Saturday, September 1, 2012

Society Explained

I was complimented recently for my website update two months ago. One of the things was that the artwork had some simplicity. That was the goal. I get way too cluttered in life and it is nice to simplify things to get at the core elements. The question was then, what in the world does that green and black thing mean?

I talked about it briefly two years ago, but I didn't go into detail, so most people probably didn't get it. So I decided I would try again.

First of all, there is a lot of white space, that represents the resources available to the world and the world society or biosphere. That is everyone, you, me, and your dog. Those are all of the non-stake holders in the society. That is me relevant to the recent Wisconsin recall election. I'm not in the state anymore.
Society Explained
It is my thought of how societies operate and exist. Take for example, Rome, Greece, the Anasazi, Easter Island, mining boom, bust towns, and the like. This was actually before I read the book Collapse by Jared Diamond. The rectangle of the black and green represents the resources available to the society. In the imaginary example of an oil mining community this represents the oil available. The green represents how the resource can be consumed sustainably. For example, if it takes 40 years before a stand of trees is ready to be harvested then the logger would be wise to never cut more than 1/40th of his property in a given year. Perhaps 1/45th or 1/50th might even be better to account for possible droughts or infestations.

The black represents unsustainable resource consumption. The logger who decides to cut 1/10th of his land a few years in a row. It is taking more out than is replenished.

The theory is that at some point, which we may not know, a society switches from sustainable resource usage to unsustainable resource usage. Ultimately, the line is a fine line. 2,629,103 barrels of oil might be acceptable while 2,629,104 barrels is too much. I don't think oil is a great example because as I understand it, we only have a limited amount and it is created slowly. So we are well into the black.

The point is that societies fail and resource consumption seems to often be a driving factor. For example, La Paz, Arizona. Grew, extracted gold, and disappeared. I feel the model I theorize for resource use and overuse is applicable to most societies. The question then is where do we stand for all of our resources?

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