New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman opens his essay of Sunday, March 19:
It is hard to read the news from Japan to the Persian Gulf and then reflect on American politics and not conclude, as scientists would say, that we’re running an uncontrolled experiment on the only country and planet we have. And what is that experiment? We’re basically taunting — there is no other word for it — the two most merciless forces on earth: the market and Mother Nature.
Throughout the rest of the piece, “the market” is spoken of as if it were on par with Mother Nature, something not created by humankind but an inevitable law of the universe. But this is of course not true in any way—we are responsible for defining and creating markets. One of the biggest underlying faults with our current system is that it does not factor in the true cost of the things we make and consume.
When she came to the Garrison Institute on January 26 to screen her film “The Economics of Happiness“, Helena Norberg-Hodge stressed two points in her opening talk: economics and how markets work is well withing the understanding of people with average intelligence, and that this notion of the market as a force of nature is false. She won’t be attending the showing tonight at the Beahive in Beacon, but Hudson Valley Green invites everyone to attend this event, which will also incorporate a regular meeting of Beacon Deserves Better, a group advocating for thoughtful planning and development. It’s sponsored by Beahive, a collaborative workspace and community, Hudsonvalleygreen, and Artisan Wine Shop.
Come find out what you can do in your community to stop taunting Mother Nature. Also consider joining your local CSA. Common Ground Farm, serving the greater Beacon-Wappingers-Cold Spring Fishkill area, still has a few memberships left for 2011. You’ll enjoy local farm fresh seasonal vegetables at a good price (you’re essentially buying a share in the future crops for the season, so you’ll enjoy lower prices than you would pay at the farmers market, which must include extra transportation and labor). You’ll meet lots of neighbors. And you’ll be taking the first step toward building a local economy right here in the Hudson Valley.