Friday, July 22, 2016

Gimme Shelter!

Time to minimize!
Hope you found the visionary prospects in Water on High and Food Fight? worthy!  Alas, longterm survival in the real world may start with food and water, but as any backpacker caught in a hurricane knows, you best get yourself to shelter to wait out the storm.  Reasonable protection from the elements in pleasant surroundings will permit humanity to thrive on sustainable supplies in relative safety while contemplating consciousness, art, and adventure that is sentient life.

So what might reasonable shelter consist of for the human race in the centuries to come? As with all else humanity harvests from the limited yet massive resources Earth offers, we can strive to build our community homes, societal infrastructure, and creative space in a mindful manner.

Currently any and all development seems to be held as a sacred right of the human species.  We ask our wild cousin species to relocate, to sacrifice territory and to die unconditionally to make room for human expansion.  And then without waiting for an answer we take with little regard for the consequences. Sadly land ownership is decried as a possession of and for the sole benefit of man.  Individuals and biomes that don't include homo sapiens rate at best secondary consideration.

Intelligent creatures that we are, we can take a step back and actively return much of the world to the pristine, beautiful and wildness that is Nature.  With scientific understanding and responsible vision we can find space for civilization, all while giving plenty of room to the natural world to thrive alongside us.

Time to downsize!
Many options lay before us on our planet to blend rather obliterate where shelter is needed.   Currently the Tiny House movement upholds many of these forward thinking ideals.  Reducing our individual home footprints to one or two hundred square feet is a radical leap from the 2000 to 5000 square foot mansions that so many in the developed world are brainwashed into wanting.  Integrating solar power, green disposal of waste, minimal use of cooking fuel, and maximum connection to the world and to living are all at the heart of this movement.  Mindfully customizing ones home, rather than relying on cookie cutter construction, also can connect us further with efficient, creative and aesthetic living!

At the other end of the spectrum, immense communities of people can also ratchet up efficient and effective communities!  A reduction in population over several centuries may permit many to pursue tiny home residences, alas with billions to provide shelter in the intervening times, communities with common and efficient infrastructure can be a large part of the solution.  In the end, reducing per capita residence square footage will permit more land to be devoted to thriving wilderness.
Time to upsize!

Going vertical, up or down, is one great way to reduce the human urban footprint.  Cities already capitalize upon this dynamic, however the suburban sprawl that has resulted from extreme land use needs to be gradually repealed.  Our cultural desire for private estates simply does not work in a world of billions of people.  Other options include building reclamation and domicile sharing in which individuals and families can build a microcommunities, sharing cooking and cleaning facilities and even sleeping quarters perhaps on different shifts.

 Of course much land use is used for agriculture and livestock efforts.  As previously noted, moving toward a vegan civilization can reduce that usage immensely.  All property ownership laws need to be re-evaluated, apportioning sufficient space so that the planet as a whole can thrive.  Sure humanity should also thrive within Earth's sphere as, alas it should thrive at as little expense to the rest of the world as while meeting ethical standards that are truly honorable. With multiple solution paths, humanity can find good shelter amongst all living things in this world!

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