JUDO

It is a metaphysical paradox that real human strength comes from simplicity, humility, and less power.  In the physical world human power is complexity, force multiplication, and prosperity.  This points to the divided mind of modern man who is excessively physical with science and tech.  Through our technology and knowledge accumulation we can specialize and force multiple.  Arrogance develops from the divided mind.  Arrogance separates and the first casualty is human balance with his ecosystem.  Today affluence is worshiped as a human end instead of symbiotic existence.  The result is disharmony.  The accumulation of disharmony has resulted in a holistic decline that will reshape mankind.

Our biggest danger now is too much humanism.  It is too much affluence that wrecks our ecosystems where the real complexity is.  The arrogance from a separation from the divided mind is driving a rapid succession of natural complexity.  Human complexity is now suffering.  Systematically this means a threshold break is ahead.  This is seen clearly by honest science.  When proper spirituality is also applied in a balanced mind the true condition is seen.  This is then recognized as the cyclic turning of an age.

Judo is translated from Japanese as the “gentle way”.  This judo I speak about is a green judo.  This uses the excesses of this unbalanced world to find individual and local balance.  The most important skill in this green judo is spirituality that has been regulated to a secondary status by this age of science, technology, and knowledge accumulation.  Knowledge is now concentrated.  Tech is now extremely powerful.  Science is seeking the deepest secrets of the universe.  Yet, never has man been so lost with so much noise.  Is it any wonder that a civilization of neurosis is the result?

My writings are focused on you the individual but the individual and civilization can’t be separated cleanly.  A further focus is on the divided mind of the individual but also the imbalance of civilization with the spirtual and science.  The I and the other of the individual and civilization must be healed.  It is my opinion only the individual can be healed now.  Civilization is determined to end in a cyclic turning. 

This deterministic cyclic nature of civilization must be embraced in a mental judo of sorts for the individual to be healed.  This Judo I speak of is not the unbalancing of an opponent to achieve control but instead the harnessing of your opponent’s imbalance to produce your balance.  Green judo is the harnessing of civilization’s self-destruction to find constructive growth.

The green part is the understanding what is green is more prepped.  What is green is more spirtual.  Go green in permaculture both spiritual and physical.  This is a basic naturalism of a balanced man.  My spirtual naturalism is a green shaman.  Yours may be a variety of permaculture skills.  This is about a green specialization nested in general green skills of survival.  Embrace the way of the planet and it will support you with a power greater than any other because this is your mother. 

I am not telling you to reject your current religion or spirituality only to adapt it.  Modern spiritualities, religions, and higher power worship have all been corrupted by the human arrogance of science, tech, and concentrated knowledge.  Adapt your current particular persuasion with a green humility to your mother, the planet.  What this means is permaculture.  Cities are cesspools of arrogance.  Leave cities is your first prescription.  Most can’t so my writings are only for a few.  I do not claim to have answers for those trapped in urban places other than be aware of this trap and orientate as best you can against its worst results.

This green is not the modern leftist liberal version either.  This is probably the most infected with human arrogance although there are many very important basics of the modern green that should not be thrown out with the bath water.  The modern leftist liberal green is woke.  This is the infection of the power principal of cultural Marxist.  Their priests are the affluent academics seeking to protect and advance their power and priveldge.  

Woke is a lie to hijack power.  Cultural Marxism is immoral because it seeks the ends of power by any means.  What has resulted is scientism.  The is politicization of science.  It is a tool of coercion and cancel and now many of our brightest minds are completely infected with this.  They want you to believe techno things like panels and turbines are green.  EVs and hydro power plants are green.  Now environmentalism is warped by ideology.

In the case of the modern Great Reset crowd this green is wrapped up in their fascist lying, cheating, and stealing to breakdown the old order and build back a new one.  This new order will be a technocratic and administrate neo-feudalism.  Stakeholder elites of the political, corporate and administrative world will be the leadership not those elected by the populous.  This hijacking is within a world in net energy decline and planetary abrupt change of its stable systems.  This means their policies of a 4th industrial revolution of automation, artificial intelligence, and centralized administration are doomed to failure.  Green is a tool for these elites not a way of life.  The last climate conference illustrated this with all the private jets that delivered the elites to this high energy function.

These elites are positioning themselves to manage decline at your expense.  They consider themselves your better because they have lied their way into priveldge.  The reality is they are an inbred wealthy elite breeding human arrogance into a system where sociopaths attain leadership.  This is about money and power not people and planet.  They will grab deck chairs with their power and priveldge.  You will be relegated to serfdom.  This also means sheepleness. 

Understanding how power always corrupts is a basic of proper wisdom.   This late stage of civilization is dysfunctional and irrational by its nature.  Understanding this will prepare you for one mistake after another in a world already a mess from a destructive industrialization.  This is a bleak future.  You can’t stop them but life will.  This is where spirituality comes in.  Your spirituality will identify with the planet as the sole power.  Again, your individual higher power is yours alone.  I am asking you only to adapt it with a green spirituality.  If that destroys your spirituality keep in mind you have to lose it to find it so this is actually a requirement of awakened spirituality.

The green I talk about is permaculture localism that uses this judo mentality to adapt to this cyclic period of a tipping over.  This tipping over is into a multilevel physical and metaphysical decline.  This is planetary with nowhere to hide.  If you embrace ecology, you will know the process does offer niches of growth.  Your judo will use civilization’s decline to find your small place of growth much like the little mammals outcompeted the dinosaurs.  The cyclic nature of this means civilization is determined to follow decline.  This is especially true now that human forcing has resulted in a planet in decline. 

Net energy from fossil sources is in steady and increasingly rapid decline.  This means technology will follow.  Substitution, decoupling, and efficiency are close to a nonlinear convergence into diminishing returns.  This point is when solution strategies become the problem.  The latest rage which is AI is completely dependent on high potency primary energy which can’t be maintained at the levels needed to grow this technology.  This is the ultimate hubris that is anti-life.  This is environmental evil.

The systematic nature of globalism is in decline meaning the value chains that generate the economies of scale and capital and labor specialization will decline.  Without a growing globalism the Great Reset crowd’s 4th industrial revolution becomes the opposite.  Their revolution becomes instead the tipping over and decline of modernism.  Civilization has embraced a fossil carbon and path dependency of technological progress.  This is now the worship of technology with the singularity transhumanism.  The technocratic elites know forces of decline are everywhere and this is why they have turned to state capitalism. 

State capitalism control along the lines of the Chinese CCP is being turned to protect their interests.  This is about authoritarian control with centralization into urbanism.  It is here where humans can be controlled the best by the elites.  They will do this by increasingly turning to machines instead of human nature.  They don’t trust human nature.  They trust machines because machines can be programmed. Human programming is never assured.  They do not respect nature either.  This means they do not trust nature but claim to be green with their phony ESG polices.

This is critical for you to understand because machines and systems through control networks seek to cage you into urban areas where you will become their serfs.  You will own nothing and be forced to be happy.  This is not a spiritualism of proper human growth yielding a closer relationship with the natural world so their green prescriptions and social justice hype is the opposite.  This is slavery and natural destruction.

Technocratic green and social justice is anti-life machine driven human factory farming.  This is similar to what we do with animals in factory farms but instead of meat they are harvesting power and money.  They are stripping you of human dignity to enhance their power and wealth.  This extreme of technological reach is the epitome of human arrogance.  It is improper human scale.   This human arrogance is a power the elites always embrace when their position is threatened.  Before technology it was slavery and serfdom.  It was religious repression.  It was the building of self-worship at the expense of environmental constraints.  Now it is techno and modern with hyper power.  This means the tempo is much more rapid.

Their green initiatives and social justice prescriptions of CRT are the opposite of what they claim.  Gullible greens embrace this because the globalists are telling them what they want to hear.  They claim their policies of technocratic and centralized administration will save the planet with ESG and woke.  The modern green liberals are embracing this ideology with abandonment.  This politically correct policies are incorrect.  Green is instead brown. 

Civilization has become evil.  This is not evil in the Christian sense just similar.  Christian evil is personified this evil I speak of is anti-life.  This is anti-life mechanization of transhumanism and delocalization.  This is the worship of science.  This science worship is not of objective science but of the political science of power.  This is the end game of our civilization.  Civilizations always find an end game because they are cyclic.  You must see this to use your judo.  

Net energy decline along with tech growth hitting the late stage of diminishing returns when it goes nonlinear is now our pathway.  This is path dependency with a carbon trap of progress.  Civilization has tipped over into a negative feedback loop of destructive change.  This is resulting in the classic turbulence of abandonment, dysfunction, and the irrational.  Abandonment is the physical of this decline.  Dysfunction and irrational are the metaphysical.  Our civilization is at or near this pinnacle point depending on what level the focus is of.  This means growth is actually destructive.  Meaning is noise.

This is multilevel with many forces.  It is also ascending levels of abstraction which points to the metaphysical.  The deeper systematic nature of our human system is now tipping over into decline.  Trying to control or manage this as the technocratic administrative statist are attempting will hasten its decline by applying the same strategies that got us to this point but with a throttling.  All civilization grow then decline so when in decline we should be embracing decline principals.  Historically elites never relinquish power except for a few truly enlightened ones.  This rising and falling is inevitable so embrace it and find an individual niche.

This is a reflection of the planet’s turning over of an epoch of stability that allowed civilization to grow and prosper in an average long term growth period within a dynamic cyclic process.  We have tipped over along with the planet.  The life system is in decline with localized failures.  Climate is in abrupt change with foreseen and unforeseen results.  The hydrologic, nutrient, and carbon systems have been forced by human activity.  Negative feedbacks from individual systems are converging into one.  This is undeniable with honest science.  Man can’t decouple from this nor dematerialize out of this process and remain affluent.  This force of decline is the real power that must be addressed and embraced by you the individual.

If you understand this then you will want practical strategies to negotiate this turning.  These practical strategies are important but more important is the spiritualism.  Spiritualism is full of so many taboos today because of our worship of science.  This makes proper spiritualism particularly difficult.  Spiritualism is the primary skill in this turning because acceptance and humility are the necessary dispositions of the spirtual.  Science does not care about acceptance and humility.  The abstracts of courage that comes from the spirtual does not have a scientific quality. 

To accept and then find humility in this great turning gives you the wisdom to embrace practical physical qualities.  It is spirtual wisdom that is key and this wisdom is only attained by proper orientation to the way of a planet in decline.  Most religions are corrupted by human arrogance of affluence.  So, understand that your religion needs to be adapted.  Your spirituality must be adapted with principals of decline to prosper.  Prosperous spiritualism is meaning.  Your challenge is to find a way to harness destructive affluence you are trapped in.  This corruption of affluence is on all levels. 

Atheism is the worst of religions because it is anti-spiritualism and disregards the metaphysical as a human fantasy.  Atheist consider spiritualism superstitious.  Atheism may be defined as disbelief in God and religion.   In practice it is the worship of science.  Its higher power is intelligence with technology and concentrated knowledge.  This is pure arrogance of humanism.  The projection of intelligent design upon the universe is worshipped.  Atheist worship science and humanism as their higher power.  This has produced extreme secularism and the specializations of humanism which has so distanced us from each other and nature.  Atheism is dead but not for the reason you would suspect. 

They say there are no atheist in foxholes.  I would say atheism is a luxury of affluence and their world is now in decline.  It will be increasingly difficult for these atheists to find a higher power in humanism with declining affluence.  Their understanding of universal intelligent design based upon human intelligence requires expensive education.  Decline will alter education because of the need for survival.  Atheism is the elevating of the human ego to a Godhead which is the ultimate blasphemy.  This is not blasphemy in a Christian sense but instead against life itself with anti-life doctrines of technology with transhumanism and delocalization.

Green judo is the harnessing of civilization’s tipping over.  Its techniques are based on ecology of ecosystems.  Ecosystems go through succession.  There is a building or a shedding of complexity.  This allows periods of change for organisms and species.  This is the basis of evolution which includes devolution. 

In our particular period it is a tipping over into a succession of destructive change.  This is our doing because human forcing as destroyed natural complexity.  Humans are now doubling down on this destructive forcing even when they try to reduce it.  This is where you apply your spirtual moves to use this imbalance to balance.  The key way to do this is first to recognize this process.  If you embrace human manifest destiny of technological progress then you are anti-life.  If you see this progress has tipped over into a regression then you are instead embracing the force of life during this great turning.  This requires new thinking.  This judo is how you embrace this period to find an eddy of constructive growth.

The key point of green judo is for the individual to be drawn towards constructive growth within an environment of overall destructive change.  Traditional growth is now destructive change and is instead anti-growth.   This is what will need to be harnessed.  This is the raw material you have to work with.  You will have to be brown to get green but the key here is the journey to green.  True green is permaculture localism.  As the process progresses, we humans will likely evolve back closer to semi-nomadic hunters, gatherers, and light agricultural farmers on a destabilized planet.  This may be generations hence but the process is beginning now.  You can embrace this process now.

Green judo recognizes the supremacy of modernism.  This is our ecosystem just as pre-neolithic man navigated the difficult period of the ice age.  His life was dictated by ice.  Yours is dictated by destructive carbon harvesting.  Our ecosystem is of the human forcing that has resulted in the new epoch of Anthropocene.  This is a peak prosperity for the human race at the expense of planetary systems. 

When I say expense keep in mind succession is a necessary process.  There are no liabilities with this.  This is nature’s way.  It is how this planet works so the arrogance of humanism that reflects on the good or bad of succession is misplaced.  Arrogance is from a divided mind that finds good or bad in things.   If this is an attribute of nature it is because we are fully part of nature.  Nature just follows its nature.  Only nature can overcome nature.  This means our nature is natural even when it embraces anti-life activity.

Green judo is a spirtual and a physical adaption of the awaken individual.  The spiritual is based on the metaphysics of the sacred.  The cyclic nature of the planet and beyond is sacred.  I am not speaking of the solar system or universe mainly because I feel this should be beyond the scale of humans.  Scale is a spirtual humility.  Proper wisdom seeks proper human scale both for physical and spirtual needs.  Spirtual wisdom must be appropriate to our life form but today it is not.  Our physical nature with tech and science has encroached on proper spirituality.  This can be seen with our knowledge accumulation and tech advances.  These techno aspects have infected religion and spirituality.  Higher powers are now affluence based instead of acceptance based.  This basis is arrogance instead of humility.   The rich and powerful rule instead of the meek.

The spirtual basis of green judo is the acceptance and humility to the sacred.  This sacred when properly scaled is to the planet.  The planet is what gives us life yet we treat it with disrespect.  If your spirituality is separated from this it is because it has been hijacked by the civilizing of meaning.  Most modern spiritualities have scale issues.  Religions seek to poses the sacred for human power. 

The dominant religion today is scientism which treats the planet as its raw material for techno growth.   This is so out of balance it now seeks to spread off the planet in manifest destiny of human progress.  It is this anti-life with the mechanization of transhumanism and delocalization that is the self-destruction of hubris.  Accept this final destructive phase of human forcing of a period of wonderful natural complexity.  This phase was is a goldilocks condition which allow life to flourish.   This allowed human civilization but now human civilization is destroying it.

Acceptance is the attainment of master in green judo.  This is acceptance of an overall degrowth.  This is physical with succession.  A cyclic turning on ascending levels of abstraction is the metaphysical.  This skill is a different one from science although to attain this skill there must be honesty with science.  The skill’s foundation is the embracing of the turning caused from human forcing.  The physical element is the skill of adapting and mitigating the turning of a late-stage civilization.  The sacred is turning into a period of increasing meaning from a time when meaning was shed for increased knowledge.  Knowledge degraded meaning because it took man from his proper scale.

This spirtual nature of green judo goes hand and hand with its physical skills.  Our divided minds want and try to separate them which is the nature of our dualistic being.  Self-consciousness separates the me from the other.  A mind less divided will more naturally link the two.  Green judo seeks to lower the tension of the divided mind. 

Fear is killing us today.  This is not a healthy fear it is a fear of the deeply isolated ego that does not scale to its life-giving mother.  Proper fear is what animals have to survive.  Instead of fearing fear and always looking over your shoulder, green judo promotes the wisdom of insecurity.  It is here a more natural response is taken.  Mortality must be lived or it becomes a demon.  Live mortality and this allows freedom that promotes survival.  It is our nature to survive so be natural with your survival.  This fearing fear is unnatural and the product of a divided mind.  Scientism is the culprit.

When our physical and spirtual nature is properly balance with scale a proper innate wisdom is bubbles up.  Proper wisdom is knowing the appropriate knowledge and tech to keep and what to reject.  There are no set criteria here because of succession.  You the individual are now in a time of rapid destructive change of an epoch tipping over and a civilization in late stage.  Your criteria in this case will be skewed towards the unhealthy and killing aspects of late-stage civilization. 

This is your ecosystem so with green judo you harness this destructive change to find constructive growth that is closer to permaculture community.  All species do this adapting if they can manage it.  They find microclimes of safety.  They migrate to places that offer better adaptability related to their unique species attributes.  Do this as a human in your ecosystem of late-stage civilization.

How you do this physically is to find appropriate tech and knowledge that is properly scaled.  Green is the proper way.  Permaculture localism is the most advanced form of green judo.  Ideally small permaculture farms orbit permaculture towns.  The farms will have specialization but also general skills of home economics and low carbon capture that provides energy and nutrition.  This is bonded together with spirtual permaculture which is reverence for the planet. 

This is the modern frontier much like the earlier settlers encountered in the new world.  This is the cyclic return of a new frontier but instead of taming the wilderness you are taming civilization.  They settled a wild frontier but now this is reversing.  You will be settling a modern frontier making it wilder.  This is a key point to green judo and this is the reversing of the arrogance of humanism.  This is an abstract for most of us because of the difficulty of most of the worlds urban population to localize out of delocalized and transhuman urban settings.

This physical aspect to green judo means first using triage to remove the deadwood of meaningless modernism.  This then seeks the salvage of the old ways with the new in a hybridization.  Remember your ecosystem is modern globalism that has covered the earth.  There is no hiding from this except for a few chosen ones.  These chosen ones will likely be the seed stock for a new human type following the fall.  You the ordinary individual in your unique local can be this new human type but more likely you can be the incubator for it. 

This means you will seek to construct a permaculture homestead with a monestary of knowledge and tech for this new human type to carry on with.  Remember this is cyclic and a process so many generations hence this will have been adapted to.  Repeated evolution and devolution to a new postmodern type is ahead.  But in the here and now of the great tipping it is about the wisdom of what tech to keep and what to dispense with for your survival.  A judo master takes this a step further assembling the life boat for those who come after.

Many of you will not have what it takes to do this but all of us can get closer to the sacred.  Meaning is the deepest need of a properly functioning human.  Many humans are in an immature state.  Many are not fully human in this sense but this fully human is deceptive because what is truly human is the village, tribe, and family. 

It is here where humans at different stages and enlightenment find meaning in community.  This is the body of Christ so to speak and where the kingdom of heaven is.  This is an abstraction that points to our species survival.  It is our most basic nature.  Modern life is destroying this community.  Technocrats seek to destroy this so you can be more easily controlled.  Family, gender, and spirituality are the first casualty of Marxism.

This means those who are less than fully human become fully human in community, tribe, and family.  This is a key point for the green judo master.  It means if you have what it takes then your leadership will be as a servant for the community, tribe, and family.  Further you will be a servant to your ecosystem doing positive change instead of exploitive change.  This deeply important aspect to green judo is acceptance and humility with other orientation.  This allows the embrace of the sacred which is only manifested in the planetary process and within human community.  This heals the divided mind.

Life is spinning out of control for humans because of our transhumanism and delocalization through the worship of tech and knowledge in scientism.  Our religions are infected with this.  Our spirituality is being degraded with delocalization and transhuman mechanization.  This occurs because scientism is now the dominant spirituality which is really anti-spirtual.  The academics and scientist of scientism can’t trust spirituality.  Their worship seeks instead a repression of spirituality. 

Spirituality is considered superstitious because science has no need for it.  Science breaks down to know.  Frogs are dissected and atrial into elements.  The result has been forever compounds and the disruption of the building blocks of life.  Spirituality is the embracing of the other. 

If I mention I practice a form of shamanism your immediate intellectual impulse is I am a nutter and a kook.  This imbalance in the divided mind must be normalized or else the results with be very destructive.  Scientism is anti-life so this undercurrent is destroying the community that is manifested in family and tribe.  Marxist and social justice warriors are the brownshirts of the power impulse of scientism with fascist and statist activity.

This imbalance is used to find balance by yielding to greater forces.  What this means is embrace this distortion of human behavior with acceptance and humility.  It is an inevitable process so get out of denial and bargaining by yielding.  This will allow you to scale properly.  Scale allows balance and from balance comes meaning.  Balance allows you to take what you have where you are and make it marginally better.

You are trapped in this unbalanced world.  This trap is the determinism that acquiesces your free will.  Your ecosystem will dictate your growth and or degrowth.  Know your trap and you will find the means to practice constructive growth.  Constructive growth is survival.  This is both spirtual and physical.

Green judo allows you to live to die another day with less of the tensions that are destructive.  Instead, you find strength and skills to adapt and mitigate.  Here mortality must be embraced and recognized but not as an inhibiting force of fearing fear.  It is merely an acknowledged destination for all.  The journey is the key.  It is this journey that balances the pessimism of mortality.  The journey is where you can constructively grow to die another day.  It is the optimistic pessimism that gives you the courage to life.  This gives you meaning to press on with a life that is at times brutal and brief and at other times monotonous and boring.  If you normalize the balance of spirit with science you open up life for positive growth.

When your spirtual and your science equalize you have found proper scale in an ever-changing world.  This means you will be adapting and changing just as life does.  This means you are just being natural.  You can do nothing else.  It is in your mind where this process gets duplicit.  This duplicity can be healed in an awakening to succession.  The mystic way is the ultimate achievement of the judo master because it means walking into the valley of darkness because this is the way to light.

Civilization’s web is of copper and steel.  It crisscrosses the globe.  This is an unnatural radiation of anti-life forces.  Instead of this as your beacon reach out and benefit from the real web of life which is the streams and rivers that reach out to the ocean that gives life the basics.  Water is a simple substance that erodes down and transports our greatest constructions.  This is a proper destructive force.  Life on this planet of water is where we scale with water as our inspiration. 

Life is given life by an agent of erosion.  The erosion shapes us and the deposition is where we find places to grow and prosper.  You may not be able to leave the steal and copper web but you can transform it.  Seek to adapt your life away from this unnatural result of man’s uninhibited growth and instead build up a homestead and monestary for a future generation who will once again live with water, soil, and sun.

Transcendence and Transformation

Man is driven to know the secrets.  These secrets are of the metaphysics of the divine and the power of being connected to the truth.  This drive is also true with our physical world with the desire to have unlimited energy that is cheap and clean.  This is our world of science.  Our world of science has drifted into the metaphysical with the quest for immortality.  This is best described as the singularity of transhumanism where the merger of man and machine will be able to take your soul and place its self-consciousness in a machine setting allowing the immortality of your intelligence. 

This intelligence of yours is considered your ego and or soul.  This singularity is an extreme of science but to a lesser extent we have delocalized our human nature with the transhumanism of our tech.  This is an unbalanced condition very similar to when religion hijacked science and followed anti-science dogma.  Science was rejected because it did not conform to the narrative.  Today science is rejecting narratives that do not support its transhuman narrative.  Science is rejecting the metaphysical when it does not conform making the mechanization of life through tech and knowledge accumulation particularly dangerous. 

The soul is the interconnectedness of the physical and metaphysical.  It is alive in this interplay.  Even if you are dead there is something more that can only be described as the sacred.  The sacred is untouchable so death is a mystery.  Science rejects this because there is no science for it.  Today religion usurps this with immortality dogmas.  Further religion has been hijacked by science because science is the basis of being modern.  Science is in a quest for immortality.  This immortality quest is the singularity of transhumanism.   This is the mechanization of arrogance.  Instead of a singularity with the sacred there is the anti-life singularity with machines. 

This discussion is about the turbulence of destructive change resulting from man’s imbalances on both his speres of dualism.  Both the metaphysical and the physical are in a turbulent change where meaning is lost.  Connectivity is lost.  Science has been let out of the Jeannie bottle and can’t be contained.  It is killing us but is also necessary to save us.  This incongruous juxtaposition is now the operative force of civilization’s self-destruction.  To the degree you can scale yourself properly within this destructive period of human nature this scaling will assist your adaptation and mitigation strategies.

There is the question of determinism and free will with all this.  Are we really free to make choices or is it only a sophisticated program that is determined by our place in it all?  I would say we are determined and this is why we have free will.  Free will is determined by the cyclic nature of life.  It is the cyclic nature of life that results in a determinism.  Without a universe of free will there would be no determinism because there would be no movement.  All would be crushed into the ridged compression of singularity at the moment before the big bang.  If there is only free will there never would have been a big bang.  There would have been no need.  It is only by being lost we find and only finding we get lost.  The secret of life is simple and natural because of complexity and complicated structures.

That may have been just a word salad but it is a stab at the interplay of aspects of dualism that are present in our lives that if balanced will allow a more natural and harmonious reaction to a very dangerous time ahead.  Science is not going to save us.  Our spirituality is lost too.  If we can properly nest the two closer to where they belong in our little world then a natural response results.  The planet will support you by the power of connection.  Action will result that has optimism in a world of pessimism.

This post is deeper than many of you would care to deal with.  This is not because you can’t understand the significance but because it deals with darkness and seriousness in a scary time when uplifting is needed.  You may find it difficult to read because I am discussing topics that are not mainstream.  These topics are esoteric.  Yet, the key to these specialized esoteric topics is simplicity.  This incongruous juxtaposition points to a reality most can’t attain because it is too simple.  This is why the meek will inherit the earth.

The point I want to get across to you is the pain and suffering ahead is here.  If you want to be at the top of your game adapting to this new reality it is important to understand the interplay of physics and metaphysics.  If you try to adapt to this new reality with only one side of this equation you will be hindered.  The reason being is what is ahead is a spirtual fight with physical realities of decline.  You will need science to navigate this dangerous world ahead but science is the problem.  Science needs to be reexamined at the individual level.  At the top it has mechanized itself into a final destructive phase so you must embrace this awareness.

I ask you to visit this linked site to understand the decline in energy affluence in a time of peak affluence.  This site observes an intersection of dysfunctional and irrational narratives of plenty with the harsh reality of declining physical affluence.  This will be a very harsh awakening for many that have let themselves believe the lies and the incompetence of the leadership of the world.  They led us down the primrose path and you will be forced quickly to adapt.  They led us with incompetence and recklessness in the arrogance of affluence.  They themselves are ignorant of these realities but consider themselves elite.  They think this is a management issue when instead it is an existential issue of living a lie and paying the consequences.  The elite always bring civilization down with arrogance.  Ours is by far the worst and will fail the quickest.

https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/

This site next site has been very significant to my REAL Green.  I did not realize I was connecting with an ancient understanding of the cyclic nature of life.  This is a metaphysical reality.  The understanding of this reality can’t be approach like the physical reality of science with physics.  This is about connectivity and connectivity can’t use science and the linear of knowledge.  This is non-linear and beyond understanding and this is why it is called sacred.  It is also called the truth.  Science has to be part of this but as a vehicular way to approach. 

This is an age-old dichotomy and the product is civilization and the reason civilizations always fail.  Before we lost our innocence in the arrogance of civilization this dichotomy was healthy it allowed great survival strategies for our species.  Tools and fire are two great examples.  Civilization has brought division to life with the arrogance of specialization.  It is incumbent on you the individual to heal this rift to face a dark world ahead.  Go to this site to better understand the metaphysical of cyclic realities.

https://energyshifts.net/

4×4 is transformation and transcendence which is now required for your survival.  I am just a simple man raising goats and cattle on hardscrabble land.  I am getting old and feeble.  My mind is slipping.  I forget things and when I get up in the morning I hurt.  I rejoice in getting up and try to power through the pain.  It is this basic activity of living that gives me optimism to the pessimism.   When I connect the pain dissipates enough and I power through.  I consider optimistic pessimism the paradox of life.  If you want to find real optimism you must embrace pessimism.  Life is an incongruous juxtaposition for humans because of the polarity of our dualism.

I am calling this post 4×4 because you require front and rear drive to navigate the off road of this new life.  A new life that is actually the old one.  Super highways represent our fantasy world.  Our 2 wheel performance sports cars of fantasy are not going to work in the off road of life.  Actually, having the 4 legs of a horse is the true 4×4 to embrace because this is the marriage of man with nature.  The Comanches of the southern plains are a fine example.  You will have to be all-terrain in this world tipping over. 

To understand this fully you have to dig into human nature itself.  You have to entertain the secrets of life with humility and acceptance.  This will give you the wisdom of insecurity to live to die another day which is the most profound incongruous juxtaposition.  Death is the ultimate reality of life.  Like the moment of birth, undeniable.  You must find joy in this journey of pain and suffering.  At some point you need to quit asking why and just live naturally.  This naturalness is something unnatural these days and the reason for so much neurosis.

You are an energy system because that is fundamentally what life is.  Humans don’t think of ourselves this way.  We think of ourselves as exceptional and a reflection of a divine.  Atheist may not believe in a God but most believe in intelligence as something that orders the universe.  Math and physics are the higher power for them.  People of faith believe in a divine power ordering our lives which is a reflection of what is human with self-consciousness.  This is problematic for humans as animals on a finite planet of systems.  It is this desire for exceptionalism from nature that instead leaves us naked.  Any man of faith must lose his faith to find it.  Atheism is just a luxury of affluence.

Fundamentally we are dualistic because of self-consciousness.  We have spirtual needs of connecting with the question of why?  The isolated ego seeks answers because this need for why influences our needs that allow us to live.  It is very difficult to live on a finite planet in competition with other life and with a planetary system in constant change.  This is made harder for humans because of why and the harsh reality of being aware of mortality.

This dualism shows up in our science and technology side of gathering and processing energy.  Since the advent of civilization this basic of a life form of gathering and processing energy has found a niche where we can engage in other activities that satisfy our needs to know why.  For the primitive man the why was found in nature.  He lived by weaving meaning with beings and animate forces in his local.  He was scaled and balanced but primitive.  This is why simplicity needs to be embraced.  No longer does human activity revolve only around hunting, gathering, and semi-nomadic agriculture.  We now have knowledge and technology to build things and accumulate knowledge systems.  This has happened in a very short time and humans have not completely adapted.  This lack of adaptation is destroying ourselves and planetary complexity.

This human evolution has now hit the limits of growth but also much less talked about limits to change.  This is a trap that points to collpase.  This collpase is inevitable and I would say necessary.  Just as there is no free will without determinism there is no growth without collpase.  Collpase tends to be rapid with growth tending to be built up over time by building upon building.  The collpase process can be especially harsh if it is ignored becuase it can become a house of cards.  If collpase is embraced it can be less harsh with a pruning of deadwood.  Grapes and fruit trees that are properly pruned give much fruit.

This collpase paradigm with clear environmental patterns should be addressed by society but there is this key element of the trap that is the limit of change.   In our modern case is primarily the trap of carbon that allows us to engage in activities of civilization.  Civilization is path dependent with its learning and activity with carbon.  This can’t be broken except by collpase.  Before fossil fuels there was the carbon of biomass that was also limited.  Civilizations were trapped here too by cutting all the trees down and degrading the soil. 

It is the degree and duration that is the critical element of collpase not the if there will be collpase.  It will happen because this is the way.   A deeper study of the cyclic of metaphysics hints to this.  It is better to embrace this truth than the hope of if it will or won’t happen.  Pretending it won’t happen is just the building of a house of cards.  Embracing the inevitability of collpase allows efforts to manage the degree and duration of degrowth.  Degree and duration together is the primary gauge for life or death in destructive change.  This is true of all life on this every changing finite planet.

Abandonment, dysfunction, and the irrational are human elements of the collpase process otherwise called degrowth.  This is an unwinding of complexity by forces of chaos.  There is a whole scientific area of study of chaos that is very remarkable.  There is order in chaos.  This is turbulence and there is no formula for turbulence but turbulence has its own form of order.  It is anti-order order.  In nature there is just succession.  To the degree there is dysfunctional and irrational in nature is only through human reflection which is from our dualism with the ego and the other.  The planet and life are not dysfunctional and there is no irrational in nature other than in the human mind in an abstraction.  Nature does succession of growth or degrowth depending on the interaction of systems.  If we label this dysfunction and irrational, it is just our dualism and linear thinking.

This points to the need for humans to reflect on collpase as inevitable.   This points to the need to add metaphysics to physics and vice versa.  These days they have been separated because of specialization of civilization.  If we are a reflection of the divine then this reflection reflects succession.  If we reflect succession then we reflect growth and degrowth of complexity with complicated but also simple systems.  This includes eddies fighting change or pushing change.  It involves currents that is change itself that is nonnegotiable.  Contemplation with elaborate fantasies to control this will not change this. 

At some point modern man must find a way to embrace this as a component through their higher power.  This is a planetary pattern for life that is nonnegotiable.  Humans are aware of this to a point.  What limits awareness it is our desire for manifest destiny of the arrogance of humanism.  The reflection of this divine way is clouded because of the loss of innocence with specialization.  Knowledge is specialization.  Instead, we look to other planets as if this will keep our linear seeking specialized destiny alive.  We look to technology fixing things that are constantly breaking down because of the very powerful force of entropy.  We theorize energy sources can be substituted.  Safe and plentiful energy is touted as the future by our delusional greens.  We even think we can work through mortality with singularity of our souls merging in transhumanism with machines.

I do not believe this condition of human nature can be reconciled at the level of civilization.  Civilization is a linear system of knowledge and constructions that dwell in a non-linear world of the succession of change.  This then points to a requirement of you the individual.  This requirement is acceptance of human arrogance.   The living with a civilization that is path dependent and carbon trap.  Trapped in denial by its very definition. 

My reference to arrogance here is not good or bad.  If you judge it good or bad you are just being arrogant.  It is just the inevitable condition of the dualism of self-consciousness.  Life reflects once it attains individual complexity.  This individual complexity can only happen during times of overall complexity.  Civilization would not have developed except with the stable epoch we have been in.  Civilization then destroyed the stability that gave it life.  Embrace this and you get a natural transcendence.

Complexity is deceptive because we can look at what we now think is a peak of complexity but which is actually degraded complexity.  The domination of the planet by one species is less complex than the symbiotic complexity of a diversity.  This can be seen very easily with common sense to those who are honest.  The planet is now less complex overall with a complex human world. 

What good is all this technology and knowledge when it is actually anti-complexity?  If we do not see the reality of what civilization actually does then it is impossible to embrace the true complexity of our species in symbiotic growth with other species.  All of this of course acquiesces to the solar system and likely forces beyond.  Even here we disrespect complexity by imposing a human face to physics as if our intelligence is a mirror of the intelligent design of the universe.  That can’t be known.

You the individual need to see through this human arrogance.  This will transform you but not allow transcendence over it.  There is no transcendence except within.  The transcendence comes from not being able to transcend.  It is that special place where the two intersect that is the spark of life.  The transformation is from outside and the transcendence is within.  They work together and they are always subject to change.  This cyclical marriage of a moving dualism is inevitable on a changing planet when a species becomes self-conscious and then loses that consciousness.  Embrace it and it will support you as the way.  It is the compass to find your direction. 

If you have no compass on a dark night or cloudy day you are lost.  If you are lost your life is haphazard.  If you have a compass, you can follow the direction.  Following the direction will not save you but it allows you the opportunity to live more harmonious.  You have no choice but to find surplus energy or you will die.  This is true of the fox or man.  Having a sense of direction is a necessary support mechanism just as the fox has keen eyes, ears, and sense of smell.  Know your humanity which means knowing your dualism.

So, it is the internal transcendence and external transformation that is critical.  It is not attainable but it is a way to follow.  Attainable here is referred to a having.  You can’t possess this ultimate power but instead embrace it.  This is why a shaman will lose his power if he uses it for personal gain.  You were a child and then became an adult.  You then journey back to the child like stage when becoming old.  Our social structures are no different but unable to accept this.  They just have a different expression with growth and degrowth.

Our civilization is late stage.  Our current civilization is in childlike phase of being old.  It is pretending to be an adult.  Adulthood was when we were premodern.  Our childlike nature has been in operation since then.  Our human forcing has changed the planet to less complexity.  This succession is then what you must set your compass to.   Find transformation with internal transcendence in this common-sense honesty of 4×4.  The transformation in this late-stage civilization is degrowth.  The transcendence is humility and acceptance.  The transformation is a lifeboat on a sea of destructive change that finds niches of constructive growth.  Internally the transcendence is your hospice care of spirtual adaptation.  It is here you embrace acceptance of the planet’s way and find humility in the arrogance of humanism.

Now more than ever at this point in our linear world of history the truly vital element of life is within.  It is not some scientific discovery that will save humanity.  This is because of the extent of delocalization from our vital ecosystem civilization has taken us.  It is because humans have embraced fully the worship of transhumanism of machines that life is being destroyed.  This transhumanism is now anti-life. 

I am tapping words out on an anti-life system.  This little laptop is connected to a vast network of powerlines and power plants that are supported by strip mining and landfills.  If you do not see this then you are lost in delusions.  It does not matter I may be telling you life giving knowledge.  Every tap is a tap of death in the greater scheme.  This is anti-life but if you understand the cyclic nature of life then you stop judging this action because my free will is determined.  Man’s civilization is anti-life now and this will end in a rebirth.

Transcending in this case is not physical it is metaphysical.  It is taking the limits of the physical human condition and embracing its place in the life system.  In this scared place there is no good or bad.  Good or bad is then merge in the isness of it all.  This isness is then naturalness. 

It is this naturalness that is the true transmutation of the alchemist.  It is not the deceptive quest for immortality that is lost once it is searched for.  It is not changing base metals into gold.  This is the trick humans play on themselves in self-consciousness.  The true transmutation is becoming natural.  This means being a child then an adult then a child again.  This is true of civilization which means the inevitability of collpase. 

This is the way.  There is a scared element here that can only be embraced.  Civilization then represents just another expression of life.  This is the cyclic expression of transcendence and transformation in succession.  A succession that is at times growth and other times degrowth.  We are in the degrowth phase now.  Embrace this and it will support you.  Reject it and you will drown in desperation.

Find your compass then you can adapt and mitigate to a civilization that lost its compass.  It lost its compass because that is the way.  Do not judge this or you will not find your compass.  Finding your compass is embracing the way of the planet right under your feet.  It is listening to the language of the birds and watching the geese and monarchs effortlessly find their direction of migration. 

The finding of the compass and the losing of it is the way of succession as much for civilization as the individual.  It is the humility of this that is the key for the individual.  This is why the meek will inherit the earth.  This is where civilization is at a disadvantage because civilization is by definition arrogance.  It is physical growth attempting transcendence which is not possible on a finite planet.

Even talking about this reality is not it.  I am an imperfect vessel.  I am not very smart.  My linear thinking is attempting to explain the nonlinear of life and systems.  This is my own arrogance.  Yet, I am not doing this in a serious way.  I am just sitting around the campfire talking to you under a wonderful starry night.  The air is brisk but not brutal.  We are friends and care about each other.  The fire warms our friendship.  We know the morning will bring hard work and we know one day we will die.  Yet, in the here and now this is a beautiful night we are enjoying together.  It is this community that is the key and it is here there is salvation.  Enjoy and have reverence instead of the deadly serious passions we get caught in to have and hold.

TRIAGE

I am now engaged in triage.  In my little world here on the farm I am faced with downsizing.  In the past I was building up with the understanding a drawdown was ahead.  I did not know when but I did know it was inevitable.  In my little world my farm budget has been eliminated.  This occurred at the same time prices for everything have exploded.  I am so glad I invested wisely while I could.  I used this budget to renovate and restore this old worn-out cattle farm.  It is environmentally vibrant now.  I also used it to assist me in the building up of my grazing system.  It allowed me to beef up my prepping portfolio.  These things and actions are all related in my green prepping efforts.

I have succeeded in building up something robust and more secure.  I now will have to apply triage to properly maintain what I have done.  There are parts of the farm I will have to let go to over grow.  There are areas I will focus my resources on.  My goat effort will have to be more minimalistic.  I am also growing the herd because I will have to get more return on them now that my financial support has been reduced.  I am not going to have the money to buy tools, supplies, and hardware like I did.  Now purchases will be focused on maintenance.  The positive is I had mostly built-up good reserves.  I am outfitted now.  I have the right equipment mix to target my farm work.  The grazing system is finished.  There are things I would liked to have done but these were just enhancements and tweaking. 

I am prepped up.  I have a solid prep portfolio.  You will find that you never have enough prep stuff but you can get enough if you stay modest.  Now I will be maintaining readiness albeit in the slow attrition that life imposes on a building up of a fortified homestead and permaculture farm.  Attrician will deplete and wear out things so I will be forced to adapt but this adaptation can be slower.  A slower decline makes adaptation easier. 

I am mentally prepared because I have been living this process in my head.  I feel this is the most important element to this process.  It is mental with attitudes.  It is acceptance of the pessimism of it all and the resulting impulse to action that becomes the optimism.  If you expect the process then when it comes you naturally react.  It is never easy and you will not transcend the pain of downsizing.  There is no sugar coating degrowth and there should not be.  This is the greater problem of modern life.  People across the spectrum have been lied too about what is ahead.  I agree some can’t handle the truth but if leadership can’t handle the truth, then the dangers are great.

My budget got cut so now I am without money to do constructive growth.  The good thing is the work I did was in anticipation of this.  This process did not happen as I anticipated which is something for you to reflect on if you are attempting something similar to my green prepping.  I lost my support from my family to build this farm up.  I had always thought event of the world would force this first.  Instead, my support was ended from within.  The events of the world are deteriorating rapidly too.  This is the reason I am talking triage in this post. 

The world is falling apart and my family support was withdrawn so my prep system is turned on.  Now I will be put to the test.  Globalism is breaking down before our eyes.  Economics is deteriorating with supply chains and stagflation.  Hyperinflation may happen.  Energy is becoming dearer.  Food is going to be an issue soon.  I am going to struggle to put fertilizer on my hay fields this year as my small example of food issues ahead.  My operation has to have hay for the winter months.  Social cohesion is deteriorating.  Just look around how pissed off people are and multiple that with the coming food and energy shortages.

What I will be discussing today is somewhat mental and theoretical but this aspect of what you are going to need to do is necessary because the narrative of globalism is so skewed with denial and deception.  You must be able to lift yourself out of your situation and look in on it intellectually.  You will then be required to get out of your mind and descend back into action.  You will then need to face hardship with educated decisions.  This is the basis of wisdom.  There will be consequences that are for the most part difficult.  I am finding it difficult to downsize my middle-class life I built up at the same time I am getting older.  I am getting older and feeling the strain of all I do.  I am increasingly unable to maintain my physical effort like I used to.  I am closing in on 60 doing the work of a 40-year-old. 

It is wise to understand events in Ukraine are a turning point.  This is the self-destruction of the global system by the globalist.  Their hubris, recklessness, and incompetence has led to their own demise.  They will limp along with power here and their but increasingly their lies and misinformation will turn the general public against them.  Across the board their policies are failing except for the policy of self-destruction.  They want to destroy what was and build back something technocratic and authoritarian.  In the process the globalist destroyed globalism.  The most powerful growth engine ever devised by man will break down into smaller economic systems.  This growth engine has destroyed culture with homogenization and the planet with cheap plastic waste streams.  The globalist wanted their cake and eat it but instead pooped in their nest.

Growth is over and all political systems deny this.  You need to realize this phase in modern history has turned over and will stair step down to a new reality of less.  How much less for you is contingent on how you react now.  It is contingent upon you to see through the various narratives they are trying to feed you.   Adapt accordingly because there is little wiggle room now. 

Keep in mind there are limits to growth but also limits to change.  You are path dependent with a life adapted to globalism.   Your local is delocalized and vulnerable to disruptions of food and fuel.  You are carbon trapped in a world that renewables will not save.   Green new deals are lies.   Green new deals will not survive the demise of globalism.  Fossil fuels are in net energy decline so don’t believe the drill baby drill browns either.  What you need to be outfitted for is the courage to accept the truth of what is happening and take action.  This action is more with attitudes than with things.  Things will now be limited.  Proper attitude is not.  Action is the optimism you can have with this pessimistic reality.

I am speaking to you about triage because what is important now is the clearing out of deadwood.  In a world of less, excess baggage is a detriment.  In a sense you will need to be a refugee from this globalized world.  A refugee can’t carry much with him.  There are no moving trucks into this new age.  It is incumbent on you to first triage out of your life things that will only inhibit proper living in the face of decline.  This includes your beliefs, values, and goals. 

This world of decline is a pole shift so you can’t expect to use growth thinking the same.  Niche growth within a world of destructive growth is instead needed.  This means targeted and focused growth.  The world is still going to think growth and progress.  You can’t just ignore this.  This does not mean a dumpster fire.  Many core values are valid and relevant in a growth world and a degrowth world.  What this means is a degrowth focused evaluation of what your goals are.  Reality testing with degrowth acceptance.   First it means accepting the world has tipped over.  Most hang on to optimism it will all work out.  The deception is imprinted in all of us that some wonderful tech will solve our problems.

Globalism is breaking down into a world of shorter supply chains.  There will be less travel.  Food choices greatly reduced.  Education altered by the reality many academic destinations will not support this new poorer world.  Health care will be limited and the safety net of welfare reduced.  This is back to earlier times we mistakenly though prosperity delivered us from.  What prosperity did instead was dropped us off in a world without a return ticket.  It is very important you realize this and make appropriate changes to how you operate.  Downsize with dignity and do this in places with more of a future.  This is if you can.  Many people are trapped now and will have to shelter in place.  In this tip over into a world of decline options for constructive change are reduced significantly.

A degrowth world calls for triage because a world of less is a world of priorities.  If you can’t prioritize you will find yourself a house of cards vulnerable to the further shocks ahead.  Triage is your first priority by eliminating the destructive ways and things of prosperity.  Prosperity is destructive when it loads you up with the excess baggage of a lifestyle with no future.  This narrative of prosperity is one sold to you by the marketing propaganda of the big corporations of the globalist’s world.  This is also about the narrative of techno optimism.  Science, academia, and their technocratic administrative statist want you to believe they have a plan to save humanity from itself.  They are the problem not the solution.

The technocrats want you to believe there is a great reset and a 4th industrial revolution.  There is but it is in the other direction.  They are the ones who will be reset and turned back.  Their complexity and complicated things are going to be abandoned.  Networks dysfunction will be rapid with abandonment.  The irrationality exposed with hyper centralization and the insanity of doing more of the same when these actions result in repeated failures.

The planet is in abrupt change because of human forcing.  Systems like the hydrologic, nutrient, carbon, and life system are now in flux with instability.  The climate system is clearly unstable.  Notice it is not warming but instead unstable warming and cooling.  Floods and droughts have become more extreme and unpredictable.  The long period of stability that built civilization is now in flux.  Humans have no choice but to acquiesce to this.  Technology will not save us. In fact, technology and its sister knowledge accumulation are the problem now. 

Triage applies with instability too with a wisdom of decline.  This wisdom is of simpler questions and answers.  It is the knowledge of what ordinary knowledge to gain and how to use it.  Triage out complexity and complicated things as your trap allows.  This must be done relative and realistically because traps are traps.  This is about not digging the hole deeper with transhumanism of machine-based living and the delocalization of your individual supply chains.  I am not telling you to not think globally but instead think more locally.  Remember you are trapped.  Globalism delocalized a global civilization now all nation states will suffer.  There is nowhere to hide.  Some are worse than others.  The more complex and complicated the worse the adjustment although proper wisdom can stabilize the process of decay and decline.

Once triage is complete think about salvage.  Salvage means using what is at hand to piece together value.  Salvage means taking good products and knowledge and adapting it to decline with repurposed applications.  Keep in mind this is both physical and abstract.  Systems and networks require this too.  What this means to you the individual is seeing the vulnerabilities and limiting them.  The health care system and education system are prime examples of vital necessities that must be repurposed.  Finance and business are another because civilization has to provide logistics.  You can’t just walk away from these modern constructs but instead see them for what they are and will be.  These vital constructs will not survive as-is delocalization and dematerialization.  This may not be overnight but it will be the trend.  Since growth tends to happen slowly over time and collapse relative swift there is no time to waste.

A key element to salvage in this modern age is hybridization.  This hybridization is combining the best of the old ways with new ones to form a new version of both.  This will be the next stage.  This is a life boat mentality.  This is the real great reset and fourth turning.  It is a turning back but with some important knowledge and things that can leverage and fortify the return to an older way of living.  You will need to resurrect the old ways.  Many have been forgotten but much of this is common sense.  If proper triage is applied common sense is allowed to flourish.  The old ways were honed by common sense over time.

The old ways of home economics, food, and shelter can be combined with great modern tech and know-how.  First the baggage of the modern that is unneeded must be eliminated.  This must be done with decline and dematerialization in mind.  It must also be done with the understanding of the limits of change from the carbon trap and path dependencies of a way of life imprinted on us from a lifetime of living in progressive growth.  Somewhere there will be an intersection where those who apply proper wisdom will obtain a stability of decline.  Those who fail will see rapid decline.

Hybridization takes this new wisdom and applies triage and salvage as a life boat mentality.  This must be done stoically with ascetic values.  For example, carpooling will be back.  Localism will reform with people remaining local for community functions.  This is a world of decline so less is the operative word.  Community will not be in short supply and this will offset the losses where there is still community.  Less is about abandonment, dysfunction, and irrational.  This is macro and micro because this must be in your little world too.  This process is about lifeboats and hospice attitudes.  The life boat part is prepping and the hospice part is acceptance and humility for a world being degrowthed.

The most important part of this adaptation to decline is the wisdom of insecurity.  This wisdom comes from acceptance and humility to a greater power above man’s tech and knowledge.  This wisdom embraces the planets change.  The planet is in abrupt change so this means human civilization will be forced into change.  This forced change will leave you insecure.  Embrace this instead of denying it.  By embracing it you reduce fear.  Fear does not go away but irrational fear will be reduced.  The last thing you want to do is panic which is irrational fear.

Monocultures and global supply chains will be reduced so learn permaculture and home economics.  The dysfunctions of globalism’s decline you will want to avoid despite your trap in globalism.  Distance yourself from delocalization.  Commuting too far is a bad idea.  The irrational of a cultural narrative of techno optimism especially from the globalist with their green new deals is the other important scam to avoid.  Renewables have a vital part to play in a decline but not as advertised by radical greens.  Do the math, renewables are a global commodity and globalism is in decline.  Renewables won’t overcome this decline.  Avoid areas preaching NetZero.  NetZero is on the way but this is less energy and more human and animal power.

This way I am telling you about will not save you from decline but it will give you courage to embrace decline.  Fear is debilitating if it is not healthy fear.  Embrace fear as it is naturally required of all life and limit the fear man is trapped in with his self-consciousness.  All we have constructed will turn to dust but in the here and now life goes on.  Embrace the planet’s way because there is no reality more real than the changing seasons and the process of life below our feet.  This means more localization and less machine transhumanism.

The planet’s life system is governed by change periods of succession.  Without succession life could not be life.  This cycle allows life to adapt to a planet with tectonics and climate.  Embrace succession because if you embrace this it will support you.  It supports you because you are not fighting the current of change but instead flowing with it.  It is this adapting to change both destructive and constructive that will allow you to find a niche of stability.  There are no guarantees to stability but there is only one way to stability and that is the way of the planet.  If the planet is changing embrace this or suffer the consequences.  This is how life has always operated on this changing planet.

The End Game

I am giving you a word salad that is like a regurgitation.  I have probably 200 supporting current event sources for this in articles and pictures just from last year and the first part of this year.  Much of this is evident but the connectivity of the process is harder to see.  I was never very political but have become more political when they came to take it away.  When they label me a domestic terrorist and practice racism against me, I am going to stand up.  I have not changed they have changed the criteria.  The “they” are the global elite.

This is a risk to my local because what I have, they want.  What little affluence I have that’s keeping my small little world here relatively affluence they are coming for.  I do not have time to support this little rant nor is it complete.  This subject could take up several books.  I am busy running a farm and providing for a family so this is the best I can do for you.  I wish I could list all the backup I have for this.  A rant is all I can offer.

This Ukraine war is very dangerous for the world.  Unintended consequences are everywhere.  Nuclear war is now more possible than in the past 2 decades since the breakup of the Soviet Union.  This includes tactical and low yield varieties that is the rage now as if you could contain this.  These war dangers include the social cost of an important Eurasian country that will need to be rebuilt.  Ukraine is a major resource producing country with minerals and agricultural products.  Russia is being marginalized with sanctions and is one of the top resource countries in the world.  This is at a time of resource shortages from two years of covid supply disruptions and deepening financial problems.  If you think this war is confined to Ukraine you are mistaken.  The fighting might be but the consequences are not.

This could have been avoided but the globalist technocratic cabal are fully bent on western domination and Russia stands in their way of complete domination of the west.  Putin may be a KBG thug but the man is smart.  He knows this is the best time to fight because his options will dimmish over time.  Russia deserves respect and they have been continuously marginalized by this globalist group. 

Putin has likley overstepped his hand and it is appearing to me his effort will lead to a military stalemate.  Ukraine is a giant country to overcome even for Russia.  He needed a quick victory and that is increasingly unlikely.  Yet, his war is a statement of a red line that was crossed and the globalist that are so incompetent and reckless ignored.  The west is teetering on collpase from an overextended system and yet they seek power at any const.  This is how elites bring down civilizations.  History is replete with this elite overextension.  The rest of the world is in danger because today this is a global civilization.  Nowhere is their safety.

I say all this as one who is a quasi-nationalist and believes in decentralization.  I am a conservative and a liberal because I am part of neither.  Most of all I am a REAL Green environmentalist.  I am a degrowth doomer that does not fit into any political persuasion.  I am preaching green prepping which is what is green is more prepped.  Keep this in mind when you judge me as you will by me bringing up politics in this polarized time.

The technocratic administrative bureaucracy of the west are converging in a dangerous effort to become a unipower army for the elites bent on domination.  NATO is their private army if you can call it an army.  It is more a military grifting operation.  These groups are more like a criminal gang.  This is a merger of large corporations and governments. Woke polices with the criminal covid actions are just some of their color revolution efforts to subvert the masses to the will of a narrow but significant power grab by a small group.

This is the elites of Davos and the merger of the US, Anglo, and European administrative states. This is a global deep state of deep state parts.  These people have become extremely unpopular with their police state tactics.  What once was called a conspiracy is clearly visible now.  They went for control and now are so unpopular it is likely they will fall apart as a combined force but the damage has been done and can’t be repaired.  Their policies are incompetent and reckless.  In the US the southern border is wide open to nefarious actors.  The economy is being gutted by inflationary actions and destructive executive branch polices.  This is the worst of all worlds of political, economic, and social destruction. 

These elites are merging and seek elite domination by a few over the majority.  These people are using the Marxist tools of raw political power that is basically lying, stealing, and cheating as a means to an end.  This is the kind of moral hazard that destroy democracies and capitalistic systems.  There is the attempted coup of Trump and the stealing of the 2020 election that illustrates the constitution is being disregarded.  Rules of law ignored and free and fair markets gutted.  Once these things have been destroyed it is very difficult to rebuild them because what has really been lost is trust and confidence.  Trust and confidence are liquidity and liquidity is feeding and sheltering all of us.

I mention this because there is a perfect storm of converging decline variables that are not fully evident because this is dispersed risk converging and negatively feeding back into a very dangerous breakdown of a world of interconnected globalism.  This globalism has delocalized much of the world by the push to maximize profits of these elites with economies of scale, just-in-time manufacturing, specialization of supply chains, and global transport. 

This is all facilitated primarily with global transport that is fully dependent on fossil fuels that are in a process of declining net energy returns.  Green energy policy is just compounding net energy decline because it is inadequate to keep this complexity going.  Renewables have a vital function but not as applied in the fantasy of NetZero by the globalist and their hijacked environmentalist.  NetZero is a lie and one need only look at the amount of fossil fuels still consumed for primary energy to see this lie of NetZero. 

Global affluence is a lie and the beginning of the end of growth becuase growth is only possible by increasing energy inputs and a functional system.  Net energy decline and dysfunctional systems point in only one direction.  Decoupling and dematerialization is a lie that turned out to be primarily offshoring and financialization.  Services have taken the place of manufacturing in many rich nations. 

This process is another destabilizing force because services require energy and manufacturing.  Energy is in net energy decline and manufacturing offshored.  For example, our health care system will come to halt quickly without offshored manufactured products and ample energy.  This heavy leaning to services for affluence by the richest nations will end quickly if there are any serious disruption.  This is what is ahead.  This is a Ponzi scheme and visually a house of cards.  Catch 22’s and doors slammed shut are the consequences of this arrogance of humanism that affluence always creates.

That was a quick summation primary aimed at showing how overextended and vulnerable the world is presently to economic and energy disruptions that will spill over into food and vital products.  The covid crimes of the last two years have shown the elites will stop at nothing to gain complete power.  China’s CCP has been a nefarious actor in all this and bent on world domination.  The west is following their play book.  Elite capture of western elites is now elite merger in the fascism of state capitalism based upon a westernized version of the CCP with social credits, economic control through monopolies and anti-competitive corporate policies.

These polices will destroy globalism and the people will rebel.  This will lead to further social and economic breakdown.  Resources supply chains and manufacturing supply chains are destabilizing at a time when much of the world is in large urban concentrations fully delocalized of their vital needs.  Monocultures and delocalized goods point to systematic unsustainability and brittle reliance.  Brittle resilience is another incongruous juxtaposition that points to the paradox that increasing complexity destroys complexity.  Simplicity in symbiotic relationships is its antonym.  This is what is needed but the doors are shut to a painless return to a world less complex with many fewer complicated machines.

This is going to spill out into economic pain and suffering for large groups worldwide.  Food and energy shortages will morph into goods and service shortages.  The merging and converging of decline in both physical things and the abstract of systems will eventually put a globalize world on the edge.  This is at the same time the planet is in abrupt change from human forcing with unstable weather.  Ecosystems are in decline and localized failure.  The web of life is in an ignored extinction process.  It is ignored because we have copious supplies of industrial agricultural monocultures to hoodwinked us into thinking food and water are in plenty.  Yea, I mention water because it is also industrial and mainly available to most because of energy.

I had to mention these things to you to understand the importance of prepping.  I am not trying to change your political beliefs.  That is really irrelevant now because both sides face failure.  No political persuasion can grow our way out of this and that is all they can offer now.  One side want to make America great again.  The other wants to build back better a green social justice technocratic utopia that is really more about gulags and slavery.  This is beyond political.  I will say this there are politics that are worse in regards to hastening the process and that is what we have now with those in change in the west and China.

We are now at that point where you should be prepped but most are not.  I have gone over why most can’t in posts on this blog because I have done it and know just how difficult it is.  I have also spoken about how ineffective it is longer term to be prepped as an individual without a prepped community.  Without a community of prepped groups and individuals your prepping is only good for a short window if decline is rapid and complete.  If this winds down into a depression that is manageable then a fully prepped rural location that produces some food will be a good bet.  Living in an exposed urban setting is a bad bet in either situation because almost all cities from 20,000 to 20MIL are too big.  Yes, even towns of 20,000 are poorly constructed to serve the 20,000.  The urban areas of 20MIL are timebombs.

Most of all I ask you to accept this situation as something that is unavoidable and now in play.  The world is breaking down and the consequences are both predictable but also full of unintended consequences that are unpredictable.  This is the worst of all situations because the predictable consequences are truly dangerous on their own merit with the unintended ones just adding to the dangers.  Unintended consequences are just too difficult to plan for.  All of this could have been reduced and the worst avoided, theoretically. 

The reality is this is a self-organizing process that once set in motion has no choice but to run its course so theoretically at this point is fantasy.  This is the nature of path dependencies and the carbon trap the entire world is in.  Even if you are poor and subsistence your neighbors aren’t.  When the world breaks down there is nowhere to go.  The world is fully exploited.  In fact, two worlds could be exploited and we would still be in overshoot.  The reason I say this is because no amount of growth that could come from some kind of wonderful discovery of free energy would save us now.  It is too late.  The process is planetary and systematic.

I would ask you to refer to my many posts on failure and acceptance.  I have also well documented good prepping strategies.  The importance of courage is now more important than ever.  Break out of the comatose thinking people are in that this will all turn out ok.  Technology is not going to save us here.  It is now just making the situation worse with complicated things and a complex system that can’t be maintained. 

Seek voluntary simplicity which at this point is voluntary downsizing and psychological preparations for pain and suffering.  Nobody can truly get a handle on what is ahead.  It is extremely dangerous overall.  It may unfold in multiple years but I feel the turn I have spoken about so often is now complete.  The age of decline and breakdown is upon us.  Before these past two years I would have said we were in the neighborhood of this breakdown.  We are now squarely in it.  Your window to prepare is closing rapidly but this is not true of your spirtual window.  It is here where courage can power you through the physical depredations of an age of decline.

Sorry We Are Out of Gas

This is the first of my “Don’t Add Up” series.  It concerns energy.  Energy is something I have been fascinated with for decades.  I have done deep research.  Most of my research has been during my time as a “Peaker”.  This was when peak oil was all the rage back in early to mid-2000s.  I learned then how troubling peak oil really is.  Yea, it still is troubling.  It is just that now it has been drowned out by other issues.  Spoiler, renewables are not going to save us. 

This is not about crying wolf, it is about tuning into a greater reality.  Collapse is the result of this process but if you tune into reality then you see a cycle and process.  Find your place in the process then this abstract talk about energy will give you meaning.  Just feeling fear is of little use but not seeing the dangers is just as bad.

In 05 I had a radical departure into doom because of peak oil and the understanding of how unstable the current financial system is.  I say radical because I moved too quick into the doom mode.  These forces of doom manifesting in the unsustainable civilizational narrative move slow.  The financial crisis came and went and the shale boom erased peak oil fears but that was the typical short sightedness of society.  These forces of doom never sleep.  Depletion is something that slowly erodes the net energy of society relentlessly.  The reason I am including financial decline with depletion is important to understand.

Fossil fuels are still very abundant and we are in no danger of running out of them but that is not the whole story.  Reserves are not resources and this is how the establishment hoodwinks the public into complacency.  Resources are more than geology they are also a function of economy.  You need an economy to bring resources to market and put them to productive use.  The economy is in systematic decline which is complex and complicated.  The complexity is the nature of globalism being interconnected and systematically based.  The goal is ever greater efficiency and performance to achieve affluence growth.  The complicated part is the internal networks and systems that continue to get more complicated because of the demands of performance and efficiency.

Diminishing returns with energy and economy is now going dangerously non liner into the condition of problem solving becoming the problem and growth that is actually decline.  Imagine taking your time and money and investing in something that is a failure.  Your time is lost and money.  This type of investment loss is losing principal which is your money and interest which is time.  This is a tipping over point, and I believe we are in the neighborhood of this.   When Problem solving is the problem then failure occurs rapidly hence a non-liner inversion going vertical.  Growth becomes malinvestment which means many great efforts at producing are instead destroying. 

This vertical non-linear condition of breaking down will likely manifest on the other side as a stairstep down where unsustainable activity breaks down to more sustainable.  This is where reality testing makes our efforts once again effective problem solvers meaning we get a surplus for living.  The process continues like dominoes falling but with periods of regained stability. 

The reason this will be an ongoing process is the amount of extension that occurred with centuries of affluence seeking with disregard for sustainability and resilience.  Complete collapse is always possible but more likely regional and local collapse with the system holding.  This is a mirror of how civilizations decline and fail.  It is a process not an event although the process is a series of sub events.  Finding your place in this process is critical just like getting a deck chair or a place on a life boat.

The important point to realize now is the global system’s financial system that supplies capital, transport and the just in time manufacturing is hitting limits.  These limits are now even more dangerous because of the limits of change.  We have burned bridges.  This is a classic ending of a Ponzi scheme where an entity is paying out dividends from new member initiation.  Real returns on the investments are negative in regards to promises made.  This is unfunded liabilities.  Not only is there no interest the principal is being reduced as new entrants dwindle but the promises remain to maintain confidence.  At a point that confidence is lost, losses are inevitable and these investments will just be pennies on the dollar.  In the case of our global system this is pursuing growth when growth is actually demolition of social fabric and critical infrastructure.  The wasting of resources for irrational goals etc.

Our system is a Ponzi of growth from growth policies that are path dependent and carbon trapped.  This is a hard wiring of self-organization and the inability to power this system with anything but dense carbon sources such as fossil fuels.  In future posts I will deal with renewables which are little more than extenders much like fuel aditives like ethanol.  There true holistic EROI is not adequate to replace fossil fuels and they can’t replicate themselves.  Complex society that produces renewables can’t produce renewables with renewables.  This is a long discussion so I don’t have time to elaborate.  

Efficiency is hitting diminishing returns with cost being more than what is saved.  Fission is fossil fuel supported plus fissile material is also suffering depletion.  Fusion is a scientific fantasy and likely produce little power with huge cost.  This is the same story as renewables with an unrealistic economic application of energy which ends up being just an expense or cost.  Energy expense is the producing of energy at a cost not a surplus.

This is not to say efficiency and renewables are not useful and wise.  What I am saying is basing the future on these sub energy vectors is just prolonging the breakdown to a more sustainable and resilient way of using energy and economics.  I called them vectors because they are fossil fuel trapped and the economy in its current form is fossil fuel trapped.  Renewables thus are like hydrogen just a way to reform fossil fuels to deliver energy.  This is what I call carbon trapped.  This behavior is path dependent from centuries of living this way.   This way is using fossil carbon to grow on a finite planet.  It is really quite simple and common sense.

The reason you need to understand this is fossil fuels are now as economic as geologic.  When these fossil fuels were easy to get and produce they were geologic energy.  Today they are more economic than geologic energy.  As the economy declines you can see this pointing to a tipping point from growth to degrowth.  At some point getting this fossil carbon will not support the tools of getting it.  This is very abstract and systematic but the outcome is the same as the fox working too hard to get a rabbit for dinner.  In this process her cubs will be the first to be lost so in this sense regions and locals are going to be allowed to fail.  This is much like the body does in hyperthermia. 

This means the embedded energy is getting so low that economically the performance and efficiency of handling them becomes very narrow.  The margin of energy return on energy invested heads for diminishing returns where a point is reached where it cost more to produce the energy than the return on marketing the energy.  EROI is not used by investors for a reason.  It is holistic and something society needs to research.  Investors look at ROI.  Here an investment can treat energy as a constant with a narrow range of cost that is until energy is not available.  Then energy’s constant is zero.  10% return on zero is still zero.  This is the end game and why there are so many lies.

It is extremely important to understand how intricately linked energy and the economy are.  Scientist are constantly pushing technology that they say will decouple this relationship and dematerialize it.  Economist constantly are talking about substitution.  They treat energy as a constant that is magically always there in some form to keep the economy growing.  Keep in mind the economy must grow or forces of decline like abandonment, dysfunction, and irrational behavior take over.  These problems don’t get solved.  In these deceptive narrative situations, the real nature of high-quality energy that produces a net surplus is obfuscated.

The reason for the lies and deceptions are the cold hard reality of decline and depletion in not being embraced because they can’t handle the truth.   If you understand economies have limits and so do energy resources on a finite planet then this is common sense.  The human narrative is progress and advancement that always sidesteps limit.  Limits to change are even more rarely discussed even with environmentalist that understand decline and collapse. 

These people assume going back is as easy as it was going forward.  This is where we get talk of circular economies nonsense.  Circular economies only happen in semi-nomadic hunter gathering cultures.  These degrowthers fail to consider system reality that indicates when a system is pushed beyond its stable envelope of recovery then elasticity is lost and breakage occurs.  This breakage can have a long way to go until it is stabilized.  There are those who think degrowth is an option when instead degrowth is a frame of mind of adapting to post system breakage. 

Degrowth is not a policy of solutions to declining affluence represented by the current narrative.  It is a way of life adapting to a great turning of a human civilization and a planetary epoch of abrupt change from human forcing.  It is more individual and with smaller groups.  Ideally degrowth should not be penalized by society.  An optimum policy would be maintaining the traditional narrative of growth since it is trapped but also allow nodes of resilience and sustainability to form as seed beds for a possible system breakage.  This is a pressure valve release just as a business sheds labor and closes facilities to keep the core functional.  Today leadership does not take degrowth seriously and this is one of their biggest mistakes.

The economic system is now beset with so many systematic problems it is little more than a Ponzi scheme of growth meaning there is no real growth.  It is fake growth that is actually decline.  The productive base is being gutted for fake growth.  This is because of systematic corruption and all those variables of limits of growth.  This is parasitic decay and cannibalization of a productive base.  The corruption part is lies and misinformation from the private sector realizing profits at the expense of the public domain.  This is the parasitic nature of the current system.  The elites are looting the system legally because they create the laws and apply them.  So, all those valuable resources that modern man need to mitigate decline are being squandered by private entities the represent the elites of the world where power and privilege reside.

This decline is resulting in systematic abandonment, dysfunction, and irrational behavior.  The flip side of this abstract systematic decline is the physical and material decline of infrastructure plus resource decline of depletion.  A small variable input can crash the process when there is too much complexity with complicated subsystems.  When sustainability and resilience are brittle a small perturbation or a tiny resource shortage can crash complexity or ruin a complicated system. 

Society is swamped with debt and unfunded liabilities.  These are themselves deceptive abstracts because in nature there is no ledger of assets and liabilities.  In man’s world of systems, networks, and machines there is something called confidence which is liquidity.  If we do not trust each other a global system will grind to a halt.  This is the real nature of debt.  Excessive debt represents broken promises and lies of promised returns that are instead costs.  If these abstracts and physical things are net energy negative or close to zero then the system is just being cannibalized.  This is the case now.

I bring this up because this is the case with fossil fuels and net energy.  Not only are they in decline of quality which is high energy return they are also losing net energy from an economy that can’t produce them properly for a net return.  These two issues are actually systematically tied together because it takes fossil fuels to make fossil fuels and economies need fossil fuels to create and maintain systems, networks and machines that produce growth.  Growth equals energy and energy equals growth so when this approaches a net return of zero the result is cannibalization of wealth.  This is eating your seeds instead of planting.  This is so simple but obfuscated by complexity and our complicated systems, networks, and machines.

I want to add the issue of tech and its hitting of diminishing returns and systematic brittleness.  Tech is reaching the point where its performance and efficiency is also maxing out.  Digital revolution along with exotic materials are reaching the point of limits.  Tech advancement, new materials, power and performance concentrations, and size performance are near limits.  Scientist are dazzling us and mystifying with their claims but these are just more lies of theory being made to appear to be commercial.  In the past this has allowed ever greater performance and efficiency.  A great example is chips performance.  Mores law is heralded as amazing but clearly near its climax. 

This has driven economies to open doors to brittle resilience and camouflaged sustainability.   These are doors that once gone through are closed.  It is like getting on a ship without life boats so space can be saved for lounge chairs for viewing.  Globalism is now dominated by delocalized nodes of narrow specialization, just-in-time manufacturing, monocultures, and long distance and heavy transport.  These are all things that if one variable is in shortage, they all fail.  Energy is a global commodity produced by this system so it is not only one of the variables it is only produced because of this system.

I have not given you any backup or facts for this.  I am purposely doing this because I don’t have time but you have a wealth of resources at your fingertips so do some tapping.  Keep in mind the bias of scientism where science is more political and deceptively a religion so policy will influence what science is considered true.  Marketing and profit motive will push science deceptively too.  What I am giving you is a healthy skepticism to doubt what the main stream wants you to believe to either sell you something or get you to invest your resources.  They want you to feel safe not informed.  When you approach an inflection of a nonlinear diminishing returns curve what you have is an accelerating acceleration.  Time speeds up and results diminish rapidly.  This is the true reality I am seeing and have seen now especially since 2005.

This is the time of real danger because humans want short term results and they have time value bias.  This means they will not see the real picture of a building bifurcation as domains are extended out beyond a return to stability.  Elasticity is lost and the result is a break to a new equilibrium.  This is system language which is the only way this process can be thought through.  It is so complex and complicated it must be reduced to abstract systems theory.  This great engine of civilization is moving in its own time frame which is both faster and slower than normal human time.  This means things are going to break sooner but others will last longer. 

Humans are not wired for system time.  I found this out when I had a radical doom conversion in 2005.  Peak oil and the financial crisis came and went in 2005-2010.  One must be very careful in reacting to this process or the reaction is worse than not doing enough.  I overreacted and suffered financially but remember the financial crisis was almost a collapse.  Also keep in mind the can was kicked down the road and now the payments are due as you can see with unsustainable debt, rising inflation, and the moral hazard of corrupt institutions of today.  So, I was right just before my time. 

REAL Green seeks to see this system time in a relative and realistic sense.  Be yourself but be aware.  See this with vision but live how you must because you are carbon trapped and path dependent being part of a society that sustains your life that is trapped.  There is no transcending this you can only transform the trap.  Carbon trapped is the nature of the high energy life we live and path dependent because of your nature and nurture.  You were educated and have experience from a fossil fuel growth engine not a semi-nomadic hunter gatherer culture.  You are trapped and only by having the awareness of the trap can it be transformed.

What you need to know as the individual is this human process, we call civilization, oscillates.   It is not linear as we try to make it out to be with our elaborate history narratives that follow linear time frames.  Even our language is 2 dimensional and abstract using terms and concepts to represent the non-linearity of life and the planet.   Civilization is now in or near decline albeit on a systematic time frame humans have a hard time relating to because of dualism and linear fact patterning.

The planet’s systems like life, carbon, hydrologic, and nutrient systems are in abrupt change meaning the stability that humans need to produce food and run a global engine are forcing the system to bog down.  Not only are fossil fuels running out but also other important resources.  But there is also the situation of this system progressing so far that there is a limit to change.  This limit to change is compounded by ecosystem destruction.  The planet has been altered which means going back to pre-industrial and agricultural revolution is not possible without dramatic pain.  Industry and agriculture are now linked directly.  Food is energy too.  Today food is industrial.  Water is also an economic product now in regards to civilization.  Water is industrial.  The process is now in decline and at a nonlinear pace that is accelerating acceleration.  Food and water so basic to life are now unsustainable industrial processes.

You the individual need to consider where you live and how you live if this even matters to you.  I can’t tell you when this breakdown will hit nor where but I can show you bad behaviors that won’t survive this breakdown.  I can tell you places without a future.  I can point to places that are better.  I can also tell you we can’t just walk back in time because of the consequences of activity that will be paid for just as smoking causes lung cancer and cancer kills. 

What you need to consider is adaptation to this process in a relative and realistic way.  By doing this you connect to this late-stage civilization and abruptly changing planet with degrowth doom.  Before you can adapt you need to see these things do not add up. None of this adds up in an honest definition of sustainability.  Most places are delocalized which means they are not resilient to the kinds of shocks building.  Globalism makes delocalization sustainable and resilient as long as globalism is robust and growing.  As long as there is trust in the system by billions of participants.  Once this breaks down there is something called a Minsky moment when trust is gone and the engine stops.   This is a plane crashing and no parachute.

I am telling you all this without facts, numbers, or footnoted theories.  Common sense combined with education and experience will show this.  You can do the research but when you do the research be careful to not be sucked in by your bias to be optimistic.  This is why I preach pessimistic optimism.  You understand things don’t add up but you find optimism in the meaning of it and you take action.  That action for me is green pepping because what is greener is more prepped.  Optimism is found in action that responds to the truth.  The key to green prepping is physical and metaphysical.  It is the proper balance of spirit and science.  This discussion of energy would normally be strictly scientific by most sites.  I add spirit because they must both be addressed to see each of them properly.  Today there is an extreme separation of the two

You must embrace the wisdom of insecurity which is acceptance and humility of failure.  The wisdom of less is recognizing stoic and ascetic living in response to the failing human narrative of progress.   The key here is you have no choice but to use this failing human narrative and system to leave it into less.  What this gives you is more meaning that is close to life’s way and further from the anti-life of the transhumanism of machines and the lies of this human Ponzi scheme that is global civilization. 

This meaning is spiritual and it is what I would call approaching the truth.  Truth is the ultimate value to a dualistic being in self-consciousness.  This is about finding the proper scale and balance physically so you can balance metaphysically and with this you find naturalness.  This naturalness is the way of the planet and if you can approach this the planet and life will support you in your efforts to live to die another day.  You are a mortal life form that is here to live.

I am telling you this because I am an expert in green prepping.  I have done a decade of focused investment.  I have decades of education and experience.  I can also tell you my middle-class life does not add up.  All that I have done is not going to save me in many situations.  There is no security so this is why I embrace the wisdom of insecurity as best I can.  Keep in mind the truth and meaning that comes from this is not something I have and hold.  My body and mind are in decline so eventually I may lose the truth through dementia and physical disabilities.  I am now closer to the truth but before long I will be in a process of becoming a child again.  This is if a tree does not fall on me and I die before my time.  I see light but one day I may be in darkness.  It is my hope I die in the truth but I accept dying in darkness.

I am embracing a life that is focused on less when I can.  This is adapted with being realistic and relative in regards to people and place.  I am embracing the planet and life and reducing man’s arrogance and anti-life tech but only where I can and to a degree my limits of change allow.  That is as good as it gets.  I am living to die another day.  I am doing this in the warmth of the truth that is the light that shines from honesty and acceptance that there is ultimately not safety or security.  Death will turn all to dust.

My message is for a few.  These will be the leaders of the lifeboats.  They will be the hospice nurses.  If you are a sheeple enjoy life as best you can.  If you did not understand what I just said and find it nutter then be yourself.  You are just one of the flock blindly living the lie that is civilization.  Real humanity is found closer to semi-nomadic hunting and gathering combined with permaculture agriculture.  Real culture is more spoken than written but we must accept both because it is human nature to write down science and history with math and language.  The culture found in small groups embedded in dynamic ecosystems is the grail of human life now rejected by techno power.  Civilization was an aberration that comes with life’s frequent forays into evolution and devolution.  Our modern civilization has been a planet shaking event little different than the cyanobacteria that brought on snowball earth.

If there is a universal intelligence that is not for us to know.  It would dwell in the sacred.  Humanity should stop the arrogance of seeking the deepest secrets of the universe and the building blocks of life.  It is these actions killing us and destroying planetary stability.  Forget travel to Mars.  Instead, the truth is where we scale and balance properly in ecosystems of symbiotic support.  If we are a species that causes succession then that is part of it.  We disrupt so life can evolve but we can also destroy and that is where we are now.

SUPPORTING ARTICLES:

Here are two great articles that support my above post. I have been following Resilience for 2 years now. Resilience is a great site although unfortunately it has recently gone woke leading to the diluting of the environmental message with social justice. These should be kept separate. Woke is based on lies and an elite hijacking in my opinion. Resilience is also populated by techno-optimist pushing renewables as a transition paradigm when I see it as a transformation to a power down of far less energy use.

The second article is from Our Finite World. I have been following Gail since the early 2000s. Gail and I have been coming to similar conclusions which to me is mutually supportive of an indication we are on the right track. Her discussion are technical and very useful support to mine which incorporates life systems. There are great graphs in both articles.

Complexity Revisited

By B, originally published by The Honest Sorcerer

February 17, 2022

In my last two posts, I have highlighted how the depletion of once rich and abundant resources can have a potentially detrimental effect on this civilization. I’ve made the case that a transition to renewables does not stand up to scrutiny, and how a coming peak in copper production could hinder any efforts made at reaching Net Zero. I have concluded that, with peak oil most probably already behind us and with a looming peak in natural gas production, humanity is now facing peak energy — in fact peak everything — in the coming decade or two. What effect will this peak have on our complex societies? Is there a way to forgo this change? This will be the topic of this week’s post.

Increasing complexity was always a hallmark of civilizations. From rural villages to towns and empires, the development of societies always came at a cost of increased complexity. Anthropologist and historian Joseph Tainter has described this process and illustrated it with the story of many past civilizations in his seminal book the Collapse of Complex Societies.

According to the summary of his work, complexity can be recognized by:

numerous differentiated and specialized social and economic roles (bakers, shoemakers, jewelers, landlords etc.)

the many mechanisms through which these roles are coordinated (hierarchies)

the reliance on symbolic and abstract communication (writing, laws, accounting etc.)

the existence of a class of information producers and analysts who are not involved in primary resource production (clerks, lawyers, engineers etc.)

Following this definition above, the global techno-industrial society is the most complex civilization of all times. We are the pinnacle of social evolution! What could possibly go wrong…?

It’s important to note at this point, that increasing complexity has always been a way to get around “problems” instead of solving them, and not every society lived with this opportunity. In those cultures where it did occur, it came through as a necessity, from which no doubt many have benefited exceedingly. On the other hand, the process of ever increasing complexity has always been a sign of desperation and a major factor behind the fall of empires. Are we an exception to this rule?

According to Tainter, in modern industrial societies the cost of complexity is measured in energy and paid for by fossil fuels. What could illustrate this process more aptly than the green revolution in agriculture?

Let’s start by defining what was the problem we were trying to “solve”. By the middle of 20th century world population was growing exponentially, while the size of the planet apparently did not. We as a species have populated all habitable continents and started to reach, and in some places exceeded, the carrying capacity of the land. Soil fertility was already on the decline: there was an acute shortage of plant nutrients, primarily Nitrogen. Plants did not yield enough food. Something had to be done.

Modern bio-technology came to the rescue. A swathe of technologies were thrown at the apparent problem of “low yields”: chemical fertilizers from the Haber-Bosch process (made available by natural gas), herbicides and pesticides derived from oil, mechanization and long distance transport of produce via diesel fuel, irrigation powered by electricity (ultimately made available by fossil fuels), and new plant varieties producing better yields — relying completely on the previous three inventions to grow… It is needless to emphasize how complex agriculture has become as a result, and how it required ever higher inputs from fossil fuels. All this though has come at the cost of pollution, environmental degradation, species loss and climate change — now threatening the very results the green revolution has achieved.

Observe however, how the root cause of the problem, the underlying predicament of a finite planet’s inability to support unlimited population growth was not solved, but quite the contrary: has only been exacerbated. Now we are facing resource decline in a dangerously destabilized, massively overpopulated world — compared to the number of people the land could’ve support indefinitely without one-time inputs from fossil fuels and mineral phosphorus.

Another prime example, examined in detail last week, is mining. All throughout history we had to deploy ever more complex and energy intensive methods to get the next ton of metal, or next barrel of oil. We had to invent ever more complex machinery and methods — all coming at a cost of increased fossil fuel and electricity use… Thus driving up energy expenditure exponentially in return for an ever lower quality (1) energy carrier or ore. Again, the predicament of running out of cheap, easy to extract resources was not solved at all, but made worse by turning the process of extraction literally ‘a race to the bottom’ —at the cost of destroying the environment.

How long can we continue along these lines? What happens if we cannot? As we have seen, depleting resources demand an exponential increase in our efforts to obtain (the next step requiring substantially more work than the previous) — and thus none of them are exempt to Tainter’s other famous observation: diminishing returns. The problem here is that we humans tend to think in linear terms, while almost everything we do at a global scale have exponential results (2). Which is also true to the negative side-effects of technology: pollution, soil erosion, habitat loss, species extinction. These negative side effects tend to increase disproportionally with any additional use of technology, until the point they start yielding negative returns; i.e.: causing more harm than good.

It is very important to understand here, that no matter how worse the side-effects of technology-use get, turning back is not, and never was an option. The increase in complexity (and thus energy use) is a one way street. The population alive today have to be fed. The machines keeping this civilization functioning (providing electricity, healthcare, shelter, raw materials etc.) have to be powered constantly. Since we’ve built more and more of technology every year, their overall energy requirements only kept growing, despite efficiency gains made throughout the process.

Every increase in complexity has happened with a reason: we had a problem to “solve”. Now, there is no voluntary return to a prior, simpler state without the said problem raising its ugly head again. This is especially true to “problems” (or rather predicaments) related to depletion: you cannot go back mining copper with a pickax and a basket, as those easy to get resources are now long gone… and what remains requires huge, complex, energy hogging machines (not to mention the tons of water and the space needed to place those toxic tail-ponds). Sure, the efficiency of these machines could be improved still somewhat, but the next increase in energy demands (as a result of turning towards lower and lower ore grades) will nullify these results in a matter of years.

As long as we were able to increase energy availability at will there were almost no problems we could not “solve”. Using the metaphor of a rising tide in a harbor full of rocks: as long as water levels were getting higher, we could build ever bigger ships without hitting those pesky rocks. Now that the tide is turning and water levels are getting lower, we will experience problems not seen in a long time… Hidden from plain sight by a massive roll-out of technology and an ever increasing energy use.

There are natural limits to the human endeavor. Predicaments have a tendency of slowly getting worse over time and there is no limit to how gruesome they can become. So far we have “solved” the resulting problems by throwing more and more technologies, and as a result more and more energy at them, but there is a limit to that. As the very predicament of depleting finite resources start to affect energy production (either through fossil fuel depletion or a limit to copper or any other metal’s extraction), our very abilities to handle the problems caused by predicaments will start to wither.

Unless we admit that predicaments like ‘a finite planet’s inability to support unlimited growth or handle unlimited amounts of waste’ have no solutions to them, only outcomes, we will not be able to handle the situation. Only after accepting that there are hard limits has humanity a chance to change course and adopt to a drastically changing landscape. Whether we can do that, is question to be pondered…

Until next time,

Limits To Green Energy Are Becoming Much Clearer

SUNDAY, FEB 20, 2022 – 09:55 PM

We have been told that intermittent electricity from wind and solar, perhaps along with hydroelectric generation (hydro), can be the basis of a green economy. Things are increasingly not working out as planned, however. Natural gas or coal used for balancing the intermittent output of renewables is increasingly high-priced or not available. It is becoming clear that modelers who encouraged the view that a smooth transition to wind, solar, and hydro is possible have missed some important points.

Let’s look at some of the issues:

[1] It is becoming clear that intermittent wind and solar cannot be counted on to provide adequate electricity supply when the electrical distribution system needs them.

Early modelers did not expect that the variability of wind and solar would be a huge problem. They seemed to believe that, with the use of enough intermittent renewables, their variability would cancel out. Alternatively, long transmission lines would allow enough transfer of electricity between locations to largely offset variability.

In practice, variability is still a major problem. For example, in the third quarter of 2021, weak winds were a significant contributor to Europe’s power crunch. Europe’s largest wind producers (Britain, Germany and France) produced only 14% of installed capacity during this period, compared with an average of 20% to 26% in previous years. No one had planned for this kind of three-month shortfall.

In 2021, China experienced dry, windless weather so that both its generation from wind and hydro were low. The country found it needed to use rolling blackouts to deal with the situation. This led to traffic lights failing and many families needing to eat candle-lit dinners.

In Europe, with low electricity supply, Kosovo has needed to use rolling blackouts. There is real concern that the need for rolling blackouts will spread to other parts of Europe, as well, either later this winter, or in a future winter. Winters are of special concern because, then, solar energy is low while heating needs are high.

[2] Adequate storage for electricity is not feasible in any reasonable timeframe. This means that if cold countries are not to “freeze in the dark” during winter, fossil fuel backup is likely to be needed for many years in the future.

One workaround for electricity variability is storage. A recent Reuters’ article is titled, Weak winds worsened Europe’s power crunch; utilities need better storage. The article quotes Matthew Jones, lead analyst for EU Power, as saying that low or zero-emissions backup-capacity is “still more than a decade away from being available at scale.” Thus, having huge batteries or hydrogen storage at the scale needed for months of storage is not something that can reasonably be created now or in the next several years.

Today, the amount of electricity storage that is available can be measured in minutes or hours. It is mostly used to buffer short-term changes, such as the wind temporarily ceasing to blow or the rapid transition created when the sun sets and citizens are in the midst of cooking dinner. What is needed is the capacity for multiple months of electricity storage. Such storage would require an amazingly large quantity of materials to produce. Needless to say, if such storage were included, the cost of the overall electrical system would be substantially higher than we have been led to believe. All major types of cost analyses (including the levelized cost of energy, energy return on energy invested, and energy payback period) leave out the need for storage (both short- and long-term) if balancing with other electricity production is not available.

If no solution to inadequate electricity supply can be found, then demand must be reduced by one means or another. One approach is to close businesses or schools. Another approach is rolling blackouts. A third approach is to permit astronomically high electricity prices, squeezing out some buyers of electricity. A fourth balancing approach is to introduce recession, perhaps by raising interest rates; recessions cut back on demand for all non-essential goods and services. Recessions tend to lead to significant job losses, besides cutting back on electricity demand. None of these things are attractive options.

[3] After many years of subsidies and mandates, today’s green electricity is only a tiny fraction of what is needed to keep our current economy operating.

Early modelers did not consider how difficult it would be to ramp up green electricity.

Compared to today’s total world energy consumption (electricity and non-electricity energy, such as oil, combined), wind and solar are truly insignificant. In 2020, wind accounted for 3% of the world’s total energy consumption and solar amounted to 1% of total energy, using BP’s generous way of counting electricity, relative to other types of energy. Thus, the combination of wind and solar produced 4% of world energy in 2020.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) uses a less generous approach for crediting electricity; it only gives credit for the heat energy supplied by the renewable energy. The IEA does not show wind and solar separately in its recent reports. Instead, it shows an “Other” category that includes more than wind and solar. This broader category amounted to 2% of the world’s energy supply in 2018.

Hydro is another type of green electricity that is sometimes considered alongside wind and solar. It is quite a bit larger than either wind or solar; it amounted to 7% of the world’s energy supply in 2020. Taken together, hydro + wind + solar amounted to 11% of the world’s energy supply in 2020, using BP’s methodology. This still isn’t much of the world’s total energy consumption.

Of course, different parts of the world vary with respect to the share of energy created using wind, hydro and solar. Figure 1 shows the percentage of total energy generated by these three renewables combined.

Figure 1. Wind, solar and hydro as a share of total energy consumption for selected parts of the world, based on BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy data. Russia+ is Russia and its affiliates in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

As expected, the world average is about 11%. The European Union is highest at 14%; Russia+ (that is, Russia and its Affiliates, which is equivalent to the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States) is lowest at 6.5%.

[4] Even as a percentage of electricity, rather than total energy, renewables still comprised a relatively small share in 2020.

Wind and solar don’t replace “dispatchable” generation; they provide some temporary electricity supply, but they tend to make the overall electrical system more difficult to operate because of the variability introduced. Renewables are available only part of the time, so other types of electricity suppliers are still needed when supply temporarily isn’t available. In a sense, all they are replacing is part of the fuel required to make electricity. The fixed costs of backup electricity providers are not adequately compensated, nor are the costs of the added complexity introduced into the system.

If analysts give wind and solar full credit for replacing electricity, as BP does, then, on a world basis, wind electricity replaced 6% of total electricity consumed in 2020. Solar electricity replaced 3% of total electricity provided, and hydro replaced 16% of world electricity. On a combined basis, wind and solar provided 9% of world electricity. With hydro included as well, these renewables amounted to 25% of world electricity supply in 2020.

The share of electricity supply provided by wind, solar and hydro varies across the world, as shown in Figure 2. The European Union is highest at 32%; Japan is lowest at 17%.

Figure 2. Wind, solar and hydro as a share of total electricity supply for selected parts of the world, based on BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy data.

The “All Other” grouping of countries shown in Figure 2 includes many of the poorer countries. These countries often use quite a bit of hydro, even though the availability of hydro tends to fluctuate a great deal, depending on weather conditions. If an area is subject to wet seasons and dry seasons, there is likely to be very limited electricity supply during the dry season. In areas with snow melt, very large supplies are often available in spring, and much smaller supplies during the rest of the year.

Thus, while hydro is often thought of as being a reliable source of power, this may or may not be the case. Like wind and solar, hydro often needs fossil fuel back-up if industry is to be able to depend upon having electricity year-around.

[5] Most modelers have not understood that reserve to production ratios greatly overstate the amount of fossil fuels and other minerals that the economy will be able to extract.

Most modelers have not understood how the world economy operates. They have assumed that as long as we have the technical capability to extract fossil fuels or other minerals, we will be able to do so. A popular way of looking at resource availability is as reserve to production ratios. These ratios represent an estimate of how many years of production might continue, if extraction is continued at the same rate as in the most recent year, considering known resources and current technology.

Figure 3. Reserve to production ratios for several minerals, based on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.

A common belief is that these ratios understate how much of each resource is available, partly because technology keeps improving and partly because exploration for these minerals may not be complete.

In fact, this model of future resource availability greatly overstates the quantity of future resources that can actually be extracted. The problem is that the world economy tends to run short of many types of resources simultaneously. For example, World Bank Commodities Price Data shows that prices were high in January 2022 for many materials, including fossil fuels, fertilizers, aluminum, copper, iron ore, nickel, tin and zinc. Even though prices have run up very high, this is not an indication that producers will be able to use these high prices to extract more of these required materials.

In order to produce more fossil fuels or more minerals of any kind, preparation must be started years in advance. New oil wells must be built in suitable locations; new mines for copper or lithium or rare earth minerals must be built; workers must be trained for all of these areas. High prices for many commodities can be a sign of temporarily high demand, or it can be a sign that something is seriously wrong with the system. There is no way the system can ramp up needed production in a huge number of areas at once. Supply lines will break. Recession is likely to set in.

The problem underlying the recent spike in prices seems to be “diminishing returns.” Such diminishing returns affect nearly all parts of the economy simultaneously. For each type of mineral, miners produced the easiest-t0-extract materials first. They later moved on to deeper oil wells and minerals from lower grade ores. Pollution gradually grew, so, it too, needed greater investment. At the same time, world population has been growing, so the economy has required more food, fresh water and goods of many kinds; these, too, require the investment of resources of many kinds.

The problem that eventually hits the economy is that it cannot maintain economic growth. Too many areas of the economy require investment, simultaneously, because diminishing returns keeps ramping up investment needs. This investment is not simply a financial investment; it is an investment of physical resources (oil, coal, steel, copper, etc.) and an investment of people’s time.

The way in which the economy would run short of investment materials was simulated in the 1972 book, The Limits to Growth, by Donella Meadows and others. The book gave the results of a number of simulations regarding how the world economy would behave in the future. Virtually all of the simulations indicated that eventually the economy would reach limits to growth. A major problem was that too large a share of the output of the economy was needed for reinvestment, leaving too little for other uses. In the base model, such limits to growth came about now, in the middle of the first half of the 21st century. The economy would stop growing and gradually start to collapse.

[6] The world economy seems already to be reaching limits on the extraction of coal and natural gas to be used for balancing electricity provided by intermittent renewables.

Coal and natural gas are expensive to transport so, if they are exported, they primarily tend to be exported to countries that are nearby. For this reason, my analysis groups together exports and imports into large regions where trade is most likely to take place.

If we analyze natural gas imports by part of the world, two regions stand out as having the most out-of-region natural gas imports: Europe and Asia-Pacific. Figure 4 shows that Europe’s out-of region natural gas imports reached peaks in 2007 and 2010, after which they dipped. In recent years, Europe’s imports have barely surpassed their prior peaks. Asia-Pacific’s out-of-region imports have shown a far more consistent growth long-term growth pattern.

Figure 4. Natural gas imports in exajoules per year, based on data from on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.

The reason why Asia-Pacific’s imports have been growing is to support its growing manufacturing output. Manufacturing output has increasingly been shifted to the Asia-Pacific region, partly because this region can perform this manufacturing cheaply, and partly because rich countries have wanted to reduce their carbon footprint. Moving heavy industry abroad reduces a country’s reported CO2 generation, even if the manufactured items are imported as finished products.

Figure 5 shows that Europe’s own natural gas supply has been falling. This is a major reason for its import requirements from outside the region.

Figure 5. Europe’s natural gas production, consumption and imports based on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Figure 6, below, shows that Asia-Pacific’s total energy consumption per capita has been growing. The new manufacturing jobs transferred to this region have raised standards of living for many workers. Europe, on the other hand, has reduced its local manufacturing. Its people have tended to get poorer, in terms of energy consumption per capita. Service jobs necessitated by reduced energy consumption per capita have tended to pay less well than the manufacturing jobs they have replaced.

Figure 6. Energy consumption per capita for Europe compared to Asia-Pacific, based on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Europe has recently been having conflicts with Russia over natural gas. The world seems to be reaching a situation where there are not enough natural gas exports to go around. The Asia-Pacific Region (or at least the more productive parts of the Asia-Pacific Region) seems to be able to outbid Europe, when local natural gas supply is inadequate.

Figure 7, below, gives a rough idea of the quantity of exports available from Russia+ compared to Europe’s import needs. (In this chart, I compare Europe’s total natural gas imports (including pipeline imports from North Africa and LNG from North Africa) with the natural gas exports of Russia+ (to all nations, not just to Europe, including both by pipeline and as LNG)). On this rough basis, we find that Europe’s natural gas imports are greater than the total natural gas exports of Russia+.

Figure 7. Total natural gas imports of Europe compared to total natural gas exports from Russia+, based on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Europe is already encountering multiple natural gas problems. Its supply from North Africa is not as reliable as in the past. The countries of Russia+ are not delivering as much natural gas as Europe would like, and spot prices, especially, seem to be way too high. There are also pipeline disagreements. Bloomberg reports that Russia will be increasing its exports to China in future years. Unless Russia finds a way to ramp up its gas supplies, greater exports to China are likely to leave less natural gas for Russia to export to Europe in the years ahead.

If we look around the world to see what other sources of natural gas exports are available for Europe, we discover that the choices are limited.

Figure 8. Historical natural gas exports based on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy. Rest of the world includes Africa, the Middle East and the Americas excluding the United States.

The United States is presented as a possible choice for increasing natural gas imports to Europe. One of the catches with growing natural gas exports from the United States is the fact that historically, the US has been a natural gas importer; it is not clear how much exports can rise above the 2022 level. Furthermore, part of US natural gas is co-produced with oil from shale. Oil from shale is not likely to be growing much in future years; in fact, it very likely will be declining because of depleted wells. This may limit the US’s growth in natural gas supplies available for export.

The Rest of the World category on Figure 8 doesn’t seem to have many possibilities for growth in imports to Europe, either, because total exports have been drifting downward. (The Rest of the World includes Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas excluding the United States.) There are many reports of countries, including Iraq and Turkey, not being able to buy the natural gas they would like. There doesn’t seem to be enough natural gas on the market now. There are few reports of supplies ramping up to replace depleted supplies.

With respect to coal, the situation in Europe is only a little different. Figure 9 shows that Europe’s coal supply has been depleting, and imports have not been able to offset this depletion.

Figure 9. Europe’s coal production, consumption and imports, based on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.

If a person looks around the world for places to get more imports for Europe, there aren’t many choices.

Figure 10. Coal production by part of the world, based on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Figure 10 shows that most coal production is in the Asia-Pacific region. With China, India and Japan located in the Asia-Pacific Region, and high transit costs, this coal is unlikely to leave the region. The United States has been a big coal producer, but its production has declined in recent years. It still exports a relatively small amount of coal. The most likely possibility for increased coal imports would be from Russia and its affiliates. Here, too, Europe is likely to need to outbid China to purchase this coal. A better relationship with Russia would be helpful, as well.

Figure 10 shows that world coal production has been essentially flat since 2011. A country will only export coal that it doesn’t need itself. Thus, a shortfall in export capability is an early warning sign of inadequate overall supply. With the economies of many Asia-Pacific countries still growing rapidly, demand for coal imports is likely to grow for this region. While modelers may think that there is close to 150 years’ worth of coal supply available, real-world experience suggests that coal limits are being reached already.

[7] Conclusion. Modelers and leaders everywhere have had a basic misunderstanding of how the economy operates and what limits we are up against. This misunderstanding has allowed scientists to put together models that are far from the situation we are actually facing.

The economy operates as an integrated whole, just as the body of a human being operates as an integrated whole, rather than a collection of cells of different types. This is something most modelers don’t understand, and their techniques are not equipped to deal with.

The economy is facing many limits simultaneously: too many people, too much pollution, too few fish in the ocean, more difficult to extract fossil fuels and many others. The way these limits play out seems to be the way the models in the 1972 book, The Limits to Growth, suggest: They play out on a combined basis. The real problem is that diminishing returns leads to huge investment needs in many areas simultaneously. One or two of these investment needs could perhaps be handled, but not all of them, all at once.

The approach of modelers, practically everywhere, is to break down a problem into small parts, and assume that each part of the problem can be solved independently. Thus, those concerned about “Peak Oil” have been concerned about running out of oil. Finding substitutes seemed to be important. Those concerned about climate change were convinced that huge amounts of fossil fuels remain to be extracted, even more than the amounts indicated by reserve to production ratios. Their concern was finding substitutes for the huge amount of fossil fuels that they believed remained to be extracted, which could cause climate change.

Politicians could see that there was some sort of huge problem on the horizon, but they didn’t understand what it was. The idea of substituting renewables for fossil fuels seemed to be a solution that would make both Peak Oilers and those concerned about climate change happy. Models based on the substitution of renewables for fossil fuels seemed to please almost everyone. The renewables approach suggested that we have a very long timeframe to deal with, putting the problem off, as long into the future as possible.

Today, we are starting to see that renewables are not able to live up to the promise modelers hoped they would have. Exactly how the situation will play out is not entirely clear, but it looks like we will all have front row seats in finding out.

Failure

This is more from around the campfire series.  I have no supporting references nor laid out facts.  I am speaking to those who already have seen the honest science and who are awakened.  If you are looking for something like facts and a tenable position then move on.  This is just me telling you what I see.  I am dyslectic.  You will notice this with my poor spelling and grammar.  This was a disability growing up in school but now it is vision.  I see differently than others.  I see backwards and in this age of inversions I see things others miss.  This is just me seeing things and telling you about it.  Around the campfire there are no speakers at podiums talking to academics and scientist.  I am talking to people who are seeking out wisdom.  If that is you then read on.

I am going to do a short series on things that don’t add up.  This will be with my own life but also our current civilization.  It is my hope you see through these lies and inconsistencies and make better choices.  In my case I will explain why I do what I do even though it does not add up.  In this way you can see a key aspect of REAL Green which is acting out what does not add up but in a realistic and relative way.  This post is my reflection on this way of life that is a turning of an age.  Yea, you are right in the middle of a turning.  If you care about security, meaning, and growth then you really need to embrace failure and death because this failure is of the current widely accepted narrative of the affluence of techno-optimism.  Civilization is now a system of failures.  The abrupt change of a planet is the evidence.

Things don’t add up and I do not know where to start because everywhere I look, I see lies and inconsistencies.  You may ask who are you, Mr. Know-It-All?  I know I ask myself this too but hear me out.  If you are a degrowth doomer than you are not goal seeking affluence.  This affluence that civilization is goal seeks is more than having more affluence of a better life.  Increasingly today it is a desperate attempt to maintaining what we have against the onslaught of inflation, burdensome regulations, and competition.  Smell the coffee and adapt to the current of destructive change.

If you are a degrowth doomer than you are honest from the start with declining affluence.  When you are honest and in acceptance of this process there is a clarity when you observe.  This clarity is surreal though which makes for cognitive dissonance.  This cognitive dissonance is different from the sheeples and the elites who sense that things are not adding up but choose instead to believe in the human optimism narrative that dominates today. 

The cognitive dissonance a degrowth doomer senses comes from his purgatory of dualism.  This purgatory is embracing a life contrary to the narrative of techno optimism but also being required to live in that world of optimism that tech and knowledge will save us.  There are very few that can completely leave this world as monks and sages that go away in the wilderness in complete poverty of things.   Most are like I am trapped in this world of techno optimism of a fake growth and a life of lies.

If you are living this degrowth dualism you will have to live in two worlds.  You will need to function in both and this is difficult.   Proper spirituality but also honest science is what is needed.  Spirituality allows you to embrace failure and death.  This is done through honesty.  The truth is only possible through honesty.  Honesty that itself is wrought with failure because at a point even honesty fails to guide meaning.  At a point the truth is beyond anyone’s abilities and it is here where it is sacred.  Honest science is needed because science and tech are required for life but it is a proper wisdom of these that must be embraced.  These days almost always this means less of both science, knowledge and tech.  This is contrary to the currant narrative of knowing the very secrets of the universe.

The living of two lives is one of the hardest of undertakings because you will have to live a lie to find the truth.  This is of course an incongruous juxtaposition.  It is the paradox of this age of decline.  In such situations you must live a wisdom of insecurity which is acceptance and humility of failure and death.  This techno optimistic modern life most live in is failing and in a turning over.  Diminishing returns has hit tech and efficiency.  Corruption has displaced proper wisdom.  This life is in the process of turning into collapse but most people refuse to accept this or choice to hide from it.  It is the acceptance and humility of this process that allows you to power through the many inconsistencies and lies both from outside and within.  If you see this and decide to live the lie than you will inevitably catch yourself in lies from living the lies.  This is what is so difficult and insecure but vital and necessary about what I am telling you.

You might say “quit being so serious”, “why even dwell on these things”, and just live day by day.  I agree but my point would be to be careful because there is a fine line between acceptance and ignoring. These lies and inconsistencies are quite dangerous physically and spiritually.  I firmly believe in living in the present because this is where life really is but there is the metaphysics of it all that is the basis of spirituality that can’t be ignored.  Not everyone is outfitted to research the metaphysics of life.  It is my contention that we need shamans and sages respected by small communities to do this because without this we are blind to a pole of life which is spirituality.  Notice I said small communities this is because it is only in localism this can be found.  This is not for movements.  Movements are out of scale and prone to coopting.

Spirituality is where the sacred is.  The other pole is science.  Science is where knowledge and tech are.  It is physical and material.  This is not religion I am talking about.  The pursuit of the sacred without dogma and a priestly class which is civilization is what I am hinting at.  Our modern dogmas and priests are deceived and now the problem.  Religions are no longer competent because civilization is now worshiping science and tech even within religions.  Affluence is the real worship and science and tech are the tools to affluence.

Ignoring is not wisdom but honest acceptance is.  It takes wisdom to find a human happiness of spirit.  This is true even in failure and death.  One example of the interplay with lightness and deepness of spirit is how often great comedians are very serious.  My point would be two-fold.  Point one is spirituality takes commitment to the truth regardless of where this takes you.  Point two is if you are truly going to free yourself from the debilitating cognitive dissonance which manifests in so many neuroses then you need to fully embrace the seriousness of life.   To find salvation of spirit which we all crave requires a seriousness of purpose.  This is meaning and meaning gives calm.  Meaning allows lightness of spirt to laugh and love.  All seriousness is just as dark as all play.  There is a point where lightness and deepness intersect.  This is contentment of spirit.   It is here you should set your internal compass for.  The journey is both serious and playful.

You can’t ignore meaning long.  You can’t live a lie long.  This is adapted with REAL Green by living a lie to leave the lie.  This is the case today when you must live the narrative of optimism when the reality is the pessimism of failure and death.  It is only here where real optimism is found.  I want to reiterate death I am speaking of is the end of all those abstract things related to the civilization of today.  Our mortality is a given in any age of man but now death is with systems, networks, and economies.  They will be gone as we know it very soon.  This could be a generation or two because this process does not operate in human time.  These human constructs are dead men walking because of net energy decline, systematic bifurcations, and planetary systems in abrupt change.

The primary lie today is with human affluence.  Keep in mind I am a middle-class American guy in his late 50s who is semi-retired.  You might think I have it made and I would if my body and mind were not in decline.  I am now older and in decline but I was once like many of you who are young but you will soon be like me.  What I do have is richness of experience that has come from a hard life of both failure and success.  You might ask why is success a hard life?  It is because success is fleeting.  Success is not a place it is a spot in a process.  I have lost many things and gained some back.

There are billions who are poor.  Yet, also keep in mind of these billions that are poor there is a subset that live closer to the truth of life and as such really the blessed ones.  They have just enough and they are blessed with family and live in nice places.  These places are places of beauty.  I would say there are maybe one billion in this class.  These billion who are poor but living properly are far ahead of the 1 billion middle class whose life is really precarious in an unsustainable affluence that is not resilient to change.  We are in abrupt change that is destructive and nonnegotiable so those who are considered wealthy by worldly standards are most at risk

Most of the wealthy 1BIL are city dwellers because cities are where the wealth is.  Cities have no future as-is.  Cities of the future will be a small fraction of what they are now.  The elite are worse yet.  The .01% are in a category all their own in pathological lies.  The elite have the furthest to fall and this is the reason for the global elite class seeking obedience and control of the great reset.  These technocratic authoritarians want to rule over the serfs in feudalism because they sense the end of affluence.  Their goal is not altruistic as they pretend with woke and NetZero, it is about wealth and power preservation.  In China this deception is the lie of a divine mandate.  In the west this devine mandate is just been westernized in the great reset.

The elites are the most deceived and today to get to the top psychopathic behavior is required.  They must fully live the lie or they will not remain elite.  This is filtering down into government in the form of the administrative apparatus and all those support personnel like lawyers, accountants, and civil servants.  Further it is with academia that is fully unhinged today and scientist who no longer follow science but instead worship it through scientism.  This is an inverted pyramid.  This mirrors life which is in an inversion.  This is why if you want true meaning you must embrace failure and death the inverse of growth and optimism.  The paradox is you must live this inversion to find order.

This is so simple it is almost impossible for many.  Keep in mind this is only an aspect of life now.  In a different age and possibly the new age at hand the inversion will end and a world of light will be the new reality.  In this current time what I am speaking of will have to adapt to life and growth.  We are now in a winter of discontent that is an extinction process.  Life is dying as well as civilization.  This is important because we don’t know when this age will be over and the new one in place.  Likely this will be a process of rolling back over as a new-age rights itself back up much like a buoy will always float up to its natural buoyancy.

I must also be fair and point out a significant amount of the population is too young, too old, uneducated, or mentally handicapped to even have the opportunity to embrace this truth of the lies and inconsistencies.  Maybe 2BIL are too poor and struggle just to live.  I am not worthy to speak of these peoples but feel sadness for them.  They deserve what I have and may never have peace of mind or enough food to eat.

I want to also speak of those too smart, educated and wealthy to find a spiritual calm because the more affluence and narrow knowledge specialization you have the harder it is to thread the needle of a spirit quest.  The meek will inherit the earth.  Here the inheritance is not physical but spiritual.  It is the meek and honest that will find the grail of meaning.  Meaning is where lightness and deepness intersect.  If you are meek the baggage of affluence will be less in the way of the attainment of the grail of calm which is salvation of the spirt.

This means many people have no option but to live the narrative of lies that all will be ok because many are trapped in darkness.  In their case it is because this is what they are told by their betters.  There is a mechanization of the living going on with modern civilization with delocalization and transhumanism.  These anti-life forces are the meatgrinder of darkness and we are in the age of darkness. 

Many of people are truly deserving of compassion and empathy.  They are the ones who deserve better.  Instead, they are often tempted and destroyed by the elites who deceive and lie to control and direct them.  It is these people you should be a servant to if you are awakened.  Always be gentle and supportive to the honest of spirit.  Be harsh and firm with those who seek to destroy and enslave these children of the spirit.

If you are one of the few who has been gifted with vision and the opportunities to grow through education and development then you have what it takes to be awakened.  The awakened are the servants of this new age.  This power comes directly from the planet which is the nearest of these greater powers.  It is likely the planet is part of the galaxy projecting this power but my point is the planet is where the tires meet the road for a human being. 

Stay scaled to find balance.   Too often today man is far from his local in academic abstractions.  Delocalization of spirt is similar to the delocalization of our daily lives physically.  It is unsustainable and lacks resilience in both cases.  In regard to the spirit, it is spiritual drift and this leads to darkness.  Scale properly which is in localism and permaculture.  Permaculture is required because true spiritual happiness only comes by connecting to the planet.  Only dirt and water allow spiritual life once the light of truth shines upon it.  The reason this has become the age of death is this is the age of mega cities.  These are death traps.  Here soil is asphalt and glass.  The light of meaning is hard to find.

If you embrace this truth, life will support you.  It will support you by you living the proper life that is one of failure, decline, and death of an age.  This is both global man but also the Epoch of the Holocene.  It is important to understand this.  The turning is not only with man’s world but also the planet’s world.  This is complete and whole and there is no escape as in earlier times when man could migrate in a stable age.  There is nowhere to go now.  This is the end times for this way of life so if you embrace this reality, you will make proper decisions. 

This is the wisdom of insecurity.  In another life this wisdom could be other.  In fact, once this current world completely turns over, wisdom will adapt and be less of failure and more of growth.  This might be a world of growth and life but this is not for us to know now.  This could be extinction so that must also be embraced.  Planetary acquiescence is the ultimate force for man.  The planet has its own frequency not a human frequency.   The human frequency dwells within the planetary frequency.  The frequency of life works in this way but unfortunately not in your human time.  It is likely this is the end days that will unfold over generations so embrace the wisdom of insecurity now with what is at hand.  You can reflect on a coming golden age but this is just for reflection.  Now you must live in the dark age of death.

What this means now is you are in the midst of the unravelling of the narrative.   The skill needed is a type of judo.   This is a wisdom of using the narrative to leave it.  Find places where you can engage in constructive growth that is freed up where the general narrative is breaking down.  This false narrative is breaking down opening up new ways of living. The reality is these new ways of living are the old ways we left and rejected for increasing affluence.  This is just ecology 101 because this is how life on the planet works when in succession.  Mirror this and life will support you.

Get back to the basics.  Reduce affluence and find dignity in this process of increasing poverty of things because this is where meaning is.  Downsize now and do this with a peace of mind and happiness of heart that comes from spiritual fulfillment.  This means a stoic and ascetic life because this is what declining physical affluence is all about.  Yet, since to do this, you must live in the current dominant narrative of affluence this means adapting in a relative and realistic way.  You will likely not be able to change as much as you would like but do what you can.  Understand even the attempt to live right is going to hit the brick wall of limits of change.

The key point to having the strength and the vision to live right is acceptance and humility.  There is no substitute so if this does not appeal to you then move on.  Many can’t embrace this because it is contrary to the age.  Failure and death are ahead for the narrative that is techno optimistic, believing knowledge power will save us.  We will not save ourselves from ourselves.  We are the problem and we will destroy ourselves at least the life that humans have currently.  You can save yourself from yourself but not society.  Society is over so let go of it and save yourself. 

This is a hospice mentality of terminality and with this there is a relief and comfort of acceptance.  It becomes a life boat strategy by embracing constructive growth physically.   This acceptance and humility of a failure of our great human ship allows you to build your life boat. 

Those who have experienced failure know that it is here where your best learning and growth is.  Nothing proves right living better than failure.  Success is very deceptive because it involves affluence.  Failure involves loss and shame which is the best motivator.  It is the harnessing of failure and shame that allows proper wisdom to go forward with a hard-won experience.

Choose simplicity over complexity.  Downsize over growth but keep in mind you must embrace constructive growth or else you will not eat or sleep with a roof over head.  Accept failure and go forth in wisdom of the insecurity of this failure.  This hard-won experience will map out the way forward.  This ultimately means embracing death and mortality because this is the basis of life.  This includes letting go of our urge to immortality.  Our egos crave immortality.  It is not so much there is no immortality but instead there is a place where the sacred resides where an unknowable immortality may be.  This can’t be known so embrace mysticism if you can.  Here is the mystic way:

“in the first degree the higher power enters into the soul and she turns inward into herself. in the second she ascends above herself and is lifted up to the higher power. in the third the soul, lifted up to the higher power, passes over altogether into Him. in the fourth the soul goes forth on the higher power’s behalf and descends bellow herself”

This is an anonymous quote and rightly so.

This is critically important for you and your journey.  I am not asking you to leave you spiritual home.  I am not asking you to embrace what I just said as a religion or new age spirituality.  You must realize and come to understand your limits of change.  The limits of change of your nature and nurture.  The limits of change of your people and place.  What I am asking you to do in a realistic and relative way is seek out within your spiritual and physical world what I told you above.

There are some religions that should be left because their basis is a lie.  This is especially true of scientism and its atheistic positions.  The transhumanism and delocalization of this religion of the privileged in science and academia is anti-life.  It is a mechanization of life by machines and unrestrained knowledge.  It is these people that are driving the destruction of the planet.  The technocratic elite and their administrative soldiers are the henchmen of evil. 

I leave you with some C.L. Lewis and some Alan Watts:

“I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of “Admin”.  The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens love to paint.  It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps.  In those we see its final results.  But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.”

and

“Picture Hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives the deadly serious passion of envy, self-importance, and resentment”.

“The Screwtape Letters”  C. S. Lewis

“Someone or something beyond conscious control must overthrow the Devil at the right moment, for, being an archangel he can read thoughts and is always aware of the intention that precedes the act.  He can be defeated only by an act without prior intent. “let not your left hand know what your right hand doeth.” Now in Christian terminology this “someone or something beyond conscious control” is called the grace of God, and grace is held to be the only means of overcoming the machinations of the Devil, that is, of the vicious circle into which self-consciousness can lead us.  God as the giver of grace has therefore the same function as the guru, or spiritual guide, in Hinduism, and thus “the means of grace”….upaya. But it does not seem to have occurred to most Christians that the means of grace might include trickery—that in his cure of souls the Lord might use placebos, jokes, shocks, deceptions, and all kinds of indirect and surprising methods of outwitting men’s wonderfully defended egocentricity”

Allan Watts 1964

rhyme of the rhythm

This work mirrors the “why and what” of what I am doing in my permaculture localism.  In other words I am doing the nuts and bolts of this metaphysical discussion.  I am an imperfect vessel but one that is sojourning to the light. This post is the rhyme of the rhythm I look for when I do my spirtual journeys.  Most importantly to me it is enjoyment to read something that is a reflection of the truth and as such to the degree I am reflecting this in my living, it gives me direction like a sextant.  It is enjoyable to feel the warmth of the light of the truth.  Is this not what life is about at its higher levels!

Living Resilience

This is the final installment of the collapse chronicles.  See the pages side of this blog for details on prepping 101.  This will be heavily weighted to what you can do as a prepper.  I am a green prepper so my strategies are applying a hybrid effort of permaculture and conservation to prepping.  Most prepper are not green.  They are mostly people who plan and prepare for the violent end of civilization.  There is increasingly a widespread group who would like a minimum of preparedness with a month or two of food, guns, and bug out equipment.  My approach is hybrid because it is my opinion the effort needs to be part of a way of life.  Prepping alone will not save you long in my opinion.  Even green prepping is doomed in an all-down situation but the key difference is a lifestyle that is full of life while life is still functioning.  There is meaning in preparing and running a homestead and working farm.

I have elaborated fully in many previous posts what REAL Green is so if you desire more information on that you need to refer back to these many writings.  It is an elaborate way of life that requires time, money, and education.  It is hybrid using the current system to leave it.  It is spiritual because there is a hospice aspect of acceptance of decline and failure.  This post is more about outfitting your life boat with proper supplies.  The green prepping part is your permaculture homestead that is a working farm.  If you want to go the extra mile as a prepper you must add green to it in my opinion.  There is no substitute for this.  In fact, if you want to take green prepping a step further you will want a community of permaculture farms orbiting a permaculture town all located in a habitable location surrounded by natural areas.  These open spaces serve as sinks of food, water, and hiding.

What I am going to give you is a nuts and bolts of a preparedness plan.  This is not my plan it is a generalized plan.  I do all the categories but I do not do all categories to their maximum.  You will find when you become a green prepper you will be constrained by time, labor, and resources.  You will have to prioritize what is important.  This is where I differ significantly from the standard prepper.  I spend much more time on permaculture and less on security and the hording of supplies.  I try to distance myself from fossil fuels and industrial products if possible.  This makes me less of a fortress and more of a living organism.

This prep plan is distilled down.  You can buy books on this.  You can buy books on particulars.  For example, there are those who have bunkers.  A whole book can be devoted to building a bunker shelter.  I am going to get to the very basics of what I feel a permaculture homestead would want to consider.  These considerations will need further fine tuning depending on your local of people and place.  Your individual plan would be shaped significantly by what climate you are in.  If you are urban, suburban, or rural all has a major impact.  I am focusing on the rural in the Missouri Ozarks.

Polarity

When you read this keep in mind, I am not claiming to have mastered these things.  I am an imperfect vessel of the truth.  These writings are an urge, enjoyment, and a mental workout.  I do not need your praise.  I am not here to lecture either.  I am merely reflecting on my understanding from nearly 60 years of life.  I hope some of this helps you make sense of things.  Meaning is my primary goal not power.  I do offer an alternative to what is mainstream.  It is meant for a few who have a similar life to mine.  Some of what I speak of is universal.  Everything I speak of is from others that I regurgitate to you.  If it is unique, it is only because I am a product of a unique local of nature and nurture.

Why is polarity important?  It is important because the problem with the world now is human nature.  The symptoms are tech’s destructiveness, energy waste streams, and network dysfunction.  Human nature is a mess in regards to proper species placement in the ecosystem of the planet.  We are now an extinction causing species.  We are a destroyer of a highly habitable and stable epoch for complex ecosystems.  This is commonly referred to as a plague species.  We counter that with we are intelligent and reflect universal intelligence.  This to me points to the evolutionary dead end of intelligence as a specie specialty.  In fact free floating intelligence in an ecosystem leads to the anti-life destructiveness of technology and efficiency.  Wisdom is what is lacking and this is because of scale, balance, and limits.

Stop looking to miracles to mystify.  The miracle of life is enough.  Stop looking for special powers when you are walking upon a power that pervades all.  Stop looking for a God out there far enough away a myth can be created that mystifies.  Respect the sacred which is the truth unknown.  It is sacred for a reason accept this and have humility.  Atheist and fundamentalist alike look to miracles.  Atheist look to tech and knowledge to satisfy a higher power.  Fundamentalist look to a personification of a higher power in our image.  This higher power thinks like us and is omnipotent.

Science says God is unnecessary and this is true from a scientific method point of view.  If you are reducing life to facts, data, and hypothesis you don’t need the spiritual.  The spiritual embraces reality with the feeling and emotions of connectivity.  This is made possible with humility.  Science does not need feelings and humility.  Science needs data, evidence, and a method.  Man’s human nature needs both so they must be good neighbors. 

In this time of so much meaninglessness. Finding the proper balance of science and spirituality is essential for adapting and mitigating the coming decline process.  They both are vital to proper human nature if we are to apply wisdom to actions that have consequences.  Without proper wisdom the destructive process of ever more destructive tech is inevitable.  Spirituality must be tempered also or else we have unrestrained actions inconsistent with planetary system without data and evidence as a guide.

This dichotomy is why we have faith and belief.  They are not entirely different and should not be opposed.  We unconditionally embrace faith from emotions deep in our heart and soul.  We need belief to make sense of things with action and consequence.  This fundamental duality of our nature is detached in both directions in this age of machines and extreme spirituality. 

We believe with a faith or have a faith that believes.  This is a result of our dualistic nature having lost proper wisdom.  Here wisdom is of what tech and knowledge to use and what to reject in regards to what is proper to a life system.  This lack of wisdom is pointing to an impending reset.  This reset is systematic, planetary and evolutionary.  It encompasses all which points to a impending bottleneck. 

The problem today is scale and balance.   Delocalization and the transhumanism of this age of machines has disturbed our nature within nature.  It has resulted in hopium of both science and religion.  Actually, science and religion are merging in a messy meaninglessness.  Excessive science, tech, and knowledge accumulation is causing our self-destruction by contradiction that linear thought leads to.  Life is too nonlinear to fully describe linearly.  Tech just makes this more deceptive. 

Our disturbed human nature is the problem now.  It is civilization that allowed man to power multiply this disturbance.  Civilization is now a metastasizing disturbance.   Populations are beyond proper scale and our consumption destructive.  This arrogance of humanism is now an anti-life waste stream. 

Science, tech, and concentrated knowledge is not healthy now because it distorts the way of things. The vital balance of science and spirituality is now turbulent and manifested in an emptiness.  Emptiness is a manifested waste stream.  Science and spirituality must be properly scaled as neighbors.  This means localism.  As delocalization increases science power projection through economics creating extractive behavior with destructive waste streams. 

When the balance of human nature is skewed to science man draws into himself and becomes invasive and extreme.  This is a destructiveness that disturbs the force of life.  The distortions of spirituality are about lack of respect for a higher power from our power projections of science.  This is about usurping the sacred.  It is about claiming its power.  It is about looking far out of its proper scale when a proper spirituality is near man’s local and close to his family and tribe.  When you erect alters to the gods you have lost it.  When you formalize worship, you are losing it.  Spiritual must be found by being natural in nature. 

A small community is the proper scale.  Ideally in this time of extreme urbanism proper scale is permaculture farms orbiting a permaculture town widely dispersed with natural buffers.   Human waste streams are more manageable in this way.  This is not harmony but it is the right direction.  This may no longer be possible in many places but it is the only way forward. This way forward is backwards which then means embracing a paradox.  Modern life is now regressive not progressive.  Progressive now is rejecting the narrative of meaning of modern life’s progressivness.

If there is new religion to create it would be one embracing a wisdom of balance and scale of science and spirituality.  I am not advocating a new religion only an adaptation to your existing one.  Today these aspects of human nature are both in a turbulence.  Science is now a religion of scientism.  It is now being mechanized with transhumanism with the merger of machines and man.  It is increasing the delocalization of man making him invasive and extreme.  This disturbs the sacred that is that power and truth that pervades life.  Machines are not life and when elevated in importance are anti-life.  Automation and artificial intelligence are not a life essence.  They are only an armor.

The web of life is under attack and this is the problem with spirituality too.  We are looking out into places that are far from where a proper spirituality can be found.  This is arrogance.  This disregard for scale and balance is because we desire its power.  We have humanized the sacred and on doing so have created false idols.  Proper spirituality is based on humility and acceptance not glorification and grandiosity. 

A naturalism of scale is a proper spirituality that grounds with humility.  Accepting this then points to an existential humility lost that needs to be returned to.  Spirituality is now free floating and detached from planetary realities.  A medical term is a free radical.  Immune systems seek out these free radicals and destroy them.  The planet is doing this to us now.

The disruption of science and spirituality’s proper balance is now hard wired in our civilization.  It is when you embrace this reality you can find a transformation.  This transformation is an awakening of the real meaning of life in our age of machines.  A wisdom develops from this transformation. 

When the individual, small group, and at times small community can find strength in this rebalancing of the spiritual and science a proper religion result.  This means transforming your existing religion and rejecting scientism which is anti-life.  The free radical of scientism now touches all so reject this with prejudice through a proper wisdom.

A proper religion is wisdom of scale and balance in nature.  Nature enjoys nature and only nature can overcome.  This is the transmutation of the kind that is simple and natural not the faux one of misdirected alchemy of power over things and immortality.  True alchemy is transformative not a transcendence. 

Transmutation is a phase change and, in this case, it is back to our original naturalism.  This is not so much innocence but instead a natural and functional enlightenment or an expression of a complex ecosystem.  Simple enlightenment that is robust and draws complexity from planetary systems.  We may be trapped in the age of machines but an adaptive balance is possible.

Permaculture localism is salvific.  The redemption is scale and balance with all planetary systems.  This results in what science to use and reject but also the embrace of a proper humility of scale and balance.   Proper human scale to the land where this power and truth is fully connected to is a new persuasion to add to your existing religious meaning.

Those times when man was a seminomadic hunter gather is when we reached our apex of proper human nature.  We used science to gather and harvest.  Science made tools and allowed practical permaculture of ecosystem management.  From this naturalness meaning was cultivated in a narrow but life enhancing way.  The complexity was provided for from the planet.  Adaption to planetary upheavals was more likely.  There has been bottlenecks in the past and we made it through.  It is unclear if we will make it through the next one.

Spirituality was once one of weaving of beings and animate forces with a complete connectivity.  Culture was oral with the passing of meaning on to the next generation from elders who spoke wisdom.  This was living wisdom.  It was not written because a written culture is the beginning of the lost way of codifying the sacred in worship.  It was of respecting planetary systems and cycles naturally not forcibly with engineering or code.  If this was primitive and superstitious it was scaled and balanced in regards to what knowledge is needed and what is destructive.  Survival dictated this.

Today’s turbulence of proper science and spirituality is extreme and invasive.  It is even more superstitious than primitive man because it is empty.   We now know so much that what we know contradicts what we know.  We now have a spirituality that arrogantly worships the affluence and comforts of man not his proper place in life.  Even the traditional religions worship science and tech by embracing this arrogance of humanism.  We pray to a God to have more affluence instead of humility.  We want immortality not connectivity.

Today science is the religion of scientism.  Scientism is sorcery.  It is a modern-day witchcraft.  This results in a spiritualism of arrogance where science and spiritualism combine.  This combination is revolting to life just as opposite poles oppose. 

We arrogantly called our primitive ancestors superstitious yet we desire to know all.  We desire to know the deepest secrets.  We search for a power that will give us the immortality we crave.  Is this not a superstition far more destructive and distorting than the simple ones of these simple but complex peoples? 

These simple people were complex because they drew their complexity from a complex ecosystem.  By being symbiotic with proper scale of people and place proper balance of our instincts of science and spirituality resulted.  This was real sophistication.  A sophistication that embraced a far superior sophistication of the ecosystem they dwelled in.   

A naturalism of proper scale and balance respected nature unconsciously.  Today we are in an extreme reversal of this with civilization with its urban centers of specialization.  Our monocultures and tradecraft create waste streams that the ecosystem can’t properly manage.  The result is rapid succession.  Rapid succession is an extinction event.

Succession is the manifestation of life’s vital need for change to adapt to a changing planet.  Change is the underlying expression of the sacred and here is where we should embrace the truth.  We are an instrument of this truth.  We are in a late stage of this sacred change.   It is now extremely destructive because science has been mechanized and spirituality arrogant. 

The resulting destructive change is taking all systems down in succession.  This is not the great reset the priests and faithful of scientism crave with the singularity of the secret of the universe.  This is not the rapture the faithful who mistakenly believe in leap frogging the consequences of our meaningless.  This is a return to our original scale and balance of pre-civilization.  The planet is forcing us back to this original balance.

We have so degraded an immensely fertile and complex ecosystem of the Holocene we now have the resulting degraded and dirty age of succession called the Anthropocene.  This will further degrade quickly to a time of an age of renewal.  This won’t be in man time.  This will be in a sacred time.  This is where the truth dwells for modern man which is a humility of a rapid succession of his own doing. 

Find a niche of constructive growth that will be freed up in this decent of complexity.  Reject the complicated life of modern man but live it to leave it.  You can’t transcend it but you can transform it.  Simple transformation comes from humility to this destructive process.

This is the awakening.  It is a liberation to be yourself to find meaning in a world of meaninglessness.  What we were told was arrogance.  Arrogance is in our current nature in turbulence.  Tame the turbulence in humility.  Wisdom is the result.  Wisdom is about properly scaled decisions with accepted consequences.  Science provides the data and evidence.  Spirituality provides the humility to stay scaled. The combination of the two provide species balance.  The failures of this is arrogance.  This is the age of arrogance and failure.

The truth can’t be known it can only be approached.  Science grounded in a proper wisdom helps us approach this sacred truth.  Science is our nature resulting in tech.  A proper spiritualism is needed to balance science and restrain our urge to tech.  Spirituality is about knowing the limits to our scientific nature of desiring to know the truth.  The proper combination of the two is part of what the planetary system of life needs to grow complexity.  Evolution needs succession.

We can also say then what is happening is also the process.  Destructive succession is obviously part of it.  The point I am making is for you the individual, family, and tribe is survival which is also part of the plan.  To survive this time of destructive change with so much meaninglessness then embrace the reality of this age of death.  Use its nature to be that force that creates renewal.  Niches of constructive change are part of evolution of destructive succession.  Be the new human type that transitions this bottleneck.  It may not be you who transitions but it might be your seeds properly planted that bear this fruit.

demystify

Science is clear on carbon with the physics, chemistry, and biology.   The planetary carbon cycle has been forced by human activity.  There is no form of industrial human activity that is NetZero.  Sustainability can’t be achieved by adding so called “renewables” to an unchanged affluent seeking civilization.  This civilization is clearly in overshoot of both population and consumption profile.  This is a congenitally broken system of technology and energy that can’t be reformed.  Land use changes alone overwhelm the carbon budget with monoculture agriculture and human habitation waste streams from extractive needs.

The key problem today is decades of forcing is now phase changing.  It took years to warm the ocean and fill carbon sinks.  This will only be mitigated by a planet with significantly less human civilization.  If you want human civilization that is based on high-positivist and rationalist science it will have to be one accepting and embracing destructive change.  There is no other way.  Anything else is a lie of human arrogance.  This predicament of consequences can only be adapted to and mitigated by a localism of downscaling, decentralization and degrowthing within the process of decline.  This is only possible at the grass roots because the top is impervious to reform.  The planet is initiating change with all its systems and human systematic decay is now well past its tipping point into decline.

Pointing fingers at fossil fuel oligarchies and not looking at the same corruption from green tech oligarchies is just a fraudulent wealth and power transfer scheme.  The elites have plans to remain elites.  These plans are not based upon planetary concern or else 400 jets would have not journeyed to CopOut26.  Academics that create intellectual material are themselves oligarchies surrounded by group bias and expensive walled in campuses.  How can they comment on carbon or social justice when they are corrupted?  They are pawns of the elites so their proclamations are more based on an ideology of scientism than facts and evidence of honest science.  State capitalism based on the successful Chinese model of affluent authoritarianism of a minority is taking over the majority of the rich world.  This State capitalism both east and west will have to colonize globally north and south to remain affluent.  The silk road is Chinese colonization just as the American dream once was and before that European colonization.  Carbon has always been the lubricant of colonization.

There are no solutions to this because high civilization itself is wired to be a consumerist-industrial growth economy.  This is congenitally unsustainable and tweaking it with a fake green sustainable development with technocratic control and so-called renewables is just another lie.  These noble lies to save the planet are really just to save civilization for a few and serfdom for the majority.  This will benefit a new global oligarchy of east and west in state capitalism.  This is elite merger.   It is unclear if these elites can avoid a catastrophic war because the drums are beating.  Hegemony is a human addiction.  Between war potential and planetary forces of decline, our consumeristic-industrial growth economy is heading for a break point.  The next step down is forced localization which will result in lower populations and consumption without negotiations from science and technology only appropriate responses.  The only negotiations are with human nature with human nature.  This is the basis of wisdom.

It is this transformation of human nature that is the beacon.  This beacon will come from the many examples already in place among less developed populations of low tech and no tech across the globe.  This is not only in the south.  This can be boosted and leveraged by modern science.  It can not be replaced by modernist science and technology.  This is the problem so if there is a path forward it is not state capitalism that is a fascist combination of monopolistic and Marxist control.  It will be permaculture localism that will seek out niches of growth in sustainability and resilience.   This can only be found with the combine approach of low tech and no tech and ample amounts of basic facts and evidence of modern science to focus best practices. 

This is not the mystifying modernist science and technology that talks of space travel nor the transhuman of AI and automation.  It will be practices already in place found across the globe of peoples that have maintained their cultural identity even after being colonized by the global extractive economy.  These people have already adapted and mitigated the damaging effects of this last stage of civilization by remaining dedicated to their core identities.  This is not blind optimism because the planet is tipping. No matter how adapted locals are with the best practices of permaculture localism there are still consequences so this is why human nature must be transformed.  This transformation is a wisdom and an insecurity.  This is humility and acceptance which is the basis of honesty.  It is only honesty that benefits from the truth.

Subverting imperial greenwashing

By Vijay Kolinjivadi, originally published by Uneven Earth

  • January 6, 2022

Max Ajl’s recent book published this year by Pluto Press, entitled A People’s Green New Deal, is a welcome and important contribution to an increasingly crowded and confused conversation on “green” futures. In the industrialized countries of the Global North, especially the USA, the European Union, Canada, and Australia, governments, social movements, and everything in between have proposed “Green Deals” of varying demands, generating much confusion as to what each of them stand for and the types of interests that underpin them. Ajl’s book places particular attention on the prospects of a US Green New Deal; as the US economy directly infiltrates nations and social classes around the world with its military, petrodollars, and monopolies, what it decides to do in the name of “greening” will have profound implications on the rest of the world under the current order.

The book offers a refreshing analysis, grounded in an ecosocialist lens for a global anti-imperialist class struggle. In doing so, it distinguishes itself from the distractions of rhetoric loosely being advanced under an amorphous “Green New Deal”. Ajl details these distracting narratives as they range from: a) liberal progressives and social democrats using all the right words but ultimately compromising to the interests of capital by advocating things like “greening” the US military; b) techno-modernist socialism unhinged from basic understandings of ecology while continuing to depend on exploitation of a Third World (e.g. “fully-automated luxury communism”); c) Euro-centric working-class solidarities for “greening” in the industrial core that conveniently ignore precarious and racialized labor forces both within and beyond the “Global North” (e.g. “Ecological Politics for the Working Class”); d) global veganism and half-earth nature conservation that have no qualms about embracing colonial logics against non-Western ideologies and affinities, and e) status-quo United Nations and World Bank-speak in support of the “Sustainable Development Goals”, furthering the myth of “green growth” and paying for nature’s “services”, which have thus far done little to halt or have even reinforced global inequalities and hastened ecological collapse. Of course, these narratives are not mutually exclusive, but hybridize into different shades. Common to all however are the silences in demanding climate reparations for historically uneven ecological exchange in which imperialist colonizers of Europe and North America looted the resources and life-energies of billions of people and displaced and shackled hundreds of millions in the Global South as a cheap laboring force to keep prices low and speculative finance afloat. It is this oppressive unequal ecological exchange that makes it possible for countries like Switzerland and Belgium to be considered chocolate connoisseurs, for the United States to foster and produce “innovative” tech hubs like Silicon Valleys that produce tax-evading billionaires, and for cities across Scandinavia, Canada, and Australia to be consistently distinguished with high standards of living.

Put simply, there can be no such thing as an ecologically-conscious future unless it involves popular control over time, territory, and ways of living that Indigenous people, pastoralists, campesinxs, and artisans around the world demand as restitution for historical and repeated assaults on their autonomy. In this review, I assemble a series of quotations from the book under broad themes that highlight a few key take-away messages as well as an invitation to further dive into the details by reading the book. I conclude with some issues I felt the book left the reader to ponder.

Main take-aways

To control industrialization does not mean to eliminate industrialization, let alone modern social life with complex forms of economic interchange and interdependence. It means understanding how on the one hand, the North is gratuitously over-industrialized, and not to the benefit of working-class life. And it means accepting how much northern industrial capital, and the consumption which it encourages, rests on de-development or underdevelopment of the South.”

What is missing in the First World left is not an abstract commitment to solidarity and partnership but a committed internationalism which takes the anti-systemic struggles of the periphery as the fundamental departure point for solidarity…thus climate debt or ecological debt must be a fundamental part of any serious green transition.”

If capital is under pressure from social movements or political parties and needs to find a way to give something away to domestic middle classes, that something has to come from somewhere (my emphasis added). And that somewhere will be those not included in the social and political struggles: in other words, the South.

Ajl’s work offers a reality check reminding us that the influence of ecosocialism in contemporary global politics is at a historical low and indeed superseded by the more organized forces around pro-capitalist and techno-futurist versions of eco-fascism. The (often failed) electoral politics ambitions of recent legislators like Bernie Sanders in the US, Jean-Luc Mélenchon in France, and Jeremy Corbyn in the UK should not distract us from this reality. He also emphasizes the utter importance of placing agrarian reform for agroecology and peasant sovereignty at the core of what an anti-imperialist ecosocialism would require.

Modern industrial agriculture does not feed the world; it is incredibly wasteful and takes the capacity to produce food away from people who understand their territory the best. Instead, it forces everyone to be market consumers of pesticide-ladened and chemical fertilizer pumped monocultures that generate mass death of pollinators, birds, and soil life. It also heightens the risk of animal-human transfers of new epidemic diseases that lead to potential pandemics. With industrial agriculture, being fed is no longer something that every human deserves but something that reflects purchasing power and the capacity to absorb rising costs of food . These values neatly follow racial and class lines, with the vast majority of people unable to afford healthy and sustainable food production systems as these are re-branded into market consumption as “artisanal”, “organic”, or “heirloom”. Perhaps worst of all is the way modern industrial agriculture mines arable soils, stealing time, land, and knowledge from human societies and rendering current and future generations bereft of food-producing potential.

Why an internationalist, anti-imperialist politics is what being ecological should refer to

Colonialism itself is not over. As formal and legal decolonization gave way to neocolonialism, nations lost control over their economic sovereignty, the pot of gold they had hoped to find at the end of national liberation…Indeed, even during the brilliant noon of decolonization from 1947 to 1980, farmlands, forests, banks, currencies, factories, salt iron mines, quarries, and oil fields remained in the hands of the colonizers. Almost never was decolonization so successful as to allow peoples to fully determine their own histories, even within their own nation-states…the climate crisis is basically the child of northern imperialism, pure and simple.

Ajl reminds readers that it is impossible for the global ecological breakdown that we witness today, such as COlevels reaching their highest levels in 3 million years, to have occurred without past and present (and expected future) dehumanization of black, brown, and Indigenous people. It is consequently impossible and counterproductive to treat ecological crises like climate change as separate from those that perpetuate settler colonial land grabs, class divisions, and a military industrial complex. Tackling ecological crises requires structural transformation rejecting a militarized global police force (e.g. the US military) that justifies war-profiteering over the lives of Yemenis and Palestinians in the name of free markets.

Why other Green New Deal proposals based on “green” social democracy or domestic “green” Keynesianism are fundamentally flawed

There are four problems with green social democracy. First, it is not achievable through current strategies. Two, even if it were possible, it would be imperialist and rest on devastating the South. Third, it is being marketed as something it is not: namely, eco-socialism … and four, it limits our political imaginations.”

This does not mean it is bad to have anti-racist green left-liberals in office. It means that they will not implement eco-socialism unless massive movements and parties outside the state, and worldwide, are fighting for actual eco-socialism – which Ocasio-Cortez, 350.org, and the Sunrise Movement are not.”

Ajl historically contextualizes “green social democracy” as Keynesian concessions to labour that worked to stave off the spread of communism in the post-war era and were ultimately intended to reinforce capital accumulation. He highlights precisely why left-liberal politicians and journalists confound the terms of debate by ignoring this history. Instead, “green social democrats” tiptoe around very real uneven ecological exchange while superficially signalling support (largely by recourse to electoral politics) to anti-imperialist social movements and Indigenous demands around the world.

“Greening” as securitizing capitalism

Green Social Control aims to preserve the essence of capitalism while shifting to a greener model in order to sidestep the worst consequences of the climate crisis. [It] is a decision to avoid reparations [and] a blueprint for world management in which imperial loot remains in the North.” 

In relation to the confusing politics of Green Keynesianism as described above, a People’s Green New Deal explicitly rejects “green social control” or any eco-friendly attempt to maintain capitalism intact while deflecting or dismissing conversations around climate reparations for colonial violence and theft. Securing capitalism through greening takes the form of carbon offset purchases, eco-certification schemes, industrial and high-tech precision agriculture, “nature-based solution” projects and ecosystem service policies and others that co-opt intimate ecological relations as alienable forces of production.

On (green) technology

Those who argue in an absolute way for technology’s categorical social neutrality, especially from the left, forge one of the most dangerous, subtle, and effective instruments of ideological counterinsurgency: they accept the myth of progress and confuse opposition to the capitalist agenda. And this is dangerous, because capitalists do not choose technology willy-nilly, but in order to maximise power, as has been shown time and again by critical historians of technology.”

Amazon relies on a certain way of organizing the human relationship with the environment. Each item for sale on Amazon’s website, its energy-guzzling “cloud” data servers, its gossamer logistical systems which enable same-day delivery, is tied with a million threads to use of carbon sinks and the atmospheric space for CO2 emissions. These occur without the permission of humanity.”

To meet UK electric car targets in 30 years, the (British) Isles would need twice current world annual production of cobalt. It would swallow up current world production of neodymium, gobble three-fourths of world lithium production and at least half the world’s copper. If mileage did not shrink, to charge that monster fleet an additional 20% of current UK-generated electricity would be needed …. Cobalt, one necessary mineral, is kept cheap by a half century of neo-colonial massacre in the Congo, and lithium extraction turns on the mangling of Latin American water tables. Even now Microsoft, Tesla, and Dell are being sued for being party to child labor in the Congo mines that supply material for the batteries that keep their doodads cheap and briskly selling.”

Ajl emphasizes that technological futurism cannot be discussed in isolation from the interests and voices that fund and imagine it. Popular control of knowledge and deliberation of its impacts is dismissed in favor of techno-utopias dreamed up through visions of human exploitation, despite the window dressing of “fully-automated communism” or (white) working-class ecological politics. Technology, no matter how “green,” is therefore always political.

On the colonial violence of suggesting “global veganism”

Plant or culture-based meats … now rely on tremendous inputs of energy, and according to lifecycle assessments, may be more carbon-intensive than cows.” … “We have to keep in mind that the problem is not meat, but certain kinds of meat production: capitalist concentrated animal feeding operations.”

The demand that meat-eating cease … creates northern consensus around encouraging, coercively or otherwise, transformations of how people live. It also creates a justification for unnatural ‘climate solutions’ based around biofuels and bioenergy or ‘afforestation’ based on trash-tree plantations which will allow the great petroleum corporations to keep burning their assets, to great profit. And it will be the poor who will suffer.

A People’s Green New Deal would never impose universal cultural blueprints. It would not continue imposing imaginaries of human-nature relations from entitled Northern countries onto all people of the world through strategies like “compulsory global veganism” or “half-earth” conservation. Such tactics would scream colonialism and border on eco-fascism.

On ways forward

Although we should embrace scientific advance in healthcare, from regrowing knee cartilage to organ transplants, the obstacle to world-class worldwide universal healthcare is not technological. It’s social. It demands a social revolution to shatter the capitalist organization of healthcare and to restructure it as primarily care-centered, preventative, and decentralized.

If social wealth is generally allocated based on labor inputs, relatively labor-intensive agroecology will receive more compensation…Command measures ought to extend to phase-outs of industrial agriculture, which has no justification for existing, and wholesale shifts in research spending away from conventional agricultural research and towards agroecology.”

Land should be redistributed everywhere. Each country should have total control over the food import and export trade, so that food dumping is impossible. Communities rather than farms should be in control of water, seed, and eventually land. This is the agenda of food sovereignty.

Intra-urban transportation would occur on bicycles, electronic bicycles, and mass transit, from trolleys to trains, where possible. Private cars would be most often reserved for ambulances and emergency transport – the times and places where society can collectively decide to use the fruits of inherently damaging industrial production in order to protect and convenience human life.”

Shifting from brick cladding, vinyl windows, asphalt shingles, and fiberglass insulation to a wood-frame house which substitutes those other products with cedar shingles and siding, wood windows, and insulation made from cellulose can convert such a home into a net absorber of CO2 emissions provided that when the house is demolished, the material is recycled instead of entering a landfill.

A People’s Green New Deal devotes its second half to sketching alternatives to the ‘Green Deal’ idea that put power back into the hands of workers, recognizing crucially how the production of “green” means exploitation of people especially in the Global South. It proposes several key improvements in terms of worker-controlled production; quality and anti-imperialist healthcare; urban re-design; large-scale agrarian reform and the dismantling of agri-business; intra-regional and collectively-controlled transportation systems, and locally-appropriating siting and construction of widespread social housing among other strategies.

In reflection: Thinking with and beyond A People’s Green New Deal for anti-imperialist organizing

Ajl’s A People’s Green New Deal has enormous implications for many who have put their eggs in the basket of “green” environmental politics. It is a wake-up call (or perhaps a slap in the face) to eco-minded social democrats, left liberals, and Green Party followers in rich countries to reassess the colonial violence of their proposals. Ajl stresses that Green New Deals have failed to center the rising tide of dissent ranging from Indigenous sovereignty on Turtle Island to Palestine, to the abolition of systemic racism and carceral assaults as demanded by “Black Lives Matter”, to reproductive control over (femme) bodies, to material transfers of “Land Back” and ecological debt reparations. A People’s Green New Deal redefines (or perhaps defines more clearly) what a just transition implies. Thus far, it is only the degrowth movement in the Global North that makes advances to redirecting the violent processes of growth; though tweaking the machinery of “growth” requires an explicitly anti-imperialist emphasis. As Ajl makes resoundingly clear, “greening” must be redirected as an international class struggle and demand for Indigenous sovereignty. The only way to do this is to ensure transfer of wealth back to those it was stolen from in the form of payment of climate debt (and ecological debt more broadly).

Yet, the means by which such a profound cultural shift can be accomplished leaves the reader somewhat wanting. Ajl notes that “being has a tendency to determine consciousness”, referring to the fact that Global North bodies are less likely to feel and experience the effects of imperialism due to the comforts that they’ve inherited and continue to obtain from an “imperial mode of living”. The problem is simple, yet difficult to overcome: the absence of crucial experience in the inherited comfort of middle-class bodies without which the true depth and nature of ecological crises as a class struggle is potentially not graspable nor perceivable. As Catherine Liu recently writes in Virtue Hoarders: The Case against the Professional Managerial Class, we left progressives in electoral politics, academia, journalism, and other facets of the creative sectors and knowledge economy refuse to talk about class or class consciousness in proposing solutions to things like social and ecological crises. As a result of repeatedly masking questions of our class status with deference to increased gender and racial identity politics and tolerance, the outcome over the past four decades has been an ultimate boon to neoliberal capitalism. Moreover, the perfectionist tendency to “be” and embody anti-oppressiveness as the key to social change excludes people that do not live up to a constructed (though often unspoken) ideal depicting a sort of commitment to struggle. It has also resulted in alienating allies for changing their minds or making mistakes. These legacies of a neoliberal era occur due to a deeply individualizing ethos of personal responsibility that permeates palpably in spaces of well-meaning self-identifying left progressives. The consequence has been the generation of new forms of leftist accommodation within liberal market economies around knowledge generation, and more detrimentally, a pernicious intransigence to truly organize in solidarity across class divides. The potential of engaging in anti-imperialist eco-socialist politics without falling into the trap of an identitarian bourgeois politics of anti-oppression Olympics needs careful attention yet is all too often brushed aside.

For others in less comfortable positions but who are able to get a foot in the door to the fabled “American”, “Canadian”, or “European” dream (even in the abject exploitation of their labor they may experience), the pressure to prove oneself as an entrepreneurial and well-behaved visible or cultural minority enormously sets back the possibility for working class solidarity. Given this gulf of class difference, through what cultural means can class convergence take form in practice? How might this arise? What will it take for comfortable, even anti-racist eco-minded liberal progressive Westerners (and other privileged groups elsewhere) to recognize that Indigenous sovereignty, Third World working class struggle, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) peoples’ dreams for the future, and religious caste oppression are not side objectives, but fundamental for reversing ecological breakdown, generating and resurrecting alternative relations and relationships into being?

Alternatively, why should “greening” strategies direct attention to comfortable middle class Westerners at all? Why even (re)center voices of those who can’t possibly understand the material and everyday violence inflicted on countless people? Would it not make more sense for this demographic to cede place entirely and listen (for a change) by following the lead of those who have been and continue to be violently erased in the name of colonizer ecology? If this latter, what might this look like? These are questions that are left open in trying to imagine a “People’s Green New Deal” in action. It is here where thinking about organizing for anti-imperialist solidarity in the context of generational imperial living could benefit from both class- and region-specific context. What can liberal progressive-minded people in North America learn about “greening” from racial, labour, and decolonial struggles in their own communities? How have middle classes in places like Chile and Ecuador amplified voices and contributed through meaningful rather than performative allyship in anti-imperialist struggles?

Ajl raises some relevant points on the question of national sovereignty from imperialist resource and labour grabs, to reclaim popular control over the means of governing and administering resources in a society, and the role of a national governing body as an appropriate jurisdiction to ensure climate and ecological debts are transferred and appropriately administered. At the same time, he rightly stresses the “hierarchical international system organized around nation states.” Here, some greater clarification is needed. Since demands for national sovereignty often work in parallel to demands around land rights within capitalist political and economic relations, similar questions arise. Both have to do with understanding sovereignty not as a codifiable “right” but as a legitimate relationship. On the one hand, recognition of land rights and nation states are necessary to reclaim autonomy over cultural and economic lifeways; while on the other hand, they reduce diverse political subjectivities and relationships of territory to that of land or “national identity” as an entity to possess and enclose, to erect exclusionary borders around, to ally with or war against. How can overtly or indirectly socialist-oriented governments like Bolivia, Venezuela, and now Chile (under newly-elected Gabriel Boric) effectively reclaim popular control when they are at the same time imbricated within capitalist global markets for primary resources? What unintended effects does the stickiness of globalized markets and their infiltration into anti-imperialist ecosocialist national projects engender? Furthermore, how might the ‘national question’ support Indigenous sovereignty and demands for “Land Back” in different parts of the world? The potentially messy confluence between national sovereignty and a broader vision for an anti-imperialist (and thus anti-capitalist) internationalism needs some fleshing out. What comes first, a popular struggle to demand a fully internationalist anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist world order or nation states etching out sovereign ecosocialist agendas within an ossified and violently militarized capitalist world order? A People’s Green New Deal would require further guidance as to which of these strategies comes first as well as how they might interact or counteract each other.

Finally, Ajl argues that casting a glance away from these questions and instead turning to what is “feasible” or “pragmatic,” as liberal progressive professional managerial classes in the Global North all too often do, effectively confirms that the exploitation of people and nature from a fabricated Third World is an unquestioned necessity. But the questions of how to combat the always-present penchant for pragmatism, even among comrades on the Left, as well as the unexpected outcomes of trying to realize idealized forms of popular sovereignty and control among extremely heterogeneous and internally fractured societies remain open ones. Greater clarity is needed on how anti-imperialist local direct action or municipalisms can better align with an anti-imperialist internationalism, while perhaps reducing the role of the nation state to facilitating this convergence process.

Ajl rightly emphasizes that the “Left” is by no means organized enough. It is clear that status quo establishment has a firm hand in the driver’s seat of a melting planet when tax-evading fortune-500 companies own more wealth than entire countries (with politicians blithely casting their glance away and indeed participating in tax evasion schemes themselves), when stock market bros capitalize upon sophisticated machine learning to squeeze profits from Wall Street, or when eco-fascist elements carry on the legacy of systemic and historical Eurocentric imperialism in “solutions” like replacing (certain) human populations with pristine wilderness. Dislodging this cabal of eco-modernists (regardless of their capitalist or socialist inclinations) through popular revolt has never been more urgent and yet seemingly so far away. A global “People’s Green New Deal” therefore demands that our ecological practice is anti-colonial and anti-imperialist or nothing at all.