01 May 2008

We Did It!

And it only took a month!

(Do I sound a wee bit sarcastic? Sorry, but it comes easily to me. )

But a hundred bucks is a hundred bucks, and together it's two hundred bucks (actually 201) and that's two hundred trees to go back into the Amazon basin where an area the size of a football field is cleared for cattle or grain production every 2 seconds...

(Oops there's that sarcasm thing again.)

Food and water is what it's all about. People want more good food. Go figure. And they want clean water. selfish oafs. And the result is that those who have historically enjoyed access to abundant supplies of both at low prices are seeing that both abundance and low prices are drying up.

Call it the price of success, as the modernization that lifted Europe and North America to vast wealth a century ago is now having the same effect around the world, on Asia especially. We are not the only ones who want food, water, and the modern means to obtains them, which means industry and transportation and all those things that use oil and coal and other carbon belching things.

Either we have to stop them from wanting those things - generally accomplished by decimation through war or natural disaster - or we have to adapt to a more crowded marketplace. We believed in globalization because it would help lift the poor. What we did not believe or think about was that lifting the poor would affect us. What were we thinking...

(OK, just assume this is a snarky and sarcastic post so I don't have to keep admitting it.)

But it can be done, and we can actually benefit by it. How? Well, in some ways, this is just like when I moved from the Austin suburbs to heart of Brooklyn. We went from a half acre yard with a two car garage and four bedrooms (2200 sq. ft) to a no yard apartment with no parking and 3 bedrooms (1300 sq.ft) Sounds like a net loss.

Wrong. We walked more and I lost weight even as I spent less on gas and tires and auto repairs. I had neighbors I knew because they were across the hall, on the sidewalk, at the store up the street. We bought less because there was less space to hold it, and did more because the city has so much to offer.

Sure there were more people. It was noisier and more dirty. But it was also friendlier (I am not being sarcastic about this!) and livelier, and forced us to deal with all sorts of people many of whom did not speak English well.

I miss that here in mid America. But with gas and food so expensive and money so tight, maybe we will have to become more urban in our ways wherever we live. And I am perfectly poised to be a guide to those facing the new urban culture. It's going to be OK after all.

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