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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Daily Peak Oil Rant

Today's topic is relocalization, and comes from the Post Carbon Institute:
Without unprecedented preparation and cooperation, however, oil and natural gas depletion will precipitate massive disruptions to essential systems such as food, energy, transportation, security and health care, and almost certainly, a major decrease in the earth's carrying capacity. If mainstream awareness of energy peak occurs during a crisis, we will find ourselves well along the amoral path of endless war for control of dwindling resources, black hydrogen fueled by coal and a reemerging nuclear industry, further restrictions on citizen and human rights, and increasing concentration of wealth through globalization and the money system. During a period of draconian governance in the midst of a permanent energy crisis, all of the gains garnered by environmental and social justice groups in the past 50 years are subject to roll back at best. At worst, recent history is full of examples of what happens when humans with powerful weapons get desperate – they reach for demagogues, Fascism and war.

Though no panacea exists for dealing with the peaking of energy supply, clearly Global Relocalization is a building block; other important parts of the foundation are peace, equitable distribution of a portion of Earth’s bounty, and social justice. Relocalization is the process by which communities localize their economies and essential systems, such as food and energy production, water, money, culture, governance, media, and ownership. This process will require that we rebuild our cities to severely reduce transport needs and support localization of essential systems - ecological city design provides as framework for this transformation. To effectively address energy scarcity and curtail biosphere destruction, relocalization must occur globally and with some degree of integration. Essentially human civilization needs to prepare itself to do less materially with much less energy and fewer natural resources, with the ultimate goal living within what is left of a reasonable carrying capacity, however reduced that may be. Any other approach can be considered a form of assisted suicide – with nature doing the assisting.
The whole article is here.