For reasons I cannot grasp, several new people have «followed» (Twitter’s term) my writings this weekend, just as I have put most new writing on hold.
I feel guilty. I feel as though I owe you, or at least most of you.
I write about «climate change» – ecosystem catastrophe.
2. There are, basically, three positions on «climate.»
One, about ⅓ of Americans, plus some number worldwide, deny there’s a problem and deny people cause it.
I mostly just ignore them, as I do flat earthers and other people beyond the reach of reason.
3. The second, and I believe majority position, is that «climate» is a big problem, caused by humans – so far I agree here – and also believe that building things powered by different forms of energy, and building things to capture energy as electricity, are our salvation.
4. While I agree with the first half of this proposal – yes, we’ve made a helluva mess and we’re going down like the Titanic – I reject the proposed solutions as patently false. This puts me so far outside the mainstream as to be unable to see it from here.
5. Finally, there exists a tiny minority who believe that the disintegrating global ecosystem, including its climate aspects, is bound to bring developed society as we now define it to an end, soon, and who believe that we need to drastically revise our ways of living now or 💥
6. I am one of those.
Greta Thunberg leans my direction, too, although I don’t think she sees it in as black-and-white terms as I do.
7. Of those who tend towards my viewpoint, many write in vague abstract terms about «changing» our ways – what we should do, sort of, but still vague and abstract. Mostly what we should not do. I would call Greta’s essay vague and abstract. And I’m a big Greta fan.
8. Before I spill the beans, tell you the punch line, I’m going to digress briefly.
Most – as I see it – climate concerned people, speak strictly of the fuel we use. They speak strictly of greenhouse gas emissions, both in terms of the problem and in terms of the solution.
9. I see our problem as being caused by our actions, by the way we have chosen to occupy our ecological niche, or more accurately, how we have chosen to abandon our ecological niche and live as gods, roaring at speed over Earth, paving and consuming everything we see.
10. I do not believe that humans ever need to move across Earth faster than we, or our horse helpers, are able to run.
Therefore, I do not believe we need any cars or trucks, and therefore that we need any paved highways, in the sense that we «need» them now. No airplanes.
11. I do not believe that we need any industrial production systems. Of anything.
I do not believe anything needs to cross any ocean faster than wind in sails can push or pull it.
I do not believe any human needs a palatial dwelling to heat or cool.
12. Within the context of these beliefs, I also understand that we have, over the past 120 years and particularly since World War II, built a system where we rely on high speed transportation and centralized industrial production so entirely that without them, many would starve.
13. So – if we actually wanted to make an attempt at slowing, halting, and reversing the global ecosystem collapse, what we would have to do is slow down our society, rejoin life and Earth from which we evolved, and take responsibility as the keystone species.
14. A survivable human culture would have no high speed transportation, no cars, no jets, no flying machines at all. No engine driven trucks, no engine driven ships, no engines.
The default transportation would be feet, our feet, horse feet, donkey feet, oxen feet.
15. The default distance would be a day’s walk.
This is almost outside the power of the people of developed societies to envision.
Even those, like Greta, who speak of «changing» the way we live, are not able to speak of these objectives. It is beyond our ability to imagine.
16. I believe that every new industrial scale wind turbine, every new field of solar panels, is a net loss for the climate, for the ecosystem, for Earth, and – in the not-so-long run, for us as humans.
Therefore I stand alone. I not only can’t get people to move towards nature,
17. I can’t even get them to discuss it. Not even a little.
We could slow the national speed limit to 55 and see a measurable drop in emissions.
We refuse to discuss it.
We should never build another highway. We know what it takes to build them – vast ecosystem degradation,
18. incomprehensible gigatons of CO2 emissions, all of it – and we know that every new highway built increases overall transportation distance, average speed, and resultant fuel / energy consumption. We know this.
There is not, to my knowledge, any voice in the «climate» convo,
19. aside from my own, asking for a halt to highway construction.
And this is why I feel guilty for / about you, new readers.
I don’t know how much longer I can write what I have been writing.
The acceleration, today, under the guidance of people who claim to be for the climate,
20. The acceleration of the destruction, the wild increases of bulldozing and paving, of mining and smelting, of manufacturing and transportation –
These are the actions by which we destroyed, and continue to destroy, the global ecosystem which gave birth to our species.
21. No matter how much faster we destroy the ever-decreasing amount which remains, we will never replace it with our own cleverness. We know what takes CO2 out of the atmosphere.
We bulldoze more of it every day.