måndag, augusti 20, 2012

Got a point

How to live with less
One of the most important lessons for people to learn today is how to live with less material goods than they have been led to believe is theirs by birthright. In the West we gobble up resources at an alarming rate, and people in former Third World countries are now copying us. But for all sorts of reasons, the party's over. Here are some of the main reasons:

Conventional oil, which fuels our expedient lifestyles, has peaked. Forget dreams of shale gas and Alberta tar sands – these are just shadow plays concocted by investors and politicians and believed in by those who want to believe in them. From now on, as we tumble down the far side of the supply curve, we will see steadily climbing prices of everything from food and energy bills to healthcare and technology.

Population is continuing to climb, despite the fact that most people are reliant on cheap forms of energy, particularly oil and natural gas, to deliver calories to their bodies. This will not end well.

The West is broke. We have lived beyond our means for too long. No amount of money can compensate for a lack of cheap concentrated energy. The East might be playing catchup with us, but they face the same constraints on this small, finite planet, and will face the same future.

Technology will not save us. Everything from computing tablets to nuclear power stations depends of processes which are highly energy intensive and prone to supply disruptions, politics and financial bubbles. Some technology will cushion our fall, but in the long run the industrial civilization faces the same fate as every other former civilization: a rapid deceleration in speed and reduction in the level of complexity. Technology = complexity. Complexity = weakness. It's our major blind spot: see it.

Given all that, it's highly unlikely that we are going to see our standards of material living increasing again in the future. So if we assume that we have the choice between becoming poor voluntarily and being forced to become poor against our will, which one shall we choose?

Från Bloggen: 22billionenergyslaves