in the making, all leading to this moment, you and I standing right here—What will we do with this time, this moment, now? Does this society, this culture, this way that we live our lives, and all that we take for granted, does any of it lead to extreme happiness, joy, generosity and compassion for all? Witnessing the levels of depression, addiction, apathy, and mania present, I would guess not, though it doesn’t have to be this way, we are capable of so much more.

Will building another house, another subdivision, another bar or restaurant lead to deep fulfillment in the long run? Will another tourist or visitor really fuel the blossoming of love in our community? Will continuing to believe in the stock markets rise and our retirement time, these relatively recent fictions of our imaginations, will they really lead to bliss?

When will we notice and pay attention that our world is changing rapidly? Adding to what one of last weeks writers said, it’s not the 20th century anymore, heck, it’s not last week anymore. There is a very high probability that the “way things have always been“, will not be a part of our future— including what we think of as the economy, our fantasies regarding capitalism, and what we think that we are entitled to. Seven plus billion humans will not live the way that we have been privileged too. The cost of this privilege has been disastrous for most of the worlds people. This “dream” needs to drastically shift. Our old structures and paradigms are crumbling, right before our eyes, as new ones are emerging— paradigms of connection, simplicity, fairness, oneness, the opening of collective hearts.

With the emergence of these, we can take responsibility for our carbon mess. Every single one of us can change every one of our behaviors. Mr. Horn says its doesn’t have to mean that we go back to the Dark Ages. There is nothing backward about not wasting resources. There is nothing backward about questioning why we think we need these insane wasteful levels of alleged comfort. There is nothing backward about providing one’s livelihood in ways that matter and that don’t destroy our land-base. We can gather together in larger numbers to inhabit these oversized homes. We can become comfortable with drastically lower indoor temperatures in drastically smaller dwellings. We can live much closer together, even Mr. Norton mentioned the 25 foot lot. We can end our “affair” with private polluting automobiles. We can alter our diets, thereby becoming healthier by producing and eating locally grown foods in season. We can relearn how to successfully store foods to eat in winter. We can create more community gatherings and celebrations of being alive. We as Americans have gone so far overboard in attempting to escape from each other, that we are now reaping the devastating effects that this has had upon our planet, and upon ourselves for not growing into our true capacities as human beings.

We are here right now, in one of the most exciting, challenging and potentially transformative times ever. Clinging to the past of the “Dream” will not be the road forward. Clinging to our hope that more and more will come, in an era of dwindling resources and the devastating effects from the use of them, verges on the delusional. What do we really need? And what can we do right now, with who is here to create our new world?

Lets gather and develop a wholly new vision for our planet with a wholly new vision of why we exist as human beings. If this group vision is to manifest as a sanctuary of inspired, soulful, responsible citizens creating a “sustainable destination”, we will have to drastically alter our behavior regarding everything, absolutely everything. The same altering of behavior and attitudes will need to occur regardless of community vision. We can do better, we are capable. Humans are evolving everywhere, shifts in consciousness are possible. Continuing this human experiment will demand it and we will have a greater possibility to co-create a world truly worth living in for everyone.