A few years ago, when I started to live more simply, my friends and family thought I was a bit of a nutter to want to give up spending, cook from scratch and save resources. They didn’t understand it at all. I’d already closed down my business and was stumbling along with no clear direction when I started reading everything I could on sustainability, in particular, David Holmgren’s articles on energy descent. I’d read his books on Permaculture back in the early 80s but his energy descent articles lead me to read more about climate change, and then Peak Oil. It turned my world upside down. Instead of now thinking the need was to reskill, relearn and rethink because I was no longer working for a living, I had a different focus. I wanted to plan my own energy descent and make sure I knew as much as I could to help my family through the many changes coming our way.
When I talked to friends and colleagues about it, they didn’t believe me. Well, to make a long story shorter, over the years I realised that the best way to deal with these looming problems was to make sure I had my house in order. I reskilled myself to the best of my ability, I made plans for our future here, and everyday I researched more and more in books and on the internet. Blogs were yet to become a part of our daily reading so I headed for a large American frugal forum. I learnt a lot there but most of the other forum users were only interested in saving money. A frugal life, so they had money to spend on other things. I found the Americans to be quite a bit behind the rest of us; environmental damage and climate change were rarely discussed. While quite a few countries were working towards greening themselves, America seemed to sit in a cosy backwater, waiting for technology to save them and refusing to believe they needed to do anything themselves. That has changed.
Now a revolution has started and you can read about it every day in thousands of blogs all over the world. Now the cost of oil has skyrocketed, taking many other costs along with it and most people know that the weather is changing. They might not know a lot about it, they might question some of the research, but at least the terminology has seeped into general conversation. When the words become part of our language, there is no stopping it. Some of these changes are now being talked about in our mainstream media – there are stories on rising food and oil prices almost everyday now. But they are only now discovering what we in blogland have known for a long time – we need to change how we live. Now there is no way of ignoring the elephant in the room.
I believe many of us changed because we read and write blogs. Our changes were not directed by mainstream media or our governments, they came from the grass roots – us. We talked to each other about our fears, we showed each other what we were doing in our own lives, we taught, we listened, we encouraged, we rejected past ways. We read each others blogs and discovered that not only is a change to a greener way of living necessary, we are made happy and fulfilled in the living of this kind of life.
Every time we blog about reducing our fuel consumption, every time we decide to install solar panels, when we start growing some of our own food, when we step out of the mainstream and mend our clothes, when we decide to downshift or get rid of our debt, every time we blog about our greener lives – it makes the corporate world gulp and take notice. People power is an incredible force.
Growing some of your own food makes a difference.
Whatever you can do, do it. Whatever changes you’re thinking about, make them happen. There is a revolution happening and we are leading it, my friends. It might be a quiet and gentle start but what we are doing is significant and vital. I’m sure the mainstream media will claim the revolution as its own soon, and will shout loudly about living greener and more frugal lives, and I know our governments will then be more pro-active. In the meantime, we need to keep encouraging each other through our blogs, we need to show and tell everyday about how our lives are being lived in all our small towns, in our suburbs and in our cities. We need to lead our governments to this brave new world.
Welcome to the revolution.