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Resilience Comment Policy
Mensch59 • 3 years ago
Systems thinking, critical thinking, and personal resilience building don’t, by themselves, directly change the world. However, they can support our ability and efforts to make change. The key, of course, is to apply whatever abilities we have — in community resilience building, ecological restoration, or efforts to resist the destruction of nature and the exploitation of human beings.
Totally excellent conclusion in a completely competent, mature, intelligent article. Excellent writing, Richard Heinberg. Thank you.
To address the level of destruction of the present biosphere and the degree of exploitation of human beings, the global political-economic system which will collapse without growth for growth's sake — as per one of "society’s most fundamental paradigms" — much change. In the common parlance, it's called a global paradigm shift.
Tony • 3 years ago
Interesting that in his list of all the systems that go together, that need examined to work through the problems that we as a species face, Richard did not mention the psychology of humans themselves. All the hopes and dreams of wonderful systems and how they work and can save us are meaningless if the fundamental behavior of people won't or can't be changed, isn't addressed, is neglected in the great design of tomorrow. Any engineer can see this one coming a mile away...you build the perfect widget, to solve the problem...and no one wants to use the widget. It doesn't even matter why...the classic lead a horse to water but can't make it drink problem. This isn't the some highbrow systems and critical thinking exercise (and I use "critical thinking" only because he did, folks who fell for the peak oil fear meme might have disproven their ability to use these words in reference to themselves), it is a fundamental question of whether or not people will place the health of their planet and ecosystem over their own wants and desires. And if they answer that question the way many of us "save the planet" types would, then why are they still flying, driving, supporting BAU, buying baubles at the store, and if they answer the question the other way, how can we get them to change.
stevenearlsalmony • 3 years ago
Please, someone, somewhere, take a moment to carefully examine and objectively comment on the near-universally denied, unchallenged ecological science of human population dynamics.
Steven Earl Salmony, Ph.D., M.P.A.
The AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population
Chapel Hill, NC
Arnold J. Byron • 3 years ago • edited
I am going to ask Mr. Heinberg and the folk who have made comments to this blog to agree with what I am going to say. If they cannot agree, then I want them to give an honest answer as to why they cannot agree. To begin. I have noticed over the two or more years that I have been a member of MAHB that most articles and most comments are about human psychology, human philosophy, human behavior and much dithering about the problems facing humanity. Little of this commentary has been useful because it has not focused on the practical aspects relating to the work that needs to be done to solve the problem. For instance, one problem is that there is too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The solution is to physically remove the excess carbon dioxide. I have not seen any articles on how to remove carbon dioxide. Another problem is that there are too many people. How does humanity reduce the number of people to half or less? Nobody writes about what changes in the physical relationships among people must occur and how these changes will be facilitated to reach negative population growth. There has been nothing said about what actual work must the common citizen of every nation be doing to remove carbon, or to decommission nuclear devices, or to gain negative population growth.
An article of mine has been posted here, on the MAHB site. It was posted about ten days ago. The title is A Plan for the Nations –Step 3. My Plan for the Nations tells of the need for some agency or group of individuals to be in control and coordinate the work that needs to be done to remove the carbon and reduce the population. The nations will give this agency the authority, the wherewithal and support (fiscal and other) to make decisions on what work actually needs to be done. The agency will hire the companies and people who will do the work and report back to the nations. I have laid out my Plan for the Nations as thoughtfully and as carefully as I know how. It is centered on action and getting the job done. I would like to leave the job to the United Nations except the United Nations has had global warming meetings for the past twenty-five years and has not removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere nor reduced the population. In addition, the United Nations has the dreaded security council veto. There is not much time left. Humanity has to adopt a workable, work plan to get on with all of the actual work that needs to be done to solve the practical problems facing the world and the people on it.
Please look at my plan and tell me what you think. I’m pretty thick skinned so you can say what you want But, there is always the caveat that one should not demean a plan if they do not have a substitute plan to present. It you know of other plans out there, bring them forward. We need to use the best plan available. The next sentence is directed to anyone who reads this comment. If you think I am on the right track then please find a way to help if you can.
John Rogers • 3 years ago
There are two realities. In one reality the public lives in a fantasy world. In this world reality consists of illusion and delusion in equal measure, a reality where profound ignorance is paired with slothful complacency. In this world a sumptuous way of life will last indefinitely and technology will solve all problems. Business as usual, comprised of a global neoliberal capitalist system dependent on cheap fossil fuels, will supply all the needs of consumerism indefinitely. In this world humanity can continue to ravage, despoil and destroy the natural world, procreate endlessly, fixate on increasing wealth as the answer to being happy, all without incurring any harmful consequences.
The other reality is that of a miniscule few who think analytically and care. The few understand that climate change, resource depletion, overpopulation and relentless, rampant, wholesale destruction of the natural world have consequences. The few acknowledge the overwhelming, irrefutable evidence that colossally destructive forces unleashed by humanity have caused a global environmental catastrophe unprecedented in history.
Through his previous publications the author has made valuable contributions to refute the fantasy existence in which the public lives. His current article addresses the miniscule few who grieve for the loss of the ineffable beauty of the natural world; a world being defiled and ravaged by myopic greed, indifference and appalling ignorance.
The author exhorts the tiny few to action as the best moral choice to cope with grief caused by the colossal harm humanity is wreaking on the natural world. In this the author is misguided. Coping with the loss of irreplaceable beauty on an incomprehensible magnitude is for each of the few to decide for themselves.
Implicit in the author’s article is hope that engagement by the few has a chance of precipitating an epiphany in the public that business as usual is a pernicious, incredibly destructive force causing unimaginable harm on a vast scale. This hope is as delusional as the fantasy world inhabited by the public.
Those of the few who find it therapeutic to pursue the illusion that a worldwide epiphany may be brought about: fine. But this course is neither wise nor morally superior to disengagement. If by “love” the author includes love of humanity, this is his choice, a choice that is not intrinsically superior to disengagement. In this the author is patronizing. I love the incomparable beauty of the natural world; I do not love humanity. I despise and loathe humanity. I chose not to tilt at windmills and waste time in the chimerical belief that engagement may precipitate a global epiphany. If those who choose to engage believe they’ll bring about a global awakening, this vulgar adage is apt: they are pissing against the tide—the most polluted, acidic, garbage laden tide in history.
John Rogers Guest • 3 years ago • edited
The author’s meandering article address many topics, one of which is how to cope with grief from witnessing humanity’s relentless destruction of the natural world:
Psychological resilience may also entail learning to deal with grief.
Awareness of species extinctions, habitat destruction, and the peril
to human beings from climate change naturally evokes grief, and
unexpressed grief can make us numb, depressed, and ineffective.
If the author is referring to the public he is woefully misinformed. The public is unaware or indifferent, or both, to “species extinctions, habitat destruction, and the peril . . . from climate change . . . “. Only the few who are aware, and care, experience grief.
In his concluding remarks the author includes a quote from an ancient sacred Sanskrit text:
Even if we do all we can, there is no guarantee that problems will
be solved, extinctions prevented, collapse forestalled. But paralysis
only guarantees the very worst outcome. In the words of the
Bhagavad Gita, “The wise should work, without attachment to results,
for the welfare of the world.” Act from love with the best understanding
you have, and always seek to improve your understanding. It’s all that
any of us can do.
The author clearly exhorts those who care to “act from love” and actively engage in combatting destruction of the natural world. The quotation from the Bhagavad Gita says, “The wise should work . . . for the welfare of the world.” Since the author jumps from one topic to another, whether he is referring to cultivating resilience or coping with grief cannot be ascertained. His concluding remarks indicate his remarks apply to both topics.
I concur that developing resilience in coping with the inevitable breakdown of all industrialized societies is prudent both practically and psychologically. As a senior citizen for me, as I expect for others of the few, the issue is not planning for survival, it is coping with the grief, dismay and revulsion of the vast destruction humanity is causing now.
John Rogers Guest • 3 years ago
“The Limits to Growth” is a seminal 1972 publication that sold 14 million copies and is virtually unknown today. The authors concluded the limits to growth would be reached by the end of this century if trends at the time of publication continued unabated. “The earth’s interlocking resources – the global system of nature in which we all live – probably cannot support present rates of economic and population growth much beyond the year 2100 . . “.
The authors categorized the most important trends as growth in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production and resource depletion. Unless these trends were abated, “the limits to growth on this planet will be reached . . . The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.”
Since the publication of this seminal work, humanity’s myopia, callous indifference, profound ignorance, and mindless devotion to consumerism perpetuated by the global economy have ensured the uncontrollable decline forecast by the authors. It is axiomatic that Infinite growth on a planet with finite resources is an egregious oxymoron. The patently obvious truth that infinite growth is impossible has done nothing to abate humanity’s ineluctable ruination of the earth.
What is obvious to the few is ignored, trivialized and denied by the many. This incomprehensible obtuseness is the dark side of humanity, the side that allowed the horrors perpetrated by the Third Reich and the Soviet Union under Stalin. The neoliberal global economy is a Grand Guignol environmental catastrophe of epic magnitude.
Tres English • 3 years ago
The same guidance about personal resilience applies to communities. We are working on the idea of the Food Resilience Network that seeks to help people create networks of small groups of neighbors who build community by sharing local food (and also do anything else together that excites them).