Drawdown vs. Energy Descent

Reflecting on David Holmgren’s Future Scenarios, it looks on the face of it like a pretty realistic (if grim) analysis… But i wonder if it’s not somewhat flawed.

Couple of things that come immediately to mind for me:

  • Population Growth: it is indeed growing, but by most accounts- in this domain of expertise, Hans Rosling is my most trusted source -will soon plateau at the level of around 11bn.
  • Capacity of soil to sequester carbon/ retain moisture/ improve fertility/ support increased vegetative vigor: With concentrated effort along lines suggested by not only mavericks like Alan Savory, Walter Jehne, but even DH himself, humanity’s capacity for DRAWDOWN- taking Paul Hawken’s word for this dynamic -is virtually limitless.

Don’t get me wrong: i think the DH’s message is “on the money” overall, and his strategy of Suburban Regeneration very well-taken. I just think that, for those of us who don’t work in suburban contexts (e.g. city and country dwellers), different (yet compatible) strategies are called-for, and we need a more positive & constructive view of what is possible, if our work is to be effective and fulfilling.

Bottom line: Reduced Emissions, however you want to go about it (renewable energy, reduce/reuse/recycle strategies, etc.) is all good -but at the end of the day, “Austerity Doesn’t Sell,” as the best marketers and politicians all know, and if it ain’t fun, it probably won’t get done. On the other hand: soil-building (the bedrock practice of ReFarming, as i understand it) is not only the most powerful point of leverage we farmers have, in terms of mitigating climate change; it is moreover a blast! Try it on for size, and see if you don’t agree.