Fortunately and, in a geological sense, seconds before certain disaster, we realized that the endless pursuit of our wants as opposed to our needs came with a cost that humans couldn’t pay. Such deterioration threatened human extinction, but fortunately eased in late 2010 when we realized that our appetite for fossils fuels had unleashed a dynamic that few understood.
Fortunately some far-seeing souls could envision what was ahead and, understanding our addictions, they initiated sustainable and resilient communities. Our society has changed, from fragility and violence to one that is sustainable, peaceful and embedded in localism – as opposed to globalization. It has been completed by necessity and swiftly – and is the outcome of world-wide co-operation. Growth and profit were the old hallmarks of success, whatever the human cost, but now we have more humanitarian ideals that celebrate intellectual achievement, rather than confrontational living.
Ongoing climate change troubles the world, but our reliance on fossil fuels is almost only a memory now as our reshaped and restructured communities primarily use sustainable energy. Peak oil in 2010 changed nearly everything about how we live, with fossil fuels being used now only for our public transport system and that, being so good, means motor vehicles are largely redundant.
Our communities are thriving again
Villages that disappeared under the onslaught of the car are returning, and our communities are again just that – each with its own government infrastructure, people live within easy cycling or walking distance of work, shopping and schooling. Entertainment and leisure are also nearby. Community gardens are common, district farms have developed community supported agriculture, little is imported and most everything the community needs is produced nearby – we are self-reliant as opposed to self-sufficient.
Local farms no longer look to the global market, rather local needs, and so grow a variety of crops, ending the fossil-fuel era of vulnerable mono-crops. Most have chooks ensuring a regular supply of eggs to supplement vegetables from their bountiful gardens. Service clubs have created community gardens in city car parks and have planted and maintain food trees throughout the city – and small stores are returning, enabling people to sell or trade overflow produce.
Health is now becoming less of a problem with our more physical way of living –walking or cycling most of the time and largely replacing oil-fired energy with human muscle. Smaller health-care centres answer most needs. Water shortages continue to produce difficulties, but with most people having a better understanding of its use, we now seemingly have more.
We have enhanced our understanding of community, realizing that resilience comes from creating on a human scale: more beautiful public spaces, surrounded by a compact and denser style of residences that blend with the environment, that depend on sustainable energy, that are built to allow for extended and ageing families.
From learning about and understanding modern technology, we now comprehend and employ techniques that allowed people to live comfortably and happily in the 19th century. Ideas have enabled us to preserve much that was good from early this century, and so combine them with ideas from the past to ensure the decades, and centuries, ahead will be bountiful, fulfilling and rewarding. PS: I guess you know it is not really 2050, but actually mid-2010. Is this just a dream?