Friday, September 24, 2004


There is no substitute for energy. The whole edifice of modern society is built upon it…It is not “just another commodity” but the precondition of all commodities, a basic factor equal with air, water and earth.
--E. F. Schumacher, 1973

Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.
--Kenneth Boulding (ca. 1980)

Sooner or later, we sit down to a banquet of consequences.
--Robert Louis Stevenson, ca. 1885

Well, I finished reading the book, and I think I'm going to hang on to it and use some of its many worthy quotes in upcoming political science papers. And, I'm feeling particularly humble and inspired. Having just read a book about the limitations of our resources and the problems we are now facing as a species, in every area of our lives, whether we realize it or not, I feel that what Heinberg says is true:

"If ever we have had an opportunity to prove our specialness as a species, our ability to collectively exert moral and intellectual faculties to overcome genetic programming and enviromental conditioning through intelligent self-limitation, it is now." [Italics mine.] (Heinberg 241)

But change is slow and change takes time. It is going to be imperative to adopt a mindset that some of us may not be around the see the change happen that we want to create. Actually, it will be imperative to adopt a whole new mindset to the one we're used to: one that encourages co-operation, that realizes resources of most types are finite, that life at a slower pace is more beautiful and fulfilling than that lived with no time for anything but freeways, traffic, advertisements, running from one thing to another.

And speaking of that, I must now get myself to campus, walking along leafy-tree-lined Kings College Road, red leaves scuffling the sidewalk, staining the concrete in an impermanent, brown way, other students walking as well, the sun shining and a slight breeze ruffling leaves. I have Biology (we're learning of the parts of the cell, nuceoli and mitochondria and all that) and then Latin (sic idur at astra!) and then it is a Friday afternoon with friends.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. --Max Ehrmann, Desiderata.

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