Well, as I am wont to do, I’m going to write a babble connecting two really disparate but not at all disparate ideas and not do any real investigation of either one as I do it, one because I totally already get the first concept and two because the second one is kind of intuitively obvious to me.
Thing is, I got to thinking about use of Ecological Niche Modeling to figure out where a body wanted to live a long time ago, because ecologists mostly use it to figure out where they might expect to find a species based on environmental characteristics, and so I thought it’s really more about what kind of habitat a body wanted to live in and not one’s niche in that habitat so much, not what one’s role would be, and it occurred to me that ENM was a bit of a misnomer.
But then of course I thought further, as I am wont to do, and the guy who actually used ENM to figure out where he wanted to live, well, he had kind of considered his niche, because his niche is that of a social planner/designer, and so he wanted to live in places that he considered good models for how a society should live, so he basically picked Cascadia, the Pacific NW, where there’s lots of progressive thinking and organic food production and well educated people around.
There are also lots of progressive thinking people in San Francisco, though not so much anymore, many of them have moved northward to the PNW, but there are lots of really progressive folks along the California Coast, and in Sedona, and Jackson Hole, way more progressive than Boston or NYC, as a whole.
And then it dawned on me. There is a niche, for sure, but there’s also habitat, and the thing that the PNW and the California Coast and Sedona and Jackson Hole have that Boston and NYC and Chicago all lack is that they are relatively unspoiled. They’re not overrun by human beings, not yet.
They’re getting to be that way, San Francisco has transitioned into a very not comfortable place for anyone not over the top wealthy really quickly, and Seattle is the same, most people can’t afford to live there, not in the city where one has to live to not commute, places where folks can pay for the big bucks food at the farmer’s market. And the folks who can sure aren’t the one’s producing it, they’re mostly just getting by, especially the organic farmers and craftspeople, commuting to bring their stuff into the city. Well, not Cascadian Farms, they’re raking it in, shipping stuff worldwide these days, I suspect.
That’s not really a good model for organic food production, even if it is a good start.
So anyway, what occurred to me is that the niche we’re all looking for, or the habitat anyway, is one that alleviates that Paleo Deficit Disorder. And if a body can live in Sedona and run on the treadmill while overlooking the red rocks from the air conditioned comfort of one’s multimillion dollar home and eat local organically grown food rich in anti-oxidants all day, well, that PDD is just not even on the radar.
Life is good.
Except of course for the biosphere and climate and all. That’s a form of PDD that no one is immune to.