ADVENTURE RANCH

ADVENTURE RANCH
ADVENTURE RANCH
Showing posts with label apocalypse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label apocalypse. Show all posts

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Only Real Political Debate?

While the media and the current political party debate seems to indicate a battle between "Conservative" and  "Liberal" factions, that is not the reality.

The real conflict is much more deeply embedded in the way most everyone lives and dies, and simple solutions or moral authority just don't exist. The working world, from farming and food to high technology, is critically flawed - so goes the argument laid out in Naomi Klein's new book. "This Changes Everything". We are doomed to extinction at a planetary level unless momentous revisions to how we live take place.

The ideas are nicely captured in this review via The Film Doctor, who mingles writing about politics and the art of cinema in a most unusual fashion. While her book seems to center on the debate about Climate Change, there is much more underneath.

"One thing is certain: Klein's book has a clear villain--the oil companies. As she writes, "From the perspective of a fossil fuel company, going after these high-risk carbon deposits is not a matter of choice--it is its fiduciary responsibility to shareholders . . . yet fulfilling that fiduciary responsibility guarantees that the planet will cook" (148). Her observation had me wondering about how much do we individually and habitually consume petroleum-based products, and how easy would it be for anyone to switch over to only using renewable energy? When I get up in the morning, I drink coffee from Colombia, brush my teeth with a plastic toothbrush, drive to work in a car, work in air conditioning, eat food that has travelled great distances, buy a book, etc. The thought of how I might begin to cut back on this enhanced life style proves daunting given how just about every aspect of it ties in with the premise of having cheap abundant fossil fuel. ... our way of life is so energy-intensive in the United States that it seems nearly impossible to fundamentally change that addiction within 30 years before nature finds another way to take care of the problem. The challenge seems so insurmountably great, Klein's solutions can take on a Pollyanna quality of dreamy wish-fulfillment. Klein anticipates that critique by reasserting that the climate allows us no choice but to think and act in radically different ways. 

"I especially liked Klein's history of the small island of Nauru, a cautionary tale that reads like Jared Diamond's description of Easter Island in his 2011 bookCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.  ... And we tell ourselves all kinds of similarly implausible no-consequences stories all of the time, about how we can ravage the world and suffer no adverse effects. Indeed we are always surprised when it works out otherwise. We extract and do not replenish and wonder why the fish have disappeared and the soil requires ever more 'inputs' (like phosphate) to stay fertile. We occupy countries and arm their militias and then wonder why they hate us. We drive down wages, ship jobs overseas, destroy worker protections, hollow out local economies, then wonder why people can't afford to shop as much as they used to. We offer those failed shoppers subprime mortgages instead of steady jobs and then wonder why no one foresaw that a system built on bad debts would collapse."

"At every stage our actions are marked by a lack of respect for the powers we are unleashing--a certainty, or at least a hope, that the nature we have turned to garbage, and the people we have treated like garbage, will not come back to haunt us" (165-6). As Klein concludes, "In other words, Nauru isn't the only one digging itself to death; we all are" (168). "

Thursday, December 06, 2012

The One Place Where You Can Survive the End of the World on 12/21/12


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Grab your passport now and head to southern France to the small village of Bugarach.


The tiny village will survive the coming End o' The World, according to Doom Watchers, because an alleged "spaceship garage" located underneath Pic de Bugarach mountain will open up, an intergalactic craft will emerge and aliens will then take aboard anyone who wants to go with them to safety.

Bugarach has been swarmed with The Curious in recent months. It is a rather nice looking place and entrepreneurs have been selling rocks and bottled water from the town, rooms and campsites are available for rent, and the town's sign has been stolen a few times, apparently some think the aliens will need to utilize a city limits sign to coordinate the evacuation.

Meanwhile, at least one world leader is proclaiming that yes, the world is ending soon - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard - "Whether the final blow comes from flesh eating zombies, demonic hell beasts or from the total triumph of K-pop, if you know one thing about me it is this: I will always fight for you to the very end." 

It is somewhat endearing to hear the Australian twangy pronunciation of "flesh eating zombies".