Watch someone who explains better than me.

Here’s a YouTube link to a video by Chris Martenson, who I referred to in my last post.  It lasts about 45 minutes.  It is a shortened and made for the UK version of much more in depth material you can find on his website.  I think it is essential viewing, especially for our local councillors, who are going to need to really step up to the mark over the next decade.

Chris explains, much better than I can, the changes that are happening.  The key points are:

  1. Our whole economic system relies on growth (more to follow on this)
  2. That growth relies on ever increasing cheap energy and especially oil
  3. Cheap and easy to extract oil has peaked – the output is less from here on
  4. Undeveloped fields and future finds are, for the most part, unconventional supplies i.e. shale, tar sands or deep water etc.
  5. These sources cost a lot of money to get oil out of for less return
  6. Importantly the amount of enery in to get energy out is more.  When you get to one barrel of energy used to extract one barrel of oil, the wheels are just spinning round
  7. Demand is continuing to grow
  8. When we can’t meet demand, there is a shock to the economy and it can’t grow (this has already happened in 2008 and will happen again and growth is a necessity with the current system)
  9. Many other resources are depleting – minerals, soil, fish, fresh water the list goes on.
  10. Because resources are depleting many of them take much more energy to extract them – so oil shortage hits in many other ways.

Chris’s key message is that the next 20 years will be nothing like the last 20 so looking back at past trends isn’t going to help us plan for the future.

Crucially, economic growth – which is still the holy grail and assumption of pretty much all policy coming out of our government, will not only not resolve our predicament, it will be harmful.

We need to get used to at least considering that the future may mean getting used to less energy and less resources each year.  This isn’t compatible with economic growth in the way we know it; it isn’t some point in the distant future; and it will have a major impact on the way we lead our lives.  We need to get on to this urgently.

I realise that these are very difficult messages, especially for politicians.  Let’s face it shiny outcomes sell more votes than doom and gloom and everything getting worse.  We really need our politicians to show back bone and start to understand and be honest about what is to come, if we are to have any chance of preparing properly for it.

We could, by working together, be doing much more to build our resilience,  Generate our own power, localise our economy, increase our self sufficiency.  There are certainly aspects of this happening, but much too little and done without, for the most part, either the sense of urgency or building the understanding in the wider community that will be necessary to really increase the tempo while we still can.

If you want a serious conversation about this (in confidence) please get in touch.

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