Monday, August 02, 2004

This Abundant Earth

  • Image courtesy of

  • For some time now I have been meaning to write about abundance.

    We live in a world of plenty, yet people go to bed hungry all over the world. We live in a world rich in energy, yet we rely on the limited resources available to us in the forms of coal, oil and natural gas. Over 3/4 of the surface of the planet is water, but we are now starting to realize that with the way we use freshwater means that some people do not have access to clean water and others simply don’t have access to water at all.

    It is clear that we do not understand what the Goddess intended for us. I am no prophet, She has not whispered exclusively into my ear about what Her intent was. Nonetheless, I believe that I can suggest better ways to live. Ways which will result in us leaving a smaller footprint upon the earth and give us what we need while leaving more for those who will come after us.

    Our world economy is built upon the idea of allocating scarce resources to meet limitless needs. In fact, that is the definition of economics that I was given in college economics on the first day of class (I know it was the first day, I never attended again except for the exams. Rather disappointingly I got only a B).

    I believe this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the world.

    Yesterday I was driving home and passing house after house after house after neighborhood after neighborhood after neighborhood in the Richardson/Garland suburbs of North Texas. Overhead the sun was beating down viciously. The thought occurred to me that all of these roofs should be covered in solar panels.

    The solar panels we have today are not very efficient, I believe that the best of them uses only about 15% of the energy that hits it from the sun, and that is at its best. The panels are expensive, as are the batteries, etc. But wait—why are the panels so expensive? Not enough solar panels are sold for mass production methods to drop the costs. Why aren’t enough solar panels sold? Compared to oil, they are an expensive way to generate energy.

    The flaw in the logic above is apparent. We would rather depend on a non-renewable, multi-polluting source of energy than invest in solar. Less money is invested in research into solar energy than is put into trying to find more of the limited resource of oil. As a result of the lack of research, solar energy remains expensive and inefficient.

    Can you imagine all the homes in the parts of the United States where appropriate (where exposure to the sun justifies the investment) all having solar panels all over their roofs? Now imagine all the flat, open roofs over grocery stores, hardware stores, malls, all over all the roofs of businesses covered in solar panels. Costs go down because of the availability of mass production and are amortized into the cost of the house or building.

    If we did just that, I bet we would be well on the way to being able to afford to tell the Saudi royal family to shove it.

    We live in an abundant world. Our Creatress has given us plenty. It is largely an issue of stewardship of resources, of developing ways of thinking that allow for limitless expansion. I do not believe the Goddess intended for us to fight all of our lives simply to get enough to live on (the vast majority of the world) or to devote our lives to getting “our share” of big screen television, luxury SUV’s, and massive houses in gated communities (the 1st world). Both of these alternatives propose lives with little room for spiritual development and are rooted in selfish concerns.

    Sooner or later I think we are going to have to abandon the concept of private property as it currently exists and abolish the concept that a corporation is a person in the eyes of the law. It is my belief that these two concepts have led to a fundamental misapprehension of creation as a place where we must take from another to prosper and where doing well happens at the expense of others.

    This probably sounds insane, but I will leave it as is. I think it is a statement of ideals worth striving for.

    Goddess, I am going to need Your help today because I am going to be trying to stay sober all day long and I know from experience that I cannot do this alone. I am inviting You to manage my will and my life today. You are welcome in me and to me; body, heart, mind and soul. May I be of service to my fellow humans. Thank You Brigit. Blessed Be.