Cosmic Accounting demonstrates that the shift has already occurred and the world is in lag.
I am an avid and committed observer of the world news, current affairs, plus have been studying history, and daily read from my greatest teacher, R Buckminster Fuller. Bucky talked about prognostication, that in order to predict the future, one had to draw the string of the arrow very far back into history. And that he did. He studied history and kept records, covering many areas, from energy use, discovery of new elements, technology advancement. In the 30’s he made over 50 predictions, of which 47 have occurred. (Including man on the moon). He was a true Positive Deviant.
Bucky also started to talk about our ill conceived use of oil and its costs, way back in the 1930’s. He asked a renowned oil geologist, Francois de Chadenedes, to work out how much in energy, from start to finish over the life time of the creation of oil, would it cost nature to make one gallon of oil. In the currency of the early 1980’s that price was over $1 million per gallon.(see note below for the details of this)
Bucky always based his working premise on the principle of Synergy. That the behaviour of the parts taken separately could not predict the behaviour of the whole, that you could not predict a butterfly from studying a caterpillar, and therefore you had to start, without exception, with the whole.
That if we are going to study energy, we had to start with cosmic accounting, and reduce it to local accounting, and not the other way around, which is what we have done. That in cosmic accounting terms the use of petroleum to provide energy was always far far too expensive.
That our energy input from natural resources has always been in far more abundance that we would ever need - sun, wind, waves - and that the only problem with using them as energy source is that big business has not found a way to put a meter between the energy source and the user. (Plus to date our technology around this has been in lag, and the price has been much higher than the use of fossil fuels, although this is changing rapidly)
And that the nearest nuclear reactor we need is perfectly positioned 152 million kms away, and is called the Sun. (All of these aspects demonstrate cosmic accounting)
Bucky considered our fossil fuels to be natures own savings account, an Earth Bank, not to be stolen by exploiters. Everyone knows that we should live on our energy income and not our savings account. This is integrity at work. In our case on earth, our energy income far far exceeds our energy spend. Everyday.
There is no scarcity of energy, we simply have been exploiting the wrong form. We have not to this point considered our energy use from the perspective of cosmic accounting.
It has always been apparent that oil would run out. We have all been living in a delusional world where this would not happen soon. Now we know that it is happening, faster than we thought. Peak oil is upon us, if not already, then within our lifetimes.
The bad news is that our lives have already changed. The shift has already occurred. The use of cars, planes, trucks and other oil consumers as they currently exist, is the dinosaur in the room. Petrol prices are not going down in the long term, food prices and transport costs likewise are not going down. Not until we create solutions. Which we will do. But most likely not before the situation gets worse for everyone.
Travel as we know it, driving to work, school, driving anywhere, how we consume food, how we work, where we live and work, what has value, who has wealth. It all is changing. Fast. The Middle East will lose its power.(because of its total dependence on oil).
The good news. Well the environment is going to be happy. We simply have to stop our use of fossil fuels. It was always a short sighted strategy. We have all been asleep at the wheel, literally, on that one. In complete denial.
We need to always be aware of cosmic accounting in our daily balance sheet. Not just at the government level, or the corporate level, but at the personal level.
We must emerge through emergency, which we will do, in the nick of time. Creativity will increase as people are forced by necessity to invent new ways of transport, lifestyle, and all the countless other uses of petroleum.
There will be a massive redistribution of wealth. This too will be a good thing, as there is opportunity for an exploration of our money systems, which are in serious need of systems change of the highest degree.
There will be an opportunity for the gap between the rich and the poor to be re-calibrated. We will also get the opportunity to re-evaluate what wealth really is. The new definition for wealth will incorporate cosmic accounting.
We will, at least for the briefest moment, consider the long term effects of our next actions. We will start with the whole, and work from there. We will employ cosmic accounting.
More people will challenge solutions and ask more questions, there will be an automatic raising of consciousness. The environment will make that essential. We will not be able to get away with our shortsighted lack of personal responsibility. There will be no sand to stick our head into, no away to go to.
There will be tremendous opportunities. Our lives will be radically different. We will simply have to move towards natures economy. Either that, or not make it. And there will be very big losses. No one will walk away without being affected in some way.
In Bucky’s words“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
We have the opportunity to build the new model. Indeed, many of the new models already exist, and have existed for a long time.
It is an exciting time. People will need support to wrap their heads and hearts around the change. They will go through stress, loss, grief, fear. We will endure. It is our human way, to emerge through emergency.
I write this to urge you to wake up. The shift has happened, and what is occurring now is the lag between the shift and the realisation and daily implication.
Everything has changed. Everything. Yield to it, as nature does, or fight, resist, deny.
The world is in our hands.
Note. “The script of Francois de Chardenedes “Scenario of Petroleum Production” makes it clear that, with all that cosmic-energy processing (as rain, wind, and gravitational pressure) and the processing time (paid for at rates you and I pay for household electrical energy), it costs nature well over a million dollars to produce each gallon of petroleum.” Critical Path, page xxxv. This is an example of cosmic accounting in action.
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