Climate collapse

Just wanted to add my 2 pence, in particular in relation to this concept of diminution.
As a father mainly but also a human that values family and close relationships, my view is that it is not fair and completely wrong to think that if we stop making children, we are doing something good for the planet.
This is the same way of thinking that we have been installed in our mind that pollution and resources exploitation is due only to the way we leave in the western world or better “non-natural” society.
It is true that if we change our consumption habits, it will have a strong impact but this does not mean that normal people should do everything, including not having children, to stop this climate change.
The fault does not lie only on the single or the family, in this instance, but mainly on the great exploiters.
I talk about big pollution activities (Coal, mining, fossil fuels extraction, use of any non clean energy) and in particular by the lobbying activity of those to stop progress.
We, as humans, have the capacities to solve this, to create a more equal society without the greed.
I personally reject the doom visions saying that we are viruses on our planet (Matrix movie style) and I think a more positive thinking should arise, especially in the more radical thinking parts of the society.

The main problem in my view are energy resources, this is what we would need to solve urgently.
Then I agree it is very difficult to teach the collectivity to not consume, to use the same clothes forever, to fix your electronics and whatever other items you own, instead of changing for the new model all the time; it is difficult to have people not buying products from big corporations that are polluting, exploiting, destroying communities, etc etc…but we will get there.

I believe that now, like ever before, the general awareness on climate and environmental problem is at its peak…

5 Likes

Not only that, but even if 2 million people stopped driving or bought electric cars, it would have almost zero effect on the global auto industry. So while making personal choices is important and we should all do what we can, unless people stop eating enough beef that we stop raising cattle it’s really not doing anything for this problem.

7 Likes

I listened to Seth Godin’s podcast the other day. In this episode he discusses and analyzes the mechanisms that makes “global warming” such a difficult idea for people to accept – and act on. It’s interesting and sad.

As far I live in a civilization that it’s ultimate purpose is to extend human life time on the planet, the death of the planet is inevitable. Accept death as part of life can reinstate balance.
Our star will die one day and somewhere else another universe will born or already exist.
My thinking goes into how can I stop seeking for stimulation? Stimulation of more of anything:
More to taste, to see, to know, to buy…
I know that I don’t need it …

1 Like

No, our planet doesn’t have an “ultimate purpose” and it is home to many species, without which humanity would be deprived of much of what makes this planet a bearable place to inhabit.

3 Likes

Lots of great discussion here, but just want to echo the near 100 year old sentiment:

its socialism or barbarism yall,

any talk of what to do or how to feel cant responsibly ignore or subordinate the overwhelming influence of the social relations of labor that marks the anthropocene. The concept of the antropocene needs material analysis to make any sense any way

edit: I also want to say that as soon as one says “I think humans will X” it needs to be recognized that ‘human’ is not an ahistorical concept. Most people, I think, intuitively latch on to a specific kind of humanism that is not more than 300 years old, and even then, is always at play in ideology. Both the idea of ‘human’, and the subjectivity we all manifest, are modified and reproduced by capitalism

9 Likes

The current major hurdle for green energy is battery storage technology.
Perhaps in the next twenty years we will see the rapid commercialization of sodium-ion solid-state batteries and other alternatives to conventional lithium batteries.

I take a rather dim view of humanity’s ability to stop climate change. It is a miracle that we haven’t already destroyed our civilizations in a nuclear exchange.
The near future will involve mitigating the worst effects of climate change, and of course the poorest countries least responsible for it will be affected the most. That said, the world will lose much biodiversity but still be teeming with adaptable life, and has survived mass extinctions in the past. This is more about us and our agriculture and water resources in the near term than the survival of the planet in the long term.

I also think some humans are bound to survive even the worst scenarios, and we’ve been through genetic bottlenecks before. But that will be no picnic.

What’s good for labor is not always good for the environment. Fracking and natural gas extraction is good for labor, energy independence from the Middle East, and perhaps even as a bridge fuel to greener technologies but it’s bad for aquifers and bad for carbon output.

As far as socialism, what are all those unskilled workers going to do once automation truly takes hold? The answer is pretending to work. You need a socialist solution like Andrew Yang promotes - minimum basic income.

Unless people are forced to give up their capitalistic amenities then there is no way to stem climate change. Even red meat, that’s not going to happen.

1 Like

I just don’t see how some people can look at the massively unequal distribution of wealth and resources in the world today, and think that socialism or communism is asking us to give literally anything up (other than those who deserve to give something up, and there are plenty).

I dont want whats better for labor, ultimately, I want labor as we know it to be abolished.

In a world without money, how could there ever be some kind of dissonance between people and the environment?

And I know I am being big and maybe a lil bushy-tailed, but we are talking about the end of a world so why not dream?

Also UBI is bandaid bullshit, the market would adjust. It would literally facilitate capitalism more than anything else.

And what will people do in my communist utopia where everything is automated? They would be happier, comfortable, different humans. Lots of music and food.

9 Likes

Still quite possible!

2 Likes

didn’t say planet’s purpose, human civilization purpose :slight_smile:

2 Likes

You’re talking Star Trek level post-scarcity economy.

I’m with you, I hope it happens eventually.

While i imagine that there was at least a touch of irony intended with this phrasing, I find it a worrisome road to head down. “Amenties” are not inherently capitalistic…that comes from the manner in which they are produced/distributed and the social relations/ethos underlying such.

(What follows is not a specific reply to anyone, but generalized messy musing)

While I am privately sympathetic to views that posit humans as virus-like, thoughts like that seem to be a sort of dark fantasy. And it seems like a massive mistake to push that sort of narrative. The same goes for anything that fetishizes life without electricity, or, feudal living, say. Alienating large swaths of the population with notions that I suspect mask a fantasy-oriented underlying quasi-libertarian bent, in a time that requires large-scale structural and imaginative problem-solving…guilt-tripping people for their ‘selfish’ wish to survive…I just can’t see how it’s productive.

5 Likes

I agree that the most effective action must be on a systematic level.

We’ve been experiencing the collapse for years now. Flint, Hurricane Katrina, war in Syria and elsewhere likely driven by drought, California fires, Miami is flooding. Disease vectors, cancer, respiratory distress, endocrine disruption etc. are related to climate and pollution.

We can either mitigate tragedy by making deliberate systematic changes, or we can keep letting things get worse, and have change forced on us through deprivation, violence, and collapse.

We need an economic system that does not reward ever-increasing consumption and waste and exploitation. That change will happen – but will it be forced on us as the result of total failure and impoverishment of all, or of bloody revolution, or total war… or will we choose to change it?

10 Likes

Not at all. Humans a part of the ecosystem, they are native to the planet. The planet is going through a cycle, it possible that all planetary ecosystems go through this cycle when one of its species reaches an Industrial Age. Of course we don’t have the luxury of having seen this cycle happen before.

That said I’m still really disappointed in the outlook. I have the hopes that things will balance out and we will continue.

Can’t really separate the two though. I maintain that the sense of our civilization having some purpose, it’s really an illusion. We are simply another species. And the ability for a species to foul its environment is not unique to humanity, it’s just something we have taken to an extreme.

5 Likes

don’t understand your argument really…

1 Like

True, but capitalism lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in China and India, one system without democracy, one with, and now those classes of people expect a certain standard of living brought about by the societal transformation, and they produce more carbon. So in a practical sense, amenities are inherently capitalistic.

Yep it’s called carrying capacity.

I am an actual scientist and I work at a natural history museum with actual researchers and saying our planet is going through a natural cycle is not supported by the science.

12 Likes