The False Hope of Techno Optismism

I have been following this CO2 thing since college in 85.  I studied finance but my electives were science and philosophy.  Back then the C02 problem was considered futuristic. Over the past 20 years my opinion has been shaped by economics and science.  Too often science and economics is divorced on both sides from each other.  When you bring the two together honestly it is much easier to reality test both systems.


When I look at the problem both with science and economics the solutions proposed these days don’t add up.  I read somewhere that all human activity would have to end except agriculture for meaningful reductions in carbon but that may even be unrealistic mainly because now we are seeing natural carbon increases from feedbacks from 200 years of human forcing.  These feedbacks will likely make any human C02 effort mute.  If you consider what needs to be done with carbon emissions related to human activity and apply an economic analysis then you see there won’t be an economy as we know it with what is needed to make an impact.  Forget all this fancy technology without an economy because the emission reduction effort is mainly techno not behavioral.  Behavior does not sell!


The solutions science is proposing like a net-zero-30 are not plausible if you use honest science and realistic economics.  The build out of all these new appliances for solar and wind capture is huge.  The support networks needed are as large.  The resources needed that will be mined and transported have a massive emissions footprint.  The ugliness of it all is rarely acknowledged.  The cost of all this does not add up especially considering lower EROI of a holistic renewable system considering long and short-term storage and the resulting backup needed.  These other costs are almost never advertised when solar and wind costs are talked about as lowest.  They may be lowest cost additions these days but not with a full picture.  Fossil fuels real contribution to solar and wind is rarely acknowledged.


Then there is the whole plausibility of a renewable world replicating a renewable world without fossil fuels.  This does not add up in my mind.  So once this massive buildout is completed then all these appliances will need a new round of building and retiring all that waste stream.  We have not even considered the rest of the world has not even started their renewable revolution.  So, the current so-called revolution is only half baked.  Net-zero-30 is a rich world slogan not a whole world slogan.  Considerable emissions are still coming post rich world net-zero-30 (if that happens).  It is true the rich emit so much more but look at how big the poor population is and their impact on the natural systems that influence carbon like trees and water resources.  These are part of the carbon system too.


The economics of all this is dubious.  I have invested in my own life a considerable amount in low emission technology with low return.  I have even made an attempt to alter behavior dramatically because I feel behavior is the key variable.  Behavior is not even on the radar screen because you can’t sell it.  Technology you can sell.  I am considering an EV in a year or two and these don’t add up to me.  I consider them an advantage in many ways but not a cost benefit one as-is.   I like the higher efficiency of electric but then the battery cost is the issue.  Emissions are not much lower until the grid is greener.  I have seen some articles where battery cost are coming down but not dramatically to ensure a seamless transition that is a revolution.  A revolution is what is needed but instead I see a comedy/tragedy.  I do permaculture farming which is needed to lower emissions too.  This does not add up with what is needed to lower emissions and keep a modern economy going on the food energy side.


So, if some of you techno optimist get disgusted with me that is my honest response to all this explorations I am doing.  Keep in mind I have a past business background and a lifelong scientific passion combine in the pursuit of a way of life I live which is green prepping.  I have come to the conclusion human civilization is in an end game process both with socio-economic issue and scientific realities of decline of a habitable and growth based human world.  The really cruel reality is we are in a box unable to go forwards or backwards with the comfortable modern way of life some of us live.  Only 1 billion of us really live well.  For the others it is a struggle already.  Yes, population reductions are a must but then you are also impacting growth.


This is why I am a doomer but an optimist one.  Many of us can embrace more resilience and sustainability to adapt better to this decline but pain is ahead regardless.  Techno optimism is a joke really but it does offer hope even if it is likely false hope.


P.S.  My REAL Green working vocabulary is progressing quickly.  I hope to have it posted next week!

The Delocalized Soul

Sometimes I feel the desire to leave the interconnectedness of this great web.  I am speaking of the digital web.  Just as our homes have been delocalized so has our souls. The car culture has taken us from our homes and the digital from our soul.


I am now witnessing a nation being ripped apart.  I have a side and I have a betrayal.  But really this is the natural progression of human nature when it is out of scale.  Though I tell myself that really it is my battle within because all those fine ideas are put to the test and many fail.  These dysfunctions and irrational tendencies come from our separation from our home and soul.  This schism is taking us further away from our people and place.


There is no answer to this if we cannot scale properly and the world will not let us scale properly.  Scale is against the narrative of affluence because it means accepting defeat and, in this world, defeat is for losers.  It is what it is and that is poison.  Lying, cheating, and stealing with each side progressively polarizing.  Those who try to take a middle road are accused.  Those who don’t care and want to hide are fodder for the warriors.  There is no hiding from this conflict.


In REAL Green there is the behavior and lifestyle of the green prepper.  A REAL Green prepares for just such crisis.  It is a way of life and in some ways second nature but this has to be the hardest of crisis.  This is because this crisis is the battle of our collective soul.  It is a battle for who will tell the narrative.  In a civil war the winner takes all.  No mercy is granted because the other is guilty of betrayal.  His family has betrayed him and nothing cuts like that.  In the end all is lost before rebirth.  Scorched earth allows flowers to grow.


I am not going to tell you as a REAL Green you can transcend this.  You can’t hide from it.  All you can do is mentally and physically lay low as needed and fight when you must.  Yes, this is about doing battle and this battle is also within.  The battle to be compassionate and understanding when there is so much pain and anger.  You can transform this battle by scaling locally in home and soul.  This is why I would say downsize with dignity to lessen the indignations that will come.  Civil wars are net loses not even zero-sum gains.  You will find strength by simplicity in places close by.  This of course will not save you but it will bring meaning.


The meaning is acceptance that you do not even have your home or your soul in this trap.  You embrace your insecurity.  You feel it.  You look into its abyss and from there you find yourself….maybe.  Yet, it is those who face this struggle both within and without honestly who thread the needle of success.  This success is deceptive because there is no prize as in a diploma of achievement.  It is more the journey itself that offer life and a chance to be authentic.  Authentic is being human and to be human you must find a proper place.  If you do not then you are adrift.  To be adrift is to be destructive.


My advice to myself now in this dark time of great change is to live what I just spoke.  It is to face that which is in me that is my own destructiveness.  If I can come to terms with that then this demon will become an angel.  An angel is acceptance of the inevitable end of my home and soul.  Once I have taken that step then I go forth on its behalf.  That it is our mother earth and fellow man.  It is not to live as I should but to live as I can because the ultimate trap is within.


P.S I continue to work on my working vocabulary of REAL Green.  It is something I must feel to do so instead of pumping it out quickly I am taking the time needed.  BTW, it has been very enjoyable to explore all those ideas that have coalesced from the wisdom of embracing planetary and human succession.


I am finding my efforts at a new post of a working vocabulary is taking longer than I expected.  One word led to another.  This is turning out to be very enjoyable so as such let me take a little more time to enjoy it.  It is a bit like what good poetry does to me when I see it.  Yea, art has a value in reason.  I leave you with this I am calling We & It.  I responded to a friend’s post on a blog I have been visiting for years:


My position is less “we” then “it”. This is a process and this time around. It is global plus involves the entire planet and web of life. This fact makes it “complete” and non-negotiable. The non-negotiable is in regards to the attitude by exceptional humans that failure is not an option. Failure is an option. We can on the other hand negotiate with collapse and retreat in force. What is being done now by all colors is a denial of decline. Not so much with decline itself but the thinking there is a way out of a trap. A similar situation is the denial of death with the individual which is bargaining. It basically involves a Kubler Roth psychological process. There is nothing complex about this psychology except that this condition is pervasive and dispersed at all levels giving it a complexity and self-organization. Even scientist and academics acknowledge the problems but are delusional on the solutions not a few but many if not most.

My position is negotiation can take place at the local level of people and place. The individual and small groups can come to acceptance and affect constructive change in overall destructive change of an ascending level of a systematic succession. I call it ascending but the process is descending because it is a process within all the pyramids of life losing complexity with the web of life and being disturbed with the planet. So, this is abstract and physical with the spatial and time. In the abstract is human behavior that is clearly descending in wisdom and the rational. Irrational is one of the decline conditions along with dysfunction and abandonment. The physical vison of decline is obvious, just look around. The individual will not transcend this process but instead embrace it and be transformed. By embracing the process, the individual finds strength and meaning not a refuge but a calling. This means coming to acceptance as a terminally ill person does and going forth in action.

The psychology of this is even deeper for those serious about this adaptations. It becomes a life of living with dualism, finding paradoxes, and seeing the surreal for the awakened. This inevitable condition comes from living two lives. One life in the status quo of growth and “failure is not an option”. The other life is deep adaptation of the spiritual with an acceptance of a decline process. I call it a process because it is both physical and abstract and occurring over time. Events are part of this but it is more the unfolding of history in destructive change. The individual who are awakened then become a conduit of this powerful force. They can make wise choices and profit. This profit is not in worldly growth but spiritual meaning that offsets loss. This has to be with humility or else this strength and meaning will be disrupted. With pride comes delusions of the ego and this then leads to a falling back into the status quo just like the sheeples of techno optimism.

So, this is really not something that can be fixed but it can be adapted from being worse. It is unclear if human exceptionalism and delusional postion of manifest destiny will be much worse than acceptance. Both will lead to an end game of decline. Luck might play out and who knows the process might be short for a bounce back to a growth period. Life is a flux. I doubt this is the case at least in a happy ending. It would require a huge change in technical ability and human behavior. But dumb luck of fate can unfold in a serendipitous way. Don’t bank on it but instead accept it in pessimist optimism which is another nice incongruous juxtaposition feature of the surreal of decline. A hero who finds meaning has optimism even in death. I am only being objective here in regards to how the unfolding of life is beyond human understanding. An alien could pop up and offer humans the sacred secrets. It is more likely nature will play out as it always has and this will be just like past history just a global and technical rhyme.

It is only by scaling properly that good human wisdom is obtainable. This means local and in humility. The humility is acceptance of even the best of intentions and preparations are not a refuge. The wisdom is this is a journey on a sinking ship and as such certain behavior is advantageous and others destructive hence the niches of constructive change found in the ecology of succession. The little mammals that survive the die-off of the dinosaurs is a good example. They turned out to not be the biggest and badest but the most adaptable. In a human case it is the humble and accepting that find a niche of adaptability to properly decline constructively and with spiritual meaning.


Light Posting

I am working on a new post that is a working vocabulary of REAL Green.  This may take a week or so.  Normally I post once a week so don’t forget about me just becuase I have not posted anything new.   Happy New Year.  Unfortunately 2021 will likely not be an improvement on 2020 so I recommend studying my green prep ideas through a REAL Green adaptation lifestyle.

The Way of the REAL Green Knight

I am speaking now to the REAL Green Knights.  There are very few of you out there but you can have an oversized influence on your local.  Do not fool yourself with greatness.  Your greatness is another greatness.  It comes with scaling to a local of people and place.  It comes with connecting at scale to the will of the planet.  Humans today get lost in their head.  They watch a movie or read a book of exceptional conditions.  Heroics found in Hollywood is almost always for a dopamine hit of worldly greatness with the masses.  Humans are programed for this fantasy of self-exceptionalism.  A REAL Green knight must understand your power is very low level and dispersed.  Your exceptionalism is local and it is in tune with decline which means a low-level planetary permeation.  It is lost when you delocalize and or seek personal empowerment above your local.


Once you move away from your power source you dissipate it and it actually can go negative as a parasitic condition which in the case of behavior is delusions and dysfunctions of self-destructive behavior.   Yet, a knight must participate in and utilize the status quo of things to leave it.  So, this condition of true power and exceptionalism involves a modest view of oneself as a means of achieving power instead of the status quo of greatness.   The tensions but also the successes are in the methods of negotiating the madness of the out of scale status quo.


This paradoxical arrangement is a key component to the power of the REAL Green knight.  Power is attained by the lowest of activities.  This includes behavior and the spatial of a small place for power to be realized.   It is not enough to be humble it is also essential to be local.  This then is one of the chief tensions of the REAL Green Knight participating in a world where greatness is big instead of small.  This paradox of REAL Green is the dualism of a double life of modesty and greatness.  In many ways you must be a normal everyday guy making a living in a world you are also leaving.  This then points to the power of humility and its key component in the behavior of the REAL Green Knight.


This dualism is a danger and a key.  The danger is getting lost in it.  The key is you must feed off a dysfunctional system to leave it.  The key to a success is wisdom of insecurity.  You live failure and the death of things to find a place of rebirth and life.  There is no refuge and no transcendence but there is transformation in strength and meaning.  You will be living and for many suffering in the daily slog of life of the status quo.  Some of you may even be living a good life but even the good life is presented with the anxiety of loss.  The rich have the furthest to fall.  The rich have a great anxiety of loss.  The Green Knight’s strength and meaning comes from embracing the planets way and emulating its processes which is currently the decline of complexity in succession.


This is done in my case locally in voluntary simplicity.  It is done with a Asceticism, Stoicism and the Spartan but in the relativeness and modesty of the Tao.  You then become a Green Shaman in the form of the Native American shaman.  So, keep in mind there is a way and it has been traveled already.  Do not replace your higher power of meaning necessarily.  This is more about relative and realistic and it is in the local with enlightened modesty that true meaning is found.  REAL Green is uniquely individual and local but enhanced by the planetary reality of green shamanism.   It is adapted by embracing the planet’s way locally.  Keep in mind this must be relative and realistic to your local of people and place to be successful or all you are doing is disrupting.  Disruption is needed but a disruption that creates a green prepped local in keeping with the planet’s way.


This is some of my influence for your reference not necessarily for your emulation.   The reason I say this is locals of people and place are unique and undefinable in regards to the conditions that define civilization.  The reason they are undefinable is the singularity found at these levels.  Keep this in mind if you find the need to find a new higher power.  REAL Green is not meant to be your higher power it is meant to be an add on or a devotion.  The reason this is important is REAL Green is a method to attain meaning not meaning itself.  You will know your meaning if you are truly REAL Green.


Ascetism is the practice of the denial of physical or psychological desires in order to attain a spiritual result.  If you embrace failure and decline then you will see the importance of ascetism because you will be physically deprived but seek the tradeoff of a spiritual of planetary meaning.


Stoicism in the practicing the ethics and virtues of a green shaman life or being a conservationist and an “other-oriented” person in local community.  This means using your power for the planet and local community not your own benefit.


I call this Spartanism even though there is no word for it.  It is the practicing of fitness and austerity and trueness of thought.  It also means being egalitarian because your power is from the planet not for your own use hence humility and voluntary simplicity in rigorous activity.


Taoism comes in by embracing harmony and balance with simplicity, patience, and compassion.  This means going with the planetary flow and remembering the key personal attributes of compassion, moderation and humility.


This then can be adapted further with the Native American ways of connectivity to nature.  The condition of shamanism which is the tribal spiritual leader.  You must seek to be the spiritual leader because here is where an offsetting of declining physical wellbeing can be found.  If you are unable to find meaning in decline you will not be able to stay focused on its true meaning.


Now the dark side of the REAL Green Way and that is the guilt that come with the inevitable hypocrisy of adapting and mitigating ideals and reality.  There are many ideals behind REAL Green but there is also the reality of their implementation in a dualistic world.  This goes to the heart of what it means to be human.  The reason REAL Green can be so successful is the hypocrisy of ideals and reality can be best negotiated at the local level in the humility of modest living.  Keeping scale right and accepting your local of people and place for what it is and not what it should be is the key.  So REAL Green can apply to rich and poor alike.  The urban or rural likewise.  The educated and the less educated.  The key variable in adapting the hypocrisy of living less than true green is scaling mind and body to small scale in modesty.

REAL Green Knight

Green prepping is for everyone.  Green prepping is central to REAL Green but mainly as a physical expression.  Green prepping is about a lower ecological footprint that increases resilience and sustainability.   This involves localization strategies combined with low carbon capture.  So, this means obtaining food and energy locally with low carbon capture.  It means lowering mobility.  This lower mobility means both people and place.  It is not enough to remain local physically.  Reducing connections and networks is important too.  The physical localization is obvious.  The less time you spend away from your local the better.  The human component of localization means spending less time in social media and more time with your neighbors or off the net and in the field.  This also means groups and friendships.  I am not asking you to sever friendships but instead avoid having too many especially when this delocalizes.  Focus on those in your immediate surroundings.  Family should avoid moving away from each other.


Low carbon capture is important too.  If you are in a temperate climate like I am and have a wood lot then heat with wood.  I have good soil for gardening.  I produce some of my food.  I gather solar energy through grass in the fields with animals.  I have combined these traditional capture methods with some modern approaches.  I also have solar power.  This gives me off the grid options.  If the grid goes down, I can keep lights and my food preserved.  My system is not complexed and I do not try to cover all my power needs.  I still use the grid.  It is cheap and reliable but I avoid being overly dependent on the grid by having solar power.  Being totally off the grid is problematic too so my approach is hybridization.  In fact, hybridization is central to REAL Green on so many levels.


The other key item of low carbon capture is efficiency.  Efficiency is a double-edged sword.  Too much efficiency means less resilience and sustainability but so does not enough.  There really is a sweat spot one should aim for.  There are components to efficiency one being the behavior of conservation and the other is the physical approach of things like insulation and thermal orientation.


Conservation of behavior is utilization of resources in a manner that enhances their utility.  Conservation localization is vital to low carbon capture because once low carbon material becomes mobile it loses its embedded energy and can go negative.  Conservation is about using resources properly like not wasting food.  Most importantly it is about the wisdom of choosing what activities and things to include in your life.


The physical aspects of efficiency like insulation and thermal positioning mean lowering your needs for energy and movement.  Locating properly means expending less energy.  A well-insulated house requires less heating and cooling.  A home positioned correctly will lower energy needs.  Buy things that require less energy.  Balance performance with robust durability.  It is often the case that good efficiency strategies will cost more so expect to have less.  Have a smaller house and expect less out of it.  Generally low tech or no tech is preferable to high tech but keep in mind a hybridization is often the best solution.  Many small high-tech additions can make dramatic difference in low carbon capture needs.  Low carbon means high volume low value.  So, you need to utilize lots of stuff to get a small return so this means efficiency.  High tech can leverage and magnify this high-volume low value equation.


The basics of green prepping are numerous and well established.  I have learned them over many years as an outdoorsman and homesteader.  I am a tree hugging green so I have always been personally obsessed with conservation and respect for nature.  In the past decade and a half, I become focused on prepping.  This is being outfitted with basics of survival.  Many times, prepping is enhanced by being green.  This is because being local and seeking a lower footprint is safer.  Yet, keep in mind stocking up on things is another double-edged sword.  Too much and too little happens with prepping like efficiency.  In fact, being hyper efficient means less stocking up and being leaner.  So, when you stock up and store things keep in mind you have limited resources and space so choose wisely.  The more you stock up on also means you need to occupy space which means less space for other activity.  So, this is where wisdom comes in yet again.  Choose your preps wisely or you will have stranded assets and or degraded space.  Degraded space becomes deadwood that REAL Green seeks to triage out so don’t produce more or you suffer a circular trap.


Finally, this is probably the most important part of green prepping and this is where REAL Green comes in and that is your belief system.  Anyone can green prep but only a few can be a REAL Green knight.  It takes a special set of circumstances to produce a knight.  This generally means age and experience.  It means ascending levels of abstraction.  It means attaining a level of understanding that comes with education, experience, and external circumstances.  It is much like a seed that is from a great garden species finding the right location to germinate.  There are processes involved here for success.  The REAL Green knight has combined these and the planet has provided the seed bed for constructive growth.  So, a REAL Green knight must be humble because he may have all the right stuff but the planet has not acquiesced a place of growth.


Humility and acceptance are the key here.  A REAL Green knight must remain humble.  He will be given powers in leadership and opportunity that should not be used for personal gain.  Again, we have the double edge sword we saw above.  This is because the conditions of relativity and the realistic enter the equation as wisdom.  Wisdom faces choices.  A REAL Green knight must take care of his local of people and place so he will have to use his power to protect them.  He will have to also be a warrior so he will have to use his powers to defend and preserve.  Keeping humility in this situation is difficult.


Acceptance come in as the most vital element.  Acceptance of an overall tipping of the planet, web of life, and human civilization into the decline of succession means the REAL Green knight accepts failure and erosion will confront everything he does.  His physical and mental will be challenged with destructive change on all levels so it is only by living a wisdom of insecurity that one can constructively grow in destructive decline.


A REAL Green Knight is a green warrior.  He is humble and accepts the will of the planet.  He adapts to this with his very deepest meaning.  The key here is taking your existing higher power and combining the planet’s plan for you.  All too often people’s higher power distances them from the planet.  REAL green says incorporate nature into your higher power.  A REAL Green knight accepts that the destination is death but it is the journey of enlightenment that is the key.  He will trade physical assets for spiritual meaning.  The spiritual meaning of following the way of the planet will inspire and drive him on and compensate for the inevitable loss.  A REAL Green knight has an oversized importance to a local because the knight will protect and enhance a local.  It is much like having a livestock guardian dog protecting the herd.


A REAL Green knight will ultimately combine all this into his REAL Green monastery where behavior meets place.  Only a few can be a knight but remember a community is diverse so a knight is only a part of a strong local there must also be other components.  The knight organizes and protects but he cannot be the only part.  Now he can be the lone wolf and the monk which is often the case in this existentially isolated modern world but the key is his monestary is open to community.  It is a robust community that is the most REAL Green so a knight will do what he can to prepare the field for the growth of a community.



Green Paradox

Should tech be considered green?  What has green become if we are discussing very dirty earth minerals as vital to green.  They are dirty to produce, use, and dispose of.  This is what green has become.  It makes me wonder if green is doomed.  If the whole basis of lower emissions is more growth and dirtier tech then is there a trap?  Yes, there is definitely a trap.  Not only a trap but a box.  The world cannot go backwards or forward without more emissions.  Green is a hostage now.


This is why I point to a needed fundamental change to the modern green.  This key point begins with the acceptance of failure.  The modern awakened green enlightened by honest science and common sense should acknowledge failure of the human narrative of techno success.  This techno grandiosity is just a mind game.  It is a psychological trick.  It is pure propaganda of wishful thinking.  It ignores reality and instead invests in fantasy.


If failure is accepted then this green techno movement could be adapted towards life boats and hospices of green prepping.  Renewables will not allow zero emissions.  They will not scale to a point where they can replace fossil fuels and then replicate themselves indefinitely in some kind of steady state energy transition.  There is this hope and dream of a clean carbon world of a resilient and sustainable future all predicated on techno advancement.  It is instead a trap of the mind.


The key salvation of sorts is this failure can then be adapted.   The vital nature of renewables becomes a green prepping tool.  Renewables can help humans manage their gradient of decline from steep to flatter.  We can green prep with renewables as lifeboats.   This would allow the second key that is a hospice of palliative thinking by making the decline less painful.  Behavior would be adapted through acceptance in a process of prepping for decline.  Once behavior is adapted then real progress can be made.  If there is delusional behavior little can be changed.  In fact, the trap is made worse with more doubling down on failure.


If this acceptance of the absurdity of techno green could sink in then humans might manage to bring their existential behavior into acceptance that tech will fail and with it complex human civilization.  This will be painful and dramatic and it is a consequence of overshoot at all levels.  This dramatic turning from growth to decline could be slowed and managed far better with a behavior of acceptance.


Renewables can be focused on to fill the gap in many places.  They allow more resilience especially with adapted behavior grounded in localism combined with intermitency and seasonality of new lifestyles.  There could be some kind of bifurcation of human civilization into a mass movement embracing voluntary simplicity back into low carbon capture and activities found in permaculture.  Low tech and no tech of ways of doing things like our ancestors did.  This could be enhanced by all the knowledge we have today.


There will still need to be the highly energetic core of civilization to man those function that are vital or else a messy collpase would occur.  These still may be collpase but given time the management of this dangerous decline could be attempted.  This would be a crisis situation of people embracing heroic efforts.  So, we are talking a movement back to simplicity of the majority and the maintenance of critical systems by a few that is the crew of the sinking ship.


Of course, this is wishful thinking and points to the ultimate trap of the human mind and the failure of human behavior at the level of global civilization.  You would not have the enlightened few taking care of the masses embracing simplicity.  You would have slaves and lords.  With this failure of humans out of scale in overshoot then I call those who can to withdraw individually and in small groups.   Create microclime locals of common sense doing this bifurcation themselves.  Live in the status quo to leave it.  Triage out what you can and salvage a low carbon capture permaculture living grounded in localism with seasonality and intermitency.  Do this realistically and relatively in relation to your trap of the status quo.  The tools, knowledge, and financial resources are there for many.  This new individual I call a REAL Green monk.  This monk can take the dirty and the trapped and crated a niche of green resilience and sustainability albeit in a world of decline and failure.  Create your own green monestary and prep for the fall.

Monks not Movements

You can’t truly nourish transformation unless you get to the very essence of what is human reality.  If humans are trapped as the evidence indicates then talking about a normal transformation is just empty promises.  Empty promises lead to disappointment.  Agroecology fails where most others fail and that is the basis of the movement.  Pointing to transformation without an honesty to the reality of the current human condition will just run up against a brick wall eventually.  This is not to say this movement is not without justification because it is vital.  My point is at the deepest levels there must be an honesty that only comes with acceptance of reality.  Since most humans can’t handle the truth this movement has a place because motivating even those who are not enlightened is vital to advancing efforts that will mitigate and lessen pain and suffering. So, my comment is more for those who want to go a step further with transformation once they master agroecology.


When ascending the ladder of reality that increasingly become abstractions one sees this is all about core human behavior not action.  Action results from behavior.  Honest science is pointing to a trap but science in general is corrupted and delusional on solutions.  Humans are forced to fight decline because the system is growth based.  Even the green versions of human activity are growth based.  Degrowthers are delusional mostly because they point to success of degrowth when the reality is degrowth will destroy the current system and them with it.  This system can’t be reformed either with green growth, degrowth and certainly not with techno optimism of the status quo green or brown.


The system can be adapted in a retreat “in force” only.  This also means a hybridization and salvage of the forces of the status quo with properly scaled local efforts.  This means permaculture must be enhanced and promoted but alongside industrial globalism of agriculture and production.  The reason for this is the system cannot feed humanity on permaculture.  Permaculture takes education and investment to function so it relies on status quo stability.  There is only stability in the status quo albeit one in decline and turbulence.  This is because the status quo is in the trap of a brick box not being able to go forward or backwards.  Permaculture must adapt to overshoot by being in an Anthropocene of overshoot.  In other words, accept and adapt to the trap of delocalization and tragic failure of human sapience at global levels with local expressions of constructive change in overall decline.


This then calls for individuals and small groups who choose to promote properly scaled change to embrace the decline process in a retreat in force that adapts and mitigates the forces of abandonment, dysfunction, and the irrational.  So, a truly transformative event is embracing and emulating decline by retreating in force to defensive positions.  This is a stair step down with 3 hands of pinpoint applications of green growth and active degrowth but with lifeboats of localism as the fortifications.  Everybody and everything cannot be saved.  This includes the extinction event that is now self-organizing.  Keep in mind this can only happen open source and spontaneously within a trapped status quo at small scales.  This means not movements but monks.  Small self-organizing localized responses by the awakened will plant the seeds of change for the new human type who come after the fall.


This trap is deeper than growth or degrowth it is in the very soul of what it means to be human.  The human narrative is trapped in a narrative that seeks to maintain instead of participating in the take down of the modern human system.  The key to understanding this is to accept the human situation cannot be change by any means.  The awakened way then is for those who are the actively enlightened to build localized monasteries of the wisdom that will be needed as a way forward in the unfolding of destructive change.  A wisdom of insecurity that adapts to the fall.


Many are enlightened to this but the awakened have what it takes to do action.  What this means is a select group that will be the monks nurturing the wisdom of a new human type born in the crucible of destructive planetary change.  These monks will not be that new human type but the drones cultivating the queen bee of a future human type.  This is a multigenerational process that is not yet ready for the new human type.  Keep in mind this transformation is if the plant acquiesces to this.  Extinction may be in the cards but what matters is the journey not the destination.  What this means is a monastic movement of a select few withdrawn from the status quo but also harnessing it with life boats and hospices.

Brick Box

I am presenting a message to a reader.  Next, I am offering a comment in an article in Resilience dot com.  I then give the link to the article.  I am doing this to relate the nexus of the macro and the micro.  I often use articles and those comments to inspire me to write.  I hope this helps you on your journeys.



I hope my message assists you in adapting to the reality of planetary decline.  Keep in mind the adaptations I speak of are unique to you in your local of people and place.  We all share strategies of adaptation.  There are similarities and principals of adaptation common to all but it is the application to your unique way of life and most importantly your dearest people in your life that makes this special to you and you alone.  This is why I call my way REAL Green it is realistic and relative applications of green prepping technics to individuals and small groups who are awakened to the trap of civilization.


The most important first priority is behavior more specifically acceptance.  If you accept civilization is trapped and you are trapped in a civilization that is trapped then you can begin green prepping adaptation.  This is an individual journey to meaning which is a transformation.  It calls into question the modern human narrative.  It uses the modern way to leave it.  The individual is trapped in this modern way but they can orientate better.  It is not transcendence.  You will fail along with civilization yet you will be prepared mentally and physically for this failure.  In most cases this macro failure will be a process and it may be the case it comes to those after you like your children.  The key point is behavior becomes lifestyle with respect for the planet and adaptation to decline.


This is not a cult nor a religion it is an addition to your unique higher power of meaning.  It is open source meaning you can make REAL Green yours.  Ultimately it comes as a message from the planet through those who are awakened.  The knowledge is all around us.   It is honesty and humility that becomes a wisdom of insecurity this message imparts.  This wisdom will primarily be based upon what knowledge and things to include in your life and what to reject so it is about triage and salvage.  It is about the old and the new combined in a hybridization of local low carbon capture leveraged and enhanced by modern knowledge.


You can become a modern green Shaman by following this way.  A green shaman is a spiritual guide in a local of people in place.  You are not going to change the world but you can change the place immediately around you and help shape the lives of those you love.  The spiritual element is the important aspect because a green shaman will decline in place which means less comforts and satisfactions.  This is made up for by spiritual assets of increased meaning and psychological satisfaction.  Meaning is the pursuit of truth and truth is the ultimate goal of the awakened human.




Theoretically there could be a bifurcation of classes with shared meaning.  The meaning would revolve around acceptance of the trap human civilization is in of not being able to go forward or backwards without failure.  It is more than the proverbial brick wall it is the brick box.  Humans are prevented from going forwards by the nonlinear nature of late stage diminishing returns of development and technology.  These qualities have a nature that requires growth to maintain their complexity especially when they systematically reach overshoot of sustainability and resilience.  So, going backwards means this system requiring growth will fail with less.  Keep in mind the box is a trap for civilization but the trap is different for the awakened individual.  This is important because just because civilization is trapped this does not mean the same trap for the individual.  The individual is trapped by his circumstance but not his orientation.  Meaning is found approaching the truth.  The truth is sacred and it is a human instinct to get closer to the truth either selfishly for power or in the humility of transformation of otherness.


This theoretical bifurcation would come about with a deep behavioral shift of mutual understanding of the trap.  This key element is acceptance of the trap and the inevitability of destructive change.  Currently science and popular culture is all over the place but there is an undercurrent of “Angst”.  People are worried but science is telling us there are solutions that can cure the dangers.  This is delusional because curing is no longer possible.  Consequences are now in order.  So, our best and brightest minds are deceived not with the understanding of causation so much but their curative mentality of human perseverance through knowledge.  Knowledge instead is what deceives and is the ultimate trap.


Nonetheless if the very simple yet so elusive flip of behavior would occur then society could follow a path of less resistance that would yield less pain and suffering.  Less resistance means embracing planetary succession.  Many more would be saved with less pain and suffering.  A new human type might even rise out of the ashes spiritually bless with the experience of techno loss.  The key word is might because extinction is also in the cards but not necessarily immediately.  Instead the planet will enforce the destructive change of succession and the results will be abandonment, dysfunction, and the irrational fought against like a madman beating his head against a wall.  This will for a while be disguised by growth and technological achievements but this will mostly be window dressing hiding the real gradient which is a planetary decline process.   The stability that allowed humans to flourish is now abruptly disappearing.


In regards to the bifurcation to get the most out of what is left the vital systems engineers controlling the techno systems all are dependent on must be downsized appropriately to a much smaller but still potent structural component of civilization.  This is the key and that is the depopulation and deconstruction of modern civilization power centers to a smaller but still potent force.  This would be a flexible retreat in force because it also means a death warrant for the status quo and the reason civilization will never entertain it.  The majority of the status quo diaspora would go into a spartan stoic permaculture of seasonality, intermitency, and low mobility of old.  Small towns and farms would repopulate the land.  Old technology leveraged with the best of the modern can be combine in a hybridization that would allow a less painful decline in freedoms and comforts.  First there must be the triage of deadwood and a reeducation of a failed social narrative of increasing affluence for all.  Instead it is the pure and simple acceptance of failure for all.  This transition would be supported by the distilled down status quo whose dedication would be akin to the dedication of parental support found in our best loving parents.  The key advantage would be the meaning found in the spirt of the move through acceptance of the planetary revelations of succession.  The spirit of the move is knowing the ship is sinking but much can still be saved including a new group representing a new human type that may be allowed to carry on our species.


Of course, this enlightened bifurcation is just fantasy.   It is the competitive nature of humans when out of scale like the modern human is that destroys any hope of this enlightened retreat in force at a civilizational level.  Instead of a group manning the systems for the group embracing voluntary simplicity.  The system managing group will be corrupted into enslaving those embracing voluntary simplicity.  The elite will concentrate power parasitically and maintain their status quo quickly destroying what is left that could allow an enlightened transition to a future of less.  This is the human nature of humans out of scale and the key defect of civilization.  It has always been so.


Here is the key to why this fantasy is still important and why a bifurcation is still possible.  It is the individual and small group who can still achieve their own bifurcation.  They can use the status quo to leave it.  They can find meaning in the process by embracing voluntary simplicity scaled properly in a local but accepting they are also trapped in the same box civilization is in.  The key difference is they can adapt but civilization cannot.  They adapt by using the powerful force of meaning to realize spiritual assets that offset the decline that will be forced on all.  It is as simple as that.  The key is behavior not tech.  The key is the individual and small group not civilization.  Civilization will be dealt with by the planet.  The individual can proactively embrace the way of the planet to position themselves better.  They can use civilization to leave it even if this still means ultimately the same demise.  This is an approach to terminal illness an individual can embrace but civilization cannot.



“Turning the clock forward”

By Chris Smaje, originally published by Small Farm Future

Turning the clock forward


“The next stop in my tour through my book A Small Farm Future is Part I, which begins with a long chapter outlining ten crises that one way or another seem set in the coming years to thoroughly upend the world we’ve known.  As I see it, these crises are such that for good or ill a small farm future awaits many of us or our descendants.”

Failure is an Option

Greens and degrowthers alike will not let go of “failure is not an option”.  They cling to it so as to create the situation of honest science of causation but dishonest science of solutions.  They are bargaining instead of accepting.  What this means instead of provisioning a lifeboat of extending survival they are doubling down on fixing what can’t be fix.  This means huge efforts at digging the hole deeper.  They are skipping the palliative care part for the terminal illness of civilization.  This is creating false hope.  We already have the browns lost in their delusions of growth and development that will never change.  The Greens and degrowthers compete with this with their solutions which will not pan out.


To be fair the general population cannot accept the truth.  Competitive cooperative forces allow a multitude of points of view that influence global policy.  This means a hodgepodge of policy in a spectrum from green to brown but mostly centered on growth.  What is worse is the moral hazards of corruption of a global civilization that is now beyond repair.  Once this rot becomes institutionalized it is unreformable.  Science and academia are beyond repair now.  They are politicized and under the influence of the economics of opportunity cost.  The means justify the ends and so forth.  This means proposing solutions to a predicament that is a human trap is the folly of our collective Tower of Babel.


Is there a solution to this for the Green and the Degrowther who are clearly honest with science?  I point to an even deeper acceptance from Greens and Degrowthers who are awakened.  They must also accept that their movements are hopelessly compromised by the dishonest science of solutions plus unaccepting that the planet is now been tipped and on its own gradient.  Not only the planet but the very fabric of human civilization is also tipped and unreformable.  This is a human nature issue.  It is beyond the policy and development or not it is at the core of what it is to be human.  It is our very soul.  We as a species need to find our soul.  Nothing is more difficult than that.


The awakened Green and Degrowther will understand this and see that the lifeboat and palliative care disposition must come individually and at the level of small community.  These awakened will see that in destructive change there can be constructive change.  This means awakened Greens and Degrowther should combine their unique approaches to planetary succession and the failure of human civilization.  There is a need for both green growth and degrowth.  They will have to each be applied in the proper way together.


Some of this will coalesce in a self-organizing way by the forces of truth that both policy forces possess.  If they come together and recognize the power of a new movement then a powerful force of change can be leveraged.  This means embracing and accepting the failure of the modern human.   This will closely mirrors planetary succession in an enlightenment of acceptance.  The best of growth and degrowth combined to outfit a lifeboat of extended human survival but with the key ingredient of acceptance that the human ship will sink.   From this disaster a new human type will emerge or there will be extinction.


These doors are not for humans to choose although we can commit suicide.  These doors are human fate that is determined by planetary succession which human systems are a part of.   Human duality feels detached from planetary fate and hence bargaining.  Humans are reaching to geoengineering and vast green tech systems to fix this trap only to make the trap worse.  Both these forces of human policy will fail if the very basis is not failure. Fail to accept failure and you will fail.  The deepest truths are paradoxes.


So, this comes down to the awakened in each policy field of Green Growthers and Degrowthers to manage and harness the best of their field to create a future that will allow a new human type to emerge.  This new human will likely not be a techno modern one but it is unclear how much will be lost mainly because it is difficult to judge what can be retained in a precipitous decline.  This new human type will have to be spiritually advanced with a wisdom that determines what knowledge and tech to retain and what to reject because the lifeboat will require choices.  Choices are the crucible of the human spirit.  Decisions are where humans show their worth.  This new human type will face the scale between a proper living in a new reality or the end of who we are.   All this will be driven by a vastly different planet and human society just ahead.