Sunday, January 4, 2009

Earth In 2050

Ten years living in a paperbag,
Feedback baby, he's a flipped out cat,
He's a platinum canary, drinkin' falstaff beer,
Mercedes rule, and a rented lear.
Bottom feeder insincere,
Prophet lo-fi pioneer,
Sell the house and go to school.
Get a young girlfriend, daddy's jewel

Sheryl Crow, "A Change Would Do You Good"

I remember many years ago, the former WBIR anchor Bill Williams giving a speech at Pellissippi State (as us locals refer to it). One point of emphasis during his speech was that the only thing constant in life is change. I've certainly taken that to heart over the past few years.

I suspect I'm not the only one who thinks for the most part, our daily lives are a little out of whack at times. Basically, especially for the average American, the Yin and Yang are out of whack. This would certainly account for the large number of people in the hospitals as our daily lifestyles are geared towards working ourselves to death during our early years, only to retire to a leisurely life of medicare and social security and who wants that anyways? I just don't see the attraction of spending my so-called Golden Years in constant suffering or rocking back and forth in a rocking chair. So, I learned to be pro-active about my health and I'm still seeking to improve which is not easy to do in our surroundings.

Speaking of our surroundings, it is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. We are always in a rush about everything. A constant rush in our daily lives causes us to produce excessive chemicals in our brains thus speeding up the aging process. It is no different than a car constantly going 90 MPH. It will run out of gas faster and break down more often than keeping a constant speed at say around 60 MPH.

In the 1920's, people made the move to the big cities from rural areas as we started to become a mechanized society. After World War II, the suburbs starting cropping up as people sought to move from overcrowded cities, but not too far out.

How do I see Earth particularly the United States shaping up by 2050? I believe we need to look to the past for some of our solutions such as the time when natural springs were a health remedy instead of everything being solved with pills and surgery. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of the horse or passenger train making a comeback at least on a limited basis. I like the thought of being able to carry on a decent conversation and having a meal that isn't fast food while traveling at the same time.

The combination of geopolitics and the realities of our modern transportation system will cause us to take a long, hard look at facing this crisis head-on. We've wasted decades sitting on our hands and now we have people dying in Iraq over it. I now see people moving away from the suburbs as the realities of commuting to work become too much to deal with. Factor in the cost of trucking foods, commodities and what not across the country and it is already becoming unbearable for many to deal with. I think we are now having to come to terms with this. As the areas that are now suburbs start to dry up, it will be converted to farmland again. This will spur a growth in farmer's markets and food co-ops. The gradual re-design of urban areas particularly in downtown and its immediate outlying areas will have to adapt too. This is already happening in small stages. I wouldn't count out a beloved symbol of our past coming back: the horse. On another stage, alternative fuels, technologies and other factors will come onto the scene. The automobile is not going away.
It is just that we became too comfortable and now we are paying a price for comfort. In all, it will be a society of mixed use since we have now learned the hard way about not putting all our eggs in one basket.

Change is a part of life. Those who are willing to adapt while not throwing away the time-worn emphasis on character and vision will survive and ultimately thrive.

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