21st Century Survival Guide

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We interrupt this broadcast to bring you this reality-check:

Coming cataclysmic global oil and natural gas shortages are about to become very real, certainly within the next two years, to everyone on the planet. Those countries that have access to what oil remains will survive and dominate and those that do not will atrophy and disintegrate.

- From The Wilderness

Life is very soon going to become much more difficult for us in the once-privileged West. We may not think of ourselves as rich because we do not own a big fat car (or two), but compared to most of the planet, we're rolling in it. Yet this cannot last. Crippled by increasing oil imports and suffering the environmental and economic effects of decades of pollution, the industrial nations will gradually topple into chaos, shooting off their big guns in all directions.

The spoilt child that is capitalism will no longer get its selfish way, no matter how much it kicks and screams. All of our luxuries - (unsustainably) cheap air travel, plentiful consumer goods, ample food, water and energy on tap, things that we currently take for granted - will gradually evaporate leaving us both materially and spiritually destitute.

As the world oil market dries up in the coming decades years (!), our industries will rapidly fall apart when it becomes uneconomic to transport goods about. Our 20th Century reliance on the motor car will cripple us financially as fuel prices rocket. The ancient nations of the oil-rich Middle East will call the shots for a change, as they once did, long before we young Western imperialist upstarts invad arrived early this last century. Our great leaders are doing their utmost to seize as much of this power as they can, threatening the heritage of the birthplace of civilisation, but even immorality has limits.

Alternative technologies such as solar and electric vehicles, while improving, are not yet advanced enough to address the impending crisis. Nuclear power causes more problems than it solves; anyone truly interested in atomic energy should read Part 1 of Deep Time by Gregory Bentham - fascinating. Hydrogen-powered transport, so lauded by George W. Bush as the supposedly clean answer to our prayers, is in reality just a nest-egg for his retirement, a means to further exploit natural gas and other dwindling fossil fuel reserves. Improvements in public transport and replacing short-haul flights with high-speed train links will help. But we also need to modify our behaviour, our culture, so that people live where they work and can cycle or walk the kids to school rather than waste hours daily in traffic. Common sense.


Brace yourselves for these impacts:

We're not asking you to become a hippy - far from it; people must become responsible for their actions. The sooner you adapt evolve, the less shocking it will be. Anyone old enough to remember World War II will know the drill: shortages, rations, hardship. Even Tony Bliar MP (="I'm Tory Plan B" ;) is calling for resurrection of the Blitz Spirit in his War On Terrorism.

In case you think I'm making this up, check out The way we will live in 2032 according to 1,100 world scientists for a U.N. report. Believe what you like, while you still can.

The future of all of this depends on how you live, the decisions you make today. Everything you buy is a marketing statistic somewhere - ensure it is the right one. Your attitude can persuade and inspire others, but apathy is contagious, so keep positive, and use the force. Be the change you wish to see happen.

The 21st Century is about:

[ Capitalism is rubbish - People+Nature not Profit+Power ]

This message is brought to you by Canopus Productions, on behalf of the sleeping governments. Feel free to link to and distribute it in any format.

© copyright Malcolm Smith 2002-11-01 - last updated 2007-04-18 - links verified 2006-05-07