Beautiful and Abundant

Publisher Bryan Welch on philosophy, farming and building the world we want.

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We Deserve More Credit

4/29/2007 9:07:37 PM

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 Sailboat, Apostle Islands

If you read only the major media our species still comes off as shortsighted and self-interested.

For example:

The Wall Street Journal’s recent feature on “When to Buy Organic,” answered its question purely on the grounds of various health threats from pesticides, heavy metals and persistent toxins. Worse yet, the writer gave the impression that although organics were originally part of a movement to protect the environment, the market is now maturing into health-related products. Implicitly, the story didn’t recognize any other reason to buy organic products. The story didn’t describe the environmental benefits of organic agriculture, even though the main reason that people buy organic is because it’s good for the environment. Whole Foods’ surveys bear this out. In fact, the major media consistently cover the boom in organic products as though it were driven by self-centered health nuts. Wrong. People care about the environment. Way over half the people who buy organic product say they do so primarily because it benefits the planet.

Vanity Fair’s green issue was the media’s most widely recognized environmental publication of 2006. Take that for what it’s worth. It’s a burr under my saddle, as you can probably imagine.

A recent BBC poll of adults worldwide contradicts what most national leaders around the world are saying these days. The poll indicated that in no country in the world do most people actually believe we’re in a “clash of civilizations.” The vast majority believes there is “no inherent incompatibility” between Islam and the West. Even in the Middle East, people see our international conflicts as political or economic in nature. They believe we will find common ground and end the violence. Egypt had the largest percentage who believed “violence is inevitable,” and they only made up 43 percent of the Egyptians surveyed.

And in the meantime, fair-trade products, locally produced food, organic clothing, and hybrid automobiles are all exploding in popularity — even though they are significantly more expensive than their mass-marketed alternatives — while the major media struggle to explain these trends in terms of frugality and self-interest. The popularity of the Prius took everyone by surprise, even Toyota, and it persists even when gas prices are falling. No one predicted the speed and scope of the expansion of Whole Foods, not even Whole Foods.

Who would have thought, a decade ago, that today 100 million people worldwide would be starting little businesses with money provided, for partially altruistic reasons, by micro-lenders? Certainly it’s not what the world’s giant banks expected.

People care, and they’re doing something about it. People are taking a personal interest in improving both their society and their planet.

Photo by Bryan Welch



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Post a comment below.

 

MC_2
12/9/2009 12:32:52 PM
A friend of mine told me once, many years ago, that poor people were the real environmentalists and the real driving force of social change (dare I say 'social revolution' instead?). Looking back on it 15 years later, I'd say she was a self-righteous teenager, angry with her own poverty and looking to make fun of the efforts I was fumbling about making from my own position of relative affluence. I'd say that she had a really horrible attitude, and that much like my relatives anything useful she taught me (which was a lot) was gleaned from observation of coincidental experiences. I'd also say she was right. In our society, the relative poor are the 'greenies' because they have to conserve and have to deal within local networks where things like poor credit may be overlooked on grounds of known character. They are self-reliant because they can't afford not to be. And they are the drivers of change because the status quo is killing them. I'd say the rest of us ought to learn from that model.

Dena_1
12/9/2009 9:49:27 AM
This past year, my husband and I suffered a huge financial hit when first he then myself lost our jobs. For three months we were living on savings and 401k's. Then that ran out and we were down to the wire when a blessing came through and I got a job. Had we not had the savings accounts and the 401's, we would have suffered foreclosure. Our credit is now ruined. During this time, even though I had very little money, I continued to buy as close to the farm food as I could afford, accepting garden surplus from my friends and even gleaning my friend's garden while she was on vacation. My husband and I canned much of this surplus. We were eating tons of tomatoes this year due to an abundance and were able to can much of this as well. Both of us actually lost weight because we weren't able to eat out. We had no health insurance but thankfully did not need it during this period which I attribute to the healthy eating and rest habits; no money means you are staying home so it's early to bed and early to rise. I never gave up on my plan to eat and live as healthy as possible; my electric bills were actually lower than normal during this period because we were paying attention and not using more than necessary. Even if you are dead flat broke, you can still tread lightly; maybe this happened for a reason so all of us would pay more attention to our habits which results in a healthier Earth.

Anderson_G_1
1/21/2009 12:51:44 AM
If you are having troubles with your credit score, and you badly need money for unexpected emergencies, you can always count on payday loans. Payday lenders will still be able to work out with your has credit history and lend you the money you need. Unfortunately, most companies won’t even bother to look at you if you do not possess at least a decent credit score. Most creditors report all open accounts, balances, late payments and so forth to the three main national credit bureaus. These credit bureaus determine a credit score for each consumer based upon their own mathematical algorithm which creditors look at before awarding or denying you credit. Many people don’t realize the importance of having a good credit history. They ignore problems early on in their lives and over the years, the problem becomes an enormous, credit eating beast that’s impossible to overlook. Everything from car insurance, to personal employment, takes into account your credit score. To learn more on how to build credit and reach personal financial success, check out this article on http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2009/01/06/credit-part-i-financial-tips-from-your-payday-loan-source/







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