Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

is it too late?

Is it too late for humanity to save itself from the ravages of climate change and the ecological damage caused by a consumerised, exploding population held hostage by the economies of the "developed" and "developing" world?

I fear that it is.

For several reasons:

a. Climate change experts, almost on a weekly basis, point out that fresh evidence suggests that their previous estimates were way too conservative and that the rate of change is much bigger than previously thought. Does the word exponential mean anything? Does it apply here? I think it does. Even the graphs [1] [2] in Al Gore's book depict exponential rates of change. Spend a moment or two contemplating the true impact if it's indeed gone exponential...

b. I posit that the real measures necessary to save the planet's climate and ecology would, absolutely, crash the global economy. Which politician in which democracy is willing to commit political suicide by advocating anything which is catastrophically bad for the economy? See? Right here is democracy's biggest flaw: The people won't let the politicians do the right thing. They don't want the politicians do the right thing. They don't want the hardship which would ensue if they did the right thing. But all of this a moot point because we will never agree on what "the right thing" is anyway... If ever the world needed an enlightened dictator, it's right friggin now... Of course, we'd kill her, right?

c. Combine (a) and (b) and what do you get? You get an ever-reducing window of opportunity during which only token and grossly inadequate changes will be implemented, and after the window has slammed shut, the rhetoric will shift to "ah well, it's all too late now anyway, so why risk the economy" and it'll be business as usual while the ecological shit hits the fan in ever-bigger lumps.

And then what? A brief era of fatalism will precede The Catastrophe.

So then, here are some interesting words for you to ponder upon, etymologically, dear reader:

Develop (developing, developer)

Evolve (evolution)

Progress

I wonder what the few shell-shocked survivors of The Catastrophe will make of our take on those words... I wonder what new meanings they will assign to those words...

All this too big for your itty bitty brain, huh? That's why we're phuqued (so to speak)...

Of course, I won't now throw you a curve ball and ask you to ponder upon how Utilitarian Ethics would apply to the current crisis...

Here endeth the rant, me little luvvlies... nyack nyack nyack

5 Comments:

Blogger hip said...

Gerry, I totally agree, it's why I'm so grumpy, these days. I amuse myself by listening to idiots talking about 2020 targets, wondering if these deluded farts realize that the only markets operating by then will be for weapons and food. There will be no second chances, no civilization rising from the denuded mullock heaps, just an ecosystem powering on without us.

Jim Lovelock is right, Gaia is pissed. Homer Sap is facing extinction and taking perhaps 98% of the planet's species with him. The morning started so bright and sunny in Pompeii, and 2,000 years later we found out how it ended. In 20 million years, given plate tectonics and an ice age or two, there will be no trace of us anywhere on earth, just a few precious boot prints on the moon for Jehovah to contemplate.

I can tell you only that the greenhouse equation is a fractal, a Julia curve with the kind of unpredictability that Heisenberg spoke of, that Einstein denied when he said "God doesn't play dice". The kind of math that cannot predict an answer because it must do each sum, in turn, to get the factors for the next sum. So, the science behind the prediction is sound but the final iteration is guesswork, we have to live through it to know what was coming.

It may become "the perfect storm", and it's likely the survivors won't last long, or it may cancel itself out and Humans will survive, not because of our evolved intelligence, but because we were very, very lucky.

The odds are stacked very much against the latter.

Hope that's cheered you up some. :o)

March 14, 2008 1:42 AM  
Blogger Davo said...

jeepers Hip, last time i was over in your neck of the blog woods was 12.5.07. nice t' know that yer still alive .. heh.

.. and by the way, just to cheer everyone up - am supremely confident that human beans (won't write Homo Saps, sounds rude) will survive .. might only be a couple that find their way to the top of a mountain in Antarctica but hey .. it only takes two .. heh.

March 14, 2008 10:22 AM  
Blogger hip said...

Old hippies just smell that way, Davo, and you're right -- two Homo saps on a mountain wouldn't amount to a hill of beings . . .

Mr Fish has an opinion:

http://blogs.laweekly.com/fish/
2008/03/the_elephants_in_the_room.php

(no linebreaks)

March 14, 2008 6:53 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Hip, I gotta disagree with you. I don't think humans will become extinct because of global warming.

Ice age? Not the whole planet would freeze over.

No, humanity (what a misnomer!!!) will just die back severly due to a lot of human-activity-caused shit, not the least of which will be wars fought over "Lebensraum" and resources. But a significant chunk will survive to continue their mad materialisitic dreams.

March 15, 2008 9:19 AM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

you are unusually cheery today, Diogenes. No soft-landing scenario for this trajectory as far as I know.

March 30, 2008 11:10 AM  

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