Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
Today the entire Atlanta area is under a code red smog alert. This means that we have polluted the air so badly that it is actually unsafe for anyone to be outside. This is different than a code orange alert in that code orange is only dangerous for our children and older family members. Government officials encourage everyone to stay inside and to refrain from outdoor activities. This gives me pause. Let’s stop for a moment and think about our government’s suggestion. To my ears it sounds more like this: Because the air we all need to survive has been so badly polluted by the burning of fossil fuels everyone should shut themselves inside a building, cooled by the burning of fossil fuels. They should not walk or bike to work or elsewhere. Instead we should all drive our fossil fuel burning vehicles. (This includes you Prius drivers, but more on you later in my article Red Smug Alert...)
This morning as I was riding my bike to work a young girl, driving alone in an SUV with a giant pink Browning rifle logo plastered on the back window honked at me. I was not blocking the road; in fact it happened on a 2 lane highway so there was plenty of room, Not that that should matter anyway, by law bicyclists are given three feet on either side. This, and perhaps the massive amounts of noxious fumes that I had been inhaling for the past 30 minutes inspired me to question; Just how dumb are we as a species? How complacent, lazy and self destructive are we? Survey Says !!!! Very. To our government’s defense, they are just telling the people what they want to hear. They are encouraging us to sit around inside, in the air-conditioning. And to drive our hermetically sealed vehicles around because it’s too dangerous for us to brave the out of doors; let’s swing by the drive through, and pick up some chub cream...I mean Ice cream, eat, feel fat and happy and then sit around and pay to watch commercials for more junk we don’t need. Seems like a great way to get people into more debt. This is true dependence, and true complacency on our part as a society.
To offer a practical, more favorable solution; the message I would rather see from our government would read as follows: Today is a code red smog alert day. This means that we have polluted our air so badly that it has become dangerous to breathe. In an effort to decrease pollution levels we encourage everyone to limit their burning of fossil fuels. This can be done by utilizing mass transit, carpooling, bicycle commuting, limiting energy / electricity consumption, reducing the consumption of meat and purchasing locally produced food items. We should limit purchases of items that have been manufactured unsustainably and in far off places. We should all plant trees.
Unfortunately it is unlikely that a common sense message like this would come from any government because governments as a rule need for us to be dependent on them. If we are all too weak to be self reliant, then we ultimately must count on a politician who is dependent on the money they receive from large corporations (funded by the people) to buy votes and to fund large campaigns. This is vicious cycle that is totally unsustainable. Today on this red smog alert day, let’s try to make some changes. The incentive is not monetary but let’s try to do it for our own health and for the health of our families and the planet. Be the change.
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