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Friday, October 13, 2006

Casualty of Consumerism

The following came from comments in the 'Conserver vs Consumer' article. Special thanks to Not the Mama for his question. It struck me as being important enough to share with a wider range of readers as an article...Jon L. Picard


The Malthus dilemma. Unfortunately, the hard reality i see in the not too distant future for much of humanity is die off from population overshoot.

Die off doesn't even really describe whats coming. This overshoot was caused by an influx of energy from a finite source - oil. This energy source is rapidly being depleted and becoming more and more expensive. As it becomes an energy sink - it will simply become too expensive for commercial usage.

Altho - i do see the gov't 'nationalizing' it for 'securtiy'& 'defense' reasons - maybe within the next 10 years.

You can read more on what i call The Coming Conflagaration here.

Is all lost? Not at all...

"Hope for the best but prepare for the worst."

As for the massive influx of people that are consuming - let's not forget that they are all also Producers.

In Consumer economics, the fact that people produce goods and services is never really recognized - rather - they are thought of just another interchangable resource. A very faulty view if ever there was one.

Also - Consumer economics does not value community - and as energy flows are reduced - we find that Consumer economics doesn't value democracy either (just ask all those people in China)...

Conserver economics values community and democracy. Without them, it just can not exist except as a mere shadow of it's full potential.

Conserver economics is not based on finite resources. This makes it fundementally different from Consumerism.

Conserver economics uses renewable energy sources - but those sources are lower in energy potential from oil - thus the need for higher efficiency in energy flow and recognizing peak cycles to harness it.

Last, Conserver economics recognizes the producer and the consumer are one and the same instead of being artificially divided.We are already seeing the birth pangs of Prosumer Economic Networks around the world.

These economic networks are local - the market signals they send out reflect the local reality of energy and resources. And - they are designed for sustainability from the outset.

Perhaps the best way to sum up the perspective of Conserver Economics is this:

1)Knowledge is global
2)Industry is regional
3)Agriculture is local
4)Renewalbe energy is the capstone.

Looking at consumerism one more time-
No Oil - No Global Economy
No Oil - No Industrial Infrastrucutre in the US (both technology AND agriculture)
No Oil - No transportation to get the food to the people
No Oil - None of the myriad products that are manufactured from it's derivitives. (I'm guessing about a 75% penetration)

No Oil - No Consumerism.

We are in a transition period - let's make it as painless as possible converting to a Conserver Economic System. When the oil becomes too expensive and eventually runs out - no worrys.

The best place to start down the Conserver path?
Right in ones own home....