Saturday, 1 March 2008

The Children Are The Future... Poor Little Bastards...

Is it just me or has there not really been any planning towards what we're going to do when we run out of fossil fuels?

Everyone keeps saying we're frittering away the resources we have access to and we're heading towards the bottom of the 'tank' but I don't really remember seeing much in the way of big ideas.

Of course this could be because I'm not paying vast quantities of attention - I'm enjoying the denial as much as the next person and am easily distracted by shiny things and bright colours - or because any time anyone seriously talks about wind farming or solar power a part of a lot of us puts up the 'hippie talk' sign and walks away for a beer or wonders exactly how we're supposed to implement any of those sorts of system world-wide. Or even nation wide.

I guess the answer could end up being 'we won't have any choice'.

I figure for starters the price of power and fuel will climb in a steady and severely society screwing manner in the lead up until 'uh ohs' day until only the mega-rich can afford to drive cars, power their houses, travel internationally at any kind of speed and... well, eat.

No power = no mass production of food, no way to move it about easily.
No communication = not knowing where to find the food in the stages when it's still abundant.
We're kind of low on horses and high on people compared to the old days so we probably won't easily rig up horse-drawn carts.
Sure, we could breed the population up again but we probably won't get that far.
We'll probably get hungry and eat them.
And other domesticated animals.
And each other...

Whether or not we do go a bit carnivore happy, we'll have to remember which plants are edible. All of us, not just the people who used to put them all in the shops on our behalf.
This may be a bit difficult when we've burnt all the books for heat during the winter months, at least in the northern hemisphere countries. The southern hemisphere will probably be the only place where libraries survive, not that we'll be able to share the knowledge with our northern brethren without the interwub or telephones. We might still have access to morse code or something but who knows. I'm not a technologically aware person, I don't even know if the wires necessary still exist and they probably don't stretch all the way to Europe or the northern hemisphere. If we still have any electricity at all we can't guarantee it'll be used for such things. I mean who would ensure that it was?
Who is going to be in charge?

Without easy communication and all the lovely confusion and the whole being small number of meals away from anarchy how will the kind of people who would actually implement useful solutions get into a position of power?
How far would the influence of the lucky few stretch?
The scientists and other clever clogs who could offer us solutions that would work with the resources and materials we have left might not be able to get their ideas out into the world.
They might not even try.
The people with the scientific, medical, organisational know-how who do so well and so much good work in the society of today may not have the inclination or the courage to try to do the same in the violent and dangerous 'renovator's dream' society that will follow.
Can you imagine what would happen to a doctor who let his previous profession be known in a society with poor nutrition, more than likely woeful sanitary arrangements and no way of producing more medications or surgical implements?
They would be mobbed for starters and could end up chained in a makeshift clinic to ensure they didn't try to get away.
You'd just claim to be an accountant, wouldn't you.

Let's not even think too hard about what might happen with the various military forces across the world.
Countries who prided themselves on bringing down dictators may end up producing some of the most merciless despots the world has ever known, either through finally having the opportunity or because they claim it's 'for the best' or 'just until the country/continent/world gets back on it's feet'.
The hardest thing some people will have to face is that in a situation like that it may be the most stable option.

Ironically some of the poorest people in the world may end up fairing better than their richer cousins as they still have some knowledge of how to produce or find their own food - out of a necessity that has never left them.

If you do manage to set yourself up with a garden, clean water and easy or occasional access to meat you'd better be prepared to protect yourself from roving packs of less fortunate or less resourceful people.

OK, OK I'm not painting a very rosy picture. You're probably getting a bit depressed.
Look, here...

There we go.
Now you're either completely overcome with a case of the 'awwwwwwwwwwwwww!'s or ranting about people who put clothing items on animals.
Either way the cat has achieved its mission.

Maybe when everything goes to hell in a hand-basket we'll discover a new strength and there will be a resurgence of the human spirit*.
Maybe as our old ways are lost to us the planet will begin to heal and we'll be able to deeply appreciate that as we come to depend quite directly on what we can cultivate ourselves**.
Maybe when we all have to work every day for our survival and comfort and go back to the bare minimum way of living things will improve in some strange ways***.

Of course a lot of us will die in the interim and it'll be especially interesting to see what happens when the containment units around nuclear power facilities switch themselves off but what're you going to do?

Wouldn't hurt to make your weekend reading a little more purposeful is all I'm saying...

Still feeling a bit down?

Look! It's a pug in a onesie!

[Makes a break for it]

*whatever that is
**and remember that things like scurvy are bad and where we can find vitamins when they aren't in pill form
***there certainly won't be the same opportunities to be bored

Animals in people gear courtesy of Cute Overload.

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