...Again, I am addressing my words especially to you students. This will be the defining reality of your lives. Whatever field you go into—business, finance, engineering, transportation, agriculture, education, or entertainment—your experience will be shaped by the energy transition that is now under way. The better you understand this, the more effectively you will be able to contribute to society and make your way in the world.
So here is my message to you in a nutshell: Fossil fuels made it possible to build the world you have inhabited during your childhood and throughout your years in the education system. Now it’s up to you to imagine and build the world after fossil fuels. This is the challenge and opportunity of your lifetimes. I wish you good cheer and good luck as you make the most of it.
The Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies, Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines, and The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality.Richard Heinberg is a senior fellow at the Post Carbon Institute and the author of
3 Big Ideas for a Resilient Future
Build skills, go local, and celebrate life to prepare for times ahead.
Build Practical Skills
Learn how to repair it, grow it, make it from scratch, and make do. Then you are better able to take care of yourself and you have something to trade even if you don’t have money. Get good at communication, collaboration, and passing along what you know, and you’re on your way to building a resilient community.
Live Within Local Means
Resilient communities rely when possible on local resources. That means growing food locally, and protecting and restoring the soil, water, and air that sustain us. It means converting waste into resources, fostering biodiversity, and getting good at exchanging and sharing.
Imagine, Adapt, Create
Encourage imagination and creativity. Make space for joy. Have parties, create liberated spaces. Celebrate, especially in tough times. A strong sense of community grows out of shared music, dance, sense of place, and storytelling.