Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Just a post to regather my thoughts

Where we are at as a civilisation is a result of the exploitation of high return on investment (ROI) energy sources, an adaptable intelligent species suited to social organising and a diversity rich planet with a fairly stable climate.

Agriculture and large areas of resource rich sparsely populated land have allowed human populations to sky rocket in the past several hundred years. In the industrial age fossil fuels have been recruited to produce our food resulting in a situation where several times more energy is put into producing food than comes out of it. Fossil fuel based fertilisers and biocides have propped up monoculture's and have with machinery allowed for over half the worlds populations to be crammed into citys. This dense concentration of people and cheap energy has resulted in ever increasing levels of complexity and has allowed large numbers of people to live resource rich lives.

Unfortunately the ways of farming we rely on have always destroyed our soils with deserts dogging our footsteps wherever our current style of agriculture has moved. Deforestation for agriculture, fuel, timber etc has changed much of the worlds climate and fossil fuels have a kick back - global warming.

Without fossil fuels to prop up our agricultural systems they will collapse - for most of the worlds grain producing regions this collapse will be largely irreparable in the mid term future. Without fossil fuels and facing food and water shortages all major nation states will invariably collapse. With changing weather patterns agriculture will become more and more difficult and with the worlds carrying capacity dropping quickly large scale civil disruption is inevitable.

Alternatives have been developed, deserts can be reclaimed and climate change can be survived. Local forms of organising and control of resources can provide workable alternatives to centralised control. People are not inherently evil or stupid - they have to go through many years of training institutions and fragmented homes to create that and even then its never completely successful.

Where we are now is a product of a long chain of events - its not something inevitable mystical or evil. Where we go from here is also based on physical realities, unfortunately a lot of those realities are negative. As environmentalists we must fight with these realities in the back of our mind, we must see the chain of events to understand why things are how they are and how we can be most effective.

Fighting against things such as fossil ful use without realising we are calling for a global collapse of all the worlds economys is a waste of our and my time. If we believe what we say we do about how fucked things are then we can never ever ever have the governments agreeing with us. And it is my opinion that the public is so reliant on these current systems that they will fight to defend them until alternatives are developed and they are no longer reliant on things as they are.

The latest issue of Unity talked about climate change for a hundred pages and forgot to mention that industry and large scale civilisation will have to be ended to avert large scale climate change. This is symptomatic of the wider environmentalist movement - so wrapped up in our desperate struggles to save the patches of land around us we do not have time to identify the train of events leading up to the present day. And this is a train which cannot be stopped only derailed and when it derails due to a breakdown in its workings or some dynamite on the tracks people will get hurt.

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