Addiction to Fossil Fuels, Arizona, Capitalism, Climate Change, Collapse of Industrial Civilization, Corporate State, Devil's Bridge, Eco-Apocalypse, Egyptian Social Upheaval, Environmental Collapse, Extinction of Man, Martha Gellhorn, Mega-Fires, Megadrought, Nine Inch Nails, Overpopulation, Peak Oil, Security and Surveillance State, Sedona, Social Unrest, The Elite 1%, unwashed public, War on Terror, Yarnell Hill Fire
Devil’s Bridge in Sedona 7-7-2013
This past weekend I trekked through the Sedona desert to Devil’s Bridge for some scenic vistas and to find the ideal place to meditate and clear my mind. Looking at these beautiful pictures, you wouldn’t know that industrial civilization is beginning to come apart at the seams. With the doomsday trifecta of peak oil, climate change, and the final blow-off stage of overpopulation, Egypt is a microcosm of what lies ahead for all of us in a world of austerity and class war, expensive food, and loss of faith in institutions/breakdown of government.
Thoughts flicker through my mind about how precarious and transient my position is in this hostile terrain. Without oil, I would not even be hiking in the hot desert. I had to drive to get here. The life-sustaining water in my mass-produced thermos was delivered into my house through an elaborate system of pipes and treatment plants. My shoes and clothing are made overseas, perhaps in a sweatshop, and shipped to the local department store where I bought them. And if I break a leg and need emergency services, a gas-guzzling helicopter may even be dispatched to pick me out of the wilderness. Suffice it to say, industrial civilization has made the world much smaller, but at a horrible price. Humans have become fixated on fossil fuels to their own detriment, like a moth fatally attracted to a burning street lamp. The average person lives and travels far beyond the capacity of the Earth to sustain such an energy-intensive mode of living. Pampered by fossil fuel slaves, the citizens of industrial civilization cannot imagine a world without such luxuries and don’t even entertain such thoughts. As a matter of fact, I’m thought of as crazy for even suggesting our energy-laden lifestyles are an aberration in the great scheme of history. I push such absurd thoughts out of my mind and take in the breathtaking scenery.
But then I wonder how this place will look in a few decades, seeing how Arizona is the fastest warming state in the union. Two days after this state’s tragic loss of 19 firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire, my neighborhood situated roughly two hours away was pelted with a torrential downpour and hail up to one inch in diameter. Extremes of weather, fire and ice, are a hallmark of climate change and promise to take many more victims in the future:
That hail destroyed a number of plants in our vegetable garden. So much for cucumbers and lettuce.
No amount of hints dropped by Mother Nature will sink into the collective skull of humanity. Industrial civilization with its countless techno-gadgetry solutions is the hammer, and everything else is the nail. Rising sea levels require massive sea gates; crop failure requires genetically modified plants; CO2 pollution requires carbon sequestration, terrorism requires 24/7 surveillance of all citizens, etc. Vested interests and human nature always find a way to rationalize the irrational and push reason out the window. The superorganism of capitalist industrial civilization has constricted our imagination and choices, strapping us into a speeding car headed for the abyss of extinction.
I find solace and tranquility in nature far from the maddening buzz of modern civilization.
See the animal in his cage that you built
Are you sure what side you’re on?
Better not look him too closely in the eye
Are you sure what side of the glass you are on?
See the safety of the life you have built
Everything where it belongs
Feel the hollowness inside of your heart
And it’s all
Right where it belongs
Tom Crowley (@Planoltom) said:
“No amount of hints dropped by Mother Nature will sink into the collective skull of humanity.” One of your best lines ever, keep going .
Hey mike, nice post – soothing pictures, sweet video. Right before I read your latest post I was looking at this (so you can appreciate the whiplash):
Another day, another desecration of the environment . . .
Paul F Getty said:
And it turns out those fires are more of a positive feedback than we thought:
Washington: A new study suggests that wildfires contribute more to global warming than it was earlier predicted.
Measurements taken during the 2011 Las Conchas fire near Los Alamos National Laboratory show that the actual carbon-containing particles emitted by fires are very different than those used in current computer models, providing the potential for inaccuracy in current climate-modeling results.
“We’ve found that substances resembling tar balls dominate, and even the soot is coated by organics that focus sunlight,” senior laboratory scientist Manvendra Dubey said.
“Both components can potentially increase climate warming by increased light absorption,” the researcher said.
The Las Conchas fire emissions findings underscore the need to provide a framework to include realistic representation of carbonaceous aerosols in climate model, the researchers say.
They suggest that fire emissions could contribute a lot more to the observed climate warming than current estimates show.
“The fact that we are experiencing more fires and that climate change may increase fire frequency underscores the need to include these specialized particles in the computer models, and our results show how this can be done,” Dubey said.
I read your posts and you are so correct about everything you write and I am thankful for your insights. To me the main issue is overpopulation and a capitalism that has become a parasite and a disease that will destroy everything.
Trish House said:
Stats on terrorist murders in the United States since 2000. (does not include mass shootings at schools, etc. which are called crimes but the Beltway snipers are considered terrorists). The century preceding this was not much different in these stats. We’ve spent $1.4 trillion on the war on terror since 9/11 yet 260,000 Americans died in the same period from lack of health care.
They care about profits, not people.
2000 = 0,
2001 = 2993 alleged foreign, 5 unknown,
2002 = 13 American
2003 = 0,
2004 = 0,
2005 = 0,
2006 = 1 Islam,
2007 = 0,
2008 = 2 American,
2009 = 4 American, 14 Islam,
2010 = 2 American,
2011 = 6 American,
2012 = 9 American.
Capitalism is Terrorism.
Kevin Moore said:
‘Pampered by fossil fuel slaves, the citizens of industrial civilization cannot imagine a world without such luxuries and don’t even entertain such thoughts.’
Oil in the $105 to $110 a barrel range means more demand destruction, and further rupturing of current economic arrangements, especially for a whole swag of nations that have to import most/all of their oil.
Paul F Getty said:
From The Guardian:
The world is currently on course to exploit all its remaining fossil fuel resources, a prospect that would produce a “different, practically uninhabitable planet” by triggering a “low-end runaway greenhouse effect.” This is the conclusion of a new scientific paper by Prof James Hansen, the former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the world’s best known climate scientist.
The paper projects that global average temperatures under such a scenario could eventually reach as high as between 16C and 25C over a number of centuries. Such temperatures “would eliminate grain production in almost all agricultural regions in the world”, “diminish the stratospheric ozone layer”, and “make much of the planet uninhabitable by humans.”
Hansen and his co-authors find that:
“Estimates of the carbon content of all fossil fuel reservoirs including unconventional fossil fuels such as tar sands, tar shale, and various gas reservoirs that can be tapped with developing technology imply that CO2 conceivably could reach a level as high as 16 times the 1950 atmospheric amount.”