The most creative solutionJanuary 25, 2011
Twenty years ago I was organizing an environmental advocacy group and publishing a magazine. Confronted with the overwhelming power of the establishment and the forceful machinery that the authorities could mobilize, I was often disillusioned, discouraged, and disheartened.
What can one do against bulldozers leveling a piece of forest? What can one tell the municipality workers, who start their chain saws to cut down alley trees? The workers have to make a living, they will lose their jobs if they refuse to kill the trees.
I never stopped pondered and dreaming, never stopped searching for creative solutions, for bold and novel ways to stop the war against nature. In my days as environmental activist I was sometimes able to outwit the institutions and I caused modest changes. In retrospective, it was not worth it, I was not able to shake the foundations of the system.
I was not able to convey to enough people, that this system, this way of living is unsustainable and destructive. I was not able to convince people, because they were addicted to consumerism and because they got their daily brainwashing by TV.
Sometimes I dreamt about a technological invention, that could stop all the combustion engines. Sometimes I dreamt that there would be a sudden silence and nature would get a chance to recover. In my blog post MOTHERS OF THE WORLD I told about one of my crazy dreams where an “Explosion Disabler” would stop all engines.
All this came back into my mind when I read these two reports:
Reading this reports reaffirms my belief, that the burning of fossil fuels has to be reduced as much a possible. When oil prices exceed 150 US$ per barrel, this will happen automatically. The engine noise will not stop suddenly, but it will slowly fade out.
When fuel for tractors and trucks becomes more and more expensive, production and transport will also cost more and food prices will rise. When natural disasters will ruin the crops and food will become scarce, prices will soar to exorbitant heights. People will have to buy the expensive food and there will be no money left for other consumer goods.
All the new iPads, iPhones, laptops, 3D-TV sets, camcorders and other hot gadgets will remain on the shelfs. All the new cars will remain in the showrooms. The airplanes and cruise ships will remain empty. The governments will print money like crazy and talk about “jumpstarting the economy”. New economic incentives will be discussed and new bailout packages delivered and the deficit will become astronomically high and subsequently unmanageable.
I always despised the narrow-minded and inflexible liberals who talked about economic growth and how necessary growth is to achieve prosperity for all. They were dead wrong, the wage disparity increased despite growth! Growth is not the answer. “Growth for the sake of growth is the philosophy of the cancer cell”. (Edward Abbey).
So the liberals will be whining about the spending cuts and the resulting hardship for big parts of the population. It is their fault too! They told their constituency that our wasteful and inefficient way of live would go on forever with just a few tweaks here and there.
And the conservatives will triumphantly cut spending and reduce taxes even more and they finally will achieve their goal of destroying “big government”. And when they realize that they did not only destroy the government but the system as a whole it will be too late. The system will crumble and fall into pieces.
People will organize in small grassroots committees and take over empty factories and people will start growing food in their gardens and on reclaimed land and nobody will bother them with property claims because there will be no police departments and no FBI agents and the local policemen who formerly got their orders from the government will work for the neighborhood committees and will defend the community against intruding criminals and roaming bandits.
And there will be barter markets and fairs and convoys who fetch needed tools and materials from the reactivated and renovated factories who are now owned by the workers.
We had something similar already after the big economic crash in Argentine at the turn of the millennium.
Just yesterday I discussed with my wife where to plant new fruit trees in our garden. Next year we will also have potatoes again and maybe we install a second greenhouse.
I want to end this post with an excerpt from another text, where I described, what comes into my mind when I look at a pendulum swinging back and forth.
Looking at a pendulum I associate with it: The oscillation of a self correcting system (for instance an op-amp with negative feedback including latency achieved with coil or RC network). The ups and downs of natural cycles with feedback. The ups and downs in a free market economy.
This last association is strongly related to the main theme of this text, because a wildly fluctuating free market economy is wasteful and inefficient and therefore damaging to nature. As I let my associations proceed one step further I come to this notion: A wildly fluctuating free market economy could be destabilized and destroyed by using a downward swing to just push a little but further down so that the self regulating forces of the market (demand — supply) will not be able anymore to generate an upward swing.
How could that be done?
Stop buying. Drop out. Stop consuming. Leave the party. Don’t give them a chance to brainwash you — don’t waste time with corporate media. Take part in small networks to make the big systems irrelevant. Avoid bank services and any other financial services as far as it is possible. Cut your credit card into pieces!
Dear reader, if you are put off by this text, If you don’t like the conclusions and recommendations, please accept my apologies. I understand you and sympathize with you. I know that it is hard to leave the familiar roads. I know that it is terribly hard to break the old habits. I know that it is difficult to “think out of the box” and hard to learn something new and do something in a completely different way.
Be assured that like you I would love to change the laws of physics and especially the laws of thermodynamics and I would love to live in a world with an unlimited supply of energy and materials and I would love to use nuclear energy if there would be no plutonium and tritium and cesium and strontium-90 and the nuclear power plant could be built and maintained by a local neighborhood committee.
You can call me a conservative libertarian materialist socialist trotskyist pacifist tree hugger.
You have read this text till the end
You are my friend