I don’t see how we Americans can continue living as we do.
Let me explain: I drive around town and see teenagers driving BMWs, Hummers, and other luxury vehicles. Everyone walks around with a smart phone. We use vast amounts of water and fuel and other resources and then blithely toss them into the garbage as soon as anything with them stops working.
And I think: Can we really afford to do this? Are we really this wealthy? Or are we living on borrowed money, on the backs of overseas workers doing dirt-cheap labor, and on the erosion and slow ruination of our farmland?
Truly our abilities and resources seem vast. Yet just a few weeks ago fires raged toward Colorado Springs, a major city, and suddenly it seemed as if we would not be able to stop them. For 400 families or so, we weren’t able to stop them and their homes were torched to the ground. It was almost an affront to us: how is it possible that we do not have complete dominion over nature? This event showed another chink in our armor. We are not all-powerful.
But back to my question: Surely it is not possible for us to continue to consume at such a rapacious pace without facing the consequences. We must pay the piper sooner or later.
I look around and see the Hummers and smart phones and fast food, and I am starting to disbelieve that this is real. That we can float this, swing it, pay for it, without collapsing. Because our country’s debt is enormous and growing everyday; because other countries (Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc.) are in danger of default; because we as Americans are used to being number one and having every convenience and luxury at our fingertips.
Is the sky falling? I hope not. For the sake of my children more than anyone else. And I have never known anything in my thirty-four years of life but the fast food and convenience and indulgences of a middle-class American. But that doesn’t mean that times won’t change during my life; I think they will. I don’t know what will trigger our decline first, but it seems inevitable that it will happen.
My plan: buy some land; plant a garden; build a straw-bale house; have some animals; do my best to live a more sustainable life.
What do you think: Am I too gloom-and-doom, or too optimistic?