a new world as we enter the era of Energy
Anybody who believes exponential growth
can go on forever in a finite
world is either a madman or an economist.
- Kenneth Boulding
The finite hydrocarbon energy that has fueled 150 years of
global industrialization and exponential population growth now appears
to be nearing exhaustion. Many of us have wondered at one point or
another how our lives would be affected if the world ran out of fossil
fuels. These thoughts
normally triggered by the now increasing numbers of news stories about
prices and shortages. Then they are quickly forgotten as soon as prices
drop back a bit--but never all the way to the previous level.
there is growing concern that we have finally reached the point where
the global fuel tank is nearing empty. Peak Oil,
or the peak of Hubbert's Curve, appears to have arrived. Peak Oil does
not mean that we run out of oil over night.
it means that we have entered a phase where demand will begin to
outstrip supply over the long term. This will have an impact on everything
in our lives.
greatest energy windfall in history
The Age of Oil, which began in 1856, provided mankind with the cheapest energy source it has ever
enjoyed. It was oil that enabled us to enter
the Industrial Age and and expand global population
at an alarming rate from just over one billion around 1805 to 6.5
Billion in 2005. It's no exaggeration to call fossil fuel the greatest energy windfall in history. Without
it, we would still be living a life similar to that experienced in the
[William] Catton argues that the human
race living off the "draw down" of nonrenewable fossil fuel resources
is the equivalent of the algae in a pond enjoying a temporary rush of
nutrients in one brief season.
- James Kunstler in The Long
...the industrial age is a pulse
waveform, a single,
out the lights, the party's over
bell-shaped, nonrepeating curve centered on 1979.
- John Michael Greer
Peak Oil or the
the age of cheap fossil fuels will mean dramatic changes for
all of us and the way in which we live. There's far more to dealing
enormous transition than simply trading in your SUV for a Prius.
Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, can only
replace a fraction of our current
energy requirements. So-called "hydrogen energy" is viewed by the
scientific community as little more than a cruel hoax.
In the words of Ed Ayres, editorial director of the World Watch Institute, we face
"something so completely outside our collective experience that we
don't really see it, even when the evidence is overwhelming. For us,
that 'something' is a blitz of enormous biological and physical
alterations in the world that has been sustaining us."
There are two
typical reactions to this news: denial or a sense of hopelessness. Most
people opt for the former after first dismissing the news with nothing
more than, "Don't worry, someone will come up with something to make it
go away." A minority digs deeply into the available research material
sinks into a sense of hopelessness.
Your information hub for sustainable living
In crisis lies
- Chinese proverb
There is, however, a third way to respond. We can recognize the fact
that we can use Peak Oil to finally take a proactive role in shaping
our lives and communities as the world enters into power descent,
rather than merely being passive victims. To avoid doing so is to
forfeit a watershed opportunity to shape our and our children's future
for the better.
This is what Karavans is all
about: creating a positive vision for tomorrow and acting towards its
implementation. In a time of rapid change and dramatic transformation, Karavans serves as a hub for
disseminating new ideas, information, tools, and techniques for those
committed to acting proactively. Specifically,
will cover unlocking of the food supply,
moving off-the-grid, renewable energy, self-sufficiency, community and
economy building, ecological design, permaculture, and other matters
germane to sustainable life-styles as the world powers down.
keep you updated on additions to the site
If you are a
first time visitor, this page Eco-Living
is recommended as the starting point for your exploration of Karavans.
David Korten's newest book The Great
Turning: From Empire to Earth
Community is now available. Read the book and then join us for The Great Turning
discussion in the Karavans forum.
We have teamed up with Catherine Austin Fitts of Solari to bring you
her eye-opening seminars on the tapeworm economy and what we can do as
individuals and communities to rid ourselves of it. Read a
transcript of a talk she gave on the tapeworm
The US Army Acknowledges That Peak Oil is a Real Threat
Read up on the recently released report by the US Army on Peak Oil.