Collapse and Happiness

Environmentalists, peak oil -fanatics, “preppers” – they have long run under the rubric of Cassandras and crazy people.

When you actually look at the people who are expecting a collapse of the contemporary “normal,” and are doing something about it, a different picture emerges, though – a much more “ecohappy” one.

In all its radicality, if you consider how normal change is, it is even a much more normal picture than often considered. Even business pundits with all too little an idea of actual human beings (rather than the homo economicus), let alone of ecological workings, expect change, after all; “disruptive” business is one of the current buzzwords.

There is also quite enough questioning of the validity of the current system and its promises – but it still feels more comfortable than the unknown that lies ahead.

So, it’s time to point to some nice examples of (other) voices suggesting how we can get to greater happiness as well as, and indeed through, ecologically better fitting lives – in effect, eco-logically, really, better lives.
(These have been shared on The Ecology of Happiness’s Facebook page before, by the way – if you haven’t yet done so, you may want to “like” it to keep in touch.)

From the unhappy proposition of peak oil and climate change as double threats to civilization, “Somewhere in New Mexico Before the End of Time” about Guy McPherson of “Nature Bats Last” and his view of the crisis comes to an inkling (but not much more) of the better, happier, that is being created:

On a different note, but because the power of the individual to make any relevant change is so often questioned, David Korten on “Walking Away from the King” is a voice worth listening to:

David Korten: Walking Away From the King from Katie Teague on Vimeo.

From none less than “The End of Growth”-Richard Heinberg, one of the purported prophets of peak oil and the trouble we’ll be in, comes one of the nicest examples of a person walking their talk – and it all not ending in a decision to just put an end to it all, but in the realization that the “end of growth can mean more happiness:”

Finally, a bit of reading that points to ways of bringing together the joys and advantages we’ve seen information and communications technology (and similar high-tech) to bring and the necessity and potential of more local living (a theme that will be explored further in forthcoming posts): Local Economies for a Global Future. Yes, we need to relocalize—but that doesn’t mean we’re headed for provincialism. Anticipating our near-heavy, far-light future.

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