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Could We Go Back to the 1950s, Please?

Could We Go Back to the 1950s, Please?

On radical acceptance and energy cannibalism

Saying sorry might not work this time. Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

How come that we always end up discussing how to do what we do differently — like how to become sustainable, or how fast should we “transition” to “renewables” etc. — and never ever if we should abandon this model of a civilization altogether? What would it take to leave behind the concept of an industrial society and start with a clean slate…? I get that we need continuity. I also get, that abandoning what has “worked” so far is risky, and will inevitably lead to losses (and often to quite significant ones). I also get, that there is a certain sense of nostalgia, driven by the notion that if we could somehow go back to the consumption levels of the 1950’s, everything would be fine again. But would that really help, or just prolong decline somewhat?

Deep inside, most of us know already that there is no going back. In order to forge a realistic vision of the future we cannot rely on nostalgia. We need to better understand reality, and know what is possible and what is not — even if it leads us to conclude that this civilization cannot go on for much too long. I know that this is a bitter pill to swallow… Imagining a future which sounds nice and acceptable, but that which is physically unattainable in the end, might ease the anxiety for a while, but it will also prevent us from working towards a realistic vision.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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