P. Isaacs: useful action for difficult times


Jan Slakov

Dear rn list,   July 30

Paul Isaacs is an activist in Ontario, the province with what has become the
flagship government for anti-democratic and pro Big Biz in Canada. He writes
to give us a sober look at the economic/food crunch we are likely to
encounter soon and also a suggestion on how to repond usefully (with
"NGGs"!) to the likelihood our governments will not be effective in dealing
with the crunch. So, read on to find out what "NGGs" are.

Preparing for the collapse scenario (be it economic and/or environmental) is
a topic which others have had interesting things to say about and one I
think it would be useful for us to discuss on this list.
all the best, Jan

From: Paul Isaacs <•••@••.•••>
To: Jan Slakov <•••@••.•••>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 01:28:47 -0500
Subject: Re: "deep peace" and other comments

On 20-Jul-98, Jan Slakov wrote:

{ snip }

>Jan's comments:

>Yes, bioregions ought to be self-sufficient in the basics! This is a part of
>what it means to pursue security through non-violence. The more a community
>is self-sufficient in the basics, the less it will need to protect its
>interests elsewhere through violence and the less vulnerable it will be to
>attemps to cut off its supplies.

I thought for some time about replying. The reply is quite discouraging but it
seems to be the reality that we face.


Scientific American, July 1997, Global Population and the Nitrogen Cycle.

"Currently at least two billion people are alive because the proteins in their
bodies are built with nitrogen that came - via plant and animal foods - from a
factory using his process". 

The process involved is the Haber process for the creation of ammonia that is
used to supply the nitrogen that is used as fertilizer that allows plant
biomass in excess of the natural limits of nitrogen availability to be grown.

Bluntly, two billion people will starve if the fossil fuel driven industrial
fixation of nitrogen stops. Global food requirements have gone far beyond the
production capabilities of any conceivable form of organic agriculture.


Scientific American, March 1998, The End of Cheap Oil.

"Barring a global recession, it seems most likely that world oil production
will peak during the first decade of the 21st century."

"Meanwhile global demand for oil is currently rising at more than 2 percent a

There is going to be a major oil price shock about ten years from now when
falling production collides with rising demand.


I am 55 years old and in my lifetime the world population has doubled. The
coming oil energy crunch could well impact food supplies enough that if I live
for another 20 years the world population could again be what it was when I
was born.

Paul Isaacs
( not at peace in Ontario )

From: Paul Isaacs <•••@••.•••>
To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 02:24:49 -0500
Subject: Re: request for comment on Bear River workshop

On 22-Jul-98, Richard K. Moore wrote:

>Dear rn friends,

>We've gotten very little feedback from our readers (you!) regarding the
>results of our workshop in Bear River.  One of our primary goals in setting
>up the rn list was to be of service in fostering discussion amongst
>activists toward the creation of a grass-roots movement, helping us find a
>sense of community and solidarity.


From my point of view there are two problems - unfettered capitalism and, more
seriously resource and environmental exhaustion.

The loss of community and solidarity has been brought about by material
abundance. We simply don't think that we need each other any more because in
our daily lives it seems to be true. We work, we buy. It is all very

However, the abundance is going to end - soon. Until then the comfortable will
try to maintain their position. That is the message sent by the election of
the right-wing demagogues who are currently enjoying electoral success.

The question then becomes, what structures will have currency after the crash.

It is my suggestion that the "movement" immediately establish provisional
local governments. These governments would have no "official" legitimacy but
they would function with resource utilization and environmental concerns as
their top priorities. NGGs - Non-Governmental Governments :-)

They would be easy to establish all over the blessed place and they would work
to build their legitmacy in the resource and environmental fields. They will
quickly gain credibility as the economically captive "official" governments
start to outright fail because of resource and environmental crises.


Paul Isaacs