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Lessons from our ancestors about the countryside
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bootstrapper wrote:
Sadly, I think the inertia of the present system will mean 'Business As Usual', right up to the moment of economic collapse:



Yes, I think so to, hence the idea of by-passing government and setting up communities and a network of communities as a way to survive if the worst happens. I have written something about that before (and will do again Smile ).

Bootstrapper wrote:
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the world population is estimated to have been around one billion. I'll be optimistic and say that it's possible, with modern knowledge and techniques, that food for perhaps two billion people could be grown sustainably without using 'industrial' methods and consumables. That still leaves a population 'overshoot' of four billion people. I can see a 'dieoff' happening.



Personally I think we are capable of feeding more people but we would need to change the way we do things. As pointed out above that change wont happen if left to governments and companies. Sad
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rs



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget about all the other things we have to deal with e.g. climate change, pollution, deforestation, extinction etc.

I read somewhere that an area the size of florida is disappearing each year as humans continue on their march to consume all our natural resources.

We are causing so much destruction I really wonder how much of this planet we will have left in 50 or 100 years.

I had to drive in to London this morning. An example of just how short-sighted we are is watching all the drivers nose-to-tail, 90mph trying desperately to get in front of one another to save 30 seconds on the journey to work.

This one-upmanship is so pervasive this will be our downfall. For every man who wants to conserve there is another who would rather use up more than his fair share and to hell with everyone else.

The only way to prevent this behaviour is by force. There is no way we can force 6.5 billion people to act responsibly all of the time.

So for every step forward, we will take two back as someone somewhere tries to evade the system in order for their own gain.

I wish I could be more positive but whatever route I try to analyse I always arrive back at the same result. Crying or Very sad
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rs wrote:


The only way to prevent this behaviour is by force. There is no way we can force 6.5 billion people to act responsibly all of the time.


I disagree with that. Humans have a verity of behaviour; they are greedy, selfish, pig-headed and stupid but they can also be kind, caring, thoughtful, cooperative and constructive. Which particular characteristic comes to the fore can depend to some degree on the person but one factor that influences peoples behaviour greatly is the environment.

On an open straight road it?s not uncommon to find people speeding but if the road was narrow with twists and turns it?s not so easy to speed. By changing the environment you change people?s behaviour. This was just one simple example but the point is you don?t need to resort to force or even laws to change behaviour you can do it by thinking about things and by the application of a bit of engineering.

Another way to influence people?s behaviour is throw education but education needs to be applied from a young age for best result but it still possible to influence people at any age (or this site would have no point).

However, you will always find some people who just won?t change. No system is perfect but you can affect the majority.

Smile
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rs



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand what you are saying but here is another example. I live in a village. In all the surrounding villages the local councils have introduced speed reducing measures.

Looking outside of my window I can see almost all the drivers blatantly ignoring these measures. Maybe when they were introduced they had an effect, but 6 months or a year down the line, nobody pays any attention anymore.

So education and engineering has had little effect in this example. People have just reverted to the usual ways. Which is why when faced with a shortage of resources I believe we as a species will fight over every last ounce.

You and I are amongst the group that is willing to change. I really hope there are enough of us who can help keep this planet going for future generations. It's those that won't change that I worry about.
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MacG



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2863
Location: Scandinavia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rs wrote:
So for every step forward, we will take two back as someone somewhere tries to evade the system in order for their own gain.

I wish I could be more positive but whatever route I try to analyse I always arrive back at the same result. Crying or Very sad


This is a VERY interesting question and worth a thread of its own! I'll start one right away.
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rs wrote:
I understand what you are saying but here is another example. I live in a village. In all the surrounding villages the local councils have introduced speed reducing measures.

Looking outside of my window I can see almost all the drivers blatantly ignoring these measures. Maybe when they were introduced they had an effect, but 6 months or a year down the line, nobody pays any attention anymore.

So education and engineering has had little effect in this example. People have just reverted to the usual ways. Which is why when faced with a shortage of resources I believe we as a species will fight over every last ounce.

You and I are amongst the group that is willing to change. I really hope there are enough of us who can help keep this planet going for future generations. It's those that won't change that I worry about.



That?s not actually what I mean by engineering a solution, that?s a good example of a political edit and it?s expecting people to adjust their behavior because someone in power says they should do or they get fined. And as you note, people ignore it. An engineering solution would be to design the road so that people could not go faster than the speed limit. I actually saw an example of that on holiday. We were driving down one road where the speed limit was 70 km/h but the road twisted and turned so much that we never got above 50 km/h. So we never broke the law not because we chose to be good citizens but because physical reality prevented us from doing so.

People (read Governments) often think the way to solve behavioral problems is to make a law and impose fines or prison sentences (more crime? Fix it with tougher prison sentences!) but it is the environment that dictates our behavior far more than the law.

Smile
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Andy Hunt



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 6760
Location: Bury, Lancashire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about this for engineering a solution.

A factory was located on a river, and its manufacturing process used fresh water from the river. The water would be used by the factory and then dumped back into the river, highly polluted and toxic.

The local council tried for years to get the factory to clean up the water they were putting back in the river, passing legislation which specified levels of cleanliness, and imposing fines for non-cooperation. Nothing worked, and the factory continued to pollute the river.

Then someone had a brainwave. A simple law was passed which said that the water intake should be DOWNSTREAM from the water outlet from the factory.

Guess what? The factory cleaned up its act in a matter of days.

It's this kind of thinking that will solve post-peak problems.
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