By Dale Allen Pfeiffer of The Mountain Sentinel
Oil has already peaked. Production began declining in 2006, and is now diminishing at a rate of 7% per year. The latest studies show that natural gas, coal and uranium will soon follow. (Steep decline in oil production brings risk of war and unrest, says new study. The Guardian, October 22nd, 2007.)
What, you mean you hadn't heard?
Overall, energy prices are going to keep going up. And as the price of energy goes up so will everything else. At some point, the economy will crash. Hunger will become a problem all over the world, even in once prosperous nations such as the US.
Global Environmental Outlook 4 has just been released. This is a publication of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) produced by 390 experts using data compiled over the last two decades. They warn that we must act now to safeguard our own survival and the survival of future generations. (Save the planet? It's now or never, warns landmark UN report. AFP, October 25th, 2007.)
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner is quoted as saying, "The systematic destruction of the Earth's natural and nature-based resources has reached a point where the economic viability of economies is being challenged -- and where the bill we hand on to our children may prove impossible to pay,"
The report also recognizes that overpopulation is a very real problem, something that many on the left refuse to acknowledge. The report warns that our population is now so large that we have exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet. The amount of resources necessary to sustain our population exceeds what is available.
Life on this planet, and life in the US, is going to become increasingly uncomfortable. More and more, people in the US are going to be caught in a bind. We will not be able to make ends meet, and we will discover that the system is failing us. As time goes on, the public will become increasingly dissatisfied and even angry.
It is up to us to reach out to these people, help them understand, and help them channel their anger and dissatisfaction to constructive ends. We can begin right now by seeking out others who are aware. Attend meeting of activists, particularly peace groups. I have found that people attending events sponsored by Veterans for Peace are particularly receptive to this message. Peace activists in general seem to be more aware than many other activists that they cannot reach their goals through the system. It also seems that global warming activists are more likely to believe that they can work through the system.
Attend meetings, and talk about how the system has become irredeemably corrupt. You will find others who have come to this conclusion. Talk about the necessity of a mass uprising, similar to the uprising in Venezuela following the US-backed coup against President Chavez. If the Venezuelans did it, so can we.
At a recent meeting that I attended, someone came up with an excellent suggestion. He said he would like to see people everywhere go out en masse and sit down on the highways and the expressways, stopping the flow of commerce. This is what we need to do: stop business as usual. We must bring the system grinding to a halt, insisting on a return to sanity, and a move toward sustainability and egalitarianism.
As things get worse, the time will come when people are ready to create such an uprising. For now, we must seek out those around us who already aware of the necessity. And we must do what we can to help wake up everyone we know.
Don't Fool Yourself
The government is already preparing to deal with public disaffection. Why else do you think they are rolling back our liberties and paving the way for martial law? They know all about energy and resource depletion and all the various other approaching crises. They know that life is going to become increasingly hard for many of us, and they know that those suffering these hardships are going to become troublesome. They know that some of us will try to organize an uprising, and they probably know many of us by name.
When the time comes, they think they can deal with us, and even use our efforts to their advantage. For that reason, we must make this uprising very organic in nature. There should be no leaders. There should be only the recognition that business as usual cannot go on and a willingness to do what it takes to bring the madness to a halt.
People need to understand that we are faced with a madness that will make life miserable for us and for generations to come, if it does not severely damage the viability of this entire planet. Yet they also need to know that each of us has the power to stop this madness, simply by ceasing to take part in the system that perpetuates this madness. We are all armed with monkey wrenches, it is time to use them. It is time to take back our power and to realize that we, ourselves, are our own masters. And let us never delegate that power or that responsibility again.