Sunday, September 16, 2007

How Green Was My Valley

The Ramayana was supposed to be my next topic - I've got three or four planned out.

But I'm learning blogging doesn't really work that way. You can't plan a topic and then just produce a few paragraphs on it. For one, it may not do the topic justice. The Ramayana is so sweeping and amazing, that I really need to come up with an angle.

So - I ended up pulling out a movie today that came with a set I bought for a class. An old classic (?!) - "How Green Was My Valley". Surprisingly enough, one of the major themes is absolutely relevant to what I want to explore here.

Basically - the industrial revolution and the growth of coal mining, along with associated labor problems, led to the deterioration of a small Welsh town. Now I'm no Luddite - technology is good.

But I feel technological growth at the expense of our ecological environment has a saturation point at which the scales begin to tip. When the pressures of labor and economy also begin degrading the social structure, then it is time to evaluate how to use all of our amazing technology to scale back our effect on the environment. The key is to do it while still allowing all living humans around the globe to live in a decent manner.

With global wealth distribution the way it is in our world right now, we have a long way to go.

Interesting that the solution for Huw in "How Green" eventually was to leave. At that time, there were places to go where you could escape black air, dust and the death of most of your family. In our world, those places are few and far between. And you best be one of the wealthy to enjoy them for any length of time.

I could probably go into the interesting religious themes expressed in the movie - one that goes by the heart and not the rules - but that's for another post.

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