Yeah I don’t get what that title means either. But it somehow expresses my feelings about our present relationship with climate change and the Paris summit as a supposed turning point that it ain’t. Yeah, like that.
Yeah so I’m gonna climb out of my shell here and do a thing on what I see is up with our supposed turning point that’s presumed to happen in Paris. Well first off, the only kinda turning point it’s gonna be is we’ll know for sure just how screwed we are. There are a number of reasons for this and most of them were well set in stone long before this Paris summit otherwise known as COP21. There are so many reasons to say we’re screwed I could not cover them all here, but I summarize them in three separate human conditions:
- Not understanding or accepting the magnitude of the risks involved
- The global market system
- The comfort zone of the paymasters and their underlings
What this really amounts to is a system that is not ready for the shocks coming at it. It is simple inertia. The weight of our issues is very fat and the forces needed to move them to safety are not available. It is a mater of mismatched forces at the global level and a remedy is not yet in existence nor is there a hope for one. The problem here is not the actual forces needed as something unattainable, they are attainable. What is happening is the three items I listed above are and have been very powerful blocks to obtaining those forces.
What are these forces? Well think about it, they are obvious as it goes with climate change.
- A switch to 100% renewables and other mitigation systems
- A reduction in demand for both energy and product consumption/production
- Implementation of carbon sequestration technology
- New economic systems and doing away with capitalism
Yeah these may not be “your” list, but let me explain why I see them as such. One and three should be acceptable to most climate activists so I won’t defend them. But 2 and 4 I can understand that many would buck at. And I don’t have anything more than simple common sense to defend these two items. The simple answer to both of them is you can’t grow economies and extract resources forever, not at our present pace anyway. First off, we don’t have the water to keep the level of production and consumption up for more than a few more decades, again, at the present pace. OK so…that is my defense. We ain’t got what it takes to get all that stuff we want, we—are—limited.
Those God Damn Blocks to Our Success
So these forces to recovery from climate change do exist, but are blocked off from us by those three conditions listed above. The first one, not understanding or accepting the magnitude of risk involved, works like this. The science tells us what’s up, it gives us the “risks” involved, not the precise outcomes, just the risks of them happening. There are different ways they express these risks but they go something like, very likely, unlikely, likely, very unlikely, etc. Or high confidence, low confidence, medium confidence, etc.
OK so as it goes with the science, in most cases they are, in percentage terms, at least 50% sure of their assessments. That’s pretty high in terms of risk. In other words, to ignore a 50% confidence in something that has the magnitude of danger that climate change has would be foolish to say the least. The risks go all the way to mass extinction at the worst, or mass death at best and not much else in between. In other words the risks are a matter of life and death at the global scale and that is why I call not understanding or accepting the magnitude of risk involved a block, a major block actually. The powers that be, and much of the population of the developed world, do not understand the magnitude of our situation. Or they do understand it but their inner constitutions can’t seems to put it to actual reality, like there’s a blind spot there or something. This is very serious and is life threatening on a global scale.
The second condition or block, the global market system, has an indirect or unintended consequence. It becomes a block just by its mere existence and the deep root it has in our everyday lives. We go to work, we get paid, we go to the store, we get clothed, housed and fed. That is basically the free market system of economics otherwise known as capitalism or free enterprise and was mostly invented by our dear old friend Ben Franklin, a wondrous and well intentioned man.
OK so free enterprise, at least in the 21st century, is now practiced on just about every nation on earth. In short, money makes the world go ‘round and the mathematical equation for capitalism has a final answer that says, “more money this year than we had last year”. To get that extra money means there has to be economic growth and to get that growth you have to, not maybe have to, but have to exploit resources including everything from rock to water to energy to people, it all gets exploited and there is no stopping it from happening under free enterprise cuz free enterprise has to grow, get it? Regulating free enterprise can only do so much, if you want to have economic growth that is. And you can’t eliminate growth dynamics from the free enterprise equation, it fucks up the math and the economy collapses.
HOWEVER, we just can’t have economic growth and recover from global warming at the same time, it is mathematically impossible. I can’t see how that is not easily understood by even the least educated let alone scholars, but hey, it ain’t. Yeah there are many scholars who think we can achieve climate victory and have even greater economic growth than before! My answer to that is simply that even if we stopped climate change, you still can’t grow economies and standards of living on a finite planet forever, it’s basic common sense and fundamental deduction that is un-retractable. Unless we find a way to produce materials, water and food out of thin air we can not have economic growth forever. Add to that that even if we overcome all the nasty byproducts of capitalism, resource depletion, namely water, will always be nagging at our ass till we literally die from it.
In order to grasped fully why the global market system is a block to achieving climate success we will need to move onto the third condition or block, the comfort zone of the paymasters and their underlings. First off, who are these people, the paymasters and their underlings. They are the 1%, they are also the 5 % and the 10, the 15 and all the way up to maybe as much as the top 40% of the global folks holding wealth, or spending it at least. Essentially it is most of the population of the developed world, at least 60% of that group anyway. Those people are in a comfort zone they don’t even recognize let alone understand. The comfort zone exist due to wealth itself. Not excessive wealth mind you, just comfortable standards of living like running water, soft beds, yards, cars, ball games, hot dogs, all that. In other words you ain’t out in a field with a stick hoping to get a root to chew on. Instead you are comfortable. About 40% of the human population is at least at a minimum comfortable level in their living. Oh by the way, the paymasters are something like the top 10% and the remaining 30% are their underlings, kinda like that I guess.
Where all this becomes a problem and a block to climate success is these paymasters and their underlings are also the folks that are in control of the god damn operations of the god damn human world. And at the same time these folks are possessed by their own surroundings, they can’t see beyond them and it literally has made them reject the science of climate change. And HEY, I ain’t talking about the god damn deniers and skeptics, I’s talking about the god damn folks at the god damn Paris summit COP21 god damn deal. Yeah, think about this shit will ya? We are set up to fail miserably and we are not seeing the reality of that world. It is something not hard to see by mere data and facts, but to accept it is at present beyond the capabilities of our human constitutions! Fuck!!
Thanks for listening.