Self-sustaining to me means NOT living beyond your means.
From a natural resource point of view, living beyond one's means is the depletion of resources that cannot be replenished.
In a sense, we've been fortunate when it comes to petroleum to be forewarned as to the scarcity of this resource reflected in the high price that we experienced earlier this year.
Price of gasoline became a symbol of living beyond our means in other ways as well.
The most sophisticated of financial people got sucked into a collective psychological bubble of their own making. They began lending money against anticipated collateral that didn't materialize in accordance with their projections, in other words, within their speculation scope.
They depleted a resource that became only an illusion, a permanent rise in the value of real estate. They then spent what wasn't there. If we continue to develop our infrastructure based on disappearing resources, the infrastructure itself will eventually be of no worth and then we''ll really be broke.
We've achieved regional economies throughout the world that function on the use of energy. Most of the production of that energy is based on these disappearing resources.
What we need to do first of all is to begin converting our energy resources into what is replenishable and to convert our infrastructure to these new energies.
At the present time, solar and wind energies are our best opportunities, with such resources as natural gas to carry us over. There are other possibilities that need to be researched further as well.
We must begin weening ourselves from the present depleting resources to replenishable resources and we must work toward improving the technology that will provide us with more efficient infrastructures.
The use of replenishable resources will provided a self-sustaining economy and will make it possible for us to live within our means. This is the main lesson of the recession that we are living through.
Even the process of changing over to new means of energy production will help bring us out of this recession. It will help put money, the blood supply of our system back into circulation.
Can we take advantage of this new knowledge?