Mr. Elliott, we in this part of the country, endured an ice storm that
resulted in people being without power and access to facilities for 10 days
and more. It is amazing how the human spirit and sense of community gels
during times of turmoil and adversity. Some people were well prepared
mostly older those that have seen adversity and disaster in the past, but
the community came together and not only survived but prospered. Did this
experience change lives? Short term, yes. Did it make people realize the
importance of being able to sustain oneself? Maybe and likely only
fleetingly. What became clear though was that very few are prepared and
able to survive without the wonders of electricity for a lengthy period of
time no matter how well prepared they may be.
We are creatures of habit. The Nearings were forerunners and saw the
importance of self sustenance. The back to the land movement grew but not
in leaps and bounds. The cities continue to grow and their very nature
makes them and those that live within them dependent on the social
structure they provide.
In a worst case scenario, Y2K causes massive disruption. Will it be long
term or a blip? Will it be an inconvenience or a disaster? Will there be
suffering - long term or short term? Will people be prepared? Are you
familiar with Mount Vesuvius (sp?)? Will we return to our societal
dependence on all those things that make us so vulnerable? Will it bring
sustainable practices to the main stream? We can only wait and see. I
don't think society is ready to depart from their cozy reliance on all that
represents prosperity (in the eyes of the majority).
I applaud you Mr. Elliott and I applaud your tenacity. But remember, as a
race we are becoming more dependent and less independent. We have embraced
electricity and technology and greed to the point that it will take more
than the Y2K problem to right the ship. Am I a fatalist? No. Am I a
realist? I like to think that I am. I don't disagree that people should
warn others of the potential problems that the Y2K bug may bring, however,
people have this terrible habit of waiting to see. Are you familiar with
the story of the little red hen?
Can sustainability be packaged in a better light, can it be marketed so
that it becomes mainstream? If it can, I'm all ears.
I also call to your attention a wonderful woman and her need to warn us of
the harms of chemicals used in agriculture. Rachel Carson over 40 years
ago warned us of the dangers in using chemicals. Even now with documented
proof of their linkage to cancer and human suffering have we changed our
Log Cabin Orchard
> From: Gary Elliott <email@example.com>
> To: Kate Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Y2K
> Date: Thursday, January 28, 1999 9:28 PM
> You say that you want to keep your fear at bay. Your fear can be very
> It is panic that will do you in. Soldiers in combat utilize fear, panic
> them useless.
> You live in the US. Land of the individual. A little less individuality,
> lot more coming together of the neighbourhood community you live in will
> Talk to your neighbours and educate them to the possible disruptions you
> all face. Half will laugh at you. No imagination, and an inability to
> that anything but the status quo will occur. Focus on the other half.
> some very good web sites that can help you in planning. Contact me if you
> Understand that the problem we face is mainly a breakdown in the supply
> that we take for granted. But never underestimate the resiliency and
> of the human animal, if they are not in a panic. Utilize this always.
This is an
> opportunity to rewrite the way things are done in our society. I just
> could do it with less aggravation.
> This is my argument with people in the sustainable ag movement who ignore
> Sustainable agriculture is not mainstream, because the mainstream does
> embrace it. Poor packaging, and dulled reception. But this crisis we are
> towards, is an opportunity, if we have the vision and energy to make the
> packaging more attractive. The reception will certainly be sharpened.
> To those you talk to who think the y2k problem is not much of one, well
> little you can do. We here in North America have led very comfortable
> takes some energy, or a crisis amidst us, to get the mainstream to
> basic premises of the life around them.
> Gary Elliott
> Kate Smith wrote:
> > Hello Saneteers,
> > I've been trying to keep up on what's being written on the Y2K topic.
> > Thanks to who ever sent the link to the Scientific American site which
> > contains a mighty fine piece on Y2K. I am at a different computer or
> > send the link out again.
> > Vulnerability. This is exactly what I feel. I live a few miles from
> > city Philadelphia in a house with a yard the size of a desktop. Even
> > I am an active supporter of urban agriculture, it is hard to see the
> > Farms! movement coming to the scale of even feeding 2% of our millions
> > Grant we can all grow a bit of our food this summer, a few tomato
> > some herbs. But how will this really help me in the month of January
> > food system can not deliver the massive stream of food that this city
> > consumes everyday? How will this help our many residents that have
> > interaction with the food system other than to stop at the Wawa or
> > Fresh for a tv dinner and chips.
> > I have already had repeated dreams of food riots. Though I am still
> > that all the $$$ and effort people are pouring into the various
> > of the problem will minimize the disruptions. The electricity issue
> > most worried. The consulting firm where I work in New Jersey has a
> > energy consultants whose primary clients are electric utilities. I
> > them talk and it isn't good news. No one knows what happens to the
> > grid if big pieces all go out at once.
> > So those of you who are wonderfully and safely situated on a piece of
> > mother earth that will shelter you and provide you with food, have some
> > compassion for us urban dwellers and the challenges of developing a
> > food system.
> > And I for one would appreciate any information posts on this issue so I
> > keep up, collect ideas, and try to keep this fear at bay.
> > Kate Smith, East Falls, Philadelphia
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