Posts filed under ‘Die Off’
Sometimes, you have to move beyond the blog – so I went and laid out some thoughts in front of an audience.
That’s right, I said it. Peak Oil is a straw man argument.
If you want to understand what I mean, watch this alternate ending to “The Lord Of The Rings”. You will quickly understand.
See what I mean?
What it sums up is that fixing Peak Oil all comes down to the community’s decision to follow a smarter plan, act accordingly, and share collective resources and talents with one another. That is how you win.
Think about it this way. The “Lord of The Rings” movie everyone has collectively seen presents a story the way it was written. Everyone leaves the theatre thinking that was the way the story had to be. But Ho Ho! If J.R. Tolkien had written “The Fellowship Of The Ring” to actually follow the course in the alternate ending, people would have had a much shorter movie and still had a happy ending.
And this is our society’s problem. We love thrillers. The story of “Peak Oil” is currently being presented as a potentially cataclysmic global energy problem. It is not. Peak Oil is a communications problem among a spoiled, techno-zombie culture. We have communicated with one another for so long about the story ending, we can’t decide what our global population’s story of continuity should be.
In America, the lagging economy is driving a dramatic move back to basics and a reversal of decades-long trends of convenience. Roughly half of all consumers with incomes less than $55,000 per year say they have trouble affording the groceries they need, while nearly a quarter of those earning between $55,000 and $99,000 also say so. Among those with incomes over $100,000, 16% report having trouble. 42% of consumers say they have given up favorite food brands because of rising prices and economic concerns. Source: IRI Economic Trend Database/AttitudeLink, May 2008
Also, large numbers of Americans face the prospect of energy shutoffs during the coming months because of rising energy prices and stagnant wages.
And so communities around the world are going to have to grapple with dwindling resources at the community level. You will not get help from the folks at the top. Anyone over 30 knows that money drives politics, and money is presently tied up in oil. This will remain true until communities free themselves from the global money system and start basing values on things that matter, such as services you provide that benefit the entire community and that do not cause harm to the environment or other people.
I would argue that hemp does not cause harm to people. It is a renewable energy resource and medicine. It’s human laws and lawns getting in the way of nature that are stopping us from having enough food and fuel for everyone.
Because cars are cool. I like walking, but I still want to drive, damnit! And right now, I am making my own fuel – which can run in any car with a combustible engine. The oil companies took over the fuel market a long time ago, and they are defending their money with as much vigor as they can.
So until local communities start firing up moonshine and having their local farmers plant sorghum as a better feedstock alternative than corn, we aren’t really serious about fixing our problems. Until we each begin to learn about the soil food web, we aren’t serious about fixing the problem. Until we each accept one another’s faiths, and work together to improve earth’s life support systems, we are not serious about fixing the problem. If we aren’t willing to help more than just ourselves, our family, and our friends, we aren’t serious about fixing the problem.
It’s going to take collective action from each of us, as well as the truth to emerge about certain solutions that have been suppressed, to implement desperately needed changes. Changes that allow us to continue to live happy lives, eat better, and travel from one place to another. Changes that are possible, given that we take away so much power from corporations and weapons companies that run the world.
Unless communities immediately create renewable local food and water systems, it means even more war and death. Until a majority of us are ready to act on the advice of innovators with proof that we don’t have to be less than human to one another and that there is plenty of land to grow enough food to feed the entire planet, we will just keep on reading headlines about bombs dropping.
If you are ready to listen to a leader that offers real ways our children of tomorrow can be proud of the actions we take today, my company has created a proven path of how we can get there. It’s a positive, loving, and life-affirming alternate ending to the Story of Peak Oil, and I am launching it in Portland.
By Randy White
Editor, Lawns to Gardens
Have you ever been in a fight?
You know, a real life and death “Oh Shit!” moment in your life when someone is in your face and there is no way to avoid an ass-kicking from one side or the other?
I would rather avoid such entanglements and simply get along with my fellow man. That’s nature’s economy, getting along with others, but then again – so is population correction. The human “Market Correction” we are beginning to experience due to peak oil, overpopulation, and ecological destruction is certainly getting interesting. This article focuses on my Malthusian view of the way things are going down, based on Leap Year night in Seattle.
I feel people are scared right now, and everybody senses that the big problems we have in America to maintain sustainability are getting too hard to handle. This is causing social pressures that are spilling over into forms of aggression amongst ourselves. Here’s an example, put in terms of sociological implications of a typical American bar / nightclub:
The Meat-Head culture that has for so long so blindly followed poor leadership have failed to evolve in time to save themselves. They are now so confused by the implosion of America’s modern, unsustainable living system, that they cannot possibly fathom letting go without a fight. Heads are starting to pop and corks are starting to blow.
For instance, when you mix American testosterone, social pressures caused by overpopulation, and alcohol, the results are utterly predictable. Here is a message to all of our country’s meat-heads:
When you can no longer pay your bills, you tend to get frustrated. If you also happen to pump a lot of iron and you think you have a physical upper edge, you might just pick a fight these days. After all, you aren’t going to take shit from anyone anymore. You are just so sick of it all, so fuck it, right?
I witnessed one of these fights this weekend. I was in Seattle laying the groundwork for a secret project to help Seattle build better local community, and decided to take in a little Rock-and-Roll. Only it ended up being a white hip-hop show instead. And what a fantastic musical discovery it was!
The musical line-up:
No-Fi Soul Rebellion
A Husband-Wife musical duo complete with a one-man atomically-energized musician. I haven’t witnessed such great crowd working since Rabbit-In-The-Moon’s legendary Portland Halloween show.
Telephone Jim Jesus – A horrible crap solo act in between
Sole and the Skyrider Band
Toward the end of Skyrider’s set, a fight broke out over who-knows-what between a couple of Meat-Heads. Their necks were thicker than tree stumps and something sent them into heated fisticuffs. Now, this is a show where people came together for PEACE and FUN, and the pressure was even too great at this place for civil cohesion.
Not that you can use a single event to gauge society, but if I were a city planner, I would be looking beyond what was reported to my police bureau for statistics and demographics of crime. For instances, I would want to know the present growth pattern for fights at clubs and entertainment venues. Live musical performances, night clubs, and church are places in American society where strangers from the same town mix together with sexual tension and alcohol.
I am curious…
How many fights are breaking out within cities?
Who are getting into fights?
What are the deeper reasons for those fights?
Who knows, this show took place on February 29 (Leap Year) and it is, as you know, not a common day of the year. 2008 consists of 366 days instead of the ordinary 365. These special leap years occur every four years. They are what cause our seasons to change at the same time every year and they keep the calendar in alignment with the earth’s motion around the sun.
So perhaps this Leap Year in Seattle was a historical marker for a new reality shift. A time to recognize solutions to our social problems. We had better implement better communications tools to help testosterone driven Meat-Heads deal with the death of industrial society. It is surely falling down, and we are heading into a period of sacrifice. Either we sacrifice our addiction to consumerism and learn to better share resources with one another, or you won’t be able to avoid violence anywhere you go.
“We think we could go into crisis mode in many commodities sectors in the next 12 to 18 months . . . and I would argue that agriculture is key here.” says Jeff Currie, Head of Commodities Research at Goldman Sachs.
It’s time the government hires creative thinkers that can imagine the impossible, and create tools to be prepared for the worst. The reason is that these people will challenge existing expectations.
This is why I would like to pre-announce the April 2008 launch of my company Bright Neighbor LLC. Our team of programmers have been working tirelessly, and we are close to releasing a software program I believe will help solve our societal and currency challenges. It will:
– Help Save America!
It connects people better than MySpace. It is more relevant than than FaceBook. It will un-invite E-vite. It will help people easily grow food gardens within cities. It will do everything right, and will help municipal planners help solve the crises caused by global warming, Peak Oil, financial collapse, and human overpopulation.
Want to see America without intervention?
Take a look at Nigeria. It is a mess, due to the combination of legions of legendarily corrupt politicians, buckets of oil money, and vast pools of neglected citizens. The Niger Delta, the wellspring of Nigeria’s oil wealth, is particularly messy. It’s where people, abandoned by their government, are living at a minimal subsistence level just outside the fences of the major oil company compounds, which sport European levels of convenience and lifestyle for their expatriate employees. As a result, it’s little wonder that the Delta’s political environment is a swirling maelstrom of local actors, from tribal chiefs to gangs all competing for a tiny slice of the Delta’s abundant oil wealth, most of which flows into the hands of corrupt politicians/military leaders in Lagos and the coffers of global oil companies.
Also take into account that the United States’ main worry is that Russia – which set up an official SWF last month – is planning to relaunch the cold war, only this time with oil and gas receipts rather than with the Red Army.
Some western governments are suspicious about the motives of sovereign funds that have been buying up assets in developed countries.
Washington, which has launched talks with funds in Abu Dhabi and Singapore, has concerns over Russia’s one-time rival communist superpower China, which has grown weary of stockpiling US Treasury bonds and has started to size up physical assets in the west.
The big secret is that Rupert Murdoch could help save America using MySpace if he wanted to. If only he wasn’t such a Grinch, I would happily show him how.
But first I want to see if Bright Neighbor can beat him to it.
(Bonus: No-Fi Soul Rebellion Music video!)
For any late comers to the game!
And just one more reminder…
Advertisers have ruined sustainability. The words “Sustainable” and “Green” have been wiped clean of value, and the new chic trend will be in smart people fighting tooth and nail to keep playing the “Survival” game in the current economic system setup.
Imagine our economy is running Capiltalist Computer Operating System 1.0. Right now, our collective hard drive is crashing, and there are too many things breaking for the system to hold it together. That Click Click Click sound your hard drive makes before it poops out on you is growing louder day by day in terms of our global economic situation.
But let’s concentrate right here in the US for right now. As more people have to deal with the stresses of financial survival, let’s focus on what is really wrong here.
We are consuming so much that the earth can’t take it anymore, and our present money system is tied to consumption. Duh. And we all know that under this present capitalist system, just about every business can’t make a profit unless it is are still sucking up from the earth, and the Web 2.0 promise of a technological communications rescue has failed to deliver in time to not experience a massive wipeout.
What do I mean by that?
If you or your business advertises products and services, in some way you are contributing to the present growth economy. Sustainability is usually defined as a method to make sure there is a planet for future generations, and the market is crashing because our Capitalist Operating System has failed. It is now so broken that America has passed the point when as many people can live.
It means the bill has come due for America’s addictive appetite.
We are broke, and the stresses of having to scramble for money to survive is going to keep on getting worse. The good news is that when the system breaks too much, we can rebuild from the ashes of the old economy, but until it completely falls, many people are going to be experiencing a great suffering.
If you are wealthy, no problem – just keep on partying away. You have time, society still has its shit together. But know that there is a critical mass of stress before anything breaks. There is always a breaking point, and it will be the shittiest time of many people’s lives.
When you lose a loved one, it tears at your soul. Many people love their possessions, and are enduring physically and mentally demanding jobs to hang onto a paycheck, a health plan, or an IRA. That’s because they still offer hope, and you can still rest in comfort with those. Keeping enough money coming in to sustain an existence is becoming too painful of an affair for too many Americans, adding stress to relationships as well as everyone’s own mental well being.
We are a sick society, and like any addict running out of a drug, we are going to be going through major withdrawal symptoms as a people. Healing yourself is hard, demanding work. If you have lived through fighting addiction and survived, you already know what it is like to traipse through hell. For anyone experiencing the worst time of their life right now, if you have never felt so bad before, know that it does get better if you face your fears of loss.
Everyone needs help right now, and there are no easy solutions to appease the pain. You have to face your fear and jump off the cliff to believe in hope. It all begins when we grow a set of balls as a country and allow ourselves to each die and rise as a new spirit.
Do you know how to kick someone’s ass?
I mean a knock-down, drag out brawl to the very end… bloody fists and a lump of beaten flesh falling as you hear the dull thud of your competitor’s body hitting the pavement.
Many people are beginning to realize just how screwed we are as Mother Earth ceases the ability to feed us all. So brothers and sisters around the planet are going to have to eventually choose to be Garden Warriors or predators. Sure, no one can predict the way things are going to go down, but they certainly are going to go down. How long you survive depends on too many variables to predict.
The question is how well you are prepared for the changes that happen in society. Not everyone is going to be nice, and just like in Nature, the weak and untrained will die off first. As much as you may hate the idea of some meathead killing you for whatever reason as laws fall by the wayside, unless you can defend yourself – it will probably happen.
It makes me wonder how much time people have to truly prepare themselves in the ways of the warrior. I can’t pretend to be an expert in this area, especially since I never spent time training in the jungle getting beat up by ninjas the way Hollywood would have us believe it goes.
No, most people with warrior skills understand that the desire to survive comes down to will power and past experience. If you have military training and equipment, you will certainly have an advantage over a white collar worker with virgin fists. But there are more and more people waking up to the “Fight Club” mentality – realizing that materialism is bunk and coming back to the principles of reality.
The fact is, as simple as we learn to live while preparing to do more with less, unless law and order is maintained and people remain civil, you might consider getting into shape sooner rather than later.
If you live in Portland, I recommend visiting Kurtis Goodwin.
I thought I might be able to get a dodge dealer to sponsor this kind of ad. I wonder if they will ever become risk takers and buy into the idea since car sales are slowing down?