Words by Craig Comen
Is it enough to recycle boards, eat vegan, buy used clothing, make things last beyond their years, recycle, reduce, and everything else that one does to be green? Maybe not. Here’s to dreaming big, imagining a world that exists without pollution, without corporate greed, without obsessive consumerism and over population. Utopian? Whatever.
As Hawaiian Larry Bertleman said about surfing, “Anything is possible.” So why not a world that flows naturally with alternative energies, abundant foods, clean air and water for all, and open, wild spaces. We read about these places. We see them in photos. We even visit them once in awhile: Byron Bay, Australia, Mendocino, California, islands in the Caribbean and the South Pacific and South and Central America.
Every continent has these amazing things happening, with people doing the right thing, living outside of the box, living the dream, creating their own world. Why? Because they are dreaming it, believing it, and then making it happen.
However, we need to ask if this is really possible for all humans and other beings on the planet? Is sustainability in the true sense of the word really possible? The mind boggles to think about it when in a giant city, driving on an overcrowded road or at a mega store. Have we gone beyond our tipping point?
On a recent trip to Chile I was trying to wrap my head around this one. Buildings upon buildings for miles upon miles in Santiago, and not a one that I could tell had a community garden, state-of-the-art waste disposal, water heating or the likes of anything modern in the sense of bridging the gap between looks and environmental function. I’m no architect, no eco-designer, just a super critic of how space is used, how efficient things are, and how much better things can be designed. God knows how I ended up running a two-bit kayak company, because I sure have a big opinion.
I think right now I’m urging all of you to think the same way, start with yourself, and critique your life, your way of operating, your consumerism, your usage, so to speak. Now close your eyes and dream the world that you want and desire as individuals, as communities, as a global entity: What it looks like, what it functions like, what can you leave behind, change or add? Perhaps if we all dream together we can ride a wave into the future that has space and resources for everyone to thrive under, get the waves they want, feel safe in their homes and have healthy full lives. I was once taught that less is more, and it rings so true in every sense of my life, although I have not embraced it completely and often enough. I guess that’s being human?
For over 40 years Craig Comen has been playing in the worlds oceans. He competed for 11 years from 1979 to 1990 as a professional surfer, winning a number of championships and gaining notoriety. Later he became a coach of World Champion surfers and a judge of both amateurs and professionals alike. He has a BS in Marine Science, having graduated from the intensive 2 year program at College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg.