i’ve been told it doesn’t have anything to do with sanskrit, but it’s still pretty good. apparently it’s from chérie carter-scott’s book “if life is a game, these are the rules”

an abbreviated history of fossil fuels, by the post carbon institute, from which i also posted this excellent analysis on growth. the title of this video sums up my idea of the near future quite well: ‘the next ten years will be very unlike the last 10 years.’

PCI’s point is that, we have to learn four things very fast:

  • – learn to live without fossil fuels
  • – adapt to the end of economic growth as we know it
  • – support 7 billion humans and stabilize population
  • – deal with our legacy of environmental destruction

can we?

dominik wind, berlin activist & thinker, participated in a panel at the influencer conference the other week, and this blog post pretty much summarizes the panel. you should really read it, especially for the researched facts.

There´s no better way to sum this up then Ronen Kadushin, who developed the open design concept, did at the panel: “We´re pretty much fucked.” Dave Pollard wrote: “We have unleashed the sixth great extinction of life on Earth […]. We have created a political and economic industrial growth civilization monoculture that is unsustainable, out of control and unstoppable. I´m a hopeless optimist so of course I can´t take “unstoppable” although reading through my research I´d agree on “probably unstoppable”.
The only quite utopian option I can think of is that a majority of us understands:
Industrialism and consumerism are the reason for, not the solution of, the problem. The technocratic promise of “inventing our way out of the problem” is proven wrong by the sheer numbers and statistics. It brought us here. We CAN´T have more cars, more traveling, cheaper clothes AND our planet. It´s time to act, the window of time left to act is closing.

yes, it sounds alarmist, but he has a bunch of figures to back it up. i pretty much agree with him that we are living in critical times. and perhaps all we can do at this point is damage control. we’ve heard about runaway climate change, and that virtually all scientists agree on what’s happening. in the US, activists are fighting keystone XL, and in mckibben’s words, if they fail, it’s ’game over for the climate’. we’ve even been told that our time will be coined ’the age of stupid’.

so, where do we go from here? i do fear it might be too big of a problem. it seems like people need to personally feel the effects of something before starting to act. however, we might not have the luxury for trial-and-error; the error might set us back too far. perhaps there’s no other way than to run everything into the ground, and start all over again with what’s left. reset. perhaps sustainability is something that our current society just wasn’t built for. perhaps from a greater perspective, sustainability means that the natural system will get rid of the destructive factor: mankind.

on the other hand, perhaps damage control can significantly us slow down before the crash, so we might be able to survive. but we need to turn the steering wheel hard, now. we have to go back to the drawing board and create systems that are not based on unlimited economic growth. i think we need to act and communicate with a high level of urgency (similar this dylan ratigan or howard beale), and get shit done. anyway, there’s no reason not to try it. nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy. and who would like to be involved in anything less than saving the world?

i’m looking forward to meeting dominik again to figure out some solutions. and he’s not as gloomy as it might appear from the excerpt. after all his blog is subtitled ’replace fear of the unknown with curiosity.’

unlimited (economic) growth – in my view, the most dangerous assumption underlying the failing systems. we’ve built an ‘intergenerational ponzi scheme’, where we “steal from the future, sell it in the present, and call it GDP.” the quote is from paul hawken, and i found it on the blog of the brilliant kyra choucroun, who wrote a very insightful post on breaking out of the unlimited growth mindset!

i posted the post carbon institute’s brilliant analysis of unlimited growth and its impact on the environment a while ago, well worth taking the time to watch. as naomi klein pointed out in her #occupywallst address, these two issues are inextricably linked: “The new normal is serial disasters: economic and ecological.”

the script for the video comes from andrew simms, fellow at the new economics foundation (NEF), one of the most important institutions to help us find a way out of the mess we’ve gotton ourselves into. i am very much looking forward to #occupytogether on october 15 and hope it can be a start to turn things around.