Monday, June 9, 2008


There's a particular form of gardening called "guerilla gardening", defined as gardening on land not owned by you, without permission. The point of it is to improve the land either by productive vegetable gardening or by beautifying the area - to the benefit of everyone - without waiting for consent from the person/entity who neglected it in the first place. I love this concept. I think it epitomizes what needs to happen here in the face of climate change and peak oil energy descent: taking matters into our own hands; improving the world, without permission.

If we wait for some Manhattan Project or intelligent (!) coordinated (!) government action, we are lost. Small groups of people experimenting with new ways of life, with simple technologies, spreading different ways to do things, and becoming a critical mass of people demanding change - this sounds more likely to get things done. It's not a Grand Plan. It's messy and experimental and incremental.

The point is that there is not going to be "one right way" to fix these problems. There are so many different pieces of the puzzle. If we can, we should work with what we have and use the least amount of effort to get the most return. There will be different solutions for different geographies, different solutions for different ages, and for different economic classes, and for different weather patterns. The tomato that thrives in Georgia will wither in Wisconsin; the sun oven that is a miracle in Arizona may stink in Seattle.

So don't wait for a savior. Get done what you can, and don't be afraid to think like a revolutionary - you'll get more done that way. And who knows, it might even be exciting.

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