They’ve Stolen Our Future!

It’s time to have a serious conversation. I know we’ve been having it, but maybe there’s another glove hidden beneath the one we’ve already taken off.

Put bluntly, there doesn’t seem to be any hope of avoiding a collapse of civilization. The forces of the Business-As-Usual crowd are just too strong, the narrative machine too honed, the interests too entrenched to allow any sort of meaningful course correction at this time.

But is that the case?

Writing about the outcomes of the recent Australian elections which saw a pro-business, conservative government elected, Australian based reader-member ezlxq1949 said:

“They’ve stolen our future!”

That was the wail of the 11-y.o. daughter of a Greens candidate who cried herself to sleep the night after the astonishing election results came in. It couldn’t be worse; the public have sold themselves into almost complete captivity to the neoliberal élites called the Liberal Party. (Liberal = Conservative. Go figure.) It was supposed to have been a climate change election but became a jobs 'n growth election.

Mind you, it wouldn’t have been much better if the opposition Labor Party had won; they’ve moved so far to the right that like the US we really have only one party with two heads. For instance, Labor would not commit to stopping the monster Adani coal mine.

So it’s goodbye to:

  • the ABC (the excellent government broadcaster which has the gall and temerity to criticise the government of the day; the government badly wants to get even)
  • renewable energy (fossil fools rule ok)
  • the Great Barrier Reef (sliced and diced to let coal ships cross it)
  • our river systems (suck them dry, privatise the water, send the profits to the Cayman Islands — as is already happening)
  • the Great Artesian Basin (world’s largest and deepest, to be contaminated by coal mines and fracking)
  • public services (cut back yet again to create a damaging government budget surplus)
  • public health (to be Americanised)
  • public education (to be privatised; maybe high schools this time)
  • the Great Australian Bight (a pristine area which may have oil under it; damn the pollution, full greed ahead)
  • southern ocean fish stocks (they’ll let the supertrawlers in now).
The environment is completely expendable. All resources are permanently abundant and all will be fed into the growth machine. Climate change is NOT HAPPENING. It’s fake, right? Bah. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we fry.

There’s one ray of hope. Steve Keen predicts a severe recession, Depression really, within 6 months to a year from now. Our economy is indeed wobbling already. This will happen on the Liberals’ watch and they will be blamed for mismanaging the economy. This isn’t supposed to happen. Only Labor does that. Only Labor mismanages the economy. That’s what the Murdoch press drums into our heads. The Libs will panic. The Murdoch press won’t know what to say. Maybe this will shake up people’s belief and confidence in mainstream economics.

I’m not sleeping well at the moment. I wonder why.


I feel your pain and anguish ezlxq1949! You’d think by now people could have and would have gotten the message that Business-As-Usual (BAU) is a killing machine.

But, no, sadly they have not speaking to the power of the BAU narrative machine to spew out complete rubbish unchallenged in either deed or thought.

I wish I shared the hope that elections might do something, but I have no data to support this idea. Whatever parties you have in your country, no matter how they differ at the margins, they are both, or all (depending on your country’s system), in agreement on the need for jobs, economic growth, and keeping things more or less headed exactly where they are now going.

For example, we might note that under Obama what few binding agreements came from Kyoto were set aside for another generation.

This piece captures that well, and speaks to the necessity of having some sort of a rebellion:

Social collapse and climate breakdown

A huge number of people - 350,000 and counting - have downloaded Jem Bendell’s paper Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy.

Here I want to develop one thing that Bendell talks about: social collapse.

But first, for those who have not read his research paper, there are three key truths Bendell tells.

Three truths

Firstly, climate change has been moving much faster than scientists predicted. Things are going to get very bad within the lifetime of some of us now living. We don’t know and can’t know how bad, or how quickly this will happen.

Everyone that Bendell speaks with bases their predictions on their political beliefs. That’s true of everyone I talk to too.

Bendell chooses to think that social collapse is inevitable, catastrophe probable and extinction possible. That’s my guess too.

A second truth: scientists have, for many reasons, been under constant pressure to downplay the dangers and extent of climate change, and not to scare the mob.

Non-governmental organisations have constantly colluded with governments and corporations to conceal the scale of the catastrophe, and to push solutions that will not solve it. Scientists and NGOs do this because their funders demand that.

A third truth: Bendell says it is hard, at first, to accept what is coming. I have found that too.

Climate politics

I first got involved in climate politics because I’m a freelance writer and in 2004 I decided to write a book about climate change. I thought it would be interesting and there would be a market, God forgive me.

I got involved with a climate action group – the Campaign against Climate Change – and started reading. Several months later I began having the same nightmare most nights for months. In that nightmare I was trying to tell some people something, and they were not listening.

What was happening is that I was understanding the implications of what I was reading. One reason is that I take science seriously, and I understand numbers. The other is that I already understood social collapse.

That was bad enough. For the next four years I knew what would happen if we did not act. Then at the end of the UN climate talks in 2009, on a Friday lunchtime in Copenhagen, I read the text of the agreement Barack Obama had just made the other governments agree to.

That text ended the Kyoto agreement and said that henceforward no government would have to make compulsory cuts in emissions. Every government could choose what cuts or increases they wanted. The Paris talks in 2015 extended that to 2035.

I understood what Obama had done immediately. That text ended the possibility of action for a generation. Since then, I have understood social collapse is coming.


The Extinction Rebellion is capturing that energy of those who realize that we may well yet have to go down swinging.

The powers that be would like us to continue with the fantasy that politics could, may, might, possibly offer a sliver of a chance…if only we could elect the right sorts of people! (Spoiler alert, those sorts of people are never placed on offer to be elected…they are comprehensively weeded out well before then, as we see with Tulsi Gabbard currently in the US for merely daring to offer an alternative to the Bomb First crowd).

In the end, it may simply be that humans cannot rise above their brain stems. Collapse is already baked in the cake. So then the question becomes who you wish to be in these times? How will you act? What sorts of decisions are you going to make?

That’s what I asked in my most recent pieces entitled From Survival to Significance and Creating a World Worth Inheriting.

The continued ““market”” jamming efforts (as well underway today, again) are just attempts to ignore the inevitable. The continued efforts of the mainstream media to heavily promote completely irrelevant items while totally ignoring extremely important topics are best understood through the lens of evolutionary biology.

Humans, you see, are with few bright exceptions, wired wrong to manage connecting complex dots. When given the choice between basic biology (eating, reproducing, and staying safe & warm) and engaging in a bit of temporarily difficult introspection or thought, nearly everybody defaults to basic biology.

Our leaders know that dynamic well, as do advertisers and media moguls and so they give the people what they want. It’s dreadfully simple, easy and popular.

It takes a rare individual to buck that trend. The young tend to be far more facile at it than the old. That’s why rebellions usually begin with the youth.

But meanwhile, the unthinkable is forcing its way into our collective consciousness. The ecosystems of the world that have gently held civilizations over the past 10,000 years are collapsing.

Rains no longer fall where they should, or too much where they shouldn’t. The careful food webs developed over hundreds of millions of years are being suddenly upended. What will it mean that phytoplankton numbers are dropping like a rock, or that insects are 80% depleted? Nobody knows. What happens next is completely unpredictable. Such is the nature of complex systems.

Let me quote again from the above piece of writing, which goes on to speculate how the power structures will go about dealing with the inevitable crises. After writing about the many tens of millions killed during various state imposed famines, wars, and pogroms he writes:

All these numbers are approximate, you understand. No one was counting properly.

Almost none of those horrors were committed by small groups of savages wandering through the ruins. They were committed by States, and by mass political movements.

Society did not disintegrate. It did not come apart. Society intensified. Power concentrated, and split, and those powers had us kill each other. It seems reasonable to assume that climate social collapse will be like that. Only with five times as many dead, if we are lucky, and twenty-five times as many, if we are not.

Remember this, because when the moment of runaway climate change comes for you, where you live, it will not come in the form of a few wandering hairy bikers. It will come with the tanks on the streets and the military or the fascists taking power.

Those generals will talk in deep green language. They will speak of degrowth, and the boundaries of planetary ecology. They will tell us we have consumed too much, and been too greedy, and now for the sake of Mother Earth, we must tighten our belts.

Then we will tighten our belts, and we will suffer, and they will build a new kind of gross green inequality. And in a world of ecological freefall, it will take cruelty on an unprecedented scale to keep their inequality in place.

These formerly “unthinkable” thoughts are now popping up all over the place in print, word and deed. The students on strike in Europe, the Yellow Vests, and the Extinction Rebellion are all examples.

I hinted at these things in The Crash Course, and purposely did not expound upon them because I was trying to gently wake those who were close to waking already. I did not want to scare people back to sleep by drawing the conclusions to the many possible ends. For those with the ability to add and subtract, and to connect dot A to dot B, the implications were clear enough.

A global civilization that is expending 10 or even 20 calories of fossil fuels to grow and deliver a single food calorie, yet has no plans on the books for how it will feed everyone once that source of energy runs down, has a predicament on its hands. The author quoted above takes the next step and connects the dots through history to conclude that we’ll probably just ignore that predicament until we can’t and then be rather unpleasant about it all with each other when the time comes.

He’s got history on his side, and the 11-year old quoted at the top has managed to rightly conclude “they’ve stolen out future!” Indeed, they have.

Sustaining the Unsustainable

I would hazard that about 99% of everything in the mainstream media is dedicated to sustaining the unsustainable, and 100% of everything in the financial “markets” is geared towards the same.

Politicians seem to have a near complete inability to grasp these issues while in office, and a stunning ability to “get it” once they’ve left.

Would it surprise you to learn that most of the financial titans who spend their every waking hour promoting and leveraging the system for their own private gain also have but out plans and escape holes readied?

This idea of sustaining the unsustainable is really so popular that it’s never examined.

I did recently when I observed that if the US Federal Reserve gets its way, and somehow magically manages to create 3% real GDP growth for the next century, what will it have done? Will it have saved us all and delivered to us some awesome future?

Well, if we take the US economy as being $20 trillion now, it will be $385 trillion after 100 years of 3% growth.

That would make the US economy alone nearly 5 times larger than the entire world economy right now. Need we point out again that even 1x current world GDP is killing the planet? Is it not self-evident that it’s not possible for the US alone to be 5x larger than the entire current world economy without destroying everything that even makes having an economy possible (or worth it) in the first place?

Or what if we magically held world population steady from here, but then delivered the equivalent of an Australian standard of loving to everybody? Well, then we’d increase consumption by the planet’s citizens by a factor of more than 20. Oops. Another unworkable idea.

These are very simple thoughts to entertain but let me list for you know every single question of this sort posed by every journalist covering the Federal Reserve’s hearings and press announcement: 0

None. Nada. Zilch.

How is this even possible? How can the most powerful entity in the world, charged with steering the economy to ever larger levels never, not once, be asked a question along the lines of “tell us please, if you are as successful over the next 100 years as you have been over the past 100, what sort of world do your models indicate for us?”

How is this not a legitimate question to ask? Every one of us has an interest in the answer, including every single journalist, but the question is never asked.


Probably because the answer would be too disturbing to the average sensibility (or brain stem)

And yet, the pressure grows. The natural world that sustains us all, the immature space fantasies of Bezos and Musk aside, is the most important thing there is. Destroy that, and all the rest matters not one tiny bit.

Someday, I predict, your choices will narrow down to “join the young” or “become one of them.” Rebel, or suppress the rebellion. This side, or that. Agent of change, or victim of circumstances.

Same as has been true every time throughout human history when the rains did not come, and resource became tight.

Once things have gone too far in one direction, then collapse is in the cards.

~ Chris Martenson

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Back in the middle ages when they entered the “mini-ice age” crops died and people starved. The reaction from many was to blame somebody. Some “person” must be responsible. That’s what started the witch trials. Because humans are essentially anthropocentric, we believe that what we do determines what happens in the universe [ rather than the other way around ].
When we ask the question, “what made the universe”? Our answer is that a very powerful human must have done it. We call him God…he is made in our image or vice versa, doesnt really matter. When things go wrong, the crops dont grow, the rain doesnt stop, we blame ourselves. The giant human in the sky must be mad at us. It’s all our fault…maybe its a witch…or a company…or a president. Lets burn him at the stake to appease the giant sky-man and make the weather change back.
400 years later and the only thing thats changes is the terminology. Still think humans are a self-determinate species?

Hey Xray…good to see you again.
The prognosis for weather across Europe this summer looks like a repeat of last summer; hot, maybe brutally so.

Like any long-range weather forecast, it might be right and it might be wrong. But I’m not finding many that are projecting cooler rather than hotter.
Meanwhile, could be a fluke, but the tornadoes in the US right now and the early arrival of a named Atlantic storm make 2019 to be a promising year for goofy weather.

Exxon predicated almost to a single PPM what CO2 levels would be like 40 yrs ago in 2019.

Let’s not discount that. This time every economy on the planet is tied both globally and are doing the EXACT same stupid things as everyone else. Just look what happened to the markets around the world when Cyprus had their Bank Holiday. Look what happened to the global markets when Greece threatened to default on their IMF bailout loans a few yrs ago.
The planet is ruined with petro-agri chemicals, plastics in the ocean with the soil being turned into a chemical junkie where nothing grows without it. We have been warned repeatedly that continued use of these agri-chemicals will result in a very bad outcome, eventually. Then there’s the bee, birds, ocean, coral reefs and wildlife die-offs just to name a few. Then there’s sea level rise, a changing climate that’s not conducive to supporting billions on this planet.
So count me in the group that in a 100-150 yrs from now it’s quite possible all of this is a permanent game changer unlike anything humans have ever experienced.

In line with Chris’s points above …watch this one hour presentation and question everything.

A couple of months ago my wife and I were passing through the Rutherglen area of Victoria. This is a long-established, prominent wine-producing region in a part of the country known as the Garden State.
At one cellar door we got to chatting to the vineyard owner about the 2018/2019 summer, which in over much of the south-east had been a total scorcher. The south-east of Australia is the nation’s main breadbasket, vitally important.
“Hot? You bet it had been hot!” he told us. “We had ten days in a row over 46° (115F). Unprecedented. The grapevines shut down until it got cooler. We’re lucky to have had a vintage this year. In fact it’s been getting hotter and hotter for years now. We’re planting Portuguese varieties which can handle the heat better than the French ones.”
The climate change deniers simply say that it’s all cyclical, we’ve had more than one horrendous heatwave in the last 200 years, it’s all part of the Australian climate, the rains will return, they always have, in abundance. But were the glaciers melting 200 years ago?
Remember the school strike of only a couple of months ago? We know some nice people who uncritically accept newspaper stories which say that (a) there ain’t no climate change, and (b) other nations are putting lots of carbon into the air so why shouldn’t we? Also, they’re angry about the school strike because to them that sort of behaviour is simply teaching the children to be insolent and rebellious towards their parents and elders. Never mind that lots of parents and elders were in evidence at the strike demo in Sydney. No, the kids should be quiet and submissive, study hard and prepare to become cogs in the wheel (my phrase). Now, isn’t that precisely the attitude of the 0.1% towards the rest of us?

As I am sitting here looking out over Lake Arenal in Northern Costa Rica watching the wind turbines and parrots and other birds/wildlife while reading your article I am reminded of why I am here. I don’t know how to start a revolution back home in the USA but I do know how to plan an alternative. Chris I know you have brought up the idea of a Plan B and look forward to hearing more about a potential gathering spot for some of the tribe at some future point. I have read how some feel this is somehow running away from the problem or not being an appropriate Elder to the young but if you can’t change your home culture you still have the option to move to another culture that might be more in tune with your beliefs (and which might also offer better options for your future progeny). The act of moving is itself a strong statement against the BAU and might spur more change at your home location than simply remaining stationary…its happened many times throughout history and I see no reason this time should be different. I truly hope we can change things back home and haven’t given up hope on that possibility but don’t want to feel powerless to take definitive action regardless of what the Fed, the media and our politicians do going forward.

It must be getting tough for the deniers when “brilliant” minds like these are the only ones still standing. I wonder if this is the same congressman who said that god is a white supremacist and humans coexisted with dinosaurs.
There will still be some growth industries out there to cash in on. Erik Prince will soon blow Jeff Bezos out of the financial water and become the first multi-trillionaire when his 21st century Pinkerton style mercenary army (formerly known as Blackwater) is brought in to globally “maintain the peace.” Those South American death squad troops from the 80’s are probably looking to keep their families well fed and have a little fun on the side. Hell, the drug cartels will blow off the drug peddling when much more money can be made defending the last remaining and privatized sources of clean water. They could even merge with Bechtel.
The real free market has always been the black market. Mercenary armies are just following Monsanto’s example, or is it the other way around.

Right now I’m finding the Travelling Wilburys’ “End of the Line” quite therapeutic. The air of gentle melancholy, perhaps?

The link posted above by MICHAELJAEB was absolutely awesome. Sid Smith is a Ph.D. mathematician and head ov the Virginia Green Party.
I strongly recommend his talk. Chris, you will like this guy. He supports what you have been saying for years and is clear and realistic. We are way into overshoot, complex social structures collapse when energy flows do not sustain them. We are way past the turn around point. We are headed into massive collapse, population reduction, and possibly, will have the option to build a simpler, less complex life in the aftermath.

Here’s a useful analogy: Sitting in a motor car with the windows down, on a lovely sunny day. You feel comfortable, the air is blowing through the car keeping you cool.
Then you wind up the windows. That’s what we have done with greenhouse gasses.
After 10 minutes, you still feel fine. No problems. You may feel a little warmer. That’s where we are now.
But after an hour, it’s become dangerously hot in the car and you can’t stand it anymore, so you wind the windows down.
The difference between someone in a car in the sun, and all of humanity on this planet is that we don’t have a way of “winding down the windows”. We have no viable technology to draw down these warming gasses from the atmosphere. The turnover time of CO2 in the atmosphere is 500-1000 years. The IPCC takes for granted that such a technology will be forthcoming, but we still don’t have it, other than the slow and pretty ineffectual methods of tree planting, carbon sequestration in soils, biochar production and other measures that are like farting against thunder. Eventually we’ll be forced to attempt a geoengineering solution, such as pumping sulphates into the atmosphere to shield us, and that will come with its own potentially disastrous effects, and may not even work.
Catastrophic climate change will not be prevented. It’s already happened. I have stopped worrying about it with the help of an article in The Economist that discusses how we can apply a “discount rate” to the value of the future, depending on how much more important we deem the present to be. Read it.
I have one son, almost middle aged himself, and he is determined to have no offspring, so we really can ramp up the discount rate! 100% is where I’m setting it. Yes, we’ll take down some other species but Nature is fecund and in a billion years the place will be humming with life again.
If I had grandchildren, I’d be forced to see things differently. I was listening to a Radio Ecoshock podcast in which one person described buying a mango, itself transported long distances to the point of sale, then another chimed in about driving the mango home in an SUV, then putting the mango into a fridge, and how all this was pretty unsustainable. It struck me then that yes, it IS unsustainable, but it’s a very pleasant way of life, one to which we have all become accustomed, and the alternatives will be nasty. I live on 4 fertile acres and let me tell you, growing your own food is no picnic. One bad weather event and the crop is gone. If we stop transporting food over long distances, if we stop refrigeration, if we abandon vehicular transport, and so on, life will go back to a time when living was brutish, hard and very arduous.
It would be much, much easier for the whole of society to agree that we are living unsustainably, to agree to continue living in this very agreeable way until we — the current living generation — all die, but also to agree that people should simply stop breeding.
I see no great trauma in the loss of our species.
No matter what we do, our goose is cooked. At 500 parts per million1 of equivalent carbon dioxide concentration, enough greenhouse gases are currently in the atmosphere to ultimately warm the planet 4-5°C above 1700s temperatures, raise the sea level by 67 meters (based on past longer-term paleoclimate change response), remove significant amounts of soil moisture, leading to the destruction of agriculture. And this is without any other carbon releases or feedbacks.
It’s just a matter of time now. There’s enough GHGs out there to make living on Earth quite horrible for our descendants, so let’s simply agree that to have to live in this much hotter world, and simultaneously to be forced to give up so much of what makes life tolerable and comfortable, is simply unacceptable, and decide that our collective time on the planet is over. If we have no children, our species’ end is not personally sad. Children would gradually become more and more rare, is all.
I have a feeling that this is going to happen, one way or another, with or without general agreement, no matter what. I and my son have made this decision already, and from casual discussions I’ve had online, several other people admitted that they too were following that plan, although more unconsciously. It’s simple logic in some ways. Food for thought.

Hi all. Some of you old timers may remember me.
Some years ago, I began devoting more of my attention and effort in Reddit’s /r/Collapse community, under a different alias. And about a couple of years ago, I moved on to Facebook’s Near Term Human Extinction Support Group.
i still come back here from time to time. This time I logged in to comment on Chris’ post.
I believe it is too late to stop the inevitable, as we are 7.7 billion people who all cause pollution, carbon emissions, and environmental devastation with every activity from driving to electricity use to taking a shower to eating and use of toilet paper. Current carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere correlate geologically with over 100 feet of sea level rise. We are just waiting for the ice to melt, as weather extremes continue to pick up. In addition, we have peak cheap oil, the sixth mass species extinction ongoing, and ocean phytoplankton die-off and deforestation has led to the loss of about half what we had even 40 years ago - a major problem for us oxygen-breathers.
Now is the time for bucket lists and coming to terms, before the truth become more evident and chaos begins to consume civilization.

after reading “the bitcoin standard” by saifedean ammous, i believe the biggest impediment to climate change is the fiat money system, which fuels big indecisive beauracracies and indecision. heres something i blogged on an australian website:
John Maynard Keynes was born into privilege, never studied economics, never did real work and visited child prostitutes.(“The Bitcoin Standard” – by Saifedean Ammous p 95)
In Australia we have an immigration policies built around consumption and Keynesian economics. From here on If we want a modern economy of some sort then we have to recognize that our lives are constructed around fossil fuel on a granular level. it’s in every aspect of our lives: what we live in, what we are clothed in, what we eat, what we drive; and the main way to reduce carbon emissions is to reduce population and stop digging up fossil fuels. Based on our use of fossil fuel, Australia is way, way, way overpopulated NOW. Big government and massive mal-investments caused by the fiat money system are in the way of us actually getting things done. We need to abandon Keynes and return to The Classical Gold Standard or the Bitcoin standard and have a net population decrement policy. Under a hard money standard big government and mal-investments will quickly melt away (the money once created out of thin air would not be there). (and maybe we might get the right people in government – engineers, physicists, biologists etc) The jobs market will quickly adjust. The Australian economy could be physically a lot smaller if we operated it using the correct money standard, a hard money standard. The Australian media and education system is shocking.
Did you know that the biggest market in the world is the foreign exchange markets?; at around 1860 trillion dollars/year this amounts to 25 X more than actual global gdp?(global gdp 2016=75Trillion, “The Bitcoin Standard”- by Saifedean Ammous p 130).(Really think about these numbers). Do you realize that the foreign exchange market would be virtually non-existent under an international gold standard or a hard money standard of some type? Think of all the resources that would be saved or that could be directed into battling climate change. Because Australians are being taught the wrong economics (Keynesianism) instead of classical economics we are not even beginning our debates in the right place. We need to freeze immigration overnight.
We need to develop a nuclear power industry. It is much safer now.
There is another thing we need to look at: what was the economic model of the Australian aborigines?. Their culture survived the longest….
Where are you “4corners”, where are you “Insight”, where are you “the drum”, where are you “the project”, where are you “60 minutes”, where are you “the labor party”, where are you “the liberal party”. you need to take the courage to ask the right questions, the questions that only a minority are asking, the questions that seem a bit esoteric, the questions that are not in fashion. The money system we are in shortens our time horizons and works against long term thinking and planning. you see it in our politics, you see it in our culture. the most momentous changes in the history occurred between 1870 and 1913, when most of the world was on the gold standard.
All roads lead back to the fiat money system. Broken pension plans. Broken countries. Broken trade. Broken people. malinvestments. Even climate change.
End the fed. End the Ecb. End the boj. End the pboc. End the Boe. End the Snb . End the rba
Bring back the classical gold standard

People need to unite, restore democracy, and overwhelm entrenched interests. The way this happens is using social media.
Create an Earth badge to place on people’s profile picture in exchange for $3/mo donated to a climate change PAC. It will spread virally, and once we hit 2.5 million people, the PAC would have more lobbying money than the defense and healthcare industry combined. That PAC (representing the people [of Earth, not just the US]) then hires lobbyists and dismantles campaign finance rules by overwhelming it.
Climate change solved. Democracy restored.
Somebody get to work on this and save the planet already. Setting up a PAC and website costs like $1500 in legal fees and maybe 30 hours of a millennial’s time. Message me if you need more details.
Idea is free. Go do it.

At the 23 minute mark he makes the analogy of a gallon of gas being used to propel a car and then having that car pushed back to its starting point using human labor.
Seems familiar…
I always enjoy knowing that the messages in the Crash Course found their landing spots and continue to ripple outwards.

Hearing your ideas and metaphors circulating in other settings is the indicator that your seed planting was effective! A deep recognition of the value of your intelligence, synthesis and presentation skills.

We’ve just read this nail-on-the-head Martenson blogpost which was very dark. And then I get to your very optimistic post, Macro. On the one hand, we need at least a small amount of optimism about things, enough to try and I seriously thank you for trying. While I’m not sure that your idea won’t work, your comment fails because you’re saying hey, I have this great idea, somebody do the legwork on it. If we’re going to slow the earth-dying process, it will be done with people leading by example, doing the legwork themselves, not just telling others “Hey, you should pursue my idea.”
On the old Chris Martenson website there was a prominent “What Should I Do” series where you could get practical ideas about bread-and-butter kinds of things. If there is anything about Peak Prosperity that can be both honest and optimistic right now it would be those kinds of things. You want to focus on grander goals? Restore real democracy to the USA? I won’t stop you from trying. But the powers that be - BAU - is very powerful and they don’t want us to quit our roles as consumers.

Glad to see you back Poet. Ten years ago when I came across Chris’ work it very much resonated with me. I have been a daily reader since although I do not post very much.
For me, the answer to the question “When did you know?” is 1971. I was studying architecture at Cal Poly Univ. in San Luis Obispo, Ca. I had a very progressive 5th year design instructor named Don Koberg who referred our class to M. King Hubberts’ paper on peak oil. His question to the class was “How do you anticipate this information will impact your career as an architect?” His broader message was to challenge the class to “design your own future” using the tools you have and create your vision of the future. “Why not design your life? Why not design your future?”
This was all very inspiring to me and as a result I decided to focus my career on energy efficient and more broadly sustainable design principles. Needless to say, back then I thought that things would turn out very differently than they have. And I have built a career around designing and building solar and energy efficient structures which continues to this day. It’s like being permanently retired and doing what I have always wanted. (That is on good days which are the usual but running a small business and being the govt’s police force for finance has its moments!)
When Chris published the Crash Course, I took the data and presented it locally to a very accepting audience and had good success in getting the message out. After all, the next ten years will be nothing like the past! True enough! But again, my hopes for change fell far short of the reality and an evolution of mindset similar to that of the 70s seemed to recur. People had great hopes for change and when the expected change failed to materialize, that hope could not sustain the actions needed to really deliver the product on a daily actions basis.
So the answer to the second question “What did you do about it?” can best be answered by ‘Keepin’ on despite the problem that I can’t go on’. One of the problems I have is in dealing with the ‘talking about the issues’ vs. the actual doingness of creating the world we want to inherit. That tends to prevent me from spending time posting.
But my reality is that in this day of instant global communication I think we have an opportunity to make more of a difference than ever before and participating in it is also vital. So I wanted to say I’m glad to see you back!