I’ve often been accused (but almost never to my face) of exaggerating the reality of our collapse. Once again, I remind the entire reading world, I don’t write the news. I post the news links here for you to read for yourself.
Denial isn’t a gene in the human genome, but it still exists within a majority of our population. The news is absolutely chock full of facts, stories and reporting of the systematic collapse of our world, but disbelief of their significance and meaning is still a rather serious problem.
Climate change is often the issue in which our fellow humans disagree, despite the ever-increasing body of evidence. Which means we’re not dealing with facts anymore with these denialists, just their belief.
Belief is a strange thing, and has probably killed more people then anything else. Belief is absolutely useless when dealing with stark reality. The best that belief can do is to cushion you temporarily against what will happen or is happening anyway. And then you’re left with broken beliefs (or stubborn entrenched delusions) and not much else. It doesn’t change the outcome one iota.
I just read today that our largest coal field has been reduced by 50% on estimated reserves. Seems that better science and measurements have given a more accurate result. That’s actually good news by the way, but better news for us all is if we left the damned stuff in the ground as Hansen has argued.
We’re seeing an awful lot of this type of thing now. More data, better science, more accurate results. And as told here many times before, these world-class experts keep moving up their estimates on the severity, time scale, depletion rates and danger to humankind that these studies and analysis and findings report.
One of the reasons I’ve refused to continue to blog is because denial is quite literally, killing the planet. The global effort to educate, inform and reason with the people of the Earth is having only a marginal effect upon the activities that are directly responsible for killing the Earth. Therefore, it seems far better to me to move on and do something more productive.
This may seem counter-intuitive, as the commonly held belief is that more support (ground swell) will “change the outcome”. That is, to put it bluntly, totally unlikely. The outcome (scientific predictions) is a forgone conclusion now, even if we ever did achieve the magical groundswell.
We already know, if you’re paying attention, that runaway climate change is now unpreventable and in all probability, underway right now. I still read a lot of absolute nonsense that regards this statement as being untrue, that humans can somehow “willfully” stop their activities and fabricate an existence where prosperity and peace will reign, all the while we’re also reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions and even slow down the effects of a hundred years of toxic emissions and thus “save ourselves” from our own folly in the nick of time.
This, my friends, is absolute bullshit.
Examine the facts, the evidence, the action and the political and private “will power” to do this. Remember that persistent little bastard called denial. Contrast this against the newly received facts and figures and scientific reports and measurements. Now project this over a time scale in human terms, say 50 years. Or 100 years. What do you have?
Don’t forget that our entire civilization is 100% dependent upon always moving forward and never backwards, or that our petroleum dependency hasn’t even been remotely resolved (if it was, we’d have it already), or that the technological “solutions” proposed and promised (but never provided) have never even once materialized.
Over this breeding mix of stewing denial, toss in our collapsing economy, current depletion rates, environmental degradation and pollution, declining resources and devastated natural ecosystems. Examine this all and ask yourself in all honesty: Are we going to make it? Wherefore does all this optimism come from? Is it real, or is it really just total bullshit?
If you are honest (and few are), there is absolutely no proof at all that we will “make it”. We do not have the will, desire, capacity, support, technology, commitment or the money to pull this off on a global scale. Not in any country of the world today. Not without some kind of catastrophic disaster impacting us pretty damned hard first (or several, which is what I think is/will happen). Think “massive population reduction” and unbelievable levels of human suffering.
Therefore, using my back of the napkin approach here, beating our heads together online and arguing over irrelevant data has got to be the height of wasting our time as the world continues to slide towards self-destruction. If we’re going to somehow save ourselves, it won’t be here, it will be out there in the real world, coming up with local solutions to what is now a whole plethora of global problems.
Unfortunately, I’ll be the first to admit that even local solutions won’t really work like we think. Not when our water travels thousands of miles to reach most of our cities. Or should I say, used to travel thousands of miles, as this is definitely no longer guaranteed in the days of drought and water wars.
The same goes for our food supply. I’m not sure that many of us are ready to endure our own version of the Potato Famine. Eating the same things, day after day because that’s all we’re really going to have any abundance of, if even that.
Or living without electricity as our infrastructure crumbles and fails from neglect and a lack of energy resources.
The ridiculous argument that we all hear today is that we’re still going to be able to somehow “move forward”, even if we have to suffer a little bit first. This is beyond stupid, it’s an absolute lie meant to appease you and comfort you from the stark, painful reality that awaits us all. How can we move forward when we’re running out of ALL the very things we will need to survive as we do now? Remember those things? Water, soil, food, land, energy, climate?
These things cannot be magically conjured up, or wrested from the Rocky Mountains by blasting out fields to grow corn. And even if they could, how in the world are they going to be properly shared in a world that has stopped much of it’s transportation?
Where will be the promises of prosperity and peace, when nations go to war with other nations over scarcer and scarcer resources found in fewer and fewer places? Envision simple things like land, water and arable land as being highly prized assets worth fighting for if nations are going to survive. Envisions billions of climate refugees looking for simply things like land, food, water.
There can be no plainer way to say it — we are absolutely going to have to pay the price for the unsustainable civilization that we have created. Living at the apex of history (development) is going to be a real bitch. This is the way of history and human folly and has been recorded in history time and time again.
So don’t count me among the optimistic “believers” that have nothing more then wishful thinking to back up their claims. Nobody is living in the future utopias they’ve envisioned and promote. They’re all just drawing board fantasies, unrealized and undeveloped dreams and they never manage to include everybody anyway.
The harsh truth is, as the world winds down there isn’t going to be enough room, energy, resources or food for us all, even with their never-seen but still promised technological marvels, so you’d better be making your own plans and preparations as best you can.