1. Properly speaking, global thinking is not possible. Those who have "thought globally" (and among them the most successful have been imperial governments and multinational corporations) have done so by means of simplifications too extreme and oppressive to merit the name of thought. Global thinkers have been and will be dangerous people. National thinkers tend to be dangerous also: we now have national thinkers in the northeastern United States who look on Kentucky as a garbage dump. A landfill in my couty receives daily many truckloads of garbage from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. This is evidently all right with everybody but those of us who live here.
2. Global thinking can only be statistical. Its shallowness is exposed by the least intention ot do something. Unless one is willing to be destructive on a very large scale, one cannot do something except locally, in a small place. Global thinking can only do ot the globe what a space satellite does to it: reduce it, make a bauble of it. Look at one of those photographs of half the earth taken from outer space, and see if you recognize your neighborhood. If you want to see where you are, you will have to get out of your spaceship, out of your car, off your horse, and walk over the ground. On foot you will find that the earth is still satisfyingly large and full of beguiling nooks and crannies.
3. If we could think locally, we would take far better care of things than we do now. The right local questions and answers will be the right global ones. The Amish question "What will this do to our community?" tends toward the right answer for the world.
4. If we want to put local life in proper relation to the globe, we must do so by imagination, charit, and forbearance and by making local life as competent, independent, and self-sufficient as possible--not by the presumptuous abstraction of "global thought."
5. If we want to keep our thoughts and acts from destroying the globe, then we must see to it that we do not ask too much of the globe or of any part of it. To make sure that we do not ask too much, we must learn to live at home, as independently and self-sufficiently as we can. This is the only way we can keep the land we are using and its ecological limits always in sight.
6. The only sustainable city--and this, to me, is the indispensable ideal and goal--is a city in balance with its coutryside: a city, that is, that would live off the net ecological income of its supporting region, paying as it goes all its ecological and human debts.
7. The cities we now have are living off ecological principal and by economic assumptions that seem certain to destroy them. The people of these cities do not "live at home." They do not have their own supporting regions. They are out of blaance with their supports, wherever on the globe their supports are.
8. The balance between city and coutryside is destroyed by industrial machinery, "cheap" productivity in field and forest, and "cheap" transportation. Rome destroyed the balance with slave labor; we have destroyed it with machines and "cheap" fossil fuel.
9. Since the Civil War, perhaps, and certainly since World War II, the norms of productivity have been set by the fossil-fuel industries.
to be continued...