Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Salem needs to LEARN -- and fast


A one-page acronym to define five actions necessary to avoid societal collapse because of the imminent decline of finite fossil fuels:
LOCALIZE agriculture, energy production, social services, essential manufacturing, etc. All will have to regress to a limited “twenty-mile radius” community. This will not be a choice. The inevitable curtailment of transportation fuel will reduce future travel. Intercity light rail will be impossible without energy. www.postcarbon.org.

EDUCATE yourself and others. We passed peak oil in late 2008. Natural gas, coal, and fissionable uranium are not far behind. Without ever-increasing energy, real growth, including a debt-based financial system based on future principal plus interest, cannot continue. Recognize the fallacies of bogus solutions like: “There’s plenty left”; “The scientists will save us”; “We can efficiency our way out of our dilemma (not if we don’t reduce consumption)”; “Biofuels, including waste, cellulosic ethanol, and grease will suffice” (at the expense of food). The honest facts must reach the public, the media, and decision-makers even in the midst of denial. Start with www.peakoil.net, www.theoildrum.com, www.321energy.com, etc.

ADAPT to a very limited solar-electric future as our only hope of perpetuating any semblance of the brief fossil-fuel age. This vision could be sustainable, clean, and far superior to our ancestor’s harsh existence. A solar-electric sequel could integrate with waning fossil fuels and all other energy sources such as limited hydro or geothermal into a modern electrically-based system and allow individuals to take control of their own production with PV. Also included are wind and concentrated solar.

RATION all fossil fuels starting immediately with gasoline. This is the only way we can reduce consumption on a controlled basis without increasing price-competition and conflict over the remains. Rationing is probably our best chance to buy time for mitigation and give our kids a chance for the remnants of the party.

NEGATIVE population growth. This is the toughest and most critical issue. With peak oil we have passed peak growth. Our short cornucopia of excess resources (including fossil fuels and all natural resources) has ended. We have far too many people in the US and the world for a sustainable civilization. If we don’t get the correct facts out and convince people to begin negative population growth, mother nature will reduce population in her own cruel ways. See www.npg.org, www.optimumpopulation.org, www.worldpopulationbalance.org and others.

We all need to understand and project this acronym.
Source: www.solarcarandtractor.com

I bought and distributed several hundred copies of John Howe's excellent short book, The End of Fossil Energy and the Last Chance for Survival, so I'm already predisposed to like him. He has a gift for cutting through the extraneous and getting to the few crucial items at the root of things. His LEARN acronym is a great advance, offering us the chance to say, in a page, exactly what we must do as a society.

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