Rabbit makes me rant. This is a good thing actually. Crystal has invited me to talk at his social movements class and when i pressed him for details about what he was interested on me presenting about, he simply replied “i want you to shock them.”
This got me thinking while Rabbit and i were out walking the dog along he scenic Western Drive of Santa Cruz California. I thought back to the message that i want to push, which was first framed by the McDonogh presentation a year ago, that recycling is very nice, but you should be spending at least that much time figuring out how to better share things.
And more powerfully, that the problem with the vast majority of environmental action is that it requires real sacrifice. Recycling takes some time, biking instead of driving is generally slower and less convenient than drive a car, growing your food w/o pesticides is far slower than simply buying commercial produce at the local supermarket. But the place where the biggest payoff is, is in figuring out how to share things. We have 17 cars at Twin Oaks our default world counterparts have 77 cars. This is a huge savings, so you can work much less, but more importantly if we cut global manufacturing by 4/5ths, we could dodge climate change and not hit the wall with peak oil so hard and so soon.
So central to this rant is that the hard thing to change is your own mind. You think what you should be doing is recycling or gardening – and those are important, but they are far less important that figuring out that about 95% of your personal material property sits idle 95% of the time. If you are not working on this part of the problem, you are just another well meaning environmentalist who will watch the world burn.
And the very interesting central point here is the only thing you really have to change is your mind and your social relationships to make this be different (at financial advantage to all involved). So why dont we collectively share more? What a good question, i have some snarky replies, but they dont feel like they add much to the discussion right now.
The name of this post comes from an offer i make to my intimates, usually early in our connection. You can take anything i have, forever, without asking. Leave a note if you think i am going to miss it. This is the lazy way i show up for sharing.
Part of my typical Twin Oaks tour rant goes like this:
If you believe in climate change, or peak oil, or the limits of finite resources on the planet then your really only have two choices. You can try to convince people from rich countries to consume radically less (trust me this is a hard sell) or you can get folks to shift their ownership patterns to be more efficient in their use by sharing things.
I get that i am decades ahead of my time with this message. But i like being right, so i will keep pitching it.
If i cant get my radical solutions, except here on the commune, i can be happy about liberal things which are happening elsewhere. Here is a recent European effort. These two miles of tunnels were built for noise abatement (not protection from trees as this article claims) and designed to support these 16,000 solar panels providing enough electricity to power 4,000 trains.