Between Beavers and Termites

hunting and gathering T-shirtThanks to PBS I’ve discovered that my humanly talents at home building reside somewhere between that of a beaver and a termite (the termite being more efficient, the beaver less). Said dreary program also informed me that “all homes are unsustainable.”

I mean, crap. Just because it’s true in a “we’re all going to die eventually” sort of way doesn’t mean I want to smoke it on a Wednesday evening. Then again, there might be something to this whole naked foraging/hunting and gathering thing. Maybe our ancestors gave up on that too easily.

But I’m not the kid of guy to take such a PBS pimp-slap sitting on the sofa. A termite? I’ll show you, Betty White, who can build a more sustainable home than a termite! (As long as no termites are around to mess it up for me.) Anyway, let me start with the Beaver. He got nocked down a few points for using up all the lumber resources in a failing effort to hold back river waters which only end up silting. Thus his home is good for around 5 to 6 years before he has to go foul up the next bend in the river. Bravo, Mr. Beaver (and I rooted for you in Narnia).

At least us humans have a little bit better average than 5 to 6 years per home. And sometimes we even manage not to strip residential locations of all their natural resources. Although most of the time we just depend on rig jockies and rail heads to bring us resources from a neighborhood of wimps who can’t use up their resources fast enough to keep them (Like Iowa. Oh snap!).

On the other side of the scale, the termite gets a boost from his architectural savvy and his naturally evolved butt-juice mortar. (And you say there’s no God. Seriously, I’m not making this stuff up.) With the help of readily available mud and a squirt of butt-juice the termite constructs a tall and narrow fan-blade sort of condominium that maintains a steady temperature throughout the day and seasons.

Now perhaps the termite is a tad less complex of a critter than old homo sapiens, but that’s loser talk. As a human, I can either build a more sustainable home than a termite, or I can’t. So what’s it going to be? As a collective species are we going to take this kind of crap from a PBS enabled insect?[divider]

Due to lack of energy and funds, the author of this post has given up on industry recognized means of construction and begun experimentation with butt-juices. So far the results have been mixed (with an unusual amount of corn. Corn? When did I eat corn?).

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