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Author Topic: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins  (Read 98484 times)

SATire

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #100 on: January 26, 2014, 09:10:03 PM »
Shared Humanity, if you stop industrial agriculture you also lose artificial fertilizers. In pure organic agriculture (here in wet Germany) after ~10 years your productivity is only 25%. So - you will still need all the acres busy with a lot of poeple to feed your vegetarian population. It will not be a comfortable life but you will have no problems with unemployment ;-)

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #101 on: January 26, 2014, 09:18:49 PM »
I just did some research on pork production for the U.S. The FCR (Feed Conversion Ratio) is better for pork. It only takes 3.2 kg. of feed to produce 1 kg. of pork. In 2011, 21 billion pounds of pork were produced in the U.S.

http://www.nppc.org/pork-facts/

It would take 30 billion kg. of grain to produce this 9.5 billion kg. of pork or 9.5% of annual grain production.  If you add both beef and pork, 52% of grain output is consumed by cattle and hogs.

wili

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #102 on: January 26, 2014, 09:38:16 PM »
Thanks, SH. That pretty much coincides with my general understanding. So if you add in poultry, lambs, etc, probably about 60 % or nearly two-thirds.

This is old data, but if anything that means that it is understatement, since global meat consumption has exploded since then:
Quote
More than half the U.S. grain and nearly 40 percent of world grain is being fed to livestock rather than being consumed directly by humans

http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/1997/08/us-could-feed-800-million-people-grain-livestock-eat

When you add in corn ethanol, it turns out that only about one twelfth of the total corn crop is used for anything other than livestock feed and ethanol.



http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/corn/background.aspx#.UuVzIPbnZ-U
Soooo, the general point here is that, as usually happens, the problem is not merely an issue of the total potentially available amount of grains and legumes that could be used to feed the world population, but the way that those grains and legumes are (mis-)used. This is all reminiscent of the fact that Ireland was exporting beef to England even during the darkest years of the great potato famine.

Unfortunately, just pointing out that these mal-distributions exist does not make them go away or make it much more likely that there will be saner sort of distribution. But it does mean that nearly all of US (and probably most of global) industrial ag could go away, and if (and that's a big 'if' of course) there were corresponding reductions in meat eating and ethanol fuel use, it would not have as great an effect on world food supply as one might think.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 10:01:41 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

werther

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #103 on: January 26, 2014, 11:32:29 PM »
Sorry for not appropriately contributing to the line of discussion. I've just started actually reading Holmgren's work linked by wili. This is a part I took in my own words.

"Holmgren...
Criticised the naive alignment by the climate activist community with masters of finance in favouring a bubble economy of tradable carbon. Which wasn’t eventuated. As Copenhagen COP 15 failed late 2009, quantitative easing in the USA was facilitating a continuation of investment possibilities in large-scale fossil  energy extracting operations. While private debt acquired unprecedented levels, the dominant economic structure has shortcut financial circuits to continue concentrated wealth accumulation through new, less carbon efficient ways of extraction.
By now, this shows how economic downturn in the prospect of peak-oil and limits to growth doesn’t lead to lesser carbon emissions. On the contrary, by outsourcing production to low wages nations that do not constrain production with limits to pollution and carbon emission, the danger of global warming has become progressively worse."

I think Holmgren's analysis is quite accurate here. I asked myself: 'is the CO2 content actually rising to the extent this analysis implies?"
I see two main constraints:
1. CO2 emissions by the new production nations are masked to a certain degree by coinciding aerosol contributions
2. CO2 and methane content growth are now beyond the level of natural buffering capacity

Bruce Steele

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #104 on: January 27, 2014, 12:41:49 AM »
Wili, We can eat grass fed beef at grain numbers much less than those quoted. Cattle can graze in conditions not compatible with most agriculture uses so you can't assume all reductions in grazing necessarily being replaced with additional agriculture. Energy uses can be measured and calories delivered either deliver or they don't. I just don't understand how you expect farming to proceed without farm animals as manure assets? I think zero fertilizer systems may work with several legume plantings to each crop produced but we are talking about pie in the sky here.
 The USDA chart on corn use shows biofuels as the growing part of the use trend. I think cutting back 50% on driving would get better results than similar reductions in beef consumption. There are animals that would produce similar protein per acre conversions without the methane that cattle,sheep or goat production.
 I guess I am having problems with what will be necessary after collapse and what we will attempt in the meantime. I don't think any 50% solutions will be adequate so  let's put 50% less ruminant protein
together with 50% reductions in miles traveled as a compromise . I would put even larger reductions in air travel or consumption of products or foodstuffs that utilize air transport. I have a difficult time convincing even good friends and relatives however. "Thrashing the air ,with his hands" jeffersonairplane   

wili

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #105 on: January 27, 2014, 01:45:26 AM »
"I just don't understand how you expect farming to proceed without farm animals as manure assets?"

Good question. First, I didn't mean to imply that there must be no livestock at all. Just not much heavily grain and soy feed ones.

As to animals for manure, recall that humans are animals.

Quote
let's put 50% less ruminant protein together with 50% reductions in miles traveled as a compromise . I would put even larger reductions in air travel or consumption of products or foodstuffs that utilize air transport.

I'm good with all that, though we may need something a bit north of 50% on each.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bruce Steele

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #106 on: January 27, 2014, 07:10:56 AM »
Wili, Equity will of necessity be a very important guideline as we proceed. Some of us will try harder than others but that will also give us the high ground in trying to encourage participation. I wish I could say I was where I knew I needed to be , I can only say I am doing better and using less ff than before I realized how bad the situation really was. I most certainly can achieve a 50% reduction and still avoid the poorhouse. I don't know why hammering on the numbers is so important to me. I was never that good a student but making the changes necessary will require some rigor in how we measure our progress. If I were to venture a guess you are probably currently using less energy than I. Food production is where I am focused and maybe I will have something to contribute to how other people approach low energy food production systems. I am quite obsessed.
 I am happy that I have two or  three novice farmers interested in what I am up to. Some solid numbers might draw more interest. I do have a couple plots set aside for zero ff farm production efforts and the electric tiller winter lettuce experiment is still on track.Twenty cases so far, ~ 600 heads,with new plantings in the ground. I will challenge my young friends to make similar efforts on the land I am going to lend them. I am going to make a couple batches of bio-diesel for larger crop efforts but the electric tiller will get my EROEI numbers higher because the bio has higher imbedded costs. Obsessed and everything I have to say should probably be on the gardening page but my experience with politics makes me think equity is just as important.   
 

wili

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #107 on: January 27, 2014, 08:13:14 AM »
I honor your obsession, Bruce.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

SATire

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #108 on: January 27, 2014, 11:04:37 AM »
It is great what you try to transform into the future and it would be great to learn more about that - maybe in that agriculture thread? But since that topic falls also in that "marketing strategy" to get >50% of the poeple and food is the first place for poeple to look at, it could fit here, too. Next to renewables (green BAU) those organic-BAU approaches are surely a way to get the poeple on board. Remeber: The goal is 0 emission - every approach is welcome to get there. And you will never get there without the poeple (apart from killing them all).

Next to mainstream EU organic standards (which has significant maket share allready) there are more strict concepts with impact - but of course very different approaches, philosophies and so on, e.g. to attract different kind of poeple:

http://www.demeter.de/verbraucher/landwirtschaft (Steiner concept)
http://www.bioland.de/start.html - difference to standard explained here in english: http://www.bioland.de/fileadmin/dateien/HP_Dokumente/Allgemeine_Informationen/2012_12_12_Vergleich-BL-EGVO_englisch.pdf
http://www.naturland.de/naturland.html
http://www.gaea.de/
http://www.biokreis.de/
and a lot of more smaller iniatives...

JimD

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #109 on: January 27, 2014, 05:42:27 PM »
Well we are starting to drift off topic, but I can't resist either  :)

Does anyone have any idea how much of current industrial ag is actually used to directly feed people with the grain/legumes produced. I'm thinking it is a minority of total acres, but I have no idea how much. My impression is that most industrial ag is used to feed livestock and to make ethanol. Does anyone know where to find info on this?

I did a little research for the U.S. In 2011 there were "43.4 billion pounds of beef harvested under USDA inspection."

http://www.beefusa.org/beefindustrystatistics.aspx

Since it takes 7 kg. of grain to produce 1 kg. of beef, this means that it took 138 billion kg. of grain to produce one years production of beef.

In 2012, the U.S. produced 354 million tons of grain or 321,818,181,818 kg. of grain. If my calculations are correct and if you assume a steady state of annual production, 43% of all grain grown in the U.S. is used to produce beef.

Please keep in mind that this is only for beef. Pigs and chickens consume another large amount of  the grain grown.

Quote
I just did some research on pork production for the U.S. The FCR (Feed Conversion Ratio) is better for pork. It only takes 3.2 kg. of feed to produce 1 kg. of pork. In 2011, 21 billion pounds of pork were produced in the U.S.

http://www.nppc.org/pork-facts/

It would take 30 billion kg. of grain to produce this 9.5 billion kg. of pork or 9.5% of annual grain production.  If you add both beef and pork, 52% of grain output is consumed by cattle and hogs.

SH

You have some significant errors in your numbers.  You can't take the lbs of beef harvested and use the 7kg of grain to produce 1kg of beef and get that result that way.   Cattle are not raised eating only grain and your grain numbers include large amounts of grain that is not fed to animals (like wheat).  On a typical cattle operation they are fed almost entirely grass and baled hay (alphalfa, fescue, etc) until they are at or very near the weight where they are shipped to auction and sold to a CAFO operation where the intense grain feeding occurs.  This ship weight is typically around 950 lbs. Slaughter weights average 1277 lb by your link.  The grain, which is mostly feed corn, is used to add that last 350-400 lbs. 

Approximately 47% of soybeans and 50% of corn is used in animal feeding (note that a lot of that corn is exported and not used in the US), wheat basically not at all.   Approx 40% of the US corn crop is turned into ethanol and about 10% is consumed by us humans directly.

It is actually pretty difficult to get exact numbers along the lines of what you are trying to do and one's assumptions dramatically impact the final answer (politics often effects the final number).  But I played around and did some reasonable guestimating and came up with the following.

Your actual weight in kgs added to the beef and pork animal herds by feeding grain is about 20 billion kgs (vice the 51 billion from your post). And a portion of that is non-US animals as it is from exported production.

My post is not to argue that feeding grain to animals is ok or anything like that.  But just to point out that it is not straightforward figuring this all out.  And it you want to hate using grains for other than human consumption you should first kill the corn to ethanol program - we can't eat ethanol.  That is near 40% of the corn crop.

I want to add emphasis to Bruce's comment on raising animals and eating meat.  Those who argue for everyone being vegetarians are just flat not understanding agriculture.  CAFO operations are very environmentally destructive and consume food which could be used for feeding humans.  But a lot of meat can be grown on land unsuitable for growing either grains or vegetables (the cow is converting grass and weeds which we can't eat into tasty meat - it is a win-win situation).  Though if we switched to buffalo we would be even better off than with range fed cows.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #110 on: January 27, 2014, 07:08:02 PM »
"Those who argue for everyone being vegetarians"
I have not (or have not intended to) make any such argument.

But the rapid increase in global grain-fed meat consumption is part of what has to be reversed if we are going to have any chance of even imagining a remotely 'soft' landing.

It looks like we get the same numbers on corn, at least--less than 10% is used for direct consumption by humans. And iirc most of that 90% is no longer edible by humans--its been bred and GMO'ed to be non-human-edible.

I agree that ethanol is an even bigger culprit, and it wastes even more precious water resources.

As to "we can't eat ethanol"--Well, we can certainly drink it. And perhaps that would be the fastest and 'softest' way out of all of our dilemmas--put the world on a ten year binge of pure grain alcohol...by the time the survivors sober up, the world will look quite different.   :o
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Neven

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #111 on: January 28, 2014, 12:22:42 AM »
As to "we can't eat ethanol"--Well, we can certainly drink it. And perhaps that would be the fastest and 'softest' way out of all of our dilemmas--put the world on a ten year binge of pure grain alcohol...by the time the survivors sober up, the world will look quite different.   :o

This sounds like a plan the Russians might suggest.  ;) :D

Just popping in to say I enjoy this thread, but it's hard to keep up! Especially with all those long texts by Holmgren and Lindberg and JimD (I didn't read Hopkins, because he pissed me off once with an unfair critique of one of my favourite documentaries called Blind Spot).

I read all the opinions, and agree with most of them, either rationally or emotionally. This leads to contradictions that confuse me, and I simply don't know where I stand. I've got the cause-aspect pretty much worked out, but the solutions are elusive.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

JackTaylor

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #112 on: January 28, 2014, 02:38:16 PM »
"~~"
I've got the cause-aspect pretty much worked out, but the solutions are elusive.
Indeed the solutions are elusive.  Until we have a world-wide substantial consensus that we have a problem which needs solving there will continue to be a lot of contradiction.

It's tragic to say this, but is the "Only Hope" for one or a series of detrimental climatic related events necessary to "turn the tide." http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/turn+the+tide   

Shared Humanity

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #113 on: January 28, 2014, 03:53:57 PM »
I have always argued that the system of capitalism is far more fragile than most of us recognize. Evidence of this is the fact that a mortgage crisis in the U.S. in 2007 almost brought the worldwide financial system to its knees. Only a coordinated effort by the world community prevented this from happening. After seven years, we are still feeling the effects of this.

AGW will deliver a lethal gut punch to capitalism. This punch will disrupt the smooth flow of capital to such an extent that this fragile system will simply break down. In fact, AGW will not simply deliver a single gut punch but will pummel us with an endless volley of blows that the system simply will not be able to fend off. This is already happening.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-27/global-warming-battle-is-over-market-share-not-science.html#disqus_thread

Why will the system collapse? The simple fact is that all of the wealth of humanity has been accumulated in a relatively stable climate. Our cities, our businesses, all physical capital represents the work of thousands of years. For business capital, the  horizon for investment is a minimum of 20 years to perhaps 60 years.  Many business assets are still contributing after hundreds of years. Many of our cities trace their history back thousands of years. All of this wealth, the value of which is the foundation of the financial system is increasingly at risk. The financial system will not be able to handle the shocks.

We are already being pummeled by AGW and our foe is just getting warmed up. We are  far closer to collapse than anyone realizes.

wili

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #114 on: January 28, 2014, 04:01:23 PM »
SH: It seems to me that what we have seen is more and more the mix of capitalism and socialism that has kept some tattered threads of a social contract in place is being replaced with a mix of capitalism and socialism-for-the-rich. In my town, our taxes go directly to pay for stadiums owned by billionaires. This is the operations of government being used to directly siphon money from the hands of the many to the hands of the very, very few. This kind of situation is reproduced in various forms all over the place.

Yes, the whole think will eventually fall, but the very wealthy have a huge incentive to keep enough bits of the system going to keep their methods of vacuuming up everyone else's money in place for as long as possible. And they will continue to manipulate governments and other entities at all levels to do so, imvho.

JT said: "Until we have a world-wide substantial consensus that we have a problem..."

But we really shouldn't need to have such a total consensus. We didn't have to wait for every nut job to accept that virus's kill people to empower the CDC to dictate that massive numbers of livestock must be slaughtered at various times to prevent outbreaks of various horrific diseases.

Obviously, many of the livestock owners were not happy, but as far as I've seen, most of them understood the gravity of the situation.

It is as if, here, the most demented and craven 'live stock' owners have near total control of the process, pretty much call the shots, and are perfectly happy to risk mass death just to sell their 'stock' and make next quarter's earnings numbers.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 04:07:48 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Shared Humanity

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #115 on: January 28, 2014, 04:13:53 PM »
It seems to me that what we have seen is more and more the mix of capitalism and socialism that has kept some tattered threads of a social contract in place is being replaced with a mix of capitalism and socialism-for-the-rich. In my town, our taxes go directly to pay for stadiums owned by billionaires. This is the operations of government being used to directly siphon money from the hands of the many to the hands of the very, very few. This kind of situation is reproduced in various forms all over the place.

Yes, the whole think will eventually fall, but the very wealthy have a huge incentive to keep enough bits of the system going to keep their methods of vacuuming up everyone else's money in place for as long as possible. And they will continue to manipulate governments and other entities at all levels to do so, imvho.

I agree that this is going on but their efforts to hold onto their wealth will be swept away as financial markets implode. Most of their wealth is tied up in financial assets.  The value of these assets are actually quite vulnerable. The wealthy drove the efforts to save the financial system after the mortgage shock. This was done to defend their wealth. The effect, predictably, was to increase their wealth at the expense of the rest of us. Think how small this shock was that triggered this near collapse of the financial system, a mortgage crisis in the U.S.!  The dramatic drop in the value of homes nearly brought the system to its knees. This loss of value in these assets is laughably small when compared to the impact that global warming will have, the widespread destruction of the value of assets across the planet.

Read the article from a reputable business site. Recognize that the examples given in the article barely touch on the true breadth of the approaching disaster. Look at your own local economies (national, regional, local) and what assets are at risk and the  extent to which these assets are intertwined with the financial system.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 04:20:08 PM by Shared Humanity »

JimD

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #116 on: January 28, 2014, 04:46:53 PM »
wili

I did not mean to imply that you were saying that no one should eat meat.  I do know people who believe that and was just addressing that misunderstanding.

I think CAFO operations are an abomination.  Most farmers hate them too.  They are one of the low hanging fruits in terms of increasing food supply.  But we will have to change the kind of corn we grow all right as feed corn is pretty hard to stomach.

But the first thing that jumps up when affluence arrives in a previously poor location is meat consumption.  That is a hard thing to fix.  People love eating meat (it's in our DNA) and other than religious beliefs there are not a huge percentage of people who actually do not like eating meat.  Meat was probably about 50% of my calories growing up as my parents thought you should eat meat at every meal (I used to get steaks for breakfast when I was a kid and pork chops, not to mention bacon, ham and sausage - but not chicken as my father did not think chicken was real meat, it was more like a vegetable in our house :)

Re: ethanol for fuel.  It is my understanding that this fuel has to have an additive in it that makes it inedible (this may not stop those pesky Russians though).  Otherwise it would be subject to the alcohol tax. 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

werther

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #117 on: January 28, 2014, 05:07:28 PM »
SH, hi,

A detail in your argument above. You bring out the sub-prime mortgage crisis as the driver for the global financial crisis. While that was the obvious driver, as with all intertwined systems, it wasn't a stand-alone reason. Although in mainstream economics and politics almost never mentioned, there's a strong relation to the underlying energy (and resources) balance. This balance has always been shaky. And it was certainly in the period '02-'08. It wasn't just the high consumer price for all oil-related products during the first half of '08. In the years before that, rising profits in the oil-producing nations were lavishly invested through lending and borrowing in all real-estate. A bubble, yes, and a big one. Not just in the US, but Europe and lots of non-fossil fuel-producing nations elsewhere were very vulnerable too.


« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 09:11:17 PM by werther »

JackTaylor

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #118 on: January 28, 2014, 05:13:04 PM »
Quote
wili Reply #114
JT said: "Until we have a world-wide substantial consensus that we have a problem..."

But we really shouldn't need to have such a total consensus.
wili,
Do I understand correctly your meaning of "shouldn't need a consensus"
= before proceeding to what?  How are we going to "sell-it?"
When will we know it's a done deal?

A government enforced judgment (CDC ruling on livestock) is a consensus for all practical purposes.   Whomever/whoever we/they were which conferred "the authority" or should it be called "the power" in the example does not relate to me as being the same as correcting "Anthropogenic" environmental treatment of the planet....

Damn, how I wish it was simple.


ritter

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #119 on: January 28, 2014, 05:44:40 PM »
We are already being pummeled by AGW and our foe is just getting warmed up. We are  far closer to collapse than anyone realizes.

Agreed. Look to what the insurance industry is doing by pulling back from high-climate change risk scenarios. Look to what the US military has said. Look to what the US government has done to consolidate its ability to "control" a crisis on US soil (based largely on "terrorism" but just as applicable to climate change). Some (many? most?) people in power are paying attention and are reorganizing in response to anticipated climate disaster.

Shared Humanity

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #120 on: January 28, 2014, 06:49:34 PM »
We are already being pummeled by AGW and our foe is just getting warmed up. We are  far closer to collapse than anyone realizes.

Agreed. Look to what the insurance industry is doing by pulling back from high-climate change risk scenarios. Look to what the US military has said. Look to what the US government has done to consolidate its ability to "control" a crisis on US soil (based largely on "terrorism" but just as applicable to climate change). Some (many? most?) people in power are paying attention and are reorganizing in response to anticipated climate disaster.

Your 1st example is perfect. What happens to the value of property assets when insurance is no longer affordable? What happens to tax revenue? What about the banks that hold the mortgages?

Shared Humanity

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #121 on: January 28, 2014, 06:58:01 PM »
werther......you are correct....a real over simplification.

wili

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #122 on: January 28, 2014, 08:39:45 PM »
ritter wrote:
Quote
Look to what the US military has said. Look to what the US government has done to consolidate its ability to "control" a crisis on US soil (based largely on "terrorism" but just as applicable to climate change). Some (many? most?) people in power are paying attention and are reorganizing in response to anticipated climate disaster.

Well, not all people in power are paying full attention, apparently (thanks to ASLR on neighboring thread for this):

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-27/fema-caught-between-climate-change-and-congress-.html

Quote
...the U.S. agency in charge of preparing for and responding to these disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), doesn't account for climate change in most of its budget planning and resource allocation or in the National Flood Insurance Program it administers.

"Climate change is affecting everything the agency does, and yet it isn't given much consideration"...

So the agency most of us would want to be most on top of this, is in fact the least. Yet these are exactly the people we will turn to to help us survive heatwaves, monster storms, beyond-biblical deluges...

But the money shufflers and war makers are on top of it--how comforting.

"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

wili

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #123 on: January 28, 2014, 09:00:01 PM »
"Whomever/whoever we/they were which conferred "the authority" or should it be called "the power" in the example does not relate to me as being the same as correcting "Anthropogenic" environmental treatment of the planet...."


JT, I'm not sure I follow this, but what I mean is that the EPA should have authority to shut down a power plant that is emitting much more carbon per unit of power produced than other plants. This seems to be an authority they are going to get.

But it should go beyond that. They should be able to shut down mining/fracking operations that are leaking/venting massive amounts of methane directly into the atmosphere. They should be able to shut down (at the least) the mining operations digging the dirtiest coal...

But ultimately we need an international body that has enough international cooperation that it can shut down even tar sands operations if they are deemed to be a clear threat to the future of complex life on earth.

Really, there should be grown ups in the room who say essentially: "Look, the world has now been told for decades, and with increasing frequency and urgency, that AGW is a very real threat and that we have to start moving away from a carbon-based energy system.

TIMES UP!

If you have heeded these warnings, then the total immediate (or very rapidly advancing) ban on any further carbon emissions will not come as much of a shock to your society. But since essentially no country has in fact done so, well, it's too bad, but y'all lose."

But, alas, there are no such adults in the room (at least none with any such power). Only politicians.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ritter

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #124 on: January 28, 2014, 09:44:25 PM »
So the agency most of us would want to be most on top of this, is in fact the least. Yet these are exactly the people we will turn to to help us survive heatwaves, monster storms, beyond-biblical deluges...

But the money shufflers and war makers are on top of it--how comforting.

Well... As they say: Close enough for government work!  ;D

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #125 on: January 28, 2014, 10:26:13 PM »
Oh…all right SH… I knew you would be aware…
I had to write that energy driven crisis link down. You see, in a way, I think, Holmgren is right. Even with EROEI going down, there’s still bubble driven capital creation enough to enable the frantic freaks to hike into Brown Tech.

It’s all rather depressive.

Reading in on some stuff concerning this thread, I can see why Holmgren’s point is being criticized. I have my own objections, too. But essentially he’s got the equations right (I think).

Some suggest that the system is too unpredictable to retain a plan, that it could do more harm than good. But I think the climate models are basically not that bad. IMHO it is inadequate to dismiss the models because they didn’t exactly forecast the recent behaviour of Arctic sea ice.
When adequate attention would be given to these models, action would be taken. Even when the time-schemes may be conservative.

I just read in on some Eocene information. I knew about the PETM, some 56 MYA ago. I didn’t  on the Eocene-Oligocene extinction event ( a ‘minor’ one…), about 34 MYA. Ranges for CO2 mentioned over these immense time-epochs were 4000 ppm (Himalayas in formation) to 470 ppm (Antarctica starting to freeze). All data through sea floor drilling analysis of ancient deposits containing specific isotopes of carbon. R W Langford came up with the comparison on the blog. Don’t know why. The thing is, that sort of GHG behaviour took eons, like 600K years. You probably wouldn’t even notice the extinction in progress on a short term visit, if possible.

I’m not a modeller, nor a climate scientist… I’m just a lawnmower. Still, I don’t think some fancy science degree is indispensible to grasp where this is going. Holmgren is right, in the sense that aware people can choose to leave consumerism behind as good as they can.
Bypass the global economy and concentrate effort in the neighbourhood.

If that makes Babylon fall, it’s just consequence, not responsibility nor guilt. 

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #126 on: January 28, 2014, 10:34:04 PM »
wili in Reply #123 sez:
"I mean is that the EPA should have authority"

"Really, there should be grown ups in the room who say essentially: "Look, the world has now been told for decades, and with increasing frequency and urgency, that AGW is a very real threat and that we have to start moving away from a carbon-based energy system."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No disagreement with your statements.

But, when you go to town-hall type meeting with your elected Representative or Senator(s)
or personally go to their district offices,

do they seem to listen to you?
or
do they ignore you?
or
treat you like an uninformed busy-body, appease you for the moment?
 
Ever got a private or one-on-one audience/meeting with one of them?
Do you know other people who have?

Will they answer a printed on paper letter with a form letter?



wili

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #127 on: January 29, 2014, 04:55:42 AM »
"do they seem to listen to you?"

Actually, they generally do, but then I have relatively cool representatives!

Meanwhile, on the topic of 'crash' or as he puts it 'collapse', here's a nice lecture by Tainter himself on the subject:

http://climatestate.com/2013/05/14/collapse-of-complex-societies-by-joseph-tainter/
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 05:48:34 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #128 on: January 29, 2014, 07:37:17 AM »
Meanwhile, on the topic of 'crash' or as he puts it 'collapse', here's a nice lecture by Tainter himself on the subject:

http://climatestate.com/2013/05/14/collapse-of-complex-societies-by-joseph-tainter/

If that's the one I think it is it's well worth paying attention to (EDIT: It is, I just scrolled down to see my comment from several months ago). The one where he explains the limits to complexity and why civilisation tends to head into a dead end by resorting to greater complexity (and hence energy cost) to resolve it's problems?

At the very least it's a damning indictment of why it simply is not possible to innovate endlessly out of problems (and hence the fallacy of arguments based on inappropriate technological optimism) and potentially it's an argument against civilisation ever being able to surpass a given limit (that of humans to manage complexity vs energy cost).

Serious stuff.

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #129 on: January 29, 2014, 07:59:50 AM »
I've got to point out that I do think, though he is 99% right, that Tainter here misses on a couple points. While I agree that innovation will not always come to our rescue, T's example of when innovation stalled in human history is not, in fact, really relevant, because it was likely before modern human language developed.

The other point is actually brought up by one of the questioners toward the end of the video: When he claims that conservation does not lead to sustainability, he is really saying that short term sustainability of an unsustainable system can require more resources rather than less. That seems to me to be an odd use of sustainability there, but the overall point should be clear--there is no way to sustain an unsustainably complex system over the (not very) long term.

But otherwise, yes, mostly very well worth taking the time to watch this.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 03:28:31 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #130 on: January 29, 2014, 05:59:05 PM »
At the very least it's a damning indictment of why it simply is not possible to innovate endlessly out of problems (and hence the fallacy of arguments based on inappropriate technological optimism) and potentially it's an argument against civilisation ever being able to surpass a given limit (that of humans to manage complexity vs energy cost).

Serious stuff.
Well, i tend to belief that you need an equation which constantly adjusts the complexity distribution. For instance we need to cut the branch filed fossil - it is unsustainable a branch which leads to simplicity. In nature you have this too when the bubonic plague strain ended because it consumed it's host.
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wili

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #131 on: January 31, 2014, 04:05:52 PM »
Here's another salvo by Hopkins:

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-01-31/reflections-on-being-a-cultural-optimist-and-a-month-of-scaling-up

Reflections on being a 'Cultural Optimist' and a month of scaling up

Quote
I believe that things can change fast.  This month we heard how the UK government published its first ever Community Energy Strategy, a statement of intent from government that it wants to "tap into the enthusiasm and commitment that’s so evident in community groups across the country".  That strategy was shaped, in part, by the input of Transition Network and some community renewables projects that grew out of Transition...

Transition, for me, is in part about withdrawing our support from the existing, climate-destroying, fossil fuel-hungry beast, and transferring it to a new culture, a new economy, a new society.  It's divestment writ large...
In the last part, he is kind of basically agreeing with Holmgren, it seems to me. He just doesn't seem to admit that the purpose of any divestment campaign is to make it collapse--in the anti-apartheid campaign it was to collapse the South African government; in transition, to collapse consumer society and the financial system that supports and drives it.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #132 on: January 31, 2014, 05:58:52 PM »
Hey wili thanks for the notice on the new replies to Holmgren.  I must say that, once again, I am very underwhelmed by the Orlov, Hopkins and MacLeod responses. 

Perhaps the problem with all of these people is that they have managed to generate a great living and fame from their books and blogs and are no longer as attuned to the world disintegrating around them as they used to be.  This happened to many of the big environmentalists from 40 years ago.  Only Orlov  would I classify as still having his head basically oriented in a realistic direction and he to of course is making good money.

Before I decided to post the above I looked up Geer to see if he was responding and I am reading it right now

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/

Hah!  2nd para he states just what I said above.  He thinks they are sucked into the main stream too.

Ah well.  The article morphs into mostly another Peak Oil narrative, accurate from my perspective and to be expected since Geer is one of the main Peak Oil prognosticators, but he basically brushes across the idea of deliberate collapse because of the difficulty of executing such a thing and moves on.

But he does make a key point about the efforts of those like Holmgren and Hopkins in that the kind of work they are teaching and advocating serves a purpose for those who survive the bottleneck as those skills will help them have an easier life.

Quote
...(Are they gone?  Good.  Now listen closely while I whisper:  none of the things I’ve just suggested will save industrial civilization. You know that, of course, and so do I.  That said, any steps in the direction of conservation, decentralization, and rehumanization that get taken will make the descent less disruptive and increase the chances that communities, localities, and whole regions may be able to escape the worst impacts of the industrial system’s unraveling. That’s worth doing,....

I once again go back to what I said before.

1.  If you have the capability to crash it, just do it.

2.  If you don't have the ability in #1 then build and teach skills for the benefit of the future.

3.  If you can't help with either 1 or 2 you must be a BAUer, I guess you can buy some beer and popcorn and sit back and enjoy the show.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #133 on: January 31, 2014, 07:49:38 PM »
Quote
Before I decided to post the above I looked up Geer to see if he was responding and I am reading it right now

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/

Hah!  2nd para he states just what I said above.  He thinks they are sucked into the main stream too.

Sounds like you should apply for the job! Jim The ArchDruid--has a nice ring to it! ::)

Frankly, beer and popcorn are sounding better all the time. :-\
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #134 on: January 31, 2014, 10:13:56 PM »
There was a time I read blogs like Greer's, Kunstler, Orlov, Morbus and several others on a continuous basis, but I just couldn't keep up. I have the same feeling now. I read Holmgren's piece, the Resilience philosopher guy, JimD's excellent comments, but they're already off again for another round...  :-\ ;D
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #135 on: February 01, 2014, 04:28:17 PM »
I was replying to Geoff on another thread and realized that bringing the below article forward from its topic to here made a lot of sense considering what we have been talking about.  The author seems to me to have a fundamental understanding about where we are at and the attitude we need to adopt.  Courage is hard to find in the face of what we are looking at for the future.  We don't need to be passive and this is a path to action.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/learning-how-to-die-in-the-anthropocene/?_r=1&
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #136 on: February 01, 2014, 05:03:21 PM »
Here's another salvo by Hopkins:

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-01-31/reflections-on-being-a-cultural-optimist-and-a-month-of-scaling-up

Reflections on being a 'Cultural Optimist' and a month of scaling up

Quote
I believe that things can change fast.  This month we heard how the UK government published its first ever Community Energy Strategy, a statement of intent from government that it wants to "tap into the enthusiasm and commitment that’s so evident in community groups across the country".  That strategy was shaped, in part, by the input of Transition Network and some community renewables projects that grew out of Transition...

Transition, for me, is in part about withdrawing our support from the existing, climate-destroying, fossil fuel-hungry beast, and transferring it to a new culture, a new economy, a new society.  It's divestment writ large...
In the last part, he is kind of basically agreeing with Holmgren, it seems to me. He just doesn't seem to admit that the purpose of any divestment campaign is to make it collapse--in the anti-apartheid campaign it was to collapse the South African government; in transition, to collapse consumer society and the financial system that supports and drives it.

I absolutely agree. The system (industrial, consumer) is already dead. Withdrawing from it is the sanest thing to do. Not only that but, as the numbers who withdraw expands, the system will collapse. An engineered collapse now is far better than a chaotic collapse later.

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #137 on: February 01, 2014, 08:03:51 PM »
2.  If you don't have the ability in #1 then build and teach skills for the benefit of the future.
That point would apply to a large range of hard trying poeple - from Amish poeple up to poeple preparing Terminators sky net. Most BAUer would find themselfs here, too.

Only the lazy poeple are out as usual - you have to force them to follow the same way you force them not to shit on the streets today...

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #138 on: February 02, 2014, 11:10:27 PM »
Sorry Hopkins, but your reply to Holmgren is simply not of the standard I was expecting. Holmgren and Foss seem to be discussing at a deeper level, while Hopkins apparently still thinks that some magic fairy can possibly turn our shity capitalist/corporatist economic system in to a zero growth system without even having to crash it first. With such illusions, the conclusion can hardly be satisfying, and it isn't. That said, it doesn't mean that Holmgren is right.

First Holmgren is in my oppinion correct in his assessment that an economic collaps sooner would be better than an economic collaps later, and that such a collapse will come either way because our maxed out system can't cope with both climate change and peak everything. Secondly I agree with JimD and Hopkins in that Holmgren is shooting himself in the foot by writing this essay. Although telling the truth can allways be justified, this will give all his opponents a concrete reason to label him as a terrorist, and take deliberate action to dismantle his "terrorist organisation" if permaculture ever were to threaten economic stability, as Holmgren wishes. Thirdly Holmgren (not to mention Hopkins) seem to underestimate the power of the rich elite, if the elite feels that their interests are under threat by people who withdraw from consumerism, they will find some way to outlaw people from doing that, trading with homemade goods for example, is already being made harder and harder as permits for such activities are required to a larger and larger extent. Making random individuals pay harshly for breaking such ridiculous regulations is one extremly efficient way to prevent others from doing the same. Shortly summed up, his 10% goal was not really going to happen and will never, NEVER happen after this paper was published, though, I applaud his effort.

So what can be done? This very delicate problem we face seem to have no obvious solution, none of the possible solutions are likely to succeed with crashing the system and even less likely to succesfully replace it with a system that works in both the long and short term, none of the possible solutions won't require huge personal sacrifices by those involved. However, there is one alternative I consider at least possible. Now, Holmgren dismissed the idea of mass mobilization for reasons that are very understandable, movements like "Green Peace" and "Occupy" are grim examples of attempted mass mobilizations which has utterly failed to produce results of any significance, no reason to believe such mobilizations will become easier in the future. My proposal, though, is to encourage mass mobilization and revolution in the poorest countries in the world instead of trying to mobilize an apathetic western middle class. No doubt it would have been favourable to have a revolution in an industrialized country, but getting people with something to loose to revolt against the people that apparently gave them this "something" is, as Holmgren correctly assess, a hopeless task, getting people with nothing to loose to revolt against the people that gave them nothing is another story entirely. It will not be to counter the "brown tech" economy and it's elite directly, but potentially undermine it by slashing the supply of raw material (which might be enough to cause severe economic turmoil) as well as potentially establishing a goverment that actively counters Brown Tech.

Of course there are several drawback with such a solution. Even if peacefull protest is encouraged, such a revolution, and especially an eventual crash of the global economy, is going to spark large scale violence and human suffering. There is also a question about time, which is perhaps what worries me the most, this need to be done pretty fast. And controling post-revolutionary chaos with mighty contra-revolutionary forces constantly trying to break your back, will perhaps be even harder than creating a large scale revolt in the first place. However, I still think going down this path can possibly yield a very possitive result in the longer run, not likely to come through, but nevertheless the best, and perhaps only, alternative we are left with.

Last but not at least, thank you Wili for posting all these links and for making an excelent reply to Joanne Poyourow, I blame myself for having been to lazy to take a thorough look at this thread before.

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #139 on: February 03, 2014, 04:51:27 AM »
Thanks, Rc. I can't blame you for hesitating to jump in--there is quite a lot of material to cover. In any case, you made up the time with a very interesting contribution.

Practically, though, I'm not sure many of us are in much of a position to foment revolt among the 3rd world down trodden. I do think that it is a good idea to make common cause with those with the least to loose. Whatever form Occupy takes next, I hope to be more active in supporting it. Another peoples movement with American Indian roots that looks promising is Idle No More (though I confess that I haven't been following them closely in the last few weeks).

In any case, all such movements are certainly closely watched and almost certainly infiltrated. My main hope is that there will rise so many movements with so many varied backgrounds that even the NSA will be hard pressed to keep abreast of the legion of hydra heads.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #140 on: February 03, 2014, 09:32:56 PM »
Quote
The world’s elite, it is painfully clear, will do little to halt the accelerating destruction of the ecosystem and eventually the human species. We have, through our ingenuity and hubris, unleashed the next great mass extinction on the planet. And I suspect the reason we have never discovered signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe is because extraterrestrial societies that achieved similar levels of technological development also destroyed themselves.

Quote
The death spiral we face means that resistance will increasingly break down along two lines—those who have children and those who do not. It is one thing to sacrifice one’s self. It is another to sacrifice one’s children. No matter how grim and apocalyptic the world becomes, a parent is compelled to protect his or her child. One cannot totally give up hope. When resistance becomes an act of almost certain futility and suicide, and this is what is fast approaching, violent confrontation will mean the extermination of your children. And that is too much to ask of a parent.  Parents—and I am one—do not make great revolutionaries. We have to go home to put a child to bed. Those who do not have children more easily rise up. Most parents, for this reason, are able to embrace only nonviolent protest. ....... But as societies unravel, as desperation becomes worldwide, both nonviolence and violence will do little to alter our impending self-destruction. In the coming struggle against the global corporate elite there will be two sets of priorities—those of parents and those of fighters. 

Quote
The dichotomy between the role of parents and the role of fighters in times of extremity was delineated in  Hanna Krall’s remarkable book “Shielding the Flame,” a narrative that drew on the experience of Dr. Marek Edelman, who before he died in 2009 was the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Edelman, 23 years old when he helped lead the April 1943 uprising, refused to hold up his actions as more moral than those who walked with their children to the gas chambers. After all, he said, by the time of the uprising he and the other resistance fighters knew that “it was only a choice as to the manner of dying.” 

Quote
The uprising lasted three weeks, ending when the Germans razed the Warsaw Ghetto. Edelman was the only commander of the uprising to come out alive. He escaped through the sewers and was carried away from the ghetto on a stretcher ...... One of the women carrying the stretcher, Dr. Alina Margolis, later became Edelman’s wife. During part of the 1979-1992 war in El Salvador, Margolis lived in my house in San Salvador. She was working in a refugee camp for Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, an organization she helped found. She and Edelman were fierce anti-Zionists, publicly denounced Israel’s occupation and repression of the Palestinians, and defended the right of Palestinian people to resist that occupation, even through violence. They saw in the Palestinian struggle their own fight against German occupation during World War II.

Quote
“... [T]o die in a gas chamber is by no means worse than to die in battle, and ... the only undignified death is when one attempts to survive at the expense of somebody else,” Edelman told Krall. He said of parents and children who were deported to the death camps: “Those people went quietly and with dignity. It is a horrendous thing, when one is going so quietly to one’s death. It is infinitely more difficult than to go out shooting. After all, it is much easier to die firing—for us it was much easier to die than it was for someone who first boarded a train car, then rode the train, then dug a hole, then undressed naked. ...” 

Quote
“When one knows death so well, one has more responsibility for life,” he said. “Any, even the smallest chance for life becomes extremely important. A chance for death was there all the while. The important thing was to make a chance for life.”

Quote
Traditional concepts of right and wrong, Edelman pointed out, collapse in moments of extremity. Edelman spoke to Krall about a woman doctor in the ghetto hospital who poisoned the sick children on her ward as the Germans entered the building. “She saved children from the gas chamber,” Edelman said. “People thought she was a hero. So what, then, in that world turned upside down, was heroism? Or honor? Or dignity? And where was God?”

Quote
The forces of life, including the ecosystem, are being transformed into forces of death. .... Nature and global elites seeking to exploit the planet’s last drops of blood and its repressed masses are joining to make the days of descent squalid and terrifying. And in this extremity we will have to find our place. There will come a time, if there is no radical change, when we too will be forced to choose how we will die, whom we will cling to, what we will risk. There will be no moral hierarchy to resistance. We will be pulled one way or another by fate and love. And these different routes of resistance will all be legitimate as long as we do not, as Edelman said, attempt “to survive at the expense of somebody else.”

Is not business as usual choosing to survive at the expense of future generations?

(Bolds mine.)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/shielding_a_flickering_flame_20131124
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #141 on: February 03, 2014, 11:50:54 PM »
Is not business as usual choosing to survive at the expense of future generations?

Of course it is. And that is what annoys me about the countless legions of people who steadfastly refuse to see the truth, because it's more convenient to cling to their delusions, and those who say they don't need to change as they are not significant and cannot achieve anything, or those who say they are powerless to act and so on. They are all complicit in what is happening - and in the end - the murder of people present and future.

I'm not sure morality is even that clear cut in the end. The rich and powerful survive every day at someone elses expense (as in a sense most people living in the westernised societies now do). If someone is attacking you to take away your life or your requirements with which to sustain your life - are you not entitled to defend yourself?

In a sense, are you not also entitled to take the fight to those who are doing this to you? And therefore - are you surviving at their expense, if you responding to their similar actions against you? I could hardly fault the impoverished masses were they to rise up and tear the wealthier into little pieces in retaliation for what they have done. I would also struggle to find it morally wrong were they to seize the resources of the wealthy to their own ends? Or at least - no more morally wrong than the socially acceptable and legally backed seizure perpetrated against them in the first place?

This is the strange irony of modern society - a banker can receive money from the taxpayer via the government and their contractually assured bonus - but if a pensioner who has lost their pension should go to the banker and take money from them - they are a thief and socially reprehensible.

I dunno, perhaps it's all just an exercise to justify the retention of a certain amount of moral flexibility...

wili

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #142 on: February 04, 2014, 05:36:49 AM »
I have to say that I am constantly stunned by the eloquence of folks on this blog and thread.

To keep up with the latest, may I offer (in lieu of any eloquence from myself) the following very recent interview with Holmgren himself addressing some of the issues from the essay:

http://www.mixcloud.com/21stCenturyPermaculture/2nd-feb-2014/
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 11:51:35 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #143 on: February 04, 2014, 05:57:35 PM »
wili  interesting interview.

A couple of takeaways.

As I guessed Holmgren did not like the pigeonholing that Bates used on him and does not agree with his placement on that chart.

Holmgren says that the common permaculture activist assumption that it has relevance beyond the family support level and can be used to convince society to reorganize itself along more sustainable line is NOT something he has ever agreed with.  He thinks of it just like I indicated what I thought it was worth.  For the small scale and also for future capabilities/resilience.

Part of the motivation for his article Crash on Demand is that he believes that AGW is now progressing much faster than he once thought it would and he thinks we now have less time to adapt and prepare.  He is moving up his date so to speak.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #144 on: February 04, 2014, 07:13:40 PM »
"As I guessed Holmgren did not like the pigeonholing that Bates used on him and does not agree with his placement on that chart." Yeah, he sounded pretty good humored about it, though.

I also liked that he confirmed what a number of the more thoughtful commenters were saying: that he hadn't really shifted his basic position; just articulating one possible consequence of it.

I was surprised to here how strongly he talked about the goal to reach out to environmental activists with this message. That really does seem to be his main audience. I do wonder if permaculturists or some similar set of like minded folk should be looking at doing the Amish thing--pick a place that looks relatively resilient, buy up much of the area, and form your own community there.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #145 on: February 04, 2014, 08:49:40 PM »
wili

I have advocated your last point to young farmers myself.  Not to start an 'intentional' community/commune, but just to do what you said.  That way you can build a community that is self supporting without getting wrapped up in all the negatives of the intentional community thing.  There are a few places which are very close to this that I am aware of.  The Amish do have the advantage (or at least JMG would think so) of the religion thing. 

Not at all an easy thing to do of course.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #146 on: February 04, 2014, 11:33:02 PM »
I have advocated your last point to young farmers myself.  Not to start an 'intentional' community/commune, but just to do what you said.  That way you can build a community that is self supporting without getting wrapped up in all the negatives of the intentional community thing.  There are a few places which are very close to this that I am aware of.  The Amish do have the advantage (or at least JMG would think so) of the religion thing. 

Not at all an easy thing to do of course.

Actually it's also pretty much exactly what CCG is about trying to encourage people to think of doing albeit with heavy emphasis on the long term view (and not just immediate survival). You can view it as the building of local resilience and self sufficiency - but I would argue the future of our species depends upon this and as such it doesn't hurt to think as deep and far ahead as possible.

Failing to plan is planning to fail...

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #147 on: February 05, 2014, 12:23:43 AM »
Thanks for the interview link Wili.
It's good to hear Holmgren accentuating the aspects he likes to get through to the aware community. I don't sense a difference with my own point of view on actual violence. He doesn't advocate that at all.
What matters first is to step away from the global financial system as good/far as possible. No need to radically quit and endure personal hardship. When enough people do this, there is indeed a possibility that the self-destructive financial system will crash and some alternative could be structured in at least some orderly way.

wili

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #148 on: February 06, 2014, 04:10:53 AM »
Here's another contribution, not completely unrelated, imvho: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-02-05/declaring-victory-wherever-we-can

Personally, I am busy failing my plants, and planning to flail.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: "Crash on Demand" or Mobilize at City/State Level? Holmgren vs Hopkins
« Reply #149 on: February 06, 2014, 04:59:00 PM »
I attended a lecture last week by David Keith who argues for a geoengineering program to halve the rate of global warming by spraying sulfur into the upper atmosphere.
He claims that this would not have the deleterious effects that haulting warming completely would entail and that it could be accomplished for < $1B/yr. Since the rapidity of global warming has any number of disasterous side effects he argues that reducing the speed of change would be well worth the investment & that since sulfur doesn't last long in the atmosphere the experiment could be haulted if unforseen problems appeared.
He believes that some body similar to the UN should be in charge & that a haitus on such programs should be enforced until all the bugs are worked out. I think anything that extends the period when BAU is possible will simply add to problems down the line, but it's difficult to argue against slowing AGW when we know at least some of the horrors that we or future generations will face.
As his aim is 180 degrees from what is being contemplated on this thread I thought this might be a good place to discuss it.
http://www.cigionline.org/events/case-climate-geoengineering
Terry