Three square meals from anarchy

Like many people, I’ve been watching with increasing horror the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake disaster. It reminds me so much of the tsunami a few years back that ended hundreds of thousands of lives in one fell swoop

It’s hard to imagine death on that scale in such a short period.

As the fallout continues in Haiti, looting is also reported to be widespread.

Someone once said something along the lines of “civilized society is only three square meals away from anarchy”.

While a bit of an exaggeration, the underlying message is quite true. Desperation can turn normally gentle and law-abiding folks into thieves and killers – and depending on the circumstances who can blame them? If I was in the same situation and needed to provide for my family, I can’t say I wouldn’t steal in order to put food in their mouths, provide medicine for their injuries or clothes on their backs.

Civilized society is really just a thin veneer over basic animal instincts to survive and/or protect our “tribe”; however big or small that may be.

So what does this “three square meals” have to do with green living?

With climate change wreaking havoc around the world (I acknowledge Haiti had nothing to do with climate change) and as humanity faces the crunch of diminishing resources we’ve grown to rely on such as oil; we’re likely to see increasing humanitarian crises in the decades ahead. You and I may be at the epicenter of such a Haiti type incident. Many in the USA have already had a taste of it through disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

Unlike the generally impoverished people of Haiti, most of us have a degree of resources or access to information to allow us to somewhat prepare for a disaster. Even something as simple as a wind up LED lantern can be a life saver in some situations.

Are you and your family prepared?

Green living has a great deal common with survivalism as it is all about being resourceful and making do with less, or becoming less dependent on sources of energy that could be cut off in a disaster.

People who have been consciously reducing their consumption, repurposing items and finding other ways to do things using less will find living through those scenarios far less traumatic – and their survival may depend on those skills. Living a more environmentally friendly life creates a whole new mindset and a certain level of independence.

Helping Haiti

Back to Haiti – there has been a lot of media coverage about charities to donate to and it’s been heartening to see assistance pouring in; but if you’re still looking for an organization to funnel your funds through, I’d like to suggest World Vision in your country. World Vision focus specifically on assisting children. I’ve been a World Vision child sponsor for years and it’s been a great experience. There’s certainly a lot of kids in Haiti who need some TLC now, along with material goods of course. You don’t have to make an ongoing commitment to a child; the organization is gratefully accepting one-off donations too.

By the way, be on the look out for scam solicitations for donations – it doesn’t take the lack of “three square meals” to bring out the worst in some people.