MonteQuest wrote:. . .Well, here we can see the human dilemma—everything we regard as good makes the population problem worse, everything we regard as bad helps solve the problem. There is a dilemma if ever there was one."
THIS is where the root of powerdown lies, IMO. Cultures have values and standards that are often arbitrary to anything other than the cultural system. For example: as washing machines became commonplace the standard of cleanliness rose. Many modern Americans wouldn't consider wearing their clothes for more than a day or two. If one were to wear clothes that appear dirty they would be looked down upon.
Modern American culture values saving every person possible with medical technology. Being familiar with pregnancy/birth boards & blogs there's a not-too-subtle 'must save every baby' attitude. Anyone who suggests, however delicately, that maybe that 25 week preemie should be let go is usually shamed horribly.
These are just two silly examples. I think what is exemplified is that *shame* is one of the prime driving forces that encourages unnecessary use of resources.
So, step 1 is easy enough: don't perpetuate the culture of cleanliness by shaming others & get used to wearing dirty clothes.
No more knee-jerk reactions to toddlers telling them not to eat food they've dropped on the floor.
You could even use shame the other way around. I think people will become more and more receptive to shaming about wastefulness. When the depression is in full swing this will take care of itself, really.
MonteQuest wrote:1. Stop trying to enlarge our carrying capacity. Stop trying to meet demand.
2. Learn to live on renewable resources consumed no faster than what is sustainable. Let nature set supply, not market demand.
3. Powerdown all aspects of our lives to ease the load on our ecosystem and global climate change.
4. Restrict per capita consumption and do away with certain wantonly wasteful uses of energy and resources.
5. Reduce the existing population to a sustainable level based upon an adequate lifestyle, not one of over- consumption and greed.
6. The establishment of sustainable, localized production of food and energy which is universally shared.
1. Will take care of itself. . .or at least, I will not personally be contibuting to this problem
2. I like this one--it seems obvious, but it still needs to be said.
3.This is what I think Ludi was looking for early in this thread.
Currently I'm selling our suburban home to live with my mother. Things will be much more cramped than I am accustomed to, but I'll deal. We're learning to live in FL with less AC. We're using less electricity, driving less, walking/biking more. . .The changes aren't happening as quickly as I'd like, but they are happening.
Some random things I've changed over the years: Only turning the water heater on when I need hot water; using hand towels to dry off after a shower (you get just as dry and it's a lot less laundry) and using the same one all week; wearing clothes longer; sweeping instead of vaccuming; cooking food for the whole week in one shot instead of cooking every evening; drinking out of the same glass all day, using my husbands coffee cup (he leaves in the morning just after I wake up--I really should quit coffee all together); making my own laundry detergent. . .and constantly striving to learn more.
4. I don't know if any official restrictions can be put in place, but I do tend to think that between die-off and the decreases in production and shipment of goods it will also take care of itself. . .eventually. Maybe the coming depression will aslo take care of it.
5. This, IMO, is a combo of 1. & 2. I think die-off will be a great (as in large) contibutor to the powerdown. I also think that this is another that will take care of itself. It would help though if Americans started accepting death as a part of life instead of fighting it tooth and nail at every opportunity (see preemie example above). Having a cultural value shift would mean the difference between feelings of dispair and acceptance. Desperate people are dangerous so I really encourage anything that supports this cultural shift. See www.funerals.org and consider having home funerals thereby normalizing the process to outsiders.
6. I think this one is the key to survival post-oil and if it's implemented and supported early enough it could really drastically mellow the post-peak slope. Co-oping with neighbors, joining local clubs, explore/build your local extention service, encourage others to grow foods by giving plants as gifts, volunteer to help teach kids (in public, private, or homeschool co-ops) about growing foods. Support your local farmer. Any chance you can mention that the food you are eating is local.