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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Can renewable energy sustain consumer societies?

Click here to access article by Samuel Alexander from Energy Bulletin. 
...any transition to a just and sustainable world requires a vastly reduced demand for energy compared to what is common in the developed regions of the world today, and this necessitates giving up growth-based, consumer societies and the energy-intensive lifestyles they support and promote.

The implications of this can hardly be exaggerated. It means that the global consumer class must learn how to live ‘simpler lives’ of reduced resource and energy consumption, as well as build new economic systems based on notions of sufficiency rather than excess.
It's difficult to know if the author is playing it safe by his use of circumlocutions as illustrated in the above paragraphs or if he is really as naive as his statements suggest. What he is only hinting at is the basic incompatibility of capitalism with ecological sustainability, and the necessity of revolution by whatever means necessary if human life is to continue.