Wednesday, June 17, 2015

#168 / Dark Age America

A bulletin from the Resilience website pops up occasionally in my email inbox. The most recent edition has a fairly lengthy report on "The Era of Dissolution." My headline phrase, "Dark Age America," comes from this discussion. For those who would like to feed a taste for apocalyptic thinking (just following up on my posting from yesterday!), this essay from someone who calls himself "The Archdruid" is certainly worth a review.

Here's an extract: 

The process that’s going on around us is the decline and fall of industrial civilization. Everything we think of as normal and natural, modern and progressive, solid and inescapable is going to melt away into nothingness in the years, decades, and centuries ahead, to be replaced first by the very different but predictable institutions of a dark age, and then by the new and wholly unfamiliar forms of the successor societies of the far future. There’s nothing inevitable about the way we do things in today’s industrial world; our political arrangements, our economic practices, our social institutions, our cultural habits, our sciences and our technologies all unfold from industrial civilization’s distinctive and profoundly idiosyncratic worldview. So does the central flaw in the entire baroque edifice, our lethally muddleheaded inability to understand our inescapable dependence on the biosphere that supports our lives. All that is going away in the time before us—but it won’t go away suddenly, or all at once.

If this is a fairly accurate prediction of where we are, emphasizing, of course, the fact that the predicted dissolution of industrial civilization isn't going to happen suddenly, or all at once, the next question is what, if anything, we might do. 

Whether we are talking about global warming and climate change, or other aspects of a civilization that is starting to come apart at the seams, we can begin looking around, individually and collectively, for what are often called our "no regrets" options

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1 comment:

  1. "Successor societies of the far future." I like that. That there will be.

    I have often said (for decades actually) that after the end of the Age Of Oil, say in a 1,000 years, that everything will mostly be okay. Maybe a few million humans scattered around on a healing planet. That, of course assumes that humans don't blow up the biosphere in a nuclear posturing event.

    The laundry list of environmental destruction (deforestation, wars, paving of greenbelts, expansion of freeway lanes, depletion of groundwater, blowing up mountain tops to get coal, killing lions, tigers, bears, rhinos and elephants for human fertility goals, killing all the primates other than humans for food, mining the oceans to feed billions of household pets as well as their billions of owners, growing The Global Economy, and the rest of the pollution of land, air, and water) is based on cheap energy. Those days will end will industrialized human civilizations.

    Going forward 1,000 years from now the planet will host Homo sapiens that are no longer in charge of the despoliation of the biosphere because they will not have the energy (not even so-called green energy) to do their deeds.

    This is the way I see it. I just wish that so much death and destruction hadn't preceded the Successor Societies of the far future.

    Jean Brocklebank


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