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Page added on May 23, 2010

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Where should we be putting our mitigation priorities?

General Ideas

Some people put more emphasis on (1) Approaches that would allow our current system to continue, perhaps at a lower level. Various readers will have different views as to how long we will really be able to maintain our current system, and that may explain a big part of the difference in views on this matter. If we are truly approaching a tipping point, and electricity will be lost within a few years (perhaps because of oil dependence for transporting coal; perhaps for financial reasons; perhaps because of geopolitical factors), then putting a lot of effort into (1) becomes less important. If we really can keep business as usual (BAU) going indefinitely, then (1) is all that is needed.

The big issue with (2) Doing things to help our immediate families survive is the question whether it is really possible to have “individual salvation”. Perhaps if the downslope is slow, the preparations we make will help for some period of time. Preparation may even be helpful for many years, if something close to BAU can be maintained (including a working financial system and electrical system). If things are truly awful, there then there is a question whether our preparations will leave us more open to attack than we would otherwise be the case.

The problem with (3) Doing things that would truly be helpful for several generations in the future, if we need to go to a lower energy life style is that these things tend to be more difficult and more expensive–for example buying a farm and setting it up in a way that can be maintained without fossil fuel inputs. In addition, It would be difficult for an individual family to live in this manner, so there would be a need to build communities, that include a range types of foods produced and services. In this way, families would have neighbors to trade with, and other community members might provide essential services.

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