“Thiefdom,” my friend John Payne and the Gulf Coast oil spill

I understand this idea of accepting our share of the blame for the catastrophe in the Gulf. We all buy plastics, drive cars, heat and cool homes, and consume more than we should. How can we not feel responsible, especially when we knew something like this Gulf gusher would happen? And we knew our energy model needed to change in 1970s. But can we really accept blame as the buyers of products sold to us under an economic model that only sees us as consumers? Personally, I hate being referred to as a consumer. It's demeaning, and it falsely implicates us in the blame game.

Can we buy a bamboo handle/natural bristle toothbrush for $1 at Walgreens? Do we all live close enough to the grocery to walk or bike? Can we buy … an Indian-made car called Tata for $2,000 [that is] unavailable to us? I can barely afford organic food and gasoline, let alone rooftop solar panels, a backyard wind-turbine or a Japanese Prius.

I think most people know we need to move quickly to a sustainable energy future. But I also think many of us are unsure what a new energy model might look like. And the elephant in the room is our current unsustainable energy model. We are up against some extremely entrenched power and rampant deniers, i.e., the status quo. My late friend John Payne [founder of the Wedge studios, known for his large, moveable steel dinosaurs] had the perfect word for the status quo: "Thiefdoms," including the Energy Thiefdom, Banking Thiefdom, War Thiefdom, Media Thiefdom etc…

In North Carolina, we can start by ousting Senate Thiefdom and Club member Richard Burr. November is coming and election day is but one day a year. What about the other 364?

Well, that's my two-cents worth. I wonder if I'll ever go snorkeling off the Keys again, or return to the Galapagos Islands. I guess I'll go tend my neglected vegetable garden now. Thank you, John, for the beauty and genius of your dinosaur sculptures.

— Frank Kasun
Asheville

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