thoughts on our future by Rick Beerhorst of Plan B

I believe we are about to experience a very different future. Our culture is about to make a radical shift -the large % of our western population is not in the least prepared for. We were born into a world engulfed in the modernest love affair with efficiency as was typified by Henry Ford’s assembly line. We were quickly drowning in everything from Art Van furniture, Big Macs, divorce lawyers and credit car applications. We have gobbled up our natural resources at a dizzy break neck speed and we are just about to hit the wall. In fact we have hit the wall and we are now in that slow motion stretched out split second of crash dummy whiplash as home foreclosure rips through the cities and the suburbs and Wall Street tumbles into a sink hole of no return. America is the Titanic. The ship has already struck the ice. The gash has overwhelmed efforts to hold off the icy water. The ship’s captain, his personal valet and the chief engineer knew what would happen in the next two hours but the rest of the ships passengers are picking out their dresses and straightening their ties getting ready for dinner.

We are working with a team of people on an Art Prize project called Plan B. This will be a home spun eco village on the bank of the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids Michigan in front of the Gerald Ford Museum from September 22-October 10. Sand and gravel water filters, a bicycle powered water pump, bicycle powered PA system for our performance stage, hand sewn tents made of used bill board vinyl, a puppet theater, black smith, leather worker, rocket stoves, chickens, rabbits, green house and container vegetable gardens….
We are seeking to create a powered down model of what our future could look like where technology is once again something regular people can tinker with and understand, a world where people not only work together but eat together and tell their stories. We want to create a place where we can become human again and hand off a culture to our children that has a future. Come and join us!


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One response to “thoughts on our future by Rick Beerhorst of Plan B

  1. Stephanie M.

    I think this is wonderful. I’m currently taking a class on Energy Resources and we’ve definitely touched on the subject of a future similar to what your group is portraying. It is so true that unless a big change in human consumption happens, there just may be a point when resources such as petroleum, which so many of our everyday products are made from, run out and with nothing else to show for it.

    I think this is a great project not only for its creativity but because it shows people that all it takes is a start of something small. In turn, people learn to open their minds (especially if it shows you it can really work). Big changes have to start somewhere and this is such a smart and passionate way to set a good example in a smaller community.

    Our country isn’t the only one that is using up resources at an alarming rate, however. In fact, even though the majority of the energy resources we rely on are fossil fuels, we’re one of the few nations that take steps to use these resources in a more efficient manner (unlike China). No matter how we or the world may view the United States, the “standard” we have set for living has become a desire for the peoples of other nations. It’s very clear to me that we must take better steps in setting a good example for a brighter future and hopefully a less ethnocentric one as well. This is a good start!

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