Is the post-fossil fuel economy already emerging?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

It is often said that cultural shifts only become clearly evident with hindsight. Thus I ask as to whether it is possible that the post-fossil fuel era has already begun?

Indeed, for all the talk of insurmountable challenges and very real crises‐both ecological and economic in nature – there are also promising signs of a shift in how our global culture operates.

Many young people waiting longer before starting to drive, or don't even bother, while others are building their own smaller mortgage-free homes. Others still are into freeganism, on their own or in groups, and some are becoming disillusioned with the race for ever newer gadgets that they are devising ways of repairing and retaining what they have.

Add to that the fact that some serious business types are also questioning the fundamentals of growth-at-all-costs economics, and people everywhere are beginning to ponder the notion of a plenitude economy where quality-of-life matters more than GDP, and you really can make the case that we are witnessing something profound.

Growth-at-all-costs economics cannot work and neither can so-called sustainable growth as we have but a finite Planet and many of the non-renewable resources are finite and depleted or almost depleted. The requirement, which many new style entrepreneurs are beginning to realize, and also many of the serious business types mentioned earlier, is for a resource-based economy and a constant economy and not one based on growth, not even sustainable growth, which is an oxymoron to start with.

There is a renewed interest in growing our own food and in foraging from the wild, and that almost everywhere we look in the developed world. In Italy bike sales are outpacing that of cars and bike sales are also on the rise in many other countries.

However, we must advance ourselves by finally coming to the realization that we cannot carry on exploiting and polluting the Planet and while many individuals have arrived at that place our respective governments, especially not that in the UK and the USA, have not and show no real intention to even perambulating into that direction.

The British government of the Con-Dem coalition finds every possible excuse in the book not to create a real green deal and to green the existing housing stock in the country, for instance, and neither are they prepared to advance a real revolution in renewable energy in electricity and gas.

Despite success stories from other countries, such as and especially, Germany where several towns have gone renewable energy only including of industry in those towns and one of them, just south of Berlin, with medium-heavy industry even, having cut itself off the grid entirely and is, actually, feeding the grid with surplus energy, the UK keeps on with building more nuclear power stations. The excuse is that nuclear must be part of a reduced carbon future. This is bull dust and they know it. But the nuclear industry provides nice backhanders, of that we can be sure; something that the renewables industry cannot and will not do.

However, as individuals we can be the change and force the change upon our respective governments and upon industry, farming, retail, etc. We are the power...

© 2013