Grier Raggio is a retired attorney who calls Dallas, Texas home. He and his wife, Lorraine, live in the Dallas Arts District, about three miles from the home he left in 1960 to enroll in Harvard College. North Dallas is still pretty conservative politically, and Lorraine sometimes asks why I dragged her down here from New York, N.Y. in 1994. My conservative, yet radical, adult goal – to participate in changing our dominant culture from the bone-deep belief that economic growth and greater consumption is always good – to recognition that the assumption of infinite growth in the closed system that is our Earth has failed.
Shortly after graduation, I decided that the natural systems upon which our lives depend were being degraded, quickly, by industrial man. My blog, weconsumetoomuch.com, explored ways that Homo Sapiens was poisoning its own nest – by burning coal and other hydrocarbons, by destroying forests, by paving the world and overpopulating it – all without proper consideration of the damages inflicted upon the Earth’s air, water and land. Early on, I expressed the hope that mankind could be different from other species that breed and consume until its environment is overtaxed and depleted, at which point the species usually dies back or becomes extinct, and we pushed partial solutions such as a heavy carbon tax and other fixes. Fifty years of broadcasting the message that our lifestyles are unsustainable and threaten our civilizations have produced few victories. It’s regrettably reasonable to believe evidence that environmental changes now in the pipeline will make life more difficult and less pleasant later this century. Meanwhile, it’s a beautiful sunset, and Lorraine and I are going for a walk.