We have all been busy preparing for our second annual Feile na Samhna (FAY-la na SAU-na), the Halloween Festival, where I and several other people will be giving talks about .... well, the situation we're in.
What do you call it anyway? It's not just peak oil, the fact that oil supplies are reaching a global limit and will decline. It's not just climate change, the fact that the atmosphere has been transformed into something that has not existed since Earth was an alien world. It's not just that this world that had trouble handling one billion people now must support seven billion. It's not just the economy, as defined by news reports and Wall Street numbers. All these are part of something larger.
I have been interested in these issues since I was my daughter's now-age, as long as I have understood what happens when you pour several cups into one cup. When I first saw the hundred-year-old elm in our backyard fall, and realized it was older than anyone alive -- and that once it was gone, the yard felt different. When I tasted the difference between our tomatoes and ones from a supermarket. When I realized that I was the last kid at school to walk everywhere.
Some people refer to the crash or the collapse, but I have tried to avoid these --- they are rousing and get the Michael Ruppert crowd, but they avoid the main point, that this is not a sudden danger we can swerve and avoid. We must not wait for it to hit -- "it," the thing that happens, when we suddenly become characters in an action movie.
Others refer to the Transition, and that captures the idea that it will be gradual and may result in something better. I personally like "Restoration," as in the title of this blog, although it might sound too much like Charles II's reign. Also, nostalgia for an earlier era works with Americans, as does describing the picturesque life of Irish villagers -- when you are speaking to actual Irish villagers, as I often do, it doesn't work. What is traditional is not exotic to them, and the memories of pre-Celtic-Tiger poverty are not appealing.
So here it is: How to present the image of this situation to hundreds of festival-going families in an Irish town, in a way that is family-friendly, upbeat, and will not drive people away. Ideas?