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Aug 12 12 9:44 PM

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I try to keep my finger on the public pulse as much as possible-- and the larger mob very often moves like a flock of swallows. . .has the public at large finally woken up to where the world is actually going? It seems to me that very suddenly the ideas that were fringe here 4 years ago are very mainstream. . .

Other feedback on that?

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#1 [url]

Aug 13 12 5:37 PM

I think people are beginning to wake up.
I overheard a conversation in Hilo Walmart today.
Customer to clerk " Do you have any of those emergency /disaster buckets of food and supplies?"
Clerk " They came in one evening in early June and they were sold out by noon the next day. We had 
a pallet or so ordered. Won't be getting anymore in this year."

Also read Kunstler this morning . I especially like the last paragraph.

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#2 [url]

Aug 13 12 7:43 PM

Walmart worker:         You find everything you need today?
Walmart customer:     One disaster bucket please!
WW:                  We're sold out.
WC:                Okay. Well in that case, just the soda...

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#3 [url]

Aug 14 12 3:00 AM

Let's see, when you submit drawings to the Building Department for a new building, they want to see solar hot water on new construction these days.  That seems like even the bureaucrats are trying to be at least a bit more sustainable.

So what are we doing to be sustainable these days?  Have we made much progress in four years?

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#4 [url]

Aug 14 12 4:15 AM

As far as pulse... I'd say cape cod is doing quite well. There r help wanted signs everywhere, macys, bed bath beyond, trader joes... I even heard merril lynch. Taylor swift- singer/celebrity- just bought house near kennedy compound. For 4.9 million.... Down from 14M so I guess that's a slump? Both prices seem very high IMO. Absolutely unsustainable
Word is real estate is picking up here, things selling faster- less reductions..
Went to a restaurant - everything was plastic. So I'd say this side of things is out of touch on many mandatory recyling. But wind farm going in which is a huge deal.
I was humbled tho by someone who hasn't had it easy said he beleives people try and do the right thing. So maybe less cynism is called for? Idk.
Also guys, food is sooooooo cheap here so I imagine it's easy to b optimistic:)

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#5 [url]

Aug 14 12 8:53 AM

Don't watch tv (other than movies from netflix) so my only contact with mainstream media is and the both taken with a grain of salt but the following is what I see via communications with people both on the island and mainland.

Mainland communications:

"The economy will recover as soon as the damn liberals get kicked out of office" (pure hopeium in some R/D dynamic being the solution) combined with a small following to the "go green" mantra ("I'm about sustainability, see I have a prius" as they walk into their climate controlled house, switch on the 60" flat screen, and grab a can of soda flavored chemicals out of their 10 cu foot refrigerator).

One of my monthly tasks at work is to publish a small business journal (advertising machine for the local real estate/insurance agencies mostly) for a small town in southern california (small which is the same population as this whole island lol). All the realtors (realtards?) are publishing articles about how home sales are improving, light at the end of the tunnel etc (while Zillow is showing in the same area that 50 - 70% of the houses are underwater with some as much as 200%). I'm not sure if it's propaganda, they feel it's the truth or what but it's easy to find the facts to counteract their impressions. My boss in the same area says all the sales are cash investors scooping up the repos (consolidation of wealth). She's cut back going out for dinner from 7 days a week to 3 or 4, so that's going green right?

Local Communications:

Local forum had a thread about a new shopping center. Speculation/hopes were a toss up between Taco Bell or Dairy Queen being the best thing to arrive...

Had a BBQ over the weekend, and some UHH students came over. My friend in the group is very much the "live in a tent in the jungle and grow taro" to save the planet type. He's a great guy but I think there is some disconnect between what is possible on an individual level and what is realistic for a society. He had a couple friends that had recently arrived on the island (3 or 4 months) to go to school. In discussing solar I said it works great for providing power to a single residence in a sub tropical sun rich location but is not money efficient yet to support a manufacturing base in the North East US or other climate location. Their response was that we don't need all the manufacturing, we should all live in the jungle and live off the land. I was nice since it was a nice bbq gathering and didn't point out their nice clothes, new car or iphone. In general I realize that they are young and idealistic but I think there is a strong disconnect on what works in the real world vs a solution for a single person. And I hear a lot of their ideas but then it doesn't go past sitting in a fire circle and talking about it. (and it may be just that middle age grumpiness at youth wasting all their opportunities like every other generation lol).

I know a lot of people on here are focused on peak commodities (oil, clean water, clean air, clean soil, food etc) which is the correct thing to be focused on but I think the driving factor will be economics. As long as oil is cheap, toys are cheap, and .gov can continue to get a new credit card each month to give the masses their bread and coliseum games there will be little change in the general public's perspective. Unfortunately due to loss of necessary skills, no capitalization for tools/supplies, and lack of planning it will be too late when that switch happens.

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#6 [url]

Aug 14 12 9:33 AM

Another note, I think do to the economic crisis (both it's severity and length of time) has raised the awareness of peak issues and sustainability. I get less flak from mainstream friends/family for wanting to be self sufficient (I realize that's different than sustainability and peak issues but the general public groups all that crazy hippy gardening stuff in one bucket).

I do not believe the general public has any independent opinion on solutions. Like ciel's post recently they're waiting for .gov or big business to provide a new source or technology that will fix everything once housing prices / the economy returns to "normal". Cause you always go to your drug dealer to get off them right? /cynicism

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#7 [url]

Aug 14 12 6:11 PM

What are you doing in Cape Cod, Ciel?  That's a fun place!  Been hanging at P-town or what?  Eat some lobsters for us!

Considering how crazy things were in the late '00's, it's kinda nice to have this economic slowdown.  It's hard, though, for the folks who got caught in the foreclosure mess.  If folks bought a house to live in and they got it within their means (the actual numbers, not the ones used by folks trying to get you to take out a loan) then those folks are doing fine even if the "price" of their house has dropped.  It has had the benefit of slowing and stopping that crazy construction boom where there was mile after mile of ugly "McMansions".  Those things are vile and they cover up so much of the tiny lots that there is no room for a decent garden.

I think there have been changes made in the past four years.  We now have vegetable gardens in the front yard and the neighbors don't complain.  Some of them seem actually kinda fascinated to see food growing in the yard.  Like it's some sort of odd thing that food comes from plants or something.  There were watermelons across the yard in the middle of summer, now there's pumpkins there.  They weren't as big as I'd hoped, but there's five of them and they are turning a festive orange color.  I hope they are tasty.  The neighbors are still more amazed than upset about gardens in the front yard.

Raised bed gardens are more useful than pink flamingos.  (But we have pink flamingos, too, although they are only out there for festive occasions and not full time)

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#8 [url]

Aug 14 12 6:34 PM

Hearing Brit Hume interview w Paul Ryan kinda marked something IMHO. Hume did a fine job , but Ryan seemed so outta touch IMO. I think the idea that seniors, who have high percentage of voters r going to elect rommney bc they are scared of Obama care is likely- maybe. But I think it polarizes what many non seniors r feeling in pls don't kick the can down the road any further. I feel regardless of the pluses and minuses of the candidates ( and they both have each) there is a little higher level of evaluation going on re the future. An elephant in the room regarding the enviorment that is subtly putting peeps on the edge to media snow jobs.

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