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The two primary and most visible points of contact between humans and the earth are where one sleeps and where one’s food originates. Our future relations with each other and the planet will be governed by distance and a return to ways of life that allowed our species to survive in a pre-industrial world, and preserving and adapting technology to a new set of priorities. Local food production will become the foundation of human experience, art and culture.
Chemical-free agriculture and Permaculture are the most effective, direct and unfiltered forms of exchange with the planet. They will enable the largest numbers of people to survive the transition between old and new paradigms. Since everything that we eat and wear was once alive and since all life originates from the earth, it follows that our relationship with our ecosystem is of primary importance.
There will be bigger risks, pain, suffering and loss throughout the transition. Yet there will also be a rediscovery of infinitely greater possibilities for joy and the fullest-possible expression of the human soul.
There is a 96% correlation between GDP growth and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the burning of fossil fuels. – The current economic paradigm centered around the “personhood” of corporations and founded upon fractional reserve banking, compound interest and fiat currency is, by definition, a pyramid scheme and unsustainable. – It is more profitable to destroy life under this paradigm than it is to save it.
This dying monetary paradigm is for now the dominant factor governing relationships with the planet. There are but two options for those wishing to survive: Change that paradigm or disengage from it to the maximum extent possible and allow the old paradigm to wither and pass. It is not possible to change the monetary paradigm. Therefore, disengagement is essential as the old paradigm collapses. Disengagement to whatever degree possible will become a matter of life and death, and perhaps the survival of our species.
Money will be completely redefined. Establishment of local and regional currencies or mediums of exchange outside the control or influence of the current paradigm is an essential step in disengagement.
Everything humans eat, breathe, drink, wear and consume is taken from the earth. There is an inherently sustainable balance point for human population – influenced by its lifestyle – and the earth.
Cheap and easy-to-obtain fossil-fuel energies (coal, oil and natural gas) are depleting rapidly. Energy that has allowed for the extraction, manufacture and transportation of everything consumed by humans is disappearing. Oil and natural gas are not just energy sources. All plastics, fertilizers, pesticides and most pharmaceuticals, lotions, paints, resins, cosmetics and many other products depend on chemical input from oil and natural gas. These chemical inputs cannot be replaced by alternative energies. – There are ten calories of fossil-fuel energy in every calorie of food consumed in the industrialized world. Food production, with fossil-fuel input, has enabled the earth’s population to grow by more than five billion people in the last 150 years. If the fossil fuels go away, the food goes away, leaving depleted, chemically-dependent topsoil behind. – All other life-essential resources, especially fresh water, are under severe stress.
It is not possible to change the energy infrastructure to an unknown combination of alternatives because we have waited too long and there is no combination of alternative energies capable of supporting the edifice built by fossil fuels.
Population and ecological balance will be restored whether humans participate or not. Active, conscious participation can mitigate consequences. Destroying the ecosystem we live in and failing to adjust and reprioritize our use of resources is, therefore, suicidal behavior. Change must happen from the bottom up and individually from the inside out before it can happen from community and cultural levels with increased effectiveness.
The Die Off, as it is called, is an integral part of the irreversible collapse of human industrial civilization. It cannot be avoided. It can only be mitigated. It may be that from this Die Off and transition, a new consciousness will arise among humans or in fact, a new kind of human species: Post-Petroleum Man.
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