Deglobalize, Decentralize, Localize
Globalization Vs Localization
No mention of there being too many people and too many people with large appetites for energy. Time to conserve energy. Move closer to your work and shopping. Move where you can walk or bicycle to whereever you need to go. Go from a multi-car family to a one car family and save money on gas, car insurance and the car itself. And let's get away from globalization and back to bioregionlism. Take the farms away from the corporations and let the local people go back to farming.
- Karen Gaia
Supplying enough energy on a reliable basis, at prices that won't totter world economic growth, is emerging as a challenge with repercussions that are hard to predict. For oil and gas companies and others in the energy business this means new opportunities but also serious risks. Inexorably, energy demand is growing — not only in the developed economies of Europe, Japan and North America, but in developing nations as well. In fact, the fastest demand growth is in China, India and other emerging markets. From one side of the globe to the other, modern and modernizing societies need more fuel.
But the places with the greatest demand can't supply their own needs. Over the next few decades, oil and gas production in the North Sea, North America and China are expected to fall, or rise too little to keep pace with demand.
In conclusion we will have to move towards a much more “in situ” economy! Globalization feeds on cheap energy.
Economic localization is the process by which a region, county, city, or even neighborhood frees itself from an unhealthy dependence on the global economy and looks inward to produce a significant portion of the goods, services, food, and energy it consumes from its local endowment of financial, natural, and human capital. Economic localization brings production of goods and services closer to their point of consumption, reducing the need to rely on long supply chains and distant markets so that communities and regions can, for the most part, provision themselves.
While it is certainly not possible to produce every kind of goods and services locally, economic localization seeks to restore an efficient balance between local production and imports that fully accounts for the social and environmental costs neglected by free trade agreements. Local production strengthens the local economy, creates worthwhile jobs, and increases local self-reliance. Refocusing the economy locally will necessarily revitalize the community, increasing intimacy, cooperation, and support for local culture and a sense of place.
Local production for local consumption also reduces the need to ship materials and products large distances. Reducing transport lowers CO2 and other pollutant emissions and reduces dependence on burning fossil fuels. This is particularly important considering that the transportation sector is the largest emitter of CO2 and a near consensus of scientists believe that global CO2 emissions need to be reduced 60-80% to have a possibility of stabilizing the climate. This will not occur without reconfiguring our economies and cities for much less transport and energy consumption.
In light of widely predicted oil shortfalls in the years and decades to come, localization appears to be inevitable. According to the U.S. Department of Energy-funded "Hirsch Report," it would take two decades for an orderly transition off our oil-centered transportation system. And this report did not address all the other things for which we use oil such as plastics, synthetic fabrics, artificial rubbers, fertilizers, and pesticides. As oil peaks and becomes increasingly less available and prices rise, there will be an unyielding economic push towards localization.
Ever-rising gasoline prices will force many long-distance commuters to relocate closer to their jobs, increasing demand for urban housing. This will accelerate the regentrification of urban areas and the corresponding displacement of low-income urban residents to slums and older and outer suburbs. While the suburbs may initially seem attractive for some former urban residents, they will lose their luster as gasoline prices continue rising and wealthier residents abandon suburbia for the city. Further, as energy and fuel prices continue to rise, urban and suburban families living from paycheck to paycheck (or on the margins) and transport-intensive businesses will be increasingly stressed, if not destitute. Without swift response and action, the middle class will be next to feel the pain of utter dependence on a dwindling resource and inadequate preparation for the transition to an intensely local, post-petroleum future.
Therefore, choosing to progress now to a more localized economy will be a wise move, and less painful if it is planned for and managed well in advance of world peak oil production. The obvious starting point is an assessment of what each community already possesses both in natural and human resources and their abilities to produce and store food, energy, water and essential goods, with the aim to integrate these efforts into a parallel public infrastructure that can serve as a safety net when we hit hard times.
Turning to Gandhi for inspiration, we find that a key requirement for building peace is to provide full employment by emphasizing localized production for localized markets. Gandhi stressed that everything which can be produced locally should be, even if the local economy is less efficient at its production.
Oil Crisis Solution - Localization
Following is a conversation with His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada on the issue of oil crisis.
Prabhupada : Yes. We are going to solve all problems. Let us have some preliminary discussion, how we are going to solve.
Bhagavan : The biggest problem now is that they have built up a type of society in which their needs are all coming from petrol energy. To produce what they need today is all coming from this petrol energy...
Prabhupada : Yes, yes.
Bhagavan : ...which they are importing basically from the Saudi Arabian countries.
Bhagavan: Now, recently, in the last war in the Middle East, Saudi Arabians raised the price of the oil over double now, I think, as a pressure to the Western countries to do things in their favor. Now they realized that the market for oil is in such great demand that they don’t have to lower the price after the war, but they are going to keep the price. And actually the price is still increasing. So this is causing inflation.
Prabhupada : So this problem will be solved as soon as we are localized. Petrol is required for transport, but if you are localized, there is no question of transport. You don’t require petrol. Suppose in New Vrindaban, we stay, we don’t go anywhere. Then where is the need of petrol?
Bhagavan : Petrol they also use for heating. And electricity.
Prabhupada: No, heating. Heating we can be done by wood. By nature.
Dhananjaya: I remember, Srila Prabhupäda, you were saying that all we require is some oxen, and the oxen can carry.
Bhagavan : Yes. The oxen will solve the problem of transport. That bullock cart. Just like Krishna, when He was transferred from Gokula to Nandagrama, so they took all the bullock carts, and within a few hours they transported them, the whole thing, their luggage, family member, everything.
Bhagavan : How far can a bullock cart travel in one day?
Prabhupada : At least ten miles, very easily, very easily. And maximum he can travel fifteen miles, twenty miles. But when we are localized, we don’t require to go beyond ten miles, five miles. Because we have created a rubbish civilization, therefore one is required to go fifty miles for earning bread, even hundred miles sometimes.
Dhananjaya : Like in Los Angeles.
Prabhupada: Why Los Angeles? Everywhere. In New York they are coming from hundred miles. From the other side of the island. First ferry steamer, then bus, then so on, so on. Three hours, four hours, they spend for transport.
Satsvarapa : Is this an ideal solution or a practical one?
Prabhupada : This is practical.
Satsvarüpa : Because sometimes we say that actually we cannot change the course of the...
Prabhupada : No, no. Our society will be ideal by practical application.
Satsvarupa : Not that we dictate to the... Not that we are going to force everyone.
Prabhupada: No, we are not going to force anyone. “Our mode of living is like this. If you like you can adopt.” Just like we chant Hare Krishna mantra. So we are not forcing anyone that “You also, you must chant.” No. We live like this.
Dhananjaya: So in fact, Srila Prabhupäda, we should start using bullock carts.
Prabhupada: Yes. No, first of all you start the community project, as we have already started in New Vrindaban. Make this perfect.
Devotee : There was a big meeting of scientists in Stockholm, Sweden, and they talked that if humanity don’t begin to live in a localized way like you say, in fifty years will be no more source of production.
Bhagavan : Another important thing, there are three uses of petrol, or four. One is the transportation, one is heat, another is electricity, and a fourth is they use it to manufacture so many products. So what if someone asks.
Prabhupada : No, you go on with your product. You have created the problem, you go on with your problem. But we live like this. If you like, you can adopt.
(May 27, 1974, Morning walk, Rome)
Prabhupada : Bus...containing three passengers, wasting petrol. Similarly, hundreds and thousands and millions of cars and buses are running all over the world, simply wasting petrol.
Bhagavan : When there was the oil crisis in the United States, they were giving reports how some person would go in his car, go ten miles in a big car to buy one pack of cigarettes.
Prabhupada : Stick to your own place and grow your food. There is no question of transport. Little transport is required, that bullock cart. Krishna was being carried on bullock cart. There is no use of petrol. Use simply the bull. They are already there. Utilize them.
(Morning walk, May 25, 1974, Rome)