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    Facing The (Horrible) Future

    Our fate directly depends on our courage to change it
    by Chris Martenson

    Saturday, June 9, 2018, 4:45 AM

I’d like to tell you a short story based on a movie that has had a profound impact on me.

I'll get to the story in a moment, but first, a little background on the movie… 

It's called Griefwalker (by Tim Wilson) and it focuses on the life and wisdom of Stephen Jenkinson, a theologian and philosopher who worked as an end-of-life specialist for many years.  Because we all must face death in our lives, inevitably our own someday, I highly recommend this movie and Stephen’s work to everyone. 

After sitting at the death beds of a thousand individuals, Stephen has accumulated a wisdom regarding the process of dying that is perhaps unmatched in our modern times. His views and insights are extraordinarily powerful and extremely well-delivered in the movie. 

Stephen is a blunt yet thoughtful man, and my own interview with him (Living with Meaning) remains one of my all-time favorites.

At one point in Griefwalker, Stephen was lobbed what I’m sure the interviewer thought was a soft-ball question.  From memory, and I last watched the movie a few years ago so I’m certain to have this inexactly recalled, it was along the lines of “So, Stephen, you’ve learned how to ease people through the process of dying. How is that done?”  I guess the idea was that after being so steeped and skilled at shepherding people through the process of dying, Stephen had arrived at some tidy formula for making it as gentle as possible.

Without blinking Stephen said, “Oh no. Dying for most people these days is horrible.”  After a few shocked fumbly moments by the interviewer, and I confess to having been shocked too, Stephen continued, explaining that the physical process of dying can certainly be managed easily and well with palliative care, but the emotional journey can be quite terrifying (at first). 

The reason why is because most people spend their entire lives pretending as if death is somehow avoidable. So when they find themselves dying, they suddenly have to confront the fact that they may have forgotten to fully 'live' during their one and only shot at life. 

To suddenly realize the most precious thing you had was barely treasured along the way, never to be recovered, can indeed be a horrible moment.

As far as we know, we’ve only got one life to live — and facing our end puts that into sharp focus. As Stephen says in his book Money and the Soul’s Desires, “Not success. Not growth. Not happiness. The cradle of your love of life … is death.”

To look back on one’s time on Earth and realize how much of it was spent not really being alive, not loving, not noticing, not being present with what is, is to realize that your one glorious ride was largely spent without reflection, depth or meaning. It was squandered. And there’s no undoing that fact. Again, that moment of realization is a bad moment.

I'm not writing this to push you to ponder your own demise, though that may be a healthy pursuit for many of us. Rather, I want to direct your attention towards a moment of horror that I think is coming – for all of us.

Where We're Headed

Travel with me to the future. Imagine that the year is now 2040. 

If we suddenly woke in that year, what would we see in the world?  More importantly, what would we not see? Which species would be missing? Which ecosystems will have utterly collapsed?

By extrapolating trends already in place (many of which are accelerating) we can easily predict a future world where there are no large animals left. Perhaps the last giraffe was killed and eaten by a hungry mob back in 2033, joining the White Rhino which was lost back in 2018. 

Lions and tigers can no longer be found in the wild; their genetic stock hopelessly compressed into a few zoos and frozen test-tubes, should humans ever rally to justify the expense of trying to resurrect those species. 

There are no coral reefs anywhere in the oceans, and essentially no diversity of life left in the seas at all. Acidification has upset and mostly ruined the ocean ecology from the bottom up.

First, we noticed that the oysters no longer successfully made it out of the larval stage. But by the time the scientists delivered a loud enough warning for all of the missing copepods and other vital zooplankton, it was already too late. The jellyfish had taken over. Nobody has a clue how to get the ecology to return to one that can support tuna, rockfish, dolphins, whales, seals and seabirds. Those are all gone — starved, fished or hunted to extinction.

Worse, the ubiquitous jellyfish are entirely too efficient. In addition to decimating the zooplankton, the jellyfish are eating the phytoplankton responsible for generating most of the world’s oxygen — their levels too low to continue being a positive force for oxygen release into the atmosphere. “Don’t worry!” scream the Tweets, "Scientists have found a new and better way in the lab to harness the sun to split water. We can make our own oxygen!"  However, after the past 1,000+ lab 'miracle breakthroughs' that proved to be duds when attempted at scale, few have hope that this time will prove any different.

The vast systems offered by Nature — more accurately, that were offered by Nature — once taken for granted, are now fully appreciated by the people left on Earth. But it’s too late. 

The insects are mostly gone, at least in terms of diversity. The terrestrial ecosystem balance that people knew and loved back in “the twenty teens” is gone and has been replaced by something far simpler and painfully less interesting. The failure to block neonicotinoid pesticides in time, as well as their more morally repugnant (yet legal!) derivations that outpaced activist’s ability to fight them, meant that entire classes of pollinators were lost. 

With those, entire species of plants disappeared because they were utterly dependent on highly-specific pollinator services. Mankind's few lame attempts at creating “drone pollinators” were so utterly unfit for the task that the term became a profoundly disparaging insult, most frequently applied to ineffective politicians.  “Looks like another useless bill being put up by the drone pollinator from New York.”

A few hardy bugs and roaches, lots and lots of ants (where are they all coming from?), and very few flying insects remain. No more large moths in the temperate climates, with such splendid examples as the Luna and Hawk moths now only existing as dead specimens in a few museums, right next to the dodo and African elephant displays. 

And it’s been over 15 years since "the dawn chorus of birds" was a phrase that had any meaning. Nearly all of the migratory birds are gone, along with all of the insect eating species.  It’s eerily silent outside in the morning. The sight of a single bumblebee, or a flash of colorful plumage, is cause for a quickening of your pulse — the same physical reaction people once had when as noticing a movie star at a café.

Life, where it now exists in pockets, is revered.  In nearly every place it remains, human guardians quickly dispatch any poachers or defilers, burying the bodies without remorse.  Non-human life has become more valuable than human life.

Fossil fuels began peaking in 2030 in terms of total BTUs from all sources: oil, gas and coal. And while not crashing, they've unable to provide more, which exposed the 'continuous growth' model as being a cruelly-attractive mirage. Its handmaiden, debt-based money, was also revealed to be an artifact of the surplus energy from fossil fuels. Both models have failed. 

As has retirement, a several-generation luxury never to be repeated again in human history. Everyone left alive has to work, if they want to eat.

With the loss of those fantasies, everything is now a difficult trade-off. Not surprising, many people are unable to cope with the consequences.  Suicides are a leading cause of death, especially among those born during earlier and more abundant times. 

Worst of all, food is now increasingly scarce due to a horrid combination of ruined soils and ever more frequent and destructive climate disruptions. Rains fall where they shouldn't and fail increasingly to fall where they should.  Or they fall too hard, and too fast.   Summers with temperatures of over 50C baked crops compounding water shortages, with several years' harvests lost entirely because the overnight temperatures did not cool sufficiently to allow for the open-air pollination of corn. Who knew?

How did we ever get to 9 billion people on Earth without considering that this moment might have arrived?

How did we allow ourselves to pretend that it wouldn't?

Why did we let the fantasy of relocating to Mars capture such a broad swath of our imagination and focus?  Sure, we put an outpost there for a few years in the 2020’s, but – guess what? – it turns out that Mars is a hostile planet to life. It's utterly lacking in resources, it's much farther from the sun than the Earth, and managing a high-tech existence there was a colossal struggle.  Of course we should have realized that going in and not placed so much of our species' odds on that hope. We spent hundreds of billions getting to Mars at the same time we were spending trillions to destroy Earth.  What a horrible idea that was.  In retrospect, it’s all so terribly obvious.

Another forlorn diversion was vertical farming, which posited that we’d just grow salad greens in container boxes.  Of course, with some simple math and logic, we should have been able to realize that plants are calorie conversion machines, turning light energy into food energy.  The idea that we were going to meaningfully replace the sun’s free and intense full-spectrum light with our own manufactured lighting, at scale and in sufficient quantities to meaningfully address the caloric needs of 9 billion people was…not very well thought through.  Actually, in retrospect, that’s being too kind.  We were deluding ourselves.

And so, out here in 2040, looking back, we humans have suddenly come to our collective moment of horrible realization. Because we could not face the idea that our specie's pursuit of collective growth had a predictable end, we forgot to properly care for the one planet we have.

Now that life on Earth is dying, the regret comes pouring out.  Oh, how much we’d give to once again be able to hear a cacophony of birds in the morning! Or to swim over a thriving coral reef!  Or to boat over an ocean teeming with fishes, whales and sea birds.  Instead, the waters are now blank, sterile and depressing. 

Remorse and regret.  How could we have been so utterly stupid?  How could we not have rallied in response to the warning signs, the endless string of increasingly desperate red flashing warning lights any one of which could have — and should have — been sufficient to motivate us?

Oh, what we would give to get one more chance!  To go back in time and do things differently, protecting and preserving the Earth’s treasures as if…as if we were deeply in love with all of them.

Our Last Chance

In Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Scrooge is given the chance to return to his present and get another shot at life. If the 2040 vision I’ve painted terrifies you on a fundamental level as it does me, just know that there's still the chance to wake up and positively alter the course of events.

Yes, the trends are very bad, but they can be changed. As I am fond of saying, we already have all the knowledge and technology we need to be agents of regeneration and abundance instead of extraction and degeneration. We simply lack the right narrative to mobilize our society productively.

Go outside and rejoice in what nature has still to offer.  Really see the next bird or mammal or insect you encounter.  Each one is pure magic.  Take a good hard look at the individual before you, not a robin, but that robin. Not a squirrel, but that squirrel. That bumblebee.  Each is an individual, same as you.  Each has a role, a life, and is busy making decisions and contributing to the story exactly how it is supposed to.

This world we have is the only one we’ll ever have. It’s the one we evolved on and to which our DNA blueprints are exquisitely crafted. And it’s not dying, it’s being killed. We might as well be honest about that and use the active verb.

Killed actively and on purpose, but also by negligence.  We’re neglecting to notice what’s true: that humans are a part of, not apart from nature.  We are one with the larger world.  It’s time to wake up and live into that story. It’s not a new one, but something we forgot in our hasty failing efforts to escape its limits — limits that disappointed our fragile egos which wanted, needed, to be special and different. 

Life ends, and life begins. There’s an evolutionary impulse underway that has given this brief moment of geological history both humans and elephants.  We cannot know where evolution is going or why, but we can feel the potential of it all.

Elephants, as well as all of life, should be revered and cared for not because children’s books need real-life examples, or zoos need fresh breeding stock, or even because Kenya needs tourist dollars. But simply because they are here. With us. In this time.

A certain humility needs to be adopted along the lines of We simply don’t know what role the special and peculiar sentience of elephants is playing, so we’d better protect it. Because we don’t know. If we remove that species from the web of life, what cascade may we create?

A Call To Action

I could dredge up all the perilous ecological data I publish often on this site, noting the decline in virtually every species — with many being lost every day and many more on the brink. But I won’t.

There’s no need. You already know in your gut that something is very badly wrong in this story. Something even worse than killing the life on the planet, including our own.

No, what’s worse is that we can do better but we’re not.  We can have immense empathy, and bond with both humans and non-humans alike.  We are capable of dimly grasping our own role on this planet and yet we’re collectively continuing to act as if….we’ll live forever.  If there are problems with that approach, we're assuming we'll figure them out as they arise.

But as Stephen Jenkinson pointed out, when the stakes are too high that leads to a horrible moment. To get serious about saving other species after they are already gone is a wildly immature idea. 

But it is still in our power to avoid that horrible moment. That’s where the idea of a 'movement' comes in.  Look, I have little clue about how to actually start a self-sustaining global movement, but I do suspect that it has to involve (1) the right idea at (2) the right time and (3) involve the right people.

We have to do this. I know the time is right because so many people are already deeply unhappy with suicide rates up 30%, opioid addictions and death skyrocketing, and levels of depression (more accurately termed demoralization in most cases) at never before seen levels. 

Those are all expressions of people who have lost their will to engage with life, or even to continue living.  That means a loss of meaning and purpose, a devastating loss. Adam's recent report gives a hard-hitting breakdown of the mental health epidemic our disconnected and unfulfilling modern way of life has created. Be sure to read it if you haven't already.

To truly “save the planet” is to actually undertake the harder proposition of “saving ourselves.”  The planet will be fine … but humans?  Maybe not so much.

Changing any of this will begin with each of us as individuals.  We have to become the change we wish to see.  We have to shift the narrative away from the old bankrupt idea of infinite growth on a finite planet, or that humans are apart from (rather than a part of) Nature, and towards a better narrative that aligns better with the world as it actually is.

This is a tough sell, for sure. Ultimately, it requires us to find a way past our instinctual drive for comfort and more 'stuff'.  Waking up to the realities involved is not easy nor pain-free. It’s emotionally devastating at first. And who wants to go through that?

“Inattention to the world's ecological state is well advised. Because attention to it mitigates against your happiness, contentment, and your sense of well-being.”

“Having a conscience now is a grief-soaked proposition”

― Stephen Jenkinson

I do, for one. Why? Because to do so is to pass through the tunnel that brings me back to living fully into the one life that I have.  I’m here to live, to make a difference, and to help usher new ideas into the world. The alternative is to face a bitter end-of-life moment that was unavoidable in the first place.

What needs to happen is to somehow awaken the people of the world to the actual nature of the predicaments we face, recognize their inevitability, and go through the wrenching adjustments necessary to realign our collective narrative with the objective truths of our times. 

But how?

In some ways I'm encouraged, because so many people seem to be waking up.  I know this terrifies The Powers That Be, who so desperately want to cling to their authority at any and all costs, because I track their efforts towards shaping the narrative.  There’s nothing subtle about the ways that Wikipedia constantly degrades and disparages the pages devoted to anti-war activists while grotesquely supporting the neocon and war party efforts and related sympathetic journalists.

Twitter and Facebook are constantly stifling various views while elevating those that fall under the umbrella of promoting business as usual and protecting the ideas of those already in power.  In other words: more war, more unfairness, and maybe some barely-passable lip-service to the idea that maybe we should devote a percent or two of our resources towards rear-guard actions to protect the environment.  None of which are actually effective, of course, or else they would be immediately marginalized as the work of terrorists or malcontents.

All of which is to say that any revolution of thought won’t be televised, as they once said., Perhaps in today's age we should amend this to: The revolution won’t be posted to FB and then successfully re-Tweeted.

In other words, please don’t wait for this to appear on your radar before you take it seriously.  It will only ever appear long after it’s far too late.

The revolution underway is already being conducted in places like our own site Peak Prosperity, as well as Charles Eisenstein’s, Charles Hugh Smith’s, Zerohedge, Jim Kunstler, and Craig Murray’s as well as countless others not named here.  Each of these sites is committed to telling narratives that run counter to what the guardians in the MSM would like you to hear. 

Each of these alternative websites is saying, in its own way, Hey the old way doesn’t even make sense anymore, is shot through with logical inconsistencies, and in many cases lacks even basic morality. Collectively, they're offering an invitation to see things differently, and to begin acting differently.

Our challenge is to remain focused, to promote the new ideas, and to be the leaders that are needed in these changing and difficult times.  Our adversaries are those peddling fantasies that serve only to pacify our growing inner discomfort as the world dies around us, as well as those who seek to diffuse, distort and decay the new messages either for corporate or political ends.

Our various social media platforms are a slithering mess of ever-changing algorithms (making it hard to know who you are or aren't reaching with any given post), paid trolls, and bots programmed to deceive, slide, and/or derail any given conversation.

Which means we’ll need to be alert to those tactics and find other ways of remaining in touch.  You’ll need to trust your own instincts, and avoid the numerous and sophisticated ways that we are being made to feel powerless, isolated, and even a bit crazy for thinking the things we do.

My personal strategy is to (severely) limit my time on Facebook, use Twitter only for data and never opinions, and then comment at sites like Peak Prosperity where the moderation is heavy and bots and trolls are quickly booted.

This movement will consist of good people taking right action.  People who are willing to lead because they know it falls to them and they are not afraid to stand out and be different for a while.  People who can read the data and know that it is correct because they can feel it in their bones.

The time for infinite growth is over. It’s increasingly obvious that the benefits of pursuing growth have nosed over, and that the human rocket is now pointed towards the Earth.

We still have time to right this ship, but it’s going to take heroic efforts by a lot of people.  We need to be willing to give much and possibly lose even more.  However, it won’t be futile sacrifice, because this is just how things are sometimes.  You were born here and now, into these times, and your gifts are desperately needed.

We need each other. And you know what?  Along they way we may just discover unity, purpose, meaning and our true individual gifts to bring forth.

My personal invitation is to support the mission of Peak Prosperity (“Creating a World Worth Inheriting”) by becoming an active premium subscriber so that Adam and I can continue to bring these messages to the world, along with promising models for a sustainable future.  If not that, then please use your time and money to support others working in these areas, not least of which would be the important works of the individuals writing the blogs listed above.

It's only by facing the true nature of our predicaments that we can avoid a truly horrible future moment of deep and profound regret. 

Time still remains, but it is running short. 

We are open to any and all ideas about how to build, join or support a movement of like-minded people who are ready and able to shuck the old conventions and start anew which begins by facing the data as we know it today.

None of the former splitting/sorting functions of old apply here.  So please don’t offer up one political party over the other, or any one country or system as being better, or ways we might vote new and better scoundrels into office, or tweaks to the existing exponential debt-based fiat money system that might extend things a bit longer.  None of those hold any merit.

We need a new narrative and even if it cannot lay claim to “the truth” it cannot be based on obvious falsehoods.  How do we create that new narrative in a way that it can be shared broadly?  What needs to be done?  Who should be involved? 

Perhaps nothing needs doing, and this will all unfold of its own accord when its ready, but for those with an active “do” gene, like us, there are things to be done and efforts to be made.

So let’s get going.  Either we do this on our own terms now, or we all face the horror of profound regret later. 

The really good news? If we do this right, we reclaim our lives, our sense of meaning, our connection to each other and the sacred, and we fulfill our potential as creative stewards of planet Earth.

~ Chris Martenson

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130 Comments

  • Fri, Jun 08, 2018 - 10:16pm

    #1
    Palloy2

    Palloy2

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 19 2018

    Posts: 0

    > "Look, I have little clue

    > “Look, I have little clue about how to actually start a self-sustaining global movement, but I do suspect that it has to involve (1) the right idea at (2) the right time and (3) involve the right people.”
    You say all the right things, you know it should be enough to motivate people, but you know it isn’t doing so.  It is going to have to get worse before there is any chance of something happening.  All I can add is that it is a waste of time trying to reform the insane BAU system, or to protest in the streets in the face of tear gas and percussive grenades and real bullets fired by well-trained and well-equipped police, backed up by the Courts and prison system.
    I live in the tropical rainforest on an island in the South Pacific that you may have heard of but won’t know where it actually is.  The rainforest changes into untrafficable jungle after cyclones tear the canopy open, so I spend an hour each day snipping the vines and thinning the seedlings, so I can move through it.  There isn’t a patch anywhere where I can plant anything.  It is actually full to bursting with life. 
    I rent a house with a septic system and water collected off the roof.  I don’t receive broadcast TV or cell phone coverage, but have 2 dishes on the roof that bring satellite internet and TV.  Electricity is unreliable as it is all aboveground through forest, but is more on than off.
    The US-NK summit cannot produce a satisfactory outcome, because the US doesn’t agree that “denuclearising the Korean peninsula” means withdrawing US troops, the THAAD missiles, or stopping its nuclear bombers flying over, or its aircraft carrier groups from sailing off off the coast.  This will make Trump very angry, and he will order an attack on NK, because not to do so would look weak.  The Chinese have said they will not let this happen, and along with all the US’s other problems with China, this will mean WW3.  After that, Peak Fossils will ensure that there will not be a massive rebuilding exercise. And there cannot be enough spare fossil energy to build renewables out to scale.  So BAU will stop dead in its tracks, and BAU Governments will collapse and disappear.
    THEN your change will happen.  The forests, the coral reefs and the insects will bounce back, because they have evolved to do precisely that.  The tigers and elephants will take longer to repopulate, but when did you last see one of those in the wild anyway?

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  • Fri, Jun 08, 2018 - 10:40pm

    #2

    thatchmo

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2008

    Posts: 326

    OK then....

    Thanks for a most excellent article Chris.  I’m taking it that you’ve thrown down the gauntlet.  I’m taking this seriously.  It’s time for all of us to put our knowledge and commitment out there to nourish the Movement.  It starts with each one of us.  Time for action…..Aloha, Steve.

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 12:39am

    #3
    jmh030611

    jmh030611

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 03 2012

    Posts: 0

    Thanks Chris!

    A poignant article and compelling call to action. I feel frustrated as I am now late 30s and have been involved on and off with climate change, energy generation and ecology since I was 17. During that time, like you, I have been increasingly concerned and saddened by what I see us doing to our planet and the deeper spiritual crisis such a dysfunctional relationship implies. 
    Thanks for writing this, as I have most certainly been in a state of isolation on these issues and partial demoralization. I now know I can’t live with a legacy of partial action on my part or just the routine conversations. I must do more and do so thoughtfully. Your point about end of life hit me hard — I am living to the extent I can and doing what I can day to day, but how will I look back on this time and how I’m spending it when my time is up? I can do more, that’s for sure…and I am also not afraid to change.

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 12:42am

    Reply to #1

    Agent700

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 02 2014

    Posts: 26

    Retreat, or Fight?

    Palloy, we all hear you and know why you choose to isolate and survive. Personally, I have a “bolt-hole” also, a place where NATURAL LIFE still thrives – for now..But Chris and others have the “DO” gene, and I think what he is saying is that we must fight and find a way to right this deeply listing ship before it goes under. Isn’t that what you would do if miles out to sea with no other alternative? Most readers here and definitely the other billions on this ball of dust MUST FIGHT it we are to survive and protect our loved ones.
    But TPTB and the Banks control the message in order to control our “gut-feelings”, because if the masses get wise leaders – like Peak Prosperity types – who educate and organize, then they know they are doomed.Same as it always was, history teaches that. So the secret, INMHO, is to stop their blood supply – which is the current debt-based, central bank controlled, “money”..Always follow the money.
    Take away that funding to the corrupt, short term moneychangers – who see bees and elephants ONLY in financial terms, and maybe they might have to compete with we the people. Especially those of us lucky enough to still have the time to appreciate God’s gifts and our place within it. Come roll in all the riches all around you, and – for once -never wonder what they’re worth..(Colors Of The Wind)
    This is why I rabidly support decentralized blockchain “money”. One of these will be THE PEOPLES MONEY, and I suspect the PEOPLE  might want to save this beautiful planet, it’s species, it’s clean food and water, and the natural order of things. Including death, but naturally, with the satisfaction of having stripped the rapists of their tools, and given it back to humans.
    Could that be our mission?

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 4:48am

    #4

    GerrySM

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 20 2017

    Posts: 16

    I suppose I'm a troll then ....

    … because my comments are never published.
    But naming “ZeroHedge” as a go to site is beyond insane. It’s a Trump-supporting, AGW denier hellhole of the right wing. Why on Earth would you link to them, other than because they re-publish some of your articles? If that’s the only reason, it’s pretty unethical.

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 5:07am

    #5
    AllenMarshall

    AllenMarshall

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 21 2018

    Posts: 0

    Less

    I’ve never started a movement, though I do know of some good resources out there. (“The Diffusion of Innovations” is a good start, as is “Fostering Sustainable Behavior.”) But if I had a chance to seed an idea in the public consciousness, it would be one word: “Less”.
    It’s the endless run for “more” that makes so many unhappy, piling on debt and forcing us into meaningless jobs; it’s also a mentality that keeps us in line, forcing us to submit to the state (if you have to travel in order to earn money, you’ll put up with those pat-downs by the TSA, and if you want to earn money you better not have a criminal record). And those things don’t lead to happiness.
    “Less” is freedom; less is empowering. And it’s the single best way to reduce our impact on this world. Not to mention the single best way to undermine a corrupt federal government.
    Just a thought –

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 5:10am

    #6
    Jrgtenn

    Jrgtenn

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 28 2013

    Posts: 0

    Environment

    The basic problem seems to be an planet overpopulated with one species…a much lower population would seem to be a requirement for balance…I believe the earth will heal itself by lowering the population on its own…if we don’t.
     

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 5:29am

    #7

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 478

    Thanks Chris

    Yesterday, I watched a video clip of an Orangutan fighting a giant diesel digger, trying to save his forest/home.  It broke my heart.


    Don’t forget to include global famine by 2035 in your 20 year plan.
    I don’t have your skill to influence people through discourse and rhetoric.  I wish I did.
    Ok, so The China Study:
    As I menitioned on another post, eating meat adds over 1,900 gallons per person/day of virtual water use.  That’s not as much of a big deal in Central Wisconsin, where my home is, but it is a very big deal in Arizona, where I spend the winter.
    Add to that, the incremental energy involved in raising cows, pigs, chicken and fish, and going vegan may be as profound a change, from an ecological perspective, as not owning a car.  Actually, it might be an even bigger contribution than owning a fuel efficient car.
    I’m just over a week into eating a WFPB diet (whole foods, plant based), as recommended in The China Study.  In just over a week, my blood pressure has dropped enough (129 over 58) that it seems obvious I will be able to get off the blood pressure medicine I’ve been taking for 15 years.  I have allergies to dust and grass pollen.  My nose is dry for the first time in my adult memory and my eyes don’t itch.  I may be able to eliminate Claritin D from my morning pill routine.  I’m not terribly overweight, but I’ve lost several pounds and I feel better when I get up in the morning.  All in just over a week.
    I am not going to lie to you.  I miss cheese burgers and other unhealthy food a bit, but, knock on wood, if the obvious health benefits persist, I have sufficient motivation to continue a WFPB diet and that translates to a much lighter footprint on the planet.
    I for one, appreiate what you and Adam are doing.
     

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 6:07am

    #8

    Olduvai.ca

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 08 2014

    Posts: 9

    Collapse now and avoid the rush...

    I’m with you, Chris. Wholeheartedly. And have been on this journey since late 2010 when I viewed Michael Ruppert’s Collapse and read The Crash Course and Richard Heinberg’s The End of Growth.
    I think one of the biggest challenges is the power and intrusion of our various governments into our lives. They will, it would seem, do any and everything to keep their party going–perhaps even to the extent that is displayed in some of our worst case scenarios painted in dystopian fiction.
    Our only hope may be the collapse of the various sociopolitical systems as pre/history has shown is a recurrent phenonmenon once diminishing returns opens the door to significant stressors that can’t be overcome by the system.
    Perhaps our best bet is as John Michael Greer suggests in his book by the same name: Collapse now and avoid the rush…collapse being, as Joseph Tainter suggests, a rejection (as much as is possible) of the sociopolitical system and all its trappings.
    Certainly can’t say we don’t live in interesting times.

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 6:47am

    #9
    Rodster

    Rodster

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    Posts: 30

    This Article Needs To Be Placed In A Time Capsule !!!

    Chris, I can usually count on both you and Adam to write some sage stuff, but this has got to be one of your finer moments. It’s not because it might be considered doom porn but because it’s the truth and a HUGE MEGA dose of reality that people need to assess their lives and give consideration to the fact that we share a once in a lifetime beautiful planet with two and four legged creatures. Few besides you talk about our dying oceans. A little tidbit regarding Fukushima, it appears that one last resort regarding the still NOT under control nuclear reactors is to dump the waste in the pacific ocean, yay can we all applaude that decision, ok /sarcasm.
    Trends forecaster Gerald Celente on numerous occasions has also spoken out regarding our dying oceans or as some call it, “dead zones”. During the rescue efforts of the Malaysian airliner 370 that was lost, the rescue teams thought they found the wreckage, except they realized once they sent reconnaisscance planes to the area it was discovered that it was floating GARBAGE and not wreckage from the plane, oops. And that was an ocean dead zone where nothing lives or at least not anymore because we humans killed it all.
    Then we have something even more nefarious going on with geoengineering, solar radiation mgmt, stratospheric aerosol injection which John Brennan admits exists, except Dane Wigington from geoengineeringwatch.org has stated and he has govt documents that these programs have been deployed for decades. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBG81dXgM0Q
    So we are at a crossroad that as Chris mentioned we either have to stop what we are doing and do it differently and consider other beings also share this planet or it could all turn to a dystopian planet where you could possibly envy the dead.
    We need to change but our wonderful leaders and banksters, ok sarcasm again, think that because of our money system, we need to keep consuming more and more to keep business as usual from collapsing. So what could possibly happen? Well, according to Hank Paulson he told G.W. Bush in 2008 that if the TBTF Banks were not rescued that according to him in his book that the “world’s economy would come to a complete HALT/STOP and the US would have to implement Martial Law to maintain Law and Order”. That’s the reality of how we have boxed ourselves in with fossil fuels and our money system.
    It’s another reason why as the saying goes they don’t make them like they used to. Everything today is pretty much disposable where it’s cheaper to buy a new fridge than to replace the compressor, so there’s another item in the landfills along with computers, TV’s and all kinds of toxic garbage in our landfills.
    And all this s*** is beginning to catchup to us, why? Because we are beginning to take about life on another planet. In other words we are admitting we have badly screwed up our perfect home and have the need to find another planet to screw up. It’s like the vagrant family that trashed their apartment and now want to find a not as messy place so they can do the same thing to it.
    Chris another way to spread the word would be PP hats, T-shirts and coffee mugs. I love me hats. 🙂

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 6:54am

    #10
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

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    Posts: 524

    First steps

    1) Try to get your BMI (Body Mass Index) down to 21.5 to 23
    2) Walk when the opportunity presents itself
    3) plant trees and green stuff
    4) Recycle what you can
    5) Think twice before you buy anything

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 7:43am

    #11
    edmundjohnson

    edmundjohnson

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    How a movement could unfold

    Great article Chris, really hard-hitting for me personally, so thank you.  Here’s my suggestion for how a movement could take hold this side of a collapse.  It starts from the premise that the biggest problem (other than certain aspects of human psychology) is the debt-based money system which requires exponential growth.  What if there was a local baker in your town who made absolutely the best bread, everyone knew it and loved it, and the baker decided that from now on, they would only accept bitcoin as payment? The baker would be branded as whacky or even ridiculous, but people would get the message and start using bitcoin (I’m assuming that a relatively easy way to spend bitcoin is just around the corner).  The first service providers to do this would get a lot of publicity, then others would join in. Slowly people would get the message that to get what they want, they would have to opt out of fiat currency in this small way.
     
    So let’s all look for ways we can start chipping away at the fiat money system.  Here’s a suggestion for you at Peak Prosperity: Move your weekly updates and podcasts from YouTube to the crypto-driven D.Tube.  It’s a way of saying “we’ve had enough of the whole big corporation / surveillance / advertising economy”.  Yes, there are fewer people there to stumble on your content, but I feel sure the people who are there are more ready to hear your message.  As Seth Godin says, “Find the people who are waiting for you. Don’t go after the masses, they’re not waiting for anything”.

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 8:02am

    Reply to #10
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

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    Posts: 286

    A few more steps

    6) Learn to fix things
    7) Learn more recipes; eat more plants
    8) Plant some trees. Then plant some more.
    9) Less banking, more “credit unioning”
     

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 9:48am

    #12
    cathpro

    cathpro

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    Posts: 0

    Gonna have to watch WALL-E again...

    Chris,
    Some thoughts from the Midwest. I am a cardiologist in my 25th year of practice. Every day I see the effects of consumerism on the flyover states. All you need to do is take a stroll through the local Walmart (they’re everywhere) or pick-your-brand grocery store. For an overdose, go to Sam’s Club or Costco. Take a look at what people put in their shopping carts. Take a look at their physique (the medical term in body habitus). I’m generalizing but sometimes I feel like they even need shopping carts to motor around with their shopping carts. I’m not saying everyone is like this but enough are and its ubiquitous. ‘Nuf said.
    A sustainable lifestyle is not “easy” in this society. Try finding vegetarian options at your local restaurants (I have). Try cooking without using pre-processed, frozen, who knows where it actually comes from, and “we call that food?” stuff. Why are the frozen aisles as big or bigger than the vegetable and fruit sections? We are sold on convenience (or easy, no work, make life simple, etc). It’s all over the TV. It’s all over the internet. Amazon anyone? Now you can order groceries online and they’ll magically show up on your doorstep. Or you can let the delivery bot put it in you kitchen for you. Heck, the fridge can call the grocery to get itself restocked. I’m sure we’ll soon be able to lie on our sofa (delivered for free by Wayfair, “drop the mike”) and have Alexa instruct the drone to drop the “food” items down our gullet without lifting a finger. We’re rapidly progressing to the world of WALL-E. I’m waiting for Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba, Google, and Apple to merge into the universe’s largest corporation, Buy-N-Large. But I digress.
    I have no idea how to alter the course of this dystopian future. I do have some practical suggestions. Walk more, drive less (sometimes impossible in my world). Stop smoking. Hug your family as often as you can. Laugh with friends. Make peace with your enemies.
    With respect to getting the word out, why not feature sustainable products and vendors on your website? I don’t want you to devolve into an advertiser-driven site (way too many of those) but what about an area where we can search for resources close to home? You have an amazing population of subscribers. Why not tap into that database? We could each research and propose additions to the site. For examle, where can I get a decent vegetarian, non-GMO meal in St. Louis? Where and when are local farmer’s markets held? Where are the good bike trails? Who can provide solar installations in my area? The possibilities are endless.
    Just some thoughts as I sip my morning coffee at the local coffee shop in Hannibal, MO.

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 10:04am

    #13

    Pipyman

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 65

    Have you missed the message?

    Don’t get me wrong, I respect the desire for change and your willingness to fight. But, I took Steven’s message to be “die when you’re dying”. Do we really have agency here? Or, are we the child with the fake steering wheel? No, for me, my mission is to die with joy in my heart and my eyes open. That’s hard enough…..

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 10:53am

    #14

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1938

    Stages of dying

    Pypiman make an exceedingly incisive point here:  when you are dying you are dying.
    Though nobody know the future, it looks like our world is being killed by a severely overpopulated human species.  The momentum into disaster is huge, unlikely to be altered on the whole.
    As everyone knows, there are stages we go through as we let our most likely future sink in.  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Demoralization, Acceptance.  The stages are not linear.
    In the acceptance mode–we admit that we are heading into a massive sh*t storm and there is nothing that will truly stop it — the shitstorm is happening.
    “How do we find peace, love and beauty through this stage?”
    For me:  Loving my family and friends, preserving the natural beauty that I can–a humming bird feeder, a planted flower, a cup of tea with a friend.  Time to pray.
    What is here after “I” am gone?
     

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 11:43am

    #15
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

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    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 236

    Cosmology

    I am being deliberately provocative here.
    Could somebody please tell me why it matters that we treat the planet, or rather its biosphere, in a cetain manner?
    My cosmological reading is a few years out of date, but the last lot told me that the fate of the universe is infiinite expansion of its volume, all matter having decayed back into the energy from which its made, and containing no sources of energy, not even dark (heat death).
    By the time we get anywhere close to this situation, we will all be long dead and decayed, our very atoms broken down into zero-grade energy. Ditto the entire planet itself and everything on it.
    So, why do we care and where is our care taking us?
    Oh, believe me, it DOES matter to me that we should live in harmony and peace with our biosphere. I grieve and mourn continually over what our feckless, reckless, idiot species is doing. It HURTS to witness the destruction of yet more of our collective patrimony and to have so very little ability to stop it. I have been at odds with this world system and its rat race for over half a century and continue to oppose it!
    But I still want to know why we are bothering to care. Do we seek a more pleasant death? Is that all? Surely not.

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 11:49am

    #16
    skipr

    skipr

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    Posts: 129

    maximum profit

    Since nothing happens in this insane system of ours unless it maximizes profits, the first problem to solve is how to make human population reduction very profitable while starving the war machine (aka the military, industrial, financial, banking, propaganda, religion, pollution, etc. system).  If I can figure that one out I will demand a Nobel Prize, Nobel Peace Prize, knighthood, supreme commander of the world, etc.  Hmmm, maybe I should aim higher: god 🙂
     

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 12:21pm

    #17

    poaec

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    Posts: 9

    Thank you

    Holy ***** Chris, you have outdone yourself this time….
    I took me three hours to read it. I was so emotionally and intellectual stimulated that I had to take some breaks. 
     
    thank you, thank you.
     
    I am looking at that gaunlet you’ve thrown down and I’m in.
     
    Time to up my game. 
     
     
     

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 1:13pm

    #18
    nedyne

    nedyne

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    Joined: Jan 14 2012

    Posts: 53

    A power we do have

    I recently re-read Lester Brown’s World on the Edge book and it was a hard-hitting reminder like this article was about the magnitude of the environmental crises that we must solve. It also reminded me that common folks like you and me are already winning some battles, like the grass-roots movement that has almost placed a de-facto moratorium on coal-fired power plants in the US.
    We all know that the elites are going to do everything in their power to keep business as usual going, but we are not powerless. Everyone eats, and yet not everyone knows or fully appreciates how profoundly consequential our food choices are for the environment (as well as for our health and for the lives of the unlucky animals that feed us). Animal agriculture is a big contributor to deforestation, loss of biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, unsustainable and wasteful water use, land degradation, you name it.
    You don’t need permission from the powers that be to change your diet. You don’t need to convince the elites’ army of lobbyists of anything in order to dramatically reduce the impact on the environment that your food choices have. If you stop or reduce your purchases of animal products, changes in their production probably work their way up the supply chain in months.
    I posted material I strongly recommend regarding this topic in this recent forum post. If you think we need animal products, you probably haven’t read enough yet of the right sources.

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 1:56pm

    #19

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 478

    Giving Up Beef Will Reduce Carbon Footprint More Than Cars

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars
    “The biggest intervention people could make towards reducing their carbon footprints would not be to abandon cars, but to eat significantly less red meat,”
      Professor Tim Benton
      University of Leeds

     

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 2:16pm

    Reply to #19
    nedyne

    nedyne

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 14 2012

    Posts: 53

    Pollution

    LesPhelps wrote:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars
    “The biggest intervention people could make towards reducing their carbon footprints would not be to abandon cars, but to eat significantly less red meat,”
      Professor Tim Benton
      University of Leeds
     
     

    It’s kind of true, but it’s more accurate to say that the biggest intervention people can make to reduce their environmental footprint is to significantly reduce or eliminate their consumption of all meats (including fish), eggs and dairy.
    While technically true that beef is more carbon-intensive than other meats, all meats are more carbon-intensive, wasteful and polluting than plant foods, and they don’t solve the animal’s problem: when was the last time you saw a slaughterhouse video of an animal happy to be killed? (Although we’ve been raised to believe that’s not a problem because it’s normal, natural and necessary to eat animal products. If you the reader think so, I would highly recommend Dr. Melanie Joy’s talk .)
     
     
     

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 4:39pm

    Reply to #19

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 866

    With GMO, it might be possible to find such cows

    … that want to be eaten and can tell you so, but you really don’t want to go there.
    Douglas Adams was already there.
    http://remotestorage.blogspot.com/2010/07/douglas-adamss-cow-that-wants-
    (and no, this isn’t D.Adams’ work… but it’s close)

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 6:15pm

    Reply to #19
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Posts: 879

    LessPhelps,

    Good find on the CAFO’s, eat more chicken!  
     

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 6:50pm

    #20
    cjv4216

    cjv4216

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    Posts: 0

    Great Article

    However, Chris I think for you and Adma to walk the walk you should swear off the use of air travel and cruises; consider broadcasting your conferences in Rowe so others can do the same.
    “How many want change?” How many will change?”
    I find it funny that anyone would suggest anything “crypto” after articles here and elsewhere that divulge what huge enery drain they are.
    And you don’t need to stop eating beef, you need to stop eating big Ag beef. A grazing animal is a benefit to ecology, not a detriment.

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 6:59pm

    Reply to #1
    Palloy2

    Palloy2

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    The point I was trying to

    The point I was trying to make is that the system obviously doesn’t work, and will soon implode, leaving the chainsaws and bulldozers silent.  So you don’t have to waste any energy on how to defeat them. 
    Then without telecommunications, local people will meet up in small groups, and try and nut out what to do next.  This is where it could all go right or wrong, so we need to spend some time thinking about what kind of plan of action would gain acceptance in the new circumstances.  Should you recommend trying to reinvent BAU all over again?  Or something new, fairer and kinder to all living things. 
    The article was very moving, but was trying to solve the wrong problem, and he doesn’t have an answer for how to start a mass movement anyway, (and nor do I).  Post-WW3, if you are still alive, the problem will change entirely and be ripe for a completely different solution.

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 8:34pm

    #21

    themccarthyfarm

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 04 2014

    Posts: 25

    What is the movement going to do?

    I agree with everything Chris is saying but I don’t really get what I will do as a part of the movement.  I understand that we need to change from a growth economy but what does that mean?  How does it actually work?
    My understanding is that we need to make more money next year to pay off the interest from last year.  That mean we need to make more stuff, spent more money, CONSUME MORE.
    It looks to me like money is the problem.  That is a very difficult concept for anyone to grasp.  There are so many people who are trying to save the world by spending more money. 
    It’s really hard to get that spending money is consumption and consumption is the problem, whether it’s for buying oil or wind turbines or electric cars or gasoline cars.  If you can get that money is the problem then you have to say having and making less money is good.
    The poorer (and poor I mean without money) a person is the less they consume and the less inpact they have on the ecosystems of the world.
    No one is willing to go there.  More money is always better even if you are trying to save the world.  We need more money to save the world even if too much money is what is killing the world. 
    Show me one person who is willing to decide they need less money.  I certainly don’t want to be the first person to give up all my money to save the world.  I struggle with the idea that I don’t need to make anymore money even though I have everything I could possibly need. 
    And that is why humans are not going to stop growth willingly. 
     

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  • Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - 9:11pm

    #22
    pgp

    pgp

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    Posts: 165

    Great points.... but wait there's more...

    Some great points raised.  Wrapped up in the “horror of death” is indeed the realisation that a certain amount of life has been wasted or left incomplete.  It’s common to see people “wake up” in the face of terminal disease with a renewed desire to “live”.  This reinforces the idea that people have a natural inhibition to fully appreciate the negative aspects of reality.  In other words they automatically refuse to see misery and instead latch onto hope.  It seems that taking life for granted is pretty normal. Put simply it’s the “happiness instinct” and like all instincts, it is difficult for cognitive cerebral processes to mitigate. 
    Our cultture labels the few people who can face reality (like CM , the crew and some readers of PP) pessimists or alarmists.  Society summarily rejects them while chanting “don’t worry, be happy” as if aspiring to blissful ignorance or religious euphoria is the path to success. 
    So it’s not surprising the majority of poeple, endlessly hoping for their fairytale happy ending, suddenly realise upon their death beds that there is no such bliss.  The horror of that realisation must be terrible.
     
    As for the future 20+ years hence; don’t forget the effects of the population story… Fortunately (for the planet) human life expectancy is decreasing.  So while population will reach some ridiculously suffocating size, how long we each live will increasingly decline in the face of environmental contamination, plastic pollution or the effects of globla warming. 
    A corporatist plastic-wrapped sugar-gluten-and-starch food industry will continue to make the human race obese, rheumatic and/or diabetic.  The medical industry will collpase under the pressue to treat it and expectancy will decline by another decade thanks to a statistical rise in cancer and autoimmune diseases. 
    The lack of money in that future also means fewer people achieve their dreams and die horribly, without the relief of paliative care that their grandparents took for granted, wondering why the Hollywood fairytale they were indoctrinated with from birth never came true.
     
    On a positive note however, if an elightened human race survives that, the future might look something like the world in the book “The Synth
     
     
     

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 5:38am

    #23
    VeganDB12

    VeganDB12

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 18 2008

    Posts: 110

    It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory. ~W. E

    An outstanding and very moving call to action.
    I have never started a movement but have spent quite a bit of time listening to activists and people who have started movements.  Some thoughts:
    I wouldn’t underestimate the power of charismatic leaders.  It can be a very good thing and Chris and Adam are very appealing and respectable. 
    I think getting the word out means telling people the truth. In a way that they can hear it. There is no point arguing with a delusion one needs to get across another way.  
    As Chris points out there is a growing awareness. The strategy needs to be thought out well and then people need a (sorry to say) SIMPLE plan of action. Planting trees is an outstanding example. There is a lot on the web and on this site about forming a movement which I won’t repeat here but it seems that people need the action plan now that awareness is growing.
     
     

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 5:43am

    Reply to #21
    Tude

    Tude

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    Posts: 7

    themccarthyfarm wrote: It's

    themccarthyfarm wrote:

    It’s really hard to get that spending money is consumption and consumption is the problem, whether it’s for buying oil or wind turbines or electric cars or gasoline cars.  If you can get that money is the problem then you have to say having and making less money is good.
    The poorer (and poor I mean without money) a person is the less they consume and the less inpact they have on the ecosystems of the world.
    No one is willing to go there.  More money is always better even if you are trying to save the world.  We need more money to save the world even if too much money is what is killing the world. 
    Show me one person who is willing to decide they need less money.  I certainly don’t want to be the first person to give up all my money to save the world.  I struggle with the idea that I don’t need to make anymore money even though I have everything I could possibly need.

    I struggle with this too, but I think you are right on the “money” 😉 And I am one such person, and I know there are more of me out there. I took a 100% pay cut, then took a job that was a 40% pay cut from my last one, and now I am looking for work that will enable me to at least survive while doing something that will be benificial (perhaps gardening, or working as a crossing guard, or working in a park). I am not wealthy by any means, but we have tried to live as simply as possible, and working in the tech industry is for me the equivalent of soul death.
    I just realized one day that the reason I was so depressed and demoralized, even though I was making way more money than I ever dreamed I would or could, was that every day I was making the world a worse place rather than better. And by making more money, producing more, paying more taxes, and consuming more (the commuting, the clothes, the lunches, the conferences, etc, etc) I was moving farther and farther away from who I wanted to be and what I wanted to create in the world.
    IMO this is the message that needs to get out there. I know it’s an old, silly bumper sticker…but live simply, so that others may simply live.

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 6:18am

    #24
    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 113

    The Age

    It is the Kali Yuga. 
    The mistake is in believing we are amterial beings having a spiritual experience when in reality we are spiritual beings having a material experience

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 6:19am

    #25
    nedyne

    nedyne

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 14 2012

    Posts: 53

    Homesteading vs working on global problems

    I’ve been a reader of PeakProsperity from before it was even called so (the old ChrisMartenson.com) but it took me a long time to see the point of prepping. A year ago the prepping bug bit me and I realized that I had no backup should the economy cease to function for a while. I covered many of the basics of emergency preparedness (water, food, some USB solar power generation, etc.), some still ongoing.
    I recently realized that there’s a problem if you’re not careful with prepping: There is no natural stopping point. It’s almost impossible to get to a point where you say, “there’s nothing more that I could buy or do now that would not be useful under some hypothetical scenario that I can think of.” Or to be precise, there is only one natural stopping point: death — when you’re dead, you don’t need any more resilience, for sure. While you’re still alive and able, you can always use some more resilience. The hard part is defining what’s cost-effective and when to stop.
     
    This has been something that I’ve struggled with, dealing with the anxiety of knowing that I depend on a functioning economy, at least in the medium term.
    One example: I’m stocking up on water filters, but it takes months because I don’t live in the US, so I need to arrange for people who travel to the US to get me the filters that I want. I’ve had some anxiety about this for a while, until it struck me that the anxiety is of my own creation. I’m never going to extinguish risk from my life. What’s going to happen is that at some point I’ll say “my preparations are enough. I’ll deal with whatever comes with what I have, and I don’t care about scenarios for which these preps are insufficient.” And then I’ll be at ease, not because risk had vanished, but because my emotions won’t care about the remaining risks. We do this all the time with the myriad risks involved in daily life, but I don’t tend to be conscious of the process.
    We are utterly dependent on a functioning economy not just for the basics of life but also for the comforts we’ve become accustomed to. So the idea that the economy may collapse, and particularly the idea that the collapse may be sudden and permanent, it’s very scary.
     
    Why is this relevant at all? This site has a focus on building resilience, but building resilience is mostly about how to insulate yourself, your family, and maybe your community from collapse. As I said, there’s no natural end to the need for more resilience. Of course, depending on how likely, imminent, severe and long-lasting you think such collapse may be, the more resilience makes sense that you build. But if you’re not careful, you can spend too much of your time and your money building this insulation and neglect opportunities to contribute to efforts to change the unsustainable the course of humanity.
    Homesteading might have many advantages for those so inclined, but one thing it probably won’t do is solve the world’s problems. It’s a respectable life choice, one that may be fine for others, but I want to contribute my surplus time and money to working on global problems, not on figuring out in advance how to have a good standard of living if permanent economic collapse happens fast and severely enough. And for this, I need to continue being dependent in part on fossil fuels, agriculture, a functioning economy, etc.
    I’m not saying resilience is pointless. I’m building resilience myself, and I’m not done yet. I get it that some stored food is better than nothing, some physical cash is better than nothing, etc.
     
    Norman Borlaug is often called “the father of the Green Revolution”, and is credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. I can’t help think what the world may look like today if Borlaug instead of working on crop yields starting in the 1940s, had given up his career as a scientist and moved to a rural location to start his homestead and learn all the skills of a self-reliant lifestyle, maybe because he was anticipating a mass starvation and economic collapse. I’m not saying that any one of us will be the next Norman Borlaug, but it does give me food for thought.
     
    As I mentioned earlier, I recently re-read Lester Brown’s World on the Edge, and it reminded me that it is possible to avert ecological collapse and progress is being made on some fronts. What we need to do is move faster changing key policies of governments around the world. No easy task.

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 6:59am

    Reply to #25
    Tude

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    nedyne wrote: Norman Borlaug

    nedyne wrote:

    Norman Borlaug is often called “the father of the Green Revolution”, and is credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. I can’t help think what the world may look like today if Borlaug instead of working on crop yields starting in the 1940s, had given up his career as a scientist and moved to a rural location to start his homestead and learn all the skills of a self-reliant lifestyle, maybe because he was anticipating a mass starvation and economic collapse. I’m not saying that any one of us will be the next Norman Borlaug, but it does give me food for thought.

    Perhaps the world would look a little less populated and polluted?

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 8:15am

    #26
    chipshot

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    "We have to do this"

    But sadly, we won’t.  Cite one reason to believe humanity will address, in a timely and successful manner:  1)  overpopulation     2) increasing greenhouse gasses  (also known as Climate Change).  Even if it is actually possible to solve these and other messes we’ve caused, why would anyone think people around the globe will come together w the co-operation and sacrifice necessary?
    We’re so far behind the curve on the big problems, i.e. the issues threatening our survival, that running out of time is pretty much assured.  Essays like “Facing the Future” were needed 30-40 yrs ago, but would we have taken them seriously?
    Optimism, no matter how unfounded, is valued and admired while pessimism, no matter how reality based, is derided and to be avoided.  So this is one of the few audiences I would bother to say any of this to, as you are well informed and realistic.  Unlike most, who just can’t handle the truth.
    Chris, this is in no way a criticizm of you or your essay.  All the info you’ve put out over the years has played a major role in my thinking.  Maybe if I were in a position of influence like you, I’d feel a responsiblity to temper such doomsday pessimism.  If the masses become convinced the fat lady has sung, things could get ugly.  Our descent into a horrible future would only accelerate if everyone gave up. 
    I think it’s delusional to believe we can and will avoid ecological collapse.  But while a horrible future is unavoidable, we can still slow down the pace of destruction and buy a little time.  That is plenty of motivation to live as low impact a life as possible, and get others to do the same.  

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 9:03am

    Reply to #25
    TechGuy

    TechGuy

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    Stick with Homesteading

    Unfortunately there is no way change is going to happen in time & with enough momentum to make a difference. The World had a big wake up call when Oil prices soared past $100/bbl. We had a taste of times to come: Lots of very angry people that lead to huge riots worldwide, and some gov’ts were even overthrow (ie North Africa nations). We also saw the beginnings of pandemics (SARs, bird flu, etc)  Yet, nothing was done. All of the articles warning about declining resoureces practically disappeared once Oil prices fell. $100/bbl returnng is not in the distant future (excluding some long term global recessiondepression).
    WWSD (What Would Spock do?) Since its illogical to believe the world can change and swtich to a less resource dependent global economy before the next crisis hits, the only pratical thing is to distance yourself and switch to a self-reliance lifestyle. If you ever board an aircraft, the flight attendant during the safety briefing will instruct passengers to put on their own oxygen mask before putting the masks on their children, so they won’t go unconscious and be unable to assist there children. Before you can help others you must first save yourself. 

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 9:46am

    #27
    greendoc

    greendoc

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    An inspiring story

    Whoa, heavy.  Especially that video LesPhelps postd of the orangutan. 
    Please, do not use products that contain palm oil: this consumer demand is what drives the destruction of the rain forest habitat in SE Asia. Read labels. 
    I needed something uplifting after that, and checked out my favorite podcast series. 99percentinvisible. org.  The newest podcast was about the seed vault in Norway and the fascinating history of seed saving as told through the story of Nicholay Vavilov.
    https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/the-vault/
     
    I wish every business/marketing major in college now, was studying botany and permaculture instead.  
    And no disrespect to Adam and Chris, who have done a fantastic job keeping this website full of interesting content, but two middle aged white men is a demographic well represented in the sustainability world, as well as the BAU world. It feels like we need some different voices than the usual suspects. 
    Maybe more ties to younger, female, ethnically diverse communities? I know climate change/sustainability activism is alive and well in those tribes. 
    Just my two cents, 
    Claire
     

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 11:46am

    #28

    Bytesmiths

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    Time Traveler

    I'm from the future.

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 12:40pm

    #29
    brushhog

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    Several problems with the premise

    Chris, good article but I have several problems with the premise. The first being the definitive conclusion that the earth is dying and the end is nigh. The reality is NOBODY KNOWS what will happen or how the future will unfold. The nature of nature is constant, ceaseless change and flux. To even propose that the change we are headed for is “good” or “bad” is incredibly arrogant. We have no idea what is happening and no ability to determine that whatever IS happening is either good or bad.
    When did man grow independent of nature, gain the ability observe it from a high place, and judge the universe to be headed in the “wrong” direction? You observing the universe is like a chimp observing a ferrari. You dont even know what you are looking at. Man is nothing more than a manifestation of the universe and nature itself. We have appeared, we will act out our natures, and we will disappear. The universe will take apart our particals and reshape them into something else. The time of our total existence as human beings will be like a fraction of a second in a man’s lifeime. What are you? You are a collection of tiny particals of matter shaped as a man. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed.What animates that matter? Some form of energy, which also cannot be created or destroyed. So, everything you are, matter and energy, has always been here and always will be. The universe has shaped you in this form for now, and it will break you apart and reshape you again and again. Being as thats what you are, just another manifestation of the “stuff” of an endless universe, what you do will be what the universe does. You are it. So you and I and all of us [ the trees, the rocks, the ants, the birds ] are going to do as we do. If our nature is to reform, go green, and make the planet one way then we will. If our nature is to destroy ourselves then we will, and the earth will adapt, heal, and go on. Our entire purpose might be to make plastic that some fungus will consume in a million years. And that fungus will be you.
    Now, using the analogy of death is very apt here. People fear death and regret not living life fully. But what does that mean? Certainly it must mean accepting death as being inevitable as soon as possible, not living your life trying to prevent it? But isnt that what you are doing here? You lament the changing world and seek to halt it instead of accepting and living with the reality that things will change, nature will take it’s [ our ] course. Fear of death and fear of change, sorrow for what was, unappreciation for what is, and angst over what will be. This is a recipe for not living.

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 1:23pm

    Reply to #29
    Rodster

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    I once heard Rush Limbaugh

    I once heard Rush Limbaugh make similar claims with regards to Climate Change. He said how arrogant of man to actually think they can have an effect on the weather or planet, that they have the ability to play god and change this if they so wish. Well, for one, Geoengineering has proven that you can alter the weather.
    We also appear to have the ability to alter the balance of nature by decimating our wildlife. In parts of Africa, poachers are now targeting Lions for their teeth and claws because Tigers are now rare. And as Chris showed other species are in the crosshairs as well. I believe the White Rhino can now be classified as extinct as supposedly there are 3 left in the world.
    If you look at the oceans and the amount of garbage being dumped into them you can’t with a straight face say to any of us that it’s a good thing when we have ocean dead zones around the world and the Great Barrier Reef is being threatened once again. Fish population is being stressed as well from ocean pollution and over fishing. We have close to 8 billion humans on the planet and many are dying from starvation and malnurishment. Now some of that is do to geopolitics but a lot of that is do to droughts and or flooding. For those parts of the world, Climate Change is real.
    To me it appears the arroganced is flip flopped where we as a species think we can do whatever we want and the planet will not feel any effects or will just bounce back in time. I think science has the data to backup their theory that the planet is being stressed by arrogant humans who think business as usual has no effect on the planet so let’s party like it’s 1999.

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 1:41pm

    Reply to #25

    Bytesmiths

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    TechGuy wrote:the only

    TechGuy wrote:

    the only pratical thing is to distance yourself and switch to a self-reliance lifestyle

    The only thing I’d add is that you should join with other like-minded folk to do so.
    I think good collaboration skills may be as useful as good self-reliance skills.

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 2:25pm

    #30

    thc0655

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    This is not my real life

    This is not my real life. This life is a test. If this were my real life I would’ve been given better instructions.

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 2:42pm

    #31
    skipr

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    reality vs premise

    When did man become independent of nature?  It’s called fossil fuels baby.  Man is a manifestation of the universe?  Tell that to your starving and dying children, it’s too New Age for me.  I prefer direct scientific measurements of what is really happening.  A recent update of the Limits to Growth study from the 70s showed that we are following their original “business as usual” model quite accurately.  What does this updated model predict for the near future no matter what we do:  A 6th mass extinction that is happening much faster than the previous 5.
    A while back I listened to an interview of Col. Lawrence Wilkerson.  He talked about how the ultra-conservative Pentagon is preparing for climate change.  New elevated shipyards are now being built.  It can’t get any more blatant than that.
    Given a few million years, life will recover.  However, after we run out of fossil fuels and there are +400 Fukashima style nuclear reactor meltdowns (it takes a lot of energy and time to decommission them) the master species might be a ten headed cockroach with brains as large as ours.  That would be one hell of a “manifestation.”  I wonder if they will also be ten times as arrogant.
    There will always be conflicting views of what’s happening.  Modern propaganda is extremely good at fogging things up for profit.  In order to filter through them out you just have to ask “who benefits.”  Scientist A says that global warming is real.  He then loses his job, which actually happened several times recently.  What does he gain if he isn’t fired?  If he’s really lucky a few million in grant money.  Scientist B says that global warming is unproven and a conspiracy theory.  What does his employer gain?  Over the years, a few trillion.
     
     

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 7:03pm

    #32
    spotted turtle

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    Weekly update video.

    Mr. Martenson, after seven years of following  your site and watching your videos, I don’t think I have ever seen you look so heartsick and careworn. Your ideas for a movement are so inspiring but is humanity willing to change? Take care of yourself. Thank you for all you do. Respectfully, Deborah Davis Summerville, SC    (The tadpoles are still dying.)

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  • Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - 11:30pm

    #33

    herewego

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    Grief and the Love and Care of Life

    Having not heard of or seen the movie “Griefwalker”, I checked out the trailer.  In the last minute Jenkinson says this:

    Grief is not a feeling. Grief is a skill.  And the twin of grief, as a skill of life, is the skill of being able to praise or love life.  Which means wherever you find one, authentically done, the other is very close at hand. Grief, and the praise of life, side by side.

    We humans of this age act as if we are unable to register life, much less praise it.  We also seem kinda crazy phobic of grief.  Jenkinson’s words above exactly speak my exprience.  When I spend the energy and time to tell the truth about what I love, there is always grieving. So much of the precious is defiled, lost, or not noticed, the joy of it not registered. And when I grieve, the appreciation and praise for what we are and where we are flood out of my center like a tsunami. Then I can walk through the world and glimpse what we are given.  I can behold, and love, and sing praise and try to open my small everyday mind to something wider and wilder and so much deeper. This is the gift of the labor of grief, every time: in the midst of unbearable loss, deeper love, and celebration of what is and has been.
    I never, never want to leave this Earth.  I love her so, and all her parts and ways: the plant lives that mediate sun and soil to create our habitat, the water weaving itself like a fantastic multi-form intelligence through every transaction, the senses she has given us so that we can have this only, (only) planet soak into our souls while we are here, the necessary union with the lives of so many other creatures.
    I am still terrified to die – not that advanced! – but the connection between grieving and loving is clear. So until I know better, I’ll keep living with one foot in the world as we know it, and the other in my tiny homestead,and time spent telling the truth about both love and grief. This skill – to know what we value as instructed by our grief – seems absolutely core to me.  I don’t think we will learn new ways because we get pounded by fear or regret.  That usually seems to begat violence and depression.  But what if our love and care for life were bright eyed, awake and unshakable? What if that quality comes from within us, only just a little buried under our grief and fear of death, and can be offered to the world, no matter what shape she is in?  What if every morsel of praise, intelligent cooperation with biosphere and love is a contribution, no matter how confused we or the situation are, yes, even if we are ending?  What if the world is teaching us to know our love?
    I can’t see a way clear with movements.  Maybe I’ve lost faith in people en masse.  Sobering. I can decide to take better care of my own, often neglected tribe, at least.
    Thanks for the deep thinking Chris, and all posters.
    Susan
     

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 2:24am

    #34
    Paul Downey

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    I give up my habit of driving

    I give up my habit of driving and so use less oil. That depresses world oil prices and that means someone in India thinks it’s worth buying a car. Are you sure you have thought this through?

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 5:14am

    Reply to #27

    LesPhelps

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    greendoc wrote: And no

    greendoc wrote:

    And no disrespect to Adam and Chris, who have done a fantastic job keeping this website full of interesting content, but two middle aged white men is a demographic well represented in the sustainability world, as well as the BAU world. It feels like we need some different voices than the usual suspects. 
    Maybe more ties to younger, female, ethnically diverse communities? I know climate change/sustainability activism is alive and well in those tribes. 

    And this after 20+ year of the “Diversity and Inclusion” initiative.
    I’d say the inclusion part isn’t workkng so well, but then we all know that.

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 6:08am

    Reply to #34

    Bytesmiths

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    How do you manage?

    Paul Downey wrote:

    I give up my habit of driving and so use less oil.

    Admirable, but how do you do it?
    If you are in a city, pretty much the rest of your life beyond the car is unsustainable.
    If you are in the country, you have to be a hermit and spend most of your time producing your own food.
    I could see this working in the country, if you could car-share for occasional trips to town. But having grown up in a rural area, I realize I’m biased.

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 6:50am

    Reply to #27

    debu

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    Really?

    … two middle aged white men is a demographic well represented in the sustainability world, as well as the BAU world. It feels like we need some different voices than the usual suspects. 
    Maybe more ties to younger, female, ethnically diverse communities? I know climate change/sustainability activism is alive and well in those tribes. 

    As we consider the end of human civilisation as homo sapiens (sic) destroy the ecosphere I’m not sure bleating about “diversity” is helpful. Some things are more important than identity polictics.
    Nor are calsl for Chris and Adam to start a “movement” helpful. PP’s work is important and effective as it is being undertaken now. Organising an ill-defined movement would only be a quixotic distraction.
    Those who feel the need to be part of movement should consider something like Transition Town or 350Org. 

    I can’t see a way clear with movements.  Maybe I’ve lost faith in people en masse.

    Agree, Susan, entirely.
     

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 7:48am

    #35

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Online)

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    Movement maybe not the answer

    I have to agree with several of you about the unlikeliness of a movement having any traction or noticeable positive impact.  I think this whole process that governs the trajectory of human civilization is so much bigger than we are.  So much that is built into us and was functional in simpler societies is disfunctional today because of our huge numbers, powerful technologies and rapid information processing and decision making tools.  Every attempt to create something better, gives creative people still stuck in the old paradigm new opportunities to continue their destructive path.  Paul Downey points to one of many negative feedback loops that limit positive change – as we reduce our consumption, prices decrease so that others increase theirs.
    Perhaps the best we can do is to save what we can of ecosystems, practical knowledge, cultural capital, etc.  Maybe, just maybe we can even rebuild some of what has been lost particularly in the area of cultural capital.  If we must do this in small, isolated enclaves, so be it.  There will be a time, perhaps many generations from now when people and ecosystems will be hungry for this knowledge, relationships and species as they can finally begin picking up the pieces and rebuilding.  Maybe, just maybe they’ll thank those unknown ancestors who preseved them.
    Meanwhile, it’s our job, as Susan said so eloquently to attend to grief and praise and to face as courageously and lovingly as we can all of the inner demons, regrets, and locked away emotional pain that come to the surface as we dive into those waters.  As we do this, we must remember that our goal is to integrate the wounded parts of ourselves whose cry for attention has dieven rise to those demons so that we may get on more effectively with the business of saving what we can.
    Just as our civilation’s trajectory is much bigger than us, this earth is even bigger.  While individual species and even whole ecosystems may disappear, giving us even more grief to sit with, we’re extremely unlikely to bring this whole experiment with life on earth to an end.  Mother Earth will shrug this one off in a few thousand or a few million years, depending on how extreme it is.  What’s really at stake is us and our civilization. Our accumulated relationships with the species and ecosystems that are here today and the cultural capital that allows us to live in a good way with and from those species and ecosystems will not serve us anymore.  The way things are going there will be a lot of grieving to do. Even as we grieve, we’re going to need to learn how to live, perhaps even thrive in whatever comes next.  Humans are resilient and adaptive.  At least some of us will get through the grief and create something new that works in whatever rich and beautiful era of life comes next.

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 8:25am

    Reply to #27
    Doug

    Doug

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    debu wrote: ... two middle

    debu wrote:

    … two middle aged white men is a demographic well represented in the sustainability world, as well as the BAU world. It feels like we need some different voices than the usual suspects. 
    Maybe more ties to younger, female, ethnically diverse communities? I know climate change/sustainability activism is alive and well in those tribes. 

    As we consider the end of human civilisation as homo sapiens (sic) destroy the ecosphere I’m not sure bleating about “diversity” is helpful. Some things are more important than identity polictics.
    Nor are calsl for Chris and Adam to start a “movement” helpful. PP’s work is important and effective as it is being undertaken now. Organising an ill-defined movement would only be a quixotic distraction.
    Those who feel the need to be part of movement should consider something like Transition Town or 350Org. 

    I can’t see a way clear with movements.  Maybe I’ve lost faith in people en masse.

    Agree, Susan, entirely.
     

    Given the strong environmental bent to Chris’s post, debu’s suggestion of joining Transition Town or  350.org makes a lot of sense.  You don’t need to start a movement, the environmental movement has been active and, in many respects, successful since the 1960s.  I could come up with a long list of environmentalists and environmental organizations that have been fighting that fight for a long time.  Your energies may be better spent aiding those individuals and causes.  And, you may want to look to those sources for information and authority instead of, oh say, ZH for godssake.  When I saw ZH on Chris’s list of authorities I thought I may have missed something in my years ignoring that site.  So, I went back and looked.  Nope, same old posts by and about alt-right and conspiracy theory people and groups.  They have no record of being concerned about the environment, except to deny the overwhelming environmental disaster we are confronting with the changing climate.
    Perhaps the more important point is, pay attention to what science is telling us.  The climate is warming, species are disappearing, invasives are moving in everywhere, habitat is being sacrificed for transitory exploitation of non renewable resources and we’re dumping pollutants on our agricultural lands that wind up in eutrophication and dead zones in our lakes and oceans.  This is far from an exhaustive list of our assaults on the environment.  Solutions to many of these problems are known in the sciences.  The avenue to solve them is in the political realm.  Therefore, the notion that we should ignore politics is self defeating.  The oft repeated notion that one side is as bad as the other sets up a false equivalency that gives us an excuse to ignore real problems because, oh well, we can’t do anything about them anyway.
    If you think that Trump and company are no worse than, say, Bernie and company, then you are deluded, particularly in environmental matters.  Trump is doing everything in his power to destroy environmental values.  Who needs an environment when you can live in a Trump tower.  Scott Pruitt, the man who has come to define the very worst of the “swamp”, is in charge of the EPA.  Ryan Zinke, who apparently thinks land is useless if it isn’t being drilled, mined or overgrazed, is in charge of all Federal lands.  Grants for research into environmental issues are being slashed.  Professionals in scientific disciplines are being demeaned and forced out of their careers.  There is simply no end to the carnage being inflicted on the values Chris is espousing in his post.
    If you really want to solve things environmentally and politically, you must become active in those realms.  Get involved in local and Congressional races.  I have met all five Democratic candidates running to replace our current do-nothing-except-endorse-Trump Republican Congressman.  Among those five are one who had a distinguished military career flying KC130s and commanding a NG airlift wing and a subsequent legal career, a physician who has personally witnessed the devastation of our medical system on the poor, a cyber security expert who understands Putin’s assault on our elections and advocates net neutrality, a small businessman who has started several successful businesses in one of poorest rural regions of the state and an attorney who had a career in education before becoming a lawyer who works on educational issues and with local businesses.  At least two of those five are also avid environmental advocates.
    What is our current Congressman’s background?  He still owns a debt collection business specializing in collecting student debt.  IOW, he too profits from the swamp and super pacs.
    At any rate, that’s my rant for the day.  If you care about environmental issues, no time in my life is more important than the present to fight the fight.  And there is no place that is more effective in doing so than the environmental movement and political realm.  This is supposed to be a “blue wave” year.  Find someone you can support and do so.  And, oh yeh, get out and enjoy our natural places while you can.
     
     
     

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 9:11am

    Reply to #34

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 397

    Jeez...

    Paul Downey wrote:

    I give up my habit of driving and so use less oil. That depresses world oil prices and that means someone in India thinks it’s worth buying a car. Are you sure you have thought this through?

    Lord save us from people who insist nothing be done until we have in hand a perfect, 100% solution…

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 9:12am

    Reply to #27

    Jim H

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    Posts: 1798

    hear, hear, Debu!

    As we consider the end of human civilisation as homo sapiens (sic) destroy the ecosphere I’m not sure bleating about “diversity” is helpful. Some things are more important than identity polictics.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if our universities were on the leading edge of the sustainability movement, rather than focused on dividing us along lines of DNA demarcation that are imagined to be important? 

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-04/university-michigan-now-has-al
    The University of Michigan currently employs a diversity staff of nearly 100 (93) full-time diversity administrators, officers, directors, vice-provosts, deans, consultants, specialists, investigators, managers, executive assistants, administrative assistants, analysts, and coordinators.

     

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 9:36am

    Reply to #27

    ckessel

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 12 2008

    Posts: 166

    " Wouldn't it be nice if our

    ” Wouldn’t it be nice if our universities were on the leading edge of the sustainability movement, rather than focused on dividing us along lines of DNA demarcation that are imagined to be important? ”
    And along with that thought Jim I could add local, state and federal governments (supporting a sustainability movement) and perhaps more to the point would be a paradigm shift away from the ‘endless growth’ mentality that seems to be a part of the DNA of homo sapiens.
    Developing a lifestyle that scales down is a challenging concept. Acceptance that humans have overshot the limits to growth is neither popular or easily fixable so the elephant in the room continues to contemplate whether or not to have butter on it’s popcorn ……. or just sit and watch.
    I have been making compost regularly and I have been following the 18 day Berkeley method which Geoff Lawton describes in his permaculture course. It works well and I have been considering scaling it up to help improve the soils where our non-profit group plants an annual potato patch. For starters, I have used my tractor to turn the heap instead of the pitchfork. And as I sat observing my wonderful pile of compost last evening I also noted that I invariably want to scale things up!!!
    FWIW, I do think an exponential growth pattern to the sustainability movement would be appropriate.
    Coop

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 10:09am

    #36
    Thetallestmanonearth

    Thetallestmanonearth

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    Posts: 310

    psychedelics

    I apologize for jumping in without having read all of the comments in the string completely.  I think it is worth while to resuscitate a humiliated experiment from the first wave of ecological awakening in the 60’s.  Namely psycadelics.  Not as a party drug or a colorful distraction, but used with purpose and intention to help us individually dissolve the collective ego of our society.  After all, ego (specifically human ego) is what is driving most if not all of the crisis of our time.  These drugs are reported to help dissolve the perceived barriers between “I” and “other”.  In the 60’s Timothy Leary irresponsibly lobbied for an overtrhow of the establishment using these compounds to wake up the world.  Well intentioned, but poorly executed, this led to a demonization campaign against them. 
    A few facts about the traditional pyscadelics (Mushrooms, LSD and DMT (Ayahuasca):
    -They are non-addictive (in fact, they have successfully been used to treat addiction and help alcoholics and smokers break the cycle).
    -Not everyone should take them.  Those with a family history of mental health issues may be triggered by them, but they are generally non-toxic and safe in any does if you’re able to grapple with the metal, emotional and spirtual questions they bring forward.
    -A significant percentage of people who experience high does (ego-dissolving) GUIDED sessions report them as being the amoung the most significant and important experiences of their life.  On par with the birth of a child or marriage. 
    -They have been studied for the treatment of anxiety and depression with encouraging results.  Reports are that they help people reconnect with nature and a concept of “oneness” allowing us to move towards acceptance and in some cases self actualization. (Steve Jobs is reported to have shared that an LSD trip was one of the driving factors in his success.)
    I personally believe that Leary was right and that a large enough percentage of people exposed to these compounds can change the course of the world.  However I believe that we need to do it in a measured way that is consistent with the existing scientific zeitgeist and respectful of the existing power structures even when they don’t deserve respect.
    Michael Pollan just published a book on the topic that renewed my interest after 15 years away.  I highly recommend it as a starting place if you’re curious.    Here’s the amazon link, but please buy it from a local bookseller if you can. https://www.amazon.com/Change-Your-Mind-Consciousness-Transcendence/dp/1
     

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 10:17am

    #37
    Thetallestmanonearth

    Thetallestmanonearth

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    psychedelics PART II

    I also meant to add that when administerd to terminal cancer patients, psilocybin has been reported to greatly reduce anxiety and in some cases completely alleviate the fear of death…seems relevant to this conversation.

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 10:32am

    Reply to #27

    Bytesmiths

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    Posts: 141

    Industrial Education Serves Industry

    Jim H wrote:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if our universities were on the leading edge of the sustainability movement,

    I’m afraid the education “industry” has been captured by the rest of industrial.
    Education keeps getting more expensive, and industry is picking up the tab, along with funding the research.
    Ya gotta dance wit dem what brought ‘cha.
    (And a Halto Hat Tip to Ivan Illich, who opened my eyes to the industrialization of education, as well as medicine, law, and just about everything, these days.)

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 11:24am

    #38
    baysailor94044

    baysailor94044

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    Suggestion for change. Take away their money!!!

    Hello Chris-
    Thanks again for yet another fantastic article. I have followed you and your blog now for over 10 years.
    I have had a re-occuring thought which I believe can be a powerful tool to diminish the powers that be in this world. And anyone with a roof over their head can participate in a grassroots movement in this way.
     
    Change the world by letting people live with you (each of us) for free for a while…long enough anyway so they can earn and save money and that they have a chance of buying a place of their own with cash. And then will the property to relatives or charities upon death. This will deny money and wealth to the power brokers such as banks. The powers that be only understand PROFIT and they use that profit to corrupt our political systems and influence our media to their own gain and to the detriment to the 99% of us.
    Take away their money and you take away their power!!!
    We need to find a way to give power to the 99%
     
     
     

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 11:32am

    Reply to #27
    Doug

    Doug

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    yes it would

    Quote:

    ” Wouldn’t it be nice if our universities were on the leading edge of the sustainability movement, rather than focused on dividing us along lines of DNA demarcation that are imagined to be important? ”
    And along with that thought Jim I could add local, state and federal governments (supporting a sustainability movement) and perhaps more to the point would be a paradigm shift away from the ‘endless growth’ mentality that seems to be a part of the DNA of homo sapiens.

    I agree, if that’s your dream, go out and find local and Congressional candidates who agree with you, campaign for them and vote for them.  They are the ones who fund public universities and scientific research.  The hard right funds its causes, the rest of us hopefully fund research.
    Probably most on this forum don’t have a memory as long as mine.  In the 70s the alt-right was born with the Phyllis Schlaflys of the world and the hard right fundamentalists.  They were smart.  They started organizing locally in school board and municipal elections and spread their venom for the next few decades culminating in the Triumplican gov’t we have today.  IOW, they had a long term vision that they mestastacized into a national ruling administration more than half of Congress and the Supreme Court.  If the left and middle don’t learn from that lesson, we all lose in the long term.

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 11:58am

    Reply to #27

    Grover

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    Benefit / Cost

    Jim H wrote:

    As we consider the end of human civilisation as homo sapiens (sic) destroy the ecosphere I’m not sure bleating about “diversity” is helpful. Some things are more important than identity polictics.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if our universities were on the leading edge of the sustainability movement, rather than focused on dividing us along lines of DNA demarcation that are imagined to be important? 

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-04/university-michigan-now-has-al
    The University of Michigan currently employs a diversity staff of nearly 100 (93) full-time diversity administrators, officers, directors, vice-provosts, deans, consultants, specialists, investigators, managers, executive assistants, administrative assistants, analysts, and coordinators.

    Jim,
    From your post, I assume you think this is a ‘good’ thing. I went to the linked article to see what it was about. The focus I got from the article was that higher education is getting much more expensive – partly because of all administration functions. The paragraph after the one you quoted  stated that more than one quarter of these “diversicrats” earns over $100K per year. The total salary is $8.4 million. With benefits, the total price tag tops $11 million. (Since pensions are horribly underfunded, the true long term cost will likely be much higher.) To justify their salaries, they have to make changes to the whole process. That complicates the bureaucratic mess and impedes those who support the basic function of higher education – to teach. How does that improve sustainability?
    All that money has to come from somewhere. No wonder tuition prices skyrocket the way they have. The costs are easier to quantify. What is the real benefit? Those chosen for these positions may have various ethnic backgrounds and one or more of the known genders, but if they think and act the same way as a bunch of white males stuffed into that same box, is it really diversity? I just don’t get it.
    Please don’t interpret this post that I’m against diversity. I’ve worked for rotten white males (and others) who got promoted due to reasons other than competence and integrity. I’ve also worked for females and those with a deeper tan than mine who were wonderful people and great bosses. The great bosses motivated me to do my best. The rotten ones motivated me to do the bare minimum so I could avoid their wrath.
    Grover

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 12:12pm

    #39
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

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    Suppose I can get an AARP discount?

    psilocybin has been reported to greatly reduce anxiety and in some cases completely alleviate the fear of death…seems relevant to this conversation.

    I wonder if the military has looked into this? If you gotta go, you might as well go happy!
     

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 12:43pm

    #40
    gebeling

    gebeling

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    the horrible future

    Chris, as usual for last ten years, great article.
    Question a pro pos future: Have you, or has anyone followed the debate regarding an article on grid stability, claimng the US could run on renewables at low cost by 2050-55 ? If something sounds too good to be true…?
    Hint for Crash Course grads, one of their selling points is “It woud help economic growth” ! Both article and review have been on resilience.org
    Chris, it would be great if you could do a detailed review for non-techies. Caution: be mindful of your arguments. See “lawsuit”.
    The original study, plus peer review is on PNAS website, search: “Jacobson, Clack”. Good summary in Washington Post, August, 2017. Plus, mysterious high stakes law suit against PNAS, filed and withdrawn, see (like it or not) Wikipedia.

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 1:37pm

    #41
    Doug

    Doug

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    renewables cheaper than fossil in near future

    https://climatecrocks.com/2018/06/06/thats-why-they-call-them-bubbles-ca

    Quote:

    Plunging prices for renewable energy and rapidly increasing investment in low-carbon technologies could leave fossil fuel companies with trillions in stranded assets and spark a global financial crisis, a new study has found.
    A sudden drop in demand for fossil fuels before 2035 is likely, according to the study, given the current global investments and economic advantages in a low-carbon transition.
    The existence of a “carbon bubble” – assets in fossil fuels that are currently overvalued because, in the medium and long-term, the world will have to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions – has long been proposed by academics, activists and investors. The new study, published on Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that a sharp slump in the value of fossil fuels would cause this bubble to burst, and posits that such a slump is likely before 2035 based on current patterns of energy use.

    Quote:

    Bloomberg:

    The world’s deepest-pocketed investors are starting to take climate change seriously, according to Amundi SA.
    “We are really observing a tipping point among the institutional investors on climate change,” said Frederic Samama, co-head of institutional clients at the Paris-based firm. “Until recently, that question was not on their radar screen. It’s changing, and it’s changing super fast.”
    Risks from global warming range from damage to physical assets from extreme weather to falling prices on fossil fuel-related assets, as the world moves away from burning coal and oil. Bank of England governor Mark Carney has repeatedly warned that these risks are not priced in adequately and that investors may have exposure to a “climate Minsky moment” if they don’t take action.

    It appears that not only the momentum of economics, but also the demands of big money are pushing the world toward renewable energy at an increasing speed.  At some point we will reach a Minsky moment for fossil fuels as well as the overall economy if we aren’t positioned to transition to renewables quickly and smoothly.
    Of course, that transition isn’t likely to be soon enough to avoid all but the worst effects of climate change, but the sooner we transition, the better for us all.
     
     

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 1:43pm

    Reply to #40
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

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    All Life

    Another great article Chris. I feel resensitized to the plight of all life and so I’m very sad at our collective situation.
    However, I hazard that the spirit and the flesh may not be the same thing.

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 1:53pm

    Reply to #25
    nedyne

    nedyne

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    Borlaug

    Tude wrote:
    nedyne wrote:

    Norman Borlaug is often called “the father of the Green Revolution”, and is credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. I can’t help think what the world may look like today if Borlaug instead of working on crop yields starting in the 1940s, had given up his career as a scientist and moved to a rural location to start his homestead and learn all the skills of a self-reliant lifestyle, maybe because he was anticipating a mass starvation and economic collapse. I’m not saying that any one of us will be the next Norman Borlaug, but it does give me food for thought.

    Perhaps the world would look a little less populated and polluted?

    I can tell you don’t have family in India, Tude, or in any of the other countries where the estimated billion perished would have been.

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 6:49pm

    Reply to #27

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Online)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 195

    Jim

    Grover,
    Knowing Jim from his posting history (and I think I met him once at Rowe), I strongly suspect he sees the large number of diversity positions the way you do, not as a good thing.
    But I’ll let him speak for himself.

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 6:53pm

    Reply to #27

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Online)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 195

    Jim

    Grover,
    Knowing Jim from his posting history (and I think I met him once at Rowe), I strongly suspect he sees the large number of diversity positions the way you do, not as a good thing.
    But I’ll let him speak for himself.

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 7:49pm

    #42
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

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    Posts: 524

    And as a tribute to Anthony Bourdain. . .

    let’s start with food and give Chris the credit of another collective kick-in-the-pants to all of us comfortable, convenience oriented, wasters:
    https://watch.cbc.ca/media/media/the-passionate-eye/wasted-the-story-of-food-waste/38e815a-00dec96e505
    Well worth the time, if you haven’t already seen it.

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 9:30pm

    Reply to #25

    Pipyman

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    Posts: 65

    nedyne wrote: Tude

    nedyne wrote:
    Tude wrote:
    nedyne wrote:

    Norman Borlaug is often called “the father of the Green Revolution”, and is credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. I can’t help think what the world may look like today if Borlaug instead of working on crop yields starting in the 1940s, had given up his career as a scientist and moved to a rural location to start his homestead and learn all the skills of a self-reliant lifestyle, maybe because he was anticipating a mass starvation and economic collapse. I’m not saying that any one of us will be the next Norman Borlaug, but it does give me food for thought.

    Perhaps the world would look a little less populated and polluted?

    I can tell you don’t have family in India, Tude, or in any of the other countries where the estimated billion perished would have been.

    Dont you mean will be?

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  • Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - 11:34pm

    Reply to #38

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 141

    Even better, give away equity

    baysailor94044 wrote:

    Change the world by letting people live with you (each of us) for free for a while…

    We go one better than that.
    We have an apprenticeship program, by which someone can earn $100,000 worth of equity in our 43 acre co-op farm.
    So far, the only people who have been seriously interested have been over 60. Young people want to travel, take on student-loan debt, or hang out with friends more than they want to build a future, it seems…

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 2:20am

    Reply to #38

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 866

    What's the farm?

    I have a son… might be interested. Others here may also be interested.

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 4:00am

    #43

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 478

    Some of Today’s Headlines...

    Why are we getting less intelligent?
    Web Race: Porn Dominates
    Asteroid gold rush could earn everyone on Earth $100 billion.
    Pregnant man at London’s Fashion Week.
    14 Boys and no regrets
    My take at this point is that, not everyone is going to dip their oar in the water.  All of those that do, are certainly not going to be rowing in the same direction.

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 6:05am

    Reply to #27

    Jim H

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    Posts: 1798

    Thank you Quercus!

    Indeed my intention was to be critical of this insane expansion of administative bloat in the name of the leftist agenda, the intention of which is to subvert the invidual in the name of the collective, artificial, “identity” groups.  And yes, we met at Rowe : )
    Grover and I see eye to eye.. just a misread on his part.
     

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 6:26am

    #44
    Amy8989

    Amy8989

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    Practical Next Steps

    I have been chewing over this article for a couple of days now, especially:
     
    “We are open to any and all ideas about how to build, join or support a movement of like-minded people who are ready and able to shuck the old conventions and start anew which begins by facing the data as we know it today.”
     
    I keep coming back to three core issues.
     
    While Peak Prosperity has done a great job of creating an online community focused on the three Es and building resilience, for it to create real change that online community must be transferred to the real world.
    I was listening to a speaker (unfortunately I can’t remember who) and she said that while she rarely, if ever, saw truly sustainable homesteads, she had seen multiple sustainable communities.  Humans need communities to survive and prosper, so one of the main goals of the movement would need to  be to create an intentional community.
    Movements that successfully bring about social change are grassroots movements that work from the bottom up. This does not happen quickly or without organization and planning.

     
    Based on these issues, if you wanted to transfer and create a Peak Prosperity real world community, the first thing to do would be to survey current PP users.  The survey could be simple: Would you be willing to join a Peak Prosperity Community Group (PPCG) in your community? Where do you live (zipcode or town and state)? Would you be willing to take a leadership role in organizing the group?  and contact information for when/if a group is forming in your area.  
     
    Once you had your survey results you would want to focus on the areas with the greatest density of respondents, since a large part of living in a community is physical proximity. In those areas, you could organize a meeting.  
     
    For people who do not live in a high density PP area, this does not mean there is nothing they can do.  They should look around and find a community group to get involved with, start to make connections, and include and support practices that support a healthier ecosystem and locality.
     
    For people who do live in a high density PP area, you may meet as a group and after the first couple of meetings decided that since your area already has an active Transition Town movement, you are going to join and support it. Excellent! You have just joined a movement of like-minded people and will strengthen and bring more expertise to the movement.
     
    If, however,  when you meet as a PPCG and you are the only group in your locality working to create a sustainable community, the PP framework provides and excellent organization structure for your group.   You will need the usual officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer) but there should be positions for each of the 3 E’s and for community.  
     
    One possibility would be to have an Energy committee, an Economic committee, and an Environment committee.  Each would have a chair person who would be on the executive board along with the officers.  Each committee would be responsible for organizing speakers, workshops and other activities related to their specific subject, with the understanding that energy and economic actions should support a healthy, functioning community in a healthy, functioning environment.
     
    You would also need to make sure balance is maintained.  This duty could fall to the president or vice president or there could be a designated position.  Maintaining balance means that each E should get roughly equal attention and that while it is important to learn about the issues, it is equally important to transfer that learning into action, so speakers should be balanced by workshops and activities.   Finally for balance, community building and strengthening actives would need to be present throughout.
     
    The community chair and committees would be responsible for including community building activities.  These could be practical, but should include many opportunities for socialization and fun, as that is a large part of what binds communities together and forges ties between people.
     
    Within this basic structure, each local group could determine what action items they want to focus on based on specifics to their community and region.  A group in the a dry climate may want to focus on rainwater collection and storage,  another group may want to focus on sourcing local food from sustainable farms and implementing small scale, high intensity gardening practices, while a third may want to focus on investing in the community to promote and support local businesses who source materials ethically and provide high quality goods and services.  There is much room for flexibility to meet the needs of different communities.
     
    While this is not a comprehensive plan, nor the only possible framework, I offer it as a starting point to a discussion/plan that will lead to the formation (or support) of a grassroots movement to form intentional communities with the skills, knowledge and resilience to hopefully survive the future challenges of resource depletion, overshoot and pollution.  However, unless we are all ready to get off our devices, roll up our sleeves and get to work in the real world, nothing will change.

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 6:33am

    #45

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Online)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4700

    Great comments - keep them coming!

    So many great comments here and after reading them all and several of them more than once, I think it’s safe to say that there’s real energy here to belong to something that matters.
    Whether we call it a movement or not, I think this thing I have in mind is the right idea connected to actions.
    I liked the idea that it has to be SIMPLE.  Of course it does, especially today where even trying to eat right requires being able to read bar codes for country of origin so that you are not eating organic flown half way around the world and undoing nearly all of the good by paying up for organic.
    I am not at all inclined to join up with existing environmental groups because they are either fighting a losing rear-guard action, or not being entirely honest in their effort to gain traction by not discouraging people, or both.  For example, try finding any major environmental group that has population growth at the center of its mission.  I couldn’t find any.  For political/fundraising reasons they don’t dare touch the single most important thing sitting at the center of their entire reason for being.
    So what is this ‘right idea?’  I’m not sure yet, but perhaps it’s related to the concept that growth is now our enemy, and no longer our friend?  Maybe it’s that infinite growth on a finite planet is not jsut a bad idea, but a suicidal one.    Maybe it’s about expanding the idea that none of us own anything but are either renting or extracting things during the time we’re here and that we have a moral obligation to leave something for future generations?
    I don’t know, but I do know that anything we come up with has to be framed at the moral level, not the tactical.  Controlling or limiting CO2 is a tactic.  Voluntary simplicity so the there’s more room for current and future life is a moral issue.  
    For example, when I was at a Post Carbon fellows meeting, the point was made that if Obama had framed the healthcare debate at the CEO level instead of the COO level he would have had far more success.  That is, instead of saying “We need to control health care costs” the message should have been “People deserve equal access to healthcare when they need it.”
    You get to the same place, possibly, but moral arguments are always more persuasive than tactical arguments.  
    Meanwhile this week has been one body-blow after another for ecological news.  Australian fish stocks down 30% in recent years (and even that from a baseline already vastly shifted lower), a prominent ecologist in the UK alerting everyone to the bird/insect/wil animal apocolypse unfolding there.  Early and very strong storms in the Pacific and Arctic.  Reports of bizzare weather from all areas of the globe.  
    So what’s the SIMPLE organizing idea?  What resonates most strongly for you?  Which one(s) give you a sense of personal agency, that you could at least modify your own life and actions to align with that message or idea?
     

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 8:48am

    #46
    RoseHip

    RoseHip

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    Posts: 144

    The entropic brain

    What’s the simple organizing idea?
    It would be so great if someone posted what it was and we all just agreed. Probably not going to be so simple…..
    The Default mode network is one of most recent areas of the human mind to have developed. It’s primarily functions are developing a more defined sense of self (ego) and regulating how ordered the mind is and in what direction, thru past/future thinking. Either towards entropy (disorder) or away (order). In the linked article the author suggest the mind can be viewed as a disordering avoiding element of cognition, utilizing “spot light” consciouness as the means for discernment. Which is wonderful if solutions are within the eluminated regions, terrible if more diffuse forms of cognitive functions are needed to see solutions far from spot lighted areas. 
    Could it be that our minds have become overly ordered? And suggest, to move forward, our minds need to undergo disordering? Before an idea that is outside of our current cognitive reach can be explored or even considered? 
    The point, as the article suggest, is that brain of the adult-modern human is in a settling rather than expanding phase. Not ideal if you want to get some idea up and running. 
    We’ve become like the Formula one racing cars, good at a few items and terrible outside our area of expertise. And to go off the race track back into the jungle isn’t what we’re prepared for. The idea can only make sense if it plays out on the race track, yet we’ve run out of gas, the tires shredded and the pit crew has declared mutiny. 
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00020/full
     

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 8:49am

    #47

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Online)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 195

    Take on corruption?

    Taking a completely different track from my last post, I came across this organization in Caitlin Johnstone’s most recent blog post.  They essentially have what looks like the best plan I’ve seen to take on corruption in the election and law–making process here in the USA.  Take a look at their series of videos on their website starting with:
    The problem:  you probably know about this already, but it’s a very well gone little video.
    The solution: describes the anti-corruption act and their plan to bring it first to the local and state levels and then through the power of the states to implement the clean election provisions in it, to the national level by the vastly different incentives of those elected to congress through clean election processes.  This page gives details on the components of the proposed law.

    I am under no illusion that this is the magic bullet or that it will be even close to 100% effective in cleaing up the political process or that the will of the people will have to evolve significantly before many of the more effective actions to address the 3 E’s can be implemented.  But the plan does seem to have a reasonable chance of success and a reasonable potential to buy us some time by opening the way for government to take some positive actions.  It would also make Doug’s suggestion of supporting political candidates who align with our goals much more effective by removing much of the pressure for them to bow to the corporate agenda once elected.
    Thoughts?  Am I missing something?

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 9:56am

    #48

    westcoastjan

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 04 2012

    Posts: 181

    Idea to ponder/expand on?!?

    This is a great discussion. I have long pondered this subject, wondering why it is that the existing movements have not been more successful in gaining traction. I am sure we all feel the frustration.
    Perhaps we need to take a page out of the capitalist playbook(?) New ideas are supported/grown via venture capitalist networks and the markets. Can we create a parallel system to launch our desired movement(s)? Just thinking outloud without a concrete idea of what that might actually look like, but hoping the many great minds on this site might be able to take the idea under wing and ponder it.
    For a movement to grow it needs widespread support. That support will only come when the ‘investors’ are able to see what is in it for them. The ROI will not be monetary as per the normal system, but something much better – a future that is worth inheriting. We therefore need to target the people who can help make this happen: the big wigs in venture capital, marketing and so on. Get them on board and harness the power of social media in the hopes of the movement going viral. Then we gain some traction and, like any trending thing, push it as far as we can in the hopes of it becoming mainstream.
    We here on this site who care so much cannot do this alone. Most of us have not succeeded in getting even those close to us to buy into this type of belief system. We need pros to help us if we want to move this forward.
    Food for thought and I hope this triggers some further thinking/brainstorming amongst us.
    Jan

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 10:25am

    Reply to #44

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    (Dis)Organization Is Key

    Amy8989 wrote:

    Humans need communities to survive and prosper,

    So far, so good…

    Quote:

    so one of the main goals of the movement would need to  be to create an intentional community.

    Oh, please don’t!
    Have you been to ic.org? Have you read Creating a Life Together? Nine out of ten new intentional communities fail. 90% of the communities listed at ic.org are either dead, dying, or “re-forming.”
    If you really want to change things through intententional community, go out and find one to join. “Starters” (myself included) are a dime a dozen. “Joiners” are priceless.

    Quote:

    Would you be willing to join a Peak Prosperity Community Group (PPCG) in your community?

    This sounds like the Transition Town strategy. So why not join forces with Rob Hopkins, rather than duplicate their effort? A “Peak Prosperity Transition Town” would have twice the clout of separate groups. And consider that TT has been around a lot longer, and so has “soaked up” many of the like-minded people in areas that are likely to have them. In many cases, you’ll be recruiting away from an existing group, and “preaching to the choir.”
    It’s true that PP and TT have somewhat different views, aims, and goals. But are they contradictory? Can there not be common ground? (To be fair, you do go into TT “competetion” later on.)

    Quote:

    You will need the usual officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer)

    I don’t think you change old paradigms by following them. Decide whether you need to be evolutionary, or revolutionary. If the latter, try for a flatter structure. Hierarchy is part of the problem.
    Unless, of course, you were only talking about statutory requirements of a legal entity. Here in BC, Non-profits and Cooperatives are not required to have the conventional officers that Corporations are required to have. We are only required to have Members, which we then elect to Stewardships that work together in a non-hierarchical manner, inspired by David Buck’s work on dynamic governance, or Sociocracy.
    Best is what I call “functional anarchy.” Anarchy does not mean lawlessness, or freedom from rules; it mean freedom from rulers. Big difference. Anarchists can (and do) agree to follow rules, even if it’s “wear black masks while rioting.” 🙂

    Quote:

    One possibility would be to have an Energy committee, an Economic committee, and an Environment committee.  Each would have a chair person who would be on the executive board along with the officers.

     
    Ugh. I am sooooo not interested in committees and Robert’s Rules and hierarchy. Count me out if this is how it must be organized. And moreso, I think many of the people you most want to attract are turned off by conventional hierarchical organization. 
     

    Quote:

    unless we are all ready to get off our devices, roll up our sleeves and get to work in the real world, nothing will change.

     
    Hey, something we can agree on! 🙂
     
    Been there, done that, got the boot-tracks up my back. The most important lesson I’ve learned is, if you always do like you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you already got.
     
    Time to break molds. If you feel the need to have a legal entity, set up a hierarchy and control structure that is the minimum required by law — and then totally ignore it, except for statutory filings.
     
    Embrace anarchy. Look into Sociocracy. Do anything other than what’s been done to get us into this mess in the first place!

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 10:29am

    #49

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1481

    Inputs and outputs

    Maybe I’m missing something, but nearly everybody is talking about “a movement” as if such a thing (undefined here, so far) is just a matter of us getting the right inputs.  That is, many commenters seem to have in the back of their mind some kind of formula: Input #1 + Input #2 + Input #3 = “A Movement” that changes the world.  Only in 20/20 hindsight would anybody be able to convince me that any mass movement that has “changed the world” in the past is so simple.  I think it would be much more realistic in analyzing what “caused” previous mass movements that changed the world to enumerate many, many factors that birthed “the movement” and caused it to be “successful.”  And even if we correctly understood all of the factors I think it would be essential to acknowledge and state out loud that the final and most important aspect of a successful mass movement would be its acceptance and adoption by a large enough group of people. But that adoption by a large enough group of people is something that is completely out of the control of the founders and leaders of the “movements.”  There have been, in my mind, many worthy impulses that never became mass movements because they never “caught on” with enough people.  And I believe PP is currently such an impulse: a very worthy impulse that has (yet) to “catch on” with a large enough group of people. Why that is true is debatable, but I seriously doubt it’s because we haven’t found just the right inputs to make it happen.  I’m convinced that “the people” are not ready, or are resistant, or are willfully blind, or….  In fact, I believe PP.com would already be a mass movement that would be in the process of changing the world if the world were ready.  But the world isn’t ready, or that’s my conviction.
    I have several convictions about that I’ve stated before: it’s too late in the game and the great majority of people are currently not ready to 1) face the facts and 2) make the necessary changes. So I’ve concluded we’re not going to have any mass movement that significantly alters our course toward disaster.
    Because of that conclusion I’ve drawn, I’m focused on personal changes and preparations, and being ready for the teachable moment that is going to occur when disaster does strike. I’m convinced that the pain (even the horror) of the coming Crash will be our golden opportunity to spark a successful mass movement (though admittedly with a lot less “mass” than we have now).  With pain comes insight and change (or at least they can).
    There’s another possibility I’ve been considering lately.  If there is a God, or Nature, or Evolution guiding and preparing us for what’s coming, could it be that those most likely to survive, prosper and lead us in a new direction are currently isolated from the mass of humanity in some important ways AND that that isolation is going to be part of what enables them/us to survive, prosper and spark a new direction after The Crash?  For instance, maybe the worst thing about our coming Disaster is going to be a contagious disease that wipes out a large portion of humanity and those who are currently socially isolated will survive in disproportionate numbers. Or maybe being largely isolated from the modern financial system and its fiat currencies will mark us for survival when most others are marked for extinction.  If true, maybe trying to create a “mass movement” would be counterproductive or even fatal for our individual chances of survival. Time will tell, I guess.
    “Welcome to the Hunger Games. And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 10:45am

    Reply to #27

    Grover

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 15 2011

    Posts: 691

    Thanks for the Clarification

    Jim H wrote:

    Indeed my intention was to be critical of this insane expansion of administative bloat in the name of the leftist agenda, the intention of which is to subvert the invidual in the name of the collective, artificial, “identity” groups.  And yes, we met at Rowe : )
    Grover and I see eye to eye.. just a misread on his part.

    Jim, (and Quercus bicolor,)
    I misread your post. It isn’t the first time I’ve gone off half cocked. I can see that now. My apologies.
    I really like Dr. Martin Luther King’s message that a person should be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin – that extends to gender, religious beliefs, and other traits. There are good and bad people in all demographic groups. Discrimination of any form limits choices. How does one pick the best option when arbitrarily limiting the candidates?
    I find it ironic that in order to undo all the discrimination of the past, we institute discrimination practices. We’ve all been subject to being unfairly excluded from opportunities because of something that is essentially inconsequential. It’s easy to just give up when you know the deck is stacked against you – very demoralizing. Of course, if your character is strong, you’ll shrug it off and find another opportunity elsewhere.
    Grover

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 12:15pm

    Reply to #27
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 17 2008

    Posts: 365

    The Spirit of the Age

    I suggest mass movements are a little like the markets. They need to work through their own inner logic until they’re ready to flip.  Actually, reason and logic has little to do with it; it’s the inner movement of some kind of life force ( maybe analogous to the holy spirit or an unholy spirit ). Then all you can do is ride the wave or be battered by it.

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 12:51pm

    Reply to #48

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    Tough Sell

    westcoastjan wrote:

    … support will only come when the ‘investors’ are able to see what is in it for them. The ROI will not be monetary as per the normal system, but something much better – a future that is worth inheriting.

    Boy, is that ever a tough sell! I hate to be discouraging, but I’ve been trying to do that for over twelve years now.
    People always want to know what is in it for them — financially. When I tell them the RoI is “fresh air, clean water, healthy food, a secure place to live, and right livelihood,” they look at me like I’m from Mars, and say, “So, less than 5%, then?”

    Quote:

    We therefore need to target the people who can help make this happen: the big wigs in venture capital, marketing and so on.

    Again, don’t want to dampen the enthusiasm of anyone, but I have worked this angle a bit, and came up zero. The very definition of “venture capitalist” is someone who bets against the odds (so far, so good) that some risky investment will make them a killing, financially. How do you sell someone like that on the concept of “priceless?”
    I corresponded a long time with someone whose email address contains “BigBucks.” 🙂 He is sincerely concerned about the future. He found us on Guy McPhereson’s website, a terrifying place to be found in. He claims to have the resources needed to bootstrap a sustainable intentional community. But, he recently told me he’s focusing on crypto-currencies, instead. The cognitive dissonance he must endure boggles the mind…

    Quote:

    Most of us have not succeeded in getting even those close to us to buy into this type of belief system. We need pros to help us if we want to move this forward.

    I have hired marketing professionals. But we’re so far outside the mainstream that they simply don’t know what to do with us. “I can’t sell that,” is the most common response I get. I did manage to get a realtor to market our shares, and she did sell a large block to someone who is now suing us, claiming we mislead him about what the return would be. And that’s all I can say until what our lawyer calls “a baseless and frivolous suit” works its way through the system.
    We’ve changed our focus, and have eliminated the word “investment” and “investor” from our marketing. Instead, we refer to “member-funders,” in the hope that it conveys something more than a financial interest. But we still get, “Oh, so you’re like a credit union, then?”
    Most people lack the imagination needed to understand something other than the planet-killing Business As Usual. Those who can imagine alternavites, mostly cover their eyes and ears.
    Sorry to be so negative. Believe me, I wish that, after twelve years, I could simply list a formula for making this work, but I sure haven’t found it.
    So here’s the challenge: you want to actually do something about this situation? Come help us! We’ve got a head start, and like Thomas Edison replied when a reporter asked him about his many failures, we have succeeded in finding all sorts of ways that don’t work! 🙂
    Or strike out on your own and repeat our mistakes. Your call. 🙂

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 12:54pm

    Reply to #27
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 17 2008

    Posts: 365

    A Thousand "Thank You"s

    By the way, ” mile buichous ” in Irish or ” many thanks ” Chris for the Griefwalker reference which I find invaluable and consoling 

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 2:03pm

    Reply to #48

    westcoastjan

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 04 2012

    Posts: 181

    of course it is a tough sell

    This whole discussion is a tough sell – hell’s bells, there are probably less than 100 people taking part in this discussion. 
    I respect what you said and understand it. But I am not talking about someone running a co-op getting venture capital. I am talking about getting a movement, a way of thinking, like the Crash Course, embraced by venture capitalists to take mainstream. Imagine for one second, as abhorent as it might sound, for Wall Street to get behind the Crash Course – to be active, committed partners in shifting the dialogue. That is what I am talking about.
    The reality is we are all frustrated from the lack of traction. And as many have said, there is simply no will to change from the status quo, especially here in the first world. No one I know is willing to lower their living standards or change for the greater good. Ignorance remains bliss.
    We have two choices: give up [and wait for the crisis to hit] or go on trying to get traction [and help reduce the impacts of the crisis]. As I see it we are an extremely small minority trying to shift thinking in the majority. It is indeed a David vs. Goliath story. But who won that one?
    This is a giant brainstorming session. In spite of long odds, I choose go on and so I put forth something that may not be viable, but may trigger something in someone else. At least that is more than most folks do…
    Jan

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 5:47pm

    #50
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 879

    Mare?

    Been at this for my whole life. The Mennonite community, my neighbors, are as a whole resilient and quickly sustainable(they partake of the koolaid while keeping there hearts about the earth).
    Kelsey,seperating herself from the other drafts, must be approaching parturition. Won’t be long till we need a Miller, and a Tanner/harness maker. Those skills are a keeping in whatever times might be coming
    Settle your mare.
    Robie, husband,father,farmer,optometrist

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 6:25pm

    #51
    psebby

    psebby

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    Posts: 2

    Transition Town: case study

    Been around a long time; don’t comment much, but this is an interesting topic.
    I was a founding member of (the 26th?) official Transition Town in the US. It’s a great movement and the head, heart, and hands of Rob Hopkins are truly coming from the right perspective.  But will TT work in the US?  Not sure; ours has pretty much fizzled out.  Here are a few notes if it helps anyone else as you consider making a movement.
    We had some great times and success stories:  established our TT in 2009; worked out group process and consensus agreements after many LONG discussions; got Richard Heinberg to give a talk here and 200 people showed up (=10% of the town population); started an annual community Earth Day event that continues still; showed the usual Peak Oil and Transition movies; led a half dozen community discussions focused on Energy Descent Plan topic areas; established a community TimeBank for sharing services; built a backyard chicken coop in one day.
    But the group is no longer active, for many reasons, but in my mind it comes down to:
    The all-volunteer group was committed to the cause but had little available time.
    The community members have very little time to even think about these topics, let alone do something about them.
    Our town already has a number of groups working toward some portion of sustainability – what’s different about the TT group?  Who are we anyway?
    The biggest one: we Americans are trained from birth to be independent individuals, each owning their own stuff, each wanting to do things their own way.  Move away from that to putting the community and nature ahead of oneself?  That is a huge identity shift!

    I’ve come to a mindset kind of like what THC described:  model sustainability as best I can in my own life and try to have some positive models available for when the SHTF and people are frantically looking for alternatives.  Because if there are no visible, viable, positive alternatives that’s when things might get scary as people look to some strong, charismatic leaders who are pointing fingers at other groups/races/countries and saying that they are the cause of these troubles, not us.
    I’m currently working on a Raspberry Pi wifi access point that can act as a community news center with a blog, file sharing, and personal messages (all local, no Internet required, can run on a 12V car battery).  I figure it’ll work for some time and people will want to do SOMETHING with their phones when the Net goes down!  I should stock up on solar powered phone chargers – could be a good barter item.
     
       Paul

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  • Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - 7:12pm

    #52
    psebby

    psebby

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    Joined: Jul 04 2009

    Posts: 2

    A new pattern

    Chris, I like what you said about how our actions should be based on a moral level, not tactical.  I agree; a moral approach has a lot more staying power than a tactical one.
    Some possibly relevant thoughts from Richard Bach in “Illusions”:
    Here is a test to find out if your mission on earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.
    What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.
    The world is your exercise book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages.

    Seems like we’ve had a lot of nonsense, lies, and tearing of pages lately.
    After reading in a San Francisco Chronicle article (decades ago) about limits to growth and how “we are in a transition period that no earth society has ever encountered”, my meditation teacher, Eknath Easwaran, commented:

    Now that is why our work is so supremely important, because it is not based on any old pattern. It is not content with any halfway measures. Our values are completely different, our goal is completely different, and our mode of achieving the goal is completely different. In other words, it’s an entirely different civilization. And I don’t think I’m exaggerating unduly that people who lead the spiritual life seriously today are great pioneers, pioneers in an entirely different civilization.

    I think there are quite a few people looking for a new pattern that is not a halfway measure.  Enough for a movement?  I don’t know.  We all do what we can.
      Paul

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 2:01am

    Reply to #51

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 866

    So Transition Towns need a time currency/economy

    If the limitation on your transition town was a lack of time by participants, that implies that a transition town needs a time-currency, and a time-economy, and above all a balanced time budget.
    In other words, the transition town needs to — in general — generate more time for its participants than it uses, such that it represents a good investment of time. In order to do that, it needs to be able to first generate time, and secondly it needs to be able to exchange time, such that people can also profit from the exchange.
    That’s no small function, especially when you also don’t want to be enslaving people (in order to have a sustainable program that’s worth having).
    That’s where the bankers have you — because the money does represent time, and because they don’t have a problem enslaving people, thus generating the necessary balanced budget from which to fund further operations.
    To put it shortly, banks are incredibly effective when it comes to waging war on their neighbors, and they are scalable. Can you do better than that?

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 2:30am

    Reply to #51

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 866

    ... additional thought.

    … that war is highly destructive, and why our world is falling apart. But it is ALWAYS sustainable, because you can always destroy the little your neighbors have left, whatever it is.
    Bankers: sustainability heros. Whod’ve thunk?
    But no joke, if you’re going to get this sustainability back on track, you have two huge problems: how to deal with the bankers/destroyers/warriors, and how to make something that is more sustainable than war.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 5:31am

    #53

    David Huang

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2010

    Posts: 67

    Early retirement

    I’ve appreciated reading all the ideas and thoughts put forth in this discussion.  One thing I haven’t seen laid out yet, though I might have missed it, is something I’m pursuing.  So I feel like I need to try and present the idea here hopefully in a way that makes sense. 
    Pretty much all my life I’ve understood that I am fortunate to live in a time in history and place in our current time where I have absolutely astounding access to power, resources, and wealth RELATIVE to the rest of human history.  I feel like this is true for almost anyone living in one of the wealthy western countries today.  So the puzzle for me then was if so many have such great wealth and resources why do most of us find ourselves working so hard just to make ends meet?  If I took the resources I had at my most impoverished time in life, working a minimum wage job earning $5000 to $10,000 a year back in the 90’s and could give them to someone living 2000 years ago would they not be fabulously rich?  Is the difference just expectations and comparisons to those around me?  While this is certainly part of it in terms of how we respond to wealth emotionally I think there are other factors at play.
    We tend to squander our wealth fighting/competing others who are using their wealth to compete with us.  We also live in a consumer culture that is constantly encouraging us, in ways both overt and subversive, to consume more.  The essential story constantly being told to us is that to be happy, secure, comfortable, and fulfilled we need to consume more resources.  It’s such a powerful story because it has a solid kernel of truth around which it is based.  There is an initial base level of consumption which yields us an immense amount of improvement to our quality of life.  However, from there, in what may well be an exponential function, it takes ever more consumption of resources to return rapidly diminishing improvements in happiness.  This latter part is what consumer culture seems to work to hide. 
    At this point I don’t think I’ve said anything most of us here don’t know to some degree already.  We live in a time and place of immense abundance.  We then work hard to get even more of this abundance for ourselves, depleting resources and destroying our ecosystems in the process, to try and live a better life sold to us by our culture.  We need to change our culture.  How do we do that?
    As I see it right now, in this place and time, self motivating incentives are in place if we use and share them.  We simply need to recognize that there is a potentially imense gap between what we can earn and what we really need to live a high quality of life.  That gap is savings, security, and even in today’s investment climate can become the means to early retirement.  Would it motivate you to reduce your resource consumption if you realized you could retire in 10 years, or 5 years, or 2 years, or maybe even tomorrow?  For most people I think the answer is yes, and it doesn’t really require a need to moralize, guilt or shame one into using less.  The self serving incentive is there already.  Collectively we just don’t see this as a potential thing that’s possible even though it is.
    One of you here on another thread a while back mentioned the Mr. Money Mustache blog to me.  I did look that up and this is where I became remotivated and focused on this as a personal goal.  I had gotten into frugal living many years ago to get out of debt, and be able to have my dream job of being a studio artist become a viable career.  However, once I got debt free I sort of fell off the path that would have taken me to financial independence.  I’m now focused on that again.  The major key that many miss when thinking about early retirement is that isn’t not so much about income.  It’s really all about the difference between income and expenses.  If you actually got your expenses down to zero (which really isn’t practical) then you wouldn’t need any income.
    Back when I was impoverished working that minimum wage job I was able to get by on roughly $300 to $400 a month.  I have to ask myself why can’t I do this today?  This was in the 90’s and there has certainly been inflation since then.  However, back then my biggest expenses by far were for rent and attending college.  I no longer go to college and own my home free and clear.  So my current goal is to see if I can get expenses down to $500 or less a month.  If I can do that then just $150,000 invested at 4% interest would give me a passive income stream allowing me to retire to a modest life.  I would have time to devote to what I wish as long as those wishes weren’t high consumption.  I already know high consumption isn’t needed to live a high quality, fulfilling life.  I’ve learned this quite well along my simple living frugal journey already.  I have to imagine others pursuing this sort of path to financial independence/early retirement would learn it as well.  From what I can tell among the movement that is already developing around this it is an extremely common theme to realize high consumption is not needed to find real happiness.
    So if more of us modeled this approach, demonstrating it is real and viable it seems like a natural outcome to the incentives would be less resource use, less waste, a slower pace of life, more time to be with friends/ family and build community, and a general lighter load on our ecosystems.
    What I see as a great thing is that if this makes any sense to you, or is of interest you don’t need any government program to start it.  You don’t need a group of like minded people to do it, though that certainly would be nice.  You can start doing it right now, today!  I suppose if you have a spouse/family it would be a great boon to have them on board, but even if they aren’t lowering your expenses only increases your savings and lightens your load on the planet.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 8:18am

    Reply to #53
    Petey1

    Petey1

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    Joined: Sep 13 2012

    Posts: 13

    Great post David

    I have been following a similar path for six years being frugal and really trying to consume less.  The kick in the ass is HEALTH Insurance!  I just can’t wrap my head around any kind of affordable insurance. I can afford to quit work and just maintain my small business part time but stay at my current job just for the health insurance.   I also learned a lot from the Mr. Money Mustache site.  The people on the forums have loads of information about saving money as well as advice to stay on track.  

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 8:54am

    Reply to #53

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 866

    David, I think part of the problem is...

    … that if you are making $150k, you can’t live as if you’re making $15k, because the system — though it gives you access to enormous wealth — does not let you have that wealth, but instead relieves you of the wealth as you generate it.
    Let’s start with the $15k. Along with that $15k you get 10% state taxes, anything from 5% federal taxes to MINUS 30% federal taxes depending on family size, various health and food subsidies… but most of all, people around you do not expect you to have money, so they don’t demand huge amounts of service and attention that drain you dry (including employers, family, neighbors, church, etc.)
    Hop over to $150k, and you go up to 30% state and federal tax or more, but lots more than that…
    Basically, it comes down to this: the bankers are funding your agricultural-warlike society’s wars. They are empowered to do that, by enslaving the majority of the population. You may actually find a way out of that… but until you deal with your country’r behavior and the bankers that fund it, then by definiton most people will not be able to.
    And I’m not assuming you’re American. Every national government nowadays in agricultural-warlike, funded by bankers. The other governments were eliminated, or made subridiary (such as indian reservations, townships, and such).
    The bankers go to whereever they can find assets, and drain them, regardless of the damage it does; then that drives a huge human need, that impoverishes you even if you do make $150k, unless you harden your heart… but that too is unsustainable.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 10:57am

    Reply to #26
    Cariolian Starfighter

    Cariolian Starfighter

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    Joined: Aug 31 2017

    Posts: 11

    Agree: We probably won't.

    Most people I know drive SUVs.  This used to be an easy equivalence to “dumbass”…. but lots of smart people drive them.  They’re wasting our precious non-renewable energy-dense liquid fuels – but no one cares.  Everyone has lame reasons why they “need” an SUV.  If we can’t even get people to drive themselves in the most fuel-efficient cars (in fact, major auto manufacturers are planning to no longer manufacture cars, CAFE standards have been removed, etc) – we’re pretty much hosed.  I think it’s the end of the before-times.  The after-times will be bad.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 11:14am

    #54
    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 113

    There will be no Movement

    There will be no movement for the reasons mentioned above by Paul. No time. People are too busy just trying to get by. Number 2 and probably most importantly you will never get enough people on the same page. I was in a sustainabilty group and that is the reason it ceased to function.
    Everyone comes to the table with their own agendas. Not only their own agendas but methods of accomplishing said agendas. The people who run this site have the time to devote to a movement because it is their job. If you by some miracle get some kind of group together you will find that their are a few who do most of the work and the rest are along for the ride. 
    A very good exampl of a movement that was at the right time for the right reason and went nowhere was OWS. Millions lost jobs and millions lost their homes. In short order it dissapated. 
    If the population is the problem how many have no kids? How many have one? How many are at replacement? IMHO opinionif you are over replacement you are part of the problem. ( Hell if you are alive you are part of the problem)
    What movement is going to tell Ganesh in Mumbai he can only have one or two kids and can’t drive a vehicle or get a computer and internet, or a smart phone or have a modest wedding for 2,000 people? Or tell Aziz in Nigeria he can’t have what a middle class American enjoys?  
    I have friends in Asia who are cutting down their sandalwood trees because thieves will come and steal them and kill you if they have to. Who is going to start a movement to do anything about the 75% of the world that are much closer to the edge that they can’t find some security from the resources that are stolen from them mostly by the insatiable demand of the West?
    I for one am at a loss to answer any of those questions.
     
     
     
     
     
     

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 11:21am

    #55
    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

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    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 113

    BTW

    I had the great good fortune to meet Bucky Fuller in 1975. He said at that time we had at most 7 years to turn this around ( this being environmental destruction , energy, pollution etc) Well 1982 was 36 years ago.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 11:22am

    #56
    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 113

    BTW

    I had the great good fortune to meet Bucky Fuller in 1975. He said at that time we had at most 7 years to turn this around ( this being environmental destruction , energy, pollution etc) Well 1982 was 36 years ago.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 12:22pm

    Reply to #53

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    Passive Income Is An Illusion

    David Huang wrote:

    If I can do that then just $150,000 invested at 4% interest would give me a passive income stream allowing me to retire to a modest life.

    And if everybody did this, what then?
    The problem is “passive income,” the notion that dead presidents get together in dark bank vaults or hard drives, copulate, and produce more dead presidents.
    If you’ve been through The Crash Course, you already know that money is a house of cards, loaned into existance, and totally dependent on endless growth, which itself is totally dependent on endless non-renewable resources, which itself is quickly coming to an end.
    I do see some value in such a scheme, in the short term:
    Learning to live lightly has value that remains long after the economic system collapses.
    If you view this as a temporary situation, you can amass enough funds to move further into sustainable practices.

    To that end, you should start learning to grow your own food. I see that as much more important than “investing” any amount, at any rate of return.
    When I first became focused on the coming end times, I made a five-year plan to do what you’re suggesting, but not with the goal of “retirement,” which is an artifact of a high-energy civilization. Rather, I collected dead presidents with the goal of acquiring productive farm land.
    Now, unlike dead presidents, I have goats who do get together and make more goats. I haven’t brought myself to eat them, but I do enjoy fairly limitless amounts of raw dairy products. And if things got tough enough, I would eat the bucklings and retired does, which I currently sell to other people, who mostly keep them as pets or for brush control.
    Want to know what tomorrow will be like? Look back about 200 years. “Retirement” didn’t exist then. I’m fairly certain it won’t exist in 20 years.
    My “retirement” goal is to make myself as useful as I can to younger people, so they’ll want to keep me around for my (ahem) “wisdom.” Or at least for my farmland and food production skills. I’m not even sure private ownership of land will still exist, but I think it’s a safer bet than investment income.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 1:06pm

    Reply to #48

    Bytesmiths

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    Posts: 141

    westcoastjan wrote:Imagine

    westcoastjan wrote:

    Imagine for one second, as abhorent as it might sound, for Wall Street to get behind the Crash Course – to be active, committed partners in shifting the dialogue. That is what I am talking about.

    Boy, perhaps I simply lack imagination, but that is tought to imagine.
    That’s like walking up to a buggy-whip manufacturer, saying, “Hey, we need your help to build good roads for the new-fangled horseless carriage, so we won’t need buggy whips any more!”
    Or do you disagree that the sorts of changes that are needed will put venture capitalists out of business? After all, their main job is financial growth, which The Crash Course says cannot continue.

    Quote:

    We have two choices: give up [and wait for the crisis to hit] or go on trying to get traction [and help reduce the impacts of the crisis].

    Luckily, we have many more choices than those two, if you don’t accept what seems to be a major assumption: that we are somehow liable for getting as many people through this as possible.
    I’m not keen on “a movement,” because I think it’s irrelevant to try to effect affect the mainstream, or even a majority, or even a significant minority.
    And that is A Good Thing™, because even a significant minority of nearly 8 billion people are not going to make it through the bottleneck event. The best we can do is see to it that we, our family, and our circle of friends are informed enough to make a choice to do everything they can to prepare to lead sustainable lives — and I’m not talking changing your light bulbs and buying a Prius, either.
    Long story short: you seem rather dismissive of efforts to collaboratively get boots on the ground. I don’t see any other way of making much of a difference.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 2:22pm

    #57

    David Huang

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2010

    Posts: 67

    Thanks for the comments

    Thanks for the comments Petey, Michael, and Bytesmiths.  I will try to respond later.  My home internet is down and the library’s where I’m at now has become intermitant.  I doubt I can get a considered reply sent at the moment.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 3:01pm

    Reply to #27
    v118841

    v118841

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    Posts: 0

    Doug...I am new here to the

    Doug…I am new here to the boards. I applaud what you have said here about ZH. I try to start using them again every so often as they do call out the horse sh*t going on in Wall Street and DC. Just as soon as I start to keep them on my radar they slip back into the ultra alt-right ilk they were born from. I also applaud your denouncement of Trump and the people surrounding him. 
    You give far too much credit to Democrats. They are wolves in sheeps clothing. They have consistently voted with the republicans on defense and financial matters. The Progressives need to leave the party and form their and the DNC is just a dead shell of what it once was. Even the great Obama was an Obummer. Repackaging Republican ideas such as Obamacare, immigration inaction, kissing up to Wall St, etc.
    On the news front today is Antartica’s ice melt is increasing more rapidly than predicted and that the M/E leaders are becoming less skeptical of Trump. I wonder which of those two will be featured in MSM news? Pretty sure the latter. Climate cange is apparently to controversial for them to give any more than a small sound bite to. That is my nonsensical rant. I suggest finding someone that is a progressive and is not beholden to anyone on Wall Street or special interests.
    Thank you for your time.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 3:01pm

    Reply to #53

    David Huang

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2010

    Posts: 67

    Health insurance

    For the moment the library’s internet seems to be working again so I’ll try some replies.  Petey1, great to hear you have been on this path as well!
    Health insurance is a problem.  Personally I just don’t see how the current system can go on with double digit rate increases every year along with increasing deductables.  It seems like something has to happen one way or another.
    For myself I’ve decided to give up health insurance.  I cancelled mine this year after hearing the individual mandate had been removed.  Though I then later learned that won’t go into effect until next year… So I guess this year I will end up paying the fee/fine for not having it.  I’m ok with that as I was seriously considering it anyway as the cheapest rate I could get was more than I wanted to spend and didn’t seem worth what I’d get.
    Again, for myself I decided long ago that the one most responsible for my health is me.  To that end in the  past few years I’ve worked hard to change my ways and live a healthier life, drastically reducing my meat consumption and dramatically increasing the consumption of whole plant foods.  I’ve also nearly eliminated heavily processed foods vacent of nutrients.  I make an effort to get some amount of exercise daily, though it doesn’t always happen when I’m too busy with work.  I’ve stopped using my car for trips less than 7 miles unless there is a real need such as moving large heavy objects.  Instead I will walk or bike.  With all this I’ve been able to lose about 55lbs from my high weight several years ago, and keep it off.
    I’m not generally inclined to go to the doctors to begin with for reasons far too long to get into here.  It’s been a couple decades since I’ve been so insurance for me felt like just throwing thousands of dollars away for next to nothing.  The question of course is what happens if I do come down with some chronic disease?  From what I’ve learned it’s pretty much a given that I have heart disease since autopsy studies have shown that 95% of Americans (which I am) over the age of 10 (which I am) have at least some stage of heart disease already.  What I’m doing is what I’d do first if actually diagnosed.  Treat it with diet and exercise, which is one of the more effective ways to deal with many of the chronic diseases that plague western populations.
    Could I get injured with an acute injury for which I do think the modern medical field is highly skilled at treating?  I certainly could, but I feel like this is more of a rare thing.  Car accidents and workplace accidents are probably the most common causes for such acute injuries.  That’s just my guess, I don’t know this for sure.  As part of my frugal living and efforts to take responsibility for my own health I don’t spend much time in a car these days.  I also work for myself so there is no one pushing me to do unsafe things in the workplace except for me.  I have to own that responsibility.
    In short I don’t see a great solution for health insurance.  I suppose if I did retire early on $500 a month passive income ($6000 a year) then I probably would qualify for health care subsidies if I wanted to work the system.  I’m not sure I’d feel right doing that myself, again because I am trying to take responsibility for my own health.
    I realize everyone’s situation is different.  This is just how I’m trying to live more lightly on the earth.  Part of that is accepting that I may die earlier than I might have otherwise.  At the moment I’m ok with that if the efforts I’m directly taking to care for myself aren’t enough and I’m unable to pay the fees for professional care.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 3:21pm

    #58
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

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    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 236

    Somewhat different points of view

    Howard Zinn (A People’s History of the US) writes,

    All of us have become hostages in the new conditions of doomsday technology, runaway economics, global poisoning, uncontainable war. … We may, in the coming years, be in a race for the mobilization of middle-class discontent. … All this, at a time when the middle class is increasingly insecure economically. The system, in its irrationality, has been driven by profit to build steel skyscrapers for insurance companies while the cities decay, to spend billions for weapons of destruction and virtually nothing for children’s playgrounds,…. Capitalism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle classes. (pp. 636–637, HarperPerennial, 2003)

    Maybe it is. But did we ever have capitalism qua capitalism, or has the economic and financial system always been perverted by the elites?
    I especially like his adjective “runaway” which I think is a very good alternative term for “exponential,” and easier for people to understand. Runaway economics. Runaway resource consumption. Runaway pollution. Yes! This may help us in our quest to enlighten the general public and hence their elected representatives. I’ll be using this word in the future.
    As an aside, we know that in the geological column the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary is marked by a thin line of sediment abnormally high in iridium — and an extinction event above it. Maybe the boundary between the Anthropocene and whatever comes next will be marked by a thin layer of plastic — and another extinction event above that.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 3:26pm

    Reply to #53

    David Huang

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2010

    Posts: 67

    Michael, I'm not sure I fully

    Michael, I’m not sure I fully understand what you are trying to say, or perhaps I just don’t agree with what I think you are saying.  You seem to be saying it’s impossible to live on $15,000 if you are making $150,000.  Granted I’ve never made $150,000 in a year, or anywhere close, but I have no trouble at all living on considerbly less that what I bring in.  Yes, I would be paying more in taxes if I was earning more, but I could also be saving more because I’m earning more.  In fact so far this year my largest expenses by far have been my quarterly estimated taxes.  I view this as a positive sign that I am saving much more than I had been prior to rededicating myself to a lower cost of living and thus a lighter impact on the earth.
    I agree that if you make more money you can find  yourself being hounded by family and friends less able to manage money.  In the past I did run into this and it caused my savings rate to drop considerably.  I had also made the mistake of living in a more extravegant manner thus advertising the fact that I had loads of income beyond what I needed for monthly expenses.  I do feel like saving for potential retirement is a legitiment thing to do that I should feel bad for doing.  Most of the people who came to me for money had some sort of retirement plan through their jobs.  I’m self-employed so I must take responsibility for my own future.  If I can retire on a modest amount of passive income then I would be in a much better position to help others out.  These days I don’t give away serious sums of money, but as I always did before I will do my best to help those in need learn how to manage what money they have, or find ways to make more or spend less.
    As far as dealing with my country’s behavior that is exactly what I am trying to do.  I’m seeking to find and model other ways of living.  To demonstrate that you can have a fabulous life with relatively little in the way of material resources.  It may not be an effective strategy in the end.  You may have your own way of trying to address these issues, but this is what I’m doing.  I’ve been sharing ideas behind frugal living for many years now.  From time to time I do hear back from  people that it opened their eyes and made a difference in their life so I keep doing it.  It’s something I can do to effect change.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 3:51pm

    Reply to #53

    David Huang

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2010

    Posts: 67

    I don't entirely disagree

    Bytesmiths, I don’t entirely disagree with you that passive income is an illusion.  I do understand that our money system is based on endless exponential growth and obviously can’t go on as it is forever.  This is why I tried to make the point that this is something that can work where we are right now.  How long can it last? I don’t know.  Will things collapse fast or slowly?  I don’t know.
    If everybody did this right now we’d be in a fabulous place!  I say this because why I’m presenting it as an idea is not to get everyone to early retirement.  That is just the potential incentive that exists now to encourage people to start living way below their means.  So if everyone started doing it we would suddenly be using way fewer resources and living much lighter on the  planet.  Hopefully most would also discover that high consumption lifestyles are also not needed or perhaps even good for happy fulfilled lives.  If everyone did this right now we would have that movement and radical change Chris was talking about.  It’s not really about early retirement it’s about moving to more sustainable practices.  I’m trying to help people do that by driving home the point that you can get economic benefit NOW and in the future by learning to live on less and being more sustainable.  I sense that many people feel like making such choices means giving things up and having a lower quality of life.  I don’t find that to be the case.
    Certainly finding ways to live without a need for tertiary wealth focusing instead on going directly with secondary and primary wealth is a great way to go.  I’ve certainly been doing that myself.  It’s one of my ways to live on less income!  I do have a small amount of property I’ve been working for years to develop with food producing plants.  Last year I finished building a small greenhouse and this year it has been providing so much food I’ve been able to drastically cut back grocery shopping.  Before the end of the year I hope to have a rocket mass stove built for my home.  If it works as I expect then my property should be able to sustainably provide all my home heating fuel for as long as trees can grow here.  I did invest in a couple off-grid solar systems so this is now providing all my electric needs.  In hindsight this might not have been the most sustainable thing to do for the planet.  Just the initial step of learning to use very little electricity may have been the best place to stop.
    Anyway, the library is closing.  Hopefully my internet is working at home again.  If not I will be disappearing from cyberspace for a while.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 3:57pm

    Reply to #53

    David Huang

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2010

    Posts: 67

    I don't entirely disagree

    sorry duplicate post.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 5:20pm

    Reply to #45

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    What resonates?

    cmartenson wrote:

    So what’s the SIMPLE organizing idea?

    We could go crazy trying to define “simple.” A thousand acres of soybeans looks simple, compared to a small family farm that mostly feeds them on a dozen or more plant species and perhaps half that many animal species.
    But, unlike the family farm, the thousand acres of soy could not exist without the industrial transportation system and the global finance industry, not to mention the petro-chemical industry. These are huge hidden complexities!

    Quote:

    What resonates most strongly for you?

    1) To me, any strategy must revolve around food. We simply do not know what sort of economy (if any) is around the corner of this peak we’re sitting on. Will large countries, and their power to dictate the use of fiat currency, still exist? Or will they devolve into smaller, bioregion-based countries, as has been the case for millennia? We don’t know. We don’t know the future value of retirement plans or investments or indeed, even precious metals. What we do know is that we all eat for a living, regardless of how many dead presidents we’ve been able to collect.
    2) You can’t really “go it alone” anymore. The North American “rugged individualist” ethic is strongly based on the “take over” energy the pioneers got from landing on what seemed like an empty continent. Any strategy that is not based on collaboration will only work until someone bigger bumps you off. Individualism and competition comes from a high-energy environment; it will take collaboration to survive in a low-energy world.
    3) Diversity is key. Just as the thousand acres of soy has layers of hidden complexity, a small polyculture farm has hidden simplicity. Specialization is a high-energy technique; generalization works better in a low-energy world. If you know how to grow one crop, growing two (or five, or a dozen) different crops will greatly increase your chances of eating.
    4) Defer tactical choices, until you see the need to choose. We have all been hoodwinked into thinking that choice is good, and we love to have lots of choices. But early choices may turn out to be a straight jacket. How will that gold and silver do for you if most of the population is wiped out by plagues and war? How will that weapons cache help you if it simply makes you a target for others who want weapons? I think a lot of starving people will be found, surrounded by empty survival food wrappers and unused weapons. Focus on the basics, and leave peripheral choices until it becomes clear they are needed. Many such “choices” will work themselves out withour you having to worry about them.

    Quote:

    Which one(s) give you a sense of personal agency, that you could at least modify your own life and actions to align with that message or idea?

    I’m living my choices. I’ve modified my life to align with this message. Not completely, but we are always looking ahead, trying to figure out the next step just two steps ahead of when it’s necessary.
    But things are still too comfortable for too many people to expect them to change. Geoffry Moore wrote some inspired books about the technology adoption life-cylce (Crossing the Chasm, Taming the Tornado, et. al.) What he observed about technology adoption applies equally to life-style changes that will be necessary in the future. You have “early adopters” who go out and pioneer; you have “early majority” who settle in when someone else has shown the way; you have the “laggards” who will try to keep things the same as long as they possibly can.
    This “movement” (if you will) is in the “early adopter” or “gazelle” stage, and Moore has a lot to say about both the dangers of trying for too much of an audience, and of being too selective about perfectly matching an audience. We don’t want to waste effort “preaching to the choir” (possibly what I’m doing now), but neither should we expect to reach “Joe Sixpack” until there is a more pressing need and more momentum.
    Sorry about all the words. I gotta go dig some potatoes for dinner. Only dig what you need. They keep best in the ground. Sorta like “movements.” 🙂

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 5:33pm

    Reply to #43

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    Specialization

    LesPhelps wrote:

    Why are we getting less intelligent?

    I think it has to do with specialization versus generalization.
    Lord Byron had the largest measured cranial size, bigger than Einstein. Average brain size has been decreasing for two centuries.
    Humans used to be the ultimate generalists. I’m not so sure any more. I have an RSS feed on local job postings. I don’t even understand many of the positions any more!
    This can’t end well. We’re learning more and more about less and less, until soon, each of us will be expected to know absolutely everything there is to know about absolutely nothing.

    Robert Heinlein wrote:

    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 6:10pm

    Reply to #53

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 866

    David, what I said is largely true,

    But will not be true in all cases. Nonetheless, in general it is true. The looters loot as effectively as they can, not caring about what destructrion they do — or sometimes deliberately adding to the destruction. Look what the Chesapeake Police department did to the sweet little old black lady who lives behind me, three days after a black man shot at them, and then ran into our trailer park.
    They came in to Portsmouth, bashed in her windows, teargassed the place, then tore apart the insides of her apartment.
    I can’t not help; but I also can’t help. The destruction is more than I know how to handle. She’s living there now, but showing seizures. The cost is more than I know what to do.
    Those who war on their neighbors do this regularly. The result is a huge human need that drains those who DON’T war on their neighbors. But as far as I can tell, it is by design and intent.
    I kindof think that the problem is that although we instituted courts, we never bothered to institute courts of justice.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 6:19pm

    #59
    Rodster

    Rodster

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    Posts: 30

    If current rates of global

    If current rates of global soil degradation continue, it’s estimated we may only have 60 years of farming left.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 8:52pm

    Reply to #38

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    Land-sharing apprenticeship

    PM sent. Others who are interested, please PM me.
    For reasons I’m willing to discuss privately, I cannot put the details in a public forum at this time.

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  • Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - 9:11pm

    Reply to #59

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    You left out a word

    Rodster wrote:

    If current rates of global soil degradation continue, it’s estimated we may only have 60 years of farming left.

    I think you meant “industrial” farming.
    Those of us using Permaculture will be doing just fine in 60 years… should we live so long… 🙂
    We’re building topsoil at a rate greater than industrial farms are losing it, but of course, on a much smaller scale.
     

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  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - 2:55am

    Reply to #59

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 866

    Oh, just wait...

    … until the good soil farms get reassigned to industrial farms because they steward their land better, producing more food for the industrial-military complex.
    It’s sixty years of farming left.

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  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - 5:09am

    #60
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 879

    Indentured

    I fully expect the gov. to indenture us to our farm to produce for them.

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  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - 6:30am

    Reply to #60

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    Possibly

    robie robinson wrote:

    I fully expect the gov. to indenture us to our farm to produce for them.

    There certainly have been examples of that in history, but I would not go so far as to “expect” that.
    I don’t think our present, high-energy governments are flexible and resillient enough to be able to make such a switch. It would take a revolution to do that. Again, it’s happened before, but it would not be my “expectation” that a revolution, which typically gets its power from the people, would then turn on them.

    Eliot Coleman wrote:

    The small organic farm greatly discomforts the corporate/industrial mind because the small organic farm is one of the most relentlessly subversive forces on the planet. Over centuries both the communist and the capitalist systems have tried to destroy small farms because small farmers are a threat to the consolidation of absolute power. Thomas Jefferson said he didn’t think we could have democracy unless at least 20% of the population was self-supporting on small farms so they were independent enough to be able to tell an oppressive government to stuff it. It is very difficult to control people who can create products without purchasing inputs from the system, who can market their products directly thus avoiding the involvement of mercenary middlemen, who can butcher animals and preserve foods without reliance on industrial conglomerates, and who can’t be bullied because they can feed their own faces.

    Finally, should a government decide to take food away from farmers, at least those farmers would be allowed to live. Especially with climate change, soil degradation, and lack of energy, farming will be a skill that anyone with a brain (and a stomach) will want to preserve.
    Again, not saying what you claim is impossible, just arguing with the words “fully expect.”
    I fully expect the best way to avoid starving in the future is to start right now to put yourself in control of your own food supply.

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  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - 7:27am

    Reply to #60
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 524

    A lot of good it did Ukrainians in 1932!

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  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - 8:08am

    #61

    westcoastjan

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 04 2012

    Posts: 181

    There is no "one size fits all" solution

    I fully expect the best way to avoid starving in the future is to start right now to put yourself in control of your own food supply.

    And that is exactly what the majority of us here and in similar groups are doing. The thing is, boots on the ground might look different for each person/family’s unique situation. There are so many variables that need to be taken into account for the choices one makes about how to do this: age, gender, physical/mental capabilities, persona, financial status, family status, location, skill sets, and so on. We are successful when we do what works best for ourselves. What works well for some does not work well for others. Some will thrive in co-op or communal type situations, others will not. But that does not mean they cannot thrive using a different model that better aligns with their own particular life situations. 
    I loved the Eliot Coleman quote as it cogently captures what I think we here all believe and are actively working towards, albeit in different ways. And that is okay because we need diversity in our approaches in order to provide as many options as are possible to as many people as is possible. When there are more choices in how one wants to go about living and growning their own food supply, perhaps more will be inclined to do so.
    That does not however solve the issue of general ignorance as to why we need to be food self-sufficient. We could pass laws everywhere enabling people to use all available urban space such as along roads and on medians for growing food, and to have backyard chickens and other small animals. But until they see the need for it I surmise most will still be inclined to go buy food. Those things are enacted here where I live, but walks in my environs, a hotbed of eco-minded people, reveals few are taking advantage of this. And this in region where approx. 60% of the population are renters. There is opportunity to grow food, but few takers. There are many reasons I suspect, theft being one of them. But at the end of the day there is simply no sense of urgency or feeling that there is an imminent crisis. I do not think people in general will do these things until they have to. Attitudinal change remains the biggest barrier. That is hard to stomach because those who will not change, the vast majority, are taking us, the slim minority, down with them. And try as we might, I really do not believe anymore that there is a damn thing we can do about it. I used to believe, but I don’t anymore. This will not change what I do or the efforts I make. I cannot go back to the land of ignornance is bliss. I can however work harder to live in the present moment and enjoy my life as much as is possible now; and worry less about that outside of my sphere of influence which I cannot control.
    Jan

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  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - 10:00am

    #62
    kmaher

    kmaher

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    Joined: Feb 05 2009

    Posts: 27

    Need to switch our focus from being less bad to DOING more good.

    I’m actually more hopeful than I’ve been for some time.  The source of my hope is the new understanding of the potential for restoring the carbon and water cycles that we have so disrupted through our impact on land over thousands of years, particuarly since we put that impact on steroids with fossil fuels and chemicals.  
    Soil is an incredible leverage point.  A focus on restoring a healthy soil carbon sponge can flip a system into a positive feedback that sequesters carbon, increases water holding capacity and infiltration, reduces or eliminates input costs, produces more nutrient dense foods, increases biodiversity, and increases profitability.
    So much of our focus in terms of ecological issues is to reduce our impact, be less bad.  We must INCREASE our impact in positive ways.  We must act with agency to produce a world worth inheriting as Chris and Adam have so eloquently challenged us.
    Our understanding of the soil beneath our feet has increased tremendously in the last few decades.  This new knowledge has shown not only how we’ve damaged systems through our ignorant, though well meaning, interventions, but also that we can reverse this process.  The exciting part for me is that we have examples of practitioners who have been leading the way in implementing these methods and being more profitable. 
    The question for me is how do we accelerate the implementation of these practices?  How can this be scaled to the point that it can actually move the needle?  There are many wonderful people who have been teaching these strategies.  But we’re asking a lot of our farmers to accept all the risk of changing their management from the accepted and subsidized existing practices to something new.  It takes a long time for a new paradigm to be accepted, it took a couple of hundred years for the germ theory of disease to become accepted!
    Even though we have examples of farmers producing comparable yields, at lower costs, of higher nutrient density and selling at higher price points, it’s very slow to attract new converts from established farmers with so much at risk and working on slim margins.  So what do we do when confronted with the difficulty of switching paradigms?  
    For me and my partners the answer is to start an Agroforestry project that aims to produce perennial staple food crops with livestock and annuals in a manner that improves the resource base, sequesters carbon, increases biodiversity and improves water resilience.  We’re doing it by planning to acheive the scale necessary to make it work by partnering with investors through an equity rather than debt model.
    I don’t have any delusions that what we are doing will fundamentally shift anything in our wider picture.  I’m sure the chances of this kind of approach being adopted at a wide enough scale, in time, are slim.  However, I can’t think of a better way to spend my remaining years.  No matter what, we will be planting tens of thousands of trees, producing healthy food, providing jobs, and increasing biodiversity.  
    Encouraging this type of change is possible for all of us. 
    Search out regenerative farmers and support them by buying their products.  It may be a bit more expensive but you’ll probably come out ahead when you factor in healthcare costs.
    If you are at a place and time in your life that allows for it, try working on these farms.
    If you have more capital than time or energy, partner with those who have those but lack the means. 
    We must all be active in supporting what we want to see.  We don’t need to wait on more studies in peer reviewed journals.  We will make mistakes, that’s how we learn and improve.  We have no choice but to try.  If we can establish more successful models with processing and marketing channels it will be easier for others to plug into and increase their adoption.
    I’m hoping to leave a legacy for my kids and their kids of a productive perennial agriculture of chesnuts, hazels, fruits and livestock that once established will persist for generations.  The inputs on these systems will drop largely to harvest with periodic disturbance.  Let’s use the fossil fuels that are readily available now to establish systems that can thrive without them later! 
    Kevin

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  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - 10:07am

    Reply to #61

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    General Ignorance

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  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - 10:25am

    Reply to #59

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    Conjectures

    Quote:

    the good soil farms get reassigned to industrial farms… I fully expect the gov. to indenture us to our farm to produce for them… a lot of good it did Ukrainians in 1932…

    I am not going to let some imagined possibility be an excuse for not acting on what I see as our #1 priority: preparing for food sovereignty.
    But what the heck, let’s burn up these strawmen: if the gubamint takes your land, at least you still get to eat — if you know how to produce food — unlike the middle-managers, aestheticians, website programmers, etc. who have no food production skills, but had all sorts of excuses for not learning to grow food. Even if they understand the general situation we are in, their emaciated bodies will be found next to their bug-out bags. Some bug-out bags even have seed collections, that they were planning to haul to their unused, over-grown doomsteads!
    Growing food is a practiced skill. You don’t go look it up the moment you need it. You work at it, in a specific location, for years, understanding what works and what does not.
    As for Ukraine in the 1930s, yea, a possibility. And certainly it is in times of stress that madmen like Joseph Stalin come to power. Are you willing to use that excuse for failing to take control of your food supply?
    Also, consider the times. In the 1930s, most people still farmed, and energy was on a strong upswing. Stalin had a population problem — too many farmers — because mechanized agriculture had made them redundant. This is not at all the situation we are headed into, where energy will be on a downswing, and only one in seven hundred people have farming skills.
    That said, a diversity of ideas isn’t a bad idea, but hedge your bets and go make friends with a farmer while you plan getting rich off the next crypo-currency or precious metal stocks. Maybe those will be useful strategies in a “soft crash.” But are you willing to bet all against a hard crash?

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  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - 10:32am

    Reply to #62

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    Equity Rules, Debt Droolz

    kmaher wrote:

    the answer is to start an Agroforestry project that aims to produce perennial staple food crops with livestock and annuals in a manner that improves the resource base, sequesters carbon, increases biodiversity and improves water resilience.

    YAY! You da man, Kevin!

    Quote:

    We’re doing it by planning to acheive the scale necessary to make it work by partnering with investors through an equity rather than debt model.

    Being in the same boat, I would be very interested in hearing more details. How long have you been at it? How many land partners do you have? Are your equity partners expecting a financial return?

    Quote:

    I’m hoping to leave a legacy for my kids and their kids of a productive perennial agriculture of chesnuts, hazels, fruits and livestock that once established will persist for generations.  The inputs on these systems will drop largely to harvest with periodic disturbance.  Let’s use the fossil fuels that are readily available now to establish systems that can thrive without them later!

    Worth repeating! Keep up the good work!

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  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - 11:02am

    Reply to #62
    kmaher

    kmaher

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    Posts: 27

    Thanks Bytesmiths, I've been

    Thanks Bytesmiths, I’ve been nodding my head here while reading your posts.
    We are going to be working to provide a return over the long term.  If you look at the economics of chestnuts for example, the long term cash flow has a lot of potential but you must commit for 15-20 yrs to realize that potential.  Livestock and annuals with earlier bearing perennials can provide early cashflow but there are still expenses up front.  Partnering with the investors who are looking at the long term potential is how we are attempting to get through that early bottleneck without the farmers bearing all the risk.
    We are just embarking on our venture.  My partners have lots of experience on the ground.  I’m coming from a completely different background.  
    I actually was not planning on talking about this publicly at this stage but found this post by Chris to be inspiring.  PM me and I’d love to speak more about what we’re doing and here about your efforts.  I’ll be speaking more about what we’re doing shortly.
    Kevin
     
     

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  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - 1:51pm

    Reply to #61

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    Sorry for botched posting… here is what it was supposed to be

    westcoastjan wrote:

    That does not however solve the issue of general ignorance as to why we need to be food self-sufficient.

    Agreed. We have a summer student here, 21 years old, planning her life. She said she wants to still be skiing when she is 100. She said she read somewhere that, the way things are going, her generation would be the first where most people can expect to live to 100. I then started explaining why it is perhaps the baby boomers who will reach “peak old-age,” with later generations not being so lucky.
    I gave her a copy of Limits to Growth, so she’ll have some balance to the things that she’s been reading that have graphs progressing steadily upward and to the right forever. When she’s done with Limits to Growth, I’ll give her Catton’s Overshoot. No sense scaring the bejesus out of her right away.

    Quote:

    at the end of the day there is simply no sense of urgency or feeling that there is an imminent crisis.

    Like in the movie, The Sixth Sense, I see dead people. They look sorta like boiling frogs.

    Quote:

    try as we might, I really do not believe anymore that there is a damn thing we can do about it.

    We can help those who are open to it, and avoid annoying the rest, I guess.
    We’re lucky here in that we get young people for an extended period of time. They often leave us with an altered perspective. Some come back, year after year, perhaps envisioning us as some sort of haven or lifeboat. We’ll see.

    Quote:

    worry less about that outside of my sphere of influence which I cannot control.

    Now you’re talking. Wayne Dyer taught us that “Worry is the useless emotion.”
    Every time you catch yourself worrying, go out and do something to change the situation you are worried about. It might not change a thing, but it may improve your attitude enough that you end up changing things.

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  • Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - 3:25pm

    Reply to #61

    westcoastjan

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 04 2012

    Posts: 181

    yep...

    We can help those who are open to it, and avoid annoying the rest, I guess.

    That is me, although I have to confess I am failing at not annoying the rest blush
    All emotions, worry included, are a form of energy. How we use that energy is up to each of us, depending on our circumstances. Some people can manage to harness it in productive ways, as you are so admirably doing in your sphere of influence. Others are unable to do as well in that regard, for various reasons, some of which are beyond their control. Things like health issues come to mind. Not everyone is of sound body and mind, able to do what is needed to be self-sufficient, in spite of a desire to do so.
    I admire what you are doing greatly because you are one of the few who is actually putting the talking into action. You are a change leader. I hope that you find the success you envision/want, and that many more will benefit from you having done so.
    Jan
     
     

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  • Fri, Jun 15, 2018 - 5:03am

    #63
    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 113

    Helping

    I had some friends vacationing in the Yucatan. A class 5 hurricane was heading right for them. They decided to stay. They decided to stay because they wanted to help the victims of the hurricane. No matter how much I tried to explain it to them , they never got that they were about to be victims of the hurricane. At the last moment the track of the hurricane turned and it went 100 miles south.
     

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  • Fri, Jun 15, 2018 - 5:02pm

    Reply to #37
    darcieg76

    darcieg76

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    Posts: 70

    Joe Rogan and Tim Ferriss

    Joe Rogan and Tim Ferriss both had Michael Pollan on their podcasts recently to talk about the book. Interesting stuff.

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  • Fri, Jun 15, 2018 - 7:09pm

    Reply to #61

    Bytesmiths

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 28 2008

    Posts: 141

    Do what you can

    westcoastjan wrote:

    actually putting the talking into action

    It is incredibly tough, and I feel like a fraud much of the time. “We should be doing THIS! We could be doing THAT!”
    We find ourself hopelessly enmeshed in the greater zeitgeist. We have to pay taxes, mortgage, insurance, etc., which means we have to go out and make money, which we are doing from the land in a sustainable manner, with no passive investment income. We keep trying to further disengage, but the system keeps us engaged in various ways not of our choosing.
    I certainly don’t criticize others for not doing enough. We each do what we can, and hopefully, improve it a step at a time.
    I’m currently reading Deep Green Resistance. It is incredibly thought provoking, terrifying, inspiring, hopeful, hopeless — all in one book. Highly recommended!

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  • Sat, Jun 16, 2018 - 1:45am

    Reply to #59

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 866

    The practiced skill they CAN'T take.

    Not arguing against you on that one. It is quite hard to get down the proces of prepare-plant-harvest-process-store.
    Yet each stage, if not done correctly, can make the previous stages worthless.
    So no, I don’t figure it is an excuse to not do it right; but I DO think that in the presence of agricultural-warlike govenments, empowered by banking, the disaster is likely to be as universal as it can be… unless we find out how to deal rightly with them.
    I thrnk our failure with regard towards them might have to do with us not installing courts of justice, perhaps with us not enacting justice.

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  • Sat, Jun 16, 2018 - 4:38am

    Reply to #1

    rheba

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 22 2009

    Posts: 46

    Chance to do a Little to Control Access to Neonics in Massachuse

    Farmers need to speak up to get The Massachusetts Pollinator Protection Act (H.4041) out of House Ways and Means. It is stuck there and needs to get unstuck to meet July 2018 deadline for passage. Check NOFA website for more information. There will be a rally at the state house and people are asked to sign petitions.
    House Speaker, Robert DeLeo, is the one who could do this. He is said to be holding it up.
    https://actionnetwork.org/letters/ask-your-legislators-to-cosponsor-the-
    http://www.bit.ly/mapollenaction

    This bill has the support of 135 out of 200 legislators. It was passed unanimously from the House Agriculture and Environment Committee in 2017. This bill also directs the Dept of Transportation to identify opportunities for the introduction of pollinator habitats along highways and on department property.

    We may not be able to ban neonics yet and we may not be able to get the EPA to do its job. But we CAN get this limited bill past the legislature in a rich state where local food is said to be important.
     

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  • Tue, Jun 19, 2018 - 2:29am

    Reply to #45
    fated

    fated

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    Joined: Feb 16 2014

    Posts: 52

    Dick Smith?

    Reply to Chris.
    Perhaps (in-fact) the only Australian of any prominence I can think of who recognises population as the root of our problems, and tries to spread that politically unsavory message is Dick Smith.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Smith_(entrepreneur)
    Perhaps he is someone worth contacting for an Australin get together.
     
     

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  • Sat, Jun 30, 2018 - 7:39pm

    #64

    newsbuoy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 134

    Trump-Justice Kennedy connection?

    But what Trump is much nearer to becoming is a Tyrant. He already believes he is ‘above the law’. He even says it publicly. And a politician ‘above the law’ is the classical definition of Tyranny!! Of a Tyrant. Trump is a tyrant in the making. Tyranny is being installed before our very eyes. So what has this to do with the Trump-Justice Kennedy connection?
    https://jackrasmus.com/2018/06/30/is-there-a-trump-justice-kennedy-resig

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