Friday, October 7


So as I've been following the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the OccupyTogether phenomenon that has blossomed as a result, I have noticed a lot of those that I thought would fully support this movement are standing at arm's length. James Howard Kunstler surprised me with his support on Monday. I had wondered all weekend what his bloggular reaction would be. But then I have been further surprised by Michael Ruppert's oddly off-putting remarks.

The ray of light in all of this is Richard Heinberg's MEMO TO THE #OCCCUPY MOVEMENT (A Post Growth Economy). Heinberg is one of the best thinkers in the peak oil, post carbon transition realm and his voice is solid and articulate.

The gist of his message is this:

But when our discussion turns to replacing the current system, we’ve got to embrace a bigger view of reality than the one held by stock traders and politicians. It's not just our wealth they want to control, it's our vision for what is both possible and necessary. We need a post-growth economy that works both for people (all of them) and for the rest of nature: a localized economy based on renewable resources harvested at nature’s rates of replenishment, not a fossil-fueled global economy driven by the imperative of ever-higher returns on investment.

And I think Heinberg has it right. This movement is gaining steam every hour. Young people (I say young because this movement is overwhelmingly powered by youth, but there are many of ALL generations involved) have reason and a right to be angry about the future. For years people have been saying: "We need to make these changes for our children" on both sides of the argument, both for and against growth. Well, these are our children.

Alas, I am old enough to have a twenty year old child. In fact, a few people I went to high school with do have twentysomethings running around the old homestead these days.

Anyway, these are the children of America. They're the ones we've been fighting for, either to build evergrowing wealth or make a sustainble world. And believe me, your on one side of that coin or the other. You can't truly be for both. And we've failed them, our heirs. And they know it. And the bill has finally come due.

So those in the Transistion Movement who are also criticizing these OWSers (to steal Kunstler's term, though I believe he is NOT criticizing them) for lacking focus, for not knowing why they're protesting...THEY NEED YOU! They need those with a clear focus and agenda who are fed up, who want to make a change. They WANT us all involved.

Do those who have had their human rights violated by evil regimes need to fully understand international law to know they've been oppressed? Do they need to be able to articulate their concerns to have a reason and right to fight back?

The Occupy movement is made up of many who understand the rules of the game and who want to change them. But I daresay the mass of them only know they have been treated unjustly and they want to change things. They may not understand why. They may not have the solutions (neither do our leaders!!!) but that does not negate their right to express outrage, frustration and dissent. They want solutions and I believe they will find them. And what better opportunity that the present moment to get the word out about Peak Oil and the coming post-carbon age? It's all tied up in a big messy bundle.

Our financial woes are fundamentally a part of our energy crisis. So many have said, I'VE said, we are not in an economic crisis, we're in an ENERGY crisis. I just said our leaders don't have solutions, but some actually do understand and do have viable solutions. They just can't implement them now because the system is against that kind of thinking. Growth is all that matters, and Growth is the cancer that's killing us.

I think most of the protestors would embrace Transition and its ideals. I think many of them are ready to make big changes in protest of the current system and in place of the current system. Many of them already are whether they understand Transition or not.

It would be a disservice to our children for those that understand the game best to stand back and watch them fail without stepping in and guiding the discussion toward the source of the problems we face today. I think Richard Heinberg has done this. Many, many more need to do so as well.

WE are the 99%

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