- Date published:
7:01 am, December 18th, 2017 - 131 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, Economy, energy, Environment, global warming, making shit up, Propaganda, science, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: AGW, capitalism, growing up
Initially, I thought I’d go through the “Adapting to Climate Change in New Zealand”(pdf) report and pick out some of the more obvious shortcomings it was bound to contain. (Some big whoppers there btw.) But as I read it, I started to think more of the bigger picture that gets filled in by the repeated casual omissions and the habitual reliance on previous, deeply conservative and misleading reports.
So what I will say is, that apart from having the wrong focus and suggesting we continue to barrel in the wrong direction – and apart from highlighting how headless like a chicken we are before the threat of dangerous AGW, it’s a worthy report.
If AGW is a brick wall constructed from rather large granite blocks, then capitalism (our current way of living and being; of extracting ‘small m’ meaning from life) is the car whose occupants think there might be a way to shimmy that car through the granite wall up ahead in a way that leaves everyone and everything unscathed, or at least relatively unscathed. It’s madness (“adaptation” in official speak).
And that’s what this report, in common with all other reports I’ve read, chooses to focus on…how to sustain what we do.
Instead of that, figuring out how to remove that wall from our field of vision, by way of some action beyond that of just closing our eyes – now that would be a sensible focus to have I reckon.
So here’s an idea that’s not new, and that you’ve probably heard before – though definitely not from any sanctioned, governmental or official report on AGW. To avoid being so much “meatlovers pizza” sliding down some stonework, we could just stop the car and get out.
I suspect I can already hear howls of protest running along the lines of… “Where would we go?” “What would we do?” and “We’ll all die!” (cue: strange strangulated cry of despair) “Horribly!!”
And everyone closes their eyes, smiles and forgets.
Capitalism requires vast amounts of fossil fuel to function. Fossil fuels are the main drivers of AGW. It’s logistically impossible to switch out fossil for non-carbon sources of energy before hitting the “Welcome!” mat of cold hard physics. So what is there to figure out or debate?
If we really want to avoid dangerous climate change, we have to save ourselves from capitalism.
It’s been a nice ride for a wee few. A hell of a journey for most. And now it’s over one way or another.
But then, I don’t buy the “we’ll just transmogrify through this granite wall” sales pitch we keep getting. And maybe you do.