While those of us with a social conscience are agonizing over the DAPL (Damn All Pipe Lines – my words for the acronym) protests, there are much bigger issues facing this planet. Issues that leave those of us who actually do look at man’s effects upon this planet wishing quite seriously that we were not here to see or experience them. I think that as a ruling species given an entire planet to “do our thing” upon, we’ve quite completely painted ourselves into the proverbial corner and no way out.
Mr. Monbiot warns that his article could be depressing. I suppose it is but I like to look at the truly big picture when considering solutions to the woes of man and his world. We can no longer be satisfied in looking at solutions to our own problems because such solutions will not have any effect on the overall situation. In fact if some local problem is resolved, let’s say the DAPL project is abandoned, many locals will feel the job is done, go home and resume life where they left off. You can’t blame them of course but that won’t solve anything overall. Overall there is a systematic break down. Our “old” civilization is no longer sustainable and failing, socially, morally, economically. It’s a combination of too much having been taken; too high expectations from too many. Our exponential growth has smashed its face into a cement wall called the finite. We didn’t need “Dollar” Trump to build that wall, it comes with every finite physical world and it’s up to those who would rule that world to recognize in time that there are built-in limits to growth. Well folks, “we” chose, crassly and by some belief in entitlement not to acknowledge this number one law governing all life in a material universe. We have been extremely foolish and we are about to experience the real consequences of that foolishness.
Here is the George Monbiot article, copied from an email
Posted: 28 Nov 2016 04:34 AM PST
We face (at least) 13 major crises, some of which are immediate. It’s time for some hard thinking about how we confront them.
By George Monbiot, published on the Guardian’s website, 25 November 2016
Please don’t read this unless you are feeling strong. This is a list of 13 major crises that, I believe, confront us. There may be more. Please feel free to add to it or to knock it down. I’m sorry to say that it’s not happy reading.
Enough already? Sorry, no. One of the peculiarities of this complex, multiheaded crisis is that there appears to be no “other side” onto 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 European Union 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.
So the key question is not how we weather them but how – if this is possible – we avert them. Can it be done? If so what would it take?
I write this not to depress you, though I know it will have that effect, but to concentrate our minds on the scale of the task.
(Since writing this article, I have thought of three others: the debt crisis emerging in both China and the West; the global pensions crisis and antibiotic resistance. Just in case there wasn’t enough to worry about…)