News and Thoughts On Momentum

There’ve been so many changes/new developments since last installment. As you may, or may not, have noticed, I’ve not been getting much done, at least insofar as “on my Mission,” since getting home in August. I’ve been thinking a lot about what was going on. It felt like losing the momentum that you’d gained by a strong push at a hill while riding a bike. I’ve been trying to get into a lower gear and struggling against the tension that keeping going at all puts on the chain, making the derailleur’s operation hard.

I think I’ve gained that lower gear now by a rather drastic action. I’ve rented a house in South Lake Tahoe (in town vs. where I live, in the county) and am now commuting on a weekly basis, spending Monday morning through Friday afternoon there. The plan is to have an office/meeting place for CS3rd (Common Sense for the Third Millennium) where I won’t be distracted daily by the numerous trivial pursuits that, in total, are critical to maintaining a home, nor hindered by the need to orchestrate each social/business meeting around the needs of my spouse. Hopefully it may serve, too, to make that relationship stronger, for nothing makes the heart grow fonder than having George just a little farther over yonder–or at least that’s what I’m hoping for.

The location is primo, backed to the meadow behind Pope Beach, and the facility has huge potential as a meeting place on account of a spacious living room with gas fireplace for effect. Biggest immediate need now is appropriate furniture and a large rug for warmth (pergo is pretty cold). If we decide to use the facility to entice guest speakers from off the hill by offering them a place to stay, as we might, an acceptable bed would also be needed (I like the firmness of the floor, but recognize my extremity in this as in many other areas). As an added bonus, the shower provides excellent resonance for my morning Trumpeting meditations.

The “Meadow House,” as I’m calling it, has it’s own DSL and phone line. Call 530.542.2368 if you want to reach me during the week, and especially so if you can help by providing any of the items suggested above, or anything else that might be useful for this locale–even on loan. Of course, money in the form of membership is always welcome (e-mail your interest to gwdrake@to-mars.org). Thanks.

One of the first goals of CS3rd will be rejuvenating the Earthwise Commute-athon this spring. We hope to see the event spread to more than just South Lake Tahoe. To make that a reality this Spring we need to start organizing immediately. Please contact me via e-mail if you can help. The primary targets for communities outside SLT would include Reno, Sacramento, Davis, Chico and anywhere else that might have a good local leadership person to start the program. If you know someone to contact with that potential, even in other cities (preferably reachable by auto from SLT), let me know.

Speaking of the loss of momentum in describing my recent circumstances puts me in mind of an observation I made years ago and have often thought particularly helpful: much that plays important roles in science has powerful analogues in everyday life. Knowing how important momentum is to the direction taken under crisis situations, such as a collision, is central to why I have hope in the efforts I am making. Oddly, it’s also precisely at the core of my appeal to those of you who have sympathy with the concerns I raise, but lack the compelling force of a Vision, as I do, to drive you to radical action in the defense of Gaia.

Momentum in society is a collective phenomenon that makes its recognition difficult from within the social groups in which we all surround ourselves. Those of us who live environmentally aware lives by recycling, driving relatively environmentally sound cars, contributing to The Sierra Club, etc., etc., don’t tend to see–or at least truly credit–the momentum that presently propels the world toward the greatest disaster Gaia has ever encountered. How many of you are friends with a Hummer owner, outside of those of you who actually own Hummers?

But the momentum is truly there. By far, most people in the world live very different lives from that which I just described. Environmentalism is not even on the agenda of most people who have to feed the family but aren’t succeeding very well. That’s most of the people in the world. Add to them the vast numbers whose lives are completely alienated from nature by being totally embedded in urban cultures unconcerned with anything non-human, and you’ve got Momentum. With a capital M.

And even what the environmentalists actually currently do is far from adequate as a response to threats so clearly spelled out, for example, in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

That’s the part of “momentum” that terrifies me and ought to scare even the most hopeful of you. The part that gives me hope is that I know that now is the time to shift the momentum toward good environmental attitudes, so that, when the multiple crises so many see on the horizon actually begin to manifest themselves, the force of momentum is on our side, not working against us.

I know it is time because of another analogue from physics: the potential energy of the masses has a new outlet. The internet has freed the average person of the constraint of anonymity. While it is always impossible to accomplish anything alone, it’s no longer the case that one cannot be heard without large amounts of initial monies to get you started. Everyone now has access to everyone else. You don’t have to own a press to reach the masses. Of course, you still need to have a message, you still need to have a hook, you still need to join with like minded people, and you still need to work you’re A-word off, but it’s finally possible to actually be heard.

Join with Common Sense for the Third Millennium now (e-mail me) and we can begin by throwing our weight toward a change. That the hill is beginning to tremble is obvious, but to get a real movement in ground as deeply set in its inertia as is our current infrastructure of consumption will be a challenge indeed. But now is the time to put our shoulders to the task.

Let’s get started.

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