27 March 2006

Humans Try...


Sustainable living by individuals in this culture is a practice. It's like eating kosher or sitting zazen--it's not going to get the whole planet anywhere, but it puts the individual in the right frame of mind and is therefore a crucial first step.

I am almost done with The Weather Makers, and am increasingly disheartened (no, angry) with the way it collapses into apocalypse and Chicken Littleism. What is one to do with all this anxious drama? It's the exact opposite of doing something, even if that something seems too insignificantly small a gesture.

Some good news for Monday morning. Business is getting it faster than government. Wal-Mart is getting into the organic foods biz. (is this going to ruin organic food or revolutionize farming?) Green Technology jobs are in demand. And the insurance industry totally gets it and has for many years. This factoid is from The Weather Makers: huge insurance comapnies like Swiss Re are denying coverage to businesses that are not pulling their weight in terms of carbon footprint reduction.

Oh, and some bad news about the value of practice. Half-assed Buddhists all over Cambodia, Taiwan and Thailand are missing the point of karma and spreading bird flu in the process. Empty-but-well-meaning gestures can do more harm than good, but at this point I say yes to the discipline and discernment that practice requires.

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