Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Inaction Day

This probably is not the right blog to visit today, because this is Blog Action Day. Many bloggers are posting about climate change - they are so good! You could start with Mouse Medicine (link on my list of Blogfellows) and move on from there.

Please understand: I TOTALLY SUPPORT ACTIVISM! The fact that we are still allowed, to one extent or another, to express our political beliefs is one of the reasons I am proud to be a citizen of the U.S. The thing is, I am not an activist. I'm an inactivist. Is there such a thing?

The older I get, the less certain I become about large societal situations. I'm unclear that there are simple solutions for complex problems. We tend to think we can fix things, but historically fixes bring with them terrible side effects. It has always been that way, why should I think that we know better about anything?

Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committe passed the bill for health care reform, a bill that says all Americans must have health insurance. We must ALL make the insurance companies richer. Allegedly, anyone who does not buy health insurance will have to pay a penalty. Huh?? Insurance companies lie at the foundation of our problems with health care, but now we all have to give them our money? What is up with that? And ... just how will this be enforced? That is total craziness, if you ask me.

As far as climate change is concerned, well, this planet periodically heats up and cools down, and has been doing so since long before we were here. So in a sense, climate change is normal behavior for our beautiful planet. If the climate warms dramatically enough to kill off most of the species currently alive, then - hmmm - too bad for our species, but mass extinctions are also a part of normal behavior for our planet.

That said, I believe we (in my society) have become weak and indulgent, wasteful, thoughtless, mindless. In a perfect world, we would realize that the resources of the earth cannot support the way we live. We would give up our cars, avoid travel by air, stop eating so much junk meat, eschew packaging whenever possible and stop buying stuff we don't need. If I were in charge, I would propose a gentle strategy of less, followed by a period of waiting, and noticing how the change in behavior affects the environment. My ideas are diametrically opposed to activism. In my mind at least.

I expect that, because of our societal expectations of excess, it'll take a big ole crisis before we stop. But I don't want to get cynical here. We might change before everything goes to hell. Maybe.

Is this a blog action post? You tell me.


glnroz said...

Oh Ms Reya, I do so enjoy your site. I have strayed from talking politic because I have such stringent views, but I definately agree with your reasoning this morning. We have waaaayyyy to much inequality in our society, but I feel that the direction is to continue to "fatten" the wrong cats and hide it under "Helping society" label.. Ok,, I hope I haven't alienated 99 percents of the great folks that are out there.. I thank you again for all your great posts....glenn

Lynne said...

Yes, I think it is a blog action post. Loved what you had to say.

I read somewhere that our planet is in the cooling down phase right now. Might be the reason for all the strange weather we've been having. Something about fewer sun spots ...

Less is definitely more. I give you these two little poems that I found and have been meaning to blog about but never have. I know you are not directly speaking about "money" here in your post, but it does play a big factor in the *more, more, more* that seems to be a disease of our country.

Without Money by Connie Webb

Without money
I can go to the beach
And notice the sand crabs playing
And the starfish waving hello.

Without money
I can sit in the redwood forest
And hear the sound of music
As trees rustle, birds sing and squirrels scurry.

Without money
I can take walks
Through neighborhoods
Full of flowers and love.

Without money
I can enjoy the simple things in life
I may not have taken the time to notice
With money.

So when I count my pennies
I will count my blessings
For all the other riches I have
Without money.

Routine by Stuart Doggett

More work.
Less fun.
More money.
More buying.
More fun.
Less money.
More work.
Less fun.
More money.
More buying.
More fun.
Less money.
More work.

Reya Mellicker said...

Lynne fantastic!! Wow, yes, these poems describe my life definitely. Time is my luxury. But you do have to have some money! And good work is good for humans. But less is more if you ask me.

Glenn, dear, I believe our country was founded on the idea of diversity of opinion. It freaks me out that we hesitate to say what we believe because it might be offensive. No one has to agree with me, but why would they be OFFENDED by my opinions?

I support diversity of opinion! Is that offensive? Yikes.

ewix said...

MY thoughts entirely
like Wordsworth
I think
"Getting and spending we lay waste our powers
little we see in nature that is ours

you are very wise
so many people are knee jerk liberals or right wing
THINKING seems tohave gone out of style.

Your second picture is so zing and wow!

Steve said...

That's the best kind of action post! :)

willow said...

Well, I sure hope the penalty is less than the $1000 a month it takes to buy insurance.

Excellent non activist post.

ellen abbott said...

I totally agree with you Reya on all points (as usual). This mandatory insurance is a puzzler to me. I'd rather they did nothing than do that. Insurance is the problem if you ask me.

I adopted the less is more philosophy back in my 30s and it has served me well. So much less stress and I don't feel deprived of anything either.

And about humans? I've thought for a long time that we will be one of the planet's least successful species based on longevity. We have poisoned our environment, used it up and still cannot see the light.

Linda Sue said...

You are so smart! I just love your brain! Brilliant post of inacitvism- which is pretty much where we are as well.
We don't spend money carelessly, wear things till they are rejected even by the Salvation Army...We walk, we recycle -all of that usual stuff - I refuse to feel responsible for the planet going through it's menopause thang...There was a major silent landslide east of here a couple of days ago- one like it happened 2 million years ago and has not occured since until now. Earth shifting, moon moving away from the earth - no bodies is to blame...It is not because we eat weiners or any of the other disgusting things that humans so. It just is.
You are such a light wource for blogworld- thank you for your posts- always- and that shot of the melting car with autumn decor is stunning!
My dog sends puppy love, Jake would approve.

Linda Sue said...

sorry I really should do a spell check...You are a light source not a wource...

Carolyn said...

Reya what a great post. I heard some recently say that it is not the earth we have to worry about it is us, the human race. The earth has gone through this before and survived by heating up or cooling down and those that can't stand the heat or the cold are gone! We are the worst of the introduced species on this planet.
Blessings and smiles

Nancy said...

I didn't know about the activism posts. But I really liked your views, if only people would do the things you suggest. And I thought the reason we were revamping health care was to give insurance companies competition, not assuring them even more money. I'm always amazed at how our elected officials can screw things up!

Reya Mellicker said...

I like being a "wource." Thanks Linda.

According to the cosmology of Reya, we are not the worst species ever. We are clever and have opposable thumbs, which is why our mistakes are so big, but many species over time has overpopulated and ravaged the environment. I think we're kind of adorable. We try so hard!!

Elizabeth I've seen how you live - and you, too, Steve. Both of you live with a minimum of stuff, but a maximum of joie de vivre. I salute you both!

And all the rest of my clever species.

Tom said...

you're practical to a fault. and correct; nothing much will change until mother nature forces our hand...or until the costs for things like gas and heat become so exhorbinant we have no choice...which will come about first? Your Inactivist logo oughta be a couch potato! lol.

Barbara Martin said...

Your inaction post was in disguise an action post. And your views are spot on, Reya.

ewix said...

Reya, you are too kind!
I'm still rather seething about the health care thing.
Insurance companies are in it for the money
why can't people see that !!!???

kob said...

My hope about the future and climate change did a 180 this week. I visited the Solar Decathlon at the National Mall and spoke to some of the young students who built the 20 energy efficient houses now on display.

These solar homes, believe it or not, produce more energy than they use. That means you will never pay an electric bill. Your home produces all the energy it needs to cook, heat, cool, run a TV and PC.

The house built by Team Canada, a glass cube that must look wonderful in the snow, generates about twice the energy it consumes. How remarkable is that?

Through clever design, use of lighting, highly efficient heating and cooling technologies, and special materials that can absorb heat in warm weather and release it in cold (stuff I had no idea existed) they can get these results. Some of these homes can be built for as little as $140,000, but the most advanced houses would likely cost 300,000 or more to mass produce. This in the range of affordable, especially in DC.

But you know what impressed me more than the houses? The students. They are enormously optimistic about their ability to solve problems. They were joy to meet.

I strongly recommend visiting the Solar Decathlon. It continues through Saturday. If you get a chance, talk to some of the students.

Lori ann said...

Yes, I am the same, trying to live in a conscious way. I think it's easier for us in a small town (walk or bike to work, grow veggies or shop at farmer's market, recycle). But the one thing that would be easy to do anywhere would be to simplify.
We buy almost everything second hand (craig's list) there's no need to buy new these days, our world is so full of stuff! I think we're getting there.

Pauline said...

Standing right next to you, I am, as a fellow "inactivist."

nenette said...

Hmmm... this post is different. I like it! Thanks! I'm going to the grocery store now, but wait, let me get my "Save the Earth" green grocery bag. Whenever I bring this, I get discounts. Oh well, HaPpY BLoG AcTioN DaY! It's still October 15 here, 7:29pm :-) Rental Property Chicago

Reya Mellicker said...

Pat, it's so good to "see" you!! Let's get together sometime soon. Yes?

Verily I go. said...

Yes Reya, definitive blog action. BRAVO. Petie the Hun, procures the mic. for you???? I may be less wiggly today. xo.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

sometimes as you beautifully demonstrate even in inaction there is action.

methinks this post truly does constitute being part of the blog action day stream on climate change you have a paragraph that pretty much nails it....

ah sweet reya, you are more of an activist than you think! your ability to critically think about issues such as health care, politics, soul retrieval, etc and then share those thoughts is most definitely a form of activism

onwards and up as some wise inactivist is fond of saying

NanU said...

Great non-activist post! Health care does need a big change, though not necessarily the one that's being legislated now. Decent care for everyone shouldn't be secondary to enriching insurance companies. Perhaps something like we have here in France, where (very) basic care is supported by the state, and extra coverage is up to the individual, would work. Whoever is being paid to provide care, we've got to stop poor people forgoing care altogether or being ruined by it, once they get sick enough to land in the ER.
And when people rail against 'rationing' care, what do they think we have now??

Have a good weekend!