Platitudinal Baloney?

It must be a slow news day today.  The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is casting around for things to report.  Hence this piece of garbage:

Why we see the past through rose-coloured glasses, but not the future

I too am finding it difficult to find something to talk about.  There are lots of things I would like to talk about but at times it all seems so pointless.  Nothing I say or have ever said is going to make the slightest difference to how the world progresses on its journey.  I have always known that.  But some of it may just give someone cause to stop and think about what may be important matters. That is all I can hope for.

But there is one subject that never ceases to occupy my thoughts, and all other passing events I may comment on are merely satellites circling around that issue.  The issue is of course the inevitability of the collapse of modern civilisation – for whatever reason or whatever the cause or causes.  So it is with some amusement, and a tinge of pity bordering on derision for the author and ‘experts’ quoted in above article, which I read with some anticipation of stunning facts to contradict my long-held views.  I found none.

The premise is itself flawed.  People who anticipate the end of civilisation – which has to mean global civilisation these days – do not do so with a desire to return to some rosy past.  Neither are they pessimists or depressed persons generally speaking – though the times we live in would tend to induce such conditions for those with insufficient knowledge of what drives our societies toward the catastrophe of a collapse scenario.  And that is exactly what is being brought about – catastrophe.  We are not looking at a situation which just entails maybe a change of job or some sort of reduced circumstances for a while.  What we are looking at is an overturning of everything that we know today.  Perhaps, even likely, an existential change which, to be absolutely clear, means a threat to the very existence of all or most of us, and which most likely will require many or all of us to move somewhere else on the planet in search of the means to continue existing.  And those of us who don’t somehow find such sanctuary will indeed perish.  That is at the extreme end of the possibilities of course but even at the base end we must not expect life to carry on in any manner that we have known before.

So, briefly, what do the ‘experts’ tell us to placate what we feel the future holds?  They say things are not so bad and, while not everything is good, these things provide some optimism that it will get better, not worse:

“These include a dramatic fall in infant mortality, a significant rise in life-expectancy, a decline in homicide across many parts of the world, increasing literacy levels, a drop in the number of deaths in war, and a massive reduction over the last half-century in the number of people living in extreme poverty.”

Ah, what a relief!  It’s all going to be OK!  More of us living – for longer.  Less people dying violently (I query the veracity of that one).  We’re getting smarter (???).  We’re getting richer (???).

Is that it?  Is that all they’ve got?  That’s very sad – and it is something of an indictment on both our progress and our outlook.

All of those factors, if they were true, and perhaps only the first two appear to be of direct relevance, form one of the basic truths of our predicament.

We are too many to procure a secure future on this planet.  More and more people. More and more smarter and wealthier people – with greater needs and expectations. Less violent people – if only that were true.  It is a recipe for disaster.  And only one of the possible recipes that we are cooking up even as we think about this.  Recipes that I now don’t have time to expand on here.

Face the facts, or believe the platitudinal baloney.  Your choice. 

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