Hajatelmia Ajatuksia joissa on tolkkua.

Tulevaisuudesta på engelska / Pojat, me ollaan kusessa!

Kirjoitus on alunperin muualta, eikä blogipostaus siksi lontoon murre ja hiukan outo rakenne. Kantavana ajatuksena on maalata monen osatekijän keissi sille miksi nykymeno on kestämätöntä. Ruoka on se pääasia, ihmiskeskeisempi, paikallisempi kulttuuri ja suurempi yksilönvapaus mukavia sivuvaikutuksia.


Well, the long story short is essentially this: Everything runs on oil. We won't have oil much longer, replacement energy is difficult because everything runs on oil and the replacement sources just don't offer as much EROEI (Energy Return On Energy Invested). Bioethanol and tar sands oil, for example, have a miserable EROEI hovering near one, and being a net energy loss in some cases.
In the early days oil had an EROEI of something like 100 to 1, now it's hovering near 10 because it's more difficult to extract. Our civilization requires something like an EROEI of 7 to stay afloat, give or take. So we're in very, very big trouble. Alternative solutions do help to an extent but they're dependant on rare earths that come from a single mine in China, plus otherwise far more suited to easing individual lives than anything of industrial scale. The key idea here is that of the solar budget - how much energy can we realistically harness, and what kind of lifestyle is possible off that amount, because the way we're currently living is essentially swiping the credit card without any way of paying back.

Stack on top of that the fact that our agriculture now runs on oil, and that agriculture itself, even low-tech agriculture, is ultimately destructive to the soil. It literally slowly turns healthy, vibrant, self-sustaining ecosystems into deserts and people (who then have no food). Irrigation makes things worse because it turns the desert into a salt desert, and then things get really funny. Not.

And I haven't even gotten into transportation yet, or how our globalized society is heavily overnetworked.
An example of a lightly networked system would be some neighbouring small villages in the past, for example. Each could survive rather well on it's own, but the connections and trade meant some benefits to each village. Also, the network helps dampen shocks, such as a village that had a poor year could probably get some help from it's neighbours so it could survive instead of dying. Not the most efficient solution in the world, but surely a very stable one.
Our current society is a far cry from that. The nodes (whether they are individuals, families or companies) are heavily networked, and need the network to live. Thus, when one node fails, it causes failure in other nodes, which then bring trouble elsewhere... and this thing is worldwide. A heavy network is very efficient, but instead of helping to deal with shock, it spreads and amplifies it.
So, shocks all over the place, big bad structural shocks that big money is trying to make worse. Some advocate nuclear plants as a green source of energy, yet there's precious few, if any, complete final storage shelters. Will those temporary storage pools stay operated if something goes wrong?

So, I think I've painted enough of a picture, and it sure isn't very rosy. But what can be done?

The first one of potential solutions - the one favoured many people encouraging optimism and telling me and my ilk that we are grumpy - is a technological miracle happening and allowing us to turn into space locusts (a fancy way of saying go to Mars and the Moon and stuff) which would allow us more resources to build stuff and the like. It is just pretty unlikely, because social complexity (that is, organized specialization and order) has a net energy cost. What were we running out of again? Yep, net energy.
Furthermore, while complexity in some sense makes things possible and easier for the individual, it eventually starts suffering from diminishing returns. Where this is relevant is science. Bigger and bigger teams and better equipment for ever less useful applications. More and more cost for less and less usable return. Furthermore, even if we managed to solve some of the transportartion issues among other things, we still have the food production problem to think about. That's not something easily solved by technology, and the known solution involves heavy decentralization which means more people living off the land, and thus more difficulty in manufacturing all that super fancy equipment needed to implement the high-tech solutions.
So forgive me for being skeptical of what the techno believer people say.

The solution I think is the best and at the very least most realistic is something called permaculture. It is something that is perhaps most succinctly defined as a design principle where you likely grow your own food, and do it by imitating what occurs naturally. In other words, you work with nature instead of against it. This makes a ton of sense - I mean, at the most simplistic level, a farm field requires astronomical amounts of work - human or machine - to sustain, and needs fertilizers to keep anything growing in there because you are constantly sucking all the nutrients off the land. Then you have problems like erosion because of a lack of perennical roots to hold the earth in place. The monocultures also attract pests which begets pesticides which kill the pollinating bees... You get the point. Lots of work, eventual destruction of the land giving you life, poor eating. Why do it?

In contrast, barring human intervention, a forest can stay up for hundreds and hundreds of years yes? All the while building good, fertile soil and avoiding a lot of those aforementioned pitfalls because there's roots of many levels keeping the ground in place, what one plant sweats away, another catches. Single pest species don't have enough food to survive, plus their predators are there. So, to drive the point home in the most simple way possible: What if we planted a forest? It has most all of the good sides of a normal forest, like eventually requiring rather little human input to stay functioning, and with many things growing at different rates, there's no massive harvest season moment either. The gist here is that because we planted it, we can ensure it has lots of things that humans can eat. It's a method thoroughly unsuited for industrial operation because it's quite hostile to machines and produces just a little bit of everything, but pretty perfect for small-scale operation - perhaps even mere subsistence farming - requiring little work per day and providing better food. And it works within the solar budget.

So, a simpler, more local, but still humane life with a good bunch of free time? Doesn't sound too bad to me. The more local nature of life also removes a lot of the need for heavy administration and would probably be much more free than the one we now live. Such gardens incidentally also take a lot of time to set up, so a gardening society likely isn't one of conquerors, whereas a farming one is. The best part of this all is that it's a highly individualist thing. You don't need some events of cosmic scale to happen to do it, you don't need high technology. Anyone can do it if they just have some land and are willing to work.

So, that's the highlights, I guess. Recommended reading/videos by folks like Sepp Holzer, Bill Mollison, David Holmgren, Geoff Lawton, Masanobu Fukuoka and maaaany others. I know of a family who grow fish and veggies in their swimming pool, another who lived in a city, nuked their Amerikan Lawn and turned it into a veggie garden. They now grow themselves nearly all they eat during the summer. So, yeah. Watch the videos when you can. It takes long, but it's Good For You ( (tm) some Swedish nutcases who like destroying kitchens).

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NäytäPiilota kommentit (4 kommenttia)

Lauri Niemi


80 minsaa matikan luentoja vanhan proffan pitämänä. Paras matikan luento ikinä:

Hiukkasen puhetta energiasta:

Miksi sanoin yllä että teknoihme on utopistinen:

Hiukka pohdintaa siitä onko se viljapelto sittenkään hyvä juttu. Päätelmä: Ei ole, maanviljelys aavikoi ekosysteemejä.

Sitten siitä ratkaisusta:
Sepp Holzer aka Euroopan Nerokkain Mies (jos allerkirjoittaneelta kysytään). Ukko onnistuu kasvattamaan sitruunoita 1,5 kilsan korkeudessa Alpeilla ilman kasvihuonetta tahi lannoitteita.

Geoff Lawton esittelee menetelmiä aavikoitumisen kääntämiseksi Kuolleenmeren lähellä Jordaniassa:

Viimeisenä hupaisana huomiona: Oletteko panneet merkille nykyään aika yleiset luonnonmullistukset ja muutenkin oudon sään? Kaikkialla hutkitaan metsiä matalaksi minkä ehitään. Liittyy asiaan sikäli että metsillä on vakauttava vaikutus lähi-ilmastoonsa hiukkasen samaan tapaan kuin merellä mikäli olen oikein käsittänyt. Auttavat myös pitämään kosteuden paikallaan (metsästä nousee ilmaan haihtuneen veden lisäksi bakteereja joiden ympärille se vesi tiivistyy ja sataa takaisin metsään)
Pelkkää arvailua, muttei yllättäisi alkuunkaan.

Jukka Mäkinen

Aika läjäys näin yhdeksi blogiksi. Olisi ehkä ollut järkevämpää jakaa se useaan pienempään osaan, muutaman päivän välein.

Jukka Mäkinen

Meillä on parikin palstaa permakulttuurilla. :)
Ylimpänä kookospalmut, sitten kaakaopuut tai neilikkaa niitten varjosa, ja alimpana pippuria, vaniljaa ja lehmille rikkaruohoja.

Lauri Niemi

Kuulostaa aikas messevältä. Missäs päin maailmaa noita kasvatatatte? Ei taida toimia näilläleveysasteilla ihan Holzerinkaan velhouksilla.

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