We are not the
only species that
Accept the conclusion that our western industrial lifestyle is in terminal decline as depleting natural resources and a seriously degraded biosphere can’t support 8B people. Realize that all current mainstream plans, like massive electrification, are insufficient, unscaleable, and unsustainable. Unjustified optimism is counterproductive.
Slow down and delay the worst resource shortages. “Soften the landing” into a future with vastly fewer natural resources, people, fossil fuel energy, technology, and globalism. Governments should now focus on strategies to mitigate the consequences of our earlier failure to address root causes.
Move away from “rugged individualism” and competitiveness and explore more collaborative, community-oriented models that value a contribution to the common good more than individual success and wealth accumulation. Strive for a deep understanding and appreciation of Earth’s biosphere - where we are only one species in a co-dependent web of life.
Although individual conservation won’t alter the decline trajectory - only large-scale collective action can produce meaningful change - it can provide a model of a more sustainable culture for future generations. It might also improve one’s self-esteem.
Reject the “promise of technology” delusion. Focus on historically proven lifestyle models for sustainability and stewardship of Earth’s biosphere. Limit family size, consume resources responsibly, nurture your local community, and care for all the other lifeforms on the planet.
The preceding slides are a reminder that our industrial lifestyle strongly contributes to Global Warming and other insults to our planet. Riding a bicycle for both running errands and recreation is a simple way to reduce a person's eco-footprint. Plus, cycling is both fun and healthy.
Commuting to work-school, running errands, social visits, etc. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a place with a safe cycling infrastructure, then think about how you can use it instead of driving a car.
A healthy, eco-friendly, and gregarious way to enjoy family and friends. If possible, invest in quality bikes-trikes as they will be far more comfortable, efficient, and durable than basic bikes. Learn bike maintenance to prevent breakdowns while riding. Join a bike club and support bicycle advocacy organizations.
Using a bicycle for activities like commuting and shopping, in addition to exercise and recreation, is a major step on the path to “adapting”. If you have physical or endurance limitations, then consider options like a recumbent bike, modern trike, or a two person tandem, all have electric-assist options. There are also enclosed trikes (some with solar-powered assist) - Elf Vehicle
Using a bike, trike, or Elf for everyday transportation needs can initiate a chain reaction of constructive practices for adapting: less fossil fuel, less car use, better health, etc. It can start an entirely different lifestyle for many people.
However, do NOT compromise your safety by cycling on roads without bike lanes unless you’re already an experienced biker with a deep understanding of how to survive in traffic. If your community does not have safe conditions, then use your time and energy to lobby for bicycle infrastructure.
League of American Bicyclists committed to create safer roads, stronger communities and a Bicycle Friendly America
It appears that humanity and the biosphere of our planet are at an inflection point. We are transitioning from a period of relative resource abundance and technological expansion into an era of declining resources and failing technologies. The probability that future generations will enjoy the comfort and convenience of today’s western industrial civilization is very low.
Most likely, people alive today will experience a significant decline in their material standard of living over the next few decades. This isn’t to say that the overall quality of life must necessarily decline. The main contention of this website is that knowledgeable people can adapt to this transition.
However, hoping for some plan or technology to reverse the decline is not part of this “adapting” idea. For readers who are optimistic about “solutions”, and wish to focus their energy in that direction, perhaps they can still find a few useful ideas here.