Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Yep, I'm still here! Between the "holiday season", work demands, and the various unbidden excitements of the economy--global, local and personal--I have found no time to write as I would otherwise have liked, about many things. This hasn't stopped me from collecting a lot of good stuff which I intend to organize and trickle out in the next few weeks, although I have learned that it is pointless to wait until some future point "when things are less crazy" because that time never comes.

Looking back at my efforts in this space I realize that, as a relatively new blogger, I still have much to learn and there are many things I want to change and, ideally, improve.

In the meantime, please accept my thanks for reading and ocassionally commenting on these disparate tidbits and screeds. I especially wish to thank those of you that have subscribed; you give me encouragement to continue posting and some relief that I am not merely talking to myself as if in some delusional reverie.

I take comfort in the lengthening of the days and the promise of Spring's rebirth. This year I also await a political rebirth and cautiously hope also for a rebirth of a deeply reflective and self-aware consciousness. We cannot continue uncritically on a path of unsustainable existence.

John Michael Greer wrote another fine piece today, cautioning against a naive belief in some kind of manifest destiny stemming from the comforting but irrational notion that history has a purpose, an evolutionary arc that leads us ever onward to an improved human condition. It doesn't.
Thus there’s a fine irony in the insistence by so many people these days that evolution will shortly relieve us of the necessity to deal with the consequences of our own mistakes, and get history back on track to their imagined goal. They’re right that the historical changes under way now are evolutionary in nature; their mistake lies in thinking, to put the matter perhaps a bit too harshly, that evolution is some sort of cosmic tooth fairy who can be counted on to leave a shiny new future under the modern world’s pillow to replace one rotted away by three centuries of extravagant living.
We have been living in extravagant times. It's been quite a ball, but the clock approaches midnight not just on the day or the year, but in a much deeper, perhaps even epochal way. Yes, the sun will come up tomorrow, but will we still be dressed in finery, riding in splendid coaches and enjoying delicacies imported from afar?

Peak oil. Peak resources generally. Instability in Greece and Thailand. Wealth destruction. The fecklessness of the Splurge. Species extinction. Ice caps and glaciers melting. Carbon beyond the tipping point. The Doomers are in full throat. Was Malthus right after all? Will food riots and wars over water be the theme of this century?

There is much work ahead of us, and despair is not an option. While I work on some small efforts to create technology that may help I know it will take much more than that, and not just the making of new contraptions better suited to the coming age. We need to not just act, but also to think and to believe differently. We are past the point where incrementalism is much help; evolution will take too long. More importantly, our vast, complicated, and interconnected society has blinded us to the necessity of doing ourselves. Do not think you can continue on as you have been, and somehow, someday, somewhere, someone will invent a wonderous technology, galvanize a movement or discover something--anything!--that will let us exhale and go back to whatever it was we are doing. The calvary isn't coming, or rather, we are the calvary. It's time to ride. Are you with us?

If you are on Twitter please consider following me @cleyerle. You can also find me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Plaxo. Ping me should you ever be in the area and we can have some nice sludgy coffee together; I enjoy meeting and learning from new people.

May the coming year bring you strength of heart, clarity of vision, confidence of purpose, power of imagination, stamina of perseverance, and resourcefulness in every meaning of the word.

Yes we can. Yes we must. Yes we will.
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