When I was young and idealistic in the late 80’s I embraced globalism and sustainable development. I was then aware of peak oil and climate change having studied them in collage in my geology and environmental electives. I also took a great philosophy class given by a somewhat radical Jesuit who believed in fighting economic injustice of the 3rd world. I remember him asking us how many different types of food processors do we really need in reference to the then rapidly expanding consumer culture. At the same time the worlds poor were rapidly growing in size and inequality. I bought into globalism with time in Europe and eventually a Spanish wife. I learned some German and Spanish and actually live those cultures. I spent a year working in Germany as an apprentice at a construction company. I was anti-American culture then. I rejected the plastic suburban consumer culture of my world. I avoided Americans and live European. I found European culture intoxicating.
I am now against globalism after nearly 20 years of being a doomer and 15 being a dedicated prepper. I am now a dedicated alternative living proponent I am pushing my REAL Green Deep Adaptation. Prepping for possible societal collapse is part of this but the real push has come from understanding the energy and growth trap we are in. This catch 22 trap means we can’t green decouple (Fake Green) and we can’t degrowth (True Green) with any measurable success for systematic reasons. We are too far into technological development supporting population and consumption overshoot. The planet is in human induced succession environmentally with all the worlds great ecosystems. Planetary systems are being altered geologically and with climate. The various planetary cycles and the web of life are negatively converging to alter the planet beyond the stable regime human’s growth accompanied. Quality resources that allowed that growth are depleting. Soils and water resources fully exploited. All we can speak of positively is technology and the accompanying knowledge growth. Yet, this is also the problem because this has not contributed to wise growth. Humans are now in a late stage capitalism of anything profitable is exploited with increasing rapidity resulting in wealth and inequality and general population increases. We have the technology and the knowledge but we do not have the behavioral control. We can’t even get along which points to a population too large for human behavior to manage. Our tribalism clashes with our drive to globalism.
Globalism is likely the pinnacle of human productivity but also destructive change. Humans will never match the current system of comparative advantage combined with economies of scale and global capital flows. This combined with technology and consumerism. Technology being the mechanics and consumerism the behavior. We are not going to decouple from this and address planetary destruction especially because the destruction has already tipped systems into their own particular change dynamics. Decoupling is preached as a way to grow without side effects. Now tell me does that work with anything? We now must live with consequences of our growth. Decoupling will fail because the right combination of population and behavior is not present. There is a point beyond which decoupling can work and humans have long since moved beyond that point.
Degrowth is not possible without dramatic destructive forces of economic abandonment resulting in dysfunctional networks and irrational resulting behavior. It is far easier to build systems up then degrowth them rationally. This is especially true when human behavior for the most part is not up to the task. We have Fake Greens and those who believe there is no need to degrowth to begin with. These people actually believe more growth will solve are problems. They want more economic growth and more population. More ominously is the fact that most of the global population is incapable of understanding the issues to begin with. Even those who can are delusional with the solutions. Much of our academia and scientific best are part of this acceptance of the science showing the dangers but delusional with the solutions. A very small percentage is truly awakened to the honest science. We then have the nurturing in both industry and politics of pathological personalities of the extreme individual. There flawed humans are running the show.
Human behavior cannot degrowth in these circumstances because this requires sacrifice and likely severe pain as the deck chairs on the sinking ship rearrange. In real degrowth people will starve. The idea we can eat insects and turn the world’s economies into a mass producers of food energy from whatever makes the most for the most is a hoax. Real degrowth is reduction in population and consumption both resulting in pain for systematic reasons. You mess with a complicated system in a complex civilization and destructive change happens. This pain is especially true because so much human activity should not have developed in marginal locations. Tell me how that is going to sell anywhere? This means human civilization will increasingly take the default of being driven into destructive change by self-organizing forces both human and planetary. We will react with what we do best and that is more technology and more resources exploitation. This is more of the same which as we know some of our best minds have called insanity.
My REAL Green Deep Adaptation says accept this circumstance and respond accordingly as our ancestors did back when life was precarious. Then humans reacted locally and in small groups. This is the Deep Adaptation. The REAL Green is responding in a relative way. Green is better locally and individually but Green has to be embraced carefully because the status quo is not green or it is Fake Green. Late stage capitalism will swallow you up and spit you out if you take it on head to head. You yield to the forces of change both human and planetary. You make an effort to decline in place and under the radar of hostile forces. You are generally defensive and occasionally when warranted offensive with extreme prejudice like any formable creature. The offensive occurs when deadly forces are encountered. You are prepared with security but use it as a last resort.
REAL Green seeks to triage out the unnecessary and embrace the best technologies of both the old and the new so this does not mean being the most technological. In many cases it means no tech or low tech. Most of the time it means a hybrid. All the time it means wise choices and good behavior. Yet the relative part of REAL Green kicks in with the understanding of the failures of human behavior both within and without. This means REAL Green is significantly about behavior as much as physical lifestyles. Inner attitudes are as much of REAL Green as what tech to use or not to use. If you can take the road of stoicism and live more Spartan but do this in context to your status quo position. Dramatic and drastic behavior can wreck years of planning and development. That said there are some who can go TRUE Green which is leaving the status quo completely closer to planetary harmony. Some of the young and unencumbered can do this. Some of the wealthy can buy it. Most will struggle with the task of living in both worlds but this struggle is enlightening and contributes to physical strength.
REAL Green means good health as a basic to building your REAL Green monastery. I call it a monastery because one need only study the monasteries of the middle ages to get an idea of the changes needed. Monasteries were local and they embraced self-sufficiency. They also sought to live with the local political environment by yielding to greater powers. They were non-confrontational. They practiced a dedicated way of life. REAL Green in my case is pastoral. A excellent way to embrace REAL Green is a permaculture farm but this is not the only way. REAL Green is an add on to your existing lifestyle and your higher power belief. Be realistic most of us cannot leave what we have so adapt it. REAL Green seeks to connect what you already have to planetary and human realities. This is where the Deep Adaptation comes in. You are doing this because you acknowledge planetary and human decline. You embrace planetary and human succession instead of fighting it or denying it. If you do this the planet and the best of human behavior will support you.
You also accept that pain and suffering will be apart of this so this is why you embrace a new stoicism based on planetary realities. You live Spartan because destructive change means less affluence. You beat the rush so you lose less. Those who have done the house cleaning will be far more able to save what is worth saving. Clear the deadwood out with triage efforts. This does not mean rejecting the fruits of consumerism. Consumerism is killing the planet but it is beyond your context. In your local you will collect all the old and new stuff of high value for your journey into the brave new world of decline. This is where the prepping occurs. The reason you will not embrace consumerism too much is REAL Green means avoiding clutter and distractions. In most cases you will not have the resources to indulge in the unneeded. You will also cast off the social narrative of unproductive leisure which tends to clutter life. Your REAL Green leisure is productive and related to building your monastery.
Finally, with REAL Green Deep Adaptation you will realize that none of these efforts will save you from the macro situation of decline and decay. You acknowledge you are only as good as your local and when or if SHTF you will suffer the same consequences that your unprepared neighbor but likely less severe. There are no guarantees your efforts will matter. What matters is the meaning and enjoyment in the here and now and the understanding you have done all you can for yourself and your significant others. You then have the meaning to face death better. This leads to the understanding of the importance of your local. This means you will invest in your neighbors as best you can without coming out with who and what you are. Remember only a few can understand REAL Green Deep Adaptation. Most if they knew what you are doing will mock and belittle you as a cook. Not that this matters because you have found inner meaning. Where this remaining under the radar matter is your efforts to be below the purview of destructive forces. Those who broadcast they are preppers are a target when collapse occurs. In the end before your last breath if you have your faculties then meaning and the truth are what you want to take with you. You will also want to leave all your stuff to those who matter.