Friday, July 06, 2007

Listened to Bill McKibben last night

Mr. McKibben wrote "The End of Nature" in 1989 and several other books about us, our environment, our joy, and how we live. He gave a great talk to UCSB and eloquently stated what I've had on my heart and have been trying to teach my kids for some time now. I wish I'd written down some quotes but one statistic he used was how a poll that has been done since the 40's asking Americans simply "are you happy" shows a peak in "happiness" in 1956. Since 1956 happiness has steadily decreased in this country while overall personal wealth has steadily increased. McKibben suggested that while most news will have some aspect of the health of the economy rarely do we see much on the health of the community or of the environment we live in - which often is much more closely related to overall happiness than our economic stability. I have found in my own life that my financial status has very little to do with my own happiness. I also know that most of the time the "good old days" in my life weren't all that good and I'm kind of glad they are gone.

I did disagree with Mr. McKibben on one point. He stated that he wrote the first book that really revealed the theory of "Global Warming" but I read about it in "Entropy" by Jeremy Rifkin in a book published in the late 70's. Granted the book was about much more than global warming but it had a chapter on it so Mr. McKibben wasn't the first (he was first published in 1989). Aside from all that Mr. McKibben appeared very honest, straightforward and not as venomous as some of the "tree-hugger" types (what my co-worker Jeremy calls me) that I often hear or read.
I think his new book "Deep Economy" will be a very good read.

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