The Struggle Against Ourselves by George Monbiot

The notion that we can achieve this by replacing fossil fuels with ambient energy is a fantasy. It is true that we have untapped sources of energy in wind, waves, tides and sunlight, but it is neither so concentrated nor so consistent that we can plug it in and carry on as before.…And we find ourselves in an extraordinary position. This is the first mass political movement to demand less, not more. The first to take to the streets in pursuit of austerity. The first to demand that our luxuries, even our comforts, are curtailed.

… The struggle against climate change is a struggle against much of what we have become. It is a struggle against some of our most fundamental urges.

We cannot call on others to stop flying if we still fly. We cannot ask the government to force us to change if we are not ready to change. The greatest fight of our lives will be fought not just out there, but also in here. read complete article

It’s time for all environmentalist, post carbon missionaries, permies (and PTF) to walk the talk. People won’t be swayed by words, commentaries, documentaries but instead by our actions.

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  1. Nancy Kelly says:

    Yes, it is a whole life style change. Personal progress, in our society, seems to be tied to having more and more. If we have less and less as we get older, aren’t we failures? My boss told me that he considers success to be defined by how much money one makes! I fight the battle in myself, wanting to improve my life by buying this or that.

    I have declared 2006 “the year of Joy” – I want to focus, not on the big (and expensive) changes that I fantasize about that will bring me more joy, but on the very little things that I can do day by day to put a little more joy into my daily life. Or maybe I just need to see the joy that is already there!

    Happy New Year to you folks!


  2. Mimi says:

    What a beautiful plan for the year. I love the idea of making your year about JOY. I believe that it is all around us. We are immersed in the things that will make us happy but they are not stereos, tvs and computers. The things that will make us most happy are our relationships and our skills and our health and our connection to deity.

  3. Michele Yamano says:

    Yes, Yes, Yes! I agree with you Nancy. Joy and Peace of Mind are my goals for this coming new year. I am now stepping out of landscaping business partly because I got tired of hearing customers complain about minor issues. I couldn’t stop thinking to myself, “There are larger problems in life to worry about than whether your grass is greener than the neighbors.” So I am going back to teaching where I know the salary isn’t great but perhaps I can make a difference.

  4. baloghblog says:

    Excellent post and excellent article. I agree wholeheartedly, and I will be attempting to walk the walk in 2006. Looking to reduce energy use by 25% on the 20% that we have already done last year. Not quite the 90% needed, but we’re getting there.

    *my wife actually sat through a conversation about solar power for our home with me without getting that glazed look in her eye – so I must be rubbing off on her.

  5. gerry medland says:

    Geo Monbiot tells it as it is,we are on the threshold of truth!We cannot turn away and show our backs to the man-made debacle that is now.This time round’the dig for Victory’is no passing solution,it is the only long term solution!Like so many,the majority in the UK are enslaved to living on credit and ‘instant fix’ gratification of the latest techno toy or car/house….the list is endless.As this year draws to a close,I want 2006 to be a year of listening to the quiet that comes from within when we listen to birdsong and hear the rustle of leaves in the breeze,most of all I want to tell my grandkids that there will be a planet left for them to live in harmony with!
    Merry Christmas folks!

  6. Walter Jeffries says:

    Merry Christmas!

    Sugar Mountain Farm
    in Vermont

  7. Anais says:

    Thanks for all the great comments.

    Wishing everyone a happy holiday and a bountiful and healthful new year.

    Blessings to all,

  8. Joshua says:

    “It’s time for all environmentalist, post carbon missionaries, permies (and PTF) to walk the talk.”

    I entirely agree! That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing too, although I’m limited because I don’t have my own home yet. I get so tired of words and the same old discussions without any movement forward pretty easily. That’s why I get tired of reading blogs so quickly, and most of the time don’t read much of any.

    I also always get annoyed with the cop outs people use when it comes to actually acting on anything. Such as how they can’t do anything about it, or their own changes won’t matter anyway, or they are just living the lifestyle that is a product of their society.
    This is especially annoying when it comes to driving. Like how people complain that they can’t live a more carfree life because their work is so far away and they can’t do anything about it. Sure, you can afford to do that now, but what about when gas shoots up at peak? Than what? Just quit your job? No, you’ll end up getting a closer job or a closer home, or losing everything. So why not do it now while you still have elbow room to try things out and spare yourself the hassle and threat at crunch time? Live as if you are already in peak, then you’ll be ready, and you may also have plenty of extra money in the meantime to help prepare for it. Downsize and either move closer or get a closer job. But no, we tend to always stretch our personal financial capacities of ease and luxury, and often will not voluntarily curtail anything even though we may know we need to or even if we actually want to. As anyone, I’m certainly not exempt, but I definitely try.

  9. Anais says:


    Well said. Thanks for another great post. We seem to be on the same wave length on these issues.

    You are so right. No more excuses – excuses are the easy way out (even for me)

    Everyone is limited like you said – but the key is that you are trying. There’s a saying that goes something like “it’s not destination, but the journey that counts”

    I refuse to read any more peak oil or other such books. I think we know now that there is a problem and reading about it certainly doesn’t help.

    One can get lost in blog world – that’s a danger to read about other’s accomplishments or steps and not do any yourself. There’s a balance and it’s a challenge to keep that balance going.

    I read someone where on one guy’s site where after he described how to build a cob oven he said something to the effect of “now that I have shown you how, get off your computer and go build one!”