September 29, 2014

Will Simple Living Collapse the Economy?



One argument used for not living simply is that if people buy less the economy will collapse. Shopping is seen as doing your patriotic duty. What a scam. I say that it looks like the economy is collapsing anyway, regardless of what we do. 

Deregulated capitalism along with the concept of endless growth on a finite planet has taken us as far as we can go - the planet is tapped out. Consuming as usual will only accelerate our demise.

"We tend to regard our greed, anger and delusion as our friends. Then again, we live in a society where everybody takes it for granted that people are going to be greedy, angry and deluded; and the society is arranged to take advantage of that. 
How many times have people complained to me 'Well, if you live content with very little, the economy is going to collapse'. 
Well, if the economy is based on anger, greed and delusion, maybe it should collapse. It is causing people to do unskillful things, to think and act in unskillful ways. 
So the things you "have to do" to get ahead, if they are done out of greed anger or delusion, you are better off not doing them. Because they have long-term consequences down the line." 
- Ajahn Geoffrey
People who are paying attention, and who love this planet, are cutting consumption for the greater good of those living today, and for those to come in future generations. As individuals it is time to tackle our greed, anger and delusions and build a better  system based on compassion for all life.

Humanity has such a capacity for love and caring for each other. The only economies that will survive will be the ones based on this capacity. 

September 27, 2014

Sunrise

Sunrise from our home on the hill spills hope all over the place.

At our last home on the west coast I witnessed about 3000 sunsets. Many of them were stunning and spectacular. But sunsets have a bit of a negative reputation. Sunsets signify endings and are slightly melancholy in nature, as in “one's sunset years”.

Sunrises are another thing all together. Sunrises symbolize beginnings, newness and the limitless potential each day brings. There is nothing more promising than a sunrise as you see hope itself rising on the horizon.

Here on the east coast we are perfectly situated to see sunrises. Since we have no window coverings, the morning sun comes in uninhibited to rouse us from our sleep. It beckons and gently cajoles us out of bed to greet the new day.

When we started NBA back in 2008 it looked to me like the beginning of the sunset years of environmental and soul destroying capitalist consumerism's reign. We decided then to go with a sunset image for the banner for our blog. Today we are more optimistic.

The end of consumerism is the beginning of better ways of living. The new sustainable age that we are now building together is based on hope and love. Like a sunrise.

We hope that our banner conveys a sense of hope and optimism as we learn, or relearn, more gentle ways of living together on our fragile planet.

September 26, 2014

The Meaty Mondays Pledge

"We endorse eating us only one day a week... or less. Thank you."


I was thinking about Meatless Monday's the other day. It is a day that one pledges to forgo meat in order to improve the health of individuals and the planet. Not mentioned is how not eating meat improves the lives of the food animals as well.

 But as far as human and planetary health goes, Meatless Monday Global says:

"Skipping meat one day a week is good for you, great for your nation’s health, and fantastic for the planet."

Of course they are right, and I think it is an excellent campaign. It was even endorsed by the recent People's Climate March.

But what if we reversed it and made Meatless Mondays into Meaty Mondays, or Meatfull Mondays? Someone making this pledge would only eat meat on Mondays, and enjoy vegetarian meals the rest of the week.

If skipping meat one day a week is good for you and the planet, imagine what eating meatless for six days a week would do. Good health would break out all over the place, and devastated ecosystems would start to heal.

Cows would moo contentedly in fields until a ripe old age.

I wonder how many people would make the Meaty Monday pledge in order to improve personal health as well as the health of ecosystems and food animals?

Some Meaty Facts
"When you reduce your meat intake, you minimize water usage because the production of beef requires 1,850 gallons of water, while the production of vegetables requires 39 gallons of water. 
And when you reduce your meat consumption, you reduce your carbon footprint because beef production creates 30 kg of greenhouse gas per kg of food, while carrots, potatoes, and rice require .42, .45, and 1.3 kg respectively." - source
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