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Everything is Connected

The answers to all of your problems are connected.... and so is everything else....... 

Learn to live more completely, more fully and to become the change you want to see in the world by simply making thoughtful informed choices every time you choose to do anything......... 

Click "Read More" to have a gander at my exploration of this idea~ 

Earth Living Skin of Life is Thin

We need to be thoughtful and realize that Earth is actually really small in the grand scheme of things: our tiny planet is but a speck of dust in the incomprehensibly enormous universe. We can easily degrade and poison the fragile thin layer of living life on the skin of the Earth with engineering synthetic agents of death, sickness, pain, pollution and suffering. If you thought the development of nuclear weapons had a disgusting impact on increasing toxicity for life on Earth's surface, then take a look at these facts.

To quote one of my favorite books and favorite authors, Thom Hartmann writes in "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight" the following... 

"In the 24 hours since this time yesterday, over 200,000 acres of rainforest have been destroyed in our world. Fully 13 million tons of toxic chemicals have been released into our environment. Over 45,000 people have died of starvation, 38,000 of them children. And more than 130 plant or animal species have been driven to extinction by the actions of humans. The last time there was such a rapid loss of species was when the dinosaurs vanished. And all of this just since yesterday."

"According to the UN Analysis of Global Ecosystems, half of the world's wetlands have vanished in the past century, half of the planets forests are gone, 80 percent of grasslands and 40 percent of the planet's land surface suffer from soil degeneration, and 70 percent of the planets major marine fishers are depleted. They add The world's freshwater systems are so degraded that their ability to support human, plant and animal life is greatly in peril." 

It absolutely astounds me that anyone can be aware of these facts without changing their wasteful behaviors: those culture related choices that we choose (what we drive, what we eat, what we buy, what we live in, where we live, how we play, what we do/ think about, how much we move; how we choose to live......

Misinformed Choices

Behind every choice we make exits a long history of ideas and experiences that inform our choices. People often make choices without a balanced understanding of the choices they are making. The mortgage market failures in America that underscored the global financial collapse of 2008for example, were the result of a system of people making sequences of poorly and under informed choices. America's economic problem with outsourcing and foreign oil are the result of a long history of misinformed or underinformed choices.

"Be the Change You Want to See in the World" ~ Mahatma Gandhi : a quotation posted to twitter by a friend that I watch.... this statement eloquently conveys the core of my thematic axioms about the solutions to the problems we are collectively facing.

The solution to foreign oil is fuel conservation through people's choices to commute in ways that reduces fuel consumption; be that in a fuel efficient car/ motorcycle or by riding a bus or bicycle or walking where it is practical and possible, by combining errands, by choosing to live closer to where they work... by making informed choices that were made after the person paused and thought about it................

Are you making carefully considered choices ? are you being thoughtful? Or are you living like so many making off the cuff impulses driven by internalized synthetic desires that you do not even understand with real costs that are equally confounding?

Can we look ahead to see that resources are becoming more scarce because the Earth is finite and small, and the number of people who are choosing to live more resource intensive lifestyles is on the rise ?

Do you seriously think the billions of people that live in poverty in Asia and Africa want to keep living in poverty? They see media of what Europeans and American's live like... they see our iPhones and McMansions and Kim Kardashians style Jones'y suburban/ urban lifestyles: they want machines to toil in the dirt for food so that they can be liberated to blog philosophical op-ed materials online on resourcing hogging computers...... :P

The High Cost of Low Prices

The High Cost of Low Prices is not just a documentary about wal-marts wage slave employment practices, it is also a concept that applies to poorly informed choices. The high cost of low prices is also illustrated in people choosing cheaper food (that is coated in pesticides, caked full of corn syrup, preservatives, hormones, artificial flavors, synthetic dye and artificial sweeteners).... they save money upfront on the low prices of these foods, but end up paying a high cost with the sickness and suffering that results from eating trashy junk foods regularly. Well, the sick part, is that everyone ends up paying for these costs to the tune of more than $500 million per day in preventable sickness, illness, diseases and disorders... see "Weight of the Nation" "Forks Over Knives" "Super Size Me" or "The Future of Food" for some examples of what I am talking about.

Driving Debt

How many new vehicles consumers perform a Total Cost Analysis before purchasing that shinny new car? I will break it down for you. If you go out an buy a brand new car in America, and you drive that car about 12K miles per year, you can figure that will cost you about $8000 per year (you have to factor in the depreciation cost of the vehicle, the fuel consumption, tire consumption, insurance costs, oil changes, other recurring maintenance/ services and repairs, ect. ect.) On the low end, people who buy fuel efficient used vehicles at a greatly discounted price, can operate them 12K miles per year for around $2000, on the high end some people spend north of $2500 per month on vehicles (exotics)/ if they are used as daily drivers.... see Ferrari et. al. You can figure anything between $0.25 and $1.50 per mile, where the average new passenger vehicle rings in something like $0.45-$0.75 per mile for its owners/ operator.

If we add in all of the hidden/ no obvious costs associated with what a vehicle emits out of its tail pipe (cancer causing, brain damaging, smog forming, asthma triggering particulate/ fumes and vapors.) - then every gallon of gas burned creates about $2 worth of negative health care costs. If we wrapped in all of the impacts associated with vehicle use and foreign oil, each gallon of fuel we use in America costs the US economy about $15. We think we are feeling pain at the pump with $4/gal gas, hold your breath if society stops subsidizing the fuel - for if you had to pay the real costs for each gallon, $4/gal would sound like a fantastic deal..... 

We Only Have One World

Planet earth is one giant sphere of life. When companies like Kimberly Clark dump millions of gallons of dioxins into Puget Sound, they rely on the physical phenomenon of dilution to carry away those toxins by dissolving them into trillions of gallons of sea water.... so where do these dioxins end up ?

Industrialization has brought with it something I like to call the "hidden chemical weapons of progress" : The petrochemical sector and other synthetic chemical companies or companies that use synthetic chemical toxins (see agro-chemical, monsanto, scotts, pharma, fertilizer, pesticide, drug, paint, paper, adhesive, solvent, ect, herbicide, insecticides et. al.), profit off of using the world as a waste dump.

Kimberly Clark & Dioxins 
Corporate Socialism 

Chlorine free, water conserving paper pulp processing is an old technology that releases no dioxins. Why then does a company like Kimberly Clark continue to use dioxin forming paper processing technologies when cleaner, cheaper, more sustainable alternatives exist? The answer exists in the concept of an externality. Kimberly Clark, like so many other companies, places one of their burdens/ costs on Puget Sound: they get away with simply dumping their doxin toxins into large bodies of water, where everyone else is forced to pay for their waste disposal costs.  Their dioxin dumping is relying on the exploitation of shared natural resources to reduce their waste handling costs, and in this way our health and natural resources are being burned with subsidizing Kimberly Clarks profits.... and that is not a free market process... that is corporate socialism gone horribly toxic.....  

The truth is, water conserving chlorine free paper processing uses a little bit more energy since the paper producer actually pays for all of the costs rather than externalizing some of the costs by dumping a waste product from a dirty process into a system where everyone else pays indirectly. Kimberly Clark treats Puget Sounds water as if it had an unlimited buffering capacity for dioxins. Oil companies that flare off energetic fuel/ chemicals in wasteful fume forming noxious emission flame columns are using our shared air/ thin fragile atmosphere to carry away their toxic waste products. At they very least they could recover the heat generated by this flaring for use in their hot processing systems....

Roads of Inequity
Making Others Pay the Costs

When a company like Fed EX drives around heavy trucks that are accountable for %80 of the road wear, are these heavy trucks and their operators responsible for paying for their share of the road wear? No, not yet. Right now, heavy truck operators get to externalize the burden of their truck use (excessive road wear) onto everyone... then we who operate passenger vehicles (which have a relatively minor impact on road wear) end up footing the bill. In this way, these Truck operating companies have externalized one of their impact/ costs onto everyone else.... that is not fair or reasonable, and represents a perversion of the free market. In a real free market, the people who wear out the roads x1a amount per year have to pay for x1a amount of the road repair and maintenance fees every year. Fed Ex and other companies that operate heavy trucks are again benefiting from Corporate Socialism/ Welfare.... do you ever hear the GOP talking about this? Huh Fox, said what ? 

The exploitation of public natural resources, public health and infrastructure for the gain of a private short term profit seeking business entity is a relatively old phenomenon. Unfortunately, the scale of human activity has increased by thousands of percent over the last several hundred years, in what looks like a exponential growth trend. It is because of now huge scale of human activity that the corporate trashing of the commons has become such a visible and obvious problem.

Can Slowing Down Be Better? 

The only thing that really slowed down this explosive growth in unsustainable resources exploitation was the global economic crisis of 2008, which has stagnated from a recession into a stagflation for over 3.5 years now. Minor reductions in resources exploitation and externalization have also been realized through applied technology. Cleaner coal power, more efficient vehicles, reduced factory emissions per unit of stuff produced, improved building energy efficiency, improved agricultural efficiency, improvements in public transportation, the development of wind and solar and geothermal power resources, increasing access to organic food, ect. ect. As more people have access to the information (thank you internet/ social networks), the more people are able to make better informed choices. These more informed choices are finally starting to steer the ship of globalization in a better direction. 

Ask yourself some critical questions....

Will this or that thing that I am about to buy really add value to my life ? 

Do I really need this thing? 

Will I really use this thing? 

Does my existing thing still work? 

Is this thing really affordable to me? 

Do I fully understand that costs of this choice ?

So many people live depressed, stressed out and frustrated, unable to focus or enjoy life completely: feeling like debt slaves beholden to a system that taxes them relentlessly so that they can assemble what was sold as "The American Dream" when in reality such hording/ materialism and vanity is actually at the core of most avoidable financial ruin, debt, stress, anxiety, fear and depression.

Break yourself free from the toxic choices that degrade your experience of life by simply being more thoughtful..... ask yourself....

What am I choosing to fill my lives with?

Our beliefs become our thoughts, our thoughts become our choices, our choices become our behaviors, our behaviors become our characters: we become what we choose, our lives are the products of our choices....

Sure, your situation might suck, but you have a choice in how you look at it. You always have choices to change your situation: it might require extreme uncomfortable or seemingly radical changes but I am confident that a persons choices ultimately direct their trajectory through life. No one said it was going to be easy or fair... nothing is for sure... everything in this world is temporary..... from ashes to ashes and dust to dust: we are made of the living world that we eat and we become part of it again one way or the other in the end.......

Others Have Called Me Out

I have been called a self-righteous hypocrite for posting ideas like the ones above on Facebook in the past. That is why I created this blog. The title of this blog, "Thinking About It" was meant to convey the general theme of the content. I am not here to cast judgement against anyone. Most of my posting are the result of personal reflection to identify inconsistencies in my own life. I too was once a mental slave to conspicuous consumption: my home full of consumer electronic evidence to this effect. When Megan Otto entered my life, she affected my worldview greatly by showering me with priceless love, support and companionship. I am inspired to post these blog posting because I see value in helping others to view the world differently in the way that she helped to transform my worldview with Love and faith in God.

I wonder... 

How can I inspire others to be more thoughtful? to get them to understand that everything is connected?

How can I convey to others that God is Love; that God's illuminating warming informing impact on our lives is the source of everything of real value.

How can I help others to understand that negative emotions are toxic to their health? 

How can get others to vote for the Low Costs of Higher Prices? 

Thinking about it .......

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