You and I can replace our light bulbs and shop local and recycle and reuse and even conserve energy and natural resources like a champ.
But if we don’t change the drivers that churn Earth matter into profit as fast as possible (the Growth Economy/Consumption Machine model) — and in so doing,Â consider corporate shareholders’ well-being ahead of ecosystems and forests and coral reefs and human communities like yours and mine…
Then it’s game over. We have almost used up all the time we have, and have not laid the axe to the root of the tree.
Do good. Recycle. Conserve. Shop local.
But unless we revolt against the Consumption Machine in much less than a generation, it will consume the consumers. What a perverse end to the story, don’t you think?
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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.
Huge change starts small, Fred. Think of gay marriage, how fast that happened. Don’t despair, just keep pressing forward locally.