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The SLF Great Debate presents: To Collapse or Not To Collapse  RSS feed

 
Cj Sloane
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The SLF Great Debate presents: To Collapse or Not To Collapse
Pushing for economic ruin or building a great transition

I've just barely started watching this, it might even take a few days because it's almost 2 hours long. I figured I'd post it and maybe by the time I'm done others will have watched it and want to discuss.

The first speaker is David Holmgren and of course he lends a big permaculture perspective and some interesting tidbits on the origin of permaculture. I'm pretty interested in Nicole Foss' take as well...

 
Cj Sloane
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So David sees the sustainability people really in 3 camps.
1. The "uni-bomber" camp who would seek to destroy the current system and he dismisses them out of hand.
2. The people begging for a "command economy" to save us.
3. The cool resilient people end of the spectrum, "we're having more fun anyway and maybe it might save us from the climate cooker."

I would've like to hear more concrete examples from him, but maybe he thinks that is his whole body of work, these last several decades.
 
Cj Sloane
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Not really sure how to sum up George Monbiot's position. He's anti-growth for sure but thinks we wont give up reaching for more till it's all used up (I sort of agree).

The people in the audience are asked to vote at the end of the debate on "collapse or not to collapse" and he asks them all to abstain. Kind of a cop out.
 
Cj Sloane
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Nicole Foss says there is no option - we will collapse like it or not (due to our bubble economy).
She says the solutions can't cost any money (because people wont have much).
The solutions can't be energy intensive either, because we will be facing energy contraction (due to it being uneconomical on several levels).

Destroying things to avoid destruction doesn't make any sense.

Resiliency, permaculture are the only things that will work so we might as well do it. Sounds a lot like Holmgren's approach.
 
Cj Sloane
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Philip Sutton takes the controlled economy side.

He says if we don't try to control the collapse we will "simply have permaculture with guns." The audience laughs but he doesn't think its' funny!

His main point is that unless we know what we want, and ask/demand for it to happen it wont. "We can not get something we never ask for."

Personally, I think that gives the power to people who already have it.
 
Cj Sloane
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Jess Moore is an activist, anti-capitalist and permaculturalist who works in community development.

She says "we need to put an end to a system which puts profit first and create a system the puts people and the planet we depend on to survive first." She does mention countries who have/are transforming by redistributing wealth. Greece. Cuba. Bolivia.
 
Cj Sloane
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George Marshall is the founder of the Climate Outreach Information Network and author of Don’t Even Think About It: Why our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change.

He is hard to sum up. He wants to talk and talk and talk... but not about collapse. He wants to talk about the things that bring people together.

"Talk of collapse guarantees collapse so let's not even talk about it."
 
Cj Sloane
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At one point the moderator says something like "I haven't used the word permaculture so much in one evening since my uni days!"

George Monbiot does redeem himself a bit in my eyes by suggesting the goal should be a steady state society. I think it's a nice goal but I wonder if there are any steady state systems in nature? If nature can't do it then maybe mitigation, which David & Nicole are talking about is our best response.
 
Bill Bradbury
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CJ what a great way to dissect the whole problem of blind normalcy masquerading as technological advances leading us off a cliff, which is a total breakdown of all life systems. We permies know the answer is in the past, when people lived in harmony with nature. These old lifeways can sustain us if we adopt them as a culture not just as a few individuals patting ourselves on the back while all life suffers at the hands of our friends and families.
I tell my guys and anyone else who will listen not to waste time changing laws and politicos, but to educate our future(the younger generations) with the knowledge of the past(our ancestors). Ancestral knowledge is embedded in our genetic makeup; these ways just feel right. This is our greatest weapon!
I used to say "when gas gets to $4/gallon, people will change their driving habits", I was dead wrong! Education is the key to change. If we collectively see pollution as wrong, then we pollute less. If we believe strongly about an issue, then we pressure our friends and families to stop that behavior. Holier than thou does not work. We are all in this together, if there is a collapse we will all suffer!
 
Cj Sloane
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Bill Bradbury wrote:I tell my guys and anyone else who will listen not to waste time changing laws and politicos...

I used to say "when gas gets to $4/gallon, people will change their driving habits", I was dead wrong!


Totally agree with the first statement - top down declarations wont work.

Disagree with the 2nd statement. I drove to NYC in the summer of '08 when gas hit $4 and was stunned by the lack of traffic! It was truly unbelievable. Nicole Foss and others in the peak oil movement had certainly suggested the price would crash & it did. I guess they can ramp up production again IF the cost of borrowing stays cheap. Maybe. I did read somewhere that they were spending $1.30 for every $1 they made. Tar Sands, I think that was.
 
John Wolfram
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It almost seems that they might as well be debating whether or not we should try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow. They can debate till they're blue in the face, but regardless of the outcome of the debate the sun will rise (or not) tomorrow and there is nothing we can do about it.
 
Cj Sloane
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Well, that was Nicole's position, and David's sort of.

They could have had the debate they wanted if they had invited different people to participate.

I was still glad to hear the different POV
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