Climate Change, Collapse of Industrial Civilization, Doomsday Art, Eco-Apocalypse, Ecocide, Ecological Overshoot, End of the World, Environmental Collapse, Extinction of Man, Hurricane Sandy, Markus Vesper, Mass Die Off, the Achilles Heel of the Electric Grid, Zoriah
A picture says a thousand words, and the following art summarizes the path of industrial capitalism. The artist is Markus Vesper and it’s called “Two-Faced World”. The portal door leading from paradise and into an environmental wasteland has tears flowing from its sad eyes, while the portal door that sits in the ravaged world of industrial capitalism has a dollar sign between its demonic eyes. I would say we made a very bad trade. Unfortunately, the doorway allowing for any escape from this self-imposed eco-apocalypse appears by all observable evidence to be firmly shut.
And I like this next one called “Transience”. Converting nature to dollars is represented by an hourglass where a dying and collapsing environment, which is fast running out of time, ends in the extinction of man (human skulls piling up at the bottom of the hourglass).
A playground taken back by the ocean during Hurricane Sandy in Breezy Point, New York.
It has been said that the Achilles heel of modern civilization is the electric grid.
…When the Oak Ridge energy gurus looked at modern American life, they saw an unexpected weak spot in our civilization, an Achilles heel that is so ordinary we largely take it for granted. Dr. Ben McConnell, a retired Oak Ridge lab scientist, now a research scientist at the University of Tennessee, where he studies transformers and switchgear, was a participant in the Achilles Heel project. He told a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) technical conference last May that the U.S. electric transmission and distribution grid offers a clear path to destruction of our way of life. When the Oak Ridge boffins looked at the U.S., McConnell said, they found that grid collapse “came out to be the most serious problem that would have to be considered in the shortest time frame.”
Outside of the electricity industry, few fully understand the centrality of the grid to life in America today. The most graphic realizations occur when the grid goes down. It’s not just a matter of light and comfort in our homes. Without electricity, citizens may have no access to potable water, sewage treatment, safe food, fuel supplies, traffic control, or health care…
Hurricane Sandy was just the latest natural disaster to reveal how vulnerable the energy infrastructure of a so-called modern city is to the wrath of nature. With weather becoming more extreme and destructive due to the chaos of climate change, we’ll see more sections of the country being ripped out of their cocoons of modernity. To see more intense photos from Zoriah of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, go here and here and here.