Well the time has come, I got sick, see, and that ain’t good. Yeah, climate change activism can make you kinda sick. It has me, I’m all fucked up. Yeah I wrote that piece awhile back about human beings and about how they suck, more or less, and about how I wadn’t sure I could take trying to deal with them anymore, in regards to climate change that is. Then after I wrote it I sorta came out of it and thought I’d stick with trying to save the world, even though it is quite hopeless. Yeah well I’m back to giving that idea up again.
I read this piece about this guy Paul Kingsnorth, I love the title, It’s the end of the World As We Know it—And He Feels Fine. Well see I’m beginning to relate to what this guy is about, give it a read. It ain’t hard to do you know, just look at reality and you can be there in a second. And hey, let’s look at reality. OK you got yer 350.org, yer Climate Reality, of course yer Greenpeace and yer Sierra Club, World Wildlife Federation, Friends of the Earth, Carbon War Room, Think/Climate Progress, Climate Solutions, Climate Trust, Climate Institute…well, there’s basket load of them. Conveniently they all have something in common, they like things the way they are. I don’t mean climate change, they really do want to deal with it, but they can’t. Yeah they can’t cuz it cost too much money, yeah that’s it, too much money involved.
Do I hold this against them? No not really, not anymore. They have a disease just like everyone and every major institution in the developed world has, gotta keep that economic engine running, that’s right, it’s a disease. They really can’t help it as we have been so trained and indoctrinated into believing that economic growth is the god of all gods, it’s the “Supreme Personality of Godhead” as the Hari Krishna’s would say. No really, this fixation is just about that intense. You look at the science on climate change, look at the IPCC’s AR5 report and tell me we’re gonna keep the fires glowing on the economy…no way.
Not all but most NGO’s are actually boasting that we can have huge economic growth, some say 12% rise in GDP, millions of jobs added, clean energy with no side effects like asthma, heart and lung disease, clean air, no smog, all that. And you know I believe it to a certain extent. You see their goal is renewable energy, but that’s just it, that’s all their goal is. Yeah it will clean the air, it will at least rid us of more emissions. But there’s a whole other half to the effort almost completely missing from these NGO’s. You are lucky if you’ll see the word adaptation mentioned maybe once to every fifty times they say clean energy. It is most likely that the biggest effort to put out on climate change is adaptation, and they are barely talking about it. Methane emissions have almost doubled in recent years (actually, I think they have doubled). CO2 emissions are still on the rise, no decline as yet. We are at 400 ppm of CO2 in the air and we should actually have stopped emitting at 350 ppm. That means we will have to, not might have to, but have to sequester that extra 50 ppm out of the air or all our efforts will be minimized. In short, we got all this to accomplish but the only thing the NGO’s seem to be concerned about is getting as much juice from renewables as we have been getting from fossil fuels, the rest be damned.
It’s a blindness really, a disease more precisely. The NGO’s of the world are so blinded by the desire to maintain economic growth they can not see how ridiculously small there solutions scenarios are. They’re not going to look at adaptation until they are willing to look at the issues behind economic growth and realize there’s no cake to eat, and eat it too…whatever. I’ve never heard once an NGO say that coastal cities will need to be moved. I mean come on folks, the seas are set to rise and rise rather fast, like by 2070 coastal cities will be very wet even if we went to zero emissions right now, but of course we are NOT going to accomplish that any time soon, inertia tells that tale. It’s plain, it’s right in front of our face, and we still cling to these false hopes and pseudo optimisms. What that is, is capitalism working at its top form to delude us into keeping it around through this crisis. And we want it around cuz we gotta have our toys. It’s a circle and no one point is ever found.
So yeah I’ll go ahead and say it, of course I will, I’m not afraid, I’m not ashamed…so why don’t I go ahead and say it? Wellll, I lied, it’s damn hard to say, especially when you’ve been an activist for 22 years and you’ve preached bloody hell on climate action for a good many of those years. Oh…I haven’t said it yet have I? OK, here it is, now don’t freak out and call me bad, but here it is, OK, ready? We’re fucked.
Holy cow that’s hard to say. I’d bet the three people that were maybe gonna read this have closed the screen. But yeah, we’re fucked, big time. There is only one real hope, but the likely hood of it happening is about as likely as snot making it all the way down the slide. “IF” we should happen to come awake sometime, oh let’s say, in the next five years, then we will go into an action plan that I don’t think has even been talked about, by me maybe, but that’s about it for all I know. But if we get straight on this, we would then start the process of becoming a sacrifice generation, we’d be the first but several more would have to follow. To correct this mistake would take at least three generations of hard sacrifice from all peoples of the world, the majority coming from the developed world. Actually, some developing countries would benefit if we did it right. Essentially, we’d be turning our systems upside down and we’d go about 99% Marxist. Don’t like it? Well I ain’t all that found of it myself, I used to be, but I’m getting up there in age and those ideals seem to be more a memory than anything these days. No, it wouldn’t be about “the great society”, not by intent anyway. No the intent would be to save our ass, maybe we’d get utopia out of it and that’d be just fine with me, but that would not be the purpose.
So I’m writing this as a confirmation for myself, but also to give you the reader some thought. I would in no way wish to convert everyone to become as hopeless about climate change as I am, but if the shoe fits, then good luck with wearing it because if it does fit then eventually you’re gonna be wearing it. I been trying to put it on for at least two years now, off and on, off and on. And I can’t say for sure it’ll stay on, but I am fairly sure it will take some mighty big changes in the status quo of climate solutions to get me to take if off again. I’ve done all I can to promote real solutions, but there doesn’t seem to be much interest, interest rates maybe, but not a willingness to sacrifice our happy little worlds for the sake of our future generations. Hey, we get there then I’m back in full force, but I am very tired and truly have gotten a bit sick behind shouting to the wall. It starts to break down my soul, and though I’ve learned some new ways to deal with that beyond ditching this thing, they don’t include an aimless struggle. Having said that, let us close with something that says it all, the Serenity Prayer.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Damn straight.
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