Storm Cunningham’s book The Restoration Economy has a good quote on just about every page, but I can’t possible fit them all in here. I did find a section of Chapter 2 that I wanted to quote, however.

From “The End of the Beginning” in Chapter 2 comes this lovely analogy:

Like a pig in a python, the bulk of economic activity is moving inexorably from centuries of frenetic new development toward a frenzy of restoration. Even if we weren’t living on a small world with a booming population (Constraint Crisis), the crumbling of our built environment (Corrosion Crisis) means the bulge can’t help but move into restoration mode. If new development proceeded in a linear, gradual fashion, the transition to restoration wouldn’t take us so much by surprise. But extended orgies of new development tend, as we’ve experienced, to be followed by economic ruin, pathological stagnation, or a sudden, healthful storm of restoration.

I’m all for “a sudden, healthful storm of restoration.” But Cunningham isn’t finished yet.

Without restoration, to continue the python analogy to its nasty denouement, it all turns to … well, you know (Contamination Crisis). Most of the energy produced by our national economic “digestive process” is wasted by a horribly inefficient industrial system (which also has a tremendous gas problem: witness global climate change), rather than being channeled into the “body” of our civilization. We must either convert the “dead pig” of previous development into the “healthy python” of restored worlds—shedding our old ways in the process—or we’re left with nothing but stinky excreta. Well, I’ve beaten that metaphorical snake quite to death, yes?

Yes, indeed, you have. And now it’s time for lunch.Pig’s feet, anyone?

Leave A Comment