Are You Ready For the Future?
"Look at What We Are Looking Forward To …”
1. The doubling of carbon dioxide emissions due to the building of thousands of coal power plants worldwide.
2. Those living in developed countries the world’s comparatively rich, will have the means to adapt to a changing climate. The underlying assumption is that climate change will proceed in a more or less manageable way. But what if abrupt change is the NORM, instead the exception? Can modern civilization cope with a sudden change? Think of what would happen if a breakdown of the global infrastructure leads to a loss of energy for even a few months.
3. In the next twenty years, current forecasts project this huge global economy is going to need 55% more energy – energy that is expected to come mostly from coal and oil. Even with maximum improvement in efficiency, annual carbon dioxide emissions will still rise by at least 25% by 2030.
4. Stanford climate scientist, Stephen Schneider, offered a stark summary of where we find ourselves: “If the object is to avoid dangerous climate change, we are twenty-five years too late. The object is now to avoid really dangerous climate change.” After reading the previous notes above, is that really possible?
5. Today, because of globalization and rapid advances in computers and communications, supermarkets can order anything from the producer and have it delivered directly to the store, eliminating warehouses and intermediate suppliers. This is called “just-in-time” supplies in which raw materials and necessary components arrive only as needed and not before. This more efficient and less costly approach is becoming the norm in our very large, urban communities. This has created a very dangerous and vulnerable situation. Urban areas now have only a three-to-four day supply of perishable foods, and the stock of dry grocery products has been reduced by more than fourty percent. Now imagine a situation that causes food to run out, a global pandemic or a break in oil supplies.
6. Small farmers in Poland, who farm without pesticides, gasoline, or genetically modified seeds, have been finding it harder to survive since their country joined the European Union in 2006. The EU’s sanitary laws and mandates to encourage competition and efficiency are threatening farming methods that yield healthier foods, produce little carbon dioxide, and have relatively slight impact on the surrounding countryside.
7. Today’s high velocity globalization – which aims to create a single, efficient global market and remove barriers that prevent the free flow of capital across national barriers – is restructuring the human system in ways that makes it more precarious. The system is becoming more vulnerable to any possible disruption, eg. long enduring power failures, an economic meltdown or a series of weather disasters. These disruptions can and will spread rapidly across markets and society. With speed of communication increasing, and the number and strength of connections becoming more complex, the markets react instantly, making the global economy more volatile.
At the heart of our dilemma is ignorance. And that is one of the reasons for me to write these articles. People need to be informed. Concerned citizens have the right to know.
With the possibility of abrupt change ahead, the pursuit of “sustainability” . or “adaptation” to a warmer, stormier or drier world won’t provide our children and grandchildren with the necessary defenses. Since I don’t see any immediate solution to reversal the mechanisms of social and environmental destruction, I feel our only hope to be able to survive in a more hostile world is to have just our basic essential needs. We must expect surprises and think about “survivalability”.
Such preparation is without question as urgent of a priority as reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change. Citizens living in large, urban centers have less chance of survival or adapt when major disruptions occurred. Small communities have a better chance of adapting to abrupt change.
Everyone should learn basic survival skills. There are the 72-hour survival kits out there but, there really should be a course teaching you long-term survival skills. If you are living in a small community, maybe you and your neighbors should set up an excellent survival course for everyone. Could be indispensable in the not too long future.