There is something that has been bothering me, and it isn’t the eight puppies that we need to find homes for, the hitch that I’ve noticed in Isis’ gait, the lack of snow in the Bitterroot, or the fact that JFK, Bobby, MLK, and Malcolm X were assassinated, all in a relatively short time span and all by men with rather dubious motives, simply for trying to, as Spike Lee put it, do the right thing.
In truth, all those things are bothering me, especially the concerns I have about the dogs, in whom I have a vetted interest and over which I have at least some influence, but this is something else. It’s a simple thing, one that has been a recurrent theme of late, an underlying thread linking a multitude of topics. I found it in a book on permaculture I’ve been reading, and it bubbles to mind whenever I endure another news story about our faltering economy. It has to do with attitude, and, when it comes to human endeavor, attitude is everything.
The instance in the book was a passage about capturing rainwater. The author’s message: Utilize it. Otherwise, it simply goes to waste.
Now wait a minute. If I don’t intercept it, it goes where? Well, someplace. And it does what when it gets there? Well, something.
Likewise, the economy. According to most, it has gone on hiatus. Retreated, like a turtle into its shell. Consumers, the primary drivers of the economy, are no longer spending. So they must be saving, right? Actually, no. Lending? Nope. Investing? No, that isn’t happening either.
Has everyone forgotten that, sunlight and the occasional meteor/spaceflight aside, we live in a closed system? No matter whether we are talking hydrology or economics, the first law of thermodynamics still applies. Money and water can neither be created nor destroyed. They can only be moved around the planet.
Granted, that isn’t exactly true, especially about the money, but for the purpose of this argument it is. Those resources are somewhere, and they are doing something. The real crux of the matter is that, with both sides of the equation being equal, what we do in one place will have a profound influence on things in another. The question is whether it has a positive net effect (for humanity at least) or whether it sets off a cascade of events the consequence of which we cannot even begin to comprehend.
In the case of the economy, it’s pretty obvious. Take away the rainwater and the earth becomes a desert.
Or does it?
According to the International Monetary Fund, in 2009 the gross domestic product of America shrunk at a rate of minus 2.633%. China’s GDP, on the other hand, grew at a rate of 9.096%. That same year, the GDP of Afghanistan and Iraq increased by 22.545% and 4.5% respectively.
On second thought, maybe I should start collecting rainwater. Better than just letting it run off the roof, down the Bitterroot, and across the Pacific to do God knows what.
I wonder, if they could do it over again, whether the Kennedys would keep their mouths shut about Vietnam. And would anything be different if they did.