Feasta, a leading international think-tank exploring the interactions between human welfare, the structure and operation of human systems, and the ecosystem which supports both, and,
The Risk/Resilience Network, an initiative which was established in order to understand energy induced systemic risk, the scope for risk management, and general and emergency planning.
This paper talks about the likely systemic impacts of peak oil, including the possibility of collapse. With a long publication such as this, it is difficult to know how to present a reasonable subset of the material. In this post, we are publishing the Summary as Part 1. Our tentative plan is to publish three additional excerpts from the paper later. Those who wish to read the paper now can download it from the link above.
Peak Moment 161: What if the food system benefited local producers, nourished nearby people, and built a stronger community? Krishna Khalsa of Eugene, Oregon wants to turn the food system on its head. He wants it to be run by, and for the benefit of, ordinary people – not corporate profit. He’s exploring models of local cooperative, entrepreneurial organizations where people provide the labor, share and hire resources, caretake the land, use all of nature’s abundance, support farmers and food producers, distribute food so that no one goes hungry, and build strong social bonds. Empower people, not profits!
Recently, the prominent scientist Stephen Hawking warned humanity that “We’re acting with reckless indifference to our future on planet earth. It will be difficult to avoid disaster in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand or million.” Some time earlier he said that the “Doomsday Clock advanced to 5 minutes to midnight.” David Suzuki echoes the same words “we’re sleepwalking into the future.”
Around this time of year, some brave souls venture to put their reputations at risk by attempting to predict what the next year will bring. Some do so with uncanny accuracy, others — not so much. Being a serious author who hardly ever makes jokes, I generally sit out this annual bout of frivolity, but, noting that a new decade is about to burst upon us, I thought it reasonably safe to paint a picture of how I see the next decade. In the unlikely case that my predictions turn out to be completely wrong, I would think that they will have been very thoroughly forgotten by the time 2020 rolls around. And so, without further ado, here are my predictions for what it will be like in The United States of America during the second decade of the XXI century.
… Distressed municipalities throughout the country will resort to charging exorbitant fees for such things as dog licenses. Many will experiment with imprisoning those unable to pay these fees in state and county jails, only to release them again as the jails continuously overflow and resources run low. The citizenry will come to regard jails as conveniently combining the features of a soup kitchen and a homeless shelter. Some towns will abandon the idea of having a fire department and decide that it is more cost-effective to just let house fires run their course, to save on demolitions.
(Background: This November a City Council member in the small Northern California town of Sebastopol proposed a ban on leaf blowers, which the community and Council are currently discussing. Bans have been passed in many cities around the United States and proposed elsewhere. Though some dismiss this issue as minor, others consider it important.
In addition to the more political articles that I’ve published locally on leaf blowers, the following is a tribute to leaves. Two websites with further information are Zero Air Pollution at www.zapla.org and www.nonoise.org.)
As Autumn matures into Winter here in the Redwood Empire, some leaves leave their dignified, upright positions and glide harmlessly to the ground. I watch them spiral down. Valley and black oaks on the land where I live will soon be stripped naked—mere skeletons without their protective, warm clothing. Conifers drop their sharp needles gradually over time. I look and listen as the leaves fall; humans named this season after their important, life-giving descent. The planet’s rich forest floor maintains us all.
As I type this, leaders from the biggest industrialized nations are meeting in Copenhagen to discuss a possible treaty to diminish worldwide carbon emissions. As reported last month, it is already known that no deal will be reached during these talks. Many scientists say time is running out and others say its too late. Meanwhile in Canada, the forces of capitalism and industry are moving full force to extract the last bits of oil from the Alberta tar sands. The insanity of this project perfectly exemplifies Premise 10 from Derrick Jensen’s Endgame.
A couple of years ago, Dyer noticed that the military in various countries, especially in the Pentagon, were beginning to take climate change and the idea that global warming could lead to wars, seriously.
The former media mogul Ted Turner challenged us in 1992 with this statement: “If we don’t make the right choices after we have all the information, then we don’t deserve to live.”
Well, we have more than enough information. Oil and gas, the stored sun’s energy, which took hundreds of millions of years to incubate, gone forever within this century. We are, in fact, approaching PEAK EVERYTHING.
Our planet will be around for millions of years, what gives us the right to dig out the last of the non-renewable resources and destroy the environment in the process? And now, nations are posturing to exploit the Arctic resources, just because they’re there?
Kris Holstrom’s off-grid permaculture farm at 9000 feet high is living proof that food can be grown nearly anywhere. Managing with a very short growing season and water constraints, she and her interns have created magic. Tour the sun-warmed, insulated greenhouse where greens are grown year-round. Its home to a waterfall and pond with fish, trellises for grapes and seedlings, artwork for the soul, and mushrooms growing from straw. The outside garden offers herbs, berries, greens and prayer flags. Kris sees herself as a steward of the land, and delights in sharing it with kids and interns in a spirit of love and reciprocity.
subMedia recently held a fundraiser for END:CIV in Vancouver where we premiered the latest clips from the movie. We also beamed in Derrick Jensen via weblink where attendees could ask him questions and have an interactive discussion. The Q & A went so well that we decided to release the video online.