Survival in a post-oil world _______________________
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Those of us who live in the industrialized world have an urgent need to raise our level of consciousness in order to begin the task of establishing a new place in the world for our species. Currently, we believe that that we are so exceptional among the Earth's creatures that no problem is too difficult for us to solve with our knowledge, rationality, technologies and ingenuity. This is simply wrong - and extremely dangerous.

While we certainly are gifted with a number of skills unique and exceptional among species, we are still completely dependent on our interconnection with the rest of life and Earth's environment for our basic needs. Elsewhere on this site, I discuss a number of crises which are converging to alter the biosphere in ways which will make it unsuitable as a home for many lifeforms, including humanity — unless we start right now to repair the damage we have done since in the last two centuries.

Beyond the most obvious and talked about of these crises lie such factors as the degradation and erosion of agricultural soils, reduction of biological diversity, ocean acidification, antibiotic resistance, desertification, reduction of fresh water sources and mass extinction — any one of which could have catastrophic consequences for human life worldwide — and all of which are probably beyond our ability to control.

Here is a great example of how to go about understanding the interconnected chains of causes behind seemingly spontaneous events
— this is adapted from "The World Until Yesterday" - Jared Diamond, 2012

A tribal war erupts over the theft of a pig by person A of one tribe from person B of the other. A justifies the theft by pointing out that B's cousin had contracted to buy a pig from A's father but had not paid the agreed upon price for that pig. The proximate cause of the war may be A's theft or B's cousin's cheating of A's father but the ultimate cause of the war is drought, combined with over-population and resource scarcity, resulting in not enough food to feed the people of either tribe.

So let's talk about level of consciousness.

Human conciousness in the industrial world is currently functioning at a low level. This has nothing to do with intellect or effort and everything to do with the stressful pace of life in such societies. Typically we can't find time to "Stop and smell the roses" or "Take a step back and look at ourselves" or do anything much beyond getting through the day and trying to make ends meet. All the promises of the post second world war era; more leisure time, mortgage free home ownership, families spending quality time together, and the house with the white picket fence and labour-saving devices, have been lost as we have turned ourselves into slaves working at non-rewarding jobs to make profits for large corporations and tried to fulfill our roles as faithful consumers.

Most importantly, I believe that the process of gaining knowledge of previously unexplored subjects and especially the interconnections between them is invaluable for expanding one's mind and raising the level of consciousness. Only by doing this can we learn to accept such difficult concepts as massive change, complexity, chaos, transitioning, localization, simplification and many others which, when taken together give a superb case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

If you can find any time to read, take a look at this page for ideas about the kinds of subjects which I think will give a good understanding of both the crises and possible solutions.

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