Instead of taking radical and sweeping moves to resolve this, America is actually eliminating environmental regulations, dramatically increasing carbon emissions, and decreasing emission standards. Politically America is exponentially moving toward the right wing in both party’s.
It’s pathetic really. And as for living underground - what kind of existence would that be? Where is the sun, sea, rivers, forests, wildlife etc. Man’s EGO knows no bounds.
Surely you could have found someone less captured by the corporations than Bill McKibben to talk about this important subject.
While he may never have taken any salary for his misleadership as 350 Co-Founder/Board Chair, McKibben has made huge money selling books based off Climate. I’ll go so far as to say that Bill McKibben has done nothing that has had any real impact at all on stopping Carbon Pollution. His vaunted Divestment claptrap also achieved nothing as far as less fossil fuel use. All that did was change who a fraction of the fossil fuel companies’ shareholders are.
His silence on the pro-fossil fuel Democrats (especially Obama’s pimping fracking, making the US the top fossil fuel producer in the world!). His silence on all the other problematic issues with “renewables” that the documentary raise is also very telling.
The Meltdown of the Careerist Greens, Counterpunch, 27 April 2020
I agree with all your posts TTofB. When I was immersed in “restoration ecology” back in the early 2000’s it felt more like hospice care of ecosystems to me.
Many people felt that we were restoring woodlands, prairies, wetlands etc. and yes, there were many positive outcomes of our actions on behalf of these ecosystems but ultimately I felt they were dying.
Of course, I had to stay mum on my feelings about this otherwise I would lose friends/colleagues. So I kept planting, burning (prescribed), clearing invasive species and encouraging people to protect habitats.
As far as all of us being in hospice now, first consider what hospice means:
The definition of hospice is:
A shelter or lodging for travelers, pilgrims, foundlings, or the destitute, especially one maintained by a monastic order.
A program that provides palliative care and attends to the emotional and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients at an inpatient facility or at the patient’s home.
That second definition is where we need to go but it seems----for the 99%---- we, as a society are moving in the opposite direction. We do not offer palliative care emotionally and spiritually. We can’t even offer basic health care!
The systems in the u.s. are ruthless and cruel.
Somehow, in some way, perhaps smaller communities can offer hospice care for all including nonhuman life that still exists.
We will not get it from the larger murderous capitalist structure----there, as things collapse we will be left to fend for ourselves which is the opposite of palliative hospice.
Oh dear, you sound like a socialist. And that won’t do in the Corporate Green backslapping, money-making, ego-boosting world of pro-capitalist climate NGOs and professional activists - you know, the world of Bill McKibben, Al Gore et al.
You believe people are willing to give up their “comforts” and “toys”. We (the west anyway) are too indoctrinated into the “must have” propaganda to relinquish those things. Shame.
And your solution is…?
the earth will be fine. we, however, won’t be, as you point out. And I agree: at this point, it’s probably just as well. I’d rather us go extinct than breed Space Capitalism and wreck any more planets.
Succinctly stated. The USA is going to be a dystopian nightmare as things collapse. Hell, “we” can’t even care enough about each other to wear masks and shelter in place during a pandemic. The Road by Cormac McCarthy is our most likely outcome in the USA.
Unfortunately he is dead. Jacques Cousteau who spent his entire life on the oceans predicted (from the state of the oceans) that we had 50, 100, 150 years left before complete devastation.
I loved watching his documentaries when I was just a lad in my teens. He was someone who knew how to live fully each day as if it was his last. Along with a nice glass of wine or two…
I agree with your post except the “earth will be fine” part.
It depends on your definition of “fine” and “earth”.
For me earth is a living being that we humans are killing which will never be fine with me.
While it may ease the minds of some (and there are days I wish I had that mindset) to believe that “the earth will be fine”---- when we courageoulsy look at the deaths we are causing that are part of earth’s living system it is far beyond horrific.
Grief from these deaths, these mass murders of ecosystems is infinite. There is no healing from grief that ratchets up every day as the killing/death toll increases exponentially.
I too would rather go extinct then live in a world devoid of biodiversity.
Fireflies as one example. The fireflies each night over the past 2 weeks have been heartbreakingly beautiful. I can’t get over the fact that there are fireflies!!! They are amazing!! I would not want to live on a planet where humans killed them all. That is just one species . … I could go on . .
There is not enough time left to take such measures, such might be possible, …if humans were capable of understanding such existential threats and cooperate to change the way they do things, but recent history says otherwise, and we will be extremely fortunate if our nation exists in another decade. Once the nation-states cease to exist, tribal humans will do more of the killing than climate, and within another decade or two, outdoor agriculture will largely die as major portions of the surface of our planet become uninhabitable by unprotected humans for much of the year. You are welcome to your perspective, if it helps you to sleep at night but it doesn’t change the realities of our present position and future path.
While McKibben is right about this, he’s lost a lot of credibility due to new information about him, and others in the environmental movement, in the new Micheal Moore documentary, Planet of the Humans, which shows that McKibben and other big names in the movement have taken substantial money from, and in turn endorsed, environmentally unsound biomass fuel schemes that use as much energy to produce as they provide. Probably the major reason that Moore’s film has come under such intense ridicule from more mainstream environmentalists. Watch it for yourselves and decide.
I’m just saying that coming from a perspective of looking at the challenges of living in space, relative to them, living here on Earth even under the worst conceivable future conditions doesnt look anywhere near as difficult as living on the Moon, Mars, etc.
If they happened (much) slower we might even be able to evolve the biology to handle them. I mean, youre right, most of humanity would die. That world would not be a world that I would want to live in, compared to this one. And it should be avoided at all costs.
However, I think that we’re headed towards changes that are addressing some of the problem. A lot of energy is used by people commuting to jobs. Well, soon they wont have to do that because there wont be as many jobs. Also, there will be no need for people to live in crowded, hot cities for the same reason.
Because we’re captured by corporations, they want the taxpayers money for more half baked schemes to get our money.
Most of them are worthless. It makes the most sense to reduce consumption. We have had a glimpse of that during lockdown. Nature showed it is capable of recovering if we just pull back a bit.
What we need is more sensible progressive taxation and a program of giving the planet some breathing room, for their own lives. less government as far as the government we have now that wants poor people to be punished for being poor and rich people to be rewarded out of the public purse just for being rich. Thats wrong.
We could easily have a society where only those who really do have research or art or other important things to do need to do them. And they really do. This can happen anywhere in peoples lives.
Everybody who has something important to do should get to do it. We need to de-emphasize profit and re-emphasize people and Nature.
Much of the rest can and should be automated, as much as possible.
Unfortunately, many of us here have recognized and understood, and fought this for decades already, only to see our worst visions of the future confirmed in election after election and public poll after public poll. A species with a death dream from which it refuses and resists awakening, even as its life and livelihood is ripped from its existence by its own self-deluded, somnolescent hands.
A small beacon of light:
Your optimism is impressive. I rather think that the global warming already in effect will lead to more losses of our usual lifestyles and those of us addicted to the comforts and luxuries of western living will not react in any way except to exacerbate our decline into chaos and wholesale destruction. Witness the “Karens” who are more and more gracing us with videos of their whining, complaining, and threatening because they are slightly inconvenienced at the expectation that they wear a fucking mask. Do we really think that these men and women are going to pitch in in a global effort to redesign our lifestyles and investments towards global preservation? Or is it more likely that they lash out at the scapegoats that are presented to them by the real perpetrators of our demise? I feel a sense of guilt at the world to which I have helped condemn my children and grandchildren and yours.
I had to look up the “karens”. I thought they were a pop group or something. Never heard that expression before. Must be “murrican.” LOL. Thanks for the new word i learned today.
Living underground - just because its energy efficient, and could be really great use of our space, is a great idea.
If we moved cities underground, we could reduce a lot of our energy footprint. Huge underground spaces would last for millennia, once hollowed out. they dont require much heating and they dont require any cooling.