REAL Green Energy

I have repeatedly covered this topic in REAL Green.  A carbon neutral world by 2050 is a complete pipe dream.  It is more than that it is a dangerous way of misleading people into believing they can have their cake and eat it.  This means people think we can continue to live as we do and even progress technologically and go carbon neutral.  This is what I call FAKE Green.  This is the platform extremist liberals are pushing.  This along with socialism is going to solve our problems.  What a joke that is, a pipe dream of industrial build out to be carbon neutral and it will all be paid for by wealth transfer and money printing.  Where do extremist liberals get educated?  This is a position many in the best of academia and the scientific community are embracing.  This FAKE Green position is science denial almost as bad as science denying conservatives take.  Both sides are a joke.  One side just disregards the science or deny it.  One side embraces the science and then denies the reality of the solutions.

Very few are REAL Green.  REAL Green says acknowledges failure as the starting point.  The very beginning of the science, behavior, and the consequences is failure.  The Kübler-Ross stages then kick in for those who have been deceived either by disregard, science denial and or solutions/consequences denial.  This pretty much covers most of the human population.  Doomers and preppers are considered fringe.  Does that give you an idea of just how bad it is going to get at some point when holistic results of net energy depletion strike?  This net energy decline will be from declining net energy of fossil fuels that meets the physically impossible task of energy transition to renewables while maintaining the growth paradigm?  This is the nature of the carbon trap and path dependency.  We have the physical trap and the behavioral trap.  REAL Green says this means failure is assured.  REAL Green has solutions for this macro condition that will never be embraced but should be considered to understand the best it can get.

REAL Green solutions are a hybrid world with lots of triage, salvage, and relocalization.  The cost is still staggering but the difference is behavior starts from failure and proceeds to life boats and hospices.  Life boats and hospices is another description of degrowth, mitigation, and adaptation.  This will involve economic abandonment and that means dysfunctional networks and irrational policy will be inevitable even with the best of intentions.  This is because we will have to embrace the chaos of decline that is often swift and unpredictable.  We will need to accept pain, suffering and death that declining affluence will ensure.  This means a mammoth educational effort would be needed to prepare a mass of dellusionals people smart and challenged for an equivalent of an asteroid of damage to this late stage civilization.

The way REAL Green would approach this is first the behavior would be embraced.  We then would have a hybrid world of new and old ways.  Deadwood would be cleared out to make room for a new way.  This would also be a hybrid of capitalism with socialism as the gate keeper.  In fact, we might have to get even more authoritarian but since this is REAL Green fantasy for demonstration anyway let’s keep it to enlightened tough love socialism.  The reason you still need capitalism is the productive elements of the global economy of just-in-time, free capital/knowledge flows, comparative advantage specialization, and global transport would be needed to produce the tools to go back to the old ways and maintain the sinking ship.  The best of the new ways with all that knowledge must be maintained.  The Infrastructure fabric that keeps all of us fed, warm, and productive is in place an cannot be discarded without great loss and or cascading failure.

REAL Green is about managed failure or in medical terms terminal illness maintenance.  Triage of the worst of the current system with consumerism and modern high energy leisure being eliminated as an example of draconian moves.  Population would be managed in a draconian way.  A two-tier society of a greatly reduced core that controls, manufactures, and delivers tools for a relocalization of most of the rest is a must.  This means people would be taken back to the land and made to again inhabit it in seasonality, intermittency, and low net energy living.  This means back to animals, small farms, and biomass collection revolving around the natural planetary carbon, nitrogen, and hydrological cycles. Unfortunately, this now must occur on a planet in decline and localized failure of a succession process of extinction and pollution.  For those who can manage it would be permaculture and knowledge driven.  For those who can’t it is subsistence living on the margins.  Ideally REAL Greens says the upper tier of the status quo would protect and support these nodes of return for reasons of survival.  The upper tier would understand it is going down and it will want a place to go.  The collapse process requires that seeds of rebirth must be planted and nurtured and the top tier living in the status quo has this as its primary function.  This relocalization then would be the upper tiers main focus of effort and policy.

The best of the old ways would be combined with the new knowledge and technology to make again inhabiting locals in low energy living more bearable.  This means renewables “lite”.  It means maintaining some basics of lighting, food preservation, and climate control.  It means a new education revolving around relocalization into food production, animal husbandry, and home economics.  These things were once part of the normal fabric and now they would have to be rebirthed in a massive education effort.  The upper tier would begin a decommissioning process.  Here salvage strategies would be employed to save those items with high embedded potential for use in a post collapse world.  Valuable resources collected to be used later.  Many industries and ways of life would be shuttered immediately and others maintained as long as possible.  In the military this is called a managed retreat.  All this would have to proceed in as slow and deliberate of a pace as can be managed that pushes the edge of the systematic conditions as long as possible.  The survival of any system is dependent on the degree and duration of the impulse of change.  This means we would have to understand at some point the system even with managed degrowth, deliberate adaptation of the fabric of civilization and the reprograming of human behavior will surely fail.  So, what we would do is open a door of no return into managed collapse with life boats with every one understanding pain suffering and death is ahead.  That is the hospice part.

Of course, this is a REAL Green vision of the impossible for the world but not for the individual and the local.  This is where the above can work.  When I say work, I mean until civilization collapses in from above but you will have beaten the rush to hopefully be ahead of the curve.  You will have taken the ingredients of mitigation and adaptation and through the use of the status quo built up the equivalent of a modern-day monastery of preparation.  You will have done the Kubler Roth with adapted behavior and attitudes of survival.  Denial of death can then be negotiated.  Few can face death daily but many can face the acceptance of it in regards to one’s overall situation similar to terminal illness.  You will of course face collapse like everyone else but you will have in place tools and strategies to negotiate the day to day of collapse.  We have no idea how things are going to come apart.  We do know there are now locations that will come apart quickly and others will have reliance.  Science and intuition tell us this.  If possible, get out of these places.  There will be nothing worse than being caught up in forced migrations.  Of course, those places that do have good strategies will be where these migrants go so part of your strategy must include negotiating hostile and more likely needy people.  You will have to have security strategies and procedures in place.  You will also need to be able to help some but not all.  Most people will have to be denied help.  A good strategy is taking in those with skills and resources and tell the rest to head down the road.  The hostile ones you may have to fight and you may lose.

REAL Green start with the understanding of failure and realizes these are the best of days now and it will only get worse so you begin a deliberate and focused effort to change now.  Yet, you do this in a relative way so you do not fail in the status quo that is providing the means to change.  You leverage the status quo with localism.  You will have to maintain your status quo living as you try to leave delocalization of the failing global system.  You will likely at some point do this in increasing pain, suffering and death.  A situation of increasing deprivations is assured to you think about this daily in preparation.  A good strategy is fasting to feel hunger as an example.  You will try to get ahead of the collapse process intelligently.  Of course, the degrees of adaptation will have to be relative in context of family, friends, and community who may still be in denial and disregard to this systematic process of failure.  This means your efforts will be hampered by external forces of irrationality and denial of change by social convention.  Very few will have the ingredients to make a bold transition.  For most the best that can be done is behavioral changes and the husbandry of basics.  Most have the money and time to take care of the basics.  Those who can should and must get bold because they will be the storehouse of knowledge with tools to establish a return to localism.  At some point when the walls come crashing down it will be resilient and sustainable locals that will pick up the pieces of a reboot of some kind of civilization.

REAL Green acknowledges this might mean a bottleneck or extinction but it is also about a process that is a journey.  For sanity REAL Green orientates its higher power to understand life is now a journey not a destination so meaning and happiness come from the journey to pain suffering and death.  That might sound like an incongruous juxtaposition and it is because the paradox of this new life means finding success must mean embracing failure.  REAL Green does this individually and in small groups because the top is hopelessly flawed and must by planetary definition fail.  In fact, the health of the planet requires modern man will die as we know him  and be rebirthed to a smaller scale.  Again, it must be remembered this may be extinction but because extinction is a process this is about the journey not the destination.

“Getting Real About Green Energy”     peak prosperity

“An honest analysis of what it can’t promise…I want to be optimistic about the future. I really do.  But there’s virtually no chance of the world transitioning gently to an alternative energy-powered future.  These Are The ‘Good Old Days’…Math    So, what would it take to replace those 12,000 Mtoe with alternative fuels by 2050?  Pilke answers that for us:  Another useful number to know is that there are 11,051 days left until January 1, 2050.  To achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions globally by 2050 thus requires the deployment of >1 Mtoe of carbon-free energy consumption (~12,000 Mtoe/11,051 days) every day, starting tomorrow and continuing for the next 30+ years.  Achieving net-zero also requires the corresponding equivalent decommissioning of more than 1 Mtoe of energy consumption from fossil fuels every single day…Human Behavior     One huge reason that an easy, seamless transition to alternative energy won’t happen is because our biological wiring is terrible at responding to such big, complex, long-range predicaments…Each country is currently struggling with its own brew domestic social and political problems (of their own making, I should add). They have neither the appetite or ability to take on the much more challenging task of a 30-year global energy infrastructure re-build.   Making this energy transition will require an enormous diversion of effort – away from this and towards that.  It will be hard.  It will take a lot of political capital and expert leadership.  Huge pain and suffering will result as entire industries are shut down and new ones are started up.  Just drive through any former mill or mining region and you can still see the bitter remnants of its abandoned industries.  Some have not yet recovered, even hundreds of years after the initial loss…Time, Scale and Cost     Similar supply constraints arise if we calculate out the amount of resources required to build the amount of wind towers or solar panels that could replace these nuclear plants.  The costs are staggering, the global resources too limited.  There aren’t enough new hydro dam sites to even make a dent.  Also complicating things, each of these so-called alternative energy systems requires a huge amount of fossil fuels to mine, manufacture, install and maintain. The world has yet to see a single windmill or solar panel that was mined, manufactured and installed without using fossil energy…Conclusion     Given the math, human tendencies, and the issues pertaining to time, scale and cost, the current green energy movement currently is little more than hot air. It’s just not going to happen in time.  We’re nowhere close to being able to build out the massive energy projects required. The equivalent of 3 nuclear plants every two days for the next 30 years? That’s a total pipe dream.  We lack the political will, the cultural readiness, the proper narrative. Even the appropriate resources.  Beyond those concerns, nearly everything about how we heat, move, cool and manufacture the components of our modern lives will have to be refashioned (and possibly jettisoned) as part of that project.  Such an ambitious undertaking has no historical analog.  It’s a ridiculously complex set of problems (which have solutions) and predicaments (which don’t).  It’s exactly the sort of situation that politicians will avoid as long as possible, after which it will be too late to do very much about it.  Which means you need to adjust your expectations and investment of your money and energy, accordingly. The entire world — which is utterly dependent on infinite growth — is only years away from grasping the impossibility of that approach.  When it does, everything will change. Quickly.”

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