The bad news is that we may not have the luxury of a leisurely transition. The good news is that the momentum is building. Rising energy costs and technological breakthroughs (along with general disruption) might very well kick start Resilient Communities.
March of the zombies
It smells like an alien abduction convention, topped off with some junior high school political philosophy, as one reads about and listens to the Republican politicians that will be part of the U.S. Congress in January. Of course, in all fairness, you can still make out the ghostly shapes of Democratic politicians in search of a home.
Shifting priorities and the local Kansas City community
Kansas City is fortunate in having an election next April. It will be an opportunity to “force” some critical thinking among the official politicians, as well as perhaps raising some creative consciousness among community leaders and encourage broader participation by the voters.
What if we, for example, stopped spending literally and—figuratively–thousands of dollars on drug-addicted landscapes for “aesthetics,” and shifted a portion of these resources to food production (zoning changes) and then energy production, while organizing communities to make decisions?
There is of course the “tipping point.” Energy costs will very likely rise to where local production will more and more make global production less attractive. John Robb of Global Guerrillas and others have pointed out that desktop fabrication will increase in efficiency allowing real decreases in local production costs.
For an interesting view of how collapse could take place in America, see The Five Stages of Collapse, by Dimitry Orlov, who witnessed the fall of the Soviet Union.
Making choices now
Some historians have referred to Prohibition in the 1920s as the “last dying gasp” of Yankee Protestantism. Perhaps it’s also true that the Tea Party movement today is a last dying gasp of white privilege.
This doesn’t mean that a larger group, the white underclass, who have been manipulated and used for cannon fodder for a very long time, won’t morph into something vicious and nihilistic, but it does mean that Ozzie and Harriet are not coming back and white entitlement will continue to crumble.
The goal is not to passively wait for the very worst to occur or expect politicians and corporate America to discover awareness, but to actively build enlightened, resilient and secure communities now. Merely hoping for the best would be a very bad idea indeed.
One Block Off the Grid
Public Knows Facts About Politics, Economics, But Struggles With Specifics (Pew Research)