This is why the idea(s) behind Occupy is going to resurface. The number of people who realize they have been robbed is going to increase along with the extent to which they have been robbed.
according to this guy…, Guy McPherson. He sees global warming, post peak oil, and economic collapse combining to make wage earners a thing of the past. He is trying to educate people about what’s coming and practicing what he is preaching himself at his “mud hut doomstead” in Arizona.
Here’s a link to one of the Blog pieces that includes a video of one of his recent presentations.
Very interesting fellow…, he gave up a university professorship to start preparing for what most folks don’t want to think about…, let alone talk about or do anything about. And yeah…, I have already ordered his book, “Walking Away From Empire: A Personal Journey”. Haven’t explored all his Blog yet…, but rest assured…, I will. Though his message isn’t too cheery…, that doesn’t mean he has no sense of humor. One piece is titled, “I Don’t Know Shit”…, based on his learning to use organic chicken, goat and horse manure as fertilizer.
This essay is rife with the type of self-indulgence I try to avoid, often unsuccessfully. Itâ€™s a summary of my lifeâ€™s story. It begins by insulting the readers, before the end of this first paragraph, and it ends with an unavoidably maundering, self-absorbed synopsis of recent, personal events. I doubt itâ€™s worth your time to read. But Iâ€™m a poor judge of what works for people here. My latest essay was a thoughtful collaboration with three brilliant scholars (and me), and it generated little attention. So maybe the readers of this blog are similar to the rest of the worldâ€™s industrial citizens, more interested in personal-interest accounts than serious information that impacts your lives.
We live in the Age of Entitlement, assuming we deserve all we unquestioningly consume.
Eventually, though, I could no longer ignore the powerful words of Arundhati Roy in her insightful 2001 book, Power Politics: â€œThe trouble is that once you see it, you canâ€™t unsee it. And once youâ€™ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. Thereâ€™s no innocence. Either way, youâ€™re accountable.â€
The worldâ€™s climate is changing at an accelerating rate, with profound implications for nature and the humans who depend on the natural world. In addition, the worldâ€™s energy supply is rapidly declining, which is leading to significant contraction of the worldâ€™s industrial economy. These unprecedented phenomena impact every aspect of life on Earth, notably including our ability to protect the living planet on which we depend for our own survival. Time is not on our side.
My writing and presentations describe the nature of our predicaments, offer a series of assumptions based on forecasts for climate change and energy decline, give a general template for action, and then deliver a series of practical solutions within the realm of strengthening the links between environmental protection, social justice, and the human economy.
But, as should be obvious, Iâ€™m having damned little impact. I know exactly three people who, influenced by my message, have changed their lives in any way at all. I am one of them. The other two made minor changes in lifestyle when they began sharing their property with me. Considering how difficult it is to change ourselves, we shouldnâ€™t expect to be able to use words to change others.
Itâ€™s not at all clear that my decision to abandon the empire was the right one. I know it will extend my life when the ongoing economic collapse is complete, and I know it is the morally appropriate decision (as if a dozen people in this country give a shit about morality). But Albert Einstein seems mistaken, at least in this case: â€œSetting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.â€
My own example has generated plenty of scorn, but essentially no influence. On the other hand, the imperialism of living in the city and teaching at a university has rewards that extend well beyond the monetary realm. I miss working with young people every hour of every day. I miss comforting the downtrodden, notably in facilities of incarceration, every day. And I miss afflicting the comfortable, notably hard-hearted university administrators, at least weekly.
So here I sit, alternately staring at the screen of empire and staring out the window into timeless beauty. I contemplate the timing of imperial collapse and the implications for the tattered remains of the living planet. Half a century (and one week) into an insignificant life seesawing between service and self-absorption, I wonder, as always, what to do. My heart, heavy as the unbroken clouds overhead, threatens to break when I think about what weâ€™ve done in pursuit of progress.
Springâ€™s resplendence lies ahead, with its promise of renewal. Is there world enough, and time? Will we yet find a way to destroy a lineage 45 million years old, or will the haunting call of the sandhill crane make it through the bottleneck of human industry?
I knew the lad back in the day…, when he and I called Weippe, ID home. He, his older brother, and his father played on a rival fast pitch softball team against our “hippie” ball team. He may have been the youngest player in the league (probably tens years my junior) and thus suffered the usual attempts at intimidation…, the “easy out” taunts, etc. Suffered them quite well I should say. After reading his blog I have a much better understanding of why those attempts never bore the fruit we expected.
When a Facebook friend pointed out his blog, “Nature Bats Last”…, I expected it to reflect his love of sports. After cheery picking through a few posts and discovering his views on the state of the world we inhabit…, I wrote back to the Facebook friend that, “There must have been something in that Weippe Water…” that instilled the same world view in the both of us. After that, I started from the beginning of the blog and read his entries in sequence…, and I have not been disappointed. We have much more in common than I ever imagined. Wish I would have gotten to know him better back then…, maybe I will in the future…, if we have much of a future left. I do disagree with him regarding the speed of our demise. I see a much slower slog to total demise…, at least in the climate change and post peak oil areas. The financial situation is sitting on the brink of a cliff though…, and the repercussions of a complete crash that disrupts the flow of what oil we have left could be an eye opener…, or closer.
Here’s one of my favorite pieces so far…, “The Way Out of Weippe”…, for obvious reasons.