• Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Crisis is the only antidoteIn an interview, Dennis Meadows, one of the authors of the Limits to Growth, said:

We are going to evolve through crisis, not through proactive change.

Most of the angst we folks who are paying attention feel regarding the future comes from not understanding this critical point.

We feel despair and disappointment when there is a difference between our expectation of the future and what we think is the likely future. I would go further and say that we have a certain future: economic contraction, starvation, regional wars over resources, etc. These are all the consequences of being several billion people into overshoot and dealing with declining oil production and climate change. Nature, via the immutable laws of physics, will eventually rebalance things.

The machine will not stop or even slow down willingly because the individuals and institutions that comprise it have strong interests in keeping it running. We would have had to teach enough people in time that infinite growth was a disaster, and we didn’t do that. As a species, we blew it.

Getting that all we can do now is take care of our little corner of the machine is when I finally experienced peace.

Give yourself the same gift and accept that we will not, as a whole, proactively address our converging crises. We will learn only as events unfold. Once you accept this, you too will feel much more free to live your life.

Source: The Automatic Earth

We are incapable of solving our home made problems and crises for a whole series of reasons. We’re not just bad at it, we can’t do it at all. We’re incapable of solving the big problems, the global ones.

We evolve the way Stephen Jay Gould described evolution: through punctuated equilibrium. That is, we pass through bottlenecks, forced upon us by the circumstances of nature, only in the case of the present global issues we are nature itself. And there’s nothing we can do about it. If we don’t manage to understand this dynamic, and very soon, those bottlenecks will become awfully narrow passages, with room for ever fewer of us to pass through.

As individuals we need to drastically reduce our dependence on the runaway big systems, banking, the grid, transport etc., that we ourselves built like so many sorcerers apprentices, because as societies we can’t fix the runaway problems with those systems, and they are certain to drag us down with them if we let them.

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3 Responses

  1. Mark, There is a misunderstanding of crisis & capacity, which comes from the unfortunate adoption of Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb as a popular belief. PB is written with fear, based in misunderstanding of the basic fractal, meme & gene operating instructions for our spaceship planet earth. PB is written in denial for the power of our interconnectedness. Restoration is far more in our conscious control than we realize. It take very few conscious individuals to lead the whole population back into the original human design regardless of how lost the mainstream may be. Our ‘exogenous’ (Latin ‘other-generated’) colonial identifying sisters & brothers are only lost on the surface without commitment understanding for what they do.

    Humanity’s universal worldwide ‘indigenous’ (L ‘self-generating’) heritage is millions of years old & far more advanced than the supposedly ‘modern-age’ understands. These self-generating capacities are within each of us, connecting us with our long heritage through the present to the future. These mundane practices are literally at our command for animating essential abundance in the coming decades. Here is a good example through Polyculture Orchard food production which must be understood as an extension of our human relations & being.

  2. Douglas,
    Thanks for the comment. I agree that we are not poor and that we are not helpless. Your example of the Polyculture Orchard is just one of many ingenious tools that are ancient and at our disposal. It’s just that when faced between a choice of playing on Facebook or doing real work to create permaculture…. well you get the picture.

    “Most” people will be forced to change, be forced to re-learn the indiginous wealth that is around us. All we can do, as conscious beings of sustainable futures, is continue down this road we’re on and then spread the wealth of that knowledge when the crisis appears and people will be begging for solutions and answers.

    This is the challenge of our time. This is why we are on the planet. This is what we have come to serve. I am glad you are with me on this journey.

  3. Its good to have this common path. So many distractions which point to our greater desire for meaning & connectedness. Westerners in our left-right divide as colonial peoples have a problem of reaction to rather than recognizing each other’s complementary gifts. Most don’t understand the complementary nature of attributes within capitalism & socialism. As one who has been deeply involved in the development of co-ops & networks, non-profits & community groups, I see how we have undercut ourselves through lack of capital accounting recognition for the investments, which we are making. One-member / one-vote systems don’t recognize or encourage contributions. Our indigenous ancestors in multihome dwellings, Production Societies / Guilds structured progressive ownership from youth to elder in order to recognize the contributions, experience, expertise & decision-making acumen.

    I’ve discovered this year about the power of urine for example as non-pathogenic soil amendment which increases growth of crops in even marginal soils by 50%. Humanity has no deficit in its capacity to feed even ten times the population of our world if only we can recognize our immense strengths.

    ‘Do we know who we are?’ is our current project reflecting indigenous human resource traditions, developing software for neighbourhoods to create websites with online Human Resource Catalogues HRC, mapping & accounting in Community Investment & Exchange Systems CIES.

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