Monday, May 23, 2005

good morning, Sodom and Gomorrah

Though somewhat leftist of late, I’m not a socialist. I could give a flying fubar about socialism versus capitalism, an arbitrary semantic argument given that the human question is now, as it has always been, will those humans with exceedingly high capital resources do the right thing by their fellow man, or follow the short path to personal cluelessness and riches.

I believe in free markets, although the mordorian United States Government circa 2005 does not.

Be they Lenin or Bush, those in power tend follow the short path, enriching themselves and their cronies at the expense of the present masses and future humans.

Is there any excuse for ignoring global warming and climate change? Consider monkeygrinder’s wager. (Replace anthropogenic warming with god. It actually works better then the whole “god” question – logically, it is suicidal to ignore the possibility that humans are (irreversibly relative to our selves) altering the environment by burning interred carbon fuels.) Pascal incorrectly assumed one god, while monkeygrinder correctly and precisely points out ONE EARTH.

Those who argue against anthropogenic global warming will be the first against the wall when rising sea levels inundate cities. Tastes like chicken.

So, let’s examine what the fuck we are doing in the service of easy energy, because I am getting seriously tired of clueless bullshit propagated by vested interests, in turn pimped by those who like their elite jobs, willing to spout the short term party line at the expense of the race of man.

I presently define evolutionary fitness for humans as the ability to look beyond quarterly concerns. For those with capital, this ability does not observably exist.

The rape of the rainforest... and the man behind it

He is Blairo Maggi, the millionaire farmer and uncompromising politician presiding over the Brazilian boom in soya bean production. He is known in Brazil as O Rei da Soja - the King of Soy. Figures show that last year the rate of forest clearance in the Amazon was the second highest on record as the soy boom completed its third year. An area of more than 10,000 square miles - nearly the size of Belgium - was cut down, with half the destruction in the state of Mato Grosso, where Mr Maggi, whose Maggi Group farming business is the world's biggest soya bean producer, also happens to be the state governor.

In an interview last year he said: "To me, a 40 per cent increase in deforestation doesn't mean anything at all, and I don't feel the slightest guilt over what we are doing here…

Brazil being the current poster child for Bio-Diesel, cuz we don’t need the rain forest, do we? Penn and Teller can call bullshit on environmentalist hysteria, comfortably, from their Las Vegas unsustainable abodes, and no one who thinks they will be able to buy food from their local supermarket in 2020 is the wiser. Screw Penn and Teller. I’m a skeptic of skeptics who suck at the teat of corporate shills

What are we doing, Chimponia?

Should we then scrape the last poop of oil from the coast of California so we can keep ten thousand hummers running for twenty years?

If this ball of energy wax is in service of, a gateway too, what comes next, can we then have what comes next NOW, instead of waiting thirty years?

Yeah, the nuclear shills gonna peddle their fix on the basis of future hypotheticals, because to peddle on the basis of observed reality is a stinking ball of cancer. If it is raining soup, Jerry Pournelle, where is the goddamn soup? Heinlein observed that oil is far too valuable to simply burn, and I think Heinlein was right, though he confused the United States with civilization.

Sure, I am conversant with 1950’s science fiction, and issues considered therein (cloning, human animals, star travel, immortality, [artificial misnomer] intelligence and etc etc.) These issues are inevitably becoming part of conventional reality, much less reality. 1960’s science fiction and beyond, describing the reaction of humans to same, is irrelevant, and please prove me wrong. Singularity? Crapola redefined.

My late grandfather worked on NERVA, and dispatched into my possession documents describing test runs in the desert wherein NERVA worked somewhat flawlessly and certainly radioactively, elucidated in mathematics and scientifically repeatable observable reality. He also passed on to me a healthy disrespect of people who believe in people, perhaps misanthropakly, but more precisely he imbued an ability to be a skeptic of the poobahs, the keepers of the keys. Late in life, he was frankly bored with religion and science, not out of a desire to synthesize the two but due to a more Godelian approach to any system – science, religion, mathematics, reality, all incomplete.

In my opinion, grandfather would have delighted in string theory, a system which “elegantly” is only testable implicitly. The core of materialist science, physics thus rising or falling to the level of personal bias and belief: metaphysics.

But I digress.

What are we doing, people? We are in real trouble and the party hasn't stopped.

Aside from the common desire to get righteously laid, we need a better energy future than the one we are verbing.

Some time between now and 2007, global depression hits. This is easier to “predict” than global die-off, or what-have-you. Clearly, resolutely, the global capitalist economy depends on continued cheap energy for credit expansion, and just as clearly, this cheap energy reality is about to slide into fiction, barring deux-ex-machina.

Any you optimist chimps like to debate this, you make blog. Add me as team member. I debate you until cold fusion reality. You not read this my post; you not understand my bona fides. I reject Jesus; though not his swordless teachings; you are pudding in comparison.

I envision a local world which will grow more mysterious and valuable as our ability to circumnavigate it declines. Materialist dreams will be bounded increasingly by what our muscles can produce; for ill or boon.

Pavement will be ripped and sundered, the better to experience strawberry season.

It won’t be a small world, after all. Our children won’t understand the context of our exuberance; they’ll be too busy surviving. I crave a reality in which destroying our world is impossible. Humanity appears unsuited to undestroying her habitat. Applied energy constraints via depletion are then useful tools for advancing; the world becomes larger as the ability to damage this world decreases. Jay Hanson understands people but has no concept of evolution.

Constraints on humanity can only increase the viability of the race.

Bring on energy depletion. Bring on Sodom and Gomorrah.


At 7:48 PM, May 23, 2005, Blogger WHT said...

Alas, whatever happened to Pournelle?

At 8:36 PM, May 23, 2005, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

I'm fond of Pournelle - I read Pournelles Byte computer column for years...Mote was good ... Lucifers Hammer was fun...

(I sense a novel coming on - Hubbert's Hammer)

That whole vision thing where we shuttle a huge array of solar panels into Outer Space and beam energy too cheap to meter back down to the desert via microwaves never exactly panned out.

I think the nightmare scenario in the back of everyones mind would be, damn, it is great, but we should have built it twice as big...

At 9:11 PM, May 23, 2005, Blogger Santos said...

The Wild Card

At 9:45 PM, May 23, 2005, Blogger Big Gav said...

I have Pournelle quoted at me by freepers every now and then - apparently he's doing a Lomborg style gig dissing global warming and energy depletion somewhere.

I used to like his Byte columns too - but I used to be very right wing and very young when I was reading them - so I'm not sure how I'd view them through my older, more cynical eyes.

As for Mote (and Lucifer, and the book with Grendels in it), I think Larry Niven is the one to pin the credit on (his solo books are good, Pournelle's are atrocious).

Someone should definitely do a big "Clinging Desperately to the Face Of the Olduvai Cliff" novel - maybe we should pester Bruce Sterling (although he'd prefer to write a post oil Viridian utopia story I suspect).

Oh - and by the way, nice post MG.

At 12:24 AM, May 24, 2005, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Greets Santos long time no see - is the Correction back?

Gav - I think I stopped reading those Byte columns when I had a Darth Vader moment - he was spending paragraph after paragraph talking about some little MS-Basic Loan Amortization + Kitchen sink computer program he was debugging.

I was like, Muhahahah, I am the master now, Pournelle.

As you can see, I have an active fantasy life.

Anyhoo, sorry to hear he may have jumped in with the gw skeptics cabal. 9 years ago that was the height of fashion, and the glaciers weren't so obviously melting.

As people get older, [time] goes faster, and details are lost.

At 1:07 AM, May 24, 2005, Blogger Phila said...

Fuck Penn and Teller? A-fucking-men to that! Fuck 'em back and forth with rusty fish-hooks and a pavement saw. Fuck 'em where they breathe, with red-hot pokers.

I saw their environmental show while sprawled in one of those nightmare high-rise hotels near O'Hare Airport, and I was angry enough to kill for a solid month afterwards. And it wasn't just the fact that they were completely full of shit that annoyed me...hell, practically everyone on TV is completely full of shit. It was their stupid smug mannerisms, and their attitude that they were startling a world of settled belief with their awesomely outrageous freethinkin' ways...when in reality, they're a pair of self-aggrandizing dim bulbs along the lines of the Monty Python characters who hunt mosquitos with bazookas.

So again, fuck 'em. Glad to see it said, glad to agree vociferously.

At 8:58 AM, May 24, 2005, Blogger WHT said...

My bait did not work. I used the word "alas" in the first comment to try to draw somebody to criticize Pournelle's writing style. In every column he ever wrote in Byte, Pournelle had some statement where he started off with "Alas, but were it so that (blah, blah)"

After a while it got tiring, but then it got humorous, and now in retrospect, his whole attitude looks kind of quaint.


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