Saturday, May 10, 2008

Glowing in the Dark

Signs of the impending Long Emergency are everywhere I look. In the Boston Globe this morning, two articles caught my eye.

In one story it was reported that mining claims for uranium have increased exponentially in the past few years as the price of uranium has skyrocketed. Most claims are in the western U.S., particularly around the Grand Canyon National Park. Needless to say, environmentalists are concerned, but as threats to the American Lifestyle increase quaint notions like environmental protection will be brushed aside. (Watch as they authorize drilling in ANWR in the next few years.) As the oil runs out, our reliance on nuclear power can only increase.

In another piece, we learn that Amish salvage stores are doing a booming business. These little shops in Amish communities in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana sell items such as packaged food and medicines that have been discarded by big stores because of damage or expired use-by dates. Americans from all walks of life are looking for ways to tighten their belts as energy prices go up and home values fall. Heaven knows, we throw away enough stuff in this society and I like to think that some of it is getting used by somebody. It has also occurred to me that cultures such as the Amish and Mennonites may have a lot to teach the rest of us about how to survive and thrive in a world without fossil fuel. Come to think of it, when the stuff really hits the fan, it might not be a bad idea to settle near some of these folks and watch how they tie their shoes.

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