Many folks ask if our self sustainable dome project is to prepare for coming doom and gloom. There is a growing fear of what many call a societal breakdown which necessitates armed protection. Online and all around social media there is evidence of a growing interest in owning and learning to use firearms. Many call this a necessary evil, and proclaim we should get armed, be realistic – and quit living in La La Land. We believe the term ‘necessary evil’ is a pervasive oxymoron that in due time will no longer be an acceptable excuse for perpetuating violence. In the spirit of sustainability we choose peace as our protection rather than arms. Here is why.
Everyone remembers learning of the forming of the Union from the original 13 colonies. We memorized the names of generals and dates of the bloody clashes with the natives. Most believe that there was no way to live in peace on the same land. We rarely hear about the peace in Pennsylvania where the non violent Quakers had no incidents of murder or rape living amongst the natives. It was not until the Union formed and the military established itself in Pennsylvania that killings began. Some Quakers then died – but only three that had joined the newly established army.
Similar to the Middle East story… the “powers that be” made sure their financial interests were protected through puppet politicians and armed proxy governments and guerrillas in the last half of the twentieth century. Thus Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras all had civil wars followed by decades of violence and social unrest. This subsequently led to generations of lost boys who now form the deadliest gangs in these countries where more than a dozen murders occur daily in the cities. On August 16-18, 2015 there were 125 murders in just 3 days in El Salvador. This has led to an estimated 66,000 kids fleeing for their life in the last 2 years.
Neighboring Costa Rica also had a civil war, but then officially abolished its military in 1948. What followed was peace ever since and the emergence of a safe haven in Central America. This goodwill seems to have grown as Costa Rica recently decided to close public zoos in the spirit of honoring an animal’s right to freedom. They have adopted a no cage policy for animals in a time where humans are being caged at unprecedented rates around the world – ironically mostly in America – the land of the free.
On the road to Indian independence many of Gandhi’s followers were met with armed forces bent on stopping their quest. When peace was persistent the armed forces were stopped in shame – some even fled scared. Martin Luther King and many others showed similar success. For a time John Lennon was considered an enemy of the United States. Peace proclaimers are considered dangerous and are commonly killed by bullets – but they are hardly silenced. This is why our project has nothing to do with acting from fear. Rather, we are preparing for a future that is sustainable. Building and living in humane communities in peace is the only sustainable path. We choose to live in La La land. Light easily illuminates and cuts through darkness, yet no amount of darkness can ever dim the light.
As usual, your timing on subject matter couldn’t be better. I work in the Santa Cruz Mountains doing odd jobs on the weekends. Most of this is charity but sometimes I receive access to land and space for my geodesic dome prototypes. This gives me unprecedented access to the lives of these people.
A lot of people in the mountains ascribe to survivalism. They spend their fortunes on bomb shelters and guns.
I’ve never understood the predilection for guns among the Santa Cruz Mountain folk. Last summer, a fox started raiding one of the resident’s plum crop. The landowner’s immediate desire was that, the next time I see the fox, I was to shoot it.
I couldn’t imagine killing such an intelligent and magnificent creature. I trapped it and released the fox in Big Sur instead. La La Land and the Power of Peace has been weighing heavily upon my mind these days.
The fox would sequester away a single plum in its mouth each day leaving plenty for the landowner to harvest. I’ve been told it does the same when it steals chickens. It takes only one chicken and leaves the rest. It takes only what it needs. the rest of its time is spent guarding its territory. I studied the fox for a good week after being ordered to kill it. I would catch the fox languishing in the midst of the plum orchard from time to time. It acted as though it owned the place!
In this situation, there was a “fox tax.” It cost me one plum a day for the protection provided by the fox. When I found the landowner was about to return from his vacation, I trapped and relocated the animal.
It turns out the fox had been providing an incredible service to the orchard. The night the fox was relocated to Big Sur, a raccoon came into the orchard destroying the entire plum crop. The critter (critters?) picked every single plum and left a mess of half eaten plums all over the ground.
The trick to survival in this society and the next seems to rest in the study of nature and its gentle balance.