La transition

Les villes et municipalités présentées sur ce site se préparent activement à la transition due au pic pétrolier. Pour se préparer à cette transition, il faut réduire massivement la consommation individuelle d’énergie. Ces villes se préparent au choc.

Albert Bates, dans cet interview de Vanity Fair, explique très bien les problèmes actuels:

You have said that your feelings about the world’s condition got more pessimistic by the time your book got printed last year. What exactly has happened?

I think more shoes keep falling almost every day. I have to shut up and stand back for a while just to absorb what is being said.

What has happened is that after six years, 2500 scientists, 450 lead authors and 800 contributors in 130 countries have issued a definitive report that makes no bones about the fact that we are on the road to Hell on Earth, that we won’t see the cool planet we had just 20 years ago for maybe 20,000 years more, maybe 200,000 years, if ever, and that there is a chance that nothing we can do can now stop Earth from being reduced to a lifeless desert world like Mars, perhaps even within the lifetime of some of those now alive; my granddaughter, for instance.

What has also happened is that Condi Rice made a trip to India, forgiving them for violating the NPT and TBT agreements and said, « We are going to arm you with your own nuclear weapons manufacturing plants so you can be our front line against China, » forgetting that Pakistan is in a nuclear arms race with India, and that Kashmir is a hot war zone. And we have the Chinese arming the North Koreans and the North Koreans arming every little splinter cell in the world that could deliver a nuclear weapon to any city on Earth in a Sealand container. Madness.

Countries like France and China still pursue the fantasy that fission, or worse, fusion, reactors will save us from petrocollapse or warming, heedless of proliferation of wastes, weapons, and greenhouse gases that those efforts only thinly conceal. We are essentially throwing our children into furnaces to heat and light homes. And we are piling up toxics that we soon won’t have the energy resources to manage.

I have now watched Albert Bartlett’s lecture on the exponential function even more times than Al Gore’s slide show, which I have been watching for more than 20 years. We show Bartlett to every group of students at our training center. To borrow his analogy, we are bacteria in a bottle and it is 2 minutes to midnight. We know we double our population every minute but we are seduced by all that open space in the bottle. Even if we could find more bottles they would be too little, too late. Are we humans as smart as bacteria?

Worldwatch Institute‘s State of the World 2007 has a graph of our global ecological footprint. As humans, not bacteria, we are dripping out of our bottle now. All biological systems can take stress for a while before they break and wither. We are like prisoners who have been tortured just too long. Recovery may no longer be possible for us now.

Even if you don’t subscribe to all this, to what I just laid out, ask yourself if you believe in the precautionary principle. Can you rule out the possibility that we are driving off a cliff and about to make a catastrophic descent, as a life form, from which no recovery is possible? Given the possibility, no matter how remote, that our habits are extinguishing all life on Earth, what should you be doing right now?

It is a question I ask myself a lot.


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