Building resilience….

….in an era of limits to growth.

I didn’t get to see Nicole Foss and David Holmgren on their recent tour of Australia. For those not in the loop, Nicole Foss is a Canadian finance and energy analyst who has been touring the world in recent years trying to wake people up to the impending financial collapse and energy decline (aka peak oil). She is co-founder of the blog The Automatic Earth, although has been too busy to write much there now.

David Holmgren is, of course, the co-originator of permaculture.

Anyway….I just caught up with a radio broadcast of one of her talks in this country. I’ve downloaded and saved it to listen to, over and over.  The financial system is so complex that I need multiple listens to get it all straightened out in my head.

Find a quiet spot and have a listen. You’ll need the best part of an hour for it.

6 Responses to “Building resilience….”

  1. notsomethingelse Says:

    I downloaded that talk too, and agree it is well worth the time to hear it.

    Nicole was said to have moved herself to the Atamai Eco-village in New Zealand recently, basically as an advisory guest: Her editorial partner Ilargi has move back to his native Holland and The Automatic Earth is said to be on the verge of bankruptcy. It would be a real shame to see such a fine independent voice from the world of finance and peak-oil, as TAE is, go under especially at this particuar point in time.

    I can understand why they would both want to leave Canada, which is intent on self-destruction through greed, much like the way Australia intends to head, and New Zealand is a particularly nice part of the world but as the havoc wreaked by climate change intensifies, it may not be the safest place to be. Although there probably aren’t many places anywhere that will be safe.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      I haven’t been reading TAE of late, so was surprised to see it’s in trouble, but at least they’ve woken up a significant number of people who were previously asleep, and that’s a bonus.

      If there are any safe places to be, by the time we’ve realised where they are, it will be too late to go there (unless you count Tasmania).


  2. Chris Says:

    I’ve listened to a bit of what Nicole Foss and David Holmgren have to offer in terms of collapse after peak oil. I also listen to other less mainstream approaches, like The Arch Druid.

    I found if I take it all too seriously though, it can get a bit depressing because if it was simply a matter of choosing to opt out, most people would. The COST to opt out of the mainstream however, is actually more expensive.

    Foss, Holmgren and the Druid all call to change the way we live rather drastically, rather than wait for collapse to make us. I agree with that as the focal point, but it’s not possible to go to the extremes they all have, not for all of us at least.

    Foss was able to move to New Zealand, because converting their Canadian Dollars to New Zealand ones would’ve made them more wealthy. They can do more to opt out of the mainstream, by cashing in their more equitable dollars and buying in a more depressed economy. We all can’t do that.

    Holmgren was able to convert his property over the years to be less dependent on the food system and electricity network. He got the cash flow because of his (well-earned) permaculture fame and knowledge. The more people who enter the permaculture business, but don’t carry the fame, will get a little extra cash flow, but they won’t be able to make the kinds of drastic choices to simply set up outside the mainstream, like the more renoun permaculture teachers have.

    Holmgren also offers solutions for people who live in suburbia, so its not an exclusive club of property owners, but my point is, not everyone can afford to mimic the kinds of changes others who talk about change, have done. They can talk about opting out from a place of security, because after many years of earning collateral in this beast which is about to turn belly-up, they have financial options.

    The Arch Druid has a more simplistic approach, of just getting out of the mainstream. Sell everything you have that isn’t of any real value, or that will die come collapse (most mainstream technology) and start learning old skills like coal making and blacksmithing, so you can have a reliable trade to use in the new economy, after collapse.

    Most people aren’t going to do that however, because it takes time to learn a new trade like blacksmithing and many of us are already working long hours to pay for the present cost of living.

    I didn’t say this to criticise what good others are doing in changing before the big impacts of collapse. My point is, if we take it all too seriously, we’re probably going to end up in the same financial position we’re already in – though we’ve done a merry dance around new lifestyle changes, or we’ll end up so depressed and doing nothing to change at all.

    I like reading the thoughts these people have shared and where I can, I make changes. I just don’t think its possible to know the future though, and I suspect with climate change, everything we may have planned for, could go out the window. Case in point, natural disasters are often overseen by State rule, where if you don’t do as instructed, you can be arrested. It’s happened in the past during war, where the govt seizes property and forces rations on the population.

    So the many things we think we’re building for security after collapse, could became the possession of the government anyway. That’s scary, so I just live my life, enjoy it but make sensible changes where I can too. 🙂


    • foodnstuff Says:

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head…accept that there will be changes; make your own changes, where possible, to enable you to move towards adaptation and resilience, and just enjoy what you have now. We can’t save ourselves from what’s coming…there are too many people with their heads in the sand, who not only won’t make changes, but don’t even know they’re needed.

      I’m not too worried about what the government will or won’t do; governments will soon become irrelevant, although as Foss says, local government may take a stronger role, but only for a short time. People will do what they have to do to survive….that includes those in power now. Without the systems in place to enforce that power, they’ll be in the same boat as the rest of us.

      I gave up reading the Archdruid. He’s just too verbose.


  3. narf77 Says:

    All the more important to get proactive and get gardening, food foresting and producing as much of your own food as you can.


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