Arctic Emergency Methane Group, Arctic Ice Melt, Capitalism, China, Climate Change, Climate Tipping Points, Collapse of Industrial Civilization, Eco-Apocalypse, Ecological Overshoot, Environmental Collapse, Extinction of Man, Financial Elite, Geoengineering, Inverted Totalitarianism, James hansen's 'Storms of My Grandchildren', Mass Die Off, Mass Starvation, Methane Clathrate Gun, New Century Global Center in Chengdu China, Overpopulation, Resource Wars, Social Unrest, The Unsustainability of Mega-Cities, Wall Street Fraud
Looking at the just-completed 5.5 million square foot mega-building in Chengdu China, one could hold the mistaken belief that there is no ever-worsening ecological crisis of Earth or that mankind’s dominion over nature, built on a once stable and predictable weather regime, is not in serious jeopardy. The report that just came out a few days ago describing America’s energy infrastructure as “a sitting duck in the face of climate change” can be applied to all of the world’s infrastructure as well. So why is humanity continuing to build ugly monstrosities that will be ripped apart by torrential flooding, epic hurricanes, and other continent-sized storms as described by James Hansen in his book “Storms of My Grandchildren”? Because it’s all about growth, and capitalist carbon man is propping up his “growth” with the Viagra drug of QE money printing and accounting fraud, but Mother Nature ain’t amused and will bobbitize man’s conceit in short order. Industrial civilization’s relentless construction of such projects under the pall of climate chaos is the height of foolishness. We seem to be saying, “Why worry about deadly air pollution, runaway climate change in the Arctic, and a dangerously deformed, agriculture-destroying Jet Stream when you can create an artificial ecosystem complete with its own “sun” and a man-made beach free from algae bloom pollution?”:
…But most impressive of all is the artificial sun. Being an industrial hub, Chendu is known for its rather serious smog problem, with air qualities ranking in the mid to high 100s (unhealthy for people with allergies or respiratory problems). Hence the reason for the 24 hour, 150-meter-long LED screen that serves as a stand-in for the horizon. While inside, people do not have to worry about grey skies preventing them from getting a little warmth and a possible tan.
With this last aspect, China may now lead the world in terms of creating buildings that are more akin to self-contained ecosystems than anything else. In addition to this being a major building milestone, this structure may represent the way of the future for a nation that’s running out of healthy spaces to put its people. It’s no secret that China, with roughly 1,354,040,000 people as of 2013, is severely overpopulated, but even more problematic is the fact that urban population densities and air and water pollution continue to grow apace, leading to hundreds of thousands of respiratory and pollution-related deaths a year.
As more people move to the city, air and water quality becomes more problematic, and more living space needs to be created, the only solution may be to build structures that contain all the facilities needed to make life complete. This would include sun, surf, air circulation and vacation spots – everything that makes indoor living feel like an outdoor experience.
The idea of building such self-contained super structures to house an overpopulated planet from the natural world we are fast destroying is a psychosis of epic proportions. It illustrates the extreme level of detachment industrial civilization has reached in relation to its dependence on a healthy and irreplaceable environment. With the exception of space colonies, insanity and hubris are rarely illustrated on such a grand scale. As a last-ditch effort to survive climate chaos, perhaps hermetically sealed ‘space’ colonies, complete with wall-to-wall and overhead display screens simulating what the ‘outside’ used to look like when we could actually go outside, are what we will soon be building right here on a wrecked planet.
Another behemoth construction plan that caught my eye is this one:
Deep beneath the Bohai Sea, Chinese engineers may soon begin boring the longest submarine tunnel on the planet. At an estimated 76 miles (123km) long, it would surpass the combined length of world’s two longest underwater tunnels—Japan’s Seikan Tunnel and the Channel Tunnel between the UK and France. To connect the bustling northern ports of Dalian and Yantai, the engineers will have to tunnel through two fault zones that have caused a slew of deadly earthquakes in the last century…
…Provincial leaders of Shandong and Liaoning hope the tunnel will stimulate economic growth by connecting China’s northern rustbelt region with the upper reaches of the wealthy eastern coast. A member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering projected annual revenue of $3.7 billion, largely from freight, meaning the project would potentially pay for itself in 12 years. And if that’s not rationale enough, there’s bonus of claiming another world record (the government seems to have a fondness for superlative infrastructure)…
…But depth and length are only part of the challenge—the Bohai Tunnel also will need to plan around two major fault zones…
…Throughout modern Chinese history, the Tanlu and Zhangjiakou Penglai fault zones have been the source of chronic seismic activity. The 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which killed between 250,000 and 650,000 people, is the most notorious, though as you can see in the map above, there have been others. Perhaps the most concerning historical earthquake for the tunnel engineers to consider is the 7.4-magnitude quake of 1969 that occurred under the bay itself.
What exactly is there to do about it? Li Sangzhong, a maritime geology professor at Ocean University of China, told Caixin that the solution was simply to reinforce the strength of the tunnels walls so that it could “withstand at least a magnitude eight earthquake.
Yes growth at any cost and through any tectonic fault line, especially if you can rack up a world record or two, is the undying belief of homo economicus. “Mine is bigger than yours” is the game being played by a species living high on the fumes of fossil fuels and lust of money… madness to the Nth degree. But of course this isn’t madness in the context of an organism simply exploiting an energy source to its full potential under the social cues of capitalism, now is it?
The Reality of Eco-Apocalypse
Despite AMEG’s(Arctic Emergency Methane Group) techno-narcissist support of geoengineering our way out of this environmental crisis, they are one of the more clear-minded groups of scientists when it comes to the severity of our civilization-ending predicament. Here are excerpts from a presentation given by AMEG at the “Davos Atmosphere and Cryosphere Assembly DACA13”, July 12, 2013:
We’re in the midst of a global extinction event and facing mass starvation, yet the world is building even more colossal monoliths to the failing God of global industrial capitalism. The superorganism of capitalist industrial civilization is suicidally barreling down a one-way road which cannot be diverted by the likes of passionate, yet small-numbered groups of activists and conscientious whistleblowers. This thing has a mind of its own and won’t go down for good until the annihilation of eco-apocalypse reshapes its megacities into moth-eaten hulks of concrete and steel.
The gasping beast fell down with a thunderous boom, and all was still and quiet over the war-ravaged Earth. The vanity of man laid claim to the land no longer.
I thought on average the Chinese person had ten points of IQ above western Caucasians, but there still seems to be a deficiency. China is already on its way to becoming a foul cesspool that will eventually rot and stink-up the entire northern hemisphere.
From Wikipedia: “Also based on a research report undertaken by the Nobel economics laureate, Dr. Robert Mundell and the celebrated Chinese economist, Li Yining, published by the State Information Center in 2010, Chengdu has become an “engine” of the Western Development Program, a benchmark city for investment environment in inland China, and a major leader in new urbanization.”
“Western Development Program”, uh huh, “Nobel economics laureate”, uh huh, I think we get the picture.
Kevin Moore said:
Part of the problem lies in modern Chinese culture.
From about 1800 to about 1990 China was regarded by the West as a backward nation of peasants who would never amount to much. The Chinese people want to prove to the world that ‘anything you can do (have done) we can do better/bigger’.
I taught Chinese students of English for a while; they were mostly delightful people, but had been indoctrinated from an early age and could not see that ‘development’ had a nasty sting in its tail that would ultimately bring catastrophe.
Kunstler has an excellent podcast which discusses the point in history at which time land was taken out of the economic equation. It’s well worth listening to:
The Trophic Conundrum. Chatting with Brian Czech about the paradox of economic growth
Kevin Moore said:
I was without electricity for 5 hours yesterday, as a consequence of the ferocious wind system that swept the North Island (NZ), bringing down trees and power lines, and ripping off roofs etc.
Fortunately my place suffered no significant damage. .
In contrast, I was in Taipei when cyclone Nari hit; Taiwan in 2001. I have never seen such chaos and destruction anywhere before or since; houses washed away, concrete drainage channels undercut and washed away, landslips, road slips, the underground system brought to a standstill because of mud…..
China now pays an increasingly heavy price for the CO2 emissions put into the atmosphere by developed nations in the past and significantly added to by China itself nowadays. China is digging a deeper and deeper hole for itself by the minute, just like every other country on Earth.
Of course, in the insane economic system that is being operated, not only is ‘greed good, but also ‘destruction is good’, since replacement spurs the movement of money and boosts GDP. Thus, there are two regions of NZ that have ‘good economic indicators’; Taranaki, where the extraction of oil and gas fuel environmental collapse, and Christchurch, where rebuilding following the earthquake fuels further environmental collapse.
I was ‘lucky’ in that electricity was off for only 5 hours. There are many still without power and with little prospect of its immediate restoration.
Having a piano, a wood fire and candles, I used the time in semi-darkness to contemplate the future while attempting to improve my rather poor piano-playing skills. Therein lies the problem. Although I do not watch television and rarely use my motor vehicle, I do get caught by some of the distractions that industrial civilisation provides. 100 years ago there few distractions, and people occupied themselves with simple pleasures.
America’s turn for destruction soon. Apart from the on-going drought, the waters of the Caribbean must be warming up for the coming hurricane season.
Gaia will put an end to human hubris but not for perhaps another decade. On the other hand, convulsions in the money system must commence fairly shortly..
Human life is very cheap in China…
“…Bernie Madoff should be thankful he didn’t perpetrate his fraud in China. Zeng Chengjie, a once-lauded Hunan businessman who was convicted of fraud and illegal fund-raising activities, was executed on Friday without his family being notified, contrary to Chinese law. The circumstances surrounding his conviction and death will do little to dispel the perception that the legal system is arbitrarily applied, especially in cases of life and death.
Since 2011 China has convicted 4,170 people on charges of “illegal fund-raising,” the state’s catch-all designation for Ponzi schemes, including many who received a death sentence. But critics have noted that the consequences for economic crimes vary widely depending on whether those convicted are government officials or private entrepreneurs. For example, former Railways Minister Liu Zhijun was given a death sentence last week for accepting bribes of more than $10 million over 25 years, but his sentence was suspended, meaning he will probably receive only jail time…”
Fifty five years ago
Well done opinion, xraymike. I agree – it makes no sense whatsoever.
Even without knowing much about China or the Chinese people, just from reading this piece, I immediately got an impression of them that mirrored Kevin’s comments ~ they are a people flush with newfound wealth and they will want to experience the opportunities for creativity that wealth affords.
Their lack of imagination, however, in seeing the world around them as nothing more than a dead resource to consume is nothing new.
Your work, Mike, reminds me of a conversation I had in the 80s with a co-worker. I’ve been aware of the environment since I was two, for reasons that I can explain if you like, but it’s boring. I was two in 1955.
So, there I was, about 1987, in one of the top law firms in the U.S. talking to a legal secretary who had a bachelor’s degree, so she was supposed to be intelligent. We were discussing environmental issues and my co-worker assured me that people would be “fine” no matter what. Why, she told me, “they” can now make artificial mink coats in laboratories. “They” can grow any kind of food hydroponically.
I pointed out to her that “laboratories” require mining for metal, and they require power which likely requires an entire grid. They also require transportation of materials, so that needs streets and highways, and laboratories also require use of forests for wood for construction and materials.
I told this Western genius-consumer that if one wanted a mink coat or a head of lettuce, obviously the smart thing to do was let the earth raise both of them, zero resources required, and then walk outside and pick them up and do what you need with them. Do that, you get both the coat and food, and the earth stays whole to do the same again. (My thinking illustrated by my argument above is rooted in the same forces that shaped the tree-hugger, bunny-lover, gnostic-Buddhist-savage that I grew to be.) I’ll never forget the slightly pained, hostile, rock-hard smile my co-worker displayed.
In one form or another I have spent my entire life studying human psychology. That study has included metaphysics and astrology which are rich in psychological insights, near-death studies, world religions which are the original psychology, world philosophy, history, and finally, a formal education and degree in the field of psychology.
We are not rational beings. We simply are not. I think the work of Edward Bernays in the 1930s provides huge insights into human behavior. He shows how to just bypass all reasoning and manipulate the emotions and intellectual capacity for abstraction in human beings through manipulating Pavlovian-type associations people have.
And two formal studies in the field – the Milgram experiments, and the Stanford Prison experiments – reveal much that is disturbing about human beings. These two studies belie the common belief (hope/fantasy) that “most people are good.”
Everything stems from us. We are the creators here. We are the tool makers, the dam builders, the dreamers who envision something different. We have never reconciled our capacity for imagination with the reality of the material world. There is a world we desire that exists in our heads, and we’re always trying to create it. No matter how often we fail, we keep trying. No matter what we destroy, we keep trying, believing that this time will be different. We can no more pass on wisdom than dogs can, but because we can hand some kinds of information to each other we keep thinking that the next generation won’t be so screwed up. Well, that dream is over, too. This is it. The result we currently have is the result we are going to get.
Thanks for good work and interesting information that deftly reveals some of the current culture of China.
You’ll probably know of this already, oldgrowthforest.
“The trouble with the eagerness to make a world is that, because the world is already made, what is there must first be destroyed.
from Paul Shepard
Shepard has tremendous insight. Your quotation mirrors what a traditional Yupik medicine woman once said to me when she was talking about the Western mind. She said that she did not understand why people got so excited about flower gardens and rushed to put their noses into the middle of cultivated flowers. She looked out the window of the room where we were sitting and pointed to the mountains and the vast wilderness around us. “What’s wrong with it the way it is?!” she wanted to know.
We tell people young people that good people “make the world a better place.” There is error in the thinking. There is terrible suffering in the world, yes. And we think that because suffering exists, the world is “imperfect.” It is poor thinking, a false association.
There isn’t anything wrong with “the world.” It works just fine and is full of Life. We’ve fixed the world until it’s dying and will certainly die.
That is, it did work just fine. Before we “fixed” it.
I have 25 acres, I let it do as it pleases, which will antagonise my neighbours who are all farmers who like to dominate their land very strictly. During WW2 the Gvt made laws which over rode private rights and stated what you could do in your land and I expect that will happen again. Ultimately all land in UK belongs to the Crown, i.e. the Queen. As subjects, we can buy and sell and own it, but only because she permits us to.
I see only disaster ahead, and a mass extinction event.
So then, there remains the issue of ‘how to be’ in the face of this ‘not-future’, because having been through the anger, despair, considered the suicide, etc, blahblah, I mean, I like to feel pleased with myself and my days and nights…
So how to be, now, is what I ask.
I’m one of those who stick their nose in cultivated flowers! I think that Yupik woman was a bit judgy there. There’s plenty wrong with Western industrial culture, but enjoying flowers is pretty small potatoes.
I stick my nose in cultivated flowers, too. In fact, I grow them. And a traditional Native American from the lower 48 would use a different example, I believe, but this Yupik elder is from a sub-arctic region and it was how she chose to frame her perception.
However, in your comment I fear that you have changed the focus and meaning of hers. She was not saying that enjoying flowers is what is wrong with Western industrial culture. She specifically compared cultivated gardens with the wilderness and the fact that one had to be destroyed to create the other. She was saying that failure to see how destruction of the natural world is required to feed those human pleasures and human creativity that creates them, and that is what is wrong with the Western world and its thinking. The unconscious presumption that the world needs changing or fixing in any way.
This is a deep philosophical question, that you have actually raised, and in a sense, illustrated with your own focus. Because you are correct and in and of themselves there is nothing “wrong” with most things that we do, especially when these acts are viewed in isolation. There is nothing inherently wrong with electricity. There is nothing wrong with paper or writing. There is nothing wrong with plumbing and running water, especially heated water. There is nothing wrong with transportation. There is nothing “wrong” with any of these things. But they do have costs, and there may be something “wrong” with those costs.
When things are not viewed in isolation for evaluation purposes – time and reality do not begin when the nose sniffs the rose, for example – but viewed in the broader context of their costs, specifically to the environment, these human creations have broader meaning and real, measurable consequences.
She understood that. She also believed the cost was not worth it. I agree with her.
It’s a trivial minor thing, but I think it’s symptomatic of the disease. At the bottom of my lane where it meets ‘civilisation’ the council gardeners plant flowers at the roadside, tulips and whatnot, and the colours are like neon lights, day glo, they hurt my eyes, and I wonder how anybody can think that anything that coarse, vulgar, garish can be considered beautiful or attractive. Part of the ugliness of the roaring traffic. The natural wild flowers are very muted and subtle, delicate. They don’t shout. They fit with the bird song. They soothe my senses. Like the sound of water flowing.
“We are not rational beings. We simply are not. I think the work of Edward Bernays in the 1930s provides huge insights into human behavior. He shows how to just bypass all reasoning and manipulate the emotions and intellectual capacity for abstraction in human beings through manipulating Pavlovian-type associations people have.
And two formal studies in the field – the Milgram experiments, and the Stanford Prison experiments – reveal much that is disturbing about human beings. These two studies belie the common belief (hope/fantasy) that “most people are good.”
Everything stems from us. We are the creators here. We are the tool makers, the dam builders, the dreamers who envision something different. We have never reconciled our capacity for imagination with the reality of the material world. There is a world we desire that exists in our heads, and we’re always trying to create it. No matter how often we fail, we keep trying. No matter what we destroy, we keep trying, believing that this time will be different. We can no more pass on wisdom than dogs can, but because we can hand some kinds of information to each other we keep thinking that the next generation won’t be so screwed up. Well, that dream is over, too. This is it. The result we currently have is the result we are going to get.”
Who is “we”?
I find your analysis limited for these reasons. You do not take into account a whole lot of actual realities which are oppressing millions of people. For a huge example, why is there a war on drugs, when this culture pushes drugs like it is going out of business? EVEN children (and they are getting younger and younger, and even babies, are pushed pharmaceutical drugs. that actually do great harm. YET if a person chooses to grow a natural plant in their back year, with a name called marijuana, they are liable to have military police show up kicking down their door and killing their dog. WHY. Why do they push their patented drugs and wage a war on natural plants, and fungi etc they term ‘drugs’. Included in this war on drugs is war on psychedelics. And this persecution of people who choose to explore their consciousness using psychedelics goes way back to the persecution by the ‘Holy Inquisition’ of ‘common people’ doing the same , and they took this persecution into the ‘New World’ and savagely suppressed the indigenous peoples there who partook of sacred vegetation for spiritual and recreational purposes. All of this was considered diabolical by the Church, and yet in this so-called secular scientific age that persecution continues. Ever wondered why? Could it be something to do with the imaginary potential of these substances do you think, and how use of them could undo and undermine the manipulation of our imagination and emotions by the very same State that has continued oppressing people through the generations? So that when they continue to suppress and dissociate us from the actual direct experience and expression of our ecstatic being, which includes the Imagination, then our dissociated indoctrinated self is far more at the mercy of the toxic shit THEY implant it will, like that fiend Edward Bernays did. using imagery etc he got people to eat unhealthy food, women to smoke and get addicted to harmful nicotine whilst having the IMAGE of themselves as liberated women. Of inciting people to buy stuff they don’t need, to let their children go to wars engineered by racketeers for profit, and to go themselves, and accept war, and so on. THIS is why they wage was on psychedelics, also known as sacred medicine. They are currently trying to ‘medicalize’ it—to ‘tame’ it and bring it on par with their pharma drugs as a cure for a, b, c, and NOT as a sure for seeing right through their oppressive matrix.
You say the Miligram experiments proved people are not ‘good’. Well, again, what is a person who is oppressed and dissociated. We are slaves, robots. But also there is no such thing as just good or just evil. Good and evil form a dynamic. We can choose to be good or go evil. I believe that the psycholigcal duality between good and evil as fostered by patriarchal thinking is the roots of mind control. it is divide and rule on a very close personal level.
As for you latter paragraph. The ‘builders’ as they see themselves are the evil cult of Freemasonic oppressors who have secret society, and swear secret oaths. It is that mindset along with the patriarchal religious authoritarians, and New Age people who are utterly dissociated from the natural world and seek to destroy it driven by their insane myths. Indigenous peoples, earth-based Pagans do NOT think and feel like that, and so are not the ‘we’ you seem to suggest we are all are. it is VERY important to know who the enemy is!
Interesting and informative conversation. I knew there was a reason why I started this blog. Gonna work on something tonight. Famers are
dumbingdumping much more pesticides on their land these days, but the Super Weeds are winning.
“dumbing” may be the truth, if not the word you intended.
LOL, Freudian slip.
It’s pretty dumb.
Worse than dumb, completely insane, mainstream agriculture is as mad as those Chinese buildings. There’s only one person I can think of at this moment, in UK with an intelligent joined up picture of growing food and feeding people, and that’s C. Tudge.
But that’s only if I take my NTE hat off for a few minutes, I don’t think there’s anybody alive anywhere who can withstand my NTE critique 🙂
We don’t have enough trouble with nuclear power, radiation leaking into the Pacific and being carried on wind currents throughout the world, now Russia has an idea as “imaginative” as the one being discussed here from China:
Russia to build and deploy floating nuclear power plants
July 15, 2013 – MOSCOW – The general director of one of Russia’s largest shipbuilders, Aleksandr Voznesensky, has announced to reporters that a floating nuclear power plant is currently under construction at one of Russia’s ship yards. He added that it will likely be ready for use by 2016. The Russians are calling it a “floating power” station, abbreviated to PEB. The vessel has been given the name Akademik Lomonosov. Several countries, including the United States and China have considered building floating nuclear power plants but until now, no other known vessels have reached the construction phase. The advantages of a floating nuclear power station are obvious—electrical power could be brought to areas that are not currently being served by other means. Russia in particular has many far-flung outposts in its eastern region that have had difficulty flourishing due to the financial constraints of building power plants so far away from everything else. The Akademik Lomonosov will have two KLT-40 naval propulsion reactors modified to serve as power providers for an external location—with a displacement of 21,500 tons. Lomonosov noted that nuclear powered marine vessels have a proven safety record going back 50 years.
Many nations now routinely deploy nuclear powered ships, submarines and even ice-breakers. He also stressed that the design of the vessel will be such that the platform will be capable of withstanding a tsunami or even a collision with land or a ship. The Akademik Lomonosov will not be able to power itself however, which means it will be towed to wherever it’s needed. The vessel will be operated by a crew of 69 people and will also conform to regulations set by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Lomonosov said that plans are underway to build a fleet of the floating platforms to provide cities and towns across Russia with electricity for general use and more specifically for heating homes and businesses. The Akademik Lomonosov will be capable of generating 70 MW of electricity—enough to power a city of 200,000 people. He noted also that such vessels could also be used to power desalination plants, providing 240,000 cubic meters of fresh water daily. –Physics
Oh, great! What could go wrong?!
Michael Sosebee said:
Seeing the 5.5 million-square-foot mega-building drove home where this is all going. The industrial-machine is a monolithic lawn mower and it’s not going to stop until it runs out of fuel. In the meantime there’s going to be a lot of meat thrown in the grinder.
I read a story a few months ago about an American professor that was teaching a graduate MBA course in China. The students were endlessly curious about all things American. At the end of the semester they asked professor to play a film that shows what it’s like in America. He showed them “Koyaanisqatsi” also known as “Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance”, a 1982 film directed by Godfrey Reggio with music composed by Philip Glass and cinematography by Ron Fricke. The film has no words but it shows through the medium of picture sound and music the most remarkable event in Earth history: the transformation of the earth from a natural state to an industrial state. The Chines students were supposedly horrified. However, if you show Koyaanisqatsi to American students they often see it as a celebration of technology. That was not Godrey Reggio’s intention but you have to admire good ol’ Yankee propaganda.
Michael Sosebee said:
Context: The alleged event of the film being introduced to Chines students was over 20 years ago. Obviously the Chinese no longer fear extinction. “They have technology.” JH Kunstler