Big changes are coming and surviving those changes will require downsizing……everything. We are living in a time of major global transition, and the challenges that are coming will continue to intensify until we:
- get serious about “powering down” from petroleum energy and getting carbon emissions under control,
- have less doubt and denial about scientific findings, and begin adopting more critical thinking,
- have less resistance to change and begin embracing more sober expectations about the future,
- have less avoidance of the growing geophysical realities that threaten human civilization, and
- most importantly, use less groupthink or Tinker-Bell thinking……the belief that something is true and possible simply because we really, really, really, really want to believe it’s true and possible. Or not true because it’s too uncomfortable to think about.
Whenever we read the word “if this happens” when we read articles about global warming and climate intensification, begin replacing this “if” kind of thinking with “when this happens” kind of thinking………it will increase our ability to begin preparing for the changes that are coming and increase our resilience to crises when they do arrive.
The Storms In 2017 Are Not the New Normal
I chuckle every time I hear someone say “Climate change has arrived. We are going to see more storms like Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria”. Our media is awash with this kind of Tinker Bell thinking.
Global climate change and storm intensification have not just arrived. They going to get worse. Soon.
The reality is far more serious and grave. Global warming is increasing, and it is rapidly becoming the great disrupter, economically and socially. The trillion-dollar financial impact of the storms here in the U.S in 2017, and the dislocation of millions of people by storms here and globally are already threatening the stability of human civilization through……
- people and property dislocation,
- increased immigration of people living in coastal communities,
- the financial impact of flood and storm losses to insurance companies and government agencies, and
- increasing the already dangerous levels of debt in cities, states, and nations around the world.
And this year’s storms are not the new normal…. they are only a taste of what’s coming.
Given the expected increases in global warming of 3 degrees or more, the potential for extreme weather intensification and climate disasters are going to increase significantly in the coming years. The future will look very different from the world we, and past generations, have experienced. Again, not if…. but when.
Water, In All of Its Forms, Not Global Warming, Is the Critical Threat to Our Future.
What we are beginning to experience with the global warming of our atmosphere and the storm intensification that results from that warming……is the destructive power of water.
Global warming will continue putting increased levels CO2, heat, and moisture into our atmosphere. This will:
- cause the ice caps to continue melting and ocean water levels to rise,
- increase storm rainfall which will threaten the viability of flood-prone coastal cities,
- increase dislocation and immigration of coastal populations to higher ground inland,
- create droughts that will increasingly impact local and global food production, and
- increase in-land flooding due to destructive rain-bomb increases in rainfall.
Some Realities and Wisdom We Are Learning from Global Warming
- The answer to all of the coming challenges and crises created by global warming is the concept of “less”.
- The relentless pursuit of growth at all costs has us at war with nature. We need to begin embracing a radical simplicity of lifestyle and consumption that would allow us to live more sustainably with Nature.
The idea of unlimited economic expansion…… the belief that we can just keep growing our economy forever on a finite planet……is totally insane.
- Sustainability will require the intentional down-sizing or “powering-down” of our current global, petroleum-based energy economy, and the localization of both food and energy resources. The more we can begin preparing for this “powering-down” from petroleum energy, the more resiliency we will create as the life-altering impacts of “powering-down” become more and more a part of daily life.
- Our local communities need to stop waiting for state and federal politicians to provide the finances and government policies that would be needed to create local resiliency. It won’t happen. Stop Tinker-belling. Our cities, states, and federal government are already struggling with over-whelming and rapidly growing dangerous levels of debt. They are already broke!
No politician is going to go out on the limb and support the kind of financial investment needed to increase the resiliency and services that would be required for all of our nation’s local communities to survive and recover from the growing intensification of storms and fires that are coming. If you have trouble getting your head around this concept…. talk with residents in Bangladesh, the Cayman Islands, Houston, Miami, Puerto Rico, Northern California, Washington, Montana, or Oregon.
The storms and forest fires of 2017 have shown us that the resiliency to bounce back from the growing threat of storm intensification, and the growing impacts of global warming, need to begin at the local community level……not the federal government.
- Blaming climate change for hurricane disasters is distracting us from the larger issue. Climate warming and storm intensification are realities that will impact our future. But, it’s not the storms alone that are causing the crisis and suffering. It’s the lack of individual, and community responsibility, to create local resiliency that is making us vulnerable. Vulnerability, and lack of local resilience created the crises and disasters we have witnessed in Houston, Miami, and Puerto Rico, and the devastating fires in Oregon, Washington, Montana, and California…. not just global warming.
- The dangerous illusion of progress that we are addicted to; the belief that we can make the transition over to a sustainable lifestyle without significant impact on our current lifestyle, is not possible. Through the use of Tinker Bell thinking, we have convinced ourselves that all we need to do is vote the right people into Congress……and we will automatically begin to work out of the environmental mess we’ve created for ourselves in the last 150 years.
Tinker Bell thinking is not going to mitigate the impact of the changes that are coming!
Whether we are climate deniers or climate change acknowledgers, most of us have been unwilling to actually begin embracing the enormous lifestyle changes that will be required to change our planet’s catastrophic climate trajectory. Most of us have been unwilling to take action to prepare for its impact. And according to environmental scientists……at the current (and still growing) level of 409 ppm of carbon in our atmosphere…. we are just about out of time.
The changes that are coming will radically change the future. Stated simply, our future won’t be what it used to be. The time to begin building resiliency for the changes coming from global warming is now.
- Achieving sustainability will have a massive impact on our current lifestyles. We need to better understand the complex and interconnected systemic nature of the changes that are threatening our future. Human civilization is the result of many complex interdependencies that all have an impact on each another! Stated simply…. when something changes…… everything else will have to change.
- I’ve listed below in the addendum some of the changes coming that I believe will significantly challenge the survival of human civilization. I believe that each of these coming changes will have an enormous impact on our current lifestyles in the next ten to fifteen years*
(* The time frame scientists believe we have left to avoid catastrophic threats to human civilization and perhaps even human survivability.)
I encourage each of us to take a moment and try to imagine the kind of impact each of the coming changes that I’ve listed below might have on human civilization and our future as a species.
Picture what it might mean for us if we could openly embrace a radical simplification of lifestyle and return to a more local community-based lifestyle.
Picture what it might mean if we could change our global, greed based economic system to an economic system that is focused on economic justice, the common good, and mutual benefit for all. A world that…….
- eliminates hunger,
- ends the costly, never-ending-wars we are fighting over access to petroleum,
- provides health care for everyone,
- creates a global economy based on common good rather than greed, or
- a global economy that support the growth of resilient communities working together on the local level to produce their food and energy resources.
The changes that are coming will radically change our current life-style. But I believe such a simplification of life-style would actually improve the quality of life on our planet.
Conclusion & My Final Thoughts
I believe achieving the resiliency required to survive the changes that are coming, including global warming, climate change, and storm intensification……will require very intentional preparation and planning.
Kicking the can down the road and continuing to ignore the challenges and changes coming is no longer an option. We have to address these issues, and we have to begin now. We are out of time to continue our contentious dithering and partisan political in-fighting…. when our planetary home is in crisis and on fire.
We need to ask ourselves two critically important questions:
First, how can we protect our core values and the kind of society we want to live in as we do The work necessary to deal with the challenges and changes listed in the addendum below? Second, how will humanity feed itself in the challenging and uncertain times ahead….again, as we struggle to deal with the challenges and changes listed in the addendum?
Resilience requires a focus on localization and resilience prioritizes the process of change best at the collective community level. Only the collective “we” of humanity has the ability to intentionally change and successfully address the changes and challenges listed below.
The laws of nature or Gaia cannot change….and Nature “will” win any war we undertake with her. She has been developing her survival skills for 4.5 billion years.
As I have been writing about for years, our primitive ego conditioning from childhood makes it very difficult for us to intentionally embrace change and act on complex, long-term threats like climate change and “powering down” from our dependence on petroleum. I am convinced that intentionally taming our primitive ego and awakening our collective human consciousness will be necessary if we are to successfully address the changes and challenges listed in the addendum.
As Albert Einstein so famously reminded us…… “It is impossible to solve the problems and crises we have created for ourselves, using the same level of consciousness we used to create them.”
My vision for the last three decades has been focused on the skills required to awaken our collective human consciousness and tame our childhood primitive ego in order to better prepare for a future that isn’t going to be what it used to be.
The mission of Primitive Ego Psychology and the Stonyhill-Nugget blog has always been that of awakening our collective human consciousness to the changes and challenges that are coming…… challenges that will radically change human civilization and life as we know it!
I am convinced that…….
- Our economic war with nature has to come to an end, and
- Business as usual based on capitalism and it’s “what’s in it for me” competition and greed have to end. We are all in this struggle to survive together, and the only way we will be successful in dealing with the challenges that are coming, is if we learn to work together.
Primitive Ego Psychology and the Stonyhill-Nugget Newsletter is now and always has been dedicated to the realization of these two realities.
And finally, we all know the challenges and crises that are coming, but so far, almost no-one is demonstrating the will to actually change their lifestyle in order to prepare for, or increase their resiliency to survive the changes or challenges listed below……we seem to be content to wait until they are forced on us.
And of course, when that happens, it will be too late.
Only intentional preparation now will successfully create the resilience we’ll need to survive the changes and challenges listed below. Global action begins with you and me at the local community level. Change is always best created from the bottom up…… not the top down.
Addendum: The Challenges and Changes That I See Coming in The Next Few Decades
- How we will successfully reverse global warming and bring CO2 emissions back below 2 degrees.
- How we will successfully “power-down” from petroleum energy and significantly reduce the use/consumption of plastics, cars, and the thousands of other products that are produced by us in
- our petroleum economy……the everyday products we currently consume that drive our entire global economy.
- How we will make the shift from petroleum to renewable energy……without the availability of petroleum energy to manufacture those renewable energy resources……or mine the rare earth minerals required by those devices.
- How we will power our factory’s using renewable energy when wind and sunlight are not available.
- How we will protect our old growth ecosystems and old growth forests that store CO2 and produce much of our building material and consumable paper products.
- How we will protect our drinking water or build the infrastructures required to move that water to where it is needed……without petroleum energy.
- How we will reduce our global human population to a level that is sustainable on our planet.e. from 9 to 10 billion back to 2 or 3 billion.
- How we will reduce human consumption and return back to local food and energy sources that would no longer be supported by petroleum energy. (Tractors, fertilizers, pesticides, watering systems, etc.)
- How we will reverse eco-diversity destruction and bring an end to species extinctions ……e. reverse the sixth great extinction event on our planet……already in process.
- How we will create social justice and bring an end to all unconscious racism and bigotry.
- How we will create the changes required to embrace the concepts of common good and mutual benefit for all people on the planet (e. ending the concepts of economic greed and “what’s in it for me” thinking).
- How we will learn to embrace the concepts of economic and climate justice for all humans.
- How we will end our never-ending-war and the trillion-dollar financing of that war.
- How we will end global hunger and poverty.
- How we will end oppression of the poor.
- How we will protect the civil liberties and human rights of all people.
- How we will protect those forced into mass migration by climate change and storm intensification crises that they did not create.
- How we will move and cover the financial costs all of those impacted by flooded coastal areas due to rising ocean water levels.
- How we will bring an end to the violence and suffering of those who lose access to food, water, land, housing, and jobs due to climate change globally. (Flooding, droughts, etc.)
- How we will end “business as usual” (e. greed, profit, exploitation of earth’s resources, exponential growth, and begin the 100 % recycling of every consumed resource from extraction and manufacturing to the recycling of all consumed resources (ie. achieving zero waste).
- How we will bring an end to global wealth inequality……where the five wealthiest individuals in the world possess as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity……3.5 billion people.
- How we will create equal access to “well-being” for all humans and all other life forms.
- How we will embrace these changes as time is rapidly running out to deal with these
- How we will embrace the complex inter-dependency of all these issues and changes that are coming in time to survive as a species or as a global human civilization.
- How we will create the ability for long-term thinking that will be required to effectively address the changes that are coming.
- How we will keep 80% of the remain reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas in the ground in order to keep global warming in the 1.5 to 2-degree range……while the world’s largest corporations and governments are determined to work against these changes.
- How we will move beyond our current “me”, greed-based capitalism to a “we” focused economic system (“we” being all people on the planet).
- How we will develop the survival skills and self-sufficiency education that will be needed for “localization” if small local communities are to successfully achieve resiliency and survive the changes that are coming.
- How we will balance and mitigate the inter-connected root causes of all the issues listed above, while we are already dealing with the crises and changes that are coming.
- How will we deal with the changes and challenges listed above if we continue to use Tinker Bell thinking to ignore or minimize the global challenges that are coming…whether we are ready for them……or not.
Please feel free to add your own insights to this list. If you send them to me I will add them to the list for future Stonyhill-Nuggets.
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