Common Dreams / Richard Heinberg / 20 September 2016
When it comes to forecasting the future, count me among the pessimists. I’m convinced that the consequences of decades of obsession with maintaining business-as-usual will be catastrophic. And those consequences could be upon us sooner than even some of my fellow pessimists assume.
Yet I’m not about to let this pessimism (or is it realism?) get in the way of doing what can still be done in households and communities to avert utter doom. And, while decades of failure in imagination and investment have foreclosed a host of options, I think there are still some feasible alternatives to business-as-usual that would actually provide significant improvements in most people’s daily experience of life.
The gap is where the action is. All else—whether fantasy or nightmare—is a distraction.
Insurge Intelligence / Nafeez Ahmed / 19 April 2016
A report commissioned on behalf of a cross-party group of British MPs authored by a former UK government advisor, the first of its kind, says that industrial civilisation is currently on track to experience “an eventual collapse of production and living standards” in the next few decades if business-as-usual continues.
The report published by the new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Limits to Growth, which launched in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening, reviews the scientific merits of a controversial 1972 model by a team of MIT scientists, which forecasted a possible collapse of civilisation due to resource depletion.
We are experiencing a world economy that seems to be reaching limits, but the symptoms are not what peak oil groups warned about. Instead of high prices and lack of supply, we are facing indirect problems brought on by our high consumption of energy products. In my view, we have a double pump problem.
We don’t just extract fossil fuels. Instead, whether we intend to or not, we get a lot of other things as well: rising debt, rising pollution, and a more complex economy.
The system acts as if whenever one pump dispenses the energy products we want, another pump disperses other products we don’t want. Let’s look at three of the big unwanted “co-products.”
growthbusters.org / Dave Gardner / 19 November 2015
We’re putting together engaging, meaningful, in-depth conversations about our place on the planet – with the leading thinkers. When I sent the episode list to Greenpeace International co-founder Rex Weyler, here is what he wrote back:
“Wow. What a great collection of interviews. This is really a classic archive of important voices.”
Today, there is mounting evidence indicating that the path of unlimited growth is similar to a slow motion genocide. The end of cheap energy, the catastrophic scenarios of climate change, and geopolitical conflicts over natural resources illustrate that the years of seemingly unlimited progress are forever gone.
To cope with this challenge, the flimsy mantra of sustainable development is not enough; nor is betting on eco-efficient technologies or a supposed transition to any “green economy”. Indeed, all these versions of friendly development disguise plans for the general commodification of natural resources and ecosystemic services. Technological solutions, to both the environmental crisis and the decline in energy production, are insufficient. Further, the ecological crisis is not an incidental problem, but an essential one that is affecting many societal issues: food, transportation, industry, urbanization, military conflicts… In fact, it concerns the foundations of our economy and our lives.
We are trapped in the perverse dynamics of a civilization that does not work if it does not grow, even if growth destroys the resources that maintain the civilization. Our culture, completely addicted to technological and market solutions, has forgotten that, in fact, we are inherently part of an interdependent ecosystem.
This almost 2-hour long interview was recorded in Samuel Alexander‘s backyard in a Melbourne suburb in April 2015. Part of it is slated to be used in a documentary called “A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity”, written and produced by Jordan Osmond and Samuel Alexander. The documentary is set for release in April 2016.
Inner Transition is occasionally overlooked in favour of more immediately ‘practical’ undertakings, reinforcing an observed and acknowledged division in many Transition Initiatives between “doers” and “talkers”, but for Transition Initiatives looking to foster a kind of community resilience that is equitable, inclusive, nimble, responsive, caring, and cohesive, Inner Transition efforts are a necessary place to start.