Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Peak Everything, p. 18

So, let's look at it this way.

2000 calories per day > 600 calories per day but
3500 calores per day is not better than 2000 calories (or 1500 calories) per day

shelter, potable water, and a little electricity are better than not having these things BUT
a 5000 square foot home for 3 people is not better than a 1500 square foot home

Everything has limits, and limits are good. Growth in terms of energy consumption and physical production Is Limited. Is Finite. Recognize!

Or, in Heinberg's words:

"Addressing the economic, social, and political problems ensuing from the various looming peaks is no mere palliative and will require enormous collective effort. If it is to be successful, that effort must be coordinated, presumably by government, and enlist people by educating and motivating them in numbers and at a speed that has not been seen since World War II. Part of that motivation must come from a positive vision of a future worth striving toward. People will need to believe in an eventual reward for what will amount to many years of hard sacrifice. The reality is that we are approaching a time of  economic contraction. Consumptive appetites that have been stoked for decades by ubiquitous advertising messages promising “more, faster, and bigger” will now have to be reined in. People will not willingly accept the new message of “less, slower, and smaller,” unless they have new goals toward which to aspire. They must feel that their efforts will lead to a better world, with tangible improvements in life for themselves and their families. The massive public education campaigns that will be required must be credible, and will therefore be vastly more successful if they give people a sense of investment and involvement in formulating those goals. There is a much-abused word that describes the necessary process—democracy."

What now? It's not a matter of damning and shaming people about how wrong, wrong, wrong our way of life is, although we do need to recognize and admit our excesses and our sins. But this isn't sufficient. We have to create something better, a positive alternative, not just opposing a negative one. This is wrapped up intimately in ideas of binaries, but I can't go there right now. It's all connected.

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