This is a good article to highlight the hybrid nature of REAL Green. In this article we see the tension between a green realist and an ambitious green. A green realist argues we need to accept science and facts that point to failure. Renewables are not solving the carbon trap and path dependencies. They are only mitigating it. An ambitious green that I often call a FAKE Green believes in doing whatever it takes and offer examples that are usually special cases and cherry picked of where strong transformations can occur. Their moto is “failure is not an option” but the failure is the moto itself because it does not start with honesty of our existential situation.
A green realist and an ambitious green are only covering part of the issue because they are focusing on techno solutions. They often do not include in the debate economic decline. They are focused on climate and not adding to that planetary decline in ecosystems and the web of life. The green realist does accept the fact that people’s comfortable lives will be wrecked. That point of view should be adapted though because how comfortable are modern lives that are often empty and sad in consumerism and inactivity of the digital world, we live in. The ambitious green talks about optimism and doing whatever it takes. REAL Green is fine with this but stresses this type of attitude must come from acceptance of failure first. This failure is acceptance of the carbon trap we are in and goes even deeper with the systematic path dependencies of society itself. These path dependencies are at all levels from the very top down to the individual. Path dependency means society does not have an effective plan nor the education to change so it won’t happen. This is a trap not a puzzle.
This does not mean we cannot be optimistic and ambitious with our personal and local lives. This decline process has a time frame with a measure of degree with duration. This means degree and duration that are so important to a species survival in crisis might be less severe if we have ambitious greens doing what it takes. This is especially true in locals and small groups where seeds of change can be stored for the likelihood of an existential crisis. It is here where resilience and sustainable strategies will come into play. REAL Green takes both the realistic green and the ambitious green and combines them. It does this once acceptance is made that our status quo lives will be wrecked in a process and possibly rapidly depending on how unsustainably we are located. REAL Green’s approach is having Kubler Roth as the center of optimism and ambition. The reason for this is the honesty of this acceptance of failure is a spring board for the application of efforts and techno solutions that reflect the truth. A terminally ill individual will generally choose beneficial behavior if they are honest. The honesty of failure will naturally lead to spartan, stoic, and humble living which is what it will take to mitigate and adapt to wrecked status quo lives.
REAL Green says we are screwed but that is not where it ends. That is the start. This is where the ambitious green can offer optimism and ambitious effort of doing what it takes to mitigate and adapt to something that will be a process with measure. The key to REAL Green is ambition and realism and what is to be avoided is delusional FAKE Green which is just a green washed form of Brown DENIALISM. FAKE Greens make up the majority of greens today. Green today is about doing more of the same with clean and renewable but anyone who is honest with the science immediately sees this lie. REAL Green says you can be ambitious and optimistic but mostly local and in small groups. REAL Green also says techno solutions are part of this process but behavior is the key stating point. Behavior is the building block not more panels and turbines. The acceptance is more than green in REAL Green because we are also going through a destructive change with globalism that has powered techno optimism of the green revolution. What this means is techno optimism is not going to solve the economic crisis we are on the cusp of. This is a key area of failure of the FAKE Green and most scientist and academics who promote delusional programs like the green new deal. They never really get into the economic detail. There is then all the other problems that will require huge investment besides the climate. FAKE Greens can’t get their mind around failure so they do not address the entire picture of a multilevel predicament of many problems and traps. REAL Green transcends this with honesty by saying we are screwed but not right this moment. In the meantime, we have lots of prepping to do and further green prepping is a rewarding life that can make a difference locally with the environment and community.
“William Rees has challenged us to accept his “realistic facts” that renewable energy can’t end the climate crisis, and green energy is no substitute for fossil fuels. The only solution he sees is a deliberate contraction, but since “That’s not going to happen!” we face the possibility of global societal collapse. He argues in The Tyee that hundreds of millions of people must be persuaded “to risk wrecking their comfortable lives” to stave off the climate crisis…Andrew Nikiforuk backs up Rees’s argument, arguing that the radical reduction in fossil fuel consumption needed to tackle the climate emergency “will radically change our economy and de-energize our way of life,” and “we must contemplate an energy descent for which our civilization doesn’t have an ethos or a vocabulary.” Rees and Nikiforuk call this “realism,” but that’s a very loaded word. It says, “These are the facts: you can’t argue with them.” “Be realistic” invariably means “Stop being ambitious.” This kind of realism, applied to the climate and ecological emergencies, sends the message that we’re screwed…Rees is right with the data that wind and solar are only keeping up with the increasing global demand, and that the use of climate-disastrous fossil fuels is still increasing. I don’t dispute the need for a rapid acceleration of renewables, coupled with a rapid, regulated phase-out for coal, gas and oil. We need to switch from being “realistic,” implying the need to accept defeat, to being ambitious, bringing a determination to do whatever it takes. We need to stop spreading the fear that the energy descent needed to tackle the climate emergency will wreck people’s comfortable lives, or that it is something “for which our civilization doesn’t have an ethos or a vocabulary.” Tell that to the Copenhageners.”