Diet for a Hotter Climate: Five Plants That Could Help Feed the World

I have just come across this which may turn out to be relevant.

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”Diet for a Hotter Climate”]

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Green growth, degrowth and the end of growth

Another video from Nate Hagens.  We really must grasp the nettle of what he is saying.   The implication is that everything we will be told by the Cheese Lady is founded on collapsing foundations.

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Is an ecological future possible in a global economy which is shrinking?

In response to Jeremy Lent’s request:  “Please share your own thoughts here on what Localization means to you, and how you see its role in Deep Transformation.”

The following is written from a UK perspective, where the future is already happening

We must think of processes. Not end-states.

Processes which, in the UK, are the way things are already developing.  Albeit not yet generally acknowledged.

If we are to imagine a future which is realistic and achievable we must also imagine how to get there.  We must understand where we are now and what is going on.  The future will be the natural evolution of how things are now.  A gradual process – even a revolution.

The System

The global financial system is shrinking. Quantitative easing (printing money) is giving the impression of growth.

As a result, the top-down systems which created the growth we don’t want are also shrinking.

Public sector and commercial organisations are all top-down.

The number of individuals employed in the top-down systems is declining.

The unemployed people are “moving” to the grass-roots. At first, some of them and their families are dependent on government subsidies.  Later they have to learn how to join the rest, who are self-supporting.  Sometimes in self-sustaining extended families.  With the potential to evolve into local economies. Not planned.

The rate of shrinkage of the UK national economy is accelerating as a result of increasing energy prices and declining energy surpluses.  Essential spending, which is dependent on energy, is becoming more expensive.  Discretionary domestic spending is declining and will soon become non-existent for some.   Food poverty is increasing and prosperity is declining.

Social unrest is growing and will become a political problem. Worker strikes, actual and threatened, are increasing.  Including barristers who are involved in administering the legal systems.

All of which will lead to financial, social and ecological breakdown.

In the countryside

What follows is speculation.

Industrial agriculture will become unsustainable, because of the high energy costs of fertilizers and complex machinery and the cost of borrowing.

Land prices will drop and farms will become bankrupt because of rising interest rates.  Land holdings will be broken up.

At the grassroots, small-scale farming will become viable. Undertaken by newly arrived self-employed incomers, content to work for a secure livelihood rather than the insecurity of discretionary top-down employment.  A feature of the shrinking economy.

Similarly, families will learn how to grow and process their food and barter their surpluses.

Local food economies will develop.  Based on self-organising clusters of extended families and like-minded individuals.

All of which will naturally evolve, with no top-down planning or management.

In the long term, this may evolve into the kind of culture which Helena Norberg Hodge found in Ladakh before it was corrupted by tourism.

In the towns

Like in the countryside, there will be a transition from working for failing discretionary businesses to self-employment.  The problem will be the limited self-employment opportunities in food businesses.

In low-density areas where houses have gardens, householders can grow their food.

In high-density areas where modern housing does not have gardens, community gardens and allotments will enable householders to grow their food.

In the longer term, when industrial businesses in discretionary markets cease trading the land they occupy will become available for small-scale farming and allotments.

The long-term possibility for towns must be to transition to the same future as in the countryside.  The implication of this must include migration from high-density areas to the countryside.

Towards an ecological civilisation

In the future sketched here, the power and influence of top-down organisations will wane as they shrink. Securing an ecological future will depend on grassroots processes.

It was the growth-oriented top-down systems which were responsible for creating global warming and the prospect of eventual catastrophe.  They continue to assume that growth is necessary and that borrowing money will enable the growth to be maintained.

Before long it will be accepted that the economy is an energy system and that growth is dependent on the availability of surplus energy.   Which will not be available.

So, top-down systems will no longer be able to drive growth.

As the Wall Street Journal has said the causes of the growth “were industrialization, mechanization, electrification and automation, joined with the ability to finance such innovations [plus a colossal, rising throughput of energy, mostly from fossil fuels].”

None of which is available at the grass-roots.

It must be concluded that the current global economic shrinkage is leading to the gradual extinction of the top-down systems and the development of bottom-up grassroots cultures.

History tells us that grassroots cultures in the UK, before industrialisation, were naturally ecological.   This is the direction in which the evolution of UK culture is heading.

The population of the UK before industrialisation was about one-tenth of the population today.

Industrialisation enabled this population growth.

The shrinking economy and declining prosperity are already resulting in food poverty.  This will get much worse

The shrinking economy is leading to (1) a process of localisation and (2) increasing food poverty.

An ecological future is likely, eventually.  People will have to live with less.  Otherwise, widespread starvation and depopulation will occur.

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How to make emergency survival bread

The first stage of our transition into the new era is here.

Maybe we should begin to learn some skills to help us survive gracefully.

I know nothing about making bread.  This came to me out of the blue.  I would be very happy to post more of this ilk.  Just drop me a line.

How to Make Emergency Survival Bread

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Hug a tree

Nate Hagens on trees.

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A nice short film about a family in Australia who live a life of permaculture

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People Oriented City Villages

This is a nice example of what is going on in the Deep Transformation Network.   It is a complicated “place” to visit.  Which I suppose is the nature of a network

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Money and the end of abundance: A FINANCIAL CRISIS PRIMER by Tim Morgan

#238. Money and the end of abundance

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Let’s call it grassroots growth

I agree with the concept of degrowth, but isn’t there a better term for it?

This piece by Erin Remblance and, Jennifer Harvey Sallin in the Illuminem blog chimes with my frustration at the use of the word degrowth.

We get this question a lot from people who fear that the term “degrowth” sounds too negative in a world where economic growth is almost universally considered positive. They worry the perception that degrowth must be negative will stop many people from embracing the term, the concept, and, subsequently, degrowth-aligned behaviours and policies.

If you are an economist who believes that the economy is energy-based, degrowth is what is happening now – the shrinking economy.  If you are a green activist, it is a policy which must be followed to save the planet.

The odd thing is that the green activists cannot see what they advocate is already happening. Their concern should now switch to advocating that the degrowth should be heading in the “right” ecological direction.

Whatever your inclination you believe that the world is doomed.  Which is not how I see the future.      

The fact that the world economy is shrinking must mean that our use of fossil fuel energy is also shrinking.  Which, in due course, will mean that the world is no longer doomed.  It is becoming a much smaller, lower-energy entity.

It was the growth-based mindset and the top-down systems it spawned that created global warming.  Now there is insufficient surplus energy to maintain the growth.  So there is degrowth.   Which is seen by most people to be negative. Including those who govern us and want to.

So the top-down systems are shrinking.  Propped up to look like growth, for the time being, by quantitative easing

And the bottom-up grassroots doings of individuals and their extended families are growing.  A growth which many say they want.  Me too!

Let’s call it grassroots growth.

This leads me to suggest that time and money are being wasted using alternative energy resources to prop up the top-down systems, whose decline is inevitable.   Much better to use these resources to cushion the inevitable transition of grassroots doings to a lower-energy society.

First published in the Deep Transformation Network

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The End of Abundance

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