Birth of a Meme
Photos Courtesy Bev Wigney
It was election night, November 7, 2006. Our local informal neighborhood salon of the intelligentsia had been involved in a political campaign, and here we were watching the results come in on the huge big-screen projected TV at campaign headquarters. Our candidate did not win, but we were all gratified by the shifting of the balance nonetheless. As part of his acceptance speech, Governor Ted said something along the lines that "...Oregonians understand global warming is an Oregon problem." That night our meme was born.
During several after-hour discussions in the living room of one of our conspirators, we hammered out a brief concept of our meme. The meme being "2020." A multi-use meme that fits. What's a meme? Our friend Wikipedia, as always comes to the rescue, with a complete historical background page on the meme scene.
The term meme (rhymes with theme), was coined in 1976 by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. It refers to a unit of cultural information transferable from one mind to another. Examples of memes are musical tunes, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. A meme propagates itself as a unit of cultural evolution and diffusion - analogous in many ways to the behavior of the gene (the unit of genetic information). The idea of memes has proved a successful meme in its own right, achieving a degree of penetration into popular culture rare for a scientific theory.
First and foremost, we mean our meme to mean the year 2020: A Declaration of Oregon Energy Independence by 2020. Meaning that we use that date as a target goal to wean our energy consumption off of sequestered carbon. Be it coal or be it oil, its been out of circulation for millions of years. And it took millions of years for the Earth to bind it up as underground carbon crap. Now we have released a very significant percentage of this carbon crap BACK into the system. In a fractional sliver of the time it took to originally bind it up underground, like a smoke bomb in a phone booth.
We propose moving towards the use of non-sequestered carbon for those high metabolic devices like vehicular transport. Oregon-grown biofuels for example can help take up that slack. And non-carbon electrical generation, especially aeroelectic wind farms supplemented by salmon-friendly hydroelectric facilities. The bulls eye on the target is 2020.
As 20/20 we also have a natural visual balance. By the year twenty/twenty we should at least balance the carbon emissions with carbon use and carbon sources. Or non-carbon sources, as applicable. And we believe they are applicable. It's just a matter of will.
And of course vision. A symbolic cultural "20-20 Vision" for our state and country to adopt and work towards. It becomes an antidote to war when energy production is local and not under the control of hostile aliens that we have to kill and steal it from. It means declaring Energy Independence for Oregon. So we can as a state set yet another national example for others to emulate and follow. And do the right thing as well.
So from one Oregon small town living room to the rest of the world, that's the story of our meme. We planted it. Lets see if it takes root and grows. For more info email us at: