Once upon a time, a large group of people were placed on a space ship for a multi-year journey across the universe. The ship contained all the air, water, food, plants, animals, and other essential supplies they would need to travel indefinitely . . . as long as they employed common sense and unselfish management when it came to utilizing the resources they had been given.
The ship was designed in such a way that everything would be there for them as long as balance was maintained between on-board plant and animal species and the natural resources provided for manufacturing and other industrial needs. The spaceship traveled with an ample supply of sunlight for all on board to thrive, and temperatures were maintained within a range that was suitable for life to flourish for a long, long time.
And so it was for 200,000 years.
Then, one day, a small group of people (less than 1% of the travelers) began to take control of the resources onboard the spaceship because they figured they could use them to gain great wealth and power. Soon after, the natural balance that the other travelers had depended on was thrown out of whack–the air became dirty, the result of profit-driven industrialization—the water was fouled by the dumping of waste—the soil became polluted by the careless use of toxic chemicals that killed millions of plants, animals, insects, birds, and people, all in the name of “Progress.” In short order, over 90% of the original species on the space ship became extinct. The temperature inside the spaceship began to rise because of man-made imbalances between oxygen and carbon dioxide. Food production began to decline due to the depletion of clean water.
It was then that a small band of travelers (the youngest of the lot) began to pay attention to what was happening and they made it their business to stop the carnage and turn things around. Soon, they were having discussions about responsible resource management, sustainability, organic farming, and ways to stop the crisis at hand. They began teaching one another about the critical importance of everyone on the ship making it their highest priority to save the remaining plants and animals, to clean up the pollution, to restore the balance that had kept the spaceship going for so many generations. They made a pledge to do their part to protect the remaining bees and butterflies and save their spaceship.
And with that, they began to rejoice, singing and dancing, and crying tears of hope. The future was theirs for the making. (And then, they nestled and went to sleep, like all good SLC farmers.)
Until next week, Stay Dirty, fellow travelers. — AF