Tearing It Down – Part I

[This is Part I, please read this segment first before reading Part II – Admin]

In my last post, I said:

The ‘solution’ seems to be to keep everything going, just as it is, as long as possible, with a total lack of foresight on what this is going to mean in the long run. If we wind up consuming every possible resource like I think we will, we are absolutely positively guaranteeing the extinction of all life on Earth except mold, mildew, bacteria and an occasional arthropod.

Now read this article, about sequestering carbon. There is absolutely no mention of creating new lifestyles that are not energy dependent, or changing civilization. There are however, a lot of false promises and assumptions on how technology is going to once again ‘save us’ (from ourselves), but the ethical changes that are really needed are conspicuously absent.

Every day I read really stupid proposals that imply we can continue down this path of consumption if we just take out our trash more efficiently. Read these links for this theme: A Metal Scare To Rival The Oil Scare, The Death Of Gallium, The Earth’s Natural Wealth, Can We Build The Future?

The Drudge Report recently had this blurb:

“Due to pending disasters predicted because of global warming, government scientists are urging the creation of a new Earth Systems Science Agency — by merging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey…

‘The United States faces unprecedented environmental and economic challenges in the decades ahead,’ the group warns. ‘Foremost among them will be climate change, sea-level rise, altered weather patterns, declines in freshwater availability and quality and loss of biodiversity’… Developing… “

While asking for divine intervention so we can consume even more oil is pretty laughable, stuffing CO₂ into the bottom of the ocean could well prove to be downright dangerous.

Even if it works and is not released back into the ocean or atmosphere, the basic premises behind this is at fault. It continues to assume that we can continue down this dangerous one-way path of energy dependency upon fossil fuels. It even supposes that this is the “best solution”. It also suggests that turning to corporate moguls for our best solutions to solve our global problems is actually in our best interest!

Gee, doesn’t it even occur to people that this is one of the reasons we’re in this fix in the first place? All we’re sure to get is a profit oriented scheme to keep everyone under their corporate thumb for life, with little to zero regard (as always) for the environment that sustains us. Always the same story, business as usual and nothing ever changes for the better.

We’ve replaced in our minds our real environmental dependency for the illusionary corporate dependency. This needs to be stated over and over again. The corporations hope to keep us totally enslaved to their offerings and under their thumbs, while they keep playing havoc with our environment. The environment does not belong to them and never did (please remember that).

This just in from Lonewolf – Wildlife Extinction Rates ‘Seriously Underestimated’

“We are certainly underestimating the number of species that are in danger of becoming extinct, because there are around 1.8 million described species and we’ve only been able to assess 41,000 of those,” he said.

The latest study could help refine models used to decide which species are put on the red list, he said. “We are constantly looking at how we evaluate extinction risk, and it may be they have hit on something that can help us,” he said.

More than 16,000 species worldwide are currently threatened with extinction, according to a 2007 report from the IUCN

Do the math. Of the 41,000 assessed, 16,000 are threatened with extinction. That’s nearly 40% of those assessed, with over 1.75 million species still unassessed! And we continue to accept this as the cost of “doing business” on this planet.

I’m absolutely SURE there is a way out of this mess. There is not only a way out of this mess, it’s where we are going to wind up anyway no matter what we do or what we don’t do.

But these concepts of real solutions to the ‘human problem’ are so extreme and so vehemently hated and broadly denied they remains in the arena of “touch not, look not, think not”. We dare not go there (hehehe, so I shall).

In the meanwhile, we get to look forward to a daily saga of lukewarm algae soup as we watch our children murder each other over the jellyfish main entree. What horrible fun this is going to be in the days ahead. We need to be talking about hastening the human collapse for our own good, or we are going to witness these things in the near-term future.

We certainly could do it, and it is pretty easy to assess that it would actually be easier then the so-called solutions that are being offered. But let’s examine these solutions briefly first.

First off, the basic premises behind all these ‘solutions’ (divine or otherwise) is that the situation is fixable somehow, but importantly, not by changing our method of existence (our environmental demands), but just by improving our employment and distribution of technology so we can continue to have the comfortable lives we have now.

What this really means is that we would continue to employ our destructive tendencies with a higher and greater level of efficiency. I totally fail to see how this would help us in the long or short term.

Of course, any future technology will not be available to everyone, just like current levels of technology isn’t right now. We couldn’t have that, because this would mean a fundamental change in our application of equality and the distribution of resources. So when we’re really talking about using technology as a fix to our global situation, we’re really just talking about proposed solutions just for a relative few, and this would only happen so they can go right on doing what they’re doing right now and remain guilt free. Obviously, it would never work anyway.

You can easily identify this principle in our world today. We only cater to those who can pay. We are not really interested in those who cannot. Those that pay are somehow ‘entitled’ to live increasingly destructive lives in direct relationship to their ability to pay. Those that can’t pay are forcibly kept below a poverty line which we call the ‘standard of living’, which is different for different groups of people depending upon their level of exploitation.

Isn’t it odd that those that produce the least amount of greenhouse gases and have a far lower carbon footprint, are the ones that can also pay the least? We should be rewarding them for saving us all instead of trying to find new ways to exploit them.

Nor are we are interested in making sure that everyone can pay, that is to say, help them by creating the economic opportunities to achieve the same status in life as we enjoy. If we did that, that wouldn’t be fair to us who enjoy so much. We would have to share what is increasingly limited supply, like food, water and oil. We like inequality!

So this also means that any technology solution that could be developed would only be offered on the payment plan to the same select and wasteful few (us!), while the impoverished billions would be employed at slave wages to build it for us at the cheapest possible cost (to us), and therefore solving absolutely nothing at all.

We know it is simply easier and more profitable to continue to exploit people then to truly help them (which is never the real goal), this maintains the status quo and inequality that promotes the minority (and wealth) over the majority (and poverty).

Inequality and imbalance works in our present world; preserving the balance of the power structures and preservation of wealth into the hands of the few. Under this present structure of ours, any technology solutions offered would never serve the entire people of the planet and therefore, should simply be discredited as being inefficient and a failure to address the total cooperation needed by all humans.

The fundamental lifestyle changes that would serve to work instead of technology are simply not being considered. Why should they? If we wanted to live like the ‘rest of the world’, we’d move to India.

Anything that continues to serve the present power structures is actually in effect, an antithesis to the people on this planet, but it does “work” and has for a long time, as the Earth was slowly depleted of its resources. However, it is not in our best interests (and never was) to continue to preserve this carefully crafted structure of imbalance and privilege, but we have all been broadly bamboozled into believing that it is. This is a lie and always has been.

Nobody is asking for example, “who” would get the electric car, or life-extension technologies, or solar panels for that matter. Carbon sequestering would only be applied to those countries that could afford this technology. We’re just being guilty again of assuming that any technology solution would be fair and equitable, but of course, it never has been. We would get cool high-tech toys to replace our belching cars, but the folks in Mexico or Africa can simply keep walking. What would change? Nothing. Nothing at all.

Having this non-negotiable way of life is going to be our death sentence. We are only creating a even greater imbalance, and more inequality, so that we could maintain the “good life” for as long as possible, while ignoring the rest of the world. The resulting imbalance ensures we will ultimately fail.

And nobody is even asking yet where these raw resources would even come from for the tech solutions either, or who and what their real price is in terms of pollution, environmental destruction, economic exploitation and the inevitable health issues.

Technology is not creating an equal society. Technology was never about creating equality, technology is used to gain superiority and supremacy. You can see easily identifiable examples of this throughout American society. One manufacture of high-definition T.V.’s claims superiority over another. Competition is considered “good”, while ignoring the resource destruction and consumption and pollution this causes and even issues like planned obsolescence. What do we care? We’ll just go make some more with nary a thought to what this means for our future.

We’re quite content to pass off our hand-me-downs to the less fortunate, but we’re not about to give them what we haven’t already long gotten for ourselves. It doesn’t matter if it is a new IPOD or a pair of Calvin Klein jeans, we come first.

It will be the same with any technological improvements to our world, especially those that will continue promise the good life, a euphanism for wasteful and gluttonous living for as few as possible for as long as possible. We never expect to pay the real price, let someone else pay for us, even if it turns out to be our own kids.

If you’ve not been paying attention, this is exactly how carbon credits (a very stupid idea) are being presented to the world.

Therefore, new life-saving technologies, and even ‘planet saving’ technologies, will not really change our world at all. Inequality will still exist, the elite and rich will still be served and allowed to consume the lions share of the remaining resources (guess who that is? That’s you and me by the way, we are still the ‘rich’) and the rest will still remain efficiently and effectively oppressed. Our fingers will still be pointing to their carbon creating and greenhouse gas polluting ways in blame, while ignoring our own. Isn’t this what is happening now?

These so-called technological “solutions” won’t solve anything, such as global warming — AT ALL, because they will continue to retain the same power structures and exploitation that is already in existence. Think about it. It is the West that is creating most of the problems, especially in countries like Hansen pointed out, the US, England and Germany. It is ALL of the advanced nations of the world that are doing by FAR the most damage to the planet.

A technological “fix” to global warming simply cannot work, because under our present system of inequality, they cannot serve all of the people. The rest of the people (billions and billions) would be effectively forced to circumvent these so-called technofix “solutions” and resort to, well, exactly what they are doing right now.

They are doing what they have to do to survive in a world that declares ownership and control of everything. Forest are cut down by the people that live there to make way for farms and food, gas guzzling vehicles are still in widespread use because it’s all that is available and affordable and people live too far away to walk everywhere, everyday.

These technological dependencies exist because the civilization we built created them, with nary a thought to what it might all mean someday. All of them are destroying the common environment bit by bit out of necessity in many cases.

We have that here too in America, but ours is actually worse. We structured our society to reward the corporations and businesses that practiced environmental destruction because of the cool toys they in turn offered us if we would submit to their wage-slavery to buy them. This is so unbelievably STUPID and self-destructive that it bears absolutely no resemblance at all to ethical human existence.

We believe that this is necessary, but is important to realize where this necessity came from. Simply put, it was forced upon all of us long ago. We have little choice anymore, because we were literally driven from the fields and forests into a modern civilization that both destroyed our independence and leisurely lives, and enslaved us to a complex system of corporate dependency.

Every technofix suggested proposes to continue down this path of plantation ownership and slave control, and is indeed, the wrong solution altogether.

The techno-fix solution always caters to the rich and the wealthy, and therefore, cannot work. It will never be widely distributed and equally shared, the immediate question of “who’s going to pay for this?” springs forward like a hungry lion from the mouths of capitalists and industrialists, who are always seeking to make humans into “consumers” and “producers” of profits. This too is entirely wrong.

But that’s just one of the hidden principles at work here, there are quite a few more too. For every technological solution that is offered, an equal or greater number of problems are created by those solutions. Simply put, technology is “never in balance” with the natural world, it takes what it cannot give, it demands what it cannot provide. It remains forever and ever, resource consumptive and resource dependent; therefore, technology will also be a debit to this planet, and never a credit. This debt can only last for so long before it bankrupts the entire planet and all in existence.

Technology works against planetary systems. Technology seeks to master or at least overcome these systems (solely for the benefit of humans) despite all of its negative side-effects which we are supposed to keep on ignoring. The Earth has a great deal of resilience simply because it’s a pretty big place, but not so much anymore, not with seven billion humans teeming over its surface devouring everything is sight like a plague of locusts.

One of the main complaints about technology then, is how it is applied, but the promise of technology is that it will always be applied safely, wisely, consciously and always to our benefit with few to no side-effects. This rarely, if ever actually true.

The industrial revolution for example, exemplifies this application for purely selfish motives by humans with terrible side-effects. Little to no regard was given to the downstream effects of tearing the earth apart for minerals and reassembling them into products and consumable goods only to dump them all in a trash heap somewhere (which we then built homes to raise our kids upon) and then to repeat this process over and over and over again. It wasn’t very long before the natural systems of the Earth began to show severe and negative effects to this folly.

Now we’re actually thinking about these things, but only in ways that say, “let’s keep doing what we’re doing, but we’ll clean up our trash as we go”, and “we’ll be more responsible”, which really never works, because what we are doing is antithetical to the natural systems of the Earth. We’re continuing to insist upon the “right” to take far more from the planet then we could ever possibly need, as fast as we can possibly do it and with no regard at all to how much this is affecting the future of all life on this planet.

I do not consider the lip-service or the fragmented efforts around the world to ‘manage’ our exploitation hardly worth mentioning here in context, because clearly, they do not work, we’re still losing tremendous ground literally and figuratively, and we’re witnessing collapsing ecosystems accelerating right before our eyes.

On a planetary scale, we have done tens of thousands of years of irreversible damage already (or worse, extinction means forever) in just a hundred years. Our preservation efforts are indeed laughable if you like dark humor. Even more sordid, is how we still believe, however so wrongly, that only a little bit more ‘management’ and a little bit more ‘control’ will get us through this period of terrifying repercussions of human folly. This is yet another basic premises of human intervention, but it is also terribly flawed concept.

How much longer might we continue on this path of human (mis)management, destructive human behavior and human-generated ‘solutions’? I suspect we could calculate the half-life of uranium and come up with a reasonable answer to those questions. We’re doing this because we continue to believe (despite all the evidence to the contrary) that we can and that we should.

Are we right? Or are we wrong? By what standard should we make that assessment? Science is already telling us that we are wrong. Technologists (as opposed to scientists) continually promise what they have never once delivered, but our culture embraces these tech toys and their promoters as being the ‘next best thing’ for human existence. They are now considered “necessary” and even essential for our existence, but of course, only for those can pay. It just too damned convenient to forget at what price tag they really came with.

Many scientist themselves also believe in this false promise of technology, believing that we can somehow fix it, if we just come to understand it sufficiently better then we already do. Many believe that we are the true owners of the Earth, the ones in ‘control’, capable and able to make improvement, which is really quite ludicrous. Whatever we touch we screw up. If we can’t exploit it, then we try to ‘manage it’, believing we can do a better job then nature itself.

The arrogance behind this kind of thinking is appalling. What has taken millions of years to develop, we’re supposed to understand and control in just a few decades at most, during which time we often change our minds and even the human ‘managers’ that come and go. And we go right on doing this because we believe we should. But is even this premises true, or is it yet another lie also?

[end of Part I – to continue, please read Part II – Admin]


admin at survivalacres dot com

2 thoughts on “Tearing It Down – Part I

  • July 6, 2008 at 3:43 pm
    Science News had a recent short article about how helium supplies are predicted to run out in about 8 years. Add it to that list above.
  • July 7, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks for covering my particular bailiwick. Good job. The hardest thing I do is attempt to convince people that we will end up at some low-level technology along the lines of hunter-gatherer/subsistence farming and that we should be setting our sights on that. We should apply the cheap energy towards unraveling the knot and creating local environments that can be self-supportive.

    They, of course, are loathe to admit the obvious because their magical thinking minds are blind.

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