Comments on: Can You Spare a Dime? Why We Could….But Won’t http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Sun, 20 Jul 2008 01:01:12 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: Anonymous http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2592 Anonymous Tue, 18 Sep 2007 18:14:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2592 Bullseye!<br/><br/>I especially got a chuckle about your take on the "gentlemen over at the Oil Drum". Too true, eh. Can't see the forest for the trees. Bullseye!

I especially got a chuckle about your take on the “gentlemen over at the Oil Drum”. Too true, eh. Can’t see the forest for the trees.

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By: Rosa http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2591 Rosa Mon, 17 Sep 2007 13:26:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2591 Thank you so much for this post!<br/> <br/>My one great hope is that poverty moves people to organize themselves, as it did during the Great Depression. Things like the worker-run factories in Argentina make me very hopeful. Right now people have too much to lose to really risk rocking the boat...but that may be changing. Thank you so much for this post!

My one great hope is that poverty moves people to organize themselves, as it did during the Great Depression. Things like the worker-run factories in Argentina make me very hopeful. Right now people have too much to lose to really risk rocking the boat…but that may be changing.

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By: feonixrift http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2590 feonixrift Mon, 17 Sep 2007 03:01:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2590 Thank you for writing this. I always look forward to your posts... They remind me that I'm not nuts, that there a light at the end of this chaos, and most of all that I'm not nuts. Very often, you write what I've been thinking, only with far more eloquence and clarity. I would have a far harder time accepting the data in front of my face if it weren't for your writing. Thank you for writing this. I always look forward to your posts… They remind me that I’m not nuts, that there a light at the end of this chaos, and most of all that I’m not nuts. Very often, you write what I’ve been thinking, only with far more eloquence and clarity. I would have a far harder time accepting the data in front of my face if it weren’t for your writing.

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By: Heather G http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2589 Heather G Mon, 17 Sep 2007 02:21:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2589 This post certainly struck a chord with me too. I'm debating whether or not to continue with certain memberships or not, and/or which ones to keep up. Currently a member of Coop America, Sierra Club, and Union of Concerned Scientists. I think they're some of the more useful and effective organizations, but I've been wondering how effective any of them truly are, in terms of the long view of how the next generations will live. Or maybe supporting them is one of the ways to contribute to improving things for the next generations...<br/><br/>I think I'd still like to contribute to them if we can afford it after the move to Ashfield, but first we have to get our debt as close to zero as we can... how well can you help others if you can't even help yourself? <br/><br/>And of course, we'll be working on getting active in our new community, and they have needs too... sigh. It's never easy, is it? At any scale, limited resources are limited resources, and we simply can't do everything we'd like to do -- or even need to do, perhaps.<br/><br/>btw, I've found some good info on bamboo; I'll post something when it seems more appropriate as a comment to one of your posts. This post certainly struck a chord with me too. I’m debating whether or not to continue with certain memberships or not, and/or which ones to keep up. Currently a member of Coop America, Sierra Club, and Union of Concerned Scientists. I think they’re some of the more useful and effective organizations, but I’ve been wondering how effective any of them truly are, in terms of the long view of how the next generations will live. Or maybe supporting them is one of the ways to contribute to improving things for the next generations…

I think I’d still like to contribute to them if we can afford it after the move to Ashfield, but first we have to get our debt as close to zero as we can… how well can you help others if you can’t even help yourself?

And of course, we’ll be working on getting active in our new community, and they have needs too… sigh. It’s never easy, is it? At any scale, limited resources are limited resources, and we simply can’t do everything we’d like to do — or even need to do, perhaps.

btw, I’ve found some good info on bamboo; I’ll post something when it seems more appropriate as a comment to one of your posts.

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By: BlueSkies http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2588 BlueSkies Sun, 16 Sep 2007 23:18:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2588 Well said - it seems that more people are starting to come to the conclusion that we are in fact going to continue accelerating until we hit the wall, and to more seriously ponder and discuss what that will mean. When I look around, I have great difficulty imagining how the majority of people are going to even begin to cope. I fear the most likely next crisis is a financial one that, with so many in debt over their heads, will result in a large segment of the population becoming destitute or close to it and thus powerless. On the other hand, it is their debt that makes them feel powerless now, and when they hit the wall and have nothing left to lose perhaps then we will see more of them awakening to the new reality and taking an active role in reshaping our culture.<br/><br/>The frustration of being unable to interest otherwise thoughtful and intelligent friends in even the basics of peak oil have made it difficult to envision a future in which the next decade is not much more traumatic than it could have been - but that certainly seems to be where we are headed. Well said - it seems that more people are starting to come to the conclusion that we are in fact going to continue accelerating until we hit the wall, and to more seriously ponder and discuss what that will mean. When I look around, I have great difficulty imagining how the majority of people are going to even begin to cope. I fear the most likely next crisis is a financial one that, with so many in debt over their heads, will result in a large segment of the population becoming destitute or close to it and thus powerless. On the other hand, it is their debt that makes them feel powerless now, and when they hit the wall and have nothing left to lose perhaps then we will see more of them awakening to the new reality and taking an active role in reshaping our culture.

The frustration of being unable to interest otherwise thoughtful and intelligent friends in even the basics of peak oil have made it difficult to envision a future in which the next decade is not much more traumatic than it could have been - but that certainly seems to be where we are headed.

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By: tk http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2587 tk Sun, 16 Sep 2007 22:42:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2587 Once again a thought-provoking post. Thank you. We CAN survive and we will without those little "necessities." It's a matter of how hard we can make it for ourselves, or how much we can get used to it before it happens. Once again a thought-provoking post. Thank you. We CAN survive and we will without those little “necessities.” It’s a matter of how hard we can make it for ourselves, or how much we can get used to it before it happens.

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By: Amelia http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2586 Amelia Sun, 16 Sep 2007 17:52:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/09/16/can-you-spare-a-dime-why-we-couldbut-wont/#comment-2586 It's not just you.<br/><br/>I was a participant in the World Without Oil interactive game this spring; unlike most of the players, I left the apocalyptic scenarios alone and wrote about people trying to keep going, and then trying to play catch-up. Yesterday I reread some of my entries and it <i>terrifies</i> me to see how much of it is happening, right now, with gas prices at $2.70 rather than $5 per gallon.<br/><br/>Several of the cars on our city's light rail system had to be sent back to the factory for upgraded suspensions: so many people have started riding that the cars were sagging under the weight. The local transit system has been completely reordered: routes with few riders have been reduced or cut altogether, while routes such as the one that runs in front of my house now pass the stop every 15 minutes, from 5 am until midnight. As they age out of the system, they're being replaced with electric hybrids (that's been going on for about four years, now).<br/><br/>People here actually voted in favor of a sales tax increase to build a commuter rail system on a bit of right-of-way abandoned by Union Pacific; it meant that the system will go live 15 years ahead of schedule (the northbound service launches early next year; southbound in the summer of '09).<br/><br/>The CHIP program received all the state funding they've asked for; enrollment is open until further notice, and many fewer families are doing the "Do I buy food or take the kid to the dentist this month?" dance.<br/><br/>And yet there are still funds going toward expanding the airport and widening the major highways. Our state's share of the Million Solar Roofs Initiative came to $200,000 (we get 300 days of sunshine a year, and that's it? Are you kidding me?), and the local community garden non-profit is fighting with another non-profit to preserve a neighborhood garden space that's been in use for 25 years.<br/><br/>I don't know, Sharon. Some days it's only the thought of my son that gets me out of bed. It’s not just you.

I was a participant in the World Without Oil interactive game this spring; unlike most of the players, I left the apocalyptic scenarios alone and wrote about people trying to keep going, and then trying to play catch-up. Yesterday I reread some of my entries and it terrifies me to see how much of it is happening, right now, with gas prices at $2.70 rather than $5 per gallon.

Several of the cars on our city’s light rail system had to be sent back to the factory for upgraded suspensions: so many people have started riding that the cars were sagging under the weight. The local transit system has been completely reordered: routes with few riders have been reduced or cut altogether, while routes such as the one that runs in front of my house now pass the stop every 15 minutes, from 5 am until midnight. As they age out of the system, they’re being replaced with electric hybrids (that’s been going on for about four years, now).

People here actually voted in favor of a sales tax increase to build a commuter rail system on a bit of right-of-way abandoned by Union Pacific; it meant that the system will go live 15 years ahead of schedule (the northbound service launches early next year; southbound in the summer of ‘09).

The CHIP program received all the state funding they’ve asked for; enrollment is open until further notice, and many fewer families are doing the “Do I buy food or take the kid to the dentist this month?” dance.

And yet there are still funds going toward expanding the airport and widening the major highways. Our state’s share of the Million Solar Roofs Initiative came to $200,000 (we get 300 days of sunshine a year, and that’s it? Are you kidding me?), and the local community garden non-profit is fighting with another non-profit to preserve a neighborhood garden space that’s been in use for 25 years.

I don’t know, Sharon. Some days it’s only the thought of my son that gets me out of bed.

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