- Date published:
1:17 pm, November 13th, 2018 - 71 comments
Categories: class war, economy, Economy, energy, Environment, global warming, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, vision - Tags: action, delusion, power
It doesn’t take too much searching of the internet to throw up snippets like the following.
Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn and a prominent investor, recalls telling a friend that he was thinking of visiting New Zealand. “Oh, are you going to get apocalypse insurance?” the friend asked. “I’m, like, Huh?” Hoffman told me. New Zealand, he discovered, is a favored refuge in the event of a cataclysm. Hoffman said, “Saying you’re ‘buying a house in New Zealand’ is kind of a wink, wink, say no more.
He knew “about a dozen people from Silicon Valley that have homes in Queenstown that haven’t even been on the radar, not been in the media, and that number is just increasing”.
many wealthy people understand that the climate crisis, deep recession and war are real threats, but they believe “apres moi le deluge [after me comes the floods];” the Financial Times columnist and author of “Makers and Takers” says many of the rich have escape plans thinking “they can avoid the apocalypse”
Do I think these people are mad? Well, yes.
But they are powerful people working for powerful companies and institutions who think they can survive the disaster of a world that they and their institutions are creating. That means they won’t stop doing what they’re doing. And more than that, there’s a dangerously hopeless mindset that prevails just a little further along the chain. Here’s Professor Tim Naish of Victoria University –
“Although in an ideal world it (1.5 degrees of warming) would avoid a lot of climate change impact, my sense is we’ve just left that too late.”
Now, he might be right. But his reasoning, reminiscent of many “movers and shakers” is of real concern. The reason he reckons we’ve left it too late is because –
“We’ve got to reduce production and have less cows and sheep. The problem with that is it would tank our economy in the short-term. We can’t do that too quickly…(emphasis mine)
Quotes like that are ten a penny. I’m not going to pretend I understand the mentality, though it is fairly ubiquitous, – pervading government and business and the thinking of moms and pops everywhere.
We know our economy requires ever greater amounts of physical energy in order to grow. We know that the vast majority of that energy produces carbon dioxide. We know we need to reduce the yearly amounts of carbon dioxide, and therefor energy, by about 10% every year from here on in. We can easily enough tumble to presumably otherwise intelligent people stacking the survival of an economic idea against that of the biosphere and coming out in favour of the economic idea. It’s a bit like the proposition of jumping from a high bridge into the path of a moving freight train because jumping into the path of the moving freight train comes with the promise of a million dollars. There’s a detail or two that constitute really obvious shortcomings of that course of action, yes?
So how do we save ourselves from the madness of the very rich and powerful who believe they can survive being clattered by a freight train while we all get smacked and diced? And how do we stop fairly powerful idiots enabling them? Or to put this another way – the idiots are winning but there’s time on the clock. Maybe you’ve already given up?
Here’s some words of a young woman from last week talking about climate change
…this is the fight for our lives. This is the fight of our lives. And we need to put everything on the line. […] We will get there. When we chart our course, we will figure it out. That’s how we got to the moon.
The deluded among the rich and powerful can choose between Alaska and New Zealand. If we choose the world, their deliberations aren’t very important.