There is a great disturbance working its way through the Force today. According to a recent Gallup Poll, the fear of climate change (or global warming) is no longer an issue with the vast unwashed. It’s not that climate change is a low priority issue; it’s that it isn’t even a blip on the radar. Even concern about ISIS rates more notice.
This situation is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue! We must continue to make this topic top of mind. How else will I be able to afford the electric bill on my 30,000 square foot house?
Therefore, I’d like to make a modest proposal. Let’s campaign on returning to the basics. Let’s start praising the lifestyle of the 50s. Not the 1950s where we got into this rat race about conspicuous consumption. The 1850s. It’s the perfect time!
I’d like to turn this into a topic for the nation’s schoolchildren, so teachers out there, please start your classes off with the exercise “What happens if fossil fuels suddenly go away?”
We wake up to clean sparkling air, the birds are singing, and the first thing you notice is how quiet it is. There are no cars and trucks moving along the road. Paradise!
You take a deep breath and head into the kitchen ready to fire up the coffee maker. Except, you have no electricity because the power plant that supplies your house runs on natural gas. Uh. Oh. You should have installed the windmill or solar panels. Dammit!
Never mind, you’ll just fire up the outdoor fire pit. You probably have some wood left over from last winter. You can boil water and fry up an egg. It’ll be just like camping! And it’s got to be healthier than stinking up your house with vegan bacon.
Your wife comes out while you are cooking up breakfast and asks if you can build up that fire. She’s got to do the laundry today, and that’s going to be several hours of back breaking labor. You look at your rapidly dwindling wood pile and make a mental note to order another couple of cords.
Except the phone doesn’t work. No matter, you can walk down to the local hardware store and just talk to them. You can pick up another fire pit while you’re at it. Besides, it’s only 5 miles away, and you could use the exercise.
When you get there after an hour and a half of walking on this lovely day, the store owner tells you that there’s no way a delivery can be made before next Tuesday. He suggests you start cutting down the excess trees on your property, despite the fact that your HOA won’t let you. Otherwise, you better be prepared to start burning your furniture if you want to make a cup of coffee.
Loaded down with handsaws and the last of the shotgun shells, you trudge back home hoping that your wife was able to go to the grocery store. But when you arrive, she’s in the kitchen crying her eyes out. It’s only canned goods at the local Piggly Wiggly. The arugula and free range eggs are no more.
But this is really fantastic! You can get back to the land. Time to plow up the front yard and put in a garden (screw the HOA), and you can write to the hardware store and order some chickens. You can even take the kids’ rabbits. Seriously, they’re an emergency food source. It’s all good.
You and your family manage to make it through the spring and summer, working in the garden, raising the chickens, you’ve even managed to get hold of a pig and cow. And you’ve solved your obesity problem. It takes a lot of energy to stay close to the soil. However, you chopped up the last of the furniture weeks ago, and you’ve pretty much denuded your homestead of trees. And winter is coming.
One day you wake up and realize your daughter is coughing up her lungs, and your boy isn’t too far behind her. You wrap up in your old Northface parka with the broken zipper and make your way to your local doctor’s office to ask his nurse to put you on his visitation schedule. She says she’ll send a runner to him—he’s off delivering a baby about 10 miles away.
In the meantime, your wife has pulled out her great grandmother’s herbal and is trying desperately to identify the appropriate green plants that will soothe your daughter’s cough, find some willow bark to bring down her fever, and maybe something to cure the grunge or itch or some disease that is so old and forgotten, it doesn’t have a name in modern medicine. But this is a great opportunity to help strengthen your immune systems. If the kids survive this, they’ll be golden the next time the plague rolls around.
Living the 1850s lifestyle is the cure for the modern age! We’ll be less obese and have stronger immune systems. Of course, we might starve to death or die from a mild cold. But that’s completely OK. Sacrifice is necessary to perfect our relationship with Gaia.
And better you than me.