DEXTER - An enthusiastic group of 17 local citizens, many desiring to throw off their consuming habits and simplify their lives, met last Thursday at the Abbott Memorial Library in Dexter to critically discuss the book, Plan C by Pat Murphy. Mr. Murphy 's book recommends a total change in life style for all Americans that will be very painful to most of us, but will result in a healthier and more content life style.
Murphy explains what his Plan C title means and what it doesn't. Plan A is "business as usual; an unlimited growth economy obsessed with scientific technology that always finds a solution; a society based on competition and self-interest. Plan B is the status quo, but with a switch to cleaner green technology such as bio-fuels. Plan D proponents feel there is no solution at all and it is too late to avoid a catastrophe. "Peak oil is irrelevant because CO2 will kill us anyway." The following are observations by the club that seemed to agree with the concept of Plan C as outlined by Murphy.
Commentary ranged from transportation, (a ride sharing system) to better communication within our community; a local web site to disseminate local information to our residents. Local food production was discussed. A local buying club was mentioned that could be tried similar to United Natural Foods that delivers to Dexter monthly at the Watering Hole Parking lot.
A Share- Ride system developed for out of town transportation was affirmed by the club. "Bring back car pooling". Automobile travel is still affordable to most and everyone likes the convenience, but this may be in jeopardy in the near future. A "jitney system for local transportation similar to a taxi service was mentioned as a possibility worth trying. In many American cities oil companies bought up all the trolley and bus lines and dismantled them so there was no other choice except auto transportation. There used to be a daily bus run from Newport to Dover-Foxcroft, with a stop in Dexter.
Schools were criticized for dropping hands on education like Home Economics, Shop classes, and other activities; skills individuals will need for survival in the future. It was felt our education system breeds a birth to death consumerism and consumption mentality that has become the driving force in our economy. Media reinforces this; as a great manipulator of wants in excess of needs as a way to keep our capitalistic corporate system growing indefinitely. Media is conditioning us; we don't experience life, we view it on TV. "We have been sleepwalking for so long, but people are starting to wake up". We don't know if the present crisis is temporary or a harbinger of things to come. Recently there has been a noticeable change in behavior forced on our citizenry as unemployment grows, credit dries up, stock value disappears, and people are very scared about the future.
The group all agreed that the economic and financial crisis is going to make major changes in our very way of life and want to start working toward solutions immediately. The club is anxious to start an Action Group to look into these ideas. There will be a need for a central location to gather information about people's needs and wants. We need to know what people can offer and what others need. We are looking for local solutions, eonomically and socially. "Other places are doing these kind of things, we have to seek them out".
The club plans to meet at Jim Greehy's home on Feb. 21st at 6PM for an informal gathering. On Feb, 25 will be the regular book club discussion of President Obama's, "The Audacity of Hope". There are still some books available at the library.
The March book read is, "Three Cups of Tea," by Greg Mortenson.
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