I talked about poverty and the need to grow more food locally, or give them the land so they can lift themselves out of poverty by first feeding themselves. Once poor people have full bellies they can begin to think about other things. Well there’s another community that is so often overlooked and that’s what this short piece is about.
In my Greenhouse Project, or any other project for that matter, I have not seen one mention as what do for, how to handle or how to address the needs of the disabled community as we run out of oil / energy. We are seeing the end of cheap abundant energy right now.
This post will not pull punches I will instead head right in and be as honest as I know how. If some people find this not to their liking, too bad. This is an important topic and I will not apologize for it.
Over the last several years I have been doing a lot of reading and talking to people about peak oil, transitioning off oil, energy descent, renewable energy, Passiv Haus, localization, gardening, permaculture and much more. But no one has ever addressed what will happen to people with special needs, disabled people? What would happen if next week we wake up and there is no more oil? Where will people in wheelchairs get electricity to charge them? How will people with respirators breath? How will people with assistive devices communicate or function? If the energy stops, what happens to these people? Do they just stop too?
I have no easy answers as there are so many different types of needs I can’t possibly address them all. But let me at least present this as a partial solution:
1) When there is a transition town meeting that a representative or members of the disabled community attend to be recognized and made part of the process.
2) When growing food locally is mentioned that any special dietary needs also be included.
3) People need to think about medical needs as part of the whole solution.
4) Members of the disabled community demand a presence in national and international discussions with regard to peak oil, peak water, peak land, energy descent and so on.
5) NGOs / Non-Profits and government entities need to address the needs of the disabled community beyond the basics and what happens when finally the oil runs out or becomes unaffordable.
Many people are seriously mislead by the energy companies into believing that energy is still abundant and we have nothing to worry about. Not so. That is so very untrue. There are so many experts now from many disciplines, and their numbers are growing, saying we need to prepare today. From their collective knowledge I believe we only have until 2030. No, that is not the date we run out of oil, but rather the date when oil will become affordable, because we will realize there isn’t as much as has been claimed. Oops. This will be a big deal to everyone. A very big deal but more so to the disabled community.
What are the answers? I don’t know. The disabled community needs to make their collective voices heard or they will be left out and the future will not be so happy for them.