New Template for Sustainability: Think locally, act locally

Heinberg does his usual masterful job in Part I of this long essay,  a survey of where we are in terms of depletion of existing energy supplies and production as well as diminishing ROI ( return on investment). And while I disagree fundamentally with Part II, which concerns his views of President Trump and the entire political scene, in Part III he once again captures my attention in an interview with Tim DeChristopher who, if you recall, walked his talk as an environmentalist by spending two years in a Utah jail. DeChristopher’s conclusions are the same as those of Charles Hugh Smith: while we cannot help but be totally and utterly concerned about “the big picture,” our best bet for both sanity and actual accomplishment is to start exactly where we are, see what’s needed right here and right now, especially as it jives with whatever gifts and training we each have to offer.

Take that first step. Pause to reflect. Allow what happens next to reveal itself. Notice who comes towards you. Notice what conditions change, or do not. Notice what you learned from that first step. If possible, join with others to take the second step, and so on.

While we cannot “save the world” all by ourselves, what we can do is offer templates, as well as the realization that every template is a more or less considered response to a specific situation in a specific location. In other words, we can’t just take “what works” and “scale up,” because when we do we end up flattening creativity into monoculture.

Both these pieces are well worth pondering.

Richard Heinberg: Getting Past Trump

and

Charles Hugh Smith: Sustainability Boils Down to Scale

Monday morning work party, May 21, 2018, Green Acres Permaculture Village and Urban Farm

 

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2 Responses to New Template for Sustainability: Think locally, act locally

  1. I keep coming back to that permaculture maxim “the problem is the solution.” Tempers are running high, with assaults on dignity, the Earth, and democracy from all sorts of angles. With Uranus in Taurus, it seems like a certain amount of chaos will uproot anything stuck, staid, or even some positive things. The challenge for me, and I am sure for us as a society, will be what do we do with the changes we haven’t wanted? At what point do we turn from fighting against something to finding the hidden blessings? Who decides what is the greater good or sustainable?

    This is excellent advice: “Take that first step. Pause to reflect. Allow what happens next to reveal itself. Notice who comes towards you. Notice what conditions change, or do not. Notice what you learned from that first step. If possible, join with others to take the second step, and so on.” Thank you!

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