More Fairy Tales

 

Hagood Mill is a much more accurate picture of what our energy future looks like [more info: https://www.hagoodmillhistoricsite.com/]



Last year I posted several articles about denial, cognitive dissonance, and the general refusal of society to look at reality rather than fantasies, myths, and fairy tales. The sheer level of denial is becoming almost hilarious with some of the absolutely ridiculous ideas being proffered now, and I expect that this will get much worse before it gets better.

Most of these are based upon simple, reductionist engineering ideas which don't take into account ecological overshoot. Because of this very simple exclusion, they generally take global society in the wrong direction rather than where people think they will take us. These ideas are essentially no different than non-renewable "renewable" energy - not only is it not renewable, it doesn't even reduce fossil fuel use (see these articles for studies and details here...here...here...here...here...here...here...here, and here.) The last link in that sequence is to a new video from Nate Hagens and Daniel Schmactenberger, and they both do an excellent job highlighting the predicaments we face. 

One of the hazards of posting these articles is that I get a lot of static from folks who haven't actually read all the material which I have read and who do not have a comprehensive understanding of ecological overshoot to begin with (an excellent place to start is with the book by William R. Catton, Jr., Overshoot). Sadly, this includes many climate scientists, including Daniel Swain from Weather West, as demonstrated below


 

Obviously, he believes that climate change is a problem to be solved when in reality it is a predicament with an outcome. He also demonstrates faith in something which has already been proven to not exist in reality - what he terms "our collective power." I'm sorry, but mass extinctions do not go backwards. That's just not how the system works. Now, even *I* understand this, and I'm not a climate scientist. Because climate change is caused by the even larger predicament of ecological overshoot, and because ecological overshoot is caused by our use of technology; in order to reduce ecological overshoot in an effort to reduce climate change we would have to be committed to reducing technology use. Where is there a strategy anywhere in the world to reduce technology use? I see many climate scientists just like Daniel praising and shouting constantly about the newest technology, never looking at the simple fact that this technology allows for increased ecological overshoot, the very cause of what they claim (falsely) can be solved. That is some rather serious hypocrisy right there. In that same thread, Daniel admits that he is not a clinical psychologist (which is true of most climate scientists) but fails to also admit that he is also not a sociologist. So, in reality, he doesn't truly comprehend how society works in the real world, either. 

This makes it exceedingly difficult to attempt to get certain points across to individuals who do not understand all the material which I have read, and there is no way to quickly point to just one easy-to-read document, book, or video which will explain everything to someone who hasn't taken the time and effort to truly comprehend ecological overshoot and the implications it has throughout the biosphere we live within. This is true even for those who want to understand - it's going to require more than an hour or two of reading, something most people just aren't that interested in doing.  

More funny reductionist ideas I've recently come across are epic in both the lack of understanding of ecological overshoot (and carrying capacity, for that matter) and the simple concept of technology use increasing ecological overshoot. This one is really out there and I admit that I didn't get too far before I lost interest in reading any further. I've read too much from Tom Murphy, Alice Friedemann, Tim Garrett, and William E. Rees to buy into the nonsense being spewed in that article.

Along the same lines of ridiculousness is this article claiming that soon there will be roads built which will recharge electric vehicles. I'm not even going to bother pointing out why this idea hasn't been thought through very well as I would need an entire article just for that alone. It's good for a few laughs if nothing else, VERY similar to the whole Solar Roadways fiasco from several years back. While initial small projects may actually receive financing and approval, this is no different than the initial Solar Roadways project. Many of these projects will never actually get built - they are fundraising efforts mainlyand keep the owners supplied with living expenses while making little if any headway with an actual project. I have a friend who invested money into a car supposedly being built by Elio Motors in the form of an advance deposit quite a few years ago. The trouble? The cars aren't actually even being built yet

I think many people want to believe in these schemes, and many don't realize what they are actually getting involved with; especially with ideas like Solar Roadways, EV-charging roads, and this hilarious idea which appears to be entirely illogical. Here's another losing idea, once again focusing on producing more energy which solves nothing and actually takes us in the wrong direction. Along the same lines of thought is this idea which also goes the wrong direction (as does any idea utilizing more technology use). Most people have little comprehension of energy and resource decline and therefore do not realize that we entered degrowth in 2018 and will most likely never globally enter growth again. In order to enter growth again, the surplus energy required would be a constantly growing amount rather than a constantly decreasing amount (see this article about surplus energy). Once a person comprehends this situation, he or she realizes that articles discussing "smart grids" and associated ideas may actually be brought to fruition, but only in small, localized versions, and in areas where customers can actually afford such a system. 

Update 4-15-22: Yet another losing idea.

I realize that what many climate scientists as well as the rest of us (this includes me!) would like is to believe in our capability to reduce the effects of ecological overshoot and thereby reduce concomitantly the effects of climate change, pollution loading, sea level rise, the loss of the cryosphere, energy and resource decline, species and biodiversity decline, and on and on. Many people believe that we actually have such a capacity. I don't think that we do because it involves changing the very way we think. This involves serious behavior change, something our species has always had trouble with. In this sense, we actually lack agency, because accomplishing this behavior change must be done collectively. We are much more inclined to blame other people, countries, and ethnicities, or deny the reality of the implications of these predicaments rather than turn our sights inward and change the essence of who we are as a species by changing who we are individually. 

I came across a book the other day which will probably surprise even those of us who see this kind of stuff daily. This book contains images which may induce mental anguish; a set of pictures encapsulating the predicaments we face. In it, one can clearly see precisely how civilization is unsustainable, and yet this (to attempt to continue civilization at all costs) appears to be the focus of many climate scientists as well as global society in general. This is precisely what so many different scientists have been warning us about for quite some time now, many for the last five decades. 

I think that the time of consequences is upon us. These predicaments are beginning to overcome society's ability to deal with them in a coherent manner which ends with the actual issues being fully resolved. This means that the different sides can not seem to reach agreement on what should be done; COP-26 and COVID-19 are prime examples of this. Another prime example set to be yet another flashpoint is the situation in Ukraine. There are further signs that one of the predicaments helping promulgate climate change which itself is caused by both ecological overshoot and climate change to begin with, is speeding up; methane emissions. A new video put out by PBS about methane, Arctic permafrost, and the cryosphere is scheduled to run for the next 3 weeks or so, so don't put it on the backburner - watch it now!

I've posted these links before, but have never posted them all in the same article together before. In an effort to explain why we're in serious trouble and reassurances that "we can do it" just don't cut the mustard, I think people need to wake up to the truth and quit denying these facts. We are in a mass extinction. Mass extinctions don't go "backwards" nor are they reversible. This is also true with climate change - it is irreversible on human timescales. The idea that we can stop this mass extinction or even climate change without tackling ecological overshoot first and foremost just isn't supported by the science:

Mammals cannot evolve fast enough to escape current extinction crisis

Evolution too slow to keep up with climate change

Co-extinctions annihilate planetary life during extreme environmental change

Vertebrates on the brink as indicators of biological annihilation and the sixth mass extinction

Study: Climate-only models likely underestimate species extinction

Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions

Climate change now irreversible due to warming oceans, UN body warns

An earth system model shows self-sustained thawing of permafrost even if all man-made GHG emissions stop in 2020

Long-term consequences of carbon dioxide emissions

The significant roles of anthropogenic aerosols on surface temperature under carbon neutrality


The bottom line is that the fairy tale stories that many climate scientists and governments are passing off just aren't true. I happened to see this book and just had to share it. While what this book (picture below) is saying is completely different to concerns regarding ecological overshoot, the truth is that without reducing ecological overshoot, we CAN'T do it (reduce climate change).



 

On the other hand, I do want to inspire people to do things they find close to their hearts (Live Now). How many of you are in dead-end jobs that you hate? How many don't truly love your job? How many of you have dreamt about doing something that you have been procrastinating for a variety of reasons? What is holding you back from quitting that dead-end job, from finding a job you truly love, or from actually getting your plans underway to actually doing that "something" that you've been wanting to do? Let go of any fears holding you back. Embrace doing what you love and live life with no (or as few as possible) regrets. Will you make mistakes? Sure you will, just like the rest of us. But you will also be living more genuinely! In order to nurture your relationship with nature (or anyone else for that matter!), you must love yourself first and foremost. By honoring yourself and maintaining commitment to your needs, you allow yourself to be able to honor commitment to others, especially to nature. This is the one thing that civilization robs from us, because it separates us from that which truly sustains us; all the life which surrounds us that civilization tends to ignore. So....

Live Now!









Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What Would it Take for Humanity to Experience Radical Transformation?

Welcome to Problems, Predicaments, and Technology

More Cognitive Dissonance

Denial of Reality

So, What Should We Do?

Fantasies, Myths, and Fairy Tales

The Myth of The "Energy Transition"

What is NTHE and How "near" is Near Term?

Why The "War" on Climate Change is Bipolar