Less Than 100 Years

Maybe there is an order to life: an existence on some level that corrects the types of behavior that are not so good for the long term existence of a species, maybe any species. I can't tell you the number of times I have turned over a garden trying to get things right each year, only to have the seasons throw something new at me.

I once drove over 11,000 miles across the western half of the United States writing a book and searching for a place that didn't exist any where but inside my head. But, just maybe that is where the future for any one of us exists, or at least begins.

It is easy to believe in illusions rather than realities, to shove aside the truth in favor of an illusion.  We want to know that the sun still shines and the rains still fall and the moon still rises.  There will come a time when life as we know it is no more.  Hopefully that is a long time off, but it does not mean we should put off preparing for catastrophe.

In the near term, I have great concerns for the water situation here in Texas and in other states.  Droughts have assisted in the collapse of civilizations before; there is no reason to think it won't happen again.  There may come a time when we need the power of the federal government to ensure our survival as a nation in a way that can only be done by vast organizational capabilities.  (Such may be the case if the drought we are in now destroys this country's  breadbasket someday.  At some point we are going to have to have a way of moving vast quantities of water from one state to the other to offset damage due to droughts in much the same way the interstate highway system is necessary to move vehicles and people.)

Oil is another issue that will be a problem in the next one hundred years.  The fact that so much drilling is occurring in the United States should tell us the final push to utilize this resource here has begun.  Thankfully there are other resources being developed.  But the core of what has to change is the scorched-earth tactics that have been at play for far too long.  Unless we quickly develop the  ability to acquire resources from space, and refine them to our needs, we are going to be in trouble.  The alternative is that new discoveries, which scientists have been working on, lead to new forms of power. What should be set in all of our brains, currently, is that we have less than 100 years to get it right for future generations.

I've learned a lot about living out in the countryside over the last decade.  I've watched the animals and plants come and go, forests expand and briars force them to contract.  I've seen years when the ponds filled and fish thrived and a few periods when nothing remained but mud or dust.  In some years the mice and rats ate everything in sight, the coyotes thrived and ruled the night.  There have been days in the winter when travel was impossible and electricity could be out for some time.  And once a glancing tornado took down tree after tree but spared the house.

The lesson in all of this is that environments change.  We must be willing to change with them.