“From a certain point onward, there is no turning back. That is the point that must be reached.” Franz Kafka
Well it’s here, the apocalypse, that is. Humans, namely the leaders of the humans at the behest of the capitalists, have wrought the unspeakable. The end of the world as we know it. It’s too late to avoid catastrophe. That should have been started back in the 1970’s. About the time of the oil crisis in 1973. That’s when the transfer to renewables and infrastructure supporting public transport to eliminate some of fossil fuel usage. Military needed to be scaled down back then, during the Cold War. But no, war and imperialism ruled the roost. And a few years hence consumerism ramped up to unsustainable levels. Now it’s too late to avert some sort of catastrophic collapse of ecosystems along with economies and coast lines around the world.
Bleak, eh? Yeah, I know I’m a pessimist but a realist as well. I see the changes. I’m 65 and the environment along with climatic changes are noticeable to me. I’ve lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since I was five. It used to be really cold in the winters. With the exception of the winter of 2011, February; winters are milder. March used to be cold. Not any more. A few years ago, 2013, we basically didn’t have a winter. There are flies here that appeared in the 2000’s that we never had before. I no longer hear cicadas in the summer. July of this year was the hottest month ever recorded world wide. I could go on and on. So yeah people are screwed and no leadership even acknowledges this very fact. They are still looking for more oil. By then we won’t need it. So quit already.
Last week we had a world wide Climate Strike. Led by 16 year old Greta Thunberg, whose activism has stirred the youths of the world, she drove home the urgency of some concrete actions so she could have a world worth living in. Of course nothing will be done, if it was action would have begun back in the ‘70’s. President Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House back in the late ‘70’s. He was aware back then. Reagan came along and tore the solar panels down. So there you have it. That’s what they think. Money and expansion now and damn the torpedoes. The energy corps have dominated policy since the first parts of the 20th century and they haven’t relinquished their stance. Europe has trains. The US has cars and today cars are big again. Deregulation has been the order of the day for the Trump administration.
I keep seeing articles about technological fixes, such as carbon capture. These are pipe dreams. Business as usual won’t work. If say, tomorrow, all the CO2 emissions magically stopped, we’re still well on the way to 2C rise in temps. So it’s too late for a saving throw as in D&D. But what’s done in the next few years matters. It can avert total meltdown. It might save a few billion lives. I’ve seen reports of millions of lives lost; due to starvation, flooding, migration accidents, which, by the way are happening now, loss of arable land, etc. Again, I say billions. This is before next century!
I’m leaving a link from Counterpunch with a timely article.
The Illusion of Saving the World
At the end of this month, as you probably know by now, an extraordinary hoopla event will descend on Manhattan in the…
The article by Mr Sale is as skeptical as I am as to any concrete action. It’s too late to avoid a collapse of some sort. How bad and how long are the only real questions remaining. Trump said the USA will never be socialist. I agree. Socialism occurs after the US Empire’s collapse. Capitalism must end to survive. Capitalism needs growth to work. So we live on a finite Earth and there’s no more room for growth and that includes human population. BTW Bernie Sanders plan is really only socialist democratic, framed still with capitalist underpinnings. He just wants some equitable provisions for regular folks; like Medicare for all, free higher education, etc. That’s all good for now but still not sustainable for long. A start in the right direction, nonetheless.
I wish I could paint a rosier picture but as I say, I’m a pessimist. I’m skeptical of anything happening in time to avert a collapse. In fact it will happen. It’s built in right now and I’ve read several good books on the subject. Jared Diamond’s book, “Collapse”, is easily readable. I’ve read others too. I’ve read over two dozen books on global warming, environment, and studied ecology back in school in the early ‘70’s. Nothing has changed since I studied it back when. I thought I might be dead before the inevitable, but it’s here now and worsening every year. Texas has been flooded twice in the last few years from immense tropical storms. People are dying trying to migrate from droughts and wars. It will only get worse in the coming years.
Lastly. My kitty, Isis is still doing OK. I’m doing all I can so her remaining days are as painless as possible. But when the time comes I’ll make that dreaded last trip to the vet and say good by. It hurts. She’s my only real friend even if she isn’t a people friend. That’s another reason why I write. Just in case someone else wants to read what I have to say. Usually I’m gripping about something, that’s my nature. But, as always, Peace, The Ol’ Sad Hippy