Why is Promoting Technology NOT Good?


Recently I wrote this in one of the groups I manage after reading several comments from members who clearly did not understand the facts behind several of my posts, quote:

"I think it is important to point out why promoting technology is NOT a good thing. First of all, technological devices DO NOT reduce emissions, period. They RAISE emissions. For those who do not understand this, please look up Jevons Paradox [Tim Garrett explains Jevons Paradox and Civilizational Inertia here]. Secondly, one cannot help reduce the effects of climate change without reducing the effects of ecological overshoot. Ecological overshoot is CAUSED by technology use. More technology use = more ecological overshoot, and since ecological overshoot is what causes climate change, using more technology only makes climate change WORSE, not better. So, please take this into mind before promoting the very thing that has brought us to this point in time. One might as well promote arsenic as a health aid..."

Some people are actually buying into the marketing hype about "renewable" energy, EVs, electrification, "green" products, "carbon-negative" products, net zero, "sustainable development," and all sorts of other nonsense. These are marketing labels and do not represent reality. NONE of these items are "green" or "renewable" or "carbon negative" or "net zero" or "sustainable" - ANYTHING involving technology is unsustainable. Why is this? Because modern technology from agriculture to water pumping to electrical and electronic equipment and ALL other modern technology REQUIRE extraction, energy use, and industrial civilization, all of which are unsustainable. The reason for this is highlighted in Why is Civilization Unsustainable? Basically, all of this requires the underlying support system and infrastructure of civilization, and civilization itself is unsustainable. 

Now, in order to understand WHY ecological overshoot is caused by technology use, one must first understand the concepts I highlighted in my first article, Problems, Predicaments, and Technology. Surprisingly to me, and despite all the information I had put out in these groups, those invested in their worldviews continue to buy into the fairy tales that the industrialists tell us. Of course, this is to be expected. While I am used to this type of denial, I was unprepared for the passion to which these folks get riled up with. Many people simply fall into the realm of denial of reality and optimism bias. One article I wrote actually analyzes this point by point: What Would it Take for Humanity to Experience Radical Transformation?

Speaking of ecological overshoot, an excellent post from Alice Friedemann showed up while I was busy writing this about why the political process is so slow to respond to the ecological crisis. Written by Rex Weyler, it points out precisely how, quote: 

"All paths out of overshoot (genuine solutions) involve a contraction of the species and a decline of material/energy throughput. There are no exceptions.

Furthermore, the contraction of humanity is inevitable, so all genuine options exist within this framework, whether we respond appropriately or not. And finally, every day that we ignore this reality, the deeper humanity falls into the overshoot rut, the faster the feedbacks take over (forest fires, methane from melting permafrost), and the less chance we have of mitigation.

Why this is so easy for some to see while others remain clouded in civilizational bliss seems a mystery. This is really a great article, as it points out how society suffers from denial of reality. Steve Bull also wrote about the article and had this to say, quote:

"As Rex argues, the ‘solutions’ that will matter most to people will be at the local level. Relocalization of as much production and distribution of goods as possible (but especially potable water, food, and shelter needs — including that which is needed to deal with local weather/climate, such as wood for winter heating) is the best approach to be taking to help one’s community mitigate as much as possible the coming storm. It’s likely to get ugly and ‘government’ will be nowhere to be found to turn to; you will need to depend upon immediate family, friends, and community members so cultivate those relationships and work on getting them to understand our predicament and begin making your local community as self-sufficient and resilient as possible."

While attempting to find the link to the original article, I came across something even more interesting; another article from Rex regarding trauma and addiction. I frequently use the word "addiction" to describe our collective habit (behavior) of continuing to use technology despite our knowledge that it requires destruction of the natural environment which supports our very existence. 

Another article which is more humorous than interesting provides more of the traditional hype surrounding the whole "zero emissions" nonsense which is clearly false. Simply reading the past several articles I have posted can confirm that there is no "energy transition" taking place unless one considers degrowth and contraction an energy transition and that there is no such thing as "clean or zero-emissions energy" unless it is entirely naturally-grown food. Switching from diesel engines to electric motor-operated machinery doesn't really change anything - one must still generate the energy to build and transport these behemoths and that is still done with fossil fuels - 84% of total world energy is still provided courtesy of fossil fuels and building new motors to run on electricity regardless of what they are powering does absolutely NOTHING to reduce emissions, it only RAISES emissions by requiring more emissions simply to operate these devices. As for the hydrogen myth, I destroyed that one quite some time back. It really is a shame that so much of this bargaining hype is being promoted, as it serves no useful purpose other than to attempt to continue BAU under the false assumption that it is now "clean" or "zero emissions" or "net zero" or "green" or even "renewable" in which case every single one of those labels is false. It really is nothing but more Bright Green Lies.

Some things should be accepted as being uncertain. For instance, we know that we are in a mass extinction. Countless articles, scientific studies, and the loss of biodiversity and species tell us this. We know that we are a part of the web of life and that this makes us vulnerable to the same fate as other species. So, we know that we will go extinct also - BUT, we don't know precisely WHEN. Other uncertainties include just how far global temperatures will rise, how much the poles will melt and how far sea level will rise, what year fossil fuels will cost more energy to extract than the energy they contain, and many other details. We can make educated guesses but we don't know for sure. The science, however, is clear on the fact that energy and resource decline is inevitable and inescapable and there are no technological solutions to ecological overshoot. Contraction and degrowth are the only way forward, voluntarily or involuntarily.

A new article explains how to think critically; like a scientist. This part is poignant, quote: 

"When thinking about a problem or debate, scientists always start with an open mind.

If you already think you know the answer, how receptive are you going to be to new information? And really, unless you are an expert, how likely is it that you really do know the right answer?

“The vast majority of ideas,” wrote astronomer Carl Sagan, “are simply wrong.”

“Science invites us to let the facts in”.

This is surprisingly difficult. Everyone likes to think they know what they are talking about.

When we are asked a question, scientific thinking requires us to admit that we often simply don’t know the answer.

This is where so many people fail right off the bat - they "already know the answer." As a result, their minds are closed to the facts unless those facts agree with their worldview. It doesn't matter WHAT the real facts are or whether those facts disagree with their beliefs - denial of reality allows them to rationalize the discrepancies. This is where the failure of technology to solve any of the predicaments we face comes into play; despite the facts being presented loud and clear to these folks, they cannot see their own denial which causes them to double down even MORE on their false claims. It is this addictive "hopium" that grinds my gears, so to speak, because it is so easy to disprove. 

So, wrapping up, promoting technology is not good because of three important reasons:

1) It does not solve ecological overshoot (the cause of climate change).

2) Technology increases material/energy throughput, thereby worsening ecological overshoot and all existing predicaments. This fact precludes most all claims about technology "solving" predicaments such as climate change, pollution loading, biodiversity decline, hunger, disease, and so on.

3) All technology requires destruction of the natural world.

Technology is anti-future because of these simple facts. One of the biggest issues is the culture surrounding the use of technology, and Paul Levy explains the psychosis of "wetiko" and precisely how it acts like a virus, quote:

"When people are infected by the wetiko virus, Forbes writes, they are “the host for the wetiko parasites.”[x] The wetiko germ is a psychic tapeworm, a parasite of the mind. Just like certain computer viruses or malware infect and program a computer to self-destruct, mind-viruses like wetiko can program the human bio-computer to think, believe and behave in ways that result in our self-destruction. Wetiko is a virulent, psychic pathogen that insinuates thought-forms into our mind which, when unconsciously en-acted, feed it, and ultimately kills its host (us). It doesn’t want to kill us too quickly however, for to successfully implement its agenda of reproducing and propagating itself throughout the field, it must let the host live long enough to spread the virus. If the host dies too soon, the bug would be prematurely evicted and would suffer the inconvenience of having to find a new residence.

Like a cancer of the mind that metastasizes, in wetiko disease, a pathological part of the psyche co-opts and subsumes all of the healthy parts of the psyche into itself so as to serve its pathology. The personality then self-organizes an outer display of coherence around this pathogenic core, which “masks” the inner dysfunction, making it hard to recognize. In a psychic coup d’etat, the wetiko bug can usurp and displace the person, who becomes its puppet and marionette. Like a parasite, the wetiko virus can take over the will of an animal more evolved than itself, enlisting that creature into serving its nefarious agenda. Once the parasite becomes sufficiently entrenched within the psyche, the prime directive coordinating a person’s behavior comes from the disease, as it is now the one calling the shots. Just as someone infected with the rabies virus will resist drinking water, which would flush out the infection, someone taken over by the wetiko parasite will have nothing to do with anything that will help them get rid of the disease. Wetikos are phobic towards the light of truth, which they avoid like the plague. In advanced stages, this process takes over the person so completely that we could rightfully say the person is no longer there; they are just an empty shell carrying the disease. In a sense there is just the disease, operating through what appears to be a human being. The person becomes fully identified with their mask, their persona, but it is as if there is no one behind the mask.

This provides far more detail on WHY promoting technology is basically wetiko, performing its pathology. It also explains the denial of reality that those who are captured by the allure suffer from, disallowing them to see that they are infected. Just before posting, I came across this video from William E. Rees, which describes humans as "genetically predisposed to unsustainability by nature and they are getting better at it." The video describes not only precisely WHY we employ unsustainable systems as part of the fabric of our lives, but also why obsessing on climate change distracts from the real predicament, ecological overshoot. It points out what SHOULD be obvious by now to the average person (if we were truly educating folks on the actual science), that we cannot "solve" climate change by focusing on climate change. Unfortunately, the human mind has limited capacity to cope with complexity, which is why people focus on individual predicaments; most likely never realizing that they cannot be solved by focusing on those particular predicaments because ecological overshoot is the predicament in the driver's seat. This video ALSO points out how increasing efficiency PROMOTES consumption, not the reverse, in a counterintuitive twist (Jevons Paradox again - also see the "Great Acceleration").  

I think that this qualifies plenty of good reasons NOT to promote the technology that is quickly bringing life on this planet to a close for many species. Live Now!


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