I have finally come to the conclusion without a shadow of a doubt that humanity is irredeemable. People are repulsed by my belief that our fate of extinction has been sealed. I no longer even use the caveat of “with business as usual” because business as usual always persists, no matter how dire the empirical evidence of global environmental collapse. No amount of anoxic dead zones, extinguished species, or toxic groundwater will curtail business as usual. In fact, humans spin off new business ventures like fish farming, animal cloning, and water purification in lieu of changing the status quo. A recent headline proves my point:
It’s not just bad news for the polar bear,” said Gail Whiteman, a researcher at Erasmus University in the Netherlands and a co-author on the paper, published in Nature. “It’s a global economic time bomb.
The obliteration of the Arctic is just another milepost in mankind’s headlong race down the one-way road to oblivion. Notice that the above quote implies the economy is the primary yardstick for measuring human well-being. Everything is modeled into Dollar$ and Cents and nothing holds any intrinsic value except what humans, particularly those at the top of the exploitation pyramid, can extract from it. Don’t you think the economy should be re-examined for its supposed function as a “wealth-building” system if it’s killing the planet as well as the human species. But no, this sort of introspection will never take place; instead capitalist industrial civilization will roll onward crushing and pulverizing everything in its path until it runs out of energy and crosses a critical threshold without notice.
…Still, the situation is not hopeless, the authors said. Abating global warming buys time for intensive geo-engineering research into strategies for dealing with methane release, noted Dr. Wadhams…
Of course geo-engineering is the expected response when your economic system of eternal growth and expansion hits a little snag like planetary tipping points. In today’s disposable society, humans build and price things to be thrown away when they break; but since spare planets are hard to come by, out comes the box of amazing techno-gadgetry fixes to save the day. We’ve already terraformed and geo-engineered the Earth into a planet which looks to be transforming itself into a place inhospitable for most lifeforms. And we think we can unravel this Gordian knot? Are they going to geo-engineer a solution for the accompanying problem of ocean acidification as well? These sorts of schemes are always billed as “buying us time”, but buying time is simply a euphemism for delaying the executioner. Christ, humans really are eternal optimists! I think that a future headline from some alien race would be the following (just replace Mars with Earth):
Yeah, that catastrophic event would not be an asteroid, but a bipedal organism called Homo economicus. So what are the options for humans domesticated into the life of industrial civilization? According to famed climate scientist James Hansen, we’re between a nuke and a hard place. He says nuclear energy is the best way to go to “preserve our lifestyles” while reducing carbon, and he gives his view on people who think “renewable” energy can fill the hole of our fossil-fueled civilization:
Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewable will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”
So people like blogger Robert Scribbler can go pound sand when they accuse me of propagandizing for the fossil fuel industry. I’m just being realistic. People misinterpret my worldview as overly pessimistic, but Big-Busine$$ interests control the corrupt political machine, the jaded masses, and the corporate media shills; therefore, no solution can come from something so rotten. I’d love to be proven wrong. I’d love for nothing more than to wake up from what seems like a nightmare, but it looks like the fat lady is already starting to sing:
I’m reminded of the recent farewell note by environmentalist Michael McCarthy who saw the endgame:
…People are doing this(ecocide). Let’s be clear about it. It’s not some natural phenomenon, like an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. It’s the actions of Homo sapiens. What we are witnessing is a fundamental clash between the species, and the planet on which he lives, which is going to worsen steadily, and the more closely you observe it – or at least, the more closely I have observed it, over the past 15 years – the more I have thought that there is something fundamentally wrong with Homo sapiens himself. Man seems to be Earth’s problem child. We humans have always thought ourselves different in kind from other creatures, principally for our use of language and our possession of consciousness, but there is another reason for our uniqueness, which is becoming ever clearer: we are the only species capable of destroying our own home. And it looks like we will…