Year 2, Month 3, Day 22: Merastan Hamara Jai Jai Jai

The Portland (ME) Sunday Herald reprints an op-ed that first showed up in the Washington Post a little while back. Environmentalist Mike Tidwell talks about his decision to invest more heavily in survivalist accoutrements:

WASHINGTON – Ten years ago, I put solar panels on my roof and began eating locally grown food. I bought an energy-efficient refrigerator that uses the power equivalent of a single light bulb. I started heating my home with a stove that burns organically fertilized corn kernels. I even restored a gas-free lawn mower for manual yardwork.

As a longtime environmental activist, I was deeply alarmed by new studies on global warming, so I went all-out. I did my part.

Now I’m changing my life again. There’s a new set of dead bolt locks on all my doors. There’s a new Honda GX390 portable power generator in my garage, ready to provide backup electricity. And last week I bought a starter kit to raise tomatoes and lettuce behind barred basement windows.

Reading it again, I was struck by a significant omission that speaks volumes as to how deeply the Republican one-for-one and none-for-all ideology has permeated even the thinking of people on our side.

Mailed March 13:

Mike Tidwell’s pragmatic response to the reality of steadily-increasing climatic disruptions over the coming decades is correct — but incomplete. In his description of the steps he’s taken to prepare for what will certainly be a time of compounding difficulties, infrastructural disruptions, and interrupted food supplies, he omits perhaps the single most effective thing we humans can do to prepare for disasters we know are inevitable. Where do Mr. Tidwell’s neighbors figure in his plans? In circumstances where any individual or family unit will be terribly vulnerable, a community of people can persevere. While generators, food supplies, and survival skills are necessary in times of crisis, our capacity for cooperation to extend our influence more widely over time and space may be what rescues us from civilizational collapse. Interestingly, people who reject the notion of the “common good” are overwhelmingly likely to deny the reality of global climate change.

Warren Senders

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