An interesting article in which the author, a noted "Greenie," illustrates the "problems he sees for the green movement.
First, that they don't really have an understanding of reality, for example, for their proposals to work, progress has to come to a halt and society stagnate, but industry has to reverse direction, not just halt. In human society, that can't happen.
Second, that they have no basis in reality. Their "belief system" was based upon the near-religious belief that when energy supplies weakened, society would collapse, but society simply adapted and found more energy, a bad thing in his opinion.
It is hard to understand what he does see as an actual future that would meet his dreams, but at least he is thinking, not just feeling.
Surely we need to control the #1 issue that no one seems to have the courage to even admit exists, the dramatic population growth in those nations least able to handle a larger population.
Is the result of all the efforts to feed the hungry - just to create more hungry people?
If we do advance their societies, will the result only be more people consuming more energy?
More importantly, if a cure is worse than the problem, isn't it time to consider other options?
From the article:
"You think you're discussing technologies, and you quickly discover that you're discussing belief systems.
"Cut the electricity supply and we're stuck with oil and gas. If we close down nuclear plants, we must accept an even greater expansion of renewables than currently proposed. Given the tremendous public resistance to even a modest increase in windfarms and new power lines, that's going to be tough.
"most of those who advocate an off-grid, land-based economy have made no provision for manufactures..... I'm talking about the energy required to make bricks, glass, metal tools and utensils, textiles (except the hand-loomed tweed Fairlie suggests we wear), ceramics and soap: commodities that almost everyone sees as the barest possible requirements.
""We think that the crude oil production has already peaked, in 2006." If this is true, we should be extremely angry with the IEA. In 2005 its executive director mocked those who predicted peak oil as "doomsayers". Until 2008 (two years after the IEA now says it happened) the agency continued to dismiss the possibility that peak oil would occur.
But this also raises an awkward question for us greens: why hasn't the global economy collapsed as we predicted?
"The problem we face is not that we have too little fossil fuel, but too much. As oil declines, economies will switch to tar sands, shale gas and coal; as accessible coal declines, they'll switch to ultra-deep reserves (using underground gasification to exploit them) and methane clathrates.
"All of us in the environment movement, in other words - whether we propose accommodation, radical downsizing or collapse - are lost. None of us yet has a convincing account of how humanity can get out of this mess."