Embracing Sufficiency is the story of human resource consumption; the creativity that sustained us; what we learned, the lessons we ignored, how we lost our way. In the beginning we lived off the land, gathering enough food to feed ourselves. Today, most of us never experience the land, only its wealth, or the lack thereof. Humanity evolved, became more aware with expanded intelligence. For centuries we endeavored to improve the methods for producing food, tools and weapons of war. The Industrial Revolution launched a new era of machinery capable of running the treadmill of production full speed ahead. Thereafter the challenge became to increase consumption, to keep the economy growing, the prevailing mantra. Advanced technology, population growth, aggressive advertising, easy credit and globalization all served to get us where we are today. We consume excessively: corrupting air, land and sea. Plastic litters the landscape and the oceans; GM-plants promote the use of herbicides that’s poisoning our food. The human species has fought with each other to the edge of extinction; we stand ready to once again. Today our world is becoming barren with foul air, murky water and lifeless soil, potentially unable to feed us. The severe weather will kill you, if the heat doesn’t. But it’s the silence, the lack of abundant life variations, the beautiful forests, streams, snow-peaks and desert valleys, the sprawling and rising oceans we’ve taken for granted that we’ll miss most. Nature’s balance has literally been turned on its head. Is it possible to survive in a finite world with limited resources and continue on the way we have? Do we really believe we can continue on this way?
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I spent much of my early career working in industry as an electrical engineer focusing on the development of relevant and simple designs of electronic products, ranging from industrial controls to medical electronics. Years later I changed career paths to become an educator and writer, teaching electrical/electronics technology at a local community college and writing textbooks: “Electronics: Project Management and Design,” and “Applied Electronic Design,” and then a historical fiction Korean War/American Legion baseball novel entitled, “Those We Touch Along the Way.” As a retired teacher I’m presently pursuing my writing ideas about nature, technology, evolution and ecology that I’ve been developing for years. The principles of relevance, respect and simplicity came together as critical components of the human/nature relationship that are sadly missing in today’s society. “The Nature of Life and Humanity” focused on how the history of culture, technology and religion have impacted the human/nature condition. It’s an amazing story about the story of how we have arrived at this juncture, and the changes we all need to make to continue on with the cycle of life on Earth. And now the second book of my Nature Trilogy entitled “Embracing Sufficiency” nears the culmination of that effort, with the history of human consumption and waste; the story of what, how and why we consume; the acute issues caused by our overindulgence and how to resolve them. And there is much more to come.