People do NOT want to recognize that they are utterly screwed.. and that their entire lifestyle is about to radically alter. We as a culture are way too addicted to our smartphones, cars, grocery stores, etc. To tell people that all of that is going to go away one way or another is to tell them the world is literally ending. They freak out. Too much cognitive dissonance.
Many times, the deniers shift the attention to those who talk about it. They accuse them of hypocrisy. Ecologically-minded people can’t complain, they say. After all, they use the internet, they have homes, they drive cars. According to these people, even writing a book about the environmental destruction is hypocritical, since books are written on paper and delivered by truck.
This kind of thinking is a mental disease. It holds no validity and must be opposed by all rational people.
Individual/residential consumption of oil, electricity, water, etc, is inconsequential at any level. The true change must be systemic. If the corporations don't stop raping the land and taking the resources for profit margins then we could gather millions of individual people and convince them to lessen or stop their use of these things completely and it would not mitigate the coming collapse by more than a day or two.
A friend of mine asked me: So the actual impacts of the individual and combined actions of the average consumer are dwarfed by the scale of extractive exploitive for profit growth based system behind it all? We can reduce, recycle, reuse until we get dizzy and it's a proverbial drop in the bucket? We can spend, burn and fritter?
Sounds right to me. If it is systemic, then what use is an individual bringing their 'footprint' to zero? Even if millions of individuals did all that in their daily lives, at best it would be as if the population of the planet was reduced by a few million people. That would not stop the leviathan system that is unceasingly exploitive by nature.
His reply: I agree. There seems to be something about the sheer scale of what has been constructed that precludes individual based collective remedy even if that goes against the promise of the modern age (the oil-drunk "we can do anything" myth).
One individual-based collective remedy would be something along the lines of revolt/insurrection/sabotage. Which I personally advocate for. But for those not so inclined I always suggest building resiliency, both as an individual and in your community. Transitioning through a collapse of industrial civilization is going to force us to be local. Better to prepare your locality and neighbors now than to wait to be thrust into the situation.
The future is going to be far different than the past. The next decade is going to look vastly different than the last decade. This blog is about the transition.
Explaining Peak Oil
The Significance of Renewables
What Will The Future Look Like?
What Do The Experts Say?
Hope is Complex and Fragile
Personal Change Does Not Equal Social Change
Why Genesis 1:28 Doesn't Apply
It's Not About Running Out of Oil