new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

For discussions of the Open University's T214 Systems course.

Re: new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

Postby Andrea on Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:23 pm

Fantastic Geoforum special issue dedicated almost exclusively to Peak oil: http://www.sciencedirect.com.libezproxy ... l/00167185

Of particular relevance to this thread, is an extremely well-written paper by Peter North entitled "Eco-localisation as a progressive response to peak oil and climate change – A sympathetic critique ". In the paper, he summarises, in an extremely eloquent way, four futuristic scenarios, and the political orientations behind each:

Following Heinberg (2004) and Murphy (2008),
I argue that there are four potential response
scenarios to these problems. First, the solution seemingly
adopted by neo-conservatism; geopolitical and military struggle
aimed at dominating the world’s limited supplies of petrochemicals
and to manage future climate-inspired conflict (see also
Abbott, 2008; Busby, 2008). Second is the technocentric cornucopianism
of elite free-market enthusiasts, critics of ‘limits to growth’,
and climate change sceptics. They argue that market economies
are creative enough to solve problems through solutions of which
we cannot as yet even dream, and that technology will overcome
the peak oil and climate crises. The cornucopian approach to ecological
problems of course has a long history, but more recently Friedman
(2008) argues that the same creativity that produced the digital
and knowledge economy holds the solutions to climate change.
Through processes of Shumpertarian ‘creative destruction’, resources
will be freed from non-productive uses and put to solving the new
problems associated with resource and climate change. Future
generations will be better placed to pay the costs and generate
solutions far more cheaply (Lomborg 2001, 2007; Lawson, 2008).
Locally, this means developing new forms of smart, post-carbon
growth (Krueger and Gibbs, 2008). Predictions of the apocalypse
are as premature now as they were in the 1970s (Cole et al., 1973;
Meadows et al., 1974). These are the two elite strategies.

The past two to three years has seen the emergence of at least a
putative new social movement, responding to concerns about peak
oil and climate change. They support Heinberg’s third scenario,
working quite locally, at grassroots level, to develop local solutions
to peak oil and climate change based on developing much more resource-
poor yet enjoyable and fulfilling livelihoods based in more
localised economies. Localisers argue that peak oil and climate
change should be seen as an opportunity to build more ecologically
sustainable, more local and more convivial economies. Xenophobes
provide Heinberg’s final scenario: an end of all travel and pulling
up the drawbridge to protect the climate change winners and those
sitting on energy resources from the losers. Given the reality of fuel
poverty and the reliance of many in rural areas on affordable fuels,
social movement struggles could emerge arguing for cheap, not less,
oil, such as those that emerged in Britain in 2000 (Doherty et al.,
2002, 2003; Robinson, 2002, 2003). At worst, we see a breakdown
of society into warring localised tribes after a crisis caused by rapid
climate change or resource crisis, as described in McCarthy’s (2007)
dystopian novel ‘The Road’.


if you liked the way he wrote the above, then I would really recommend reading the whole paper :mrgreen:
esse sequitur operari
Andrea
 
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