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Transition - Time is running OPTIMIST.

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by DJ elektron-, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. DJ elektron-

    DJ elektron- TRIBE Member

    Ok, everybody, it has been awhile since I posted.
    I thought make a post to deal with the elephant in the room.

    Welcome | Transition Network

    A Transition Initiative (which could be a town, village, university or island etc) is a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction. There are thousands of initiatives around the world starting their journey to answer this crucial question:

    "for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly rebuild resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil and economic contraction) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?"

    What we are convinced of is this:

    •if we wait for the governments, it'll be too little, too late
    •if we act as individuals, it'll be too little
    •but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.

    Chris Martenson - Information on the global economy, environment, and our energy challenges. Real estate, oil, community, homes, money. - Chris Martenson, ChrisMartenson.com

    The Crash Course is the world's most concise video seminar on how our economy, energy systems, and environment interact, and how they will impact the future.

    by anonymous

    The emerging security threat from a looming energy crisis

    One has to take a somewhat skeptical look at the ideals of the 20th century especially since a global consensus has been reached about the emerging dilemma industrial society faces. Not only are we at the edge of a proverbial cliff but the “development” that we have worked so hard for seems to have been in vain.

    The science is there, indisputable. We have made a marked change on the planet through industrialization. Energy consumption is growing. The rate of extraction has been high in the past but the amount of return on investment for energy production is getting less and less each day. Soon, very soon, it will become uneconomical to even continue to produce oil and gas because of the cost involved. Alberta Oil Sands are an example of low return on energy investment. Now more than ever, we ought to have huge incentives for zero-emission technology like geothermal, and hydro. Even with a reasonably optimistic outlook, there will not be near enough energy to maintain current requirements for food production, vital transportation routes and general national security operations. It would appear that transition to a new energy source is going to be a nightmare because of the logistics of having new infrastructure to deal with new energy. Does this resemble a ticking time bomb? It would appear so. Is there a solution. Maybe.

    If time is of the essence the remaining supply of energy we have ought to be used very carefully.

    What do we do in the meantime while the future approaches? Logic, reason, and faith would have it that we keep on “business as usual” because that is the status quo. Fear however is sometimes an appropriate response. Survival can hinge upon a wise reaction to a very severe threat. The Copenhagen conference on climate change in 2009 had over 190 countries participate in the talks with no concerted effort to address the scale and magnitude of this issue. Measly reductions and “ambitious” long term targets may do lip service for the cameras but nothing for the emerging reality. Could it be that the human collective is unable to avoid the terror of dealing with broken chains of survival? It would drive a person mad to think so. Best not to think about it, right? Carry on. “Business as usual.” I guess living in denial is part of the compliance to an unspoken imperative of "not caring".

    Sanity demands that we at the very least somewhat prepare for the large-scale crisis we will face if survival chains break down. This is a matter of simple arithmetic. Government policy in conjunction with spirited community action will be the only way to lessen the impact of a transition from hydrocarbons to zero emission technology (if it is even possible in time). It need be said that if Government waits until it is too late then there will be a general social breakdown where policy becomes ineffective. The authority of the state is in doubt when there is no stable cheap energy supply. Most estimates claim that we can trim 1/3 of our energy consumption by simple conservation techniques. At current 2010 trends rather than slowing our emissions we are increasing them because of our insatiable appetite for the hydrocarbon energy equation. Putting a price on carbon may help to stimulate zero-emission activity but again, consumption rates for current survival trends will not be met as we near the threshold of energy production viability.


    Madness? Is the madness the ignorance to the dilemma or the state of the mind one enters when faced with this inevitable truth? Sane action would have us use the creative solving of problems to address our paradoxical circumstance.

    Firstly, we have to identify our problems so we can try and solve them. The main problem we face is our relationship to the hydrocarbon energy equation. Much of our survival has come to depend upon the utilization of energy from the burning of fuel. So therefore our survival is a threat to nature's recent [100,000 years] biological patterns because the chemical interactions caused by our consumption of an “unnatural” energy. It is not that this energy was unnatural, it could be seen as abrupt in the evolutionary chain of being because it came along so “quick” and shocked the system, so to speak. Is our survival that important? What kind of change would need to happen to save the natural world from this threat? And most importantly, are we willing to return to a nature that is compatible with a human economy for living.

    The sickness is no doubt in the system of survival we have come to rely on for meeting our needs. Change would have to come from a conscious collective led by aggressive policy willing to adapt to an unknown future of which natural interactions with the environment are much more valuable. What has happened essentially is that we have grossly stretched the boundaries of a harmonious, natural economy. The scale of which the human organism has reached on the planet has created a scenario where we are now toxic to the lifecycles from which we came. If we overstretch the boundaries from which we came then there is no certainty that we will be able to either adapt or fix the resulting environment.

    Some mental health experts would have it that such ideas are paranoid and deserving of treatment. If the economic recession that occurred in 2008 and 2009 were any indication of the instability of the current operating system for the global economy then it need be said that "normal stasis" [the exponential growth paradigm] needs a new definition. When we reach the threshold of energy production viability the true cost of our hydrocarbon dependent cities will begin to show. The wealth it takes to operate any of the world's larger centres will soon dry up and Sovereign Debt will be next to impossible to repay. This will cause the value of fiat currencies to sink, and most reserves around the world will decrease in value since they are in US Dollars. Looking from an environmental standpoint or a “true cost” economic model it makes things even harder to assess. Poverty will be so widespread that the ideals of the 20th century will have seemed foolish and unwise.

    Our first, real problem is breaking hydrocarbon dependence. How do we get a world of people to stop depending on an energy ratio that without check generates a potential mass extinction scenario? Well by making it perfectly clear that anything else we do is insane. Simple. We have enjoyed the hydrocarbon energy equation and now we have to pay the consequence of all that displaced “natural value” or what it really is, concentrated sunlight. So where does that put us? Separating the madness from the mindful in a world that is in great peril. The perpetuation of hydrocarbon based energy must be viewed as a security threat. Plain and simple.

    How do we allow for this when the powerful elite and corporations have vested interests in policy making that preserves the dependence of fossil fuels?

    Mental health especially in the West has a gross history unto itself. A global population that is stretching for 9 billion that largely depends on the hydrocarbon energy equation for food, medicine and water is a disaster in the making. Anyone who can tackle the complex interdisciplinary field of Climate Change as it relates to human society now and in the future has to be at the very least somewhat disturbed by the current trends. Is there such a thing as peace of mind in the post 2010 global village? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Degrees of Madness, is more like it.

    One need only read History of Madness to find this out.

    History of madness - Google Books

    "The world is sliding into universal Fury, where the victor is neither God or the Devil but Madness itself."

    The scale and magnitude of nature dwarfs a single person's existence, and perhaps it is that way for a reason. Nature is sublime for a reason. Not that much of a stretch for the imagination to say so. A sick person generally shows symptoms of a disturbance. A chief characteristic of the mentally ill is a detachment from reality. Reality could care less about human society, it exists on its own accord. If we fail to address climate change, the Earth could heat up and become like Venus, a barren wasteland. A toxic environment devoid of life. Reality is a concrete phenomenon from which we derive our understanding. It does not work the other way around. Reality does not stem from human constructs. This is why climate change is so troubling, because our understanding of reality will always be a representation of the external, natural phenomenon. No matter how official governments and panels try to be, it is guesswork ultimately because of the thousands, millions, billions of variables involved.

    And that is leaving out the most essential of human qualities, spirituality.


    Credibility of the spokesperson is also important when talking about climate change. Being qualified to speak about the massive complex system that is our natural world without deviating into an “opaque mess” is clearly the case when it comes to doomsday scenarios and mass extinction. Al Gore, David Suzuki, E. O. Wilson are a few people who sincerely tackle the problem with an objective clarity but the irony of their approach is that, as it may reach a lot of people, it doesn't catalyze the needed change. Even the most extreme environmentalists are not able in their actions able to provoke. Moreover, the needed effect could only be caused by a display of international unity the likes of which we have never before seen on planet Earth.

    Notable speakers on the state of the world, whether it is discussing the environment, the economy or the political power balance are already taking heed that the coming years will be a wakeup call.


    China is not going to give up any economic growth because they are mainly concerned with employment, social security and acquiring tangible assets. China does not want to play the role of a global police, nor is it really capable of it. India is set to become a major power broker in South Asia where Climate Change and Anti-Western Terrorism are creating devastating waves of instability in areas like Bangladesh and Pakistan. As the cost of fighting Terrorism increases the West is more likely to fail in the nearly impossible attempt to “root out extremism” especially since Iran and North Korea are reaching boiling points. Populations in Islamic countries are going to surge in the next few decades and the view that the West is a Hegemonic Power of Unjust Countries will spread. Already crippled by the need to get off the Hydrocarbon Energy Equation countries will face an increased risk of Nuclear war. The proliferation of nuclear weapons will be an added threat to the state of peace in the post-2010 world.

    99.9999 of all species to have existed on Earth have gone extinct.
    That said, survival is the ultimate idealogy.
    This is not about "Left" or "Right" but the base impetus of all organisms.


    Looks like Bacteria has a strong "Majority Government."
    If humans do go extinct, or greatly diminished in numbers, we can assume that bacteria may be able to adapt to even
    the worst conditions created by a human-caused climate change.

    The Imminent Collapse Of Industrial Society

    By Peter Goodchild -- 09 May, 2010

    The Imminent Collapse Of Industrial Society By Peter Goodchild

    "With a slightly optimistic view of the future, one can say that a few people will succeed, and that such people will generally be those who have the skills to do so, even if there will be other people who stay alive by sheer chance. The greatest “resource” of all will be the knowledge inside one's own head. People with the information and skills required for supplying themselves and their community with food and shelter, however, can certainly be called survivalists, even if there should be a better label."

    Matthew Stein: The Perfect Storm: Six Trends Converging on Collapse

    "In the mid 1960s, when discoveries of new oil reserves reached their historical peak, we were discovering oil at a rate four times faster than we were consuming it. In recent years, the tables have turned. With technology that is miles beyond what was available in 1960, we are discovering about 1/10th as much oil each year as we did then, but consuming it at a rate five times faster than we discover it. That's like charging $100,000 dollars on our credit cards each year, and only paying off $20,000."

    The Dark Mountain Project

    "We are a growing global movement of writers, artists, craftspeople and workers with practical skills who have stopped believing in the stories our civilisation tells itself. We believe we are entering an age of material decline, ecological collapse and social and political uncertainty, and that our cultural responses should reflect this, rather than denying it.

    We are not an ‘activist’ movement seeking new ways to ’save the world’, but neither are we interested in ‘apocalyptic’ fantasies about the future. We are simply seeking to respond, as workers with the imagination, to the reality we see unfolding around us. We aim to question the stories that underpin our failing civilisation, to craft new ones for the age ahead and to reflect clearly and honestly on our place in the world. We call this process Uncivilisation."



    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  2. Mrs. Pink

    Mrs. Pink TRIBE Member

  3. DJ elektron-

    DJ elektron- TRIBE Member

    Question Everything

    "Of course none of this is particularly clever, no more so than the average person would be up to. But what it has me thinking more about is what will it be like when the gasoline stops flowing. We rely so heavily on our automobiles (or on my motorcycle until recently) to do the simplest things. Like drive a mile to the grocery store. We have already been trying to make fewer trips, planning the shopping list more carefully, so as to cut down on unnecessary driving. But what will it be like to not be able to use a car at all? "
  4. WestsideWax

    WestsideWax TRIBE Promoter

    Well, this explains everything?
  5. DJ elektron-

    DJ elektron- TRIBE Member

    let me try to deduce what the elementary statician was trying to do there..

    Colour Legend:

    Dark Red - Business as Usual or Exponential Growth Paradigm ie. Insanity

    Blue - "essentially steady-state" really means perpetuation of the infinite growth paradigm with a small respect paid to "cost of debt servicing."

    Green - ironically, is the reality when one realizes that "sustainable living" entails moving beyond the current system into a scaled down localized economy.

    Black - the movement or volatility is most likely due to fluctuations in oil and gas prices as they rise, and the demand goes down, which will correspondingly affect price. [most likely scenario, imo]

    Bright Red - Full Blown Collapse, and breakdown of all survival systems and infrastructure. Anarchy, lawlessness and chaos.

    For a detailed analysis about this issue:

    Rob Hopkins: Transition to a world without oil | Video on TED.com
  6. WestsideWax

    WestsideWax TRIBE Promoter

    So what you're saying is that the graph is essentially meaningless speculation?

    Nice wun.
  7. I like Mrs. Pink's elephant in the room photochop better than the graph.
  8. DJ elektron-

    DJ elektron- TRIBE Member

    well, discernable meaning is certainly a valuable commodity..
    in a world governed by madness.

    in the politics thread atp tries to say that in isolation
    global warming is misleading.

    my point to this is that by isolating the phenomenon of -the atmosphere- or the climate without the rest of the whole which is the living biosphere, the humans and industrial society which is reliant on fossilfuel energy, we are doing the topic injustice...one can not seperate Energy, Economy and the Environment. they are all intertwined, and the same.

    whatever subject we talk about there are so many levels of information that it categorically branches out towards infinity in every way...much like how when we view the solar system in relation to the galaxy and the universe in relation to states, cities, blocks, homes, cells, molecules, atoms, electrons, etc...the only similarity that we can make is that the "viewfinder" is the same, any underlying order is simply a construct of external phenomenon.

    the tangible, the real, the concrete is explained by the ethereal, the unreal, the purely mental.

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