Friday, November 25, 2016

Other Than Apocalypse, What's On the Horizon, Mr. Monbiot?

Thanks, George, but confirmation bias I can do without right now.

Guardian enviro-scribe, George Monbiot, wants you to think big, very big, about what is now on your plate no matter how much you may wish it wasn't. It's an entree he calls "The 13 impossible crises that humanity now faces."

He knows it's depressing reading and he feels very sorry for that but he wants us all to realize the magnitude of what we have to confront.

I haven't got the heart to summarize it here but I'll cherry pick a couple of bon mots a la George.

On the prospect that Marie Le Pen might win the next French election.

"If Le Pen wins, the permanent members of the UN security council will be represented by the following people: Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Theresa May and Marine Le Pen. It would be a stretch to call that reassuring."

Oh, shit. Damn. Bugger that. 

How about this one. Just 60 harvests left - in case anyone's counting.

"According to the UN food and agriculture organisation, at current rates of soil loss we have 60 years of harvests left."

For what it's worth, there was plenty of research on this both before the UN FAO warning and there's been plenty of research confirming it since. Around the globe we're working our farmland to exhaustion, relying on ever increasing amounts of agri-chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides needed to produce "normal" crop yields. It's a candle ablaze brightly from both ends.

And, of course, there's the accelerating extinction event. No list would be complete without it.

"One of the peculiarities of this complex, multiheaded crisis is that there appears to be no “other side” on to which we might emerge. It is hard to imagine a realistic scenario in which governments lose the capacity for total surveillance and drone strikes; in which billionaires forget how to manipulate public opinion; in which a broken EU reconvenes; in which climate breakdown unhappens, species return from extinction and the soil comes back to the land. These are not momentary crises, but appear to presage permanent collapse."

But, wait, what am I thinking? This is Black Friday, there are deals to be had - everywhere - on everything. It's past time to get down to some serious online bargain hunting. Happy shopping everyone.


Purple library guy said...

I see some silver linings, actually. If the ecology collapses and the capacity for food production disappears, I think that somewhere in the process of descending into starvation, chaos and (the bad kind of) anarchy, governments probably will lose the capacity for mass surveillance and indeed the capacity to do much at all, and billionaires may well forget how to influence public opinion and all kinds of other things as their possessions and heads are appropriated by the ragged hordes.

(for the sarcasm impaired, this was intended as gallows humour)

The Mound of Sound said...

I'm thoroughly pissed off, PLG. I thought I would be safely departed this mortal coil long before the shitstorm hit but now that's far from certain.

Toby said...

Can you imagine seven and a half billion people trying to crowd into a few northern areas as most of the world becomes uninhabitable? I think Americans might decide to build that wall just before they flee to Canada. Donald Trump and his ilk will build bunkers that his descendants can live in for a couple thousand years.

Lorne said...

I think it is both fitting and just, Mound, that we will likely still be around when things begin to spin out of control. After all, we certainly have contributed to the crisis ...

The Mound of Sound said...

No, Toby, I can't imagine that. These revelations invite all sorts of dystopian speculation but that's way too depressing. What awaits and how it will all unfold is unknown.

The Mound of Sound said...

One word, Lorne. SOMA.

John B. said...

Wait a minute. I was just doing my job.

Off subject: Fidel Castro is dead.