In this post I’m sharing a few more thoughts on Idealism
Ideals are wonderful things as long as they are securely linked to reality.
One day a speaker mentioned that in Ireland, a Catholic country, divorce is illegal. (He didn’t mention annulments.) Afterwards another lady commented, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were that way here?”
I said, “The murder rate would go up.” Perhaps I’m too much of a realist, but…
My sister Donna was married at fifteen, with a baby on the way, and suffered a number of beatings from her drunken husband. Six years and three children later she left him. He’d come home drunk, they’d fight and he’d start choking her until she passed out. True, there was fault on both sides but she had good reason to fear.
Though she’d divorced him, being a Catholic he had their marriage annulled later so he could marry again.
“The cause of problems is solutions,” some sage once said.
The price of gas here in SK shot up last month. (Shall we attribute that to Biden or Putin?) Last week a friend commented, “Well, we’ll all have to go back to a horse and buggy.”
Simplistic. Idealistic. Nostalgic, maybe even romantic? But how feasible?
From her perspective this might be, seeing she lives in a farmyard with barns and sheds that could accommodate a horse and buggy. They’d have some pasture for a horse and hay-making equipment wouldn’t be hard to come by. But can you imagine the folks in ten- or fifteen-storey apartment buildings in the city, thousands of families trying to feed and house horses? Can you imagine all the horse manure on the city streets!
City-dwellers might just walk or use public transport (which also uses fuel) but my friend’s brothers use gas, oil and diesel in their farming operation and seed cleaning plant. Farm production – and consequently food supply – would be limited if crops need to be seeded and harvested by horses.( Being soft-heated myself, I’m so thankful farmers don’t use horses anymore. Some of those poor animals were horribly mistreated.)
Some of our electricity comes from hydro turbines, a bit from wind-power, but most of our businesses, factories, greenhouses, power-generating plants – indirectly all our utilities – depend mainly on gas, propane, and/or oil. We’ve built ourselves a society dependent on gas + oil. This is our reality. If we suddenly found ourselves low on gas and power, I can see some folks starving and/or freezing to death. We can find ways to cut back on consumption but there’s no going back to the good old days.
A Simple Solution?
One way to cut back on fuel consumption would be to ground all airplanes. Jets use a terrific amount of fuel, right? And for sure, dry-dock those diesel-guzzling, pollution-generating behemoths that lumber across the oceans taking rich people on completely unnecessary exotic cruises. People don’t need all this virus-spreading international travel. Stay home. That’s what we do. Er…unless we want to go some distance…and we’re in a hurry. 😉
What do you think…are my solutions feasible? What if pilots, stewards, various traffic controllers and business people all over the world start protesting the loss of their jobs? Try taking away people’s income and the lifestyle they’ve come to rely on and you have a huge problem.
True, people who call themselves “realistic” can be downright pessimistic. However, the reality of a situation or of human behavior in general – our fondness for money in particular – can scuttle the best ideals. Idealists don’t always get this.