I am appalled when I take out the trash. I imagine this trash as it builds up in landfills. I see the leachate entering the sacred water table. I am disgusted with myself. I drive my vehicles to get stuff at grotesque places that offer me so many enjoyments and capabilities. So many choices my head spins. So many possibilities. I use machines on the farm to manipulate nature because nature is no longer allowed to be itself. I do these things because I am human in the Anthropocene. I have no choice. I am trapped. Forgive me I am human.
I am under no illusion what I am doing makes a difference in the bigger picture. Most people I interact with are not concerned with conservation. They know it is a good thing but they don’t live it like I do. Even the mainstream green sites I visit the understanding of what real conservation values should be are low. Conservation in this world today is a token item. Instead, there are green tech lies and social justice hype of detoured identity politics environmentalism. Instead of actual conservation we get the warped arrogance that comes with affluence. This arrogance is “not in my backyard” or the hypocrisy of conservation with preaching conservation but not doing it. John Kerry is a fine example flying a private jet to a climate function!
This long discussion is not worth reading for many of you. This is especially true for those who are trapped in cities working long hours with little time left for much. I do not want to be self-righteous about conservation. My reasons for being an obsessive conservationist are for green prepping reasons not identity purposes. I do not care how I appear to others as much as I care about my local of people and place. Their health is my paramount concern. I have a deep environmental spirituality but a realistic and relative one. If you are not passionate about the earth and its creatures then move on. If you don’t feel impending doom then move on. These many pages of conservation reflection are just a waste of time because the bigger picture is lost anyway. Yes, nothing you can do will alter the bigger picture of a declining world.
On the other hand, if conservation is a deeply felt life ethic, then read what I am posting. I am not saying this is what you should do. What I am saying is why you should do something. I am showing you why for self-preservation and altruistic reasons. Even if millions do as I do the effort at lower ecological footprints just gets sucked up into the growth impulse of civilization so don’t expect planet wide results. My effort is not that great compared to someone who has gone completely TRUE Green into off-line life without the grid and store-bought stuff. A person with no car living away from an urban area. This type of person is the true conservationist.
Downcycling is a term applied to conservation efforts that actually result in less conservation. This is similar to the diminishing returns of tech applied to problems that just create bigger problems. Downcycling is when diminishing returns turn a green effort into a dirtier effort. This is also psychological with attitudes of righteousness and indignation. Hypocritical, arrogant and condescending attitudes abound in those who continue to live dirty lives of affluence while criticizing the poor uneducated masses for their smaller footprints that just happen to be more fossil fuel dependent. The affluent green in his McMansion with solar pannels, a power wall, and two Teslas calls the joe six pack with his pickup a dirty deplorable. The reality is actually the affluent green has a larger footprint if you breakdown the lifestyle.
This downcycling is self-organizing in the system itself as it tries to improve efficiencies with the net result of more consumption. Decoupling is a fancy misdirection play by the academic green. There is no decoupling in today’s world. Carbon taxes are a joke for corporations to offload their dirty laundry with loopholes a truck could drive through. The reality of economic savings is they are just reinvested not sequestered in the system as a whole. Offsetting is often talked about which is just transferring consumption elsewhere. The elites and woke corporations like Google love offset talk because they utilize hypocrisy in misdirection corporate ESGs. Many times, new technology offers marginal benefit when you look at full lifecycle cost. There is the mothballing of an existing technology before its useful life is used up to lower this marginal benefit even more. Downcycling is rampant in the corporate world.
Society is growth based both overtly and covertly. This is self-organizing and policy. This means system rehabilitation is futile. The greater the real conservation effort the more moral hazard of phony policy and lies. Net zero is a lie in affluent nations. Real net zero is not even possible in poverty. It is only possible with small populations in semi-nomadic hunter gather populations where humans take on a niche in a greater ecosystem. Even at this level humans are disrupters. Ecosystems need disruptors to punctuate complex ecosystems with succession. Succession is necessary for adaptation. Adaptation of an ecosystem is evolution to the brutal geologic change the planet evolves with. When disrupters go into overshoot is when the ecological problems become destructive.
My conservation approach is different because my attitude is embracing failure to begin with. In this case of failure, it is a humanistic failure. From the point of view of the planet humans are just doing what life does. If you are an arrogant humanist then you say things like “We need to save the planet”. The planet does not need saving. It does what it does and you are only a part of it. When you arrogantly say that it is from a humanistic point of view where you want to save a human planet. Really you are saying I want to save civilization with a nice environment to visit in your Tesla. We want natural beauty which is natural. We want a cornucopia of a rich ecosystem. The problems with humans are they want this and they want their own affluence. Just the act of saying you want to save the planet means you are out of proper scale.
Nothing this civilization can do can avoid its nature and nurture. It is carbon and affluence trapped with behaviors and the equipment. It utilizes these in path dependency of built out infrastructure and learned behavior. I skip over anger, bargaining, and depression right to acceptance. This way I am embracing honesty first. Not America first or build back better just failure. The truth is always found in honesty. Nobel lies are still lies. Bargaining is still an attempt to hang on to something that is suffering consequences. I accept that this system will be made greener by the planet enforcing the physics of planetary efficiency not the policy of growth-based efficiency. The planet will force smaller footprints through less affluence. No amount of human effort will change this so modern green policy is a lie. At least browns are honest about not caring or not believing the science. Greens just lie about it.
Now, where green policy can shine is locally with people in acceptance of the reality of a failed civilization. Here people can practice green prepping. Green prepping is based in localism with relative and realistic applications of green behavior and lifestyles. Low carbon capture of permaculture is embraced. Conservation activities of smaller footprints are embraced not because this will save the planet and civilization but because it is more survivable. Civilization is doomed so quit trying to save something that is doomed.
This denial is at the highest level and when society embraces this idea it is in a codependency of all in a maladapted narrative. This is where hospice care comes in. Anyone who has had a loved one die in hospice will understand this process. The effort at saving the life turns to making death more dignified and less painful. This hospice care is needed today to seek dignity for a process that is going to be undignified. Becoming poorer and being forced into serfdom is not going to be accepted easily. Keep in mind this is not a feudal lord forcing this it will be the planet. Feudal lords are going to pop up because the elites will naturally take positions of power but this will be a vastly different world by then. Extinction is possible too
Having a lifeboat is the idea behind this survivability. Green prepping is more survivable and this equates to a win-win locally because despite the destructive nature of civilization in the human forced Anthropocene you in your local can proactively renew and restore. You can be a microclime of constructive growth within an overall new epoch of destructive decline. This also means using this a destructive civilization as a tool of restoration and renewal locally. This is why it is important to understand that REAL Green harnesses the destructive forcing to renew and restore locals and by doing this makes them more resilient and sustainable.
There is still low hanging fruit that can be drawn on to build up resilience and suitability but time is running out. This process takes a decade to complete. The attitudes can change overnight but the building up takes a decade. Unfortunately, attitudes are the problem and the potentially easiest part of the process but actually paradoxically the toughest part of the equation. Once attitudes change there is an explosion of activity because meaning is unleashed.
You will need to be dirty to get green which may sound counterintuitive. You will need to build up things that are more survivable until a new reality sets in where a greener living is the physical requirement of a finite planet a new society will embrace. Currently society is based on tech and growth. Even mainstream greens want this. Degrowthers only talk about a circular economy in a basic affluence. Certain greens talk about radical change away from technology but they do not admit to the cost. Read Derick Jensen and see how radical greens are also deceived. They are right about the science but wrong that the solutions are anything more than a death to humanity of billions. Few discuss this like REAL Green that says this is a paradigm shift of planet and civilization. Decline and collpase is ahead regardless of what is done. Prepare locally and embrace the wisdom of insecurity.
Eventually enforced consequences will change society in crisis. Beat the rush and start changing today. This planet will dictate a greener world not fake green policy consumed in the noble lie that affluence can be made green. You can’t green up population growth and increased consumption when limits are bumped up against. All species are culled when they get to the point humans are at. The problems with humans is the arrogance of humanism thinks we are different because of our knowledge and tech. This just makes the process worse. When you combine sustainable and development talk of the globalist technocrats, you get the worst of both worlds. Leave this lie. Go local and build up a permaculture homestead and practice spiritual permaculture of green prepping to beef up survivability.
What you will achieve might be marginally greener depending on how green your local is. It may achieve a lot of green. Yet, the point is there are no refuges and there is no green nirvana. There are just locals engaged in life boat strategies and a hospice of honesty. Be a green prepper and see a windfall of increased survivability in a time of decline and locally restore and renew a microcosm of a greener world that might actually be a seed bed a new human type can live and grow in once society as we know it has collpase.
REAL Green defined conservation is an adapted version. Normally conservation is considered: “prevention of wasteful use of resources”. REAL Green takes this a step forward with a focusing on localism and relative and realistic application of resource reducing efforts. Conservation efforts are watered down when they get delocalized. In many cases there is a downcycling. If you are using more resources to conserve than what is being conserved then you are downcycling. This is most apparent when transport, energy, or water gets involved. Many times, this involves delocalization from movement out of the local or importation of goods or services into the local to increase conservation.
Now, keep in mind REAL Green is realistic and relative in regards to the people and place. The trap your local is in is the metric. An important part of REAL Green is integration into your local of the alternative views of REAL Green. You will often make a bigger REAL Green impact by practicing less conservation. The reason for this is radical change will be rejected by your local of people and place. Introduce conservation practices that can be absorbed by your local depending on its delocalization.
Downcycling is a well-known issue with such things as recycling. The condition affects conservation as well. In many cases this involves introducing high tech efficiency into your efforts. For example, buying a new TV when your old one has plenty of useful life left. The green establishment wants you to buy green things. Fake green corporations want you to buy to increase their fake green bottom line. Life cycle cost are key. Transport and embedded cost of manufacturing often outweigh the mothballing of old less efficient technology with useful life. If your current TV is old and inefficient and conservation is an important lifestyle for you then use the TV less. That is a minor example but keep this in mind with all you do. Cars are a fine example of this downcycling of equipment mothballing for efficiency improvements. It is a scam in many cases to make more profit by corporations and politicians. Many times, it is how people justify another purchase.
Delocalization efforts are an important consideration. If you understand the nature of EROI and ROI in regards to energy in nature and energy in human society. If you understand energy return on energy invested and societies return on investment you will see the difficult choices you will face. Energy is considered a constant in relation to a cost that is generally stable in ROI. This energy const is often artificial because it is a market price not a physics cost. If you understand this then you will see that the humans bottom line often does not correspond with natures. Transport is one of the biggest factors. Humans like to ignore transport costs as a variable beyond a narrow gas cost. The upstream costs of all that goes into making transport available is rarely considered from a human economic point of view.
This EROI and ROI issue with conservation is manifested with gathering energy locally which I call low carbon capture. The movement of resources or the regulation of activity is impacted by delocalization. A case of low carbon capture I engage in is utilizing firewood. Move firewood very far and you have lost its benefits of net energy. In regards to conservation if you need to drive 20 mi roundtrip to recycle aluminum then you likely used more energy then you were saving from an EROI point of view. If you just consider ROI with a basic transport cost of MPG and not the EROI of the activity you may be deceived into thinking you have conserved something. These are subtle issues but multiplied over a billion people decisions it is significant. If you want to be green you must consider EROI.
In regards to your efforts to go local and reduce delocalization, in everyone’s case localization will be greener. Society will always make the pitch that efficiency in centralization and economies of scale can magnify a greener policy. The globalist technocrats love this line of thinking because it enhances their power. This narrative does not take into account many factors influencing a REAL Green equation of EROI. If you can influence all your decisions by the parameter of localization you will be greener. Localism is decentralization. If is leaving the grid and going offline mentality. Remember greener is more prepped. A green lifestyle of localism and conservation orientations is more resilient and sustainable. There is always the outlier but in general in most cases this is true. It is common sense and obvious to those like me that have made a life of this.
Keep in mind the relative and realistic in this equation. Which is the nature of your local. Many locals can only be greened up so much. Excessive efforts at conservation may reduce your success. People do not want to be changed too much. Many times, they actually react negatively. Introducing conservation strategies may get these people to turn to less green efforts to be greener. This involves trial and error too. Sometimes you will not know how positive you are with EROI until you experiment. R&D is wasteful many times because success is often not accomplished. ROI is generally more apparent because it is much easier to see profit and loss in regards to alternatives at the level of human economics. EROI is trickier because you are dealing with energy at the very basic level of planetary physics beyond civilizations concern with profitability.
Know your local of people and place. What you will be doing is a juggling of conservation activities that will be part of other activities. This can be surreal and annoying so you really must care about green. If you have no interest in green then don’t bother but this means survivability strategies don’t matter either. You will do what is easy and comfortable. I am not knocking this. It is your life and in the bigger picture the trap is set with civilization in decline and failure. Nothing you can do will change this much. You will do what cost you the least and gives you the greatest benefits if you don’t care. Your attitude may well be “I have to die anyway” or “it is what it is”. This is a typical reaction of laziness, helplessness, and self-centeredness. These people are the ones the whine the most when their life implodes.
If you care about green, you will do what benefits your local of people and place. You will do things that benefit the planet. You will do things that make your local more survivable. Yet, you must be realistic and relative because you live in the Anthropocene of human forcing. Nature is reacting with instability and the results are going to be death by a thousand cuts. In this world all you can do is balance your actions based upon a proper cost benefit analysis that is often just common sense and apparent. The amount of time, money, and resources you have available is vital. Don’t go bankrupt trying to be green but by the same token do not be wasteful when you don’t have to be.
Let honesty dictate meaning because denial and codependence of a civilization heading for a train wreck is not very smart. Meaning is the ultimate spiritual assets. I am presenting a pathway for meaning and truth. Meaning with the reality of the cost and the cost benefit. Be honest that you are dirty a priori because you are human in the Anthropocene. Yet, realize you can make a difference for the planet and life in a small little niche where beauty and renewal can flourish. The beauty of this is more than this renewal it is also the process of being more prepped for a crisis or collpase. A strong community has a natural abstract human beauty.
Conservation is critical to REAL Green. It is the basis of green but also prepping for crisis. Crises will be the fundamental nature of this new age paradigm of a planet and civilization in decline. Systematically this will involve all those qualities of what science calls chaos theory. There is abandonment, dysfunction, and the irrational. Keep in mind there is a special quality to chaos theory and that is a process within the nature chaos. Sometimes we think of chaos is complete randomness but this is not the case. Chaos is a turbulent process of an undoing in the process where growth unravels. It does not have an equation but this does not mean it is pure randomness. This is a chaotic process but with a physics.
These conditions of decline which are qualities of chaos are plainly on view these days. Yet, a normal person because of the social narrative of problem solving with knowledge and technology gets lost in the distortions of the lie. This process is now actually the problem and making decline worse in an accelerated way. This unravelling is speeding up and compressing. Civilization will not be able to adapt this narrative. It is hard wired and trapped in a carbon trap with path dependencies of growth.
The elites are now compressing the process through a technocratic governance with globalist goal seeking. They are trying to micro manage this resistance to the decline process. This is the reason for the compression. The compression is juicing the system with new problems from a failed policy frame work of problem solving with more knowledge and tech. This involves corruption and incompetence. They are both related. Corruption is the creeping of moral hazards of avoiding consequences. Incompetence is failed applications of power. This is always how civilizations fail so whining and moaning about this is also failure. What has to be done is a management of this process locally.
Growth and increase affluence are a bed rock principal of all cultures. As a REAL Green you will turn this on its head. You will manage the destructive results of this new age. The path dependencies of this failed way of growth with increased affluence can only be managed locally with strategies to use this destructive growth to leave it. This forced decline on all levels is adapted by the local.
All levels are in decline except spirituality. Keep this in mind when the depression sets in because this is a depressing topic. What you must try to gain in this depressing transformation is an optimism that comes with meaning. A spiritual affluence of getting closer to the truth. This really is all that matters for true human nature. The truth is the greatest quest of a fully human person. So REAL Green conservation is actually truth seeking in humility. This does not mean knowledge for knowledge’s sake. It means the wisdom of insecurity.
This is an exercise in existential dualism that will be surreal and often painful. It will be painful because of the choices you will need to make. Many times, these choices will go contrary to the status quo view of what choices you should make. This will involve cognitive dissonance but also REAL Green insight. It is only by declining in place into a localism of people and place that a scaling is achieved to properly navigate all the issues.
You are not going to transcend this conundrum but you will be able to manage with a wisdom of insecurity. The wisdom of insecurity I speak of is a knowledge of what knowledge to keep and what to reject. This rejection principal in humility is key to this new age of decline. Normally we feel more secure with more things but the wisdom of insecurity turns this upside down. Less things mean more security at least less status quo things. Having the ability to say no and embrace less for more spiritual meaning is an art. This will require science but also education of what science that is needed and what is actually making the problem worse. Some science must be rejected and purged.
This then will require spiritual strength to face the tough decisions ahead. This is the hospice aspect of what you are doing. You will have to be ready to apply palliative care principals to those who do not understand. This will be difficult because society’s narrative does not include doom and prep. Doom is a fringe element of the narrative. Doom is taboo in many circles. Much of this is because the masses can’t handle the truth so they are given a noble lie.
The problem today is the elites who are doing this noble lie are lying to themselves and are in denial. These elites for the most part have no interest in a local of people in place. Locals are where the serfs are and the serfs need to be managed is their thinking. They are interested in wealth and power. That is what they seek to maximize not conservation for the sake of conservation. Conservation will be on your backs and strictly to increase their power and control. Do not forget this compression from the elites who are forcing decline onto your backs while they expand their house of cards. This is an existential Ponzi Scheme.
Get out of this compression and find a good local to invest in then begin the decade long process of reorientating a local of people and place to the realities of the new paradigm. You will be an imperfect vessel of truth but it will be on the right track. You will have a beacon of truth to guide you. This beacon is the planet itself and its web of life. This is your immediate higher power of support. If you follow this way the planet will support you because this is the way. Orientating to the truth means the activity is supported by harmony with nature.
You will struggle to find a local that is robust becuase so much delocalization and disruption has occurred with modern civilization. Modern man is in overshoot of consumption and population so in most case finding places with low populations and consumption is advisable. Cities are almost always bad but some people are trapped in them for employment, families and their estates. Ideally going into this decline period, you will want to be near enough to a city to draw parasitically off its ability to supply your local constructive growth potential. Your vessel is a permaculture homestead. Your monestary of is your spiritual vessel of permaculture meaning.
P.S. go to the pages side of this blog for some of my conservation activities and behaviors.