03 March 2008

Plan B for a reasonable life (in theory)

It's becoming pretty obvious that Plan A isn't going to work out. That's the plan where every capable human being seeks employment to earn income to buy stuff. The more income, the more stuff, the better. According to the Plan, all these capable human beings should travel to said employment in their own motor vehicle, or staring into the armpit or crotch (depending on whether you've "lucked" into a seat or not) of a fellow human being on the bus, desperately scheming to one day escape the bus for a single occupancy motor vehicle. At the same time, every fertile person on the planet should procreate to the absolute limit of their ability to feed, dress and amuse their offspring. This ensures a continual increase in the demand for cheap crap from China and high fructose corn syrup from Monsanto. Of course, the limits of our ecosystem have already been breached as evidenced by the number of days a year one should not drink the water, breathe the air, or eat a fish (or cow or spinach salad).

If you're feeling brave visit The Automatic Earth for continuing coverage of the global financial meltdown and Life After the Oil Crash for an excellent primer on peak oil. Be warned, you won't like it. I told you.

So what's Plan B? *

Warning: Reading the rest of this post will subject the reader to anti-civilization proselytizing. Proceed at own peril.

How about for a start, let's everyone stop reproducing, especially for the purposes of creating any kind of New Jerusalem. Unfulfilled religious urges could perhaps be relieved, fully clothed, in some kind of beatitude-inspired activity (substitute the appropriate religious reference of your choice). A very modest (by North American standards) lifestyle for every person on the planet can be enjoyed equally by about 1 billion people. Starting now, if everyone limits themselves to one or no kids, we'll be a billion in a hundred years.

Next, let's drop the idea that humans have more rights than other creatures, and rich humans have more rights than poor ones. There are some pretty severe ramifications of this one. Read Endgame for more on this. And I don't need to know what this book inspires you to do.

How about learning how to sleep well even before having secured the financial solution to every possible problem for the rest of your life? This one is a tough one for those of us who reside firmly in the middle class and have been subject to a lot of preaching on the subject.

And the last one is easy. Consume less crap. Less plastic junk from China, less processed food, less stupid entertainment. Just say no.

That's it. More of an attitude shift than a changing lightbulb plan. Stay tuned for progress reports.

*Disclaimer: The author of this post has a firm grip on the theoretical but the practice, well, not so much. A critical examination of the author's own lifestyle will demonstrate an aptitude for hypocrisy not seen since the PTL Club shut down. Witness my current employment with the not-for-profit privatized safety critical corporation. For shame. And I've never destroyed a dam.


  1. That privatized, safety-critical organization wouldn't be Nav Canada, by any chance, would it?


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. b sayeth:
    "A fellow inmate?"

    Indeed. At the lab.

  4. OSR. Welcome to the Shack.

  5. b sayeth:
    "OSR. Welcome to the Shack."

    Thanks much. Although in Engineering, my sympathies lie with the end users. Gets me funny looks all the time.

  6. the link to the automatic earth in the article does not work

    thnx for the mention, though

  7. Ilargi,

    The link works now.

    You guys scare the crap out of me, but thanks for TAE.



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