A timely print job means nothing if it doesn’t make it to the post office on time. Our people do what it takes to make your deadline. We can do the whole job from computer mailing list production and printing to labeling and delivery. Call Futura at 389-1500. Em loyee Owned and Managed COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AUSTIN, TEXAS 3019 Alvin DeVane, Suite 500 389-1500 Data Processing Typesetting Printing Mailing WE HAVE TO FILL IN a few blanks here. We have to recall the stalagmite skyline of the Gulf Coast, especially around Freeport. This is where the business of producing “feedstocks” takes place. This is where oil is bought by the tanker and refined to the point where it can be converted to chemical products such as fertilizer or pesticides. Fossil energy in, fertilizer out. Two hundred years ago the need was met by a more rustic process, and it could be described in more rustic terms. But since profit has displaced our need for horseshit, we’ve also lost opportunities for a certain directness of expression regarding the processes at work on today’s cornfields. So much for the state of things at home. Anne H. Ehrlich, in her essay, “Development and Agriculture,” takes us to Africa: Why is virtually an entire continent undergoing a catastrophic drought, threatening tens of millions of people with starvation? Why does the outside world persist in viewing this phenomenon as a one-time fluke that can be cured by an infusion of donated food and will never recur? That the crisis began almost two decades ago and never really went away is lost on the public; even mass starvation loses its fascination for the press when it continues year after year. Citing Texas Tech’s Harold Dregne, Ehrlich writes that, “severe or very severe desertification has occurred on significant portions of agricultural land on all the continents. . . . Overall, nearly 40 percent of the world’s agricultural lands have been moderately desertified or worse.” In addition, profit has encouraged some farmers in Third World countries to abandon crops which could be used at home. Instead, in those southern lands, acreage is bribed away from native food-crops in order to produce cash-worthy items for northern supermarkets, Meanwhile, overseers of southern fields can avoid restrictions on the use S of pesticides and other destructive chemicals, thereby increasing profits and progress all around. Even the media cash in on audience shares, so long as the tearful suburban viewer is treated to stories narrowly focused upon the abject result of such policies for people of dark and distant continents, and then for not too long. As for informing us about profit and the true story of the century, well, to be fair, they do have the sensibilities of major stockholders to consider. Herman E. Daly stakes his essay at the heart of things. In “Moving to a SteadyState Economy,” Daly describes “throughput.” “Throughput begins with depletion and ends with pollution,” writes Daly. Thus the true measure of a growth economy will be found in its accumulated tonnage of hazardous wastes. Aren’t we doing splendidly by such a measure? Against such “growth,” Daly posits “development.” “Qualitative improvement in the use made of a given scale of throughput, resulting either from improved technical knowledge or a deeper understanding of purpose, is called `development.’ ” Whereas growth only increases the quality of throughputs, development seeks to make wiser use of fewer throughputs. And so we have “growth” on the one hand, or “development” on the other; depending whether we’ve converted more or fewer tons of throughputs into noxious wastes. That profit loves “growth” is clear; that profit can be brought to seek “development” must be the last hope in Pollyanna’s head. Daly’s article in itself is primer enough for any Monday’s sickbed, even under the constraints which truth must feel at the end of our century. Here one finds subtitles like, “Biophysical Limits to Growth,” “Ethicosocial Limits,” “Money Fetishism and the Paper Economy,” and “Faulty National Accounting and the Treachery of Quantified Success Indicators.” From these sections one may select any sentence at random. For instance, ” ‘Anything goes’ is a convenient moral slogan for the growth economy because it implies that anything also sells.” And how often have we sworn to ourselves that we’ll get hold of something that will sell like hotcakes, or pesticide? Then we won’t have to work so much. Something will be found to support us, a slave of sorts. And so, in the meantime, we covet the products which have become profit for others. And we wait. And as we wait, we might call in sick some Monday in order to think about how much profit gets to have its way with us and our work in the meantime -and the shapes the meantime has taken since profit came to, rule the day. The profit motive is today touted as the benefactor of humanity. But it’s possible to be swayed by such ideologies only from the vantage point of the master bedroom. For the master bedroom, in all its drywall comfort, is the bottom-line measure of profit’s fruits. Oh, you object to such reductions? You say the fishing boat, the patio, the lakehouse, or happy hour? As fate would have it, Cassandra implores you to no effect: And no use at all to save our city from its pain inflicted now. And I too, with brain ablaze in fever, shall go down. This publication is available \\E –in microform from University Microfilms International. Call toll-free 800-521-3044. Or mail inquiry to: University Microfilms International, 300 North Zeeb Road. Ann Arbor, MI 48108. 20 DECEMBER 9, 1988
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.