Life’s economy is primarily based on collaborative rather than competitive advantage
Daniel Christian Wahl
38418

Something I think Capra (et. al.) misses is that competition and cooperation take place in different trophic regimes. Perhaps I missed it, but I didn’t see any ecologists weigh in on this.

Ecologists know that high energy (what Capra would call "far from equilibrium") environments tend to favour competition, whereas low energy environments tend to favour cooperation.

For example, in the tropics, you may have dozens of small mammals feeding a half-dozen or more different raptors, all vying for position.

Whereas in alpine or arctic biomes, you may only have a few small mammals feeding only two or three raptors — and even they "cooperate" by dividing up the trophic source temporally, with a snowy owl hunting at night, and a rough-legged hawk hunting by day.

This bodes well for humanity, as fossil sunlight goes into permanent, irrevocable decline. We are currently at the peak of personal energy availability, and thus, at the peak of competition. This suggests that the "prosperous way down" (as ecologist HT Odum put it) is using cooperation in a world of declining energy availability.

This also suggests that if we stubbornly insist on the high-energy civilization we’ve had for the past 200 years or so, through the use of renewables, electric cars, and the like, we will be dooming ourselves to a future of competition.

An appropriate-tech, agrarian future is not such a bad thing.