My goal isn’t to come up with new solutions to humanity’s converging crises—because until we have sufficient wisdom, we won’t recognize real solutions, even if they already exist. First wisdom, then action.
We’re currently on a pathway to collapse, but the future doesn’t have to be bleak. We can develop communities where we take care of one another and the ecosystems we inhabit.
We can still choose our path forward, we can still sacrifice for what we value. But to do so we must recognize the power we possess, build on it in community with others, and acknowledge the ways in which we wield it.
But what if our voracious appetite is less to blame than the types of things that hunger has been directed toward? Could we direct our attention instead toward beauty, tenderness, and collective action?
Improve your energy literacy with stories about pushing motor vehicles, enduring blackouts, and growing $10 tomatoes, and take a tour of history that visits ancient China, industrializing Britain, the Great Depression, the Cold War, and the Green Revolution.
Richard Heinberg explores the development of social power – simply defined as the ability to get other people to do something.
As people learned to wield fire, deploy an array of tools, and coordinate actions through increasingly descriptive language, they became more capable of concentrating power.
To understand humanity’s relationship with energy and power, and to get a handle on why we’re experiencing a polycrisis of climate change, social inequality, and loss of biodiversity, you have to go back to the beginning – all the way back to the origins of life on Earth.
If we want to address this problem and reduce the chances of a chaotic collapse of society, we will have to confront our overuse and abuse of power.