The Triple Crisis of Civilization

Action on a National Level


The suggestions in the “Personal Action” section can only lead to survival if they are integrated with a national master plan and all citizens contribute equitably to the common goal. This concept is contrary to the tradition of individual freedom and genetically-hardwired human tendency for acquisition, population growth, personal pleasure, competitive or economic success, and aggressive resource consumption regardless of long-term consequences or negative effects on others. We need leadership that reflects the long term interests of every citizen. Earlier civilizations failed to accept these rules otherwise they would be here now.

1. Commit all possible attention. Our energy adaptation in the next decades (not centuries) is more important than terrorism, epidemics, social security, health care, space exploration, military spending, or any other national program. In most of these cases, these other issues are interactive with fossil-energy depletion (peak oil), population growth, and ecological devastation. We need a “Manhattan Project” to address the triple-crisis and define timely solutions.

2. Immediate rationing of all fossil energy. Leaving supply and demand to inflationary market-forces is devastating to the poor and does not control consumption by the wealthy. With rationing, we can equitably buy time to transition to a sustainable modern economy. Decreasing consumption to control energy cost on a predictable basis (a Depletion Protocol or Five Percent Per Year Reduction Plan as some have suggested) is our best hope.

3. Implement massive education at all levels to raise public awareness of the seriousness and perils of the triple-crisis including the need for urgency to act before it is too late. The warnings are everywhere. We need as much time as possible if there is any hope for mitigation to a soft landing. A convincing argument is especially needed to control population.

4. Subsidize development and transition to truly sustainable renewable energies long before they can compete on even footing with residual fossil fuels. Focus on legitimate long-range goals such as solar-panel and battery manufacturing instead of accelerating heroic efforts to find and consume the last remaining fossil fuels...our children’s inheritance.

5. Define and support population relocation from unsustainable, energy-dependent, food deficient megalopolis centers to self-sufficient low-energy communities.

6. Support revitalization of the family-farm system so that it can supply all citizens as the fossil-energy, artificial-support system winds down. These family farms will be an integral part of the low-energy community.

7. Begin the definition and long transition of our transportation system from an immensely wasteful, petroleum-based “petro-insanity” to a very-efficient, short-distance, sustainable network. Ultimately, our transportation needs will have to be fueled only by renewable electricity sources.

8. Re-establish our national security effort at our borders. Control immigration to insure negative population growth. This will become more apparent if we, as a nation, are successful on a survival path and the rest of the world does not follow.

    We will have to reduce our military presence throughout the world as much lower energy availability leads to reduced globalization. The best way to answer these issues is to consider our future bargaining power without fossil energy. Whether we like it or not, we will no longer have the means to support military activity throughout the world. We will have to draw the line somewhere, better at our borders than trying to defend our states, communities, or homes.