Contrary to popular political opinion, human nature does not like change. We know we should be doing things differently but we’re so used to commuting by car, driving anywhere we care to, and living a spread-out lifestyle that we quietly refuse to do anything about it. Kunstler makes a point of our irrational behavior:
Reality is telling us to downscale and get different fast. Quit doing everything possible to prop up the drive-in false utopia and all its accessories. Get local. Tighten up. We have no intention of doing that. The idiocy that passes as informed opinion wants the US money managers to kick out the jambs handing out more money created out of thin air to promote a fantasy called “recovery.”
My parents tightened up when they “retired” to the family farm years ago. Most of their life is now local. They grow flowers commercially, sell to local businesses and at the local farmer’s market, buy locally, and seem content with a far more sustainable lifestyle than most of us live. To be fair, they make an annual trip or two out to the Midwest to visit the grand-kids and check on some leased farm holdings but other than a weekly round trip to an urban market, they rarely get much farther than ten miles or so from the farm. Most of us drive farther than that before 8am.
James makes another point that is enlightening:
Every president since Jimmy Carter has acknowledged that there’s a problem with our extreme oil dependency, but none of them have made the short leap to understand that we have a more fundamental problem with car dependency.
The emphasis is mine. Until we reprogram our desire to hit the open road, live far from where we work, and generally jump in the car at a whim, we can’t begin to cure the root of our oil dependency. We have built a mobile society and changing that paradigm will take far more effort than simply improving the average fuel mileage of the vehicles we drive. We will have to accept drastic changes in the way we live to reach a sustainable existence or eventually choke on our own waste and outspend our capacity to produce.
Sounds ugly doesn’t it? What are you willing to change in your life?