Originally Posted by mncarpenter
I think we tend to get a little radical in our thinking. Being aware doesn't mean being an urban guerilla.
But no matter how you slice it...
Is hard to fix without this:
IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE TO DO A 180...Without compulsive spending and conspicuous consumption funded by unaffordable debt, we would fail as a country. Since our economy if fueled 70% by the consumer, we must stay in debt and consume by any means necessary to keep the Ponzi scheme from collapsing.
We must make shoddy products that self-destruct quickly - so new products are in constant demand to keep the workforce of drones working. All the while squandering natural resources. But on a positive note, we are increasing the business of the landfills.
We must not grow our own food. We must buy poisonous food from chemical laden farms. Our concrete jungles could never hope to allow anything else from their inhabitants.
Would you rather eat an embalmed potato or a live potato? The store bought 'Green Giant' red potato vs home grown live KB potato. Both stored for 7 months in my root cellar.
And we must squander fossil fuels as fast as possible to keep the economy booming. What would all the tourists traps from Las Vegas to Florida do without the travelers? And the multitude of business that depend on travel along the pilgrimage routes?
On an a more global level, lets say everyone becomes voluntary simplicity and frugal squirrel devotees. We recycle, reuse, repair and just say NO to buying more crap. If we stop buying all the stuff that America imports from China - who keeps the 1.3 billion plus people in China from starving, so they do not go back to old ways of trying to take over the world?
We can see we have created a time bomb. Even the highest level brainiac economists can't fix what ails us. Our whole system is based on an unsustainable model that will eventually collapse no matter how much money that is printed up by the Fed. (...they don't even need to print money nowadays, all that needs to be done to create billions is to magnetize a silicon chip!)
Tony Benn's take on things:
We can see in the pop chart above, the population was pretty steady over the centuries. People lived within natures boundaries. They grew their food, burned wood for fuel and ate the game and fish nature provided...until the age of fossil fuels.
Whale oil or wood was the prevalent fuel up to that time. As whale oil was running out, coal and liquid coal (crude oil) came on board. Then petroleum / natural gas based fertilizers made cheap food possible.
Fossil fuels allowed people to move from an agrarian from of life to an urbanized city lifestyle that removed all the hard and dirty work of growing and producing one's own food. Fossil fusels also made possible many areas of life extending improvements to humans. And people spread to all corners of the planet and flourished...but by an artificial and non sustainable means.
What happens when something is running at an unsustainable pace?
It must slow down to a sustainable pace - if it is to keep moving forward steadily and sustainably. Slow down = Dieoff.
It would be one thing if we all reverted back to rural living, burning trees for fuel and housing and living within our comfortable means allotted to us by nature, as our ancestors did back in the day. But seven billion people can't burn the trees!
When we live out of balance with natures intended means there is a price to pay to come back in balance with nature. And the price usually extracts pain from us in the adjustment process. Now renewable energy will replace some of fossil fuels benefit to mankind. But don't be under the delusion that they are a seamless and fungible replacement. There is NO replacement for crude, NG, coal and uranium...all fossil fuels.
Even if we did find out how to burn water for energy, petrochemicals make up a large portion of crude's importance to mankind. Roughly 9% of every barrel of crude goes to petrochemical use.
If we stopped burning crude this instant, we would still suck the wells dry, albeit not as quickly, just from petrochemical use. So even if we all stop driving, we will just be postponing the inevitable depletion of crude oil.
A partial list of products made from crude:
Solvents Diesel Motor Oil Bearing Grease
Ink Floor Wax Ballpoint Pens Football Cleats
Upholstery Sweaters Boats Insecticides
Bicycle Tires Sports Car Bodies Nail Polish Fishing lures
Dresses Tires Golf Bags Perfumes
Cassettes Dishwasher Tool Boxes Shoe Polish
Motorcycle Helmet Caulking Petroleum Jelly Transparent Tape
CD Player Faucet Washers Antiseptics Clothesline
Curtains Food Preservatives Basketballs Soap
Vitamin Capsules Antihistamines Purses Shoes
Dashboards Cortisone Deodorant Footballs
Putty Dyes Panty Hose Refrigerant
Percolators Life Jackets Rubbing Alcohol Linings
Skis TV Cabinets Shag Rugs Electrician's Tape
Tool Racks Car Battery Cases Epoxy Paint
Mops Slacks Insect Repellent Oil Filters
Umbrellas Yarn Fertilizers Hair Coloring
Roofing Toilet Seats Fishing Rods Lipstick
Denture Adhesive Linoleum Ice Cube Trays Synthetic Rubber
Speakers Plastic Wood Electric Blankets Glycerin
Tennis Rackets Rubber Cement Fishing Boots Dice
Nylon Rope Candles Trash Bags House Paint
Water Pipes Hand Lotion Roller Skates Surf Boards
Shampoo Wheels Paint Rollers Shower Curtains
Guitar Strings Luggage Aspirin Safety Glasses
Antifreeze Football Helmets Awnings Eyeglasses
Clothes Toothbrushes Ice Chests Footballs
Combs CD's Paint Brushes Detergents
Vaporizers Balloons Sun Glasses Tents
Heart Valves Crayons Parachutes Telephones
Enamel Pillows Dishes Cameras
Anesthetics Artificial Turf Artificial limbs Bandages
Dentures Model Cars Folding Doors Hair Curlers
Cold cream Movie film Soft Contact lenses Drinking Cups
Fan Belts Car Enamel Shaving Cream Ammonia
Refrigerators Golf Balls Toothpaste Gasoline
From this list we can see that we are massively depend on crude for our non sustainable lifestyle.
It has been estimated that for the earth to sustainably support its population without fossil fuels a 90% dieoff must occur. I don't know if that is the right figure, but I do know humans could not live as they do unless it was funded by artificial means via fossil fuels.
So if this dieoff happens, of course there will be great amounts of pain in the world. But it is natures intended balancing act.
It also reminds us that nature does not bow to humans - it is humans that always bow to nature.