After The Party…

“Go Home Greta” – The Automatic Earth

Edvard Munch Ashes 1894 

It seems to be a truism, and probably is, that ‘mankind is its own worst enemy’. If that is so, then the modern ‘climate movement’ comes a close second.

I agree almost totally with what Raúl Ilargi Meijer of The Automatic Earth says in his ‘Go Home Greta’ post.  I do believe that Greta Thunberg is a well-intentioned young woman – well, not quite a young woman just yet – and much of what she says is true, but it is not the whole story by any means.  And Ilargi is quite correct to say that she is being used as a public image for what evil and manipulative commercial interests see as a hugely rewarding profit source and possibly a lifeline for their very continuation as other interests on which they have relied for so long fade into insignificance.

Davos is not the place to champion any form of… (pause, while I try to think of what Greta is doing there) …of what?  Climate action?  Seems reasonable.  But then there actually is no forum anywhere …including the UN… for championing such.  The global climate action envisaged by corporate interests would actually see an end to all life on Earth.  I’m sure that is not what Greta wants to see.

Ilargi has it partly right by questioning the motives and commitment of the upcoming child-to-adult generation.  

“If you don’t start with yourself, how are you ever going to tell others what to do? How many phones and gadgets and cars do you have? Do your clothes also say Made in China? Personal question.”

And that is what is really at the heart of the problem – ‘people‘.  Though Ilargi does not, perhaps understandably, seem to want to go near that issue in this piece. 

People are just  beginning to realise that there is a problem.  What they may not have realised just yet is that they are the problem.  You are the problem.  I am the problem.  All (in less than 3 years time) 8 billion of us humans are the problem.  Or at least somewhere between six or seven eighths (that’s between 6 and 7 billion of us) are the problem. 

There are too many of us and if we care to look back to the time when no human was the problem (things were going along just swimmingly – wars and famines and droughts, along with slavery and exploitation, persecution, torture and execution – all the usual human activities), we will find that just before the industrial era began, some two centuries ago or a little earlier, Earth’s ideal population level (unbolstered by the energy sources we have unleashed since that time) was around one to one and a half billion – having been more or less stable at that level (apart from the occasional near-extinction situation where at one point, not many ten-thousands of years ago, it is estimated only some 500 females of child-bearing age were still left alive) for hundreds of thousands of years.

So, we have at the very least quadrupled our population numbers (perhaps double that) over those two centuries of progress powered by the excess energy that we enabled and over-used and abused to the detriment of both ourselves and our environment. And until we come to terms with the implications arising from that realisation, no amount of mitigation, adaptation, or the seeking of ‘solutions’ is going to be worth a ‘hill of beans’ with regard to our newly perceived plight.  

The only viable solution now, and it doesn’t mean that we can escape the consequence of our ‘dumb’ actions of the past two centuries, is that some 6 to 7 billion of us have to go the way of the Dodo. And pretty quickly.

There are two and I think only two mildly acceptable ways to potentially achieve that.  

One is to do nothing, which also includes taking the sort of climate action that commercial interests want to see.  That will fairly quickly result in a natural cull of humanity as our planet burns, floods, erupts and in a variety of ways withholds those necessities of life that currently sustain so many of us – food, water, shelter. calm.  Leaving us with few inhabitable places to seek refuge until the Earth restores some form of balance – which could take centuries, or longer.

The other way is twofold.  First we must increase the death rate.  Humanity will continue to grow indefinitely given the right circumstances and it is only the difference between the birth and death rates that can regulate that.  We must make it easier to die.  Chiefly by not prolonging life artificially – which we will not be in a position to do anyway quite soon, as energy dwindles and pharmaceuticals (non-naturally occurring or perhaps even all) can no longer be made.  That will help.  Then we must prevent as far as possible all new births. At least for the best part of a generation, perhaps even longer. Again, with no modern health services remaining, this will naturally shrink back to pre-industrial levels.  Though we may not have time to see that effectively come about naturally. 

Yes, I know this all sounds extreme, and would perhaps even be impossible or impracticable to undertake.  There is always alternative one, and that may be enough – though it will not be our choice in the matter.  Perhaps a merging of the two at some level can be accommodated.  What we must not allow to happen is for some World Government to oversee the process.

I hope you will at least agree with me that the party now is really over.  There is only the cleaning up left to do.  And you all know the distaste we all feel about doing that.  Suck it up, princess.  

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