Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Local Grouch Only One Who Knows
I’m posting a scan of a cartoon by Michael Phillips from the Summer, 1977 issue of CoEvolution Quarterly. The theme for that issue was “voluntary simplicity,” and these three panels became a beacon for me. I e-mailed Phillips, asking for permission, but he didn’t get back to me. Probably an oversight.
The panels say, “The first year of ecology I changed my spending. More services and less products. I got Rolfed, saw a psychiatrist and hired a gardener.” "The Rolfer, the psychiatrist, and the gardener then bought summer homes at Lake Tahoe." "The second year I saved my money at Citizen's Savings." "Then I found out Citizen's is the biggest lender on condominiums at Lake Tahoe." "The third year I gave the money I didn't spend to my church." "Now they're building a retirement home at Lake Tahoe." "I know what to do now." "I'm reducing my income."
In modern language, your income determines your carbon footprint. Scary. A well meaning westerner has a choice between hypocrisy and marginalization. Blessed Saint Garrett Hardin, pray for us.
Decades later, I’ve thought of an exception. If you could divert a large income to developing a just and sustainable world, the large income is okay, but that itself is a vocation, and skimming is cheating.