Giving up on saving the world


#1

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#2

That’s why I have a pantry full of freeze-dried pork bellies because when the apocalypse comes, there is no way I am facing it without bacon!


#3

Pro-apocalypse!

I don’t have any children, so I feel like it is easier for me to have the desire to flip the switch. Of course, saving the innocent from hurting is partly why I would do it.

Awesome read, thanks Maggie!


#4

This ties in with a very interesting podcast I am currently listening to about cloud scientist Dr Tim Garrett:
http://www.ecoshock.info/2014/07/the-big-picture-like-it-or-not.html
Obvious bias, given the podcast origin but very interesting. Here is a bit of text about the study:
http://www.unews.utah.edu/old/p/112009-1.html


#5

I find it difficult to argue with the thesis that environmentalism-as-we-know-it has had more success with slogan than adoption, and will likely fail to prevent Excitingly Bad Outcomes(even if you don’t share the author’s distaste for its utilitarian bent, it doesn’t much matter because even that is a slim chance at best).

However, I have to admit that I find his emotive pining for affect states that certain environments used to conjure up and now don’t more than a trifle creepy in context. Yes, ‘the world as we know it’ is substantially dedicated to crass consumerism and widget advertising; but it’s also behind modest little projects like ‘Haber process nitrogen’ without which you can basically write off the bottom couple billion people, maybe more. This will certainly shake up first world fad environmentalists who think they can build enough wind turbines to recreate the suburbs as a hydrogen-fueled paradise; but that will be the least of the changes.

Given that his thesis is inevitability, not call to sabotage, I don’t begrudge him the right to spend his time as seems best; but he seems…remarkably sanguine…about the collapse of the old order as an occasion for authenticity and stuff given its other likely effects.


#6

The World-As-We-Don’t-YET-Know-It will be tough and sparsely populated, as Control Strategies will try to pen up the Human Herd permanently into cities where they can be effectively Managed (to death), but it will have people, just not 8 billion of them. Not even 2 billion of them. Carrying capacity in a world with sparse food, electricity and spare parts will PLUMMET to around 1 billion humans or fewer, I reckon.

Hope I’m long dead by then.


#7

Well, Paul, kill yourself and be done with it. The death march of corporate, libertarian, Malthusian delusions claims another victim.

Hope isn’t about pollyanna bullshit, it’s about applying creativity to the the possibility that there is a way forward that isn’t driving down the rutted road of genocidal corporate-sci-fi bullshit. It’s the collapsers who aren’t facing up to the scale of our resources. I have no time for these useless, privileged, hipster drones who are externalizing their first major adult emotional crisis.

And no, I won’t be responding further to this thread because it’s already attracting the sillyhive.

Edit: To be more specific, Kingsnorth’s nihilistic break is an example of the kinds of delusional fuckwittery that causes public officials to engage in passive human culls, like the local and federal response to Katrina. Fuck. That.


#8

Maybe the collapsers are necessary to steer the creative hopefuls?


#9

Sir, I salute your buzzword supremacy.


#10

A bit of advice: recommending that someone take their own life is never a good response to anything ever. I would like to thank you though. In wanting to respond to you I was inspired to make a connection between Kingsnorth’s manifesto and the five stages of grief:

  1. Denial: The corporate/government response to any and all calls for environmental remediation, starting for me with Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” gave us token efforts at best and greenwashing at worst.

  2. Anger: Earth First.

  3. Bargaining: In hindsight The Kyoto Protocol was a futile and failed bargain from the start.

  4. Depression: Oh yeah, I’m depressed.

  5. Acceptance: Kingsnorth is showing us the way now. We had our chance and didn’t take it. Okay then. Game over.


#11

http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/10/sustainable-means-bunkty-to-me/


#12

I know someone who works as an environmental adviser for a city council. He’s told me he’s rather depressed most of time, because looking at the facts: it’s too late to stop global warming, no matter how hippy-dippy you live your life. Even if we stopped all fossil-fuel use today it’s too late, we’re fucked.

He spends most of his time working on halting development in low lying coastal areas and preparing to relocate people who will most likely be underwater in the next couple of decades.


#13

I feel the same way about everything. It was incredibly liberating when I realized that whatever is coming will likely not wipe us out completely. Sometimes destruction is the only thing that can make way for creation.


#14

Not that I would ever encourage people to access grey zone content on the net, but I urge anyone who might think that catastrophic climate change is going to be a song and a dance and I can survive it because I’m such a well organized and resourceful soul to check out http://putlocker.is/watch-the-road-2009-online-free-putlocker.html or listen to the audio book or read the book “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. Its pretty dark, but for me its like a poison I can’t keep myself from returning to.

That said, I have been avoiding American predictions of the near future in print and film the past couple of years, as they tend to only offer visions of totalitarian technocratic wastelands, and I need more hope than that.

Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meliorism as an alternative to pessimism or brainless “pile up as much stuff before I die-ism” seems to be a middle way.


#15

Given that it seems one can look down the rutted road of genocidal corporate-sci-fi bullshit and just about make out the point where this hell-bound handcart is gonna conk out, barring a currently quite unlikely and ever-less-likely change of direction with enough magnitude to cut it, at some point hope will be all about pollyanna bullshit, without question.

I’m inclined to stand with Kingsnorth and argue why hope is already bullshit, but shit’s too depressing by now.


#16

#17

Man, how do these people get others to read their manifesto-things these days? I’m getting so desperate I’m turning my (far more useful and practical) attempt into a Dr. Who story. (okay, it’s not JUST mine and lots of people contributed to the design, I’m just a reluctant spokesperson)

However, while I don’t agree with the general nihlism he makes some good points.

The thing is, the whole ‘saving the world by getting people to do go out of their way to do things they’d rather not do’ was never a really viable way to get big things done. In general we humans are creatures of convenience and most of the environmental approaches were never likely to work.

I’m all for accepting when a particular approach turns out not to have staying power, but that doesn’t mean giving up on solving problems just because one or two approaches fail is the way to go. The stakes are kind of big.


Mystery solved: creepy dolls on suburban doorsteps
#18

Giving up doesn’t mean staying given up. It means getting disillusioned.

Give up on all the shit you (probably) have your hopes pinned on, and then we might be able to get somewhere.

I’d like to point out the above imperative decidedly doesn’t apply @William_Holz, who actually has a way out of this mess, if anyone’ll listen.

…But since he’s falling on deaf ears - here, of all places, that kinda leaves me feeling like I have less of something… now what could that something be…


#19

Ah pish posh. All this doom and gloom is baloney. The world is in better shape with more stability and equality than ever before in the history of man. I don’t think there are any insurmountable problems in the future. People will adapt.


#20

Just wait for the first larger blackout…