The choice is hopefully still ours…but not for long. The film below isn’t based on some kind of doomsday speculation (e.g., 2012), but instead is a simple gathering of facts. It is a portrait of reality that most people either can’t, or don’t want to see. But nothing (literally) is more relevant to our future.
So…watch it, think about it, and then start doing something about it. Now!
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The Us Department of Energy Hirsch Report estimates that at least two decades will be needed to prepare for the effects of peak oil. The issues of energy shortages, resource depletion, top-soil loss and pollution are all symptoms of a single larger problem: Growth. As long as our financial system demands endless growth, reform is unlikely to succeed. What then will the future look like?
Optimists believe that growth will continue forever without limits. Pessimists think that we’re heading toward the new stone age, or extinction. The truth will lie between these extremes. It is possible that society might fall back to a simpler state, one in which energy use is a lot less. This would mean a harder life for most, more manual labor, more farm work, and local production of goods, food, and services. What should a person do to prepare for such a possible future?
Expect a decrease in supplies of food, and goods from faraway places. Start walking or cycling. Get used to using less electricity. Get out of debt and try to avoid banks. Instead of shopping in big box stores, support local businesses. Buy food grown locally at farmer’s markets. Instead of a lawn, consider gardening to grow your own food. Learn how to preserve it. Consider the use of a local currency should the larger economy cease to function. In short, develop greater self-sufficiency.
Of course none of these steps will prevent collapse, but they might at least improve your chances of survival in a low-energy future. One in which we’ll have no choice except to become individually and communally self-reliant…as our ancestors once were.