Trends To Watch As Peak Oil Continues
As the CEO of a technology company, Peak Oil analyst, and sustainability trend spotter, I want to point out some blazing examples of trends presenting themselves as we continue to try and overcome our sustainability / survival challenges.
TREND #1: EXPECT THE MEGA-PILLARS OF THE INTERNET TO TAKE OVER GOVERNMENT
It is only a matter of time before Internet software completely reprograms human behavior. The Mega-Pillars of the Internet, including Google, Microsoft, MySpace, Facebook, etc. will continue to duke it out with one another for primacy. In order to achieve this, they will continue to suck up the ideas of small start-ups that offer true innovation. There will also be sneak attacks and some of those small startups may even sweep the legs of the big pillars. I would tell you who they are but I want to make my money first.
This trend will continue as each mega-pillar also creates applications marketplaces by fostering open source programming environments for their users. Essentially, these behemoths no longer need to pay as many programmers, since they have users doing all the hard work for them. Applications that have real value filter their own way to the top, just like a good rock band. If enough people like you, you get famous.
Then, the big boys simply assimilate that cool new functionality into their mega-pillars that already have the eyes and ears of millions of registered users. This way, they can gain mass adoption in an instant, while fledgling startup companies either get acquired or go belly up after their ideas are stolen.
After a period, people will stop listening to government leaders and just start doing their own thing to survive. After all, they will have all the tools necessary to live sustainable lives at their fingertips. One example of this trend is how Google has assimilated the routes of government controlled transit.
So if you live in Portland like I do, you can now bypass the Tri-met website and simply use Google’s transit tool to plan your entire trip. As more of the Mega-Pillars begin to assimilate the functions of government, people will begin to rely on themselves and technology to self-sustain. Expect to see cool things such as people using their cell phones to see who in a particular neighborhood is selling or trading for eggs.
That means over time, government will become less necessary as sustainable systems better support themselves.
TREND #2: EDIBLE LANDSCAPING AND PERMACULTURE WILL BECOME A NEW ECONOMIC BOOM
We haven’t even buried the corpse of capitalism yet, but I will go out on a limb to say that as we find an equilibrium for allowing people to remain in their homes, we will need to use permaculture to hyper-relocalize our food systems and ecological foundations.
I see more and more policy planners paying attention to people that know a lot about the earth. As these gurus become consultants, we will see exciting designs as wealth meets sustainability. It will become much more than Hollywood trying to “Green” the Oscars. Landscapers that combine the law(n)s of nature with sheik design will be guaranteed a market. And worm poop is the new black gold.
The fun part will be seeing the labor market fight for jobs to help people do the conversion! How amazing will it be to see teams of neighbors working on permaculture projects together?
Need an example? Check out these two videos:
TREND #3: VIOLENCE WILL BE OVERCOME
Ok, so crime is on the rise as the economy crashes. Or if someone actually lets loose a nuke in a city somewhere, it will suck tremendously. Or, if climate change ramps up so fast we all perish, then poop-on-a-stick. But to say that we just sat back and watched it all go down without even *trying*?
No way. I believe in America’s pioneering spirit, and that we are beginning to witness a journey within ourselves that frees us from the bonds of violence, and allows us to find happiness in appropriate food, shelter, and transportation systems.
We can’t help it if the financial system crashes, but we can help what we do about it. While the economies of the world are set for implosion due to peak oil, we should be set for an explosion of freedoms. Freedom to get out in our yards to make our soil rich and full of nutrients that plants love. We can explore the amazing freedoms of beekeeping, local food processing, board games, bike riding – a whole lot of reasons to keep on living.
Just because we all have guns doesn’t mean we have to use them.