Still unknown to millions of people, the entire world is balanced on the knife-thin edge of petro-collapse. We all know that the oil cannot last forever. What we don’t know is how this will all unfold as the world enters a permanent energy decline. The resulting fallout promises to bring down modern civilization to the lowest common denominator of survival.
Billions of lives will be affected around the world. The Great Die-Off, as it is now being commonly called, is not the fictional imagination of doom and gloom authors – but a very real, pressing crisis that overshadowing the entire earth. Industrialized civilizations will be hit the hardest because of their total dependency upon cheap portable energy. The modern world has simply forgotten how to live without cheap energy, cheap transportation, cheap food and cheap heat. Our entire civilization is built upon the stored energy of millions of years of sunlight stored in crude oil. We’re about to find out just how incredibly short-sighted our civilization really is.
There are other factors now at work leading towards global collapse. The adoption of crude oil as the fuel for civilization now threatens the ecological balance of the entire planet. But many people believe it is now too late, the tipping points of ecological and environmental damage has been reached at least a decade ago and the global climate is well underway towards a massive shift.
“Not only have global warming and a massive wave of extinction been irrevocably launched”, but planetary “adjustments” are now occurring that will seriously threaten the very survival of all species, including humans.
Correspondingly, many of our institutions are crumbling too — which can be all taken together as a sign that something is very, very wrong with our present world and way of life.
Basically, we don’t know what the hell we’re doing. It’s now become painfully obvious, although you’d never know it by the extreme levels of mass consumerism that is America (conned-sumerism). It’s as if mankind is tottering on the edge of dangerous precipice, one foot dangling out in space and the other foot is standing on the crumbling ground piled on the edge. There is a growing consensus, that no matter what, we’re going to tumble and fall off this cliff.
The tragic part of all this is, we ventured out onto this cliff entirely on our own by our own desire. In other words, we chose this outcome, even if it was done ignorance. We have known for over 100 years that this was the likely outcome but have consistently and repeatedly ignored every warning.
It’s what we do when we fall — and how the survivors manage to pick themselves up and continue their existence on this planet that now matters. There are hard lessons yet to be learned, and the planetary and species survival ahead is going to be harsh teacher to any survivors of our collapse.
It is not likely that much of our civilization will survive petro-collapse. The very basis of our civilization is cheap, portable energy. There is nothing that exists to replace this energy source or make it just as portable.
“More meaningful action than the technofix is required immediately, and more technology would primarily extend the [provably failed] status quo”.
Rather then expend trillions upon trillions of dollars propping up what is still guaranteed to fail and fall, we should simply declare all of it bankrupt and abandon it for another, better and more sustainable solution.
This other solution is to choose a different type of “civilization” as the new model for living. As painful or as disagreeable as this may be, it’s the only real, viable choice we have. The concept of “unlimited energy supplies” is a factual fantasy that conveinently ignores finite limits. Any civilization based upon this sort of fantasy is destined for a short-term existence. Our petro-society is less then 150 years old and already failing! The resource wars generated by cheap energy in the form of oil have led to some of the greatest human and planetary abuses ever to exist on earth. Perpetuating this monstrous tragedy a moment longer is criminal and irresponsible.
At the heart of this or any would be future civilizations, is the concept of culture – how we live and how we obtain our substance. Can we make the necessary lifestyle changes to a better world? Perhaps. It’s been done before with far better results then what we have today, so yes, it is possible, but what remains to be seen is, will we do it?
I think so. I think some of us are already moving into that direction. It’s painfully obvious that present civilization cannot keep the human species alive indefinitely and various efforts are afoot to try and find a better way. The sustainable movement is one of them. It may not be the best way, or the only way to ensure the survival of our species, but it is certainly a better way then what we have today, which makes it worthwhile and worth pursuing.
Sustainable living however, will not help us avoid the collapse of our civilization. This is going to happen irregardless of what we do, because we’ve damaged and consumed too much now to avoid the collapse. And we’re still deeply entrenched in perpetuating the status-quo, even if we know it’s wrong.
This means “bye-bye civilization”. It means “hello new world” for any survivors.