Monday, December 22, 2008

Some Lifestyle Characteristics of Homo Sapiens Sapiens

I read through some comments on the last post by Jim Kunstler. Someone, who said they had been to our website wondered what we are trying to promote. "After all," they said, "not everyone can live in the boonies." I agree with that observation, at least short term. For most of human history, all humans probably did in fact live in areas we might now call the "boonies".

David Holmgren, co-founder of Permaculture, observes that humans know how to live sustainably and have done so as indigenous tribes for most of human existence. From the perspective of deep time, civilization is a short term phenomenon. From one important perspective, it is accurate to observe the beginning of civilization as the beginning of ecological overshoot for humans. Civilization marks the initiation of mass scale conversion of diverse biomass to human biomass. And while many other species may also do the same intermittently, there is always the pulsing of ecosystems. Included in the cycle is not only the expansion, but the contraction and then, hopefully, stabilization. My sense is we humans are about to enter a contraction phase. Who knows where it stops. Based upon scientific study of the human genome, apparently we have suffered through at least one near extinction event previously.

It is only in the past few years of my fifth decade of life that I have begun to perceive the brevity of our lives and some of the multigeneration trends operating in the background. The next two or three human generations will see significant changes in the culture of humans. Will we have wars, disease, and mass famines? Will we develop eyes that can see, and understand the "Law of Life" (Daniel Quinn)? Might we undertake programs of voluntary simplicity and population reduction on a global scale? Might we relocalize our food production with organic methods? Some of the possible solutions we can label "enlightened" with the potential for leaving a reasonable Earth for future generations: others are a continuation of the record of human history and leave an Earth much compromised for the future. What kind of Earth would you like to leave to the children of the future?

So, what are we trying to promote at EntropyPawsed? I maintain the question is answerable from the information and links posted on the website. But I have also tried to provide a short answer here. We are trying to promote the development of lifestyles, the yield of which leaves a reasonable world for the children of future generations. We love the beauty and solitude of our West Virginian valley. We feel blessed to be able to live here, and think it is a great place for folks to visit and learn skills and ways of being they can bring back to their own communities so we can all do our own part, in our own ways, towards this work.

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