Comments on: Rock vs. Hard Place vs. Immovable Object http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Wed, 24 Jun 2009 10:56:19 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: Rock vs. Hard Place vs. Immovable Object « Transition Chicago (TC) http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21690 Rock vs. Hard Place vs. Immovable Object « Transition Chicago (TC) Tue, 23 Jun 2009 14:10:34 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21690 [...] Rock vs. Hard Place vs. Immovable Object by Sharon Astyk http://sharonastyk.com/ [...] […] Rock vs. Hard Place vs. Immovable Object by Sharon Astyk http://sharonastyk.com/ […]

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By: Reading & Winner « Two Frog Home http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21429 Reading & Winner « Two Frog Home Tue, 16 Jun 2009 08:14:01 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21429 [...] Rock vs. Hard Place vs. Immovable Object - Wow, this one took me days, days to digest and I’m not sure I’ve completely digested yet. [...] […] Rock vs. Hard Place vs. Immovable Object - Wow, this one took me days, days to digest and I’m not sure I’ve completely digested yet. […]

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By: Mihai http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21392 Mihai Sun, 14 Jun 2009 04:40:36 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21392 Hi Sharon, Excellent emphasis on the interplay between technology, economics and energy as the key framework for understanding our current situation. While many aspects of our system can be individually analyzed, the emergent property called resilience is probably the closest we can get to an overall indicator of our system’s health. As you say, it’s the ability to cope that is important, and it is already almost exhausted. On the rare occasion that I broach the subject of peak oil, usually with one of my scientist peers, I find the concept of resilience the most difficult to convey and grasp. One-dimensional thinking seems to abound, especially when it comes to energy issues. A frequent counterargument to the “doomer” view is that alternative or currently unimaginable technologies will maintain our growth trajectory. “When we relied mainly on wood, we could not have predicted the adoption of coal, oil, nuclear, etc.” But I don’t think this argument holds in a depletion scenario. The US didn’t start using oil because it ran out of coal and became desperate for a substitute. From what I can tell, we adopted oil because it was a higher quality fuel and we did so during a time of economic growth when the coal flow was not constrained. Do you know of anyone who has studied the wood-coal-oil transition with this type of analysis in mind? More specifically, is there historical precedent for the success of a new/alternative energy technology in a society experiencing the decline of its main energy source? Thanks for your excellent commentary. I would also like to thank you for your tireless work in general, were it not for your confession that you sometimes do get tiered. ;-). Mihai Hi Sharon,

Excellent emphasis on the interplay between technology, economics and energy as the key framework for understanding our current situation. While many aspects of our system can be individually analyzed, the emergent property called resilience is probably the closest we can get to an overall indicator of our system’s health. As you say, it’s the ability to cope that is important, and it is already almost exhausted.

On the rare occasion that I broach the subject of peak oil, usually with one of my scientist peers, I find the concept of resilience the most difficult to convey and grasp. One-dimensional thinking seems to abound, especially when it comes to energy issues. A frequent counterargument to the “doomer” view is that alternative or currently unimaginable technologies will maintain our growth trajectory. “When we relied mainly on wood, we could not have predicted the adoption of coal, oil, nuclear, etc.” But I don’t think this argument holds in a depletion scenario. The US didn’t start using oil because it ran out of coal and became desperate for a substitute. From what I can tell, we adopted oil because it was a higher quality fuel and we did so during a time of economic growth when the coal flow was not constrained. Do you know of anyone who has studied the wood-coal-oil transition with this type of analysis in mind? More specifically, is there historical precedent for the success of a new/alternative energy technology in a society experiencing the decline of its main energy source?

Thanks for your excellent commentary. I would also like to thank you for your tireless work in general, were it not for your confession that you sometimes do get tiered. ;-).

Mihai

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By: ehswan http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21389 ehswan Sat, 13 Jun 2009 22:48:27 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21389 There must be less of us in the future. Too late to do this gradually, so it will be sudden. I recently read "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy and concur with him that some of us will survive, we have before suffered genetic bottle necks, (massive dieoffs) of our own kind and come out stronger for it and so we shall again. The future is both bleak and bright and we have done no worse than any other species would have in our possition. Can you imagine dogs with machine guns? Or cats for that matter! There must be less of us in the future. Too late to do this gradually, so it will be sudden. I recently read “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy and concur with him that some of us will survive, we have before suffered genetic bottle necks, (massive dieoffs) of our own kind and come out stronger for it and so we shall again. The future is both bleak and bright and we have done no worse than any other species would have in our possition. Can you imagine dogs with machine guns? Or cats for that matter!

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By: blueskykate http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21387 blueskykate Sat, 13 Jun 2009 20:53:59 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21387 Get thee to the Transition Network website and then start a Transition Initiative in your town, neighborhood, city or county. Now. You can be part of the Big Change and still have fun- in fact, you may find a powered-down lifestyle to be better in some ways than what you have now. Imagine! Get thee to the Transition Network website and then start a Transition Initiative in your town, neighborhood, city or county. Now. You can be part of the Big Change and still have fun- in fact, you may find a powered-down lifestyle to be better in some ways than what you have now. Imagine!

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By: fenraven http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21382 fenraven Sat, 13 Jun 2009 15:30:38 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21382 Nice post. I do enjoy reading you. As for all the changes we should have begun making decades ago...ain't gonna happen. Perhaps the collecive mind has it that humans need to leave so another, less destructive species, can rise, and that's why they're sitting on their asses, waiting for the axe to fall. I've seen this coming for years, as have many. I'm nearly 60 now and I don't plan to live through what is coming. I'm too tired to deal with it all. And even if I did somehow survive, to what point? A struggling society doesn't need old people to take care of. They'd get rid of me in a flash. So I don't garden, I don't stockpile food, and I've given up talking to my friends about massive-change preparation. Everything happens as it should, even if that means the end of our culture as we built it. These days, I'm waiting for some government to release a deadly virus that is projected to kill off 70-80% of world population. I figure they, like me, are starting to see this as the only possible way for anything to survive. Nice post. I do enjoy reading you.

As for all the changes we should have begun making decades ago…ain’t gonna happen. Perhaps the collecive mind has it that humans need to leave so another, less destructive species, can rise, and that’s why they’re sitting on their asses, waiting for the axe to fall.

I’ve seen this coming for years, as have many. I’m nearly 60 now and I don’t plan to live through what is coming. I’m too tired to deal with it all. And even if I did somehow survive, to what point? A struggling society doesn’t need old people to take care of. They’d get rid of me in a flash.

So I don’t garden, I don’t stockpile food, and I’ve given up talking to my friends about massive-change preparation. Everything happens as it should, even if that means the end of our culture as we built it.

These days, I’m waiting for some government to release a deadly virus that is projected to kill off 70-80% of world population. I figure they, like me, are starting to see this as the only possible way for anything to survive.

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By: Naomi http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21379 Naomi Sat, 13 Jun 2009 09:37:56 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21379 Thanks for the great post - I've been following PO, climate change and the economy for a little while now, and it seems to get a little snugger in that space all the time. We prep, trying to make our lives as simple as possible, and I crystal ball gaze :), trying to see what climate change will bring for our local area and how we can adapt to it. The economic crisis has already hit us, DP lost his job a few months ago. We have young children, and it worries me slightly to think of what the future holds for them. I second the request for your thoughts on that, most of the mums I know aren't really interested, you know? Cheers, Naomi (your future - give it up, you've been posting that everywhere...) Thanks for the great post - I’ve been following PO, climate change and the economy for a little while now, and it seems to get a little snugger in that space all the time.

We prep, trying to make our lives as simple as possible, and I crystal ball gaze :), trying to see what climate change will bring for our local area and how we can adapt to it. The economic crisis has already hit us, DP lost his job a few months ago.

We have young children, and it worries me slightly to think of what the future holds for them. I second the request for your thoughts on that, most of the mums I know aren’t really interested, you know?

Cheers, Naomi

(your future - give it up, you’ve been posting that everywhere…)

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By: your future http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21377 your future Sat, 13 Jun 2009 02:38:33 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21377 people just want to be happy but i am here to tell them that they aren’t going to be happy i am here to tell them that the world’s gonna be a shithole real soon they will be homeless, jobless, busted, in jail or dead soon 90% of the world’s fish are extinct the planet is almost dead already humans will soon be killing each other over the last scraps of food there will be no rescue there will be no divine fucking intervention there will not be a ‘better day’ better days already passed long ago there will be ‘worse days’, and ‘worser days’ after them there will be killing, murder, rape, rape of children, killing and eating of children there will be acts committed that we don’t even have words for yet and that will be just the beginning just the beginning of a new deathlife for the survivors their own private horrorshow filled with coming attractions people just want to be happy
but i am here to tell them that they aren’t going to be happy
i am here to tell them that the world’s gonna be a shithole real soon

they will be homeless, jobless, busted, in jail or dead soon
90% of the world’s fish are extinct
the planet is almost dead already
humans will soon be killing each other over the last scraps of food

there will be no rescue
there will be no divine fucking intervention
there will not be a ‘better day’
better days already passed long ago

there will be ‘worse days’, and ‘worser days’ after them
there will be killing, murder, rape, rape of children, killing and eating of children
there will be acts committed that we don’t even have words for yet
and that will be just the beginning

just the beginning of a new deathlife for the survivors
their own private horrorshow filled with coming attractions

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By: ehswan http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21375 ehswan Sat, 13 Jun 2009 01:42:44 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21375 At age 10 (1955) I knew something was wrong. By 20 I wanted to destroy every bridge and power line. In the following years I have not mellowed. Flying across country at 35,000 ft I noticed that nearly all arable land had been turned into a God Damned giant food factory. Flying at 5,ooo ft I noticed that what was not factory farmed had been raped for whatever else the land could produce. Quickest species dieoff in geologic history. We're next and we ever so deserve it! At age 10 (1955) I knew something was wrong. By 20 I wanted to destroy every bridge and power line. In the following years I have not mellowed. Flying across country at 35,000 ft I noticed that nearly all arable land had been turned into a God Damned giant food factory. Flying at 5,ooo ft I noticed that what was not factory farmed had been raped for whatever else the land could produce. Quickest species dieoff in geologic history. We’re next and we ever so deserve it!

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By: Dan http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21372 Dan Fri, 12 Jun 2009 22:07:58 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/11/rock-vs-hard-place-vs-immovable-object/#comment-21372 Grog- It doesn't matter the cause, the effect is the same. That's what's missed in all the global warming debate. While we sit here and point fingers, science marches on, and we get closer to the edge, less prepared every day for what is undeniably coming. End of story. Grog-

It doesn’t matter the cause, the effect is the same.

That’s what’s missed in all the global warming debate. While we sit here and point fingers, science marches on, and we get closer to the edge, less prepared every day for what is undeniably coming.

End of story.

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