UPPSALA, SWEDEN – “Free market” means freedom to exploit land & labor; freedom to pollute air, water, and soil; freedom for multinationals to go anywhere and do anything they want, ferociously suing governments audacious enough to encourage practices like recycling, not smoking, or buying local, until all such “anti-competitive” policies are obliterated.
*Originally published in The Carletonian.*
This question implicitly relays the myth that ethical and sustainable living is prohibitively expensive. We are so inundated by ads for “eco-friendly” and “socially-responsible” products, we easily forget that simply not consuming is often the most powerful choice we can make.
Note: This piece was originally written for my Common App college application, in response to the essay prompt “Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?”
Fourteen years ago I learned how to bike, but six months ago I learned why. Six months ago I discovered the true power of biking, not just as a form of transportation, but also as a tool for improving personal and planetary health. My embrace of cycling began as an environmental gesture: I decided for all the global-warming-related fear I bear, I should explore the viability of biking more and driving less. This seemed like a simple action I could take to directly reduce my carbon footprint, and while I anticipated the change would make my life harder and less comfortable, that was a sacrifice I felt willing to make. Before long, however, I found biking was not a sacrifice at all, but rather… a gift. I have discovered that biking creates a space in my life to connect with my mind, body, and environment, in a society where that space can be hard to find. Continue reading “The Joy of Cycling”
An oil rig, like a leech in the ocean
Thirst is never quenched
A clumsy hurry, a suicidal flurry
Money is driving
Up this steep, windy road
And now a machine, a cold, fast machine
On the assembly line
Always producing, so much to be doing
We need all this junk
To fill space in our lives
And from all our efforts, behold this creation
Aren’t you proud
of the job that we’ve done?
A quick sip of water, then into the trash can
To rot forever
In a hole that we dug