Re: Long-Term Sustainability Notes Online...
From: Lisa Poley (lpoleyvt.edu)
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2007 12:12:17 -0700 (PDT)
 
>"Let me see if I'm understanding you correctly.  You want 99.4% of
human beings to die within 40 years?"<

Brian, 
Come on now...lets try to maintain a reasonable level of civility in this
discussion.  

Ronald's presentation of information that points up the very real challenges
that face us in the coming decades in no way equates to "wanting 99.4% of
human beings to die within 40 years" and it strikes me as disingenuous to
represent his message in that way. 

Eternal optimism is a great quality.....unless it serves to blind people to
hard facts and keeps them from facing very real challenges in a clear headed
and serious manner.  We seem to be in an era of maximum 'fantasy indulgence'
here in the U.S. where denial and magical thinking are epidemic.

Spend some time in the developing world, (where the majority of the world's
population lives) as I have, and magical thinking starts to slip away pretty
quickly. You begin to suspect that the modest promised land of adequate
food, shelter, education, decent health and a dignified existence is
becoming further out of reach for ever increasing numbers of the world's
people and there is no real relief -no 'magic bullets' -on the horizon for
them. At the same time - we in the rich, industrialized regions cling
desperately to the idea that we can keep all we have now and get even more -
without facing serious consequences. We maintain a near fanatical faith in
the prospect of some technological magic bullet that will arrive just in
time to make everything okay. 

If we are going to make it through the coming era with some form of
civilization intact, we need to stop indulging in magical thinking. We need
to get serious about facing the tough challenges that are headed our way,
and we need to accept that that may mean giving up some of the goodies we in
rich nations now take for granted. 

I am pessimistic about the likelihood that magic bullets (like 'fusion
energy') will save our collective rear ends in the near term. But I am
optimistic that people can be amazingly creative and resilient in the face
of tremendous changes and challenges. 

By the way - Living in Cohousing is giving us skills, resources and networks
of relationship that tremendously increase our resilience and may help us
face the changes that are coming. It is possible that Cohousing represents a
viable model for a down-shifted resource economy that does not necessarily
translate into a significant drop in quality of life for residents. (Some
would even argue that it could represent increased quality of life- even
under increasingly resource strapped conditions.)

To accept that we are very likely headed for some tough times is not to
welcome those tough times or to advocate human suffering. Only by looking
clearly at the dangers we face, can we hope to marshal the collective will
and wherewithal to head off the worst consequences and minimize the pain and
suffering that so frequently come along with dramatic change. 

- Lisa 



-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Bartholomew [mailto:bb [at] stat.ufl.edu] 
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2007 1:30 PM
To: Cohousing-L
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Long-Term Sustainability Notes Online...

Ronald Frederick Greek <fred.greek [at] yahoo.com> writes:

> 6,600,000,000 - 37,902,186 = 6.5 billion or so must die in the time
> remaining for fossil fuels

> As of 2007, a large portion of the global population is 20 or
> younger.  At current consumption globally of 30 billion barrels per
> year, and the largest daydream of 1,200 billion barrels of oil, we
> have 40 years until depletion... MUCH LESS until demand permanently
> exceeds possible supply, and anyone not self-sufficient crashes.

Let me see if I'm understanding you correctly.  You want 99.4% of
human beings to die within 40 years?
                                                        Brian
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