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The Carbon or the Swag?

Written By: - Date published: 2:32 pm, December 12th, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: capitalism, Economy, Environment, Ethics, global warming, political alternatives, quality of life, sustainability, vision - Tags: , ,

You have a choice to make. Since you live in a society, apparently guided by ideas of personal responsibility and choices, making a choice and acting on it should be second nature by now. Anyway, you should made the decision a few years back and acted on it by now. But I’ll bet you haven’t.

I’ll bet you’ve treated the most far reaching decision you will have to make as some type of intellectual exercise. I’ll bet you’ve settled for winning arguments as though that was actually doing anything and then carried on living your life much as you did before. And I’ll bet you’ve justified your inaction by looking at yourself, thinking only about yourself and making it all about yourself –  as defined through some impoverished orthodox lens of what it takes or means to be a good person or a successful person or a responsible person. And then (still betting here), I’ll bet that you’ve had the gall to feel anger and hypocritically call on others (ie, leaders of various stripes) to do something –  all the while using their inaction to further justify personally doing nothing or not a lot.

So, lets recap some very recent history. At Warsaw, governments of the world agreed to draw up targets for reducing carbon emissions by 2015. Meaning that although Annex 1 countries (NZ is an Annex 1 country) have to reduce carbon by about 10% year on year from now, or before now to deliver a 50/50 chance of holding global warming below an arbitrary, unscientific and not particularly safe 2 degrees C, emissions of carbon will continue rising until at least 2015.

In 2015 in Paris there will be mere proposals. Then there will be discussions and feet dragging and all types of bollocks and bullshit. And 2015 is way too late. By 2015 any window of opportunity to avoid global warming of 2 degrees C + will be gone. By 2015 a future of global warming above 2 degrees C will be locked in. (Then talk will be a bit like discussing how to miss the ground while the cliff top recedes above us – ie, fucked up and futile nonsense about avoiding warming of 3 degrees C+  or 4 degrees C+…)

So this is your choice. Keep on chasing the dollar to pay your mortgage or rent, your HP payments or the purchase of that next ‘must have’ item. And fly in those planes and drive those cars to get yourself to the best place to run after those dollars or to get away for a break from chasing those dollars.

Or just fucking stop. Don’t fly. Don’t drive. Fuck the job and the endless running. And then cross your fingers and hope things pan out while you get busy forging and developing new ways of living.

Shit choice, innit?

Either one, give up everything you’ve worked towards and based your life around in terms of accumulation and self worth – give it all up today and get a mere 50/50 chance of a viable future; one that allows you to build a reasonably stable life worth living. Or two, lose everything that you’re currently trying to hang on to and augment…alongside things like food security, water infrastructures, electricity infrastructures and so on… in a world of 2, 3 or 4 degrees C warming – or more…even much more if likely runaway feedback loops kick in at some point along the way.


42 comments on “The Carbon or the Swag?”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    as the ‘Right’ are so fond of spouting 😉 “it’s all about personal responsibility”. (every week there are new (second-hand) V8 and 6 cylinder Falcons or Commodores lining the footpath out front of used-car lots I walk past; yesterday , blown away, I saw a Peugeot with entire body-work in a chrome finish; yep, here in Hastings; shows up Brian’s Aston Martin though).

  2. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2

    Get off that computer, Bill. It’s full of copper and silicon and tin and plastics. That’s before you consider the energy that went into its construction. If you’re not part of the solution…

    • Rogue Trooper 2.1

      It’s all relative.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.1.1

        Yeah, I know he doesn’t really believe in personal responsibility.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      It’s not computers that are the problem per sé. It’s all the bloody personal cars and the capitalist drive to produce ever more junk that will be replaced in 6 months to a year.

  3. fappity 3

    ” We’re fucked ! We’re fucked !”

  4. Fair Observer 4


    [lprent: Already banned. Another IP for autospam. ]

    • Arfamo 4.1

      Relax, you’ve just fallen out of bed. Your head’s on the floor while your legs are still tucked up in the sheets. Just straighten up – you’ll be ok. Take two aspirin and call a doctor tomorrow morning for an appointment sometime late next week.

    • Bill 4.2

      So it’s raining? What’s your point?

  5. One Anonymous Knucklehead 5

    Fappity and Fair Observer, it’s easy to mischaracterise an argument in order to dismiss it, but I wonder if either of you have the faintest idea what a 2° shift in global average temperature would mean for you personally.

    By the way, Bill is just the messenger. Does shooting the messenger often work for you?

  6. BM 6

    Meh,I’m fairly relaxed about the whole issue, if it happens, it happens.

    Life’s short, better things to do than worry about hypothetical situations that may or may not eventuate.

    • Arfamo 6.1

      I’m betting you don’t work for an insurance company, and I’m hoping you’re not a builder.

      • BM 6.1.1

        You’re correct, do you?

        • Arfamo

          Nope. Are you a funeral director perchance?

          • BM

            Nah, desk jockey.

            Which is quite useful because if the apocalypse does occur, I can use my desk as a floatation device to save my sorry arse.
            All bases covered in this household, nothing to worry about here.

            • Arfamo

              Cool. So no worries for you if, hypothetically, Key and his cronies get the boot next year then. All good. You just carry on racing that desk.

    • Bill 6.2

      Sure. So just rush blindly each and every time you cross a road from now on. Getting run over is, afterall, one of those ‘hypothetical situations that may or may not eventuate’.

      • BM 6.2.1

        Exactly, I could get hit by a car tomorrow through no fault of my own.

        If I worried about every thing that could happen, I’d be a nervous wreck and never leave the house.
        As my mother says, “Stress, it’s bad for the bowels”

  7. Steve Wrathall 7

    Meanwhile back in the real world temperatures globally haven’t risen for 17 years and CO2 is causing a massive greening of the planet http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract
    Catastrophe cancelled

  8. Philj 8

    Good luck Bill. All things must pass, including us.

  9. Positive feedback loops are already here.
    Here’s some bedtime reading if you don’t need sleep

  10. Flip 10

    Grab your swag people and head for the hills. (Good thing we have some.) The water is rising.

    Anybody for some expensive water side real estate. Real handy to the sea just a step outside the door into the lovely warm ocean.

    • Rogue Trooper 10.1

      They keep throwing money at protecting homes from an eroding coast around our way; Council have conceded and loaned the ‘protection society’ money for groins. Geological modelling by an expert in these matters recently found that the issues will just arise further round that part of the bay. Protection is going ahead for a 30yr max. outcome as relocation is also going to be costly. Not enough expenditure for the rate-payers?, load on some more rocks.

      • Flip 10.1.1

        The wealthy will get protection for their ‘investment’ from the sea and environmental change. The poor will not be protected. The link between carbon emissions and their sea side land being eroded is something the wealthy understand but publicly deny as it is useful to protect their assets. Public money will be used to protect private property. You just need a public asset between you and the sea. Something like a road.

      • Arfamo 10.1.2

        “Council have conceded and loaned the ‘protection society’ money for groins”

        😀 Just about fell off my chair reading that one. It sounded like the protection society had had a few too many kicks in the gonads and needed replacements. I take it you meant groynes.

        • Rogue Trooper

          lolz, a lot, yes; ha, not something I’m used to since leaving Christchurch where there is a park called The Groynes; silly me. Ta.
          (cool walk?, very hot here with storm-clouds, a little rain, some lightning; love it “I’m only happy when it rains…”) You have a wicked sense of humour.

    • weka 10.2

      “Grab your swag people and head for the hills. (Good thing we have some.) The water is rising.”

      The hills are on fire. Where to now?

      (if sea rise was the only thing to be concerned about we could just stop worrying).

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        It’s apt you make that comment weka.

        In the US Appalachian mountains, they don’t bother to spend time and effort to dig down to the coal seams any more. They use massive explosive lines to blow the top hundred feet right off the mountains and ridges to get at the coal. The thousands of trees left strewn about they simply bulldoze down the side of the hill and set on fire in a massive pile of former forest. Turning a living carbon sink into an inferno.

        Our civilisation is going mad. Like the 250,000 children living in poverty in NZ. Ho hum just another evening in soul crushing depravation for a quarter million NZ children and their parents, move on, nothing to see here. Oh look I spot in this Christmas catalogue in front of me a bottle of Dior J’adore for just $245. Must get a bottle tomorrow gift wrapped with a bow. Everything is OK now.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Going mad? No, it’s always been mad. It’s just becoming more and more obvious as we build up the capability to do more and more damage faster and faster and all to keep a few psychopaths in ever increasing riches that they don’t need.

        • Flip

          US Appalachian mountains….. Wow! Way to destroy the natural environment and future generations quickly. /sarc

          • Rogue Trooper

            Human ‘Wantings’ are the only species paying to live on the earth; so much for greater cerebral cortex size!

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