The full book available as a Web site at: http://www.futurescenarios.org/
I would like to start with Holmgren's 'Energy Futures' chapter. I tend to work with 'The Precautionary Principle', which I think is in line with Holmgren's approach when he says,
"We do not have to believe that a particular scenario is likely before making serious preparations. For example most people have fire insurance on their homes, not because they expect their primary asset to be destroyed by fire but because they recognise the severity of this unlikely event." (http://www.futurescenarios.org/content/view/20/57/
(Or, because it is a condition of their mortgage lender - because banks do lose houses to fire on a regular basis.)
Holmgren sets out to use 'Scenario Planning' methodology to look at how human society may change in the future:
"In classic corporate scenario planning the two variables might be the growth rate in the wider economy and the regulatory framework that constrains or encourages business." (http://www.futurescenarios.org/content/view/26/40/
"Four broad energy scenarios provide a framework for considering the wide spectrum of culturally imagined, and ecologically likely, futures over the next century or more.
I've labeled these:
- Energy Descent and
: Note - Holmgren's figure encapsulates some of Holmgren's interpretations and motivations, which as I suggest below, might be better left to later discussion. If you assume that the Y-axis refers to Energy, and is intended to evoke best-estimate fossil fuel energy data such as global oil extraction as graphed here:
and that it's a non-linear sketch graph, I still think Holmgrens figure gives a somewhat useful visual guide ...
So my first question for consideration is:
Do these four energy future scenarios usefully summarise the prospects for which we need to be planning?ETA 2
These are clearly 'simple' scenarios. I'd envisage that it could be useful to study each of these four - and decide whether one or two more simple scenarios are needed. Only then would we start to look at the complexities of how these scenarios interact, if say Countries or Regions 1 - 4 are each different mixes of Scenarios 1 - 4.
(I was hoping we'd come back to a detailed discussion of Holmgren's own interpretations and motivations quite a lot later down the line ... )