The Suburbia Solution: Oil, Lawns, Orchards, and so on…


Hey Everyone,

I’ve organized some ideas about our Suburbia’s flaws and how we can turn them into perfections. In the interest of brevity i want to preface this piece with a Twiter=esque overview:

The Suburbia Solution consists of: Massive incentives for solar water heaters & fruit tree substitution; the elimination of lawn-mowing services and transition them to yard-garden substitution, installation of wood-burning stoves, clothes lines, & solar water-heaters.

The Suburbia Solution: Oil, Lawns, Orchards, and so on…

Over the past 60+ years, we’ve built one of the world’s most inefficient living arrangements in history: Suburbia. It’s been exhilarating & beautiful at times, but full despair & an incubator for debauched values. it’s coming to an end and we’d better get ready for its ‘ending’ while we have the time and some cheap oil available.

Before I get into the plan, let me deconstruct the energy situation real quickly. The US recently hit a new peak in production of 13+ million barrels/day. A truly phenomenal achievement made possible by the ‘Shale Oil & Gas’ miracle. It has been just that, a miracle. It’s going to last for approximately 5-10 years and the US will have larger influence over the role that Energy plays in geo-political dynamics, however it’s not going to last.

Every day we’re using close to 20 million barrels (50% more than our production). That’s close to 25% of the World’s entire usage. Why? B/c industry, transportation, agriculture, animal slaughter, and ‘success’ in suburbia demands it. It’s not your fault, it’s not the corporations fault, it’s not government’s fault, it’s the fault of our Human Sensibilities.

Oil & Suburbia are so exhilarating and enticing that we’ve become addicted to both. If we’re going to leave something for our grandkids’ grandkids’, then we’d better change how we’re living. Their quality of existence is dependent on how well we stop wasting the most abundant energy ever discovered.

Here’s the idea to do so:

Solving Suburbia requires that we solve Oil wastage while maximizing our ‘quality-of-efficiency’.

Here’s how we do it:

We first stop mowing our yards and reshape them to maximize water retention & food growth-oil saving. 2nd, we get outside and work the orchard that was formerly our lawn that drank the gasoline used to keep it mowed, then we get our young people out to do their ‘chores’ (pruning fruit trees, giving vegetables some care, climbing trees, etc. This will also enable our kids to learn from their Grandparents some valuable skills. 4th we convince gov’t to provide the subsidies needed for citizens to install solar water-heaters on their rooftops and clothes-lines in their yards (you think our current fence-builders & roofers wouldn’t love to get paid to do something that helps people & gives them a reason for learning new skills to be marketed outside the Norman area?) The same can be said for all of the lawn-mowing services currently operating-they convert their crews to orchard planters & gardeners. That happens after we stop mowing our yards and convert them to low-maintenance orchard/gardens.

This is a simple change that can address childhood obesity, social disconnection, energy wastage, cultural guilt, climate change, & provide economic growth and jobs to the under employed and unemployed.

Gov’t buys up one parcel/suburban home per neighborhood, then they install a therapy pool and a fire pit. The therapy pool can help people aging-in-place, young athletes, & people struggling with obesity.

The fire pit can be a way to connect the primal spirituality with contemporary life and a substitute bar/kitchen substitute.

We should have done this yesterday, but we just didn’t know what or how to approach the problem. It’s not anyone’s fault, and I’m not some saintly savior.-I’m just a synthesizer/messenger who feels the responsibility to share some ideas.

Does this solve all of the problems? No, but it solves a lot and creates a lot of local jobs. I’d prefer this type of infrastructure project to anything the Federal Government is putting forth.

Suburbia is a just a symptom, not the core problem. Our sensibilities are at the root of both the problems and the solutions. We have to better understand how the mind decides and then retrain ourselves to move more toward our ‘Best Selves’ rather than our ‘Good-enough Selves’.

I’m not 100% certain of anything, but I’m 99.9% on this. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading,
Evan A.

Epilogue recap:

-No more ‘grass’ yards
-No more gas burned to mow
-No more money spent to pay a crew
-No more time wasted mowing
-No more exhaust inhaled from working the machines

-Substitute the grass for food (energy savings, healthy food)
-Build greenhouses (healthy food, education, job creation)
-Plant fruit trees (healthy food, exercise, job creation)
-Tend the orchard/yard/garden (exercise, job creation)
-Grand parents work with Grandkids to share their experience/expertise & teach skills (Family bonds)
-Neighbors can do simple projects and built solidarity (Community bonds)
-Install wood-burning stoves based on Ben Franklin’s design (energy savings, cooking capablility, job creation, Patriotic appreciation)
-Install solar water-heaters (energy savings, job creation).
-More jobs
-More savings
-Better lives

Thanks for reading,
Evan A.

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