Reducing our dependence on imports and fossil fuels is just common sense. If a large percentage of a community’s food and necessities comes from abroad this makes it highly vulnerable to supply shocks and contributes significantly to pollution and environmental devastation. To reduce dependence on imports and fossil fuels we must focus on increasing local production and exchange; building systems which minimize waste and external inputs.
Transitioning local food production off of fossil fuels and agrochemical inputs is imperative. For systems that rely on heavy machinery, pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers to feed populations, supply shocks can translate into food security issues. Permaculture and syntropic agroforestry provide a systems design oriented approach for addressing these challenges .
Centralized power grids dependent on petrochemical or radioactive fuels contaminate the environment and are vulnerable to mass outages. Rather than waiting for monolithic replacements for these systems we can transition to a decentralized model of off-grid dwellings and industrial mini-grids powered by combinations of wind, solar, micro-hydro, and a plethora of other technologies. Advancements in hydrogen fuel production and vehicles provide a scalable storage alternative to batteries.
Manufacturing in the age of globalization relies on complex logistics and supply chains powered by fossil fuels. Cut from these inputs, many countries will be unable to maintain the standard of living that their population has grown accustomed to. Rather than building large scale factories that gorge on energy and release poisons into the environment, we can work towards resilience with a distributed model; where products are produced closer to where they are consumed, and facilities are designed to use far less energy.
Shortages caused by supply chain disruptions or monetary shocks can be minimized by developing local and regional trade networks. These networks are more resilient when production is diversified across multiple sectors.