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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Energy and the Economy – Twelve Basic Principles

Click here to access article by Gail Tverberg from her blog Our Finite World.

Tverberg, who is a highly respected energy analyst among independent energy scientists and technologists, sums up many years of her research into these "Twelve Basic Principles". I have been following her writings for at least five years, first at the Oil Drum and now here, and cannot recall that she ever questioned the system of capitalism. 

If you are not familiar with her work, you might initially get the wrong impression by her statement in the first principle: "Economic models are no longer valid, as we start getting close to limits." But it will shortly become clear that she is writing about economic models formulated by capitalist economists, not the capitalist model itself. She, like so many others has been infected by the TINA virus, and is unable to think outside the box of capitalism. However, unlike our addicted capitalist rulers, she has examined the evidence and acknowledged the realities of a finite planet, and that we humans cannot continue relying on cheap fossil fuels. Unfortunately, such thinking leads to only a "gloom and doom" scenario.
We seem now to be at risk in many ways of entering into the collapse scenario experienced by many civilizations before us.