I thought about adding this to the Head Candy section, but perhaps not, perhaps it is too extreme, nobody is ready for it.
Politicians / bankers, they are no different to the man in the street, nobody wants to look at or address the problems, much preferring to kick the can down the road and postpone the issue indefinitely, or as long as possible, tomorrow never comes.
I myself over the past few years have been stunned by how much society at large is prepared to ignore the realities in exchange for some comfort today, but then again I did not live through the nineteen-twenties, and however much I say to myself “OK, This represents the new collective human high water mark of stupidity.” it seems only a month or two has to pass before something comes along to raise the stupidity high water mark… it is almost like everyone is actively competing in Olympic stupidity, and the prizes are awarded today, just for competing, all you can eat, live now pay later, tomorrow never comes.
One group wibbles about bankers, another group wibbles about rioters, another group wibbles about feminazism and family breakdown, another group wibbles about politics, another group wibbles about resources and peak oil.
They are all facets of the truth, like individual pieces of a mosaic, but taken alone they are just chips of stone, things only become relevant when you see them as a dynamic part of a dynamic conglomeration, with positive and negative feedback loops and interconnection between all things.
The bankers / rioters / feminazism / family breakdown / politics / resources one trick ponies are all right, all these areas suffer severe problems, but the big mosaic is that thing we call civilisation, not as in civilised behaviour, but as in modern technological civilisation, the ability to click a switch and get heat, the ability to get x bushels of wheat per acre, the ability to travel at 100 mph for one hour in one direction, and civilisation / standards of living follows one thing more closely than anything else.
That thing is not an imaginary thing like a fiat currency, or a political goal or ideal, or family values, or the value of aluminium or gold per kilo… that thing is a totally physical thing, real world basic physics like and related to the acceleration due to gravity at the Earth’s surface, 9.81 metres per second squared.
That thing is the amount of ENERGY that each individual human being has at their command and disposal per day. Energy comes in many forms, calories, BTU, kWh, gallons of diesel, it is all the same and convert-able from one to another.
At its most basic the average human body has an energy budget of around 100 watts, or around 2.4 kWh per day… with that you can hunt on foot, plant crops by hand, harvest by hand, dig by hand, this is the stone age.
Modern civilisation takes around 1,100 watts, or around 26.5 kWh per human per day, and this is like stall speed of an aircraft, you cannot cut back and cut back and simply fly slower and get there later, there is always a cusp, cross that threshold and you simply fall out of the sky, then you have to fall back on trains, cross that threshold and you have to fall back to feet.
Like the physical laws of gravity, these are physical laws of energy, you need trains and ships running well before you can build aircraft, simply to provide the infrastructure to keep those aircraft flying…
But as a society we are simultaneously kicking so many cans down the road, and actually addressing nothing more important than window dressing, that the bankers / rioters / feminazis / family breakdown / politicians / corporates / etc we all individually dislike will ALL go to the wall, and we will ALL go to the wall with them, when this modern technological society hits that per capita per diem energy bump / stall speed, a physical real world problem that simply cannot be legislated away.
In 1973 during the power cuts I saw people going around supermarkets in the UK with candles on the trolleys, this was doable, because many goods were tinned, tills were electromechanical devices and anyway the checkout girls could add and subtract, and all transactions were made in cash, and pen and paper was a viable fall-back.
In 2011 it is a different planet, most of the goods are not tinned, are not even made in this country, tons of stuff is frozen, just in time inventory, imported, the tills and stock and everything else is computerised, even the payment is electronic, nobody can add up, the supermarket is either closed or looted.
Millions of people in the UK would, if / when 1973 style power cuts come back, instantly lose access to the electronic bank accounts their salaries are paid into, the electronic vehicle and home insurance policies, the electronic cash money that they could in theory use as a substitute, but our current economy simply does not have the infrastructure to go back to a cash economy, we can’t even transport and process and redistribute the cash and coins, nor do we have sufficient cash and coin in circulation.
Russia had this, doctors and engineers and miners and drivers reporting to work, but not being paid from one month to the next, but they reported to work anyway because they knew that if they did not modern society would collapse.
And during these times Russia essentially suffered an energy shortage per capita, it is not one leads or causes the other, they go hand in hand, per capita energy shortages and economic collapse.
Yes, I will get my collapsed and defunct secret family courts, you over there will get your bankers high diving off the 20th floor, you over there will get your politicians sinking into the mire, you over there will get your corporates going broke and rusting away, you over there will get your feminazis reduced to offering all holes sex for a bread roll, you over there will get your rioters strung up from lamp posts.
And then we will all get the only thing that can get us out of that shit, strong, ruthless and powerful men, only some of whom are interested in getting us out of the mess, most of whom are interested in personal power, but we all will support them, because we will all know there is no alternative.
If we are very, very, very lucky, we will find ourselves living in a place where technological solutions are sought, where every single aspect of modern technological life today is redrawn from scratch for vastly greater economy and efficiency, where for example the internal combustion motor car is replaced with something that does the same job for one third the energy consumption per man/mile, where the computer device that consumes 100 watts is replaced with one that does the same job on 10 watts, where house insulation is sorted so our homes lose only 10% of the heat they do now, where a 10 watt electroluminescent ceiling panel is sufficient to light a room, where hot water is produced on demand, and 40 degrees Celsius is hot enough, where electrical power generation is >98% nuclear, and if it has to be a dirty radioactive leaking plant thrown up and running in 18 months, maybe even a series of cheapo nuke plants built on barges and moored in every port and river… until the thorium plants come on line, themselves only a stop-gap until the fusion plants are perfected and come on line, then that (pollution) is one of the unavoidable costs….
Water will have to be purified and redistributed locally, food will have to be grown locally, hydroponics will come in in a big way, multi-storey hydroponics farms lit by nuclear powered halogen lights…. job there for the urban weed growers.
THIS civilisation we have now will die, no question of that, the only question is will you or I be fortunate enough to live in a place that grows a new civilisation out of the ashes of this one, or will you or I be unfortunate enough to live in a place that simply collapses into feudalism.
Much of this will depend upon your own personal technical ability and education, are you employable, do you have something to contribute, or are you quite happy being a telephone sanitation engineer, or wimminz shelter manager, or financial planner / consultant etc.
And all this without even factoring in a long overdue global pandemic or global war.
Ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.“
Times are about to get very interesting indeed.
Consent not required.
Participation not optional.
The process has already started, we are just too close to the trees to see the wood, or the cans being kicked down the roads.