I hope people will start to think… but I am afraid, it’s a hopeless situation.
We just had our elections here in Australia, the party forming government just pushed through approvals for more coal mines unopposed by the opposition, because the people demanded it, because the media told them to. I’m going to seriously consider monarchy if the right king shows up…democracy is a failed experiment.
For now, I hope the collapse is further off than it feels, because it is almost certainly inevitable.
Feels really weird clicking a heart on these posts. I wanna say “I feel that” not “I like that”. Anyway, feels. Big complicated ones.
Ahh, I think that’s a fair interpretation. Just wanted to clarify, I saw that quote more as a reframing. I think it’s really common for people to say, “it’s the end of the world” or “we need to save the planet”, when it’s more like, “we need to stop being such a shitty, selfish species.” We have altered this planet, immensely. Ultimately, we are responsible for ourselves, the destruction we’ve caused, and, going forward, reducing the negative impacts we have on everything else living here. I don’t think we’re going to save it though with our ingenuity/genius/whatever. We should get over ourselves as a species, and accept that we’re just one of many.
I was checking out this thread earlier and it filled me with a sense of dread and despair. The only thing that got me out of the funk was having a Werner Herzog voice in my head narrating my thoughts.
“What do we do in the face of the brutality and banality of our own destruction?”
I think one answer is to get out and be the beauty that we want to see in the world. We are all here a limited time. It’s important to be aware of our impact and try to minimize it. It is also our duty for many of us as artists and musicians to bring about awareness and hopefully change by exposing ugliness through beauty.
If any of you get a chance I would recommend checking out https://theanthropocene.org/film/
It’s a beautifully shot film about our impact on the planet. It’s the third in a trilogy and watching the previous two films isn’t necessary to appreciate this one, even though I would highly recommend those also.
I agree. I think what we can do is understand how to stop harming all of those other species. Then maybe we start to stand a chance of learning from those species how to survive in a changing world. We must become students of the very nature we have so long attempted to abuse and control.
Thank you for the recommendation!
^ Solar punk visions
Kind of related to the Adam Curtis quote (and his last film), I’ve wondered lately if one thing we really need right now are more visions of a healthy future. It’s hard to escape dystopian or apocalyptic visions in visual art, films, books, and music. What does a life look like with less?
A bit of a spoiler, but the end of this Japanese movie, Survival Family, paints a future without electricity as a pretty wholesome, lovely affair. It’s kind of sad when the power is restored: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxG-cIiaKeg
In 1998 I moved into a house being rented by the woman I’m now married to. The house was off the grid deep in the coastal redwoods of Boulder Creek, California. The house had been built by its owner in the 70s with no blueprint, no architect, and no connection to any grid or municipal services of any kind. The solar system was 70s era. It had never been upgraded. The batteries were reclaimed from a telephone point of presence box, which means they had been used very hard for many years before they became part of this house’s power system, so they didn’t hold a charge very well any more.
While we had almost no electricity, she was working for Netscape and I was working for IBM at the time. We both commuted, pretty long distances, but tried to work from home as much as possible. Using a dial-up modem over a landline. A single phone line that we also had to use for voice calls.
Winter of 97-98 was one of the most intense el niño years I’ve seen. Scratch that, the most intense, by far. Mud slides were happening all over, blocking roads in an area where there often aren’t very many opportunities for egress under the best conditions.
We made it work. We lived extremely modern lives with almost no electricity, while frequently getting cut off completely from the outside world until roads could be cleared. Even after the weather cleared up and we had the sun of summertime, the power system was so minimal that we really had to be extremely cognizant of our energy use. It doesn’t take long under those conditions to become hyperaware of exactly what devices and behaviors are going to push that needle to the left faster than others. Certain appliances are just eliminated forever. Nobody needs a hair dryer, for example. You gain a new appreciation for battery-powered devices. Our laptops, in many ways, replicate the components of a solar power system, in their own power systems. Little miniature distributed power systems are easier to maintain than bigger, more centralized power systems. It’s kind of fractal in structure.
Your circadian rhythms get more attuned to natural light cycles. You sleep more in the wintertime and don’t try to accomplish as much. Yes, the people in the Silicon Valley offices we called colleagues thought we were crazy/stupid. We thought we lived in a place that allowed us to imagine for at least part of our days, what it might be like if we never saw the inside of a Silicon Valley office again.
We stayed in that house for two years. When we left, it wasn’t because of the power system. We had been living as a large group of roommates, and it was time to move on. Yeah, there were up to 8 people in that house at times. Perhaps a bit much. Especially given the constraints. But we loved each other and mostly made it work. With perhaps not quite enough privacy for comfort. Then again, we Americans expect a great deal of privacy. We’re kind of spoiled that way.
It’s amazing how little electricity we really need. Especially compared to how much we typically use. These days I can afford a solar power system large enough for ridiculous habits. Haven’t bought it yet. Pretty expensive. We were looking into federal grants for solar power on farms. We might give up on that and just do it soon. Part of me almost misses the simplicity of those 70s systems, but it probably makes sense to just use the modern stuff, for a variety of reasons. Though I do wonder about parts in a world where global trade has contracted and we all live in much more local economies.
Live off the grid if you can. It’s eye-opening.
I used to work on a climate change study called BioCON which was/is a long term ecological research experiment run in Minnesota that started in 1997. Among the many things studied, we used a technique called Free Air Carbon Enrichment which through a series of open air pipes and sensors, created consistent CO2 levels in our outdoor plots. The ambient/control concentration was 360ppm. That was back in 2009-2011. Just in 2017, the global concentration of atmospheric CO2 surpassed 405 ppm, and continues to show no signs of slowing down. Also, coming from the ecology background it’s interesting to consider the semantics of climate change and climate collapse. Change continues to be the language used in the research world because it’s less anthropocentric than collapse, in spite of that being true too.
Commuting by car
Single use items
Give it up or reduce it to bare minimum.
Is that simple.
Oh and don’t elect assholes. Give your vote for the people who are offering a future. Give your money to the people around you, to your community. Always give more than receive.
It was a bleak moment when I was looking over some documents and realized my earliest retirement date is more than a decade after most projected timelines for climate collapse
Limited liability company (LLC) in the end means limited responsibility. Nobody feels responsible for that 71% and just hides behind a logo and name.
Mary Heglar is one of the best writers I’ve come across on the subject of climate activism and justice. This quote from her recent piece over at Vox really rings true, imo:
At the same time, though, the more we focus on individual action and neglect systemic change, the more we’re just sweeping leaves on a windy day. So while personal actions can be meaningful starting points, they can also be dangerous stopping points.
We need to broaden our definition of personal action beyond what we buy or use. Start by changing your lightbulb, but don’t stop there. Taking part in a climate strike or showing up to a rally is a personal action. Organizing neighbors to sue a power plant that’s poisoning the community is a personal action.
Voting is a personal action. When choosing your candidate, investigate their environmental policies. If they aren’t strong enough, demand better. Once that person is in office, hold them accountable. And if that doesn’t work, run for office yourself - that’s another personal action.
Take your personal action and magnify it into something bigger than what kind of bag totes your groceries.
Her writings at Medium are pretty essential, too…
my views on this matter are a bit complex to word…but I have been observing a recent frenzy of climate collapse propaganda…from friends, news, social media and pop culture. Opposing thoughts kicked into overdrive when a friend who runs a permaculture farm posted an article from Conde Naste Traveller of all things about how humans have 30 years left due to this climate collapse…I mean really how naive does one have to be. (I find the excess culture of travel to be quite toxic myself) Following the trail it led to a rather slick documentary…i think someone has already linked it.
Rather than calling this the Anthropocene I prefer the age of Information…and the observation of how easily people are manipulated into forming judgements…my view is that no judgements should be formed unless you can observe it with ur physical senses. And they should remain localised to that space. And even then to truly remain free one has to accept that the opposite may/must also be true. Im open to both sides…its only one there is a particular dominant vibration of information energy that i begin to seriously question it. In this case its the we fucked up and its all over very soon.
What I can observe is just how much people waste things…and how much wastage there is just to satisfy humanities quest for convenience. Unquestioningly allowing disposable plastic into their lives…This requires more than awareness of the problem. But willingness to put energy into observation and change.
to quote timothy leary:
"Think for yourself
Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself."
Its not that I dont think humans are fking things up…that much is obvious. Its easy to put the blame on things such as western society, developing countries like india and china, colonialism and the top tier companies. But people forget that we are all an expression of creation. But we have a mind which according to ancient wisdom, goes beyond physical manifestation. Its mostly on this invisible plane where our conflict lies. On the whole humanity are still infants in mental evolution and so are susceptible to manipulation all on our own and from the outside.
This is a deliberate misreading of what was said in the IPCC report, and is usually spread about as propaganda by climate deniers and other shills for Big Oil.
The 30-year target is for us - humanity - to reach zero emissions globally, so that we can at least mitigate some of the likely worst effects of global heating and climate chaos.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Ironically your quoting me in that manner is a misrepresentation of my entire post. In simple terms I am saying the web of information is too convoluted to take seriously. The fact that it is also presented as some form of sick/slick doomsday entertainment is another point well considering.
Is it fantasy to propose humans are going to reach any zero emissions targets in the next 30-50 years? Maybe if/when nuclear fusion comes to be one can foresee such a future. Otherwise it aint happenening…still one can set their goals high…but it what mental cost?
There is a small part of my thought that wanders around climate change as a point to instill a fear in the west of mass migrations from lesser developed countries. This is pure conjecture offcourse and more observations will have to be made.
Kahan, D. M., Peters, E., Wittlin, M., Slovic, P., Ouellette, L. L., Braman, D., & Mandel, G. (2012). The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks. Nature climate change , 2 (10), 732.
I apologise that I misrepresented your post.
Climate collapse, social justice, sharing wealth, equity of any sort, improving all kind of things thru democracy or other ideologies, etc…
Maybe we human (aka Homo sapiens) are not up to the task. The revolution for me would be to accept that fact. Do our best to keep as much biodiversity as possible, but also embrace totally the idea of transhumanism (a la David Pearce) as a necessity.
Its all great living off the grid when you have financial security. But one would have to consider places like India where the poorest developing regions have been hoping to be connected to the grid and greatly anticipate such progress into modern living for decades. It would also be detrimental to the environment if a vast portion of the worlds population decided to go live in and amongst our dwindling wild spaces…
With that in mind I also wonder how much more pressure would we have to put on the environment if the majority in India had the means to live in that western consumerist model that the middle and affluent societies live by.