Monday, April 04, 2005

the boy who cried wolf

Every one of us suckers is going to DIE-OFF in this century.

That inevitability is set in motion by biology and not some ghoulish desire by peak oil types to preside over the apocalypse. In other words, for those over ten years old, mortality will manifest this century. You gon’ die. Maybe like a dog, but for sure.

So, ignoring our children for the moment (trust politicians to worry about them – they have the best interest of our baby goats at heart) this ordained DIE-OFF event becomes a question of degree.

Will it be painful? For everybody all at once? Or will it follow the current course of being painful for everybody at different times?

It doesn’t matter.

Humanity is growing unsustainably. This isn’t seriously in question. Most people sense it when the weather rolls in with dust and soot from China, or a confused deer wanders in to town and gallops around. Cancer is ascendant. They don’t dish up cod down at the fast food fish n’ chips anymore, serving up instead some oddster bottom feeding variant.

Love that metallic tang in the air. Asthma helps me breath cuz I know I’m alive and thus instilled with a fighting spirit. Dead zones scale up in the oceans hour by hour. There’s a local initiative in Seattle to pump oxygen into one of our rivers to wake up the sleepy fish. Without it, they’ll float like cheerios.

Raw sewage is being spread on U.S. crops, the same raw sewage that is commonly used as a dumping ground by industry (big pipes == deniability). A toxic slerm of pharmaceuticals, condoms, and heavy metals is thus imbued into our tomatoes. Heavy metals add up and poison soil for thousands of years.

Unsustainable. This essay writes itself. Michael Crikey!

So, again with the so-called geo greens. A hint of sincerity is there, mixed up with the confused yet unstated desire to propagate industrialism. Fabricate a billion veggie-mobiles? How comforting, like a clutch of organic carrots wrapped securely in plastic and shipped for a thousand miles in a freezer truck. Buy organic, you stank chimp, or the hippyman will get you.

Sustainable ideas are needed that work with the reality of peak oil.

Let me declare a moratorium on stupid ass ideas.

Ethanol on a large scale would be criminal. There are starving people in the world right now. One cannot pump this farce into a gas tank without stealing otherwise valuable food from the needy. It is not green, even were the EROEI positive. Millions of fertile acres would be required to grow sufficient ethanol crops, if the goal were to substantially nick into current oil consumption. I wonder what is growing on this acreage now? Food crops, maybe? Yeah.

Feels good, being green.

Nuclear is useless – the rube goldberg infrastructure is too complex to maintain in the face of declining oil. Existing plants will be de-commissioned, one by one. Argue if you wish, but enough people hate nuclear that the Bush administration and successors will have a tough time completing the 50 reactors planned for 2020. And even if built, even if 150 were built, they will do nothing to address the shortfall in oil and natural gas. Nothing. I’m taking bets. Thirty bushels of corn sez…

And that is it for alternative high energy candidates. The only way to make up the energy shortfall is with local ingenuity.

Local intelligence to combat global stupidity.
Reduced individual consumption (nature’s mandate).
Vastly smaller cars or bicycles replacing ironmobiles.
Local, solar powered, mineral fed, organic agriculture.
Local hydro-power, water wheels, wind, solar techniques.

Oh, and about the children, whom I ignored earlier in the essay. Don’t have more than two. One might be preferable; the better to decline human population in step with oil. Convincing disparate peoples of this is the real trick. Population reduction has been a nonstarter for a while, actually. I guess it is anti growth.

Ignore this prescription, and one is, at best, betting on energy technology that does not exist yet. Please, be my guest, dump 7 billion humans into a denuded blowtorch future because you didn’t want to suffer the discomfort of imagining your tawdry way of life being altered substantially in the short term.

Globalism is dead, long live the globe.


At 5:01 PM, April 04, 2005, Blogger Phila said...

That's something that's been bothering me a lot lately...this fixation on some solution that'll fix everything, as long we can make it as overblown and gargantuan and dumb as the system we've got.

The local focus is best...never mind federalism, we need counties' rights.

But honestly, aren't you being a bit negative? What about methane hydrates? Personally, I figure it's like when you run out of booze, and start drinking Listerine, or Sterno...

At 8:19 PM, April 04, 2005, Blogger WHT said...

In other words, feeling pain works out better than not feeling pain. Death often accompanies the latter.

At 12:35 AM, April 05, 2005, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

I am also trying to poke fun at the whole DIE OFF thing. We all die, just a question of when. Some people get pretty wound up about it.

More frightening to me is the trashing of the globe that will affects untold generations of humans, resulting in unnecesary suffering. Methane Hydrates indeed. Suffering and death are very different (as WHT points out :)


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