Why I Hate Civilization–and Dropped Out of it! Shouldn't you?

Oil-Spil-lDeepwater_Horizon-001

The BP Gulf oil spill as seen from space.

(This is a long and complex subject, so this will be a multi-part series. This is just an introduction, hopefully I will directly address most of your questions and comments in future posts, If this topic offends or upsets you, feel free to not read it.)

I hate civilization! I think it is an evil, vile, cancer on the earth and to all the creatures of the earth. I’ve said that a few times but never done a full post on why I feel that way, so I thought I should. These ideas are the underlying, driving force in nearly all my actions and writings, so if you are interested in my motives, this is something you need to know.

I know many of you feel totally differently, you look at the advancements in the arts, sciences and technology and think that justifies all the minor problems we seem to be having. Many of you have written and said that you are very happy with your lives and wonder why I make things sound so bad and can’t understand why I hate civilization and progress. As far as many are concerned, life is wonderful and only going to get better!

But I would invite you to look at the world from a different point of view. Instead of thinking how wonderful your life is, maybe try to think of the very high cost your life of luxury comes with and how it effects the planet and the other people on the planet:

  • Private consumption by households increased fourfold between 1960 and 2000, when it reached more than US$20 trillion. The 12% of the world’s people living in North America and Western Europe account for 60% of this consumption
  • Globally, the richest 16 percent of the world’s population is consuming some 80 percent of its natural resources
  • Americans, while making up only 4% of the world’s population, operate 33% of its automobiles and consume 25% of the world’s global energy supply. If undeveloped countries consumed at the same rate as the US, four complete planets the size of the Earth would be required. People who think that they have a right to such a life are quite mistaken.
  • Americans make up 4% of the world population but are putting 16% of the greenhouse gases into the air.
  • In 2011, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions totaled 6,702 million metric tons CO2 (6.7 Billion Metric tons)
  • The U.S. alone consumes about 25 tons of raw materials a year for every man, woman and child. That’s 50,000 pounds of raw materials for you and another 50,000 for me. Every year! I’m 58 years old, so in my lifetime, my life of total luxury has required 2,900,000 pounds of raw material.
  • Americans eat 815 billion calories of food each day – that’s roughly 200 billion more than needed – enough to feed 80 million people.
  • Americans throw out 200,000 tons ( 40,000,000 pounds) of edible food daily.
  • Americans account for only five percent of the world’s population but create half of the globe’s solid waste.
  • The average American generates 52 tons (104,000 pounds) of garbage by age 75.
  • The average individual daily consumption of water is 159 gallons, while more than half the world’s population lives on 25 gallons. That means that in the 58 years of my average American life I have used 3,366,030 gallons of water
  • Fifty percent of the wetlands, 90% of the northwestern old-growth forests, and 99% of the tall-grass prairie have been destroyed in the last 200 years.
  • Every day an estimated nine square miles of rural land are lost to development.
  • The population of indigenous peoples in the Americas (North, South and Central America) in 1492 when Columbus landed was around 50 million. In 1890 (when the U.S ended its genocide of Native American tribes by the slaughter at Wounded Knee) the indigenous peoples in the Americas numbered 1.8 million. White Europeans were directly responsible for the death of 47 million people. Granted, most of those deaths were from disease we brought with us, but I would argue they are also part of the wonderful fruit of civilization and very few of the good civilized men who brought those diseases shed any tears. After all, the only good Indian was a dead Indian. If we hadn’t slaughtered them and herded the rest onto Reservations like cattle, how could you and I have our wonderful homes and lands?
  • In 1492 it’s estimated there were 60,000,000 Buffalo in North America. In 1890 the best estimates were that there were 750.
  • America imported 600,000 slaves to build my and your wonderful life

I can read some of your minds now and know how you are going to respond:

  • I didn’t and wouldn’t do that. People long ago did all that. Besides, we’ve stopped and don’t do it anymore.
  • You are exaggerating all the environmental problems; it’s really no big deal.
  • Technology will save us. We keep finding more oil and new sources of power.
  • Life is wonderful and only going to get better!! Why are you such a pessimist?
  • If worse comes to worse we will just abandon this planet and move on to a new one.

You need to understand this, you and I can’t live our lives of luxury without destroying the planet and using,  enslaving and degrading other people. When the U.S. passed laws making those things illegal, we simply sent our manufacturing base overseas to poor countries filled with brown-skinned people. They are able to make our products super-cheaply because they have:

  • No work safety rules of any kind
  • No restrictions on how they pollute and destroy the planet.
  • No limits on how little they pay for wages, how many hours they work a day, or how they abuse their employees.
  • No restrictions against child-labor in many places.
  • No rules against the use of slavery in some places.

Here is some examples of where our cheap products are coming from:

In 2008, Bloomberg claimed child labour in copper and cobalt mines that supplied Chinese companies in Congo. The children are “creuseurs,” that is they dig the ore by hand, carry sacks of ores on their backs, and these are then purchased by these companies. Over 60 of Katanga’s 75 processing plants are owned by Chinese companies and 90 percent of the region’s minerals go to China. An African NGO report claimed 80,000 child labourers under the age of 15, or about 40% of all miners, were supplying ore to Chinese companies in this African region. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_labor

In 1998,UNICEF reported that Ivory Coast farmers used enslaved children – many from surrounding countries. In late 2000 a BBC documentary reported the use of enslaved children in the production of cocoa—the main ingredient in chocolate — in West Africa. Other media followed by reporting widespread child slavery and child trafficking. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_labor

Human Rights Watch group estimates that about 12 percent of global gold production comes from artisanal mines. In west Africa, in countries such as Mali – the third largest exporter of gold in Africa – between 20,000 and 40,000 children work in artisanal mining. Locally known as orpaillage, children as young as 6 years old work with their families. These children and families suffer chronic exposure to toxic chemicals including mercury, and do hazardous work such as digging shafts and working underground, pulling up, carrying and crushing the ore. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_labor

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In America we made child labor illegal, now we just have foreign children work for us instead. We don’t want to pay any more for our diamonds and gold than we have to. That would mean suffering for us.

And yet you and I congratulate ourselves on how progressive, noble and wonderful we are. We don’t do any of those evil things anymore! We don’t have slaves or pollute and we treat labor well. The truth is we are exactly like the German villagers who lived outside the Nazi concentration or extermination camps. When confronted with what is really going on, we simply deny any knowledge of it, I didn’t see it, so I can’t be held responsible for it! We are delighted with our $3 T-shirts, and $10 appliances, at Walmart, we just don’t have any idea where they come from or how they were made so cheaply. Somehow, they just popped up, it was a miracle!

Civilization is always evil! Sometimes we just get very, very good at closing our eyes to the totality of its evil and actually convince ourselves that we can have it’s wonderful fruit without its vile methods. We are wrong.

 

 

Bob
About

I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

Posted in Inspiration-Spirituality, Vandwelling Philosophy
146 comments on “Why I Hate Civilization–and Dropped Out of it! Shouldn't you?
  1. Gus says:

    Bob,
    You should consider changing your title to “Why I hate America.” I think that would be a more accurate title. I love your blog and look forward to reading your posts but I don’t understand why you let other countries like Germany, France, Great Britain, etc. off the hook.

    You deride some of the products at Walmart but in other posts you talk about how you like to camp within a certain distance to Walmart because of all the things it provides for you.

    I don’t understand how you can promote all these products on your website, but yet you describe the civilization that makes all of these products for you as “evil.”

    • Bob Bob says:

      Gus, those are all very good points and in my next post I will address the obvious problem of my hypocrisy. I’m not denying it, I will just try to explain how I justify it.

      I understand what you are saying about how it could easily look like I hate America. That isn’t true, but I can certainly see how it seems that way. I tremendously admire America and consider it to be the highest possible pinnacle of civilization. America is the greatest country that has ever been, and in my opinion will ever be.

      However, I hate civilization and the “American Dream.” I chose to point specifically at America, because I am an American and I am speaking to mainly an American audience. Had I talked about the evils of China everyone would have agreed but totally missed the point. Most of us will acknowledge Americas past sins but just give lip service to our current sins. We all will point our fingers at someone else but take no blame for our own actions. “Everyone else needs to change, not me!!!!

      I hoped to break through that self-justification, whether I succeeded or not, I have no idea.
      Bob

      • Gus says:

        Thanks for the reply. I don’t want you to think I disagree with the things you wrote. They are all true. You have written many wonderful and helpful things over the years. One of those was about your philosophy of yin-yang. I feel you have too much yin on this subject but not enough yang.

        I don’t see how you can “hate civilization” and think it is “evil and vile” when it has provided you with (what I think is) the perfect lifestyle. It has provided you with a roof over your head (your van/cargo trailer) and a place to live (millions of acres of public land.)

        Civilization has also made it possible to have the funds to live this lifestyle (your pension/work comp/disability.) If you were living in the forest 1000 years ago you would of had to work (i.e. go out and hunt for food) until the day you died. Now all you don’t have to work anymore thanks to our modern civilization.

        If anything, I think you should be cheering on the civilization that is producing the products that make your wonderful lifestyle possible.

        On your excellent website cheapgreenrvliving.com you talk about having a low carbon footprint, but you still had a footprint due to gas and propane. If this civilization that you hate continues to improve its technology, you could have an electric engine in your van and enough cheap battery capacity so you could have electric heating and an electric stove. And imagine if solar panel technology improved enough to power everything. Then you wouldn’t need gas or propane and your carbon footprint would be zero. That would be amazing.

        You would do less damage to the planet then someone who chops down trees and builds a log cabin to live in. They would have to chop down more trees for fuel for heating and cooking. That’s why I think you are on the verge of living the most perfect lifestyle. You should be loving and cheering on society to get you that final step to perfection.

        Anyway I look forward to your future article. I just hope you give it some thought to getting your ying and yang into balance when looking at civilization. Thanks for all you do.

        • Bob Bob says:

          Thanks Gus, the more I’ve studied the environment, the more I have concluded that the problems are so severe and extreme, that only extreme measures will do.

          My goal in these posts is to get people to take a new point of view and see the world from a perspective other than through their own eyes. Your suggestion is just the opposite of that, you are saying why don’t I look at the world from my own rose-colored glasses and since my life is wonderful (and it really is wonderful) I should just be happy and forget all the other people and problems around me.

          I honestly think that is not a good idea, and I don’t want to live that way.
          Bob

        • gary says:

          The world has been coming to an end every since creation. And if it was gone we would work our selves into a frenzy to rebuild it because the average human being goes to bed with food in his gut, clothes on his back and lives long enough to worry about the end of civilization.

          I don’t understand this loathing of technology because those of us, like Bob, the modern nomads have it made thanks to our civilization.

          • Bob Bob says:

            Gary, you are looking at the world through the eyes of an American living a life of incredible luxury. If you aren’t willing or able to look at it in any other way then there is nothing I or anyone else can do to convince you of anything. Let me give you an example. You said this:

            Anyone ever think that maybe feeding everyone, clothing everyone, nursing everyone, housing everyone etc. is a good thing?

            Only an American totally blinded to the truth that is visible everywhere around him could say such a ridiculous thing. We are feeding, clothing, housing, nursing OURELVES, the developed nations, (which is less than 20% of the population of the planet) and no one else. The other 80% have very few if any of those things!!!

            In fact the way we provide those things for us is by enslaving and starving the other 80%. Here is an example of our good work: Just short of a billion people are chronically malnourished which is a nice way to say they are starving to death. But us 300 million Americans throw half (a slight exaggeration) our food away every day so we assume everybody else does to. THEY DON”T. They would gladly eat every scrap of food we throw in the dumpster every day! How could anybody ever think that was a good thing?

            There have now been literally thousands and thousands of studies on the incredible environmental damage we are doing to the planet. If the science won’t convince you then there is nothing I can say. I will say this though, every computer model of Global Climate Change has been proven accurate and most of them are happening faster than predicted. Many scientists believe that we have reached the tipping point or will soon. The tipping point is where global climate change takes on a life of its own and it is too late for us to do anything about it. I’m going to give you 2 examples:

            1) The Arctic Ice pack is disappearing faster than expected. The white ice reflects heat back into space (just like Refelctix in your window). That helps cool the earth. So as it disappears more heat stays in the atmosphere. But even worse, the newly exposed dark ocean absorbs the heat and contributes to more global warming which causes more ice to melt which causes it to be hotter which causes more ice to melt and so on….
            2) The tundra in the arctic is melting at a remarkable rate, much faster than expected. Locked away in ice just inches under the surface is an incredible amount of frozen, decayed plant life which is full of methane. Methane is a by-product of decay–its what we burn off of our landfills. Methane is a greenhouse gas that holds MUCH more heat in the atmosphere than carbon does. The more methane in the air>the warmer the planet gets. So as the tundra melts and methane pours into the air and traps more heat in the atmosphere. That causes it to get hotter > which causes more tundra to melt > which causes more methane in the air > which cause more heat > which causes more tundra to melt…. and so on forever.

            These are two simple, verifiable scientific facts that show that Global climate change is drastically accelerating. Religion has nothing to do with it, just hard science! There are dozens of other mechanical ways we are changing the earth and forcing it to release more greenhouse gasses into the air and to make the planet hotter. There are dozens of popular science books explaining them. The information is available to you if you are willing to open your eyes and look.
            Bob

    • John J says:

      Hating injustice, pollution, slavery, genocide, child exploitation, waste, etcetera, does not mean you hate America.

      In fact, Bob’s views are directly in line with America’s great core values; conservation, justice, freedom, liberty.

      I don’t think that any true patriotic American can support anything that Bob has railed against here.

      • Bob Bob says:

        Thanks John, I appreciate your reasoned response–especially since you seem to agree with me!
        Bob

      • Whether people realise it or not, American is very very far away from its core values and has been from a long time. keep fooling yourself…

        • Whether people realise it or not, American is very very far away from its core values and has been from a long time. keep fooling yourself…

        • John J says:

          Yes America has strayed from virtue, which I believe is Bob’s point, and which I agree with.

          Actually, I may need to correct myself; conservation has never been a mainstream American value, it’s been considered a far left fringe ideal. “Drill baby drill,” is more the American rallying cry than “save the environment.”

          The US began with slave trade, and massacre of the natives; so there goes justice, freedom, and liberty for all.

          So does that mean I’m an America hater, or fooling myself?

        • Bob Bob says:

          greenminimalism, I’m not disagreeing, I’m just not sure what our core values are. I guess they are FREEDOM, SELF-RELIANCE and SELF-DETERMINATION.

          If those are it’s core values, then yes, we are miles and miles away from them and moving further away as fast as we can.
          Bob

          • Douglas says:

            No one produces for themselves any longer. I myself am guilty of that. I don’t grow my own food, or hunt my own meat. These days providing for a family means going to work in some office, factory, store, etc. Getting that paycheck to purchase what others have made. I don’t have a need for that 5000 square foot house (if I had one, it would be solar powered, mainly so that I didn’t have to rely on others to provide power). Americans do not produce much these days and then we complain about products from this country or that place. I happen to “hate” cities because of the inherent daily stress of living in one. It’s not only just the pollution or sound. It’s that we are so close to each other at all times. I desire space. We all need quiet. That’s why I love my relatives ranch two states over. While we are there, we don’t have hardly any sound at night except for that of the critters that reside on the property. I desire to live “self sufficient” in the fact that I wish to be dependent on no one except God. Live off the land as much as possible. I actually collect rain water at times (in some states that is illegal, don’t know why, but it is). Right now I use it for watering non food producing plants because it came off of the roof of a 40 year old mobile home. I love to be out in nature, it tends to bring me a little more comfort and ease than does living in the city.

            Sorry for the long “winded” rant.

          • Bob Bob says:

            Douglas, no problem at all, that was a good rant! I make it my goal to be as self-sufficient as I can, but I know it is not very realistic to think I can ever be truly self-sufficient.

            I admire your efforts in that direction!
            Bob

  2. Nemo says:

    I think this one might get a little hot.. looking forward to the discussion!

    Gus, I don’t think that Bob hates America.. but we are a prime example for the rest of the world and they all want to get to our level.. thereby increasing exponentially the destruction and exploitation that is taking place.. Had he not used us an an example, it would be wide open to criticism that he’s ignoring whats going on in our own backyard.. I don’t hate the convenience of living with all the ‘things’.. but in no shape or form is is sustainable.. and the free ride is coming to an end.

    to me, Bob has let no one off the hook, just used examples from close to home 🙂

    Civilization is not sustainable.. but perhaps that needs further definition? alot of our Culture IS sustainable.. but a life that requires the constant importation of resources to survive isnt.. to me, that is civilization.. life that is characterized by the formation and concentration of population in cities.. Cities are not able to support themselves, so require stripping the landscape for mile around.. I think thats the issue here..

    Bob, please jump in if I’m derailing and way off base 🙂

    • Bob Bob says:

      Nemo, I knew I could count on you!! You may very well be my only ally in this, so stay close!
      Bob

    • gary says:

      Henry David Thoreau said the same thing…. Modern life is unsustainable…. over a hundred years ago. In Bob’s lifetime, it’s been said that we would be in an ice age by now, we’d all starve to death by 1975, the commies would bury us, global warming will drown our cities by the year (take your pick), Jesus is coming any minute and he’s pissed, Martians will eat our lunch if the Japanese car companies don’t beat them to it, we will run out of oil by 1985, our cities will be uninhabitable because of gangs,homosexual marriage will lead to bestiality any minute now,and if I’ve missed a few hundred predictions I apologise.

      I think the people who preach this crap to us are just trying to convert us to their version of religion or they want our money.

  3. Wayne (Wirs) says:

    I have a saying, “Nature always wins.”

    Civilizations come and go, people thrive and people suffer. Everything’s temporary. Nothing to hold onto, nothing to take too seriously.

    Man will be here awhile more, then he’ll be gone. Like I say, Nature always wins. 🙂

    • dave says:

      Totally agree with Wayne here. Look at the Mayan cities still emerging from the jungle, or the enigmatic Mesolithic stone circles and burial chambers of our ancestors in Ireland and Scotland. Civilizations come and go, species rise then fall to nature once again.

      The only real solution to all the crimes Bob listed is to off oneself, as the First Church of Euthanasia would have you do. Which of course he is not suggesting nor would I. Or, you can become self aware and minimize your impact, which is exactly what I do. No kids, eat a plant based diet (don’t get me started on the horror of modern industrial agriculture on living, breathing creatures) and try to leave the planet a little better than it was when you arrived. But, then again if you study Physics at all and believe Einstein got it right than you have to accept that time is a giant mind you-know-what, and the future has actually already happened.

      Which takes a giant load of my mind, frankly.

      • Bob Bob says:

        Dave, that is an outstanding summary of the end and the solution!

        Your physics are a little beyond me though!!
        Bob

        • dave says:

          The physics is pretty simple, really. Space and Time are connected, and just like all of Space is “out there” all of time is “out there” to. Time is like the frames of a movie, always playing in one direction, but we only experience the “now”. But Einstein realized that time is actually different relative to objects in motion…hence the theory of relativity. If an Alien on a planet millions of light years is stationary, you both experience the same “now”, if he travels slowly in one direction his now is now in your past, which obviously must still be there to be experienced. If he changes direction then he experiences your future, which also implies it is already happened. It only gets complicated when you start getting into what happens on the event horizon of a black hole.That implies the Universe we experience is really a holographic projection of something that is occuring on 2D surface at the edge of Universe , and that’s an even bigger mind you know what.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Wayne, you are so right! That just makes the bizarre human need to go to war against nature even more puzzling. If we win and destroy nature, we guarantee or own great harm or even our demise. If we lose and nature detroys us, we guarantee our own great harm or even our demise.

      I think the safe bet here is on the great harm or demise of the human race, and in the fairly near future. Of course the sane reaction is applause!
      Bob

    • Sameer says:

      I agree with what you have said. I also think you hit on the Key to Happiness by having the mind set, ” Nothing to hold onto, nothing to take too seriously.” We will come and go like all species of the planet. In reality we have no power to change humankinds destiny. You are right! Not to worry! Nature always wins!

  4. Naomi says:

    Very thought-provoking. I agree with you. I still cannot figure out why you define yourself as conservative, but I respect your viewpoints, and share many.

    ~Naomi “Lefty”

    • Bob Bob says:

      Naomi, I understand the confusion, it is confusing to me as well. Here it is a nut-shell: Conservative Republican capitalists will destroy the planet, Liberal Democrats will destroy the country which will lead to China’s dominance on the planet. They will destroy the planet even faster.

      Having no good solutions I simply drop out and try to do as little harm as I can and as much good as i can.
      Bob

      • Naomi says:

        As always, I appreciate your thoughtful comments and responses. That helps my understanding of your stance.

        I try to do the least possible harm, though as an Westerner, I don’t know if that helps at all. I do think that the GOP, in its current incarnation, is an extreme threat to both the environment and to the rights that so many Americans have fought for, and some have died gaining.

        I try to stand up for what I believe in, but I need to be more active. As Alice Walker said, “Activism is my rent for living on the planet.” I guess I’m a bit past due on the rent.

        I respect your opinions and look forward to reading more on this subject.

        ~Naomi

  5. GARY GREEN says:

    hey now bob,are you have a bad day in paradise. mother earth will out last anything that punk ass mankind can do to her!!. just be gald you are a baby boomer,and that you were born in the best of time to be a humanbeing.now go have so fun and get off the conputer. gary

    • Bob Bob says:

      Gary, you are right about that, this is the very best time and the very best place to be a human being. Just think, I could have been born in Africa and be working myself to death at age 6 so some rich American could buy himself a new gold ring. Now that would be the shits!
      Bob

      • John J says:

        If you were born in Canada or Mexico, you would not have to leave your country to get affordable healthcare.

        But, you were born in the richest country in all of history.

        Which has somehow gotten itself $10 trillion in debt, while not making available affordable health care that our impoverished neighbor to the South does.

        I’m sure someone can explain why this makes sense.

        • Bob Bob says:

          John, there is very, very little about this world that makes sense to me, so I’m afraid I can’t help you. If you find someone who can explain it, be sure to send them my way!
          Bob

    • gary says:

      WE, and all our works, are a pin prick on this planet.

  6. John says:

    First let me say as a newb full timer with exactly 7 weeks of living out of my camper I pull a Dana Carvey and say to Bob “I am not worthy, I am not worthy”. That being said here’s a slightly more positive laundry list of American inventions that have caused immeasurable benefit to Humankind:

    1955 – Microwave oven….loves me some Orville popcorn.
    1957 – Birth Control Pill…it prevented a lot of more horrible choices.
    1961 – Cordless Tools….good ol’ Black & Decker!
    1962 – Communications Satellite – Bob, don’t you have a dish?
    1962 – LED’s….don’t we all want to replace our lights with LED’s?
    1969 – Smoke Detector…How many lives have these things saved?
    1973 – MRI Machines – How many lives…oh I said that.
    1998 – Genetic Sequencing – Article today says they’ve learned how to sequence out the Down Syndrome gene….incredible!

    Anyways, I argue these AMERICAN CIVILIZATION inventions have caused a lot of good. Couple those with the fact that over the last decade the US has donated anti-AIDS drugs to Africa (President Bush will NEVER get credit for this) that have saved over a million people from a painful lingering death and I say there’s a lot of positive stuff to be said about civilization.

    You’re a Eastern philosophy follower as I recall from some of your other posts….Yin and Yang?

    • Bob Bob says:

      John, no doubt modern technology has done a lot of good. The list is indeed very long. And in the last few centuries many civilized men have actually begun to act somewhat civilized.

      But, the only value of civilization is from the point of view of the civilized. From the point of view of every other organic and inorganic thing on the planet, civilization is a horror show beyond description.

      The problem is, it is nearly impossible for most if us to step outside our tiny little civilized world-view and see the world through any other pair of glasses. From the point of view of maybe 25% of the people on the planet, civilization is wonderful beyond belief. from the point of view of the other 75% of the planet, and every other living thing on the planet, civilization is the worst thing that every happened or could ever happen. The problem is that to us civilized people, we don’t care what they think. As long as we live our wonderful civilized lives, that’s all that counts.

      A microwave or cordless tools are wonderful to you and me, but don’t have much value when you are starving to death or your entire species of plant and animal have been wiped clean off the earth. Or when global climate change threatens the life of much of the earth. I just think we should approach the world from a broader point of view.

      Yes, I subscribe to much Eastern Philosophy, especially the theory of Yin-Yang.
      Bob

    • Sameer says:

      Lets not forget….
      Super Computers collecting data on American Citizens
      License Plate scanners tracking everyone’s movements
      Drones flying in the USA and in other countries killing thousands of innocents
      Oh yes, Smart Bombs
      MRI machines and genetic healthcare are only available for the well-heeled and super insured.

  7. Frank says:

    WOW! But I still really like Wal-Mart, it’s just like a theme park.

    My real thoughts are more about a documentary on TV called – A World Without Oil.

    Very scary, and from what I’ve heard in media or Internet, hydrogen is not really going to be the Holy Grail.

    But, who knows what the future holds.

    By the way, where are those solar panels that are 80% more efficient, is Uncle Sam hiding those?

    I’m going to ask Wal-Mart, I’m sure they know and yes they do exist. Just look it up in Gizmo Magazine website on new technology and inventions.

    I Know he’s hiding those and much more.

  8. stanw909 says:

    I am a civilized man and part Native American(also civilized)and I am guilty.I actively try to cut down on my consumption,but I just bought a nice big solar panel and controller made in China so I could use less fuel for my van.I have panels on my big MH and love them.China is a country that has surpassed us in pollution and the raping of the Earth and that gives one pause.It was probably made by a worker barely making a livable wage(varies throughout the world) but is he thankful for that wage?If we buy less will we be condemning poor around the world to lower or no income?I wonder.

  9. Bob Bob says:

    Jim, there are no easy solutions. If we Americans stop buying our “stuff” then the 6 year old won’t have to work in the gold mine. But he won’t have any money and will starve to death instead. Did we help him? These are not easy problems, but if we never get them out in the open and talk about them, there is no hope of finding a solution.

    I hope to at least get it out in front of you all and present my ideas and then you can decide what is best for you.
    Bob

  10. Lynn says:

    II have to admit that my hairs go up on the nap of my neck when someone has such a pessimistic view. Yes, we all consume more then we should of the world’s resources but dumping our homes, jobs and lives will not solve the problem. We live on this planet and have a responsibility to be aware of how much of the resources we are using. As a fellow North American, we are the worst culprits but I think our time is better spent coming up with solutions then running away. I am always amazed at what man is capable of and how we adapt when needed. Years ago, I never thought about how much water I used, how much plastic I was throwing away, how much gas my car consumed but I adapted as I became better educated. I am very aware of what I purchase and how much plastic surrounds the object and Walmart is one of the worst offenders. Why don’t we spend our time negotiating with Walmart to stop marketing all the cheap Chinese crap that they put on their shelves. The problem is that people are cheap and don’t want to pay for quality so they end up buying cheap crap that is filling up our landfills. Next time you (universal you) buy something, don’t buy Chinese, look for a local product and pay a little more for quality.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Lynn, those are all good tips of different ways we can all live a greener life. Good for you for learning and improving your green living skills. We should all follow your example.
      Bob

    • HoboHounds says:

      Why doesn’t the mass (N. American) population boycott Walmart to teach them a lesson??…uh, becasue they can’t afford to. Oops. Any realistic suggestions/solutions out there?

      • Joy says:

        I worked for Wal mart for 21 years, …..it’s been my experience that the American public does let them know what they want. They want CHEAP. Mr. Sam insisted on as much American made products as they could get and offered help to manufacturers to do so. When he passed, those in charge slowly made choices toward to profit .

        I was very happy when they took a stand on implementing as many energy saving/sustainable practices, as possible. Of course, doing so saved them tons of money, as well as eliminating a lot of waste.

        Have you noticed how very little styrofoam is used in their packaging? have you noticed that you can now buy a good selection of organic produce? All that is because the public demands it, not because ‘they’ are green minded. WE are green minded. Mr. Average Joe public ultimately dictates what stores have on shelves, by what they buy. One purchase at a time….WE are in charge. It’s up to US to change America.

        • Bob Bob says:

          You are 100% right Joy! I’ve never understood the Walmart haters, I am a big fan of theirs. They sell what we want and overwhelmingly we want the cheapest stuff we can get. That isn’t a condemnation, that is exactly what I want to!

          Our economy is in a viscous cycle of not being able to compete with overseas manufacturing (because we pay decent wage and take care of he environment) so we start making things off-shore so we demand cheaper stuff, but not having a manufacturing base means our wages go down so we demand cheaper stuff and so more manufacturing goes oversee so the jobs disappear and so we demand even cheaper stuff so more jobs go overseas.
          No one has a solution! We are just going to become a nation of fast-food workers.
          Bob

  11. Rolf Fritschi says:

    Bob, spilling beans is so much fun and entertaining.

  12. WriterMs says:

    Another thought-provoking post, Bob. I do not dispute the horrors of being unthinking consumers, but I do dispute the “solution” of being a non-activist on environmental and human rights issues. My disagreement with your post is that you seem to be defining “civilization” as totally bad. But humans have always gathered together for social and security reasons — that is our animal instinct just like wolves and many other animals have. Yes, I agree there are lines we have crossed in pollution, enslavement in many forms, over-consumerism, etc. But is “dropping out” the answer, Bob? Well, it is the easy answer, I suppose. If everyone dropped out of the “fight” against bad outcomes, we would have no EPA (environmental rules) at all (gee, didn’t someone propose that several months ago? LOL) that keep our air from looking like Beijing’s. We’d have no scrubbers on coal power plants. I guess I see things a lot like Gus’s early comments. Very few of us can give up all creature comforts and become truly self-sufficient — very, very few modern homesteaders can even come close. You have reduced your footprint greatly and set an excellent example on such things — so you ARE an activist in many ways so it is good you have not truly “dropped out.”

    • Bob Bob says:

      WriterMs, dropping out can mean different things. I’ll do a post at the end of different options I think people can take including some you have mentioned. Thanks for the ideas!
      Bob

  13. yesican says:

    Our Country and it’s attitude has been guilty of many atrocities. We are all born self-centered as was our nation and aware only of that little bubble of life where we exist. As we grow to maturity (people and our nation), we start to see how our works have affected others as we start to see outside that bubble. We learned how our behavior created such evil as the plight of the American Indian, slavery, and the desecration of our land and animals. But we learned, did we not? We have improved, have we not? Degrading this country or the people, a.k.a. consumers, does not improve who we are as a whole. What can continue us to improve is the reminders of who we are and where we came from as a nation and not go back to the immature side of ourselves.
    Also, you need to poke out your own eye before gouging out everyone else’s. You may make a smaller footprint but you make one nonetheless. You utilize things that need energy to be created; your van, trailer, computer, clothes, food, gas, beer, pot, whatever…YOU ARE A CONSUMER like it or not. Its good to show others and explain why less is more, but don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Degrading those who make energy through earths resources is foolish in my eyes. EVERYTHING REQUIRES ENERGY TO BE MADE…AND I MEAN EVERYTHING! Think about it.
    Teaching and living life to its fullest while FRUGALLY using earth’s resources is the best way to save the planet. And, that you are doing Bob which many of us admire and respect and are grateful that you are teaching us. But, don’t degrade those who are working towards maturity of knowledge in this area. We were taught a wasteful way of life and we have to unlearn the old and learn the new…that takes time, patience and often pain. Don’t take away the progress by demeaning us who are not there yet.

    • HoboHounds says:

      This is not a problem solely caused by Americans as Bob has clearly stated. It’s human nature and quite animalistic really. Would a pack of wolves act differently in order for the species to survive?

    • Bob Bob says:

      yesican, I have to admit I pretty forcefully made my points and I was concerned that it could be offensive (nobody wants to be compared to the the villagers around the Nazi concentration camps). But I honestly feel like it is time for strong offensive words to shock the majority of us out of our lethargy. When most of us go outside and walk around, we don’t see much of an environmental problem and most of us think we have pretty much won the battle. Look at the comments on the Million More Boondockers post. People were very concerned about more liter in the forest, while completely disregarding the importance of a million greatly reduced carbon footprints.

      I really think most Americans are totally blind to the true state of the environment and social injustice around the world and nothing but shock value will work.
      Bob

  14. Tom Loughlin says:

    *Sigh*

    Dear Bob – You are clearly a man whose heart is in the right place, but essentially what you have written is nothing more than a screed, or as the French would say, a “cri de couer.” The writing style is something I see often in my students – something full of passion (for which they get a lot of credit), but something fundamentally lacking in even the most basic of critical thinking skills. Its bombastic style, its appeal to guilt, its misuse of statistics (“lies, damn lies, and statistics”), its use of sweeping generalizations and sloganeering – the whole construct of the piece seems to be indicative of a person who has certain generalized beliefs and principles, but really has not spent any great amount of time studying in depth the issues he is speaking of. I would be willing to surmise that, in all the statistics you quoted, you probably did not read, from beginning to end, even one of the reports or studies from which those quotes were derived. I may be wrong about that, but you quote so many statistics, many from unnamed sources (you don’t cite most of your sources), that it simply is impossible to counter your arguments when I cannot even go to the source of your stats to read the studies, see how the studies were conducted, under what conditions, who funded the studies, etc. etc.

    We currently live in a society that I believe is fundamentally anti-intellectual. We do not see complex problems for the complexities they possess. Rather than exercising the brain muscles it would take to understand or deal with such complex issues, we tend to try to reduce them down to a slogan or cause that we feel has some “rightness” to it. Your screed is reflective of someone who has been raised in a mass media culture, where generalizations and soundbites have come to replace deep, well-reasoned and considered judgement. You’ve reduced the situation to a simple slogan – “Civilization is bad, so drop out” – and presented an unstructured collection of soundbite facts and uncited statistics to back the slogan up. It’s a great example of what critical thinking has been reduced to in our current society. That’s why, in most revolutionary uprisings, intellectuals are shot first, because they present the greatest danger to the revolution’s “principles.” In this country, we don’t shoot intellectuals (although some probably would like to); we just actively ignore them or, if forced to engage with them, resort to character assassination, name-calling, and belittling. (Side Bar – if you’d like a humorous, satirical take on this phenomenon, read this article: http://www.theonion.com/articles/nations-experts-give-up,682/?ref=auto)

    One of the things I would suggest you look into is the theory of social entropy, which is basically modeled after the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Entropy is an organic process of nature, and we as human beings are not immune to it. You might gain some insights from an exploration of this principle. Like many civilizations before us, we are heading for our demise, and this is a natural entropic process. Civilization, as an organic entity, is not really worthy of either our love or our hate, because it doesn’t care and can’t feel. What it might be worthy of is our deep, reasoned understanding of the processes that create a civilization, and a humanistic, objective and reasoned approach to its challenges.

    I’ll leave you and your readers with a little excerpt from one of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers, George Carlin:

    http://youtu.be/NL8HP1WzbDk

    • Bob Bob says:

      Tom, you make some good points and I appreciate them. I guess I only have two comments in response, 1) this is not an intellectual treatise, it is a blog post 2) it is an introduction to a complex subject, something like the opening paragraph. There is more to come.
      Bob

      • Tom Loughlin says:

        1) This is a weak defense. Are you saying that blog posts should be held to a lower standard of critical thinking and writing simply because they are blog posts? You are confusing the technology with the actual object. You have written an essay, using the technology known as a web log, or “blog” for short. What are your standards for writing an essay?
        2) I look forward to reading what’s to come. I encourage you to up your game. You’re a smart man who has managed to create a successful alternative lifestyle for himself through ingenuity and high practical skills. I see no reason why you cannot use that same skill set to improve your critical writing style. Your ideas are worth discussing and defending, but you need a better style so you do not come off as a ranting wild man in the woods :-).

  15. Rob says:

    Civilization gave someone the time to find and/or invent penicillin. Penicillin saved me when I was 5 years old.
    Civilization built & keeps the roads we all use open, I could go on but why bother?

    Civilization is our world…

    During the Y2K thing I first realized that there were some people that wanted civilization to fall and the terrible terrible time we’d have as that happened. They were hoping for it.
    I didn’t know what to say then and I don’t now.

    • HoboHounds says:

      Perhaps modern civilization and medicine (example: antibiotics, vaccinations, and lengthening life spans)is the downfall of the human race. Nature has a way of balancing itself, but we humans have the brain capacity of taking it to an all new level by overpopulating. Now it’s too late for nature to be kind to our race when it eventually balances itself.

      • Rob says:

        Nature does balance itself and it’s rarely kind when it does.

        My own view is that mankind has blossomed during the present interglacial period the last 10k years) and as the planet returns to it’s more normal state of an ice age mankind will adjust one way or the other

        • Bob Bob says:

          Rob, I’m Agreed 100%, all the environmental factors fell together perfectly for us to grow like a mold on a piece of bread. Now it is time for us to be thrown in the trash!

          However, like all bacteria, we are feisty little buggers and I am sure we will be back!
          Bob

  16. Vonbrown says:

    Bob, I am inclined to agree with you.I have on occasion after viewing the news, look to the sky and cry to The Great Spirit “Please wipe it out and start again” Perhaps that is why I choose to live in a van down by the river. Peace.

  17. Kris says:

    Hummm, I really don’t hate much, ok maybe mosquitoes and liver, but maybe you just hate what today’s America has become. Yep, Walmart provides cheaper goods, but at what loss to jobs? The internet opens up to allow us to learn about anything and everything but yet allows “big brother” to track us even closer. Kids don’t play outside, they are too busy with their video games and phones. Consumerism, greed, and waste come to mind (or maybe I’m just getting old?). You can’t stop it but you can choose to not participate right?? Nice post Bob, couldn’t wait to see the comments.. Kris

    • HoboHounds says:

      Unfortunately he who lives in any first world country is part of the problem on some level, me included.

      • Bob Bob says:

        Hobohounds, you are absolutely right! There is no getting around being part of the problem. The best we can do is minimize our contribution to it, and try to improve things in any way we can.
        Bob

      • Lynn says:

        We can also be part of the solution. It is easy to criticize, much harder to come up with viable solutions to these problems.

        • Bob Bob says:

          You are so right Lynn! I do have a couple of ideas for solutions I will share later, and then we can all contribute any ideas we come up with individually.
          Bob

  18. HoboHounds says:

    Bob, I just gotta say…I love your blog because of posts such as this one! Keep them coming 🙂

  19. CAE says:

    “I would never join a club that would have me as a member.”- Groucho

    “You can’t stop what’s comin’.It aint all waitin on you. That’s vanity” -No Country for Old Men

  20. dan novinger says:

    Bob:

    I understand your frustration with the whole of civilization.

    Humans aren’t very good at being strategic or constructive. It’s easier to be lazy. Life is short, so why waste time doing the right thing.

    Why not just amass as much money as possible, and burn up as much energy as possible? Pollute as much as possible with yard pesticides, herbicides and excessive nitrogen fertilizers by monsanto to make our grass in our front yard green and “pretty” with no dandelions. Even though we’re killing off the turtles, frogs and bugs and worms and other wildlife.

    Why not just pour that petrochemical or poison into the ground, where the groundwaters will take it to the river, and the rivers will take it to the ocean, and then we have a dead zone at the mouth of the rivers….every river on earth, and the dead zone grows every year in size.

    Why not just throw that chemical waste, poisons, heavy metals, and recyclable material into the landfill, who really cares? I mean I’ll be dead soon, so let the next generation take care of the problem right?

    When you remodel your home, why not throw that old faucet into the trash / landfill instead of taking it down the habitat for humanity restore for reuse?

    Why not just buy some Monsanto stock and make some money, even though they sell products that destroy our rivers, pollute our ground waters and our land, and air and killing the animals and other wildlife in the process.

    Sadly, most of us are busy with living our everyday lives working, making a house “live- able”, raising kids and paying taxes, and we don’t spend the time to do the right thing, and by doing so we’ve made a choice. Our lives and the result of our lives is driven by the choices we make every day.

    Many of us get frustrated because government seems to be doing nothing but the worst possible things if anything at all. But how many of us really educate ourselves, and get involved to help make a change for the better? Really most people don’t “have the time” after the basics are taken care of as well as they can do them.

    There’s a book out, I’ve heard that addresses that dysfunction of modern culture and society. It’s called “why things are falling apart” by Charles Smith / amazon. I don’t have any axe to grind on this book, and the book might actually be a real dud, I just don’t know. But the topic seems like a really good one to be written about. I feel that things just keep getting more and more screwed up as time goes forward.

    Here is an interesting quote from that book….
    “If we cling to the old ways, our system will disintegrate. If we want sustainable prosperity rather than collapse, we must embrace a new model that is Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable”

    I think what your post is saying is that you see the world and it’s people disintegrating even as we speak / write.

    I feel like our corporations and our government at all levels are totally UN-ACCOUNTABLE to the citizens, shareholders, workers and communities, that is to say that our democracy is NOT working for most of us / the 99%.

    I feel like Washington is a power hog community, and that we need to distribute that power and need to take control of the dissemination of our tax dollars away from those morons in DC, who don’t seem to share our goals and values.

    I feel like Washington is anything but transparent. It’s the black hole of America. Information goes in, and nothing good comes back out.

    I feel like Washington is anything but adaptive. Do you know of anybody in government who is trying to reduce the “dead zones” at the mouths of our rivers? This is something we need to be ADAPTIVE about to be stopping whatever pollution that is causing our oceans to become acidic and poisoned for the ocean wildlife including the fish. Yet, nobody is even discussing it! How many decades have passed since the book “the silent spring” has been written, and very little progress. How about mass extinction of the bees?

    And as you say in your post, it’s not just the USA, but China, etc., etc. It’s the whole human race that is failing to defend our home, EARTH.

    It’s really hard to imagine how to get people’s attention long enough to get Washington DC even interested.

    Seems pretty hopeless to me.

    WE’RE DOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMED!

    [Not being sarcastic, just stating it as I see it, because we’re so inept as a species at dealing with strategic issues that has longer term consequences – longer than 5 minutes]

    How about social security?

    I read an article the other day that I clipped from a newspaper 44 years ago about how social security was going to run out of money if “something wasn’t done”. Yet the same problem exists today that existed at that time, that social security doesn’t build up savings, but rather it’s just a stupid-simple tax – transfer system, which rather than building up capital to be used in our economy, it drains capital out of our economy by taxing young people to give the money to old people, less the cost of the operations of the beauracracy.

    Your post suggests that you are depressed about the problems, but you don’t know the half of it. If you did you’d be really depressed!

    Now that I’ve got you all cheered up, I’ll say that I was diagnosed with cancer 5 years ago, and I’m really glad that we have the biotech industry that sequenced the human DNA, and created monoclonal antibodies. These are the artificial lymphocytes that are designed to go into your body and they target a specific cancerous cell, kill that cancer cell, and then drag it out of your body through the waste disposal system of your body.

    I’m alive today because of these monoclonal antibodies, and I’m glad that they exist. These were created here in the USA, along with most of everything modern in the world today, and that is part of the reason why we use up so many materials, is because we’re productive {and wasteful}.

    It’s complicated and messy world, and I have little or no hope that the human race will survive more than a century or so yet into the future, because of humanities mass stupidity and inability to deal with strategic and macro problems.

    Bottom line: I share your pain, but it’s not all bad, however we are DOOOOOOOOMMMMED. Bank on it!

    Regards,
    Dan

    • Bob Bob says:

      Dan, wow, you covered some ground there! Basically I agree with everything you say (just a few details i would quibble with)! Well said!
      Bob

  21. Harmony says:

    I’m a realist and thank God you are one too! I’ve long ago let go of the delusion that all of this ‘progress’ has brought us benefits. Progress has only taken its associated problems elsewhere, hidden from view.
    Thank you Bob for voicing what people need to hear, to start pulling their heads out of the sand, at the sake of bursting their little comfortable ‘it’s got nothing to do with me’ bubble.

  22. Kris says:

    I know the US uses a lot of resources, but we also export over 45% of the food grown here. We are still the world leader in medicine and technology – maybe we HAVE lost ground on some fronts and maybe we had a messy past. (Some countries have a messy present!) But there is still no other place I would like to be.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Kris, I agree 110%!!!! There is no doubt in my mind that this is the greatest country in the world and it is hard for me to see how there could be a better one! There is nowhere I would rather be also!

      My complaint is with civilization, not America. We have made giant strides on both the ecological and social justice side. I think ticking time bomb of the environment and the economy is just about to run out on us, otherwise, who knows, we might just be able to solve some of these entrenched problems. But I don’t think so.
      Bob

  23. Ed says:

    If you take a look at history, you will find that all great civilizations or powers have failed. The US will be no different. It’s pretty obvious that greed will doom you. As the book says, Enjoy The Decline…

    Ed

  24. Calvin R says:

    Bob, for me “hate” is too strong a word. I have studied much of your information and you are exact or close in most of it. My particular spirituality descends from hunter-gather cultures, and I can find benefits and drawbacks to everything from the beginnings of agriculture to so-called reality TV. I could add a few details, but you you give the gist of the situation. “Tired, disgusted and fearful,” fits me better at least in some ways; hatred takes too much energy. Besides, as others have pointed out, I’m part of the problem. In US terms I’m very poor, but I have plenty of food, a safe, secure place to sleep, clean water, and a great deal more. Most of the world doesn’t have that, much less Internet access, cell phones, satellite TV and all the rest. None of this is limited to Americans; I see you as attacking “western” civilization, that offspring of Roman might and Christian zeal that predominates in Europe, North America, the “developed” parts of Asia, and Australia. I suspect that most of the world would take on all that consumer culture if they could, but I believe they’d lose a lot if they did it.

    John pointed out above that Earth can survive anything humans can do. That’s true; Mother Earth takes care of herself. However, he might want to note that in so doing she has eliminated many species. We could be next.

    We all seek or need to seek balance. I look forward to your future post on solutions. In the meantime, I will suggest one concept: the nations that have led the way into the current situation should lead the way through it.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Calvin, it probably is a poor choice of words, I doubt if i really “hate” it. Sometimes I just say things for the shock value.

      However, I do think it is evil and it is probably okay to hate evil. This Sundays post is going to be about my morality that leads me that conclusion.
      Bob

  25. Joy says:

    Bob,
    What a thought provoking post!

    Let me leave all that read this with a challenge.

    I will even make a blog post of my own to address it.

    [Name one thing you did ‘better’ today ,to help our Earth and our future generations to live a healthier and happier lifestyle, than we have now.]……multiply this by doing ‘one’ tiny thing/action every day….let’s see what WE can accomplish…together.

    This post is my one thing today…..lol.

  26. john says:

    Hi all! i amm just rambling. i don’t post much, but i can read. when i was very young i started to drink coffee when mom was not watching. because the grown ups were. all i wanted was to be a big kid now. i remember we only had a fire pit in the kitchen floor, all meals were cooked there and so was the coffee. mom used a old can that my grandma gave her. until one year my dad came home with a pot belly stove that we put in place of the fire pit. i also can remember what it was like for a child of maybe 4 or 5 to go to the town to buy supplies. i dont really remember how we got there, only the event. flower and such. the absolute basics to survive. if you think i was born in the 18th century you would be wrong. it was 1948. not going to bore you with all the crappy details of my childhood, but i thought that the way we were living was the way of the world. i was happy! then one day my dad came in the door with a used battery powered radio. wow there really was a modern world out there someplace. most everything was made in America. then one day somebody found out that if all these things could be made in a different country by using not much more than slave labor and ship it by boat to American consumers,(fast forward) then to all over the world. with out a thought of all these wonderful modern things lining the shelves of how we got them in the modern day. all of this for a coffee pot and big screen tv with a remote to change channels, and our cell phones by our side. all i have to say is that my next coffee pot had better have not only the means to come on at a set time that i choose, but it has to be able to bring it to me in bed. we now seem to hate our neighbors for what they have or what they do, just because it does not fit into the so called modern society. I dont know about you but i still think the old coffee taste better.

    John

    • Bob Bob says:

      John, you are so right, the world is changing at an incredible pace! In many ways it seems for the better, but all the social research and statistics say the same thing.

      WE ARE LESS HAPPY AND CONTENT THAN WE HAVE EVER BEEN BEFORE.


      All you have to do is look at the sky-rocketing rates of depression, suicide, mood-altering-medications, drug and alcohol abuse, rage and every other social ill–then you can see that all our progress is making us more miserable, not happier!
      Bob

  27. Ken in Anaheim says:

    Bob, et al;
    Joshua 24:15….” but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
    Seems to me that the Holy Bible (KJV) explains all this fairly clearly. The civilization we all WANT ended by Genesis chapter 3 and “the decline” then began.
    If you’re really curious you can actually see how it all turns out by reading the rest of the Book.
    KinA

    • Curtis says:

      I agree with you Ken but I also believe we should not try and hurry up it’s ultimate destruction by not being responsible and doing what we can to respect what God has given us.:)

      Bob I can feel your pain and for the most part greed has does this to the planet.

      I worked for Wal-Mart for over 10 years and the more I learned about their overseas dealings the more I did not feel like I wanted to work for them anymore.

      But in saying that breaking free and not buying products from them is a habit a bit harder to break but I am working on it.:)

      • Bob Bob says:

        Curtis, there are no easy solutions. I like my “stuff” as much as anybody else does. Let’s face it, most of us are addicted to it. Modern times makes us totally miserable so we fill the void with whatever we can. For many of us it is ever bigger piles of “stuff!”
        Bob

    • John J says:

      I learned very detailed instructions how to make proper animal sacrifices that are pleasing to God by reading all of Leviticus.

      • Bob Bob says:

        John, how is that working out for you?
        Bob

        • John J says:

          I modified the instructions a little, so that the neighbors would not complain, and so I would not get arrested.
          Despite the fact that I making amazing smoked briskets, BBQ chicken, etc. the Lord has not eaten any of it.
          I’m a little disappointed, to say the least.
          Fortunately, the leftovers are pleasing unto my friends and neighbors, and my two Labrador Retrievers.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Ken, it’s interesting that you quote the Old Testament. Doesn’t it also endorse genocide, slavery and stoning of “evil” people like witches? Or have I got that confused with something else?
      Bob

  28. white trash says:

    …after reading some of the stupid replies herein (other than Bob’s-which his are NOT stupid), I could see why people who actually care about the environment would want to drop out of society…

    Having said that, I only have one word as to why we got here in the first place: “OVERPOPULATION”…

    • Lynn says:

      White trash, North Americans and Western Europeans are in fact not over-populating the earth. We are looking at declining birth rates. The countries that are over populating are in fact the countries that have the lowest standards of living. Not sure what over population has to do with our over consumption.

      • White Trash says:

        Seriously ???
        You honestly believe that?
        Here’s the reason why I said “Overpopulation”… Notice the wealth of CITATIONS/REFERENCES included in the article of the website… Click on link below…http://www.fairus.org/issue/the-united-states-is-already-overpopulated

        Here’s just a snippet:
        The United States is already overpopulated in the sense that we are consuming our national ecological resources at an unsustainable rate. Our growing dependence on foreign energy supplies is a prime example. We now depend on foreign imports for 28.8 percent of our energy consumption: two-thirds of our petroleum products and about one-sixth of our natural gas consumption.1

        • Bob Bob says:

          White Trash, there is no question that overpopulation is HUGE problem. Our war on the earth is coming to a head and I believe one of the results is going to be a massive population decline.
          Bob

    • John J says:

      True word.

    • Bob Bob says:

      white trash, there is a lot of truth to overpopulation being a huge problem, but I think that is a little oversimplified. We’ll talk about that more.
      Bob

  29. JD says:

    Great post Bob!! Sounds like your really fired up on this one and I’m right there with ya!

    I remember the sinking feeling I had during the coverage of the BP oil spill. I also remember wondering why British Petroleum was in our gulf drilling for oil in the first place while our president was promising us independence from foreign oil. I personally don’t remember signing off on that. Funny how that works.

    I would encourage anyone who thinks your facts are outdated or don’t apply to them to go to: http://slaveryfootprint.org/
    and take the test for themselves to see how many slaves are working for them personally.

    Terrance Mckenna asserted in a recent podcast on the psychedelic salon that humans are in nothing more than a gestation period with the earth and that we must come full term and exit/leave her for the survival of both parties. Sometimes I wonder if there is a lot of truth to that.

    • Bob Bob says:

      JD, I took the survey and they said I had 50 slaves working for me. But, to be honest, I hated the website so I just hurried through it. Too cutsey and time consuming. But, there is no doubt that there are many slaves working for me.

      I agree totally with Terrance, we are a crossroads and one of us have to give in and surrender. I suspect it will be us!
      Bob

  30. DougB says:

    It occurred to me that if I didn’t already know Bob and admire his helpful open nature and his way of somehow wording gentle, careful replies to comments on this blog, that if this article was my very first exposure to the blog, I’d instinctively hit the Return button and surf elsewhere. I can get emotional venting anywhere. To me, it’s a flag signaling probable shallow thought. My hope is to live more thoughtfully than I have, and it’s easy to determine where I’m not going to discover food for thought. I guess I’m just not convinced that deliberately choosing this polarizing approach will be effective in motivating readers to make significant changes in how they live. It certainly draws attention, but will it draw careful consideration from someone new to this lifestyle approach? Each person is different, so I can’t generalize. For me though, the most effective approach is the sucker punch. The writer earns my trust over time, and then throws out well-reasoned and reasonable concerns, and ends by quietly inserting his unthinkably radical solution(s). The difference is that those radical solutions are then hard to write off as ill-considered. If a reasonable person starts espousing unthinkable actions, it becomes hard not to take it to heart. It’s easy to dismiss wild-eyed, accusatory barroom rants meant to fire up the emotions and close down thought – that’s how wars are prepared for and trenches are populated. I don’t even think that the proper target here is “civilization”. It’s really just our own individual baser natures for which civilization serves merely as a catalyst to make bad behavior more efficient to exercise. I guess what I’m saying that if a friend with an unusual lifestyle thoughtfully shares what he’s doing and why, it’s a whole lot more compelling (and disturbing) than if he opens up by screaming “I hate civilization!! It’s vile and evil cancer, and the sooner it collapses, the better!” After that point, my shit filters are fully engaged and I only hear some of what follows, waiting for the end. But that’s just me. I can tell from the comments that a few others respond differently – but are they the intended audience? Who is the intended audience?

    • Bob Bob says:

      Doug, they can’t all be gems! They aren’t all going to be popular or reasoned and rationale. If there is anything I want to bring to the blog it is variety and I guess that includes writing style as well.

      I guess I think it is like cursing and using obscenities. I believe there are times and places when an obscenity is the perfect thing. But you can’t use it too often or it looses its schock value. used rarely, and at just the right time, it can be amazingly powerful and effective.

      of course there are many people who disagree, they think it is always wrong to use an obscenity and that it is just intellectual laziness. I totally disagree–and it’s my blog!

      This post was one big FUCK YOU!! at civilization, and I offer no apologies.
      Bob
      Bob

  31. michael wilkerson says:

    I hate civilization. What is your alternative? Try finding the great things cultures and societies have done for the world, rather than looking for the negative. There are many more positives than negatives in the history of this world. What are you doing to help these shortcomings you identify. Are the cheap goods you purchase at Walmart made by exploited children? Amazon.com—completely innocent of your charges? What do you do with the money they send you? What, other than complaining, are you doing about the shortcomings you see ? Telling people to drop out, steal milk crates, deposit your garbage in dumpsters you don’t pay for. Throw human waste in garbage cans at stores so employees have to deal with it. That’s what backward societies do, spreading disease. Human waste is a health issue, addressed by civilization. How do you address it? Responsibly? Hardly. Welcome to the third world, Bobs way!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Michael, you ask a lot of very good questions! A few of them I have answers for, some I don’t. Most of your questions I will address in future blogs, so I won’t answer here. A couple I won’t so I will answer now.

      1) I was wrong to steal milk-crates. I apologized then and I will apologize now. I was wrong, I won’t do it again. 2) I don’t know if you ever had children, but I have and I can promise you that throwing away human waste in garbage cans is the normal procedure in American Society. I don’t know how old you are, but if you are like most of us, there is some of your human waste decomposing in a landfill somewhere. i can assure you my waste is every bit as safely handled as a baby diaper is and I think much better handled. Some of my kids diapers needed a haz-mat suit! None of mine do!! I am quite confident I have not contributed to any one getting a disease from it. 3) I almost always shop at a store when I use their garbage. Because I recycle, I don’t have that much garbage so I find a store i shop at and find one of their dumpsters and use it. I think it is a very fair trade.
      Bob

  32. Steve says:

    “Until you change the way money works, you change nothing” Michael C. Ruppert

    • Bob Bob says:

      Steve, that really is the key! Money allows the accumulation of wealth and power. Once you are headed down that road there is no end to the sorrows it brings.
      Bob

  33. Andy says:

    One of the hardest things I have found with moving away from civilization and becoming slowly more free, is to “unlearn” all the things I was taught to be “true”.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Andy, that is so very wise! Throughout our childhood we are constantly bombarded with societies propaganda and it is so much a part of us we can’t know where it ends and we begin. Stripping it all away is a job that will require the rest of our lives and I’m sure will never be done.

      I wish you luck as you chip away at it.
      Bob

  34. Steve N Zeke says:

    To me I seem to always be going against the norm, but common sense says that without “civilization” we would have tribal communities at best… Without civilization this life style would not and could not exist… with out civilization a allot of you would not be living, as without civilization it falls to the order of the strongest will survive and thus you would be dead at an early age through attrition due to weakness… There would be no gas, electric, no manufacturing, no food, no roads, no place safe to harbor for the night without fear of ambush… So whats left, a tribal society where you conform to tribal rules and territory, dont venture over that hill cause there you will die… I have in my military carrier met with tribal peoples and believe me they live in perpetual fear… No you have to want civilization, let it flourish to be able to live this life, as one cannot exist without the other… Do i want what i call the Matrix, hell no, but i have to understand that i have to except it, work it and live just outside of it to me to be happy… It is a Yin and Yang deal, good and bad, life and death sort of thing… Ya just have to except it and work it to your best advantage… You may hate it, but it really is the best thing going…

  35. Patrick says:

    The wasteful consumption of American people are side effect of the Capitalistic society which mainly focus on economic growths and more profits. That ‘s our problems! why we solve the problem? Without profits, there are no innovation and no advancement human civilization. That ‘s our predicament!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Patrick, that is exactly right. The potential to accumulate wealth and power is the driving force behind civilization. But the accumulation of wealth and power–and the constant striving for more–leads to all of societies ills. Keep going as we are and we get more suffering and destruction, stop the accumulation of wealth and power and civilization collapses.

      In the last century the developed world has tried to straddle the fence and cut back on the accumulation of wealth and power through taxation and solve societies ills with redistribution of wealth. It looks like that experiment is just about to blow up in our face! And the destruction of the earth has continued to increase.
      Bob

  36. Patrick says:

    The American wasteful of consumption are side effect of the Capitalistic society which mainly focus on economic growths and more profits. That ‘s our problems! why can we solve these problems? Because, without profits, there will be no innovation and no advancement in human civilization. That ‘s our predicament!

  37. michael wilkerson says:

    The people who make up this fantastic country do wonderful, amazing things every day. The simplistic notion that dropping out is somehow noble and worthwhile is, on it’s face, ridiculous. I ask again, other than pandering to those that agree with your negative outlook, what are you doing to help this failing civilization. Steve is correct, without the progress civilization has made, where would you be? It is a simple thing to stand on the sideline and point out what you imagine to be wrong because it does not work for you. Being critical is easy, being constructive is hard work. I have no issue with those who recognize this countrys shortcomings and faults if they understand that they share its bounty as well. This civilization you live in is the greatest ever developed by mankind. Perfect, no. The best, so far, yes. Perhaps when you understand that you only contribute to improvement when you stop complaining and actually get involved, you will feel better about the way this country works.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Michael, thanks for your comments I appreciate them. We are going to come to what actions I am taking and some solutions I have to offer, but I want to lay some more groundwork first. It’s a big topic and I can’t get it all in one post. In tomorrows post I am going to offer a preliminary suggestion that I hope many people will take.

      But I want to say again that my complaint is NOT with America or Western civilization. It is with all civilizations since they all first appeared all around the earth at about 7000 BCE. I specifically addressed America because I am an American and I speak mainly to an American audience. Had I talked about the ills of China everyone would have agreed and said “Of course, they are evil! But not us! We used to do some bad things but now we are good and pure as the driven snow! We don’t have slaves, we don’t pollute. Look how good we are.”

      Even after pointing out some tremendous faults, all anyone can do is point out how great we are. YES for us Americans, we are great!! For the residents of much of the world and the planet as a whole, not so much!!
      Bob

  38. Anna says:

    I agree with Steve and Michael. Bob, do you really need that satellite dish? Or your solar panels and all that go with them? A trailer AND a van? The generator? Those power tools?

    Excellent points made by many. But…I’ll turn this around and point it back at you. You’ve seen my van; no solar panels (made in China?), no extra house batteries (which will eventually go into a landfill) not even a computer (I confess to an e-reader), no electric lights (I did get that solar lantern, btw), no refrigerator. Shame on you! My carbon footprint is smaller than your carbon footprint! Na née na née noo noo! I hear ya talking but don’t see much walking. And I’m sure there are those who have/use less than I. LMAO! This is like a playground conversation. “My (blank) is better than your (blank).”

    Shouldn’t I hate civilization??? Really, Bob? I should believe what you believe? I should live like you live? Vote like you vote? Worship like you worship? Hmmm…

    • Bob Bob says:

      Anna, you are right, I am by no means a minimalist. Could I be greener? Very much so. Am I a hypocrite? Yes!

      In my own defense (but still not denying that I am a hypocrite, because I am) a very great deal of what I buy and carry is for no other reason than to use in service to others. You will be my first defense witness! While we were together, did you see me use my tools, generator, ladder and a bunch of other stuff to install solar panels on other peoples vans? YES OR NO!! There will badgering of the witness! I think you were there when I did it, but I’m not sure. Whether you were there or not, there are a lot of people running around with solar and other improvements on their vans that I did for them using those tools. There are even more people running around with improvements that did it themselves with my tools.

      Should I be ashamed of my solar? Again, you will be my defense witness (I’ll try to limit my badgering). I’m aware that my blog is only doing you harm (just kidding, I hope?!) but have you benefited from my Forum? Have my websites done you any good? Did you make friends that were helpful at the RTR? If you have benefited at all, then you owe it to my solar panels because there is no other way I can power my laptop for the many hours a day I spend on it working so that those things can benefit you.

      Am I ashamed of my satellite TV? NO! After working for many hours a day in service to this community and planet I NEED mindless entertainment to relax, unwind and recuperate. I don’t offer any apologies!

      Finally, let me say that while I am a hypocrite, and I could do much, much more than I am doing, I still honestly can say that I VERY MUCH wish that a million people would leave the American Dream and come and live the way I do. The planet would be tremendously better off!!

      I know I should be ashamed of myself, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.
      Bob

  39. John says:

    I have been reading a very good post-apocalyptic ebook series. One excellent point the authoress makes is equality of the sexes ends about 10 seconds after civilization does. Equal rights may be one of the crowning achievements of our civilization, no matter how long it took us.

    • Bob Bob says:

      John, while the Western world has made equality of the sexes the law and a goal, I’m not sure we have done it yet. In every statistical way, men are still dominate. But, they should get kudos for trying.

      However, in the great majority of the world the sexes remain very unequal. Civilization still has its boot on their neck.
      Bob

      • John says:

        Bob I was referring to American civilization which I presumed was the “civilization” you were expressing antipathy for. I should have said “gender equality” rather than equality of the sexes because then I would have included the LGBT community. In a lot of “civilizations” those folks would be summarily executed, no trials, no questions.

        • Bob Bob says:

          John, sorry, it was my mistake that I focused so much on America that it appeared I was ONLY talking about it. My mistake. No, I think all civilizations are evil, in fact America seems to have passed through it’s worst and is actually becoming fairly admirable as civilizations go. But all civilizations, America included, rely on the destruction of the planet and slave labour.

          Even in the realm of the LGBT community, I must give America some credit for a huge amount of progress. Of course there is a long ways to go, but like you said, it could be an awful lot worse. Just having a light at the end of the tunnel that is NOT an oncoming train is something to be pleased with!
          Bob

  40. Fred says:

    Thought provoking post Bob. I am sure in future posts you will better explain. But for now, here is my take:

    History, especially recent history, is resplendent with examples of misuse and abuse of the land, people, and all manner of things they have created and built. The pendulum swings too far one way before a correction is made and then back again the other way to an extreme and then it reverses course again. The middle ground (real balance) is often sought but rarely attained. Having said that, the fact that many, many, of the advances of today, in fact I would offer most, are as a result of the many things you appear to rail against. It is difficult to be too tough on these advances and still not appreciate what they have done for us. Quite simply, you can’t have it both ways.

    Have we at times abused the land? YES. But we also have just about any food we want and we have also learned that we need to replenish that very land through reforestation and better harvesting. Could our treatment of animals in testing medicine be better? YES But we also have a great many vaccines and cures for diseases that would have been virtually impossible without it and innumerable lives would not have been saved. Should we all go back to horse and buggy because the cars and planes of today use petroleum in its construction, uses oil derivatives to propel it, and other valuable resources as well? I would hope not. What we should do is realize we have a responsibility to use and build things, again, responsibly. That does NOT mean regressing to the pre-Industrial Age. China & India, the two major industrial players in recent years, are going through all the growing pains we did as a nation entering the Industrial Age. We, as a country, in general, want to buy things that are less inexpensive. China sees that need and provides it. That’s capitalism. Yes they pay awful wages and use child labor. So did we (this country) when we were in the midst of our growing pains.

    Each of us, in general, as a group of vandwellers and boondockers, is probably using way less resources than many of those in the cities and we ARE each doing our part, whether silently or vocally, in reducing our footprint. Because of the nature of this beast we call boondocking, or van living, no rent living, or as you are saying “dropping out”, we use way less water, generally way less plastic, less oil and all of its derivatives, and so forth. So we ARE contributing to a better place to live by our actions by using less.

    Remember the fact that we CAN and DO live this way is being reinforced, and hopefully it will be allowed to be perpetuated, by those who come after us and create those goods and services we will continue to use and need. The trick is to teach and accept a balance and not continue to be as rapacious in our use of natural resources. There is nothing wrong with responsible capitalism. It has given us the greatest country as well as the best life out of all I have seen in my travels to about 20 foreign countries at various times in my life. There are certainly a myriad of problems out there caused by lack of responsibility, capitalism, and greed in all its forms. Civilization comes in all forms, good and bad. It’s the people I have a time with. I am aware of the unsavory parts, but absolutely appreciate all the good that is here and I can openly enjoy.

    While my carbon footprint is much less than some, and indeed way less than it used to be, I am quiet sure that it is still higher than many on this blog. I will not voluntarily reduce it to pre-wagon train days, but equally, will not go back to many of my wasteful ways. It is a responsible balance I am comfortable with now. I’ll do my part (small though it may be) in my way, and as so many others have, and thus by using less, we will all have done something positive to contribute to a better country and environment. With all its problems, this country is still the best place to live and thrive in relative peace and comfort.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Fred, I can’t say this enough, the issue is not with America, it’s with a global system that is destroying the planet.

      My whole goal here is to get people to look at things from a different point of view from their own. To a slave owner, everything looks pretty rosy, to the slave, not so much! If we could only see things through a new pair of glasses.

      You said a lot, but I will only address one point. You said:

      Have we at times abused the land? YES. But we also have just about any food we want and we have also learned that we need to replenish that very land through reforestation and better harvesting.


      Fred, you and I can have any food we want, but 16 million American kids are going to bed tonight without enough to eat. http://www.nokidhungry.org/problem/hunger-facts. To you and I, things look pretty good! What does it look like to those kids? There are 870 million chronically undernourished people in the world (1 in 8 of all humans). Is civilization really wonderful for them? http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm

      I don’t believe we are replenishing the land at all. It’s my understanding that we have stripped it of all nutrition and we are growing food out of chemicals made from fossil fuels. The soil is just an empty medium. http://soils.usda.gov/use/worldsoils/papers/land-degradation-overview.html Then the chemicals run off into the waterways destroying them.

      There is a much, much bigger picture here than you and I can see in our rosy little lives. Looking at it is not easy or fun, but I believe it is necessary.
      Bob

  41. Ed says:

    Interesting post, Bob.
    You know, anyone with access to Google can come up with all sorts of facts about what a sorry world we live in. Pointing out problems is a piece of cake. Most anyone can do it.
    Every time you shop at WalMart, Dollar Store, etc., you’re casting you financial vote for child labor, substandard working conditions, sweat shops, etc. Every time you buy gas you’re saying Exxon and Chevron are my kind of companies. Every time you buy packaged foods your voting for pesticides, herbicides,and the death of the small traditional family farm. Who’s guilty of creating the disaster you paint?

    Go stand in front of the mirror; there he is!!

    Here’s the challenge for you and your readers.
    Come up with a solution to *any* of the issues you point out that is politically, financially, socially and legally feasible.

    Much more difficult then Googling up problems.

    Ed

    • Bob Bob says:

      Ed, I have to agree with you, you are right. There is much more I could be doing, but I honestly feel like I am trying to make change for the better and I think I am succeeding. Not nearly enough, but some.

      According to most 12 step programs, the hardest and most important step is the first one where you admit you have a problem. We are still there. I do have some solutions I am going to offer, we just haven’t gotten there yet.
      Bob

      • Ed says:

        Looking forward to your ideas, Bob. The realist in me says if any *solution* is not politically, financially, socially and legally feasible it’s just idle chatter.

        Not unlike the far right radio entertainers like Hannity, Beck,Limbaugh, etc. Lots of criticisms but no workable ideas.

        • Bob Bob says:

          Ed, no, your right I don’t have any solutions at the government, or global level. I don’t believe there are any. I believe that humans took a wrong turn on the evolutionary branch when we headed down the road of agriculture and civilization. It happens all the time, one example is the Neanderthals, they were a branch of the human tree that failed, so it got cut off. Nature is not sentimental, if it something doesn’t work, it has to go!

          Civilization does not work! It too will have to go.

          However, I do have solutions for us as individuals to take and I will offer those. In fact today’s post was one of them. Adopt a new moral code.
          Bob

  42. Jenny says:

    China should wise up one of these days and realize they’ve destroy their environment to provide the world/US with goods that pay poverty wages to their citizen. But like most other countries, the small percentage of the ruling class dictates the fate of the masses. It’s just sad. The US having the world’s reserve currency will continue to enjoy the fruit of the labor of the lesser countries. Having a economy base on voracious consumption is partly to be blamed for the excess waste and use of resources of the US. The Chinese are a culture of hard working people. Until they realize they’ve been exploited, we’ll continue this status quo. Is it too much to hope for that instead of dogmatic religion and ethic specific, we can all try to be kind and considerate to our fellow human being, use only what we need and no hoarding.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Jenny, I’M afraid that history shows us that it is too much to ask! CIVILIZATION=CONQUEST. The civilized urge is to conquer, enslave, destroy and control. We may not like it, but there are no exceptions in recorded history. There is some evidence that when a society matures, it starts to give up it’s evil ways. But by then it i old and weak another young, viscous civilization destroys it. That’s exactly where America is now.

      In it’s defense, China is in the process of a massive effort to switch over to renewable resources. They are by far the global leaders in wind and sun power production.
      Bob

      • Jenny says:

        Empires comes and goes. There was the Greeks, then the Romans, Ottoman, British, and now the US. Who knows what comes next. Humanity will survive. The key is to continue to Learn and Understand our physical world, so that we’re equipped with knowledge and not myth, to solve problems as they arise. Let’s hope cooler heads always prevail, so that we humans won’t self destruct prematurely.

        • Bob Bob says:

          Jenny, you are right, empires have come and gone, but the thing they all have in common is civilization. I know how horrible this sounds, but I see civilization as so fundamentally flawed and evil that the only solution is for it to end.

          That’s natures way, and we are only a tiny, insignificant part of nature. Somehow we came to believe the myth that we are somehow superior or better than the rest of nature and so deserve to be able to destroy it at will.

          The myth NEEDS to be, and WILL be, debunked.
          Bob

  43. michael wilkerson says:

    What some are saying about China here was said not so long ago about India. Look into India’s economy. Smokin ! Not just due to we evil Americans but to their ability to adapt. My wife called it business agility. China has survived many centuries, don’t count her out yet.
    It is very simple to copy and paste, get called out for your inconsistencies and admit to being a hypocrite. What is the point in the first place ?

    • Anna says:

      Michael,
      What is the point in the first place? Just drink the koolaid, don’t ask questions, and follow the guy in front who’s wearing the bell.

    • Bob Bob says:

      About China and India, the key difference between the two is freedom. Every bit of research I’ve heard of has said that the freer a government, the better the economy. India has much more freedom than most of the world so it has a much better economy. For China to become an economic super-power it had to loosen the reigns of its economy and allow some freedom. They are actually proving the point that freedom results in a better economy. The US on the other hand is going the other direction, our economy is less-and-less free every day. So we are in a (fatal?) economic decline, and China is in ascendancy.

      I am certainly not counting China out! Before it is all over, I think there is some chance we will have a one-world-government with China as the head.

      What am I trying to accomplish? We are addicted to the pleasures and lures of civilization. The first post was an intervention filled with shock value to try to break us out of our denial and delusion. Todays post (Part 2) was an attempt to open our eyes to a new core value so that we WANT to change and break the addiction. more to come…
      Bob

  44. michael wilkerson says:

    I guess at this point I have to ask, who made him the lead cow ?

    • Bob Bob says:

      Michael, you did when you opened my blog and read it. By the way, my disciple will be by today at about 4:00 PM with the kool-aid, be sure to be home.
      Bob

  45. ROB C says:

    Bob, I agree with most of your frustration about western society. What do you think when I say that while yes North America uses alot of natural resorces, part of that is because North America sends so many things abroad via forigen support/aid? I also understand your angst about sending jobs overseas and exploiting 3 rd world people for cheap products, but the irony is because the Federal goverment promoting policies like that, it is in effect driving down the standard of living in America, due to the loss of manufacturing jobs, soon to a point I believe, that America will soon mirror the very countries we get cheap products from. You know you and others promoting a simpler life by dumping all of our stuff and living in an RV or van and hitting the raod proves that the American way of life is slipping from excessive consumption to practical consuption either by choice or circumstance.
    China is not expeirencing pollution only because of making cheap products for other nations, China is in its industrial revolution similar to what the U.S was going through in the early 1900’s. People in china are becoming STUFF junkies too. They are buying homes,cars,MP3 players their disposable income as well as the middle class is exploding. If you take some time and research global stategic impact of the demand for future fossil fuel needs, you will learn that China is postioning itself now to have access to all the coal, gas and oil it thinks it will need to bring itself to a level of American lifestyle. I think it is this future demand of energy that will lead to a global conflict for recources. Humanity will be the GREATEST loser in the end! Personaly, I live a modest life, my computer is 12 yrs old, my car is 10 yrs old, buy lots of needed things 2nd hand,grow some of my own food, and just live as a simple life I can. I enjoy reading articles from Backwoods home and Mother Earth magazines and get good ideas from those publications. “Civilization is always evil!” Well I am not sure about that, I think GREED is always evil!
    Bob,I hope you and Homer stay safe and well. I really do enjoy your blog!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Rob, I think we are basically in agreement on most things. I fundamentally agree with your analysis. One of the main reasons for my pessimism is the fact that China and India are doing everything they can to elevate their billion people into consumers just like us. The earth simply can’t support that many people doing everything in their power to destroy it.
      Bob

  46. tree servant says:

    Hey Bob! Interesting and provocative subject matter. Here is my 2 cents worth: I have become a misanthrope. When I was born (and, I suspect, you and most of your readers) there were 2.5 billion humanoidsNow there are three times that number. I’m betting on MER Voc, or some other super virus to address our own virulent spread and hupet-destructiveness.

    • Bob Bob says:

      I’m not ready to go that far tree servant. I don’t dislike people, I just hate what they have created. When the billions die (including me) I will have very mixed feelings: on one hand horrified and sickened by the suffering and on the other relieved that the suffering of the planet and all of it’s inhabitants at our hands is over.
      Bob

  47. Douglas says:

    I find a lot of people downright despicable. Doing things to their fellow humans (and also to animals) down right horrible. Murder, violence and the like, I find horrible.

    I would like all of the human race to live in peace and realize that we are in some way dependent on the planet that God gave us. I also realize that there are many out there that wish to do harm to others. I have taken measures to help in the defense of my family, friends and others from such that would do harm. But, like I said, i vastly prefer living in peace. With the fallen nature of MAN, we have not been able to do that on a large scale. Some neighborhoods can’t even do that.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Douglas it does seem to be intrinsic in our nature. All the latest anthropological findings say that the live of our hunter-gatherer ancestors were dramatically better than our own. Humanity and all the inhabitants of the planet would be greatly improved if we went back to that way of life.
      Bob

  48. Holus says:

    Yeahh!! We are agree with you ..

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Products I use and Recommend to Every Vandweller

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