During a lesson in permaculture, one of the instructor did a talk about where is our society headed. I’m not sure why, but it really caught my attention. He drew a graph showing four directions society might go in the future. The idea was that society is headed on a certain path that would eventually lead to running out of materials here on earth to use. I’m not saying this will happen soon, but eventually it has to happen. We can follow the path in four possible directions. The four paths were: Sci Fi, Green Technology, Transition, or collapse.
The Sci fi option was that we used up earth, but were able to build space ships and travel to other plants and live there. This would obviously mean that science would need to progress a great deal before we ran out. I’m not sure I think we will get that far in technology before we use up everything available here.
Green technology would be where we created enough new energy saving, earth saving supplies before we ever ran out. Things like solar and wind were a few of the mentions made. This seems more likely to me, but may still be a little far fetched. For this to work, solar panels would have to be available to everyone, not just those who can afford them. I know there are ways to build them yourself, but I don’t know that many people who would be willing to try.
Transition is just that. We change our ways overall to adapt to our new needs. This would mean something more along the lines of having some solar panels, but also drastically decreasing energy usage. Everyone learning to provide for themselves, and I don’t mean money. It would be living in an entirely different way than we are now. Likely fewer smart phones.
The last is collapse. I think this is fairly self explanatory. Grim and bleak. Lots of shooting and robbing. Definitely no smart phones. I don’t care for this one at all.
Transition is clearly my favorite. I believe it is the most realistic option there is. This is a part of why people choose to go back to the land. I don’t think society is going to collapse tomorrow, or anytime soon for that matter. I do believe that things have to change eventually, and what better time than now. I believe that permaculture is this kind of change. If my family learns these skills and can live off the land ten generations before the emptying of our energy suppliers, then they will be that much better off. And if the energy runs out ten years from now, I will be doing alright then too.
This is not me being a doomsday prepper either by the way. It is just sitting back and looking around at what is in front of us. We can’t possibly carry on quite like this forever. There are other reasons why I choose to live out in the woods, but this isn’t one that is too far fetched.