Future Positive — Timothy Wilken writes: The American political economic system is is classified by synergic science as a neutral system. Neutral systems require unlimited resources to grow and thrive.
Neutrality means you don’t need help from others. You are so rich that you can survive all by yourself. And, we Americans have been very rich for the last 100 years. Now I know some of you will scream, RICH! I am not rich. But really you are. You see we Americans have so much cheap energy we don’t even notice it. We modern humans have been sucking petroleum out of the ground as hard as we can for those 100 years. We don’t pay for it. We do pay for the straw, but not for the oil.
In 1981, Buckminster Fuller calculated the real cost of that oil, if we were paying for the oil itself and not just the cost of sucking it out of the ground. Buckminster Fuller estimated that the real value of one gallon of gasoline was ~$1,000,000. Correcting for inflation to 2008, that would be $2,340,000 for every gallon of gasoline. How many gallons of gas did you use this month? Then consider the fact that most of our electricity is generated by burning petroleum, so how many gallons did you use to heat your home, or cool your home, or run your electric appliances and cook your food, and pump and heat the water for your bathrooms and laundrys? One survey in 2007 estimated that the average American consumes 7.8 gallons of gasoline each week. That would be 405 gallons a year times $2.34 million per gallon. This comes to ~$1 billion per year for every living American. In a lifetime, Americans are consuming non-renewal resources worth billions of dollars. Now we humans can only continue to waste such great wealth, if wealth is unlimited.
Guess what? Santa Clause is dead. We are running out of oil. The earth itself, and certainly the oil reserves of earth are finite. That means they are limited. …
Think back for a moment to the year 1801, only two hundred years ago, that was a time when there was no gasoline, no refined oil, no natural gas, and no electrical power derived from oil and gas. As a thought experiment, try to imagine what life was like at the beginning of the 19th century. If you were transported back two hundred years, how would the lack of petroleum affect your lifestyle?
While we might accurately imagine the loss of cheap energy from petroleum, most of us would overlook the 70,000 products that are manufactured using petroleum as a raw feedstock. This includes plastics, acrylics, cosmetics, paints, varnishes, asphalts, fertilizers, medications, etc., etc., etc.. Now, in addition to our loss of cheap energy and the 70,000 products that you and I have come to depend on, imagine our sharing that impoverished Earth with over six billion other humans?
When the price of oil reaches $2,000,000 a gallon. How much oil will you use? Listen at the sounds as your automobiles sit in the driveway without gas, listen as all your appliances and electrical pumps all go silent. Not even the sound of running water. Nice and quiet, huh.Now think of the physical work you will have to do to suvive. Think you might need help? Perhaps you really aren’t independent.
As things start to get scarce, the humans lose their option for Neutrality. Soon they have to learn to do without. They go without owning their own homes. They go without higher education for their children. They go without free time for recreation as they are forced to get a second job. Or, they sidestep back into the adversary world – they steal, embezzle, or defraud. …
Today, it is up to us. You and me. Our governments can’t help us. They don’t understand the problem. Our corporations can’t help us they don’t understand the problem. We can only rely on ourselves. Individuals of integrity will need to join together to build a new model of society that depends on co-Operation and abundance. And, by abundance I am referring to an abundance of integrity, intelligence and responsibility. Then we can begin restructuring our society in ways that will lead to a relative abundance even within the finite world we inhabit.
Wake up Humanity! WE must learn “to hang together,” or as Benjamin Franklin predicted, “we will most assuredly hang separately.” (09/30/09)