We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Politics and Peak Energy

from The Oil Drum.  This website features lively discussions on energy related issues by, in most cases, highly trained people in the technical sciences. Their expertise in these sciences informs the discussion in valuable ways, but it is clear that energy related problems are also related to political matters. Unfortunately their understanding of fundamental political issues is informed by the same conventional understanding of political affairs that has indoctrinated most of the American population through the educational system and mainstream media. Thus one finds statements like these:
  • Our only hope for a drastic course correction is to support grass-roots movements to elect leaders who clearly understand energy and the growing tension between an economic system based on continued growth (especially population) and declining energy.
  • For me the answer is...find a new no-growth economic paradigm. 
Such comments are made very casually and suggest that someday we should be offered the choice to vote for "leaders who clearly understand...the growing tension between an economic system base on continued growth...and declining energy" or we will be able to vote to change the "economic paradigm".