Thursday, December 15, 2011

Beyond Fuels 6: Four Paths

So we've gotten our tools together, flexed our muscles, and looked at some of what may lie ahead. Now where do we go?

The truth is no one knows. I like the book title (about the Mondragon cooperatives) "We Build the Road as We Travel." Still, a number of people have attempted to provide roadmaps.

In the next few posts I want to look at some pathways that we could take as we move beyond fuels. The four routes that I want to look at are far from identical. Yet I think that looking at what they have in common, as well as where they differ can help us think about the road ahead of us. One of the authors of the four books I will profile (John Michael Greer) talks about 'dissensus', the idea that in a situation (such as what we are facing) where none of what might happen is clear or predictable, the more divergent options we pursue (collectively), the more chance that one or another will work. More important, what works in one place may not at all be what works in another.

With that in mind, let's look at four different views of where we may (or should) be going as we move beyond fuels. After I cover them, I'll write a post on my thoughts about why, in spite of their divergences, I think each of these maps of the future is useful. If nothing else, they provide a good starting place for thinking of directions and preparations we will need as the age of fossil (and nuclear) fuels comes to an end.

Quote of the Day: "...the human sense of what satisfies, the human sense of ultimacy, requires what Rosemary Ruether called 'the conversion to the earth'. ... It will only be powerful enough to save the time and space which that future can unfold if our work on collective structure taps the energy at once of judgement and of hope. ...
"At this point calls to conversion and sacrifice only have a chance of being heard if they are inscribed with the language of desire. Desire not just for the sake of an abstract future, but because a new community already begins to form in the practice of ecojustice. That is, to sort through our garbage, to make choices based on awareness of the sinister and/or beautiful web of connections of our food to our weather to our starving and tortured fellow humans to women's bodies and the homeless ... this multi-dimensional work of recycling releases new ways of being together, a new sense of common goal, of being on the edge together, of consoling and delighting each other in our edginess. We find together the spiritual practices which allow us to ground, quite literally, in our bodies and our earth, the anxieties of the unknown future. ... We are here to claim, to defend and to renew our earth home, the inhabited whole." - Catherine Keller

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