Stabilizing Strategies for a Wobbly World


 The Future Analysis Branch (FAB) of the German Ministry of Defense has researched and published a landmark report of interest to everyone concerned with food production and consumption. That's all of us.

The report -- Peak Oil: Security Policy Implications of Scarce Resource -- has just been translated into English. For realists, the report is worthwhile reading.

FAB's report explores a host of crucial matters: food and water, consumerism, economics, climate change, social stability, and  so forth. It's written from a vantage based on the reality of the modern world's absolute dependency on precious, profoundly polluting oil. In that context, the report addresses the potential meltdown of social order and municipal services as oil becomes less and less available, more and more costly -- a process now well underway.

In addition to delineating the looming dangers -- including the very real threat to the industrial agricultural system which feeds the modern world but is totally dependent on cheap, abundant oil -- the report acknowledges possible, positive proactive measures that communities can and should undertake.

Of interest, the FAB report quotes from another landmark report, the 2009 Task Force recommendations to the city of Bloomington, Indiana -- Redefining Prosperity: Energy Descent and Community Resilience. That report outlines the utter vulnerability of a typical American community to the ongoing hike in oil cost. It also proposes numerous mitigation strategies -- ways to move toward stability in our increasing wobbly world, wherein economics and environment are wildly whirling.

The Bloomington report is premised on the reality that oil infuses just about every aspect of our lives. We rely on cheap oil for necessities such as transportation, electricity, and food production and distribution. The whole of industrial agriculture is built on a foundation of increasingly scare oil - a glaring vulnerability.

Steven McFadden_1
9/25/2011 10:48:13 AM

Hi Dave - No, I do not give in to discouragement. I've been writing about food and farms and community for almost 40 years. I have seen the slow, steady growth of a clean, sustainable system that -- while small and fragile -- can serve as an effective model for the necessary transition that is upon us as oil prices rise, and the health of the environment decline. We have the opportunity - still - to act with wisdom on a mass level. Anything I -- or the thousands of other people who hold the vision -- can do, is worthwhile. Thank you for all that you do along with all the other insightful writers with us here on Grit.

Nebraska Dave
9/25/2011 9:53:31 AM

Steven, Everyone knows about the oil dilemma that looms on horizon. They just don't want to think about or do anything about it until they absolutely have to change. Those prophets crying in the wilderness like yourself must get discouraged at times that very few listen and take to heart to coming oil crisis which will result in a food crisis. Not only is the oil used for energy but almost every kind of plastic has some degree of oil in it. All Styrofoam fast food boxes that go from housing food to being tossed in the trash in minutes are an oil product. Thanks again Steven for being the watch dog for the world food crisis situations.

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