The Price of Things

A little Friday food for thought... brought to you by your friends on the farm....

We use the words "cost" and "price" interchangeably to describe the amount of money needed in order to purchase an item or an experience.  For this discussion, I am going to ask you to think of the "cost" as the amount listed on the price tag.  Let's think of the "price" as something different.  For this discussion, let's consider "price" to be the hidden burdens on both humans and the earth that we probably don't consider when thinking of the "cost" of an item.

With today's ever-apparent climate crisis, it is more and more important to examine "cost" versus "price".  It's something worth thinking about as consumers.  A steak may "cost" us $10, but the price of that steak may be so much greater.... as evidence has shown that our current industrial farming method of raising beef cattle is a huge contributor of greenhouse gasses, specifically methane.  An item of clothing may cost $30, but the price is much greater when you consider the water used, the polluting by-products and the humans used to manufacture that garment for less than a livable wage.

There is a price that we pay for everything that we consume.... from the houses that we build, to the clothes that we wear, the food we eat, and our entertainment.  Certainly, all of those things costs us hard-earned cash, but the price of them is even greater!  From pollution, to consumption of raw materials, to slave labor in third-world countries... the ultimate price is something of which we need to be aware.  Certainly, we can live with much less than we have - and believe me, I am pointing a finger at myself as well.  

 Unfortunately, completely reworking how we meet our basic needs will not happen quickly, but hopefully a gradual shift (as quickly as possible) can be made.  For today's discussion, however, I want to focus on one specific thing.  It's something quite costly- reserved only for the super-wealthy - but the price is one that no-one can afford.

You might be aware that Wednesday evening, SpaceX sent a rocket beyond our atmosphere to orbit the earth for three days.  Its crew is all civilian - the third such flight this year - thus launching a new era of Space Tourism.  The flight was chartered by a 38-year-old billionaire for himself and three others that were chosen by contests or lottery.  The cost: undisclosed.  The price?  unimaginable! 

There are enormous environmental impacts to these flights - resources used, emissions from burning fuel, as well as impacts on the land, the air, the sea, and wildlife.  Rockets are fueled by sub-cooled methane - methane being the major component of natural gas.  So not only is burning this fuel an impact with regards to emissions, but obtaining the fuel (typically by fracking) has its own environmental side effects.

To the billionaires who can afford the cost of these flights, I ask: if you have a few extra hundred million to blow, how about doing something that benefits all of humanity?  Isn't relieving some human suffering, or helping to assure that our children have a future here on Earth more satisfying than orbiting the earth just so that you can say that you did it?

Elon Musk claims that his program is aimed at eventually sending humans to live on Mars.  And while this might sound like the best option should we have to eventually leave the planet that we have systematically been destroying, Mars is less than inhabitable.  Recent studies have shown that the radiation in Mars' atmosphere is too great for human life.  So, really, Mr. Musk - what are we really trying to accomplish?  

It's all food for thought... I encourage you to consider "cost" versus "price".  None of us would remotely consider a space flight,  but still, we can ask ourselves if what we want is worth the price.   And though we might be able to afford something, can our planet afford it?

Thanks for listening to my little rant!

On a lighter note, I will leave you with a few smiles from this week....

This big old bullfrog has made a home beneath the pigs' pool. 

Our pond Mallard count is now up to 20... I'm sure there will be lots more by winter.

I just noticed that my Christmas star has been completely swallowed up by aVirginia Creeper vine... the product of a very abundant summer!

Do you remember this spring how I took three branches from our willow tree and  "planted" them in the greenhouse to propagate new trees?  Here is one of the three.... very hardy and planted - having grown to three times its original size.  Free trees!  This one pictured directly behind the ducks.

The guineas are enjoying the morning glory cave in the garden....

Check out this tiny, frilly spiderweb - smaller than a dime!

Lastly, now hanging to dry in the dining room is this large bunch of lemon verbena.  Once dry, I will pluck the leaves and store them for use as winter, herbal tea.  For now, though, the dining room smells so wonderfully lemony!

I hope to get all of the various mint leaves harvested as well in the next few days.

Thanks for stopping by the farm on this last day of the blogging week.  We'll be back on Monday with more Tales from the Farm.  Until then...


Ann said…
Hi Beverly,
I want to affirm the courage it takes to write such a post, as I am heartened to read another's words that mirror my own convictions. I am guessing that you will hear back from those who disagree or don't hold your perspective, whether publicly or privately, so thank you for stating the truth so simply and for weaving the beauty of the land that we rely upon into your post. I know well what can feel like the exhausting calculation of cost versus price over and over in purchasing decisions and the temptation to throw up my hands in discouragement...which is why I also need the beauty and satisfaction of caring for our creatures close to home. Thank you for foraying into both.
I agree! Though I may be backwards in thinking this but I always thought of cost and price the other way c round. The ultimate cost always being higher than the price we pay.
I believe it is a total waste of money and resources for a tourist space ride, even if one has the funds. Better to be remembered for what we do to help others than what we can do for ourselves.

Thank you for sharing the photos of all your lovlies. It brightens my day to see such beauty first thing in the morning! Have a fantastic weekend.
Anonymous said…
In short, Musk could instead spend the money he is wasting on these flights, for improving life here on earth. I loved our Leaf, all-electric vehicle, and hope to again own an electric car. I will NOT buy, nor take, even if for free, anything from this man until he stops this foolishness. The same with Bezos and amazon (no cap. on purpose). Thank you for putting Musk's ridiculous actions into clean and meaningful language.
Anonymous said…
I hate this waste of space tourism. There are so many hurting people on earth I would use the money to help them. I would try to stop human trafficking and fight against it. Relieve suffering wherever I could do so.
Jeannie said…
Thought provoking. Thank you.
Lynne said…
Thanking you for your reflecting on cost - price . . .
Not a fan of the “I can out do you” space/tourism . . .
But then, I simply do not need/want much to be entertained.
Give me quiet, walks, fresh cool air, rest, laughter . . . my list goes on . . .
Marcia LaRue said…
Thank you for such a thought-provoking blog to start my day with!
Ah, yes ... if only the super rich would think of others rather then themselves ... good luck with that! Most likely, that's how they ended up rich in the first place!
As always ... love the pictures around the farm!
littlemancat said…
Well said. It just seems like all so much hubris which could be better used.
And, have to admit, I share Ladybug's ideas of price and cost. But when you think of it, both views work.
Anonymous said…

I agree with your words 100%. You articulated my thoughts and feelings exactly.
It makes me feel good everyday reading your words and seeing the love you have for your animals.
Take Care,
Bee Haven Bev said…
I actually looked up the two words before I wrote this post. Cost is defined as just the amount of money. But price is defined as something that is given at the expense of some thing else CB
Anonymous said…
Beautifully said!! This is the planet on which we live. The only planet that we know of in the universe that can sustain habitable life. It must be our first and only priority. If changes are not made soon, both the cost and price may be very dear to future generations.

Wanda1950 said…
I agree, Beverly--resources so desperately needed here are mostly wasted on these billionaire space outings. The sickness and starvation around the world is so terrible that I almost can't bear thinking about it.

I grew up in poverty in rural TN. No running water, etc., and a severe shortage of clothing and household needs. We never went hungry due to my mother's constant gardening and finally with government assistance.

I am sharing that to say that I can & do live peacefully without so many things thought necessary. I might not like it in some cases , but I can do it. It makes me so sad & worried to see so many family & friends who cannot live without luxurious new cars, certain foods & clothing etc. Overall their misuse is probably more than the space vacation. I fear for them if the future is as bleak as it may be.

Your morning glories are beautiful, but they always remind me of my continuing garden battle against them. Loved seeing that big frog/toad. I wonder what the pigs think of him.
This N That said…
Amen..that was a good rant!!!
Love your Morning Glory cave..
Wow...Free trees..great job.
The Mallards know where you resort is..Food and water always available..
Have a good weekend..Hugs
Eileen in Fla. said…
I heard a MSNBC space expert say that it's getting crowded in space with junk, discarded satellites and garbage. Looks like human behavior is fast spoiling another nest.
Karen said…
A rant? Are you kidding me? It's called 'Common Sense' - and well said:)
leslye said…
If everyone was like you what a better world it would be!
farm buddy said…
I am still annoyed that they landed on the moon! Please just leave the moon and the rest of space alone!! Why can't people just be content to marvel at the sky from the Earth? Your post was spot on!
I hadn't heard about this space flight for civilians but it makes my blood boil. With people starving all over the world, there is so much better use for the money. Just incredible. May God forgive us when we think of ourselves first and neglect our neighbor.
Dee J. Hartman said…
Thanks for your view~
What you write is so true!
I agree
Unknown said…
Bev,,, your words are so true!
I too have questioned the thinking of people (of great financial wealth),, why wouldn't they want to use their monies for doing good for people, the environment, for animal welfare... yet so many of these wealthy people spend billions to placate their own ego.

I suspect they will never know the joy of sitting on a lawn, and watching a humble Bee buzz from one dandy lion to another... to watch a dragon fly dip close to a puddle of water,,,, or to enjoy the bliss of sitting on the porch while watching their children run on the lawn in search of lightening bugs.

But at least we can enjoy the simple pleasures, we can try to make a difference because we value our blessing, we value what Mother Earth has for us, we value children, we value goodness, kindness and generosity.

Thank you for sharing with us,, Rant away,, because we sooo agree with you.