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Opportunity to reassess

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  • #527796
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    I have just read all through this thread from the start. Coincidentally in reference to Metu’s comments, I could only do so after my disabled daughter was in bed.She is periodically at home , but mostly in supported living away from home , and is increasingly dependent upon specialist city health services,and this is only likely to escalate in the future……..????

    May I ask a question……..apart from their probable degree of “resources consumption” ……what is the difference between Miaow’s paint and Trandto’s high end bike?

    #527797
    trandtotrandto
    Member

    BlueWren post=349137 wrote: I have just read all through this thread from the start. Coincidentally in reference to Metu’s comments, I could only do so after my disabled daughter was in bed.She is periodically at home , but mostly in supported living away from home , and is increasingly dependent upon specialist city health services,and this is only likely to escalate in the future……..????

    Well then, you will be right at the front line of how to pay for it… and what of the disabled I see all around me here in Cambodia, that crawl around by using there hands balled as fists on the stumps of limbs ?, the ones with limbs blown off (children included) from the UXO from a War instigated by the USA, a War prosecuted with the tacit approval of Australia. What of the 100’s of thousands we have similarly disfigured in Afghanistan and Iraq with our “Coalition of the Willing”, are not we, the tax payers who funded those Wars not vicariously liable ?

    Health care costs in Aus are escalating to an unsustainable level ie faster then GDP. What to do ? Anyway, that’s an entire other discussion.

    BlueWren post=349137 wrote: May I ask a question……..apart from their probable degree of “resources consumption” ……what is the difference between Miaow’s paint and Trandto’s high end bike?

    I would presume that the bike would use more resources and have a higher environmental on-cost ? considerably more I would think ? though I am unsure of the provenance of the raw materials in either case, the frame alone is extruded Al which consumes vast amoutns of energy to smelt. Iceland, I think ? is the only place using renewables to smelt Al ?

    Three points though:

    [ul]

    [li]the bike will be used as transportation, there is a degree of utility in that I would think ? ie if I don’t travel by car[/li]

    [li]In my defence it was ordered before the theft of all my equipment photographic equipment and computer, it was that theft that was the catalyst that prompted me to start thinking about my own consumption in terms of replacing it all. I am the first to fall on my sword and say I should not have, upon reflection[/li]

    [li]If we consumes “less”, is that really enough, why not just consume ? and by a dozen bikes as I can afford it. Think of all the work I make for the bike companies. If we believe the climate scientists, we’re still producing way to much pollution ? If we believe Ted, the average Aussie person has to consume 20x less (at least).[/li]

    [/ul]Now I agree with the points everyone makes, they are all valid BUT 🙂

    should we not hold the biospheres health as primacy ? If so then we in the West and Australia in particular are vastly over-consuming, we here are aware of this, yes ? Do we agree on that ? or am I in a different place to most others ? If those climate guys are right, we’re looking at the death of billions of people in the next 100 years, does this only worry me (by worry I mean my contribution knowing what I know) or we don’t believe these guys ? or do we just do not want to believe these guys and if that the case what’s the point of consuming less rather then being forced to by circumstance ? Metu raised the point about her A/C, why bother if that’s not even close to a reduction that’s needed ? Sure we all have individual circumstances were we have cut back differently but collectively, we aren’t doing enough it seems ? or am I wrong ?

    What use having a future for your disable daughter if the planet is screwed ? To paraphrase Thoreau, “what use is a house if you don’t have a Planet to put it on” ?

    and thank you for contributing Bluewren…

    PS Serendipitously I headed over to OLO after posting this, and this is the first article I read there

    The second aspect is the environmental crisis, of which global warming, peak ‘everything’ and loss of biodiversity are perhaps the best known issues. Basically, our phenomenally productive mass-industrial civilisation is using up such high levels of resources, generating so much waste and displacing so many natural systems it is beginning to hit physical limits.

    These limits include the atmosphere, oceans and land as their capacity to provide raw materials and soak up wastes fast diminishes. Pollution, including carbon pollution and increasingly toxic industrial products, has become a primary problem at a global level. The availability of resources like oil and fresh water, and even arable land itself, is also facing critical limitations.

    To deal with these and associated threats, the argument goes, we need to completely reform the way we do things as a civilisation. Tinkering at the edges just won’t cut it.

    #527798
    VickieVickie
    Member

    This is such great reading 🙂 So many points I had not considered.

    I think the massive question of deciding who is ‘entitled’ is a rocky one. Having two small children, I have often felt guilty that my husband and I were not able to volunteer our time in this countries disasters recently, let alone be able to travel OS. Being a teacher, and a nurse in our house, we see the struggles in health care and education(life) first hand.

    I suppose I don’t have a really strong point to make, just that there are so many valid points here, and points of view are very personal. Not to mention so many factors are simply out of control for all of us in relation to where we live and who gets what.

    #527799
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    Absolutely Vickie , who gets what ……..my daughter is 37 and until 2008 when her health issues really only began she was healthy.Her health needs are now complex and are not likely to be resolved. I am already concerned about the decisions we may have to make down the track in regards to “who gets what”……..

    I am differently concerned about the future of my three little grandsons……..one nearly four, the youngest 5 months…………

    Financially we are right at the other end of the scale to trandto , that is in relation to the Australian “scale” , which makes the “stuff” and “consumerism” issues a lot simpler for us!!! On other scales , eg the Cambodian , we are ridiculously well off.

    BUT …….often the folk with high resources are the ones who can make the most difference if they are inclined to do so. If I had the financial resources our six acres would be a haven of sustainability for ourselves , our family and the folk in our community.As it is the veg patch is dying for lack of water ……..I am heavily involved in our local/regional vision for food security but we are hampered by no money to move forward and …no , don’t start me on that one!!

    You don’t need to defend yourself about the bike ,trandto.I wasn’t meaning to make a judgement – simply asking the question.

    We have to keep balanced in our heads about all these questions ……..otherwise we will go nuts and be of no use to anyone and be another drain on the health system. I guess for myself it’s summed up in my signature.

    Miaow – I say paint away! Trandto – I say on your bike!

    ………I’m off to the Specialist Center with my daughter for yet another scan……

    #527800
    MiaowzenMiaowzen
    Member

    I think you’re missing something…

    I hand paint pieces of furniture that were bought secondhand and I plan to keep them. They would have no trouble being sold secondhand if I wished.

    I did this instead of buying a new piece of furniture from ikea (which would have had as many, if not more chemicals than the paint). If the piece of ikea furniture only lasted two years I would have to buy another one. Certainly it wouldn’t be kept for generations. It’s cheap and meant to be disposable.

    Not only that, but because my furniture is beautiful and takes time to make, I only have one thing at a time. I don’t mass purchase furniture and then buy a bigger house.

    I think that to reduce our footprint it has nothing at all with paring lifestyle down to only a utilitarian minimum, but to create something happy and very high quality with what we have got.

    #527801
    MiaowzenMiaowzen
    Member

    Incidentally, I do actually make up my own paint for my painted furniture to some degree…

    50% of the paint is actually the remaining liquid plaster unused from plastering walls. I just use a sample pot of paint to tint the plaster, and then I hand make my own furniture wax from beeswax and food oil.

    #527802
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    Am I? I actually meant exactly what you posted – that there has to be room in life for satisfying , energising projects and experiences ,that are meaningful in their own right as well as perhaps being useful or planet friendly.

    One for you is obviously the furniture painting,not just buying second hand furniture for the kind of reasons discussed in this thread. For trandto it might be riding the bike for pleasure.

    Oh! …..when I said “Paint away!” did you think I meant “Put the paint away” ??

    #527803
    MiaowzenMiaowzen
    Member

    Sorry, I meant trandto, not you BlueWren :blush:

    And that’s the thing, yes, if cycling, photography and IT things are important to trandto, then I think he should buy the best quality of those things and keep them a long time. Being non-consumeristic shouldn’t mean being a martyr for the utilitarian life. Not unless you want that anyway. And it’s important to check in with what your family want in that case as it might not be healthy for them to do away with those pleasures.

    #527804
    trandtotrandto
    Member

    Miaowzen post=349145 wrote: I think that to reduce our footprint it has nothing at all with paring lifestyle down to only a utilitarian minimum, but to create something happy and very high quality with what we have got.

    Ahh okay… great point and you’re right I was missing that perspective or more so, I glossed over it. I see where you are coming from now. Your consuming at a level to make your life “happy”. I think this is where Metu was coming from as well ?

    …but my point and I still think my point is being skated around… If everyone does that, without considering the impact on the biosphere, we’re screwed … yeah ? is that a fair critique of what we’re (the west) all doing, screwing the Planet ? (and I am not not being critical of anyone here)

    Even though we’re minimising and reducing it’s not anywhere near enough to be effective, it’s only for budgetary or lifestyle reasons ? ie I only want to work three days a week so I must necessarily cut back on my consumption, or I only get the pension, so I must cut back on my consumption. That is completly from a different perspective to the one I am talking about I guess eg I can afford to replace all my stolen gear but am I “entitled” to, knowing the damage that will cause the Planet, it is like stabbing a defenceless kitten just becasue I can ?

    I feel uncomfortable with saying my consumption (or lack there of) is what defines my happiness because I don’t think it does, in fact I hope it doesn’t (I hear retail therapy bandied about). I would like to think that “caring” is, in that case surely the ultimate care is for the stewardship of the biosphere ? and by caring I am not talking about loved ones, that’s easy and by easy I mean it’s hard to care for strangers, or things with no impact directly on our lives eg throwing that cig butt out the window kills a turtle or fish, the ones that do it don;t care but I am sure they love and care for their Mum. Should that not hold primacy and then everything else flows from there ? Once again, I come back to Thoreau, “what use a house if we have no Planet to put it on”

    or do we just not believe the Climate Scientists ? I think Blue Wren can offer a decent perspective here, if those climate guys are right, your grandkids are in for a horrible life because of the impacts we are making. Does that impact your thinking or it’s so far off you are able to effectively put it to the back of your mind ?

    and I am not having a go at anyone, your paint, my bike… I just use those as examples to provoke discussion but I would like to know what you think about the questions asked above, so I can get a different perspective.

    and thanks Vickie for your input 🙂

    The biggest choice I could make I think ?? was having a vasectomy.

    #527805
    MiaowzenMiaowzen
    Member

    Having to buy things is the price we pay for living the way we do (small groups of individuals, on private property). The only way to completely live within the means of the planet is to live a nomadic life, as the Aboriginals lived. Each step towards “being civilized” necessitates the purchase or trade of goods of increasingly complicated design.

    I don’t know if Ted Trainer lives in a cave somewhere, but if he’s written a book then trees will have had to be cut down to print it so his message can only be hypothetical. If he was really living that lifestyle then no one would have ever heard of him.

    If everyone was to go back to that kind of lifestyle it would be due to an emergency of some kind. Eventually our consumption will catch up with us (as a whole planet) and there will be an emergency necessitating change. In the meantime for any one person to disappear into the wilderness would be martyrdom, especially if the rest of the family were against it. Someone going to that extent can’t justify having any private property at all.

    #527806
    MetuMetu
    Member

    I haven’t taken anything you’ve said personally Tranto. I think everyone has done really well to keep it at a level keel – while miraculously, disagreeing in some aspects. 😉

    I do talk about the disadvantaged of our society because at times, I’ve had temporary stays there myself. I say temporary, as in, I’ve been very fortunate to have found my own solutions out. To give you an example, I developed diabetes at 15, experienced complications and well, bascially dropped out of the modern medicine scene to fix myself.

    I’ll spare you all the details, but basically it comes down to eliminating carbs and any artificial foods from your diet. I’ve managed to reduced my insulin requirements by 20 units a day, which is 140 units a week, 560 over a month, or roughly over 7000 units per year. I’ve also managed to get off my inhaler medication after switching to raw milk.

    I actually didn’t come to all these solutions through mainstream medical care. That bizarre carousel of intellect, was just making me sicker by making me more dependant on prescribed medications. I was expected to check-out my own intellect at the door, and just comply. Or in other words, become dependent on out-sourcing my health requirements, so others could profit from it. When I turned to good healthy food (meat, protein, dairy, veg and fruit) I needed less doctors and medications.

    That should give a clue to why I say it’s necessary people need to come to their own level of reductions. It’s because there are so many carousels of intellect getting around that people are becoming increasingly mindless. Or dare I even say, souless. Not because they want to be, but really, how can they possibly please everyone?

    In my own circle of medical care in the past, I’ve had Specialists disagree, giving me opposing advice. I took the most influential specialist (the one I depended on most) on their word, and it turned out they were wrong. How was I to know between PhD1 and PhD2? Turned out I was on my own. 🙁 But it was the best realisation because it meant I gave myself the freedom to explore what actually did work for me. It’s not that I was necessarily smarter than any PhD, but personal discomfort was an influentual speaker.

    Right now Tranto, you may be feeling a level of discomfort too, based on what you’ve seen and experienced recently. Who can tell you how to treat that? I know I certainly can’t, but I have enjoyed this hearty discussion with other caring souls because of it. It does my soul good to know there are people with their own minds, mulling over this stuff, as if it’s really important. To see it discussed openly too, now that’s reassuring.

    Compared to the poverty in Cambodia, we aren’t moving mountains. But we are making changes nonetheless. That should count for what it is – steps in the right direction. I’ve only owned one dishwasher in my life, and I don’t intend replacing it. I’ll fix it where I can, or I’ll give it to someone for parts. If a free dishwasher happened to come my way afterwards (serendipidously) I wouldn’t say no.

    If you’re interested in a place to read about stepping away from money in the economy, I have a site that took me a while to get into. It had references to magic, which gave me the impression it could be bogus. But it turned out to be really thought provoking instead. It’s called the Arch Druid Report. Others may have heard of it. He’s on a small hiatus at the moment, but will be back early October. Still good reading to be had in the achrives though.

    He sets out a proposal that there isn’t going to be a fast collapse of the economy, based on his research throughout history – he’s a historian. He’s big on ousting all the infamous false prophets that got it wrong, time and time again. What has stayed true are the pattens of basic human behaviour. To me, it’s still theory and I don’t vouch for any accuracy. It’s just rather thought provoking to read. 🙂

    And a quick note to Bluewren. I used to think if we just had more money, we could do more with our land. Then I realised, if we couldn’t do it now, when was going to be the right time? So we’ve implimented stages of improvement as we can afford them. Pigeon Peas have been invaluable in this regard. Get one tree to grow and you have an endless supply of seeds for more. When we haven’t had the money to improve the land, nor money to feed animals which could help us, we plant Pigeon Peas. Left for a few years, with a few hair cuts to use as mulch around other fruit trees, the soil underneath improves significantly.

    While we don’t have a lot of money, we do have Pigeon Peas and they are really an amazing small tree. 🙂

    #527807
    trandtotrandto
    Member

    Miaowzen post=349185 wrote: I don’t know if Ted Trainer lives in a cave somewhere, but if he’s written a book then trees will have had to be cut down to print it so his message can only be hypothetical. If he was really living that lifestyle then no one would have ever heard of him.

    I think you are being disengenious to Ted Trainer here, (there’s a whole other thread about him elseswhere on here that I see Metu’s responded but I have not had time to get back to it) I think his treatsie IS a solution, albeit politically unaccectable. No one in here wants to, let alone the rest of the people living the McMansion lifestyle… and Ted DOES live the lifestyle I believe. It’s not just about taking our current pardigm and living with less it’s a whole quantum shift in community using the Planets good heath as primacy. I also offered another option in the OLO link I posted above.

    No one is saying you can’t cut a tree down. I cut them down all the time but here’s the thing with trees, they grow back, as long as I don’t cut them down faster than they can grow… voila.. sustainable, but what we are doing with all our small (or large) over consummptions combined is cutting the Planets abilty to regenrate out from under it’s legs. The point is to know how much impact we can have before we go overboard, we have gone to far. Is your paint enough or is it too much ? similary my bike and Metu’s washing machine, accectable or too much ? Am I right in saying most of you consume to what you circumstance allows ? Some of you would actually consume more to be more “self sufficient” if you had more funds available ?

    I guess I am getting a little frustrated because none of you guys are answering my questions directly, is this a female thing ? ha ha ! So, can I cut the many questiosn down to two and ask them ?

    1. Do we think the climate scientists are correct ?

    2. If yes, how do you ignore the guilt that our lifestyle then invaribly brings ?

    #527808
    MiaowzenMiaowzen
    Member

    trandto post=349208 wrote:

    I guess I am getting a little frustrated because none of you guys are answering my questions directly, is this a female thing ? ha ha ! So, can I cut the many questiosn down to two and ask them ?

    1. Do we think the climate scientists are correct ?

    I don’t read or watch the news so cannot comment on this, but I do think we are running out of oil in the next generation.

    trandto post=349208 wrote:

    2. If yes, how do you ignore the guilt that our lifestyle then invaribly brings ?

    I don’t feel guilt about it at all. It’s not my fault. My responsibility is to look after my family. I feel guilt about anything that I caused directly.

    If however the entire world’s consumption causes a catastrophe then I will be ready as I have learned very many skills that would enable me to protect my family. I will pass those skills on to my family too.

    #527809
    MetuMetu
    Member

    Climate scientist predictions are like medical practioners – it’s all within the ball park of reason, but it’s not the same as curing all which ailes mankind. 😉

    Misdiagnosis is often worse than the cure.

    #527810
    mrgnomemrgnome
    Member

    trandto wrote:

    1. Do we think the climate scientists are correct ?

    Firstly, one needs to determine which group of climate scientists they wish to support. There are the climate scientists who present data that would suggest the climate is undergoing change, just as an opposing group of climate scientist can present data to refute climate change. Then, if one is to believe that climate change is occurring, there are opposing sides as to who or what is the significant contributing influence – anthropogenic activities or natural rythms and cycles. Of course the doomsdayers will present data that would indicate that anthropogenic activities are the single biggest contributor to climate change. However, this can also be refuted with contradictory data. Statistics and data can be manipulated to support any hypotheses; some of our most accepted “theories” have relied on the manipulation and misrepresentation of data and experimental findings to have them accepted. In regards to climate change being a natural occurence, lets not forget that the earth has been subjected to significant and dramatic climatic perturbations during its geological history. How many ice-ages have occured historically? Likewise, how many warming periods has the earths natural rythym produced?

    Lets not forget that the dinosaurs extinction is attributed to climate change. Does this indicate dinosaurs were responsible for the sudden shift in global weather patterns? Had previous generations of dinosaurs impacted detrimentally upon their surrounding environment via over-consumption of natural resources? Was the ice-age that is believed to have resulted in their extinction the earth’s response to a period of global-warming induced by vast numbers of herbivorous mega-methane producers?

    Don’t anyone get me wrong, I’m not saying the climate isn’t changing. I’m also not saying that human activities have not had some influence on any changes in weather patterns. What I am making light of, is that climatic changes, weather patterns etc are not static – they are ever-changing, regardless of any form of human activities. Evolution (if we are to believe that theory) is an on-going process, just as climatic conditions are ever-changing in a temporal sense. This is one of the biggest omissions in the presentation of climate-data. Thus, one could say that much of the climate-change debate is biased and weighted to support a pre-determined hypotheses. This is not science – this is public manipulation.

    Essentially, what each of us determines to be factual will be the information that best melds with our dominant belief system. Belief systems, whether relating to the environment, religion or politicis are extremely dogmatic. Each of us will therefore absorb or align ourselves with information that best fits within our belief systems.

    My input is not intended to offend; the intention is to hopefully make each of us question the information that is presented to us via the media; question the providers of that informations intent; question the degree of bias in information, for it is evident in any article. Finally, thanks for taking the time to read :blink:

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