In short, life will be very very different in the future than the relative stability we’ve seen for most of our lives up to this point. Some geologists have described the current epoch as the “Anthropocene.” This is a period when almost every ecosystem on earth bares the mark of human presence. How we go about meeting our basic needs and wants is creating a hotter, stormier and less diverse planet, which in turn leads to greater conflict over dwindling resources.
The trouble is, we’ve been reliant upon this system of economics and infrastructure for so long, that many of us simply lack the basic skills and knowledge of how to do things differently. Our schools didn’t prioritize teaching us how to grow food and breed animals, this was painted as ‘poor labor’ and we should aspire to be doctors, stunt men, and desk-jockeys. Our culture taught us that we can just develop one specialized skill and if we’re clever enough, we can afford a comfy little climate controlled box to live in, safely tucked away from the unrelenting forces of nature, secure with our pensions and 401Ks. But this creates an environment of stagnation of both the body and mind.
Clearly the world is telling us right now that it’s time to adapt. Just like in our ancient history as humans had to adapt to the ice ages and extinction of the mastadon, today we have to adapt to the changing forces of culture which are driven by the forces of nature. Species that don’t adapt go extinct and nature tries out some other class of species. Shall we be the species that knew how to adapt but was just too lazy, and so ended up in the vast heap of ‘unsuccessful gene replicators’? Human civilization can be sustainable ecologically and economically, but knowledge, just like any natural physical resource, must be nurtured and cultivated for it to sustain.
This information clearly has profound implications for just about every single thing in our modern lives. How do we not get overwhelmed by the changes desperately needed? How do we prioritize and act with the greatest effect without burning out? Well I don’t know all the answers, and neither do you, but together I know that we’ve got all the pieces, we just need to put them together to create the whole once again. “The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” Yes, it’s going to be an assload of work, but let’s not make it toil, let’s make it the great and playful work of our generation. And when we’ve made it over the mountain, let us look back and remember why we did it, and hold that memory close in our cultural memory so that we don’t forget again.
Next: Responses to Crisis
>How to get started in Permaculture / Homesteading!
Further Study: The Crash Course: Peak Prosperity – A thorough online video course explaining these interlocking challenges
World Shipping Routes
Feudalism Then and Now