#170 – The Canary is Dying

Sure, America seemed to be going crazy, at least I lived in the Golden State, where things were pretty chill.   (1)

California’s first major burst of growth came with the Gold Rush of 1849. If we think of the Global Village as the gold mine then the Golden State may be the canary dropping dead when the air becomes bad. “Last year, the air near where I live in Northern California—within driving distance of some of the largest and most powerful and advanced corporations in the history of the world—was more hazardous than the air in Beijing and New Delhi.” (1)  But where will the “gold miners” go to save their lives; are there any safe exits or indeed where is the breathable air?

Unbreathable air is not the only threat in the gold mine or in California. Too many of us were prone to believe the American myth of “greatness” and California may be a preview of coming disasters we will all become familiar with. “One by one those myths are bursting into flame. We are running out of land, housing, water, road space and now electricity.” (1)

Is California a valid example of a worldwide dystopia? Yes, of course because her fundamental problems are universal in the Global Village. Disintegration not integration is built into human behavior. Californian Farhad Manjoo senses one of the challenges that humanity is unlikely to find a solution for. He says that “… we should be more inclusive in the way we design infrastructure—transportation, the power grid, housing stock—aiming to design for the many rather than for the wealthy few.” (1)

Whether we are the canary entrapped in the mine or the bird flying free is the choice we can make moment by moment in our lives. However, we must choose our exits carefully.

Click on the link below for some help in finding your way out of a toxic situation.

Insight # 170:  “We don’t ask hard questions because we fear what the answers might be.”   Economist Robert J. Samuelson   (2)



  1. Manjoo, Farhad. “It’s the End of California as We Know It.” The New York Times Sunday. November 3, 2019, page 3.
  2. Samuelson, Robert J. “Specter of economic instability haunts globe.” Rocky Mountain News. March 19, 2005, page 12C.

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