While contemplating the fate of the world this morning, I spend a moment reading an article in the Mother Earth News magazine.
With the price of oil above $50 a barrel, political instability in the Middle East on the rise, and little slack in the world oil economy, we need a new energy strategy. Fortunately, a new stategy is emerging using two new technologies.Gas-electric hybrid engines and advanced-design wind turbines offer a way to wean ourselves from imported oil. If over the next decade we convert the U.S. automobile fleet to gas-electric hybrids with the efficiency of today’s Toyota Prius, we could cut our gasoline use in half. No change in the number of vehicles, no change in miles driven — just doing it more efficiently.
Although the article was slightly dated, what really got my goat was the author’s barely concealed glee that we can keep charging ahead on this same course. Why in hell would we want to do that?
The solution isn’t to maintain the present status-quo, by simply replacing oil or using something else. The problem is the status-quo. It’s our way of life, how we live, what we “expect” and the demands we make upon our environment and each other — that’s the problem with the status-quo, and it needs to be replaced.
I see no point at all in continuing our present way of life, which such minor course corrections as gas-electric hybrids, only so we can perpetuate this existence we call “civilization”. I’m feeling rather pessimistic these days, so bear with me.
Yesterday, I went for a long walk off into the woods, and sat down to contemplate the future. My summation remains the same as it was last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. It’s simply not getting any better, anywhere. If fact, it’s a hell of a lot worse, year by year. I won’t bother pointing out the specifics why this is true (this time), any half-decent observation of the world will validate my point.
The only bright spot yesterday was when a buck whitetail deer wandered right past me, not even noticing my intrusion into his environment. But as I looked around at the devastation surrounding me (the loggers had left one hell of a mess), I wondered about the fate of mankind – and the deer. What I was seeing before me was the story-line of our common dilemma – a wasted world, with the present day survivors, non-human and human, picking our way through the debris, seeking sustenance, shelter and day-to-day existence.
The loggers hadn’t left much forage for the deer, as you can imagine. The forest floor was badly torn up and slash was everywhere. The buck was picking his way through this mess, looking for edible things to eat. It was an old logging site, having been like this for the seven years I’ve been here. But not much new growth was coming up through the slash. You could still see the evidence of the heavy equipment where it had torn up the ground into mounds of dirt and brush, the heavy tracks in the ground still not completely washed away.
What I don’t understand is how people can be persuaded “it’ll get better”, when it clearly isn’t getting better anywhere you look The example of the deer is parallel to the rest of our planet and our species. The world as a place to live is getting progressively worse year by year. Slash piles of human disturbances are everywhere, all performed in the name of progress and “advancement”. Yet there are a great many people who still deny this. How goddamned dumb can you be?
Human civilization and all that it means, is the root of the problem(s), and no minor adjustments are going to possibly fix it. While gas-hybrids will be questionably helpful, perpetuating this status-quo of civilization is a damned mistake in my opinion. Whatever for? So we can strip-mine the planets later? We’ve yet to learn to live with each other, what makes us think we can do it anyplace else?
I am not anti-technology as it may appear, but I am very much against perpetuating this present-day “civilization” – there is nothing the least bit civilized about it. It is based on greed, corruption, excess, injustice, indifference and slavery. Is this really the best we can do?
What I don’t understand is why we continue on this preset course, when we know it is planetary and cultural suicide. What makes us do it? Are we so dumbed-down that we cannot see where it is going? Or is it that we simply do not care?
Whatever it is, I’m not joining in. I feel just like that buck deer, picking my way through the debris and refuse of human civilization, watching year by year (and now day by day), the encroaching power of civilization destroying everything in its path. And I don’t like it. Not one bit. Because I can see where it is all going and where we are all going to wind up. Unfortunately, there is no ‘opt-out” button anywhere I can find (believe me, I’ve looked). I wish there was. I’m not much interested in joining the (major) part of the human race hell-bent on self-destruction, so don’t expect me to politely support your resource wars or your stupid slavery laws or your idiotic proposals. I’ll be too busy picking my way through the debris you created.