The natural world is built upon common motifs and patterns. Recognizing patterns in nature creates a map for locating yourself in change, and anticipation what is yet to come.
Sitting at our back doorsteps, all we need to live a good life lies about us. Sun, wind, people, buildings, stones, sea, birds and plants surround us. Cooperation with all these things brings harmony, opposition to them brings disaster and chaos.
. . . every society that grows extensive lawns could produce all its food on the same area, using the same resources, and . . . world famine could be totally relieved if we devoted the same resources of lawn culture to food culture in poor areas. These facts are before us. Thus, we can look at lawns, like double garages and large guard dogs, [and Humvees and SUVs] as a badge of willful waste, conspicuous consumption, and lack of care for the earth or its people.Most lawns are purely cosmetic in function. Thus, affluent societies have, all unnoticed, developed an agriculture which produces a polluted waste product, in the presence of famine and erosion elsewhere, and the threat of water shortages at home.The lawn has become the curse of modern town landscapes as sugar cane is the curse of the lowland coastal tropics, and cattle the curse of the semi-arid and arid rangelands.It is past time to tax lawns (or any wasteful consumption), and to devote that tax to third world relief. I would suggest a tax of $5 per square metre for both public and private lawns, updated annually, until all but useful lawns are eliminated.
There is one problem, however, at least for alternative experiments of the American variety (and possibly some European as well), namely that we have no clear litmus test to determine which models are truly steady-state (non-expansionist) and which are business as usual hiding under “green wigs.” This latter trend is known as “greenwashing,” in which the language is hip and the bottom line remains profit. Thomas Friedman and Al Gore are major (and wealthy) players in this category, perpetuating the notion of “green corporations.” Other examples include a 2012 conference on “Sustainable Investing,” sponsored by Deepak Chopra, among others, which had as its slogans “Make Money and Make a Difference” and “Capitalism for a Democratic Society.” All of this is the attempt to have one’s cake and eat it too (or simply eat someone else’s cake); there is no real interest in disconnecting from growth, and it is growth that is the core of the problem. As Professor Magnuson tells us, while traveling around the U.S. to interview varous alternative businesses and experiments, he discovered that many of them were shams—capitalist wolves in green clothing.
In fact they were looking for weapons eager to find something they could justify the millions of dollars and massive deployment of personnel, the collection of stun-guns, tear-gas guns, pepper-spray guns, M16’s, horses, clubs, and armored personnel carriers with which they intended to protect the city from our hordes of puppet carriers and potentially illegal gardeners