Are we fucked or what?
February 11, 2019 at 3:41 am #25385
Here’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot.
The GOP largely serves the interests of the business community, and it’s one of the facts of life in the business world that it’s hard to take a long view. A business has to become and stay profitable to be viable, and has to stay focused on doing whatever it takes to sustain its profitability and grow its profits. It’s hard to take a big hit now in exchange for something better down the road. Far down the road..
Science is telling us that human activities—largely by (or for) first world companies—is damaging the planet in a way that may not be reversible.
So here’s a depressing “What if” question: What if the only way to reverse the death of the planet requires the economy to take a huge hit?
In such a situation, the right thing to do is clear, but is it politically and economically and even psychologically possible?
Is there a democratic way out of this pickle as long as we are tied to a capitalist economy?
It may seem like I’ve taken sides against capitalism. I have not. Capitalism promotes innovation in a way nothing else does. I love a lot about living in a capitalist environment. I’d also like to have a good world for my grandchildren’s grandchildren to live in.
Your thoughts.February 11, 2019 at 1:38 pm #25386
Your point about the “Now” of business is right on! But, how long can the government continue to print money willy nilly? Eventually that shit is going to pop.
Climate seems to be getting worse every year. Enough of those hurricanes, blizzards, flood events, and forest fires and our government won’t have the money for recovery efforts. Think about it, Trump wants to take away the aide for hurricane relief from Puerto Rico to build his dumb ass wall. Why? There is only so much money to go around.
I think that once the piggy bank runs dry and, like you said, we are in another economic downfall the majority of the populace may wake up. But by then it will probably be too late. Just another mass extinction event for the planet to deal with. You know sometimes I wonder if Darwin may have gotten everything right about evolution but for the exception of homo sapian. We know that our actions will lead to our demise and yet we continue our destructive behavior. Most organisms tend to steer clear of danger and allow the species to continue (well, maybe not Lemmings).
At the end of the movie “Titanic” they depicted the ships band continuing to play music almost til the end. At the end of “Dr. Strangelove” the song that Kubrick chose was “I’ll be seeing you”. Played as nuclear mushroom clouds were splashed all over the screen. As Miami slowly submerges what song will they play?February 11, 2019 at 3:26 pm #25387
I do not see a lot of “what ifs?” in the media. Anyone have any good links? Perhaps it is too depressing. Lets try to work this out anyways…
The sea level is rising, claiming all the heavily populated coastal lowlands. Ports start to fail and all related activities such as shipping of food and energy slow down. Mass migration out of coastal lands begins. Frequent storms/floods destroy millions of homes. The huge factory farms may no longer function profitably under different climate and they can not adjust quickly. Food, energy and meds are all in short supply
The wealthy can afford to adapt for a while, but the poor are starting to suffer more and more. Starvation begins on a huge scale. Weaker governments start to fail first; wars ensue. Energy use declines along with population, The correction has begun, maybe.
The two big unknowns for me are: Will the wealthy technologically advanced societies react now or will they retreat into secure bio-sphere-liker enclaves to let the rest perish? Some of the science I have read depicts a threshold whereby the climate goes out of control…methane release and ice caps and black body effect, etc. That could bring ALL life to the brink.February 11, 2019 at 4:57 pm #25388February 11, 2019 at 9:41 pm #25390
Maybe we are hardwired to self-destruct. Metallica.
Play at volume 11 if you want your face to melt.February 12, 2019 at 3:28 am #25391
Maybe we are hardwired to self-destruct. Metallica. Play at volume 11 if you want your face to melt.
One reason we may not be receiving signals from other civilizations in the galaxy/universe may be that civilizations have a life cycle at the end of which they self destruct.February 12, 2019 at 11:10 am #25392
Even if some far off civilization did manage to get a signal out the yahoo’s at church, synagogue, and mosque would probably see it as a signal from one of their gods. These are the same people that poo poo science and think the natural world can heal itself. Dawkins is right again “Delusion”.
What I do know is that living atop the Palisades, in NJ, I can probably look forward to beach front property.February 12, 2019 at 4:49 pm #25393
We may be immersed in the sixth Great Extinction Event.
BTW, people (including me sometimes) misuse language a bit by talking about human beings “destroying the planet (or Earth).” Not true. Ruining the surface biosphere because the deep biosphere hosts at least 50% of the planet’s biomass.
The planet will survive, life will survive, mankind may not.
Life could emerge from the depths to reseed the planet and another high civilization could succeed the humans.
February 12, 2019 at 7:45 pm #25395
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Unseen.
Maybe we’ll have squid-world.February 12, 2019 at 10:14 pm #25397
@Noel, seaside property has been a risky business in West Africa for a few years now.February 13, 2019 at 9:02 am #25398
I think the answer is yes absolutely we are fucked and have been for quite some time now. You’re just now realizing that? LOLFebruary 13, 2019 at 8:09 pm #25399
Thinking of a larger context, from (say) a biological systems perspective. Long term, ecosystems survive longest when they evolve to survive in the long term. Almost a tautology, but really, think of the algae bloom that sometimes pops up and grows uncontrollably, sucking up all the oxygen from the water and leaving behind toxins. It’s often caused accidentally, e.g. from humans causing excess fertilizer or organic waste flowing from land to sea. Economically, think how pig farms in the Carolinas were allowed to cause their pollution, or coal mines, and myriad other human enterprises.
You’re right. There’s short term profit vs long term wider context health progress in conflict, and in the case of human civilization(s), the possible dynamics involved can range from positive and miraculous to catastrophic. As science and tech advance, the new dynamics possible, both positive and negative increase. And part of our problem is that it’s easier to destroy than it is to build. Take war, for instance, when regional interests clash, with the most asinine of short-term justifications.
Capitalism “wins” the most often, but like Imperialism, long-term costs to future and surrounding systems are too often ignored in favor of short term profits. Fast growth brings fast power and evolution of civilization, but with increasingly large, zero-sum consequences.February 15, 2019 at 12:47 pm #25410
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