Brain Dropping #75
STODGING. Definition: An old Vermont localism meaning to make do – to repair things with materials at
hand rather than buying a replacement. To fix things temporarily, permanently, possibly
with duct tape.
If stodging became a universal imperative it might very well save the planet by reducing consumerism and the contingent exponential growth of CO2 emissions. Will it ever happen? It’s a tough one! The rich countries, also known as the developed, industrialized societies, have for so long been subsidized by the misery of the “Third World” that we have come to consider our affluence and our habit of colossal wastefulness as our birth-right. Which politician would have the courage to confront his constituents with the accusation that we are shitting where we eat.
And so we go our moronic, merry way talking about “cap and trade,” or salting the oceans with iron to increase the proliferation of carbon absorbing algae, or putting huge white shields in orbit around the earth to reflect the heat of the sun, or planting fast growing, genetically modified trees to take in more CO2, or revivifying our depleted top soil as a CO2 sink, or building a new generation of nuclear power plants which prayerfully would avoid a repeat of the Fukishima Dai Ishi disaster.
The developing world has every right to insist that their carbon footprint is necessary for them to pull themselves out of poverty in an attempt to level the economic playing field. It is a case of the pot calling the kettle black for the United States to chastise China for its toxic emissions when we are by far the main customers for the plethora of cheap products coming from factories that bear a close resemblance to labor concentration camps. Even here in Vermont, when WalMart wanted to open yet another cornucopia of kitch from the People’s Republic the support was overwhelming from those whose stodging skills have long fallen into disuse. Just thinking about the stuff I’ve taken to the Northwest Solid Waste depot makes me blush.
For those techno-nuts who fervently believe that technology will take care of it all, here is an excerpt from“What Every Environmentalist Needs To Know About Capitalism” by Fred Magdorff and John Bellamy Foster:
“To give some idea of the incredible effort needed to keep global warming to only 2 degrees centigrade (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) simply by technical means, about 80% of all the energy used in the world
(13 trillion watts) would need to be replaced by CO2 neutral technologies. This would require building: A hundred square meters of new solar cells, fifty square meters of new solar-thermal reflectors, and one Olympic swimming pool’s volume of genetically engineered algae(for biofuels) every second for the next twenty-five years; one three-hundred-foot-diameter wind turbine every five minutes; one hundred-megawatt geothermal powered steam turbine every eight hours; and one three gigawatt nuclear power plant every week.”
No amount of duct tape could stodge that problem.