You Say Repost, I Say Riposte

The billions of words on the internet offer an anonymity I love, so I’ll dare to post again a comment I wrote for another blog a bit ago. I responded to a post on the general topic of sustainability. This other blog centers almost entirely on economics, and, although most who frequent this blog are extremely well informed, this sometimes means the whole picture is not always present. Meanwhile, I try to find time to worry about EVERYTHING. So here’s what I said over there.



Once, I scoffed at Christian doomsayers, saying “What makes you so special that Christ will return in YOUR lifetime?” Their outlook struck me as so narcissistic.

But now I find myself a doomer. Only I’m not expecting a savior.

Profligate animals, we humans have outdone ourselves. Current studies predict the demise of commercial fishing by mid-century. In the US, farm production will be hit by the growing scarcity of fossil fuel fertilizers and the erosion of topsoil by the intensive farming those fertilizers allowed. Moreover, droughts will lower yields. The sea is acidifying so even radical changes in commercial fishing would most likely be futile. And, of course, the supply chain is already showing lots of weak links. And on and on. None of the news is good.

And yet, the Secretary of the UN warns we need to double food production by 2050. But of course. We NEED to, so it will happen, right?

Sustainability may once have been a reachable goal–were we truly rational, reasonable creatures. Alas, we are not.

It’s not just the economic crises. We are indeed entering a Perfect Storm of crises. Economic collapse. Climate change. Resource depletion. Overpopulation. And we mustn’t forget that intensive factory farming makes bird flu mutations even more likely while the crumbling medical industry does less and less research investment. That is, don’t count on any new vaccines soon.

We do indeed seem doomed.

But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. Derrick Jensen’s ecology essay “Beyond Hope” suggests this. Stretching out our demise is, I fear, all we can hope for.

And now, back to reading Greer’s The Long Descent.


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