Wednesday, January 26, 2011

rise 34

“When I feed the poor, they call me a saint, but when I ask why the poor are hungry, they call me a communist.” ~ Dom Helder Camara

Have you ever wondered how our current society interacts with politics, business, the defense department (i.e. the attack department) and sustainability? For an amazing perspective, read Endgame by Derrick Jensen, but be prepared to view society in a different light.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.” ~ Mohandas K. Gandhi

“The Amish have thought long and hard about tractors and decided that tractors would erode their community. They think tractors would lead to larger and larger farms: farms that would eventually need trucks. And as horses became less useful, members would face an even greater temptation to buy cars. Cars aren't evil - the Amish will travel in someone else's, if need be - but they help break down the fabric of social and economic life: suddenly people are living farther apart, and they have a big new expense to meet. Meanwhile, horses are cheaper, they create their own replacements, and they don't force you into dependence on oil supplies, or spare parts, or mechanics. And horses have some intangible value, too. … instead of the ear splitting diesel roar there was quiet enough to talk.” - Bill McKibben in Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age

For those looking to save a few (thousand) bucks and reduce your environmental impact, consider that the average car owner in the US spends roughly $9,500 per year to purchase, register, fuel, maintain, & insure their vehicle. Compare that to the cost of owning & maintaining a bicycle and get ready for early retirement (or at least earlier). And for those who don’t want to worry about purchasing & maintaining a bicycle, there are now bike sharing programs in many major cities, including B-Cycle for my Denver brethren (

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Likely you’ve heard of “blood diamonds”, but have you ever thought about “blood electronics”? Check out the below link to see if the companies you buy from are striving to end violence in the Congo by cleaning up their mining & supply chains. If you’re up for taking the next step, go ahead and call the companies to ask for a change.

Smile, think, laugh & love!