Sunday, 23 November 2008

Cheap is sexy again

My oh so stylish Swedish friend blogs about the mainstream ascension of dumpster diving and freeganism. Unemployment sores. Credit disappears. The nerve of the nation is frugality, again, as it was during the Great Depression. Den gröna vågen gör intåg i hus och stuga...

If so, I’m on the cusp of cool! The air of scorn for flashy bling, a pocket of saved fastfood napkins, and a shirt I found in the laundry room, all suddenly the mark the with-it.

A Spanish friend and dumpster-diving mentor calls it “buscar vidas”, searching to live (she found the sweets in the picture). To her, and many impoverished others, its primarily for survival. To me, its longterm survival: planetary, ecosystem survival. Gaia gives us 2 degrees to warm, about 500 ppm Carbon Dioxide equivalent, until the planetary system is perturbed to an entirely new homeostasis. One without ice-caps, without the Amazon, without the tundra—an Earth unseen in 3 million years. Its not something that “heals” itself, it sits happily and steady within its new nightmarish balance.

There is a bright side to economic slowdowns. An economic contraction, reduction in material standards of living, slows the rate of climate disruption. And I write that recalling the sting of the early 90’s recession--- and how government marine “biologists” faced numerous bomb threats from fisherman during those years.

In the new tradition of frugality, today a friend and I used construction boxes as sleds to slide down Lund’s only hill of note. Its snowy here. Its quite beautiful. There is a sensual nostalgia to the bitting cool of snow: warm smoking stoves, drafts, the laziness of Christmas, swaying craggy trees silhouetted against ghostly snowscapes. I love it! With it too do the Swedes really shine—they just sort of make sense when it snows.

But with the snow also comes a sense of foreboding. Mostly all of my new friends are leaving in January. Oh well, time to get serious with my thesis.

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