Up until a few days ago it seemed like we may have been looking forward to a mild summer, but two record-breaking days later it seems there is no such luck. With a high of 35 degrees Celsius (that’s 95 F in America), under a thick blanket of smog, Toronto has suddenly entered the stinky, sticky, summer.

I know this isn’t a fashion post, but I do have interests outside of fashion, and so do you. The fate of human beings living on the earth depends on a delicate balance of factors. I have just read Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything and the most amazing thing about that book was the realization of how many extremely unlikely events came together to allow human beings to exist at all. While I have no doubt that human beings will continue for many thousands of years yet, as we are tenacious and hardy, I worry about our civilization. Civilizations are fragile, dependent as they are on the vagaries of weather and resources. I love my lifestyle – I enjoy comforts and entertainments that are so wonderful, I live a rich life despite being a poor university graduate. But it’s apparent that my life, and the lives of so many around me, are unsustainable. In the future we will have to learn to live with much less, if we want to stay alive.

Are you looking forward to An Inconvenient Truth?

I am. I’m hopeful that an interest in sustainability may become fashionable. As we’ve seen in the past with civil rights and women’s rights, fashionability for a cause has a great deal of influence on the political motivation for change. (See, I’ve tied in fashion!) Shiny movies help. So do blog posts. More than anything, so do massive heat waves and smog days. People need to make the connection between their actions and their environment, and nothing will do that sooner than discomfort. Unfortunately we can never rely on human beings to react logically, especially when prosperity in the short term requires myopic rationalization. Nowhere can this be seen more obviously than this continent’s bloated housing bubble… (Clusterfuck Nation is the relevant reading for this subject.)

What’s next on the reading list? I’m looking at James Lovelock. Lovelock paints an uncompromisingly bleak picture of the next sequence of events that our species will have to deal with. Within our lifetime things will likely change very rapidly. It’s apparent that success as a species will take some very tenacious individuals. I’m on the fence on where my own attitude lies. On one hand, I feel that I don’t want to “spoil the party”. This may be the last great days of my wonderful civilization and I want to live and breathe fashion before fashion ends (this is one concept behind my title, final fashion). On the other hand I want to prepare some sort of plan to survive without my modern conveniences when the time comes. And yes, I want to get used to living with a lot less and apply the concepts of sustainability to my own life and work however I can. Will it help? It would be nice, but I’m not hopeful.

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8 thoughts on “heat”

  1. Nah, I don’t think that I will see that movie…I saw the previews for it when I went to see “Thank You for Smoking” (amazingly funny movie go see it!) and I didn’t think that it looked that great. Maybe even boarding extremist.

  2. …Although, I think that it might actually scare people into changing their lifestyles so that we won’t suffer from these unbearable smog days anymore.

  3. I just found your blog, and I am glad to see that you don’t only concern your self with fashion.. because we all know that we don’t either 🙂

    Oh and Bill Bryeson is an awsome writer, my boyfriend read many of his books but I only read some part of the book you read…but their really intresting..

    As for as the enviornmental issue goes, I somewhat agree with you…We are all defenetly going to have to get used to living without sertain things, and cut back on some materials…but most of all keep our soroundings clean. I learned alot from my boyfriend about recycling and not throwing garbage on the streets. Some don’t understand his reasoning, so he tells them that he doesn’t want the area which he lives in (Richmond Hill) turning into another Downtown Toronto full of garbage on the streets.. ironic because he loves downtown 🙂

  4. Hm… I never thought of Al Gore as an extremist. I did think it seems that the movie is unfortunately partisan… kind of preaching to the choir, when it’s more vitally important to pique the interest of the mainstream. It’s a complex situation. Personally I think if you aren’t worried about the state of our civilization you’re not paying close enough attention… but then ignorance is bliss, especially if you depend on your vehicle to maintain your lifestyle. I personally need a heavy dose of fatalism to get through my day. =)

  5. hee 😉
    Phil, you win. I don’t have to force anyone to stop using fossil fuels… the end of the pipe is in sight… have fun!

  6. While no one person’s efforts will yield an immediate effect on the sustainability issue, living by example can be powerful. Like what fiftyRX3 has done. And sustainable design has already arrived. It’s the rest of us who haven’t adapted yet. Seriously, I never would have thought organic jeans would be availible, but they are in some places. We’re just not caught up yet. Design in general has already moved towards sustaibability. In the future, sustainability will be an expected feature of a design and not the main feature.

    Plus there is the stigmas we have to get over. Why is not wanting to be wasteful consdiered something only hippies care about?

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