Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Future is Less, not More

Wendell Berry has a knack for quietly, succinctly and effectively getting to the core of any subject. In the September The Progressive, Berry's article "Less Energy, More Life" takes on our dependence on fossil fuels and misguided attempts to replace fossil fuels with clean  "renewable" energy courses.

Berry sums it up neatly in one paragraph:
"We must understand that fossil fuel energy must be replaced, not just by "clean" energy, but also by less energy. The unlimited use of any energy would be destructive as unlimited economic growth or any unlimited force."
 As we have said for decades, the future is less, not more. Unlimited growth is impossible, and ultimately destructive, in a world of finite resources. The glimmering dream of a clean energy future, in which we live as we do now, is not only misguided, it leads us in the same direction we are already headed, that is over the cliff of unlimited growth.

Scientists have long wondered why, in the vastness of the Universe, we've never heard from any other "civilizations" on any of the billions of planets that must be suitable for life as we would recognize it. I've long thought that the reason we don't is because there is a finite limit to resources on any planet. Exploitative species such as ours cannot develop to the point of extra-terrestrial migration, a la Star Trek before running into resource limitation, or before destroying themselves through over exploitation of resources.
R. Crumb

Let's face it. This is it, and this is all there will ever be. We're over the edge of the energy curve
starting down the steep slope to a stable, truly renewable energy society.

Hang on tight, it's a rocky ride before it gets smoother!