6th Mass Extinction, Biophysical Economics, Chris Hedges, Climate Change, Collapse of Industrial Civilization, Corporate State, Ecological Overshoot, Economic Growth, Financial Elite, Greenwashing, Mass Die Off, Shell oil drilling in the Arctic
One of the recent headlines that caught my eye:
And of course the cartoonist Polyp had the perfect response…
While reading this morning, I stumbled across the following blog and found it informative…
Occam’s razor suggests that the more likely explanation for some phenomenon is the explanation which requires the fewest number of assumptions or required assertions. Even though in science the correct answer is sometimes the more complex one, rationally speaking, the fewer amount of assumptions that we have to make in order to get a theory to work, the better.
For example, think of how many assumptions you have to make to consider the September 11th attacks a government conspiracy. So many claims about time, space, engineering, politics, prior knowledge, flight patterns, etc., must be made to even start bridging the gap. On the other hand, the simpler explanation that requires less assumptions (and indeed has more evidence) is that a group of terrorists hijacked some planes and flew them into the buildings.
By association, Occam’s razor regularly dismantles most conspiracy theories without much effort. Of course, any of the conspiracies could be true, but without evidence the numerous assumptions that need to be made push these theories into irrational confines.
The infographic below takes a similar approach. On the side that accepts anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming, it takes many more assumptions to make the idea that the majority of the world’s climate scientists are in collusion to make a worldwide hoax from which they see no benefit work than it does to think that oil companies are protecting their bottom line. We know that there are huge oil lobbies, oil companies that have scientists in their pockets, and that large corporations are trying to purposefully undermine the science of climate.
Therefore, which makes more sense?
At the root of the Anthropocene Crisis of the 21st century is the unabated expansion of humankind fueled by fossil fuels. We are pushing all other living things off the cliff of extinction, with ourselves soon to follow.
…32 per cent of livestock breeds are under threat of extinction within the next 20 years, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says. And 75 per cent of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost since 1900.
“Because we don’t really know the full impacts of climate change down the line, we don’t really know what’s going to happen in terms of growing conditions around the world. It’s just safer for us to have a lot of these other varieties in our pocket,” said David Ainsworth, spokesman of the CBD Secretariat.
Cooper said the pace of extinctions among the planet’s estimated 9 million species – plants, animals from insects to whales but excluding legions of tiny bacteria – was perhaps 100 times the background rate estimated in fossil records.
“If you project the rates into the future, the rest of the century, they are likely to be 100 times larger still,” he said. The rising human population threatens ever more habitats with expanding cities, farms and roads…
The machine of industrial civilization has become the master of our fate. It rolls onward under its own colossal impetus, crushing all in its path. The billions of people in the globalized economy are now mere cogs in its wheel. ‘Economic development and growth’ is the mantra chanted by all. ‘Green’ and ‘sustainable’ are the adjectives used by corporations to whitewash the continued plunder of the environment. Capitalism, an economic system that requires continued expansion and control, is inherently unstable and incompatible with the long-term habitability of the planet. Will the principles of biophysical economics become accepted as truth before we destroy ourselves?
The answer lies in this excerpt from Chris Hedges’ latest essay:
…perhaps the most egregious assault will be carried out by the fossil fuel industry. Obama, who presided over the repudiation of the Kyoto Accords and has done nothing to halt the emission of greenhouse gases, reversed 20 years of federal policy when he permitted the expansion of fracking and offshore drilling. And this acquiescence to big oil and big coal, no doubt useful in bringing in campaign funds, spells disaster for the planet. He has authorized drilling in federally protected lands, along the East Coast, Alaska and four miles off Florida’s Atlantic beaches. Candidate Obama in 2008 stood on the Florida coastline and vowed never to permit drilling there.
You get the point. Obama is not in charge. Romney would not be in charge. Politicians are the public face of corporate power. They are corporate employees. Their personal narratives, their promises, their rhetoric and their idiosyncrasies are meaningless. And that, perhaps, is why the cost of the two presidential campaigns is estimated to reach an obscene $2.5 billion. The corporate state does not produce a product that is different. It produces brands that are different. And brands cost a lot of money to sell…