I do drive a hybrid. I got that Lexus hybrid but I hear it’s not the most hybrid-y. And we drive it like once every six months so we save energy that way. We recycle but I think we’ve got to do more. There’s more to be done.
There’s a couple of truthful things about conservation: 1) It’s absolutely necessary for the survival of people. 2) It’s not a very sexy topic.
Just the facts, Ma’am
There’s no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. And no amount of wishful thinking can turn a finite resource—like coal, oil, or uranium—into an infinite one. Since we’re running out of all these things, it’s time for us to get a grip, grow up, and face the fact that Western industrialized society ripped through its storehouse of precious energy and non-renewable resources in about 150 years time.
And no, technology wont “save us.” Even technology depends on an energy input system.
What you hear about tar sands and oil shale and deepwater oil and even natural gas wont save us either.
Bottom line is that life as we know it is over. The decline has already begun and we’re all living it. Check out gas prices for a grim reminder. It will only get worse on the energy and environmental fronts.
So what do we do? There’s no way to dress it up. We have to invest in clean renewable energy and we have to conserve starting now. Denying it wont help.
Save the planet!
Actually, at this point it’s more about saving the actual human race (no kidding.) The planet will take care of itself. But people don’t do so well without drinking water, clean air, and healthy food. Especially women. Don’t mess with a hungry bitch!
Protect yourself by learning the basics
One of the biggest groups of people at most risk after the decline in energy and resources will be women.
Women gained more rights and opportunities in the age of fossil fuels. But after such an energy decline, the protections and access we’ve come to enjoy are not likely to be so guaranteed. If you have daughters, you should care about this. If you care about yourself and women in general, you should care about this. Women will have to work hard to keep our gains in education, legal rights, work, protection, and self-direction.
But to avoid repeating the story that so many people have told about the Limits To Growth and the need for conservation, watch Annie Leonard’s fun and brilliant video series The Story of Stuff, especially the one on…Stuff. They’re great for kids, too.
But to be frank, this still isn’t sexy
Conservation versus Consumption
I’m driven to make conservation compelling because to me it’s about breaking out of the limiting cultural messages that encourage us to live on auto pilot bellied up to a never ending trough of disposable consumer goods. And it’s totally about the world we’ll give our kids.
I want to make the story of conservation just as exciting as the world of consumption. Like Tina Fey, I like riding a bike!
I recognize that most women are the same as me (and Tina). You’re shocked to learn how much we have to change in order to give to our children a world with more lasting hope than the latest iGadget promises.
You might be resistant, too. In denial. Not ready to go there because it feels like a big bummer. It is, sort of. But it doesn’t have to be. And anyway, I feel your pain because I’m dealing with it, too.
Real women bike in dresses
Most of us live in cities and suburbs. We’re not all getting backyard chickens and homesteading on the banks of Plum Creek. We’re not all ready to give up lives as lawyers to learn how to sew by hand or ditching travel in favor of the selfless service vacay.
We’re regular ladies and we also care. We want to be better as individuals and parents and as part of society. But we also want to feel hopeful about our prospects and that of our societies. We don’t all make the same choices. We don’t all want to be farmers in the future. And girls wanna have fun!
We have to start where we are in order to make realistic movement toward not only understanding our shared predicament, but making the changes to accommodate the predicament. That doesn’t happen overnight.
But the number one thing we have to be truthful about is that our children will have much less of everything than we’ve had. It’s their generation that will, as adults, bear the brunt of decline after over-consumption. We owe it to them to engage with the issue and make the needed changes so that the basics in their quality of life will not be compromised.
Women have the courage and creativity to speak the truth about the challenges facing our times and our cultures. We have the will and purpose to do something about it.
Join me in shouting it from the rooftops. Join me in riding a bike whenever you can.
–Lindsay Curren, Lindsay’s List