Monday, February 23, 2009

Feed our Children

"...we don't need economic growth. We need to feed our children, so they can grow. " - Automatic Earth, 23 Feb 2009

Subject: Economy, response desired

Dear Mr. President:

Just one thing: Please, please listen to Nicholas Nassim Taleb:

The guys who were in "control" of things going into this mess are not - repeat - ARE NOT the ones to charge with fixing it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Secret

Subject: Employment, response desired

What if the secret to more employment for people is less employment for machines? What if we were no less committed to “the least among us” than we are passionate about our vaunted economic and political theories? What if we really did put people first, firmly above climbing over others to get ahead ourselves?

If healthy, fulfilling, honorable work for everyone was our top priority, would tens of millions of Americans know – and a hundred million or more fear – that their fellow countrymen have no further need for their services?

What if more Growth for those of us already wallowing in stuff leads us away from true prosperity? What if a tide of material consumption that rises even further would drown humankind beneath depletion and ruin long before it lifted the leaking dinghies of the poorest of the poor? What if Edmund Burke’s warning is true: we are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to our disposition to put moral chains upon our own appetites?

Because the choice today – indeed, the choice for all time – remains very simple: to love and serve one another; or abandon ourselves to the pursuit of the lowest prices, the highest rates of return, and the opportunity to die with the most toys.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Green Recreation

21 Feb 2009

Subject: Green Recreation, response desired

I've discovered an amazing thing, Mr. President: it actually IS possible for us human beings to play and amuse ourselves without burning fossil fuels. Not only that, but when we exercise our bodies rather than internal combustion engines for such purposes, we are much healthier for it. And so is planet Earth.

Consider how much of our once-verdant nation we have already suffocated under pavement so we can drive virtually everywhere in our ON-ROAD motor vehicles - an area equal to 53% of my state of Wisconsin!! It is insane, it is reckless, to assault the remaining "undeveloped" portions of our country with ATVs, dirt bikes, fourwheelers, and snowmobiles. The same applies to speedboats, jetskis, and a host of other fuel-gulping wreck-Creational contraptions.

The question, Mr. President, is not how to spur Americans to crank up their spending for life sized motorized toys. Our real challenge is to create an economy where our jobs make our world greener rather than more lifeless; where our products and services meet real human needs rather than ever-more wonton excesses; where our economy serves to build and uphold our virtues rather than indulging and exploiting Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride.

And how better to fight global warming than with fossil-fuel-free fun? How better to overcome our addiction to oil than to stop playing with the damned stuff?

Friday, February 20, 2009

"Clean" Tar Sands?

Subject: Energy Demand

"Clean" tar sands? "Clean" coal? These represent "change"?

Mr. President, I did not vote for you in the expectation that you would tout such fairy tales. The best way to sequester carbon is to leave fossil fuels like coal and tar sands in the ground. Duh!
The challenge for our nation is to shrink our demands to fit the planet we have, not tear that planet to pieces in a monumentally-doomed effort to sate ever-expanding desires.

"Civilization is the presence of enlightened self-restraint."