The Resource Matrix IV: Layers
A new-age freak grinned at me last Friday and shared her relevation, “Everything’s energy. And everything’s connected. Don’t you get it, man?”
But you know, she’s right.
Otherwise, how would you explain melting polar ice and island nations disappearing under rising ocean levels? Randomness just doesn’t cut it as a solid excuse anymore.
A couple of years ago, some determined energy interests utilized hired hypnotic practitioners (several US senators and climate scientists) to declare to the public that there is no global warming. Early on, they tried introduce confusion into the debate with their term, “climate change,” which suggested that the environment changes randomly and there’s no proof that global warming is a serious trend.
Unfortunately for them, their efforts didn’t work, and ironically “climate change” is another term for “global warming.”
Have broken through that layer of illusion, the Do-Gooders (concerned scientists and environmental groups) and the Hybrids (for-profit companies that actually do some of those same things that someone who cares about you would do, rather than merely say, “We care about you,” which all companies say) have helped us gain greater awareness and provided with the means to change:
- “Global warming is real, and here’s a CFL lightbulb and more info.”
- “Water shortage is real, and it has nothing to do with long showers.”
Today, in our final article of The Resource Matrix, we peel back layer after layer to get to the core and break the code that sends the whole system crashing down like a ton of bricks. And what you find will surprise — even shock you!
Let’s begin with the first layer:
the illusion that non-sustainable costs less than sustainable
We began The Resource Matrix by explaining that economics comes out of 18th century political economy, and that political economy itself comes out of moral philosophy, and this moral philosophy apparently had room for colonialism, a fancy term for the answer to the eternal question: “How can I get that for free?”
Within economics and its moral background is the concept of the “free good:” a good that is not scarce. A free good is available in as great a quantity as desired with zero opportunity cost to society. Earlier schools of economic thought proposed that free goods were resources that are so abundant in nature that there is enough for everyone to have as much as they want.
To sustain the illusion that products that pollute the air and water are cheaper than those that don’t create a mess, the scroundels just pay the referees fat sacks of hush money. “What foul? Play ball!”
the illusion of separation
The next layer we peel away is the seeming “illusion of separation.” The grinning new-age freaky girl has it right again: “Everything’s connected.”
Global warming is not a fossil fuel issue. It’s a consumption issue that involves insane water policies that dictate growing cotton in the Egyptian desert, installing the world’s highest-shooting fountain in the desert city of Phoenix, Arizona to run 12 hours out of every 24, draining rivers to grow rice for exports, polluting the same rivers in India that people drink from with toxic chemicals used for dyeing cotton and wondering why nearly every single person in town died. And on and on ad nauseum.
it’s up to government and industry to bring change
In the commercial marketplace, you vote with your feet. If you’re sitting in a movie theater and the film sucks, you stand up because you can’t take it any longer. And walk out. Just remember who the lousy director or actor was so you’re not doomed to repeat your history of lousy film choices.
If we leave it to government and industry to form a partnership to solve water usage issues, it will be virtual warfare, as we described in our last article (The Resource Matrix part 3 of 4: the coming cold water waters):
In this game, you start as leader of a country which has certain industries, a growing population, and dwindling water resources. Your objective is to maintain or enhance the lifestyle of your people by shifting water use to other countries in order to prevent internal strife and your eventual overthrow and death by coup d’etat.
And as you read, this game has no winners. It’s not sustainable.
Rather than blindly obeying the on-screen instructions (“Please pick a COUNTRY, PLAYER NAME, and Press the START button to begin now.”), it’s best never to press the START button at all.
Instead of giving your power over to the Government/Industry Gamers, vote with your feet.
Like doing business with those who conduct themselves in line with your own beliefs (cruelty-free products manufacturer, member of your own religious faith), you can make certain individual decisions consciously.
In certain cases, you make conscious decisions that consciously support certain businesses:
- retailers (and the manufacturers) of compact fluorescent bulbs
- shade-grown coffee
- cruelty-free health and beauty products
In certain cases, you make conscious decisions that unconsciously reduce support for certain businesses:
- using daylight instead of manufactured light sources reduces coal production and its polluting effects, in addition to saving energy
How about water? What choices do you have? Here’s possible near-future scenes:
Online resumes now include diet preferences as an indicator of personal water footprint and employment site search tools include diet as a filter.
Business headlines: “Demand for beef-free Hindu programmers causes short squeeze in software development market – low-waterfoot print computer geeks ask for, get 25% more than meat-eating peers” and “All-vegan employee company Sustainatrix International goes public in huge stock offering – market value of $150 billion confirms validity of sustainability in capital and financial modeling”
The Matrix and Vanilla Sky:
Not what it seems
In The Matrix, Morpheus explains that “the Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”
In the 2001 Tom Cruise psychological thriller Vanilla Sky, built layer upon layer of seeming reality, Cruise’s handsome character enjoys the charmed rich life, then gets into an accident that mars his face, over which he needs to wear a mask. Eventually distraught, he goes out drinking, and ends up literally in the gutter to sleep it off.
He wakes to continue his life in an sequence of odd experiences. Finally remembering some repressed memories, he gets help and peels back one layer of the illusion: all his “experiences” since landing in the gutter have been a dream.
Trying to cope with his shattered worldview, he peels back another layer: worse, he’s been “dead” for 150 years and in a state of suspended animation.
And yet, the movie itself is not what it seems. Vanilla Sky was a Hollywood idle rich American kid adaptation of the 1997 Spanish original entitled Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) and also co-starred Penelope Cruz in her same role.
I introduced this four-part series by explaining that:
the Resource Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
You take the blue pill and the story ends.
You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
I’ve shown you how deep the rabbit hole goes, and now you can wake in your bed and choose to continue to live like Tom Cruise, or you can break the code.
To break the code that creates the graphical user interface and see the illusion for what it really is, you need only do one thing, as repeated by Tom Cruise’s alarm clock each morning in Vanilla Sky:
Open your eyes.
And see the Resource Matrix, everywhere, all around you.
Thanks for letting us keep you updated . . .
To your green, brighter future,