Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Get it Together

Here is part of a pretty good piece by Sharon Astyk, thanks to the Energy Bulletin.

"Now that we know that peak oil is now or about 10 minutes from now, and that climate change is a disaster that is happening today, we need a massive change in policy - that is, we need millions of people in the US to come to a rapid consensus about what constitutes the American way of life and how we should change it to be compatible with our survival.

We have no choice, because we have no time. But while Exxon and Shell are getting their message "we're working on new technologies, don't worry about the rising temps and the rolling blackouts" we're not getting any useful or unified message out AT ALL.

Seriously, people who have heard of and researched peak oil often look at it and think "if this is true, it is the end of the world, therefore I'm not going to think about it." And they don't. They look at climate change and see their government not acting and hear the counter messages, and they say, :"no reason to do anything differently" or they think it is the end of the world again, and they might as well have some beer.

And we in the peak oil and climate change movements are not much helping this along.

Oh, we're calling for more studies and arranging public demonstrations, but we have no unified message, and no consensus. Some people are pushing a unified message - Heinberg and Campbell's Oil Depletion Protocol is certainly better than nothing. But even that isn't exactly catching the world on fire.

Ultimately, we are plagued by the basic fact that even many of the people offering these alternatives don't believe that large scale change is possible.

But, of course it is. (clip)

We've changed everything we think and how we live so many times that I can't count them all - we've had a billion revolutions, and we can have another. Yes, it would be radical, radical change. So what? So was the American revolution, the anti-colonialist movement, the worldwide women's movement. All of those things took unthinkable things and made them real. (clip)

Practical public relations, then, is the next big project for both peak oil and climate change. Thus far, people who have spoken for the most part have been scientists - very good, very smart scientists, but they have been, while wise, often a little boring.

We cannot afford to be boring.

We are telling the truth, and the lies that are being told are not boring - they are very carefully crafted. Time to compete. Better yet, time to win. Ultimately, everything is told in the form of stories.

And good stories usually trump bad stories."

The writer goes on with these 10 easy ways to change the world. And they are pretty well considered.

She closes with this:

"We need to connect the dots - over and over and over as clearly as possible - that peak oil and climate change mean poverty and suffering, hunger and diminished opportunity - and we need to do that fast.

Enough with depletion rates, yes, they matter, yes, they are important. But what people need to know is this - this is a human rights exercise.

Our right to live, our right to a future."

Now, over the last 2 1/2 years of this blog, and over the last 2 1/2 decades of my activism on these issues, I have developed a gracious abundance of patience with myself and with those I touch and see.

But, I have also created a new life in a mountain home, with food, and friends, and shelter that needs little energy in a developing nation that can withstand the changes that are on the road ahead.

While in the developed world, I work everyday in the bowels of the beast trying to move our present carbon based world into a post promethean world that truly runs on light, a world that values justice, that appreciates beauty.

Yet, within all of that, I see my own complacency.

I crave my comforts. I love to eat dinner out.

Last night, while eating out. I ran into an inventor who is about to start up a big innovation in solar PV. When we visited 3 years ago, he felt he could produce his product at 1.00 a Watt. Last night, he indicated that he needed to sell his product for the going price. I see the same thing happening with other inventor/ developers.

In order to get the money, they must conform to the Capitalist mindset.

So we must reshape the capitalist mindset that is blocking the solution.

And we must craft a political consensus that transcends

the current liberal-conservative infotainment blather.

Even KOS gets it.

"It's past time for all the various organizations interested in possible replacements to oil -- from Energize America and the Apollo Alliance to Set America Free and a dozen others -- to set aside their differences. We need an oil alternatives summit. Not a conference at which people can present papers, or a broad discussion of energy policy in general. Not a seminar on what we might do three, or two, or even one decade from now. We need a meeting to hammer out a unified, achievable approach that can be pressed into legislation."

We need to drop our knuckle dragging nationalism,

our tuna can party labels, our political philosophy grave yards,

and all the other corporate myths that have been programmed

into our biocomputers for the last 50 years,

and get it together.

We must become one people,

of the Earth, in the light of creation,

with Liberty and Justice

for All.


"unity" courtesy of Monica Stewart and All Posters

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really nice piece.

The facts, nothing but the hard cold facts and still it managed to be up lifting - hopeful.

9:21 AM  

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