The Utopia Experiment: The Inconvenient Truth/Reality of Greenism…

Reblogged from Junk Science http://junkscience.com/type/link/

The inconvenient truth/reality of Greenism and its close relatives self-sustainability, simpler lifestyles and general hippie-ness. It short, it won’t work.

How do we know?  Courtesy of a group of bipedal lab rats headed up by oneDylan Evans, author of The Utopia Experiment”.  Evans was apparently upset by a lack of challenge in his academic life and decided to play house, the rules being that there were no houses or tech or hygiene because society had collapsed. Rather than move to a more survivable locale (think Thor Heyerdahl with the little woman in Polynesia through his book Fatu HivaBack to Nature), Evans chose a little piece of Heaven on the northern shores of the Black Isle, north of Inverness, Scotland to play post-apocalyptic eco-warrior king-guy.  In his own words from an article in the UK Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/31/i-quit-my-job-to-set-up-commune):

In early 2006 I was 39, living in Bristol and working at one of the best robotics labs in the world. I had become increasingly obsessed with what life would be like if civilisation collapsed, and thought that I could find out by setting up a community that acted as if it already had. I created a website called An Experiment In Utopia, and announced that I was creating a novel kind of community based on three main ideas. I wrote:

1. It will be a LEARNING COMMUNITY – each member must have a distinctive skill or area of knowledge that they can teach to the others.

2. It will be a WORKING COMMUNITY – no money is required from the members, but all must contribute by working.

3. It will be strictly TIME-LIMITED. This is not an attempt to found an ongoing community. The experiment will last 18 months. Members may stay for months, but may also come for as little as two weeks.

In a word, think of a cross between Plato’s Academy and The Beach.

After you’ve probably hurt yourself from shaking your head throughout the Guardian article, prepare for sore stomachs brought on by the laughs in the insightful review and comments in the Spectator (http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/9435652/they-sought-paradise-in-a-scottish-field-and-found-hunger-boredom-and-mosquitoes/) .

Had Evans and his merry band found a copy of Fatu Hiva (mine was a gift from a former teepee-dwelling personage heading back to the East Coast after suffering disillusionment brought on by Wyoming’s weather after mid-September) and studied it closely, they might have saved themselves some discomfort, halitosis and a nasty rash:

The book begins with Heyerdahl’s optimistic idea that paradise could still be found. By the end of the book, Heyerdahl bitterly concludes:

There is nothing for modern man to return to. Our wonderful time in the wilderness had given us a taste of what man had abandoned and what mankind was still trying to get even further away from. Progress today can be defined as man’s ability to complicate simplicity. Nothing in all the procedure that modern man, helped by all his modern middlemen, goes through before he earns money to buy a fish or a potato will ever be as simple as pulling it out of the water or soil. Without the farmer and the fisherman, modern society would collapse, with all its shops and pipes and wires. The farmers and the fishermen represent the nobility of modern society; they share their crumbs with the rest of us, who run about with papers and screwdrivers attempting to build a better world without a blueprint. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatu_Hiva_(book))

And yet the “no-carbon/low carbon/save the Earth/it’s our fault” drumbeat continues to reel in marchers of a very different type (apologies to H.D. Thoreau, who did it right – right close to town).

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