resource scarcity

Daily Prep

Reflections on Water

5 Shocking Facts About Water Scarcity
Monday, March 24, 2014, 3:52 PM

An article from the recently passed World Water Day that describes some very eye opening perspectives on the importance of clean fresh water to our survival and the conditions many many people face throughout the world.  And with population growth still on the rise and water scarcity ever increasing - it may be time to put a little more thought into your personal, local and global water supplies and how to protect them. 

http://www.treehugger.com/clean-water/its-world-water-day-5-shocking-facts-about-water-scarcity-will-make-you-cry-river.html

Insider

Getting to a Future That Has a Future

It all depends on how well we manage contraction
Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 8:18 PM

Executive Summary

  • The 3 fundamental activities society will need to prioritize in order to manage our contracting economy & resources
  • How food production will need to evolve if we are to continue to feed ourselves in the future
  • How pursuing "growth" is wasting us precious time and energy
  • Mandatory transition will be needed across all sectors: transportation, health care, urban planning, manufacturing, trade, etc..

If you have not yet read Part I: Growth is Obsolete, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The problem of growth in its current context is first a problem of language, but  do not make the mistake of supposing that this is just a semantic argument. Language is the human animal's primary tool-kit for accomplishing anything in groups, whether it is hunting bison or putting a spacecraft on the moon. If you use the wrong tool you are likely to mismanage the task. Now the primary task facing humans in this moment of history is managing contraction and our goal should be to manage it in a way that minimizes the potential for hardship and suffering. It must be obvious, then, that "growth" in the broad sense that we use the term is not conducive to facilitate "contraction" in the broad sense. The promiscuous use of the word "growth" in our economic debates only confuses us and paralyzes our ability to construct a coherent narrative about what is happening in the world and how we might enter a plausible future which extraordinary events are now shaping.

Three Fundamental Activities

I propose that we substitute the term "activity" for "growth" in our public debates over how our economy can function in the face of the manifold crises of population overshoot, climate change, peak cheap oil, and capital scarcity. There are an endless number of purposeful activities we can undertake to address these large problems that do not connote growth. The three fundamental categories of these activities can be stated with precision, namely:

  1. re-localizing
  2. downscaling, and
  3. de-complexifying.

The quality in common with all of them is indeed the opposite of growth. Yet they all imply a range of positive actions that we can undertake as communities to make new arrangements for the human project to continue in a favorable way.

I will describe the particulars in a moment, but first the point must be made that... » Read more

Podcast

PeakProsperity.com

Lester Brown: The Sobering Facts on Global Resource Scarcity

Food & water supplies will be the weakest links
Monday, October 7, 2013, 12:02 PM

Environmental analyst Lester Brown has made a lifetime career of tracking declining supplies of global resources. He is the founder of the Earth Policy Institute and author of the book Plan B 4.0 Mobilizing to Save Civilization, both of which provide massive data sets on the precipitous drop in key natural resources as well as urgent policy recommendations for addressing them.

In today's podcast, Chris and Lester discuss the global depletion themes that concern Lester most greatly, including population growth, water usage, limits to food production, and climate changes. In many of these areas, the picture painted by the data is alarming.  Our future choices are quickly being limited to when these constraints will limit our way of life, not if. » Read more