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Where are the Solutionairies?

The revolution is taking place as we speak. It mainly goes unreported in the corporate press but if you put your ear to the ground and open your eyes, the world is changing rapidly. The world that is being birthed needs solutionairies. We need people who CREATE the future.
Citizens are waking up every day and adopting Green sensibilities. The evidence is all around us (One example out of 100's - Green investment funds now have $2 trillion to invest).

We live during a period where the gap between what is and what could be is HUGE. What stops us from creating what could be is the garbage between our ears. Too many people waste their time analyzing what is rather than what could be. Too many people sit around going "woe is me", I'm powerless. They ______(fill in the blank with your favorite scapegoat) have all the power and money and we have nothing. IT IS TIME TO STOP THIS BS.

Life is tough. Grab a helmet and let's get busy changing the world.

The Solutions 27.Oct.2007 12:26

Lloyd Hart dadapop@dadapop.com

Have been around a very long time such as:

Waste water recycling
Wetland restoration
Make paper from farmed fiber
Bio-diverse forest and watershed restoratation
Grow food organically
Energy conservation
Flipping energy production to the alternatives
Real racial justice

I personally have educated myself in all of the above fields of study but they mean nothing without the political will to change. Political will unfortunately sometimes is produced with the blood of tyrants and patriots.


Lloyd 27.Oct.2007 17:34

Brian the Green

No offense intended, but what do you do with your knowledge?

With the knowledge you've acquired, you should be able to do something. The point of my post was that we need to stop believing we are powerless. From your comment, you make it seem that sustainability requires political action by others. They have the power, we don't.

The truth is, political action is happening and things are moving swiftly. The Republican Governor of California is trying to position CA as the leading green economy. Portland has an office of Sustainable Development. LEED Certified buildings in SF get their development plans approved in 2 weeks rather than 9 months. The organic food market is growing rapidly. Hybrid cars are the rage.

It is time for us to end our analysis paralysis and to move forward, together, creating a new paradigm. The future is Green and we are seeing the beginnings of it.

The giant cathedrals of Europe were built over 300-500 years. The people who laid the foundations never got to see the final product. Our job is similar. We must build the foundations for a green future. Grab a helmet and lets start building.

hi 27.Oct.2007 17:35

thanks

and the most important solution of all...

use less and live simply

Live simply....yes 27.Oct.2007 18:38

fed up

find a way to store hydrogen produced from solar panels (very easy) and design engines to burn the hydrogen which is more efficient than gasoline and COMPLETELY green. What is holding up the show?

collective action 27.Oct.2007 19:29

antonio gramsci

The most basic problem, Brian the Green, is that although the solutions have been evident for a very long time, the dead weight of history and the power of a lot of rich old mostly white male fucks is holding up the show. They need to get swept out of the way, but they keep their stations at the pinnacles of society because most of us are too scared to do anything to really rock the boat. We don't want to look "too radical," become unpopularity, lose our jobs, and wind up pushing shopping carts under the Burnside Bridge. We don't for the most part really have any experience with collective action bringing about massive social change, and lack any confidence in our own abilities. Like you said, we are looking for change from above. Or we get tripped up in the whole reactionary morality play trip of believing that all we need to do is make some personal "lifestyle" changes and the whole world will become better right away.

Reactionary ideologies rule this country, ideologies that tell people that only something called "the free market" should be allowed to decide the shape of our society, not people collectively and democratically working for the common good. Those rich white fucks are the principal beneficiaries of these reactionary ideologies.

All of this must change, or any positive trends at the "personal lifestyle" level will be piss in the ocean. Even if the rich white fucks figure out sooner or later that their nice beach houses are going to get trashed unless something is done about global warming, whatever they do won't end up helping the rest of us living hand-to-mouth, cowering under crumbling levies, breathing toxic shit from factories, dying like flies from epidemic diseases spread by feedlots and other horrific industrial livestock practices, etc, etc.

a fly 27.Oct.2007 19:51

on the wall

I agree with what you say Brian as far as getting out of paralysis etc. However, we are past the point of being able to make some sort of smooth transition.

All the hybrid cars in the world will not make a bit of difference. Green building this, hydrogen that, hybrid tech --- none of this touches the basic problem.

The Al Gores of the world, continue to tell the lie that "we can grow the economy and protect the environment too"

As long as we are channeled into solutions that require economic success in the current set of economic rules, they will not be solutions at all.

We do not need green development. We need an end to the idea of endless development, green or otherwise. Green development is an oxymoron. Today, ideas such as energy efficiency, resource efficiency etc are mostly used as a means to justify continuing to use more, not use less.

When we start to hear real discussion of shrinking the economy instead of growing it, then we will know we are talking about solutions. Until then, it is almost entirely a greenwash.

Private Sector Bullshit 27.Oct.2007 21:32

Lloyd Hart dadapop@dadapop.com

Sustainability is a lie and so to is the green washing that came with it. What we need to do in the time we need to do it means we must end the economy and focus on the emergency. There are no profits in wetland restoration so it will not get done in your "private sector is more effecient" scenarios. We don't have centuries. We are out of water now. Our crops are failing now. And please don't give me that great cathedrals of Europe crap. Those symbols of the mass murder of Europe's enlightened women and the men that tried to defend them the so-called heretics should be torn down and beaten into dust and the priests in them thrown in the streets. The lie that "man has dominion over earth" that has brought us to this arrogant place came out of those torture chambers.

People must stop working and focus on food production and distribution which will lead to wetland and bio-diverse forest restoration. If you think the capital markets are going to be the savior of us all or even survive this catastrophe that the capital markets created in the first place then your fucking nuts. People are going to want to survive this catastrophe and they will give up the very thing that is killing them, going to work at jobs that are laying waste to the positive feedback from nature.

It is obvious you know nothing about human biology. Human are no different than ant other species. Human will do what is nessesary to survive.
If you think that the US military is any match for six billion hungry people then your as stupid as every rich person I've ever met. Stupid and arrogant.


Oh and by the way 27.Oct.2007 21:41

Lloyd Hart dadapop@dadapop.com

Just watch them rebuild all those homes that burned to the ground in southern Cal out of wood while Weyerhauser continues to rape the Great Bear coastal forest in their green washed Great Bear sustained lie. Fucking baby boomer capitalists. What bunch of fucking losers.


Hydrogen is not green 27.Oct.2007 21:46

Lloyd Hart dadapop@dadapop.com

There is a limited amount of hydrogen in the environment and it's busy doing something else more important than fulfilling man's arrogant transport vanity.


Unlimited Hydrogen 28.Oct.2007 06:58

H20

The water molecule can be split, cheaply. That provides unlimited energy from a SMALL amount of seawater. we are slaves to suppressed technology and don't even know it.  http://waterpoweredcar.com/inventors.html

Hydrogen is not green 28.Oct.2007 07:48

Lloyd Hart dadapop@dadapop.com

Whatever fresh water gets produced from sea water by man or nature is already spoken for. In case you haven' t noticed there is a massive drought spreading around the world. America is in the worst drought of it's short history. Lake Mead is 103 ft. below normal. Lake Powell is 80 ft. below normal. Lake Lanier that supplies Atlanta, GAs five million people with tap water has less than a ninety day supply left. You are focused on the wrong thing. Wetlands, forests, lakes etc.. Natures mechanics not ours.


woof woof 28.Oct.2007 15:15

suppressed technology!

There are wing nuts who believe that some magic "suppressed" technology can split hydrogen using less energy than you get back by burning it. If this were true, then it would indeed be possible to use this process, which falls in the general category of falsehoods called "perpetual motion machines," to desalinate seawater, split the distilled water molecules left over, and then combine the resulting 2H2 + O2 to get water and magic energy back, in any quantity desired. Unfortunately, this is bullshit, but since this is Open Publishing any idiot can post any kind of crap here whenever they see the word "hydrogen," like Pavlov's drooling dogs.

Solutions 28.Oct.2007 15:32

Brian the Green

We will always have an economy. We will always have neighbors. Let's band together to get things done.

I agree that we need to consume less. That is a necessary both spiritually and physically. However, we will continue to consume simply by our existence.

While I have doubts and concerns about a never ending growth economy, there are massive opportunities right before our faces to shift the economy and grow the sectors we want to grow.

Green buildings might not save the world but it is possible with current technology to go beyond Platinum LEED and build a building that can operate almost entirely off the grid (generates its own energy, handles its own waste, collects and handles its own water). This is a good thing.

We can choose to shop and buy from cooperative businesses. We can require that the people we buy from tell you what they are doing to make the world a better place. If they can't tell you and lack transparency, find a different vendor. You have the power to ask, and then vote with your dollar.

Considering our economic system is over 65% consumer driven, this is a great leverage point. There are many ethical, principled businesses that are seeking your support to create a new world. Let's support businesses that get it. Let's support politicians who get it. Let's support leaders who get it.

One of our goals is to remain hopeful even as we look at the evidence. Analyzing all the current problems does NOTHING to get us where we want to go.

I love that word -- 28.Oct.2007 15:39

Jody Paulson

"Solutionaries" -- did you make it up yourself?

People can do a lot of green things in groups, but my own personal focus has always been "what can I do to create change on an individual basis?" -- and there's a lot we can do. One of the simplest (and probably healthiest) on the "green front" is to stop eating meat. I'm not a vegan, and I don't want to come across as a hypocrite (which almost anybody would if you examine their lives closely enough) ... but people can always start from wherever they're at. And if your town has a farmer's market, buy locally! It costs so much in oil and transportation costs to ship animal feed, animals to slaughter, import shrimp from the Far East while shrimpers in Alabama lose their livelihoods ...

Just asking a simple question, like "is this coffee fair trade?" can make a huge difference if enough people do it ... whoever makes the buying decisions at that coffee shop will end up hearing about it and adjust their purchases accordingly. One person can only do so much, this is true ... but at the same time I think change starts with the individual.

And, BTW, Lloyd, so does power. Most people abdicate their power out of ignorance, for the sake of convenience, or from the desire to dodge responsibility. But all political power in the world is derived from the consent of the governed, whether they are aware of it or not. Let's all get aware. That's one of the greatest solutions of all.


WUC 28.Oct.2007 16:17

H

"While I have doubts and concerns about a never ending growth economy"

Really, at this point you should have no doubt about it. It is a disaster. It must be done away with as a concept. If your basic problem is that you are addicted to something that will kill you in short order, then talking about anything else is but a distraction and will prolong the problem.

We do not need a bunch of 'green' buildings. We need to cut down on building.
We do not need a bunch of hybrid cars. We need less cars.

There is no time, not at all, to have some long slow transition. The shit is hitting the fan and there will not be 1/10th of 1 percent of buildings replaced with 'green' ones before we are struggling just to eat. At that point there will not be much talk of green buildings, I promise you that.

Real solutions? Get off the grid. Create communes where you grow your own food. Reclaim urban land for growing. Learn how to can fruit and vegetables. Get lots of sweaters cause long before there is a green building that can keep you in the temperature range you are accustomed to, you will not have the ability to heat/cool the building you are in. Get serious. The level of denial about what is coming and how fast it is coming is remarkable. Get guns and learn how to use them. Learn how to treat wounds, broken bones, and illness. Grow and learn to work with medicinal plants. Save seeds.

Growing economy 29.Oct.2007 09:39

Brian the Green

I don't want to squabble but I believe it is possible for our economy to grow. Certainly not in its current state but an economy is simply the production and exchange of goods and services. We can do this in ways that benefit the planet.

If all of goods we produced were based on cradle to cradle principles, the limit of material goods is nearly unlimited. (I am not suggesting more consumption, I'm simply saying that a living building, a wooden toy, natural fiber clothing, etc. can be supplied in an endless closed-loop system).

We have an unlimited opportunity to expand our service economy. This is the process of one human helping another. Whether paid or not, this is part of the economy and is invisible to us because we don't measure it.

hey 29.Oct.2007 13:43

ho

"I don't want to squabble but I believe it is possible for our economy to grow. Certainly not in its current state but an economy is simply the production and exchange of goods and services. We can do this in ways that benefit the planet.

If all of goods we produced were based on cradle to cradle principles, the limit of material goods is nearly unlimited. (I am not suggesting more consumption, I'm simply saying that a living building, a wooden toy, natural fiber clothing, etc. can be supplied in an endless closed-loop system)."


Sorry Brian,

Please take a step back from this sort of thinking. Life is not measured by production. Thinking of Life in terms of production is the brainwashing that has been applied to minds to keep them a part of the economic system. Take some time to deconstruct your own thinking patterns. Or in Matrix terms, take the red pill.

There is no possibility for the economy to grow without cease. There is no possibility for it to grow under any terms, including the current ones. Endless growth is an impossibility. The thought that it is, is completely out of touch with how Life works. That it is desired, is a fundamental imbalance in the psyche.

If all goods we produced were based on cradle to cradle principles, we would be producing 1/20th as many goods. If all goods we produced were based on the radical idea of whether they were needed and not the insane impulse to produce at all costs, we would produce even less.

Within the body, endless production is called cancer. It is no coincidence that cancer rates are soaring when we ourselves are functioning as a cancer in the world. We are reaping what we sow.

Hey HO 29.Oct.2007 14:37

Brian the Green

I'm not a proponent for growth. But in the transition from our current state to a new sustainable economy, there will be tons of growth opportunities for businesses and other organizations that meet human needs in a sustainable way. This will occur while old organizations fade away and collapse.

There is no limit to the amount of care we can give each other so YES, the economy can grow without limits.

I don't think of life in terms of production. However, I assume humans will continue to buy, make and consume. There are many, many ways to do this without significant harm to the world. Some are ancient technologies, some are brand spanking new. The point is, they exist and analysis about the current state of affairs does nothing to move them forward. We need solutions, not analysis.

It is possible for us to feed, shelter, clothe, educate, entertain, transport and amuse ourselves without destroying the planet. There is nothing new that needs to be invented. Grab a helmut and get busy.

to whom are you trying to sell this program of unlimited growth? 29.Oct.2007 19:14

unlimited greenwash for greedy rich liberals

Limitless growth, as an idea, is only important to the people trying to keep rich investors united as a political force ... without the myth of limitless growth, investors would see each other as competitors rather than allies and fight with each other for the biggest slices of the pie. Limitless growth is Bush's promise to "make the pie higher." If you don't happen to be the owner getting the bulk of the limitlessly expanding dividends, then limitless growth just means a limitlessly expanding work week and a limitless speed-up on the job. The economy is not your friend.

No one is selling limitless growth 29.Oct.2007 21:54

Brian the Green

I think you've confused the message. The message is about getting active. Pick something you want to decrease - say bottled water consumption. You can spend your time analyzing and complaining or you can figure out creative ways to shift consumption and perceptions - Re-brand bottled water to an unhealthy negative, do taste tests, educate folks, increase recycling rates for those that don't/won't change, promote the use of reusable bottles. All of these are doable actions that will create the future you want to see. Analyzing and complaining changes nothing.

Say you'd like to see less consumption of corporate entertainment. How can you create alternatives? How can you support alternatives?

The list and possibilities are endless.

I will say there is tremendous market and business opportunities for those who shift to the new paradigm. Organizing a business to meet the needs of customers, staff, the earth and the community is a good thing.

hey 29.Oct.2007 22:04

ho

"I'm not a proponent for growth."

You are a proponent for growth. You have stated so repeatedly.

You say get to work. I can think of no more important work than tearing down the lie of endless growth and the especially egregious version by the liberals who have the utmost arrogance to say they are going to do something positive for the global environment while they are indulging in the endless growth and all the resource extraction that demands.

And every time you repeat again that endless growth can work, I will point out that this is not so because this idea is the worst idea ever imagined by a human being.

hey 30.Oct.2007 08:31

ho

"Analyzing and complaining changes nothing."

There is no need to change anything. It is changing all by itself. The whole thing is in a near freefall. Industrial society as we know it is over.

Green business is just a way for business as usual to continue. But if you want to go make a business selling more (green) shit to people that they do not really need, well then, go ahead.

Other than the general idea of getting active, which I agree with, none of the suggestions you make will help the world at all. I believe it is imperative to get away from business and its mindset.

If your house was burning, you would not start thinking about how you can create some financially viable business to deal with the fire. You, and hopefully your neighbors would run to the stream with buckets, and pour water on the fire to try and put it out.

Our house is on fire and you are talking about business. Really, this is a mark of the insanity of our society and the deep denial. This is an emergency, an acute crisis. What we need are thousands of people who will stop going to their jobs, not focus on making more busy work in order to generate income in the name of some green future that is nothing but a fantasy.

Hey Ho 30.Oct.2007 10:47

Brian the Green

Thank you for telling me what I believe. I appreciate it very much since I wouldn't have figured out my own thoughts without your interpretation.

I am a proponent of change. When an old tree falls over, a new tree grow in its place. Is there growth? Yes, the new tree is growing and at the same time, the old tree dies.

We are in the midst of a paradigm shift of profound proportions. A new world is not only possible, it is being created as we speak. Just open your eyes and you'll see evidence almost everywhere you look. The old paradigm is present and is still the dominant paradigm but is is being supplanted. Our job is to birth the new culture into being.

Partnerships rather than domination
Transparency rather than secrecy
Bottom up rather than top down
Cooperative rather than competitive
Ecologically benign to beneficial rather than ecologically destructive

You can help foster the change. Hopefully, you are the change.

Part of this change is keeping in mind that people don't fall into distinct camps but rather, follow a continuum along almost any axis imaginable. Let's not berate people for the spot they occupy but instead, respect them for where they are on their journey and help them make the shift to deeper and deeper levels of awareness.

hey 30.Oct.2007 14:15

ho

"When an old tree falls over, a new tree grow in its place. Is there growth? Yes, the new tree is growing and at the same time, the old tree dies."

Things grow. That is very different from the economic concept of growth. Same word, different actuality.

Human beings are using far too many resources. We need to use far less. Most importantly, we need to grasp that the earth is not ours to use as we wish.

Real solutions? Stop taking oil out of the ground. Voluntary oil abstinence. There is a real solution.

You say something new is emerging. What you say is emerging is the same old pattern. There is more CO2 being put into the atmosphere by humans than ever before. We just have clever new justifications.

Why don't you ask the indigenous people living in Ecuador atop the oil reserves. Ask them if they want you taking the oil from the land where they live so you can build a 'green' building for yourself. Their answer will be no. So the green builders are the same old same old. Taking from others for their own interests. We always have a clever excuse. We never admit that it is not ours. We never voluntarily give up. No, we come up with clever excuses why we are the leaders, paving the way to a bright future and that we are justified to take from others and from the earth for our use. It is one kind of missionary zeal or another. Same basic pattern has not changed in centuries.

btw, I have been a solutionary for many many years. I appreciate your call to action, but simultaneously a deeper analysis is also needed if action is going to be meaningful.

Hey Ho 30.Oct.2007 15:34

Brian the Green

I agree that we consume too much. You'll get no arguement there.

But there is a new paradigm rising. Every human alive will consume resources. I wish there weren't 6.5 billion of us but there are and that is another discussion. But the humans that exist WILL consume resources. Supplying the resources can be done with great harm or with minimal impact. This includes how we impact the indigenous of Ecuador.

We are in a transition and I recommend we think incrementally. I doubt you'll find many people who are willing to go oil free tomorrow. That would be admirable but it isn't going to happen. I do believe we can and should take incremental steps in that direction, and that those steps are better than none, and at least get us closer to the goal. It may not be perfect but a perfect plan that won't be implemented isn't very useful.

Also, I agree we shouldn't take from others. I also believe we all have a right to live and make a living.

hey 30.Oct.2007 19:12

ho

"We are in a transition and I recommend we think incrementally."

We are in a crisis and I recommend we plan accordingly. If your house is burning down, you do not take incremental steps like teaching people how to make buckets which could hopefully be used some time down the road to pour water on house fires. By then it is simply too late. Hybrid cars are a complete waste of resources. The day of the personal car is over. Recognize this and act accordingly. Being forward thinking is to act and do the things that others are not ready to yet. Starting a company that builds hybrid cars would not be a 'green' business.

Building a 'green' building in suburbia which cannot function without the personal car, is not forward thinking. It is just a new sort of opportunism.

For one clear perspective read Kunstler... here is his latest...

Assumptions

October 29, 2007,
When historians glance back at 2007 through the haze of their coal-fired stoves, they will mark this year as the onset of the Long Emergency - or whatever they choose to call the unraveling of industrial economies and the complex systems that constituted them. And if they retain any sense of humor - which is very likely since, as wise Sam Beckett once averred, nothing is funnier than unhappiness - they will chuckle at the assumptions that drove the doings and mental operations of those in charge back then (i.e. now).
The price of oil is up 53 percent over a year ago, creeping up now toward the mid-$90-range. The news media is still AWOL on the subject. (The New York Times has nothing about it on today's front page.) The dollar is losing a penny a week against the Euro. In essence, the American standard of living is dropping like a sash weight. So far, a stunned public is stumbling into impoverishment drunk on Britney Spears video clips. If they ever do sober up, and get to a "... hey, wait a minute... " moment when they recognize the gulf between reality and the story told by leaders in government, business, education, and the media, it is liable to be a very ugly moment in US history.
One of the stupidest assumptions made by the educated salient of adults these days is that we are guaranteed a smooth transition between the cancerous hypertrophy of our current economic environment and the harsher conditions that we are barreling toward. The university profs and the tech sector worker bees are still absolutely confident that some hypothetical "they" will "come up with" magical rescue remedies for running the Happy Motoring system without gasoline. My main message to lecture audiences these days is "... quit putting all your mental energy into propping up car dependency and turn your attention to other tasks such as walkable communities and reviving passenger rail... ." Inevitably, someone will then get up and propose that the transition to all-electric cars is nearly upon us, and we should stop worrying. As I said, these are the educated denizens of the colleges. Imagine what the nascar morons believe - that the ghost of Davey Crockett will leave a jug of liquefied "dark matter" under everyone's Christmas tree this year or next, guaranteed to keep the engines ringing until Elvis ushers in the Rapture.
The educated folks - that is, the ones subject to the grandiose story-lines of techno-triumphalism taught in the universities - are sure that we'll either invent or organize our way out of the current predicament. A society that put men on the moon in 1969, the story goes, will ramp up another "Apollo Project" to keep things going here. One wonders, of course, what they mean by keeping things going. Even if it were hypothetically possible to keep all the cars running forever, would it be good thing to make suburban-sprawl-building the basis of our economy - because that's the direct consequence of perpetually cheap energy. Has anyone noticed that the housing bubble and subsequent implosion is following the peak oil line exactly?
It's a bit harder to discern what the assumptions really are among leaders in the finance sector, since so much of their activity the past ten years has veered into sheer fraud. The story line that everyone is putting out - from the Fed chairman Bernanke to the CEOs of the Big Fundz - is that American finance is a python that has swallowed a few too many pigs, but if we jigger around interest rates a little bit more, and allow some more money to be lent out cheaply, the python will eventually digest the pigs and go slithering happily on its way along the jungle trail with a burp and a fart. From this vantage, one sees a rather different story: more like a gang of human grifters sweating through their Prada suits as it becomes increasingly impossible to conceal massive losses incurred through overt reckless misbehavior. My own guess is that a lot of these boyz will be in line for criminal prosecution before too long.
The political assumptions one hears are the most astoundingly naïve and ridiculous, especially the ones that involve other countries and our relations with them. NY Times followers no doubt believe, along with Tom Friedman, that the global economy is now a permanent fixture of the human condition, and that soon it will transform itself into a colossal engine of "green" (i.e. benign) commerce. Friedman and his followers tend to forget the second law of thermodynamics when spinning their fantasies of a world that can harmlessly manufacture and market an endless number of plastic salad shooters from one side of the planet to the other without incurring any losses to the health of said planet.
My own assumptions are somewhat different. I think we're likely to see a lot of nations scrambling for survival, initially manifesting in a contest for the world's dwindling supply of oil (and oil-like substances). For instance, when viewing the globe, few people consider that Japan currently imports 95 percent of its fossil fuel. Japan has been a "good boy" among nations since its episode of "acting out" in the mid-20th century and has enjoyed a long industrial prosperity since then. But what happens when there is not enough oil in the world to be allocated rationally by markets among the powerful nations? Will Japan just roll over and die? Will they shutter the Toyota factories and happily turn to placid tea ceremonies. I think Japan will freak out, and it's hard to predict exactly who will feel its wrath and how.
Similarly, Europe. Americans view Europe as a kind of theme park full of elderly café layabouts swaddled in cashmere as they enjoy demitasse cups in the outdoor cafes of their comfortable art-filled cities (some of them not long ago rebuilt from rubble). Europe has let America do its dirty work for it in the Middle East for the past decade while enjoying tanker-loads of oil coming up through the Suez Canal. Europe has only had to make a few lame gestures in defense of its oil supplies. But the North Sea oil fields, which for twenty years have hedged the leverage of OPEC, are crapping out at a very steep rate. Sooner or later Europe will freak out over oil, and geo-political flat-earthers will be shocked to see that all the nations of café layabouts can mobilize potent military forces. God knows whose side who will be on, exactly, when that happens, and where America will stand - if its own military is not so exhausted that it can even stand up.
Personally, I think the world will be growing a lot larger again, and less flat, and that eventually America will find itself isolated once again between two oceans - though incursions by desperate foreign armies in one way or another, is not out of the question as the great struggle for resource survival gets underway. In time, however, I think the current Great Nations of the world will lose their ability to project power in the ways we've been conditioned to think about it.
In the meantime, our own nation has become a society incapable of thinking, and the failure at all levels of rank, education, and privilege is impressive. If you listen to the people running for president - many of them overt clowns - you'd think that that all the comfortable furnishings of everyday life can continue with a few tweaks of the dials. They are cowards and it is possible that they perfectly represent a whole nation of cowards who deserve cowardly leadership. The danger, of course, is that when a non-cowardly leader finally does step forward in a desperate America, he will not shrink from pushing around a feckless people, or doing their thinking for them.

 http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/

what is your problem already? 30.Oct.2007 23:40

brian the analyzer and complainer

This is a website. A political website. Anything anybody posts here is analysis and complaint. You're analyzing and complaining about the perceived shortcomings of the rest of us, in that you believe we aren't doing enough to change things. Go do whatever it is you want somebody to do and come back and tell us about it.

Hey Ho 31.Oct.2007 13:55

Brian the Green

I agree with William Kuntsler. He makes sense AND, he offers solutions -- make your community walkable and revive passenger rail. These aren't complaints about the car.

I don't believe things will go on as usual. I don't believe continued consumption patterns simply "greened" will save the planet and the countless other species on the brink of extinction. I can think of 100 things that will be different in the next 50 years due to the decline in oil and our expanding awareness. Why aren't we making the changes now? Why do we think we need a new President (or Congress, or Governor, or Mayor, or Supreme Court, or new law, or...) before these changes can occur?

I believe we are more powerful than we think. I beleive the changes are happening, but again, you aren't going to learn about them in the corporate press. Our job is create that new future. Our choices are simple: Keep doing things the old way and wonder why things don't change, or do things in new ways.

The point of the original article was to get active implementing solutions.

hey 31.Oct.2007 16:05

ho

"The point of the original article was to get active implementing solutions."

And a good point it is. However, some analysis is needed on what constitutes a solution. Hybrid cars for example, are not a solution. Public transportation is. Certain realities need to be understood to put efforts into useful directions. Anything that extends and props up car culture is a negative at this point.

Otherwise yes, let's work on solutions. I'm all in!

Something new 31.Oct.2007 22:03

Brian the Green

I'm reading a book called "The Living Company". It's about a number of things but the guy who wrote the book was on a team at Shell Oil that looked at "was their life for Shell after oil?" One of the things that caught their interest were some European companies that have been around for almost 800 years!!! The average lifespan for a Fortune 500 company is less than 40 years.

I'm not here to talk about corporate America but what I found interesting was their study of how organizations learn and make decisions. What they found, was that trying to predict the future was pretty much futile. Even when you are right on those rare occassions, people don't respond how you would expect.

He gave the following example. Say you visited the mayor of Rotterdam in 1928 and had PERFECT information about the next 25 years. You had a meeting with the mayor where he listens to you in total belief. You are telling him much different things than he hears from his other advisors but he gives your input even more weight than the others. You tell him that in the next 25 years, the Nazis are going to take over his city, they'll go through two world wars, all of his ports will be destroyed and the city will experience carpet bombing and be leveled.

What would you expect him to do?

It is likely he will do nothing. Who else would believe him? What would they do?

It seems there is a part of the brain that builds memories of the future. It happens when your mind is thinking about the future, which it does constantly. Generally, about 60% of the futures are good, and 40% bad. If you get off that ratio, then you are either a total optimist or a total pessimist. The point of all of this however, is that you can only react to data inputs IF you have a memory of the future for the incoming data to stick to. In the case above, the mayor has no memory of the future you painted so there is no way for this information to stick.

Accordingly, what the Shell planning experts found to be much better for planning and action was to look at possible scenarios rather than absolute predictions of the future. What would we do if.......we ran out of oil in 10 years?
......oil lasted another 50 years but prices doubled every 5 years?
......climate change never got any worse?
......The government impossed Marshall Law?

There was more sophistication in how they developed scenarios but it was the only way to get people to learn new ways of thinking and acting differently WHEN new situations actually arise. Otherwise people continue their same patterns LONG after the time to act has passed.

So I ask you, hybrids might not be the answer under your predicted future, but might they be a reasonable response IF, oil lasted another 50-100 years and prices doubled every 10 years? I don't see cars going away anytime soon (especially if people haven't thought about that scenario) so it seems to me, that building more hybrids and less regular cars is an improvement.