Independence, Resilience, Sustainability

The Theory of Anyway

I read about the The Theory of Anyway in an unsuspecting place: a book about food storage and preservation called ‘Independence Days’ by Sharon Astyk.  I’ve read about 1/3 of the book and she hasn’t yet talked about food preservation. Instead the first good chunk of the book discusses how we can be independent from our reliance on the industrial food system, as well as reducing our vulnerability to potential crises in the future, such as climate change, water shortages and escalating food costs.

The Theory of Anyway is an idea that the author’s friend, Pat Meadows, came up with. Pat argues that “95 percent of what is needed to resolve the coming crises is what we should be doing anyway, and when in doubt about how to change [our habits], we should change our lives to reflect what we should be doing ‘anyway’.”

I think the above comic describes this Theory perfectly using the example of climate change. It doesn’t matter if climate change is caused by humans or even whether it’s a ‘hoax,’ all that matters is that the list of tasks we need to perform to fight global warming are what we should be doing regardless! We should be reduce how much we pollute for the sake of the air we breathe and the water we drink, we should find alternatives to driving because cars are dangerous and expensive.

Sharon Astyk reinforces this:

‘So if you told me peak energy had been resolved, I would keep gardening and living frugally. And even if we found enough oil to power our society for 1000 years, there would still be climate change, and it would be wrong of me to choose my own convenience over the security of my children and grandchildren’

You know when you go camping and the sign on your campsite has a list of items like ‘don’t leave food out’ and ‘quiet hours are….’, there’s also always a bullet point that goes something like ‘leave the campsite in better condition then when you arrived.’ How nice wouldn’t it be if that was the rule for our planet!

It would certainly be hard to cause absolutely zero negative impact on the earth during our stay (I’ve already created a lot of garbage and burned a lot of gas in my 27 years here) but we at least have a moral obligation to our big blue and green home to minimize that impact and make positive changes as much as we can. Let’s be stewards to the land, rather than consumers, by doing all the stuff we should be doing ‘anyway.’

Pic from here

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