I've been stewing about an article ever since I read it in the January 9, 2011 issue of The New York Times It sticks in my craw. To me, (even allowing for a little forgiveness for embedded hyperbole), I found the article to be totally appalling, disgusting, and unbelievably abusive of Mother Earth. And, believe me, my ire wasn't because I--a poor country bumpkin--could not afford what was being sold. No. Even if I could, even given a free opportunity to do so, I would never, never, never, patronize any of the places listed,.
The title of the article was "Ten Restaurants Worth a Plane Ride." It was on the far right side (pun intended) of the Goggle News (which I only lightly patronize, not wanting to listen to any "news" which is not.(news) Destinations included Spain, Lummi Island (in Washington State), Australia, London, France...and more.
I think what really gets to me is that anyone could even joke about using resources like this! But this wasn't a joke and I find this to be not just remotely "off color," it's vile.
You can read all the Wiki answers you want and be convinced that the airliner is "actually very fuel-efficient when you distribute the 36,000 gallons used per international flight distributed over the 500+ people in the plane who are flying," Airline Fuel "Efficiency" but that's not the point.
When are we going to start asking the question, "How can we justify such frivolous expenditures of fuel?" Where did the word "conservation" go? To patronize ten restaurants with a plane-ride, each? Come on!
Even the "earth-friendly" among us seem to have developed permanent blind spots when it comes to burning fuel, driving long distances to visit relatives, flying long distances, without a hint of a thought for the importance of the mission, and the goudge that is being wrought on the earth as a result. Does anyone question the need for dashing coast to coast for the weekend? You know, we used to embrace a concept called "extended families." Elders were a part of the family. Children got the benefit of knowing grandma and grandpa....they were close.
So, where are the jobs that would sustain a closeknit, extended family and keep them nearby? What have we done? Shouldn't we be asking these types of questions instead of accepting a mantra that chants "There aren't any jobs here"? It used to be you could drive out into the flat country land not far from here, just over the mountain, and see lots of little, clean factories making all manner of products. Cabinets, appliances, clothing... These provided jobs for the local people here in rural America. You know where these jobs have gone? Mexico, Viet Nam, China....and children now travel away to get a "meaningful" job. Comes the holidays and everyone wants to get home all at the same time. Add a weather event to that and chaos ensues.
And then there are the business people who patently refuse to take full advantage of current technologies to exchange information, favoring "face-to-face" over saving energy, flaunting one's ability to do so, just because they can...justifying it by saying that seeing people "in person" is so much more "effective" than doing business via video conferencing. And this is "progress?"
Nowadays, people aren't "into" questioning the meaning of "progress" and "growth." When they hear these terms daily as being something we're in pursuit OF, they automatically assume "progress" and "growth" to be a good thing. But, it's not. We've grown and "progressed" and "competed" about as much as this planet can stand. It's time to explore ways NOT to grow and to change the definition of the word "progress." And "competitive" at what?
If you take my book recommendation and go ahead and read Mike Nickerson's wonderful treatise, you will be surprised at the forces that are working "under the table" to thwart all efforts toward sustainability, conservation, environmental protection...
Remember the blizzard a few weeks back, right at Christmas? Sure, naturally, flights were cancelled, schedules screwed up...It was a real mess. I suspect some of you were caught up in it. And people complained loudly that the airlines were somehow at fault. You know who was at fault? Everyone who chose to fly someplace all at the same time. Like trying to jam a tennis ball down a garden hose. I know, I know...! I'm going to take a hit for this....but people, we can't keep doing this stuff. We need to live closer to our relatives, start putting together communities, finding/making work close to home, and stop flying and driving like maniacs, spending fuel wantonly, just to get to some destination at the screaming last minute before some market-made holiday. It's really, really stupid. And it's all part of the same psyche that never stops to ask the question, "Why am I doing this?" and more importantly, "What could I do instead?"
"Ten Restaurants Worth a Plane Ride?" Oh, come on!
Call me a Scrooge, but get the book entitled Life, Money and Illusion, subtitled, "Living on earth as if we want to stay" and start your read that will take you on a journey of discovering wonderful alternatives to this madness. It's by a Canadian, Mike Nickerson. It's his second edition, so somebody's read it! You can buy it off of Amazon for $8.85 new (or $8.50 used). Once you've read it, pass it on to your library. And spread the world. It's incredibly revealing, covering multiple perspectives on sustainability, politics, economics, and all manner of issues connected with whether or not we can ever grow a "sustainable" future. MM and I have been reading it aloud, discussing as we go....and I haven't found a more far-reaching (and interesting to read--lively, throught-provoking, ambitious) work on this vital topic.
And one last thought for the day: if you missed the PBS program "Nature" last night, try to catch it today or this evening if you can. It featured Birds of Paradise...giving you still another reason to contemplate what life would (will?) be like, without them....and to compare the ten restaurants that are "worth a plane ride" to the irridescent feathers and the exotic dances of the Birds of Paradise.
|From the restaurant (worth every penny of a walk to the oven) of Chez MM JOTOLR|