DJ Droood wrote:People aren't going to live in a caravan and walk to the ditch to pick nettles until they have to, and currently they don't. This may sound rude, but I'll be honest...you sound more disillusional than smug...sort of like the Marxists you see trying to hand out their Workers newspapers to the business people downtown.
DJ, for your information there are reckoned to be around 100,000 caravan dwellers in the UK, 200,000 people live in what are called mobile homes, and according to the Residential Boat Owners association 15,000 people live in boats, though I think that is a big underestimate as this is an area fraught with planning and licence issues, so there are a lot of people about who officially 'spend a lot of time on their boat'!
. So Katie and I are by no means alone in choosing to live in what you might call an unorthodox way of life. In fact more and more people live this way in the UK, as conventional housing gets constantly more expensive.
Living this way has a lot of advantages, firstly you have a sense of independence that people living in flats don't have. Living this way is cheap, so many boaters and travellers only need to work part time, and aren't tied to a big mortgage. Living in a small space gives you much closer contact with nature and your neighbours, human or non human.
Then of course the emissions of 'small home' dwellers are enormously reduced. Boaters especially rely on solid fuel heating, most using wood stoves, and since moorings with electrical hookups are rare, generating their own power with solar, wind or by running their engines. Heating and maintaining any kind of small house is tremendously better for the environment even if you use conventional means. Mobile homes built to modern spec are very well insulated.
I haven't even mentioned the greenest of them all, but there are many people living hidden away in yurts and benders who, because they don't have and can't get planning permission don't show up on any statistics. I have met many of them, and know they are out there!
I'm not sure what you mean by disillusional as that isn't a word in English. If you mean delusional, then I disagree, because as I have said lots of people live this way, and a significant number want to, but I'll come to that in a minute. If you mean disillusioned, then we are certainly not that, we are very happy living how we do, and although we re looking for land of our own to buy, we have no intention of ever living in a house. After our whole adult lives living like this, the idea of house dwelling, everyone all shut away yet so close to each other, just gives me the shivers! Grim!
DJ Droood wrote:I'm not saying you are wrong...that people need to/should use less resources...but it isn't going to happen until after a great Die Off. In a sense, you are playing the same game as Big Oil, as your outcomes will be the same...a collapse, followed by the survivors living like medieval peasants. That is the only way your vision would be realized, and I can't see people buying in.
Firstly the way we live isn't the only way to live with more or less zero emissions. If you live in a small or easily heated house or flat, cycle or use public transport and drive minimally, don't fly and choose your food and gadgets carefully then you are already living within the Earth's means. There are lots of ways to reduce your impact.
We are already seeing a whole cultural shift towards the authenticity of food, possessions and experiences like travel, a direct response to the commodification of life. As yet this is a small movement in the face of international corporate capitalism, but human beings follow fashion and the paradigm is changing.
Lots of people are trying to find ways to live low impact lives. The UK planning system is constantly being challenged by those who would build their own low impact dwellings. In some areas there is already provision for this, and I honestly think it is only a matter of time before, under strict guidelines, low impact rural dwelling becomes another option. In the US and Canada there are already many who think enough is enough. Just check out the Tiny House blog, for instance (http://tinyhouseblog.com/
). In UK towns the greening of many cities is already underway, there is a huge growth in allotment gardening for instance.
Every single person in this growing movement who chooses to live simply and with consideration for the planet as a whole (so that others may simply live, as it says over our door) makes it easier for those who follow, so if its all the same to you we'll stick to our guns!
DJ Droood wrote:Perhaps you see signs of a Great Awakening that I don't, and I am the disillusion one. The best thing I can say for your stance is you will at least be ahead of the game if and when people are forced to live like that. But honestly, that vision sounds like post-plague London, and I think it will drive more people to want nuclear reactors. Beware the law of unintended consequences.
Well as you see I disagree. Living simply is a positive and pleasurable way to live, as I sit in front of my log fire listening to the owls in the tree above. It has its challenges, but they are all things (like taking responsibility for building my own structures, disposing of my own sewage etc) that make you grow as a person and increase your capabilities and sense of self worth. I don't think anyone has gone away after visiting us planning to buy a bigger house and get some more gadgets!