An important read: The Age of Eco Surrealism
You Australians are just playing around with the results of climate change, she said, you haven’t mentioned guns or fences¦ As a child raised in war wrecked East Germany, she recalled how city dwellers thronged to her rural town and stole anything portable, including vegetables, petrol, oil and bags of coal. I admire the spirit of this lunch, she snorted, but you are babies. She has a point. Creating the resilient, self-sufficient off-the-grid communities we would need to survive if the oil runs out, itself remains a fantasy. Let alone dealing with the rampaging hordes. You’d have to go a lot further out West than here, someone said, if you really wanted to feel safe. The mood darkened.
It has become patently clear to me that the whole scope (target) and depth (death) of our environmental planetary problems is quite well beyond our grasp and understanding. Crazy ideas on how to deal with this abound:
The esteemed and cuddly climatologist, Tim Flannery, says the Arctic ice melt is now so rapid that soaring sea levels are inevitable and the best option is to pump sulphur into the stratosphere. This would filter the sun’s rays, slow global warming and turn the sky yellow. He agrees the project is risky, but time is scarce. If the world’s toxic emissions ceased at midnight, there remains enough greenhouse gas in the sky to create havoc. As one blogger put it: Either we’re fucked, or Tim Flannery has gone crazy-ape bonkers.
This is a legitimate response to our times. Don’t you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the litany of plausible disasters? No? Perhaps you’re living in denial. And the time will come when denial gives way to panic. Today’s crazy apes are Idiot Savants with science degrees, sounding a series of alarms. “Everything is going in the wrong direction, warns Flannery, faster than predicted. It’s possible his remedy is worse than the disease. After all, sulphur is the Devil’s perfume. The image of Boeing squadrons pumping yellow pellets into the heavens is not reassuring.
Read the article links (please), but some good quotes belong here (taken from the front page, link above):
Largely unnoticed, however, was the hidden, implacable, kamikaze agenda of industrialization that underlay its feverish wealth creation, which was – and remains – the domination of nature. This is the central, indisputable project, the issue that encompasses all other issues noted Guy Debord, back in 1963. He regarded the cannibalization of the ecosystem as the real adventure we have embarked on.
The situation is critical, but most of us are too overloaded to concentrate. We’re trying to get rich, get laid, get famous and/or to sink into an opiated oblivion, with the help of the military industrial media entertainment matrix . As with climate, so in culture, everything is moving in the wrong direction.
It’s wonderful that Barack Obama wrested the Democratic nomination from Hillary Clinton, but in your heart of hearts, can you possible believe that one politician can monkey wrench the direction of America? The CIA won’t miss a beat. The Lobbyists will still hold sway. The Pentagon will continue its export of death, destruction, depleted uranium, cluster bombs and criminal atrocities. Mainstream media boards and members of Congress will continue to profit financially from their association with arms traders.
It’s wonderful that Barack Obama wrested the Democratic nomination from Hillary Clinton, but in your heart of hearts, can you possible believe that one politician can monkey wrench the direction of America? The CIA won’t miss a beat. The Lobbyists will still hold sway. The Pentagon will continue its export of death, destruction, depleted uranium, cluster bombs and criminal atrocities. Mainstream media boards and members of Congress will continue to profit financially from their association with arms traders. Whether in the slums of Sadr city, the mud brick compounds of Afghanistan, or even in the towns of its allies, the US air force will continue to bomb innocent civilians, regardless of world opinion or the rules of war. (The Pakistanis are right to call the pilots cowards). Predator drones remotely operated from bases in the US, strike perceived enemies wherever they lurk. Last week’s SBS TV showed a grinning Predator pilot lining up on his screen a lone motorbike rider in Afghanistan, then blasting him to bits. His crime not revealed, his name not known. Once considered the illegal act of a scoundrel, assassinations are now something to boast about.
Obscene riches at one end of the scale, poverty for the world’s majority and the rest grinding away in the disappearing middle.
Australian anti war campaigner, Donna Mulhearn, was in Baghdad in March 2003 when a missile struck the Al Shuala markets, killing over 60 civilians. Donna took a bus to the site and found “complete devastation with pieces of iron and tin mangled into grotesque shapes. Mashed pieces of fruit and cardboard were soaked in the blood and mud, along with pieces of human flesh. Hundreds were injured and the hospitals lacked anesthetics.
The US military denied responsibility. British journalist Robert Fisk found a serial number on a fragment of the weapon™s metal in the rubble, which was traced back to the Raytheon corporation, a provider of space and airborne missile and surveillance systems. Raytheon has sole responsibility for maintenance at Pine Gap. In Al Shuala a grieving Shi-ite asked Mulhearn, Do your people accept this, the killing of children? Do western people have no honour?
When she found her way to a bus, her eyes stinging with tears, Donna noticed the bloodstains on her boots. The sight was shocking and caused my body to shake, then go limp, she recalled. Her first instinct was to find a corner somewhere in the outskirts of the world and curl up to weep forever,