?It's the end of the world? etc.

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Or: ?catastrophic planetary deterioration Я us?



Recently, I have been castigated by a few good souls for having uttered the sacrilegious notion that cars bigger than a Fiat Panda might not be all that bad.

In order to familiarise myself with that train of tought so to cleanse my unworthy soulless carcass, I decided to turn to the supposedly wise words of such good souls who publish their stuff on real paper. And so I stumbled on this scribble by one George Monbiot, whose works some of you might have read in that protector of journalistic integrity otherwise known as the Guardian. It?s titled ?Meltdown? and was published in 1999, back when ?apocalypsme? was all the rage. It does evoque something a millenarist preacher could have written a thoudsand years earlier (with minor style and detail alterations)

A few shorts exceprts:

Quote:

The global meltdown has begun. Long predicted and long denied, the effects of climate change are arriving faster than even the gloomiest prophets expected.

(?)

Climate change is perhaps the gravest calamity our species has ever encountered. Its impact dwarfs that of any war, any plague, any famine we have confronted so far. It makes genocide and ethnic cleansing look like sideshows at the circus of human suffering. A car is now more dangerous than a gun; flying across the Atlantic is as unacceptable , in terms of its impact on human well-being, as child abuse. The rich are at play in the world's killing fields.



(Me wondering how it wasn't made into some documentary, could earn some golden plant or animal effigy in a film festival).



While a serious review of the way we generate, use, and consume matter as well as energy is probably necessary in order to reduce the negative impact of our activities, that requires reasonable scientific research and rational public debate.

Not the kind of thinking such as this idiotic nonesense such as ?flying across the Atlantic is as unacceptable (?) as child abuse?; that is definitely the kind of retrograde mediaevophilia, where necro-millenarists as well as post-neo-luddites would feel cosy.

As I seem to recall, there was a sign in a demonstration claiming ?civilisation is genocide?, Pol-Pot (who knew a thing or two about genocides) would have acquiesced, as he wasn't too keen on civilisation himself.



So, should it be a rejection of every device developed after 1430, a generalisation of the Amish lifestyle? Or perhaps doing away with anything beyond pre-agrarian palaeolithic-tech altogether?

Or should we go all the way and drastically reduce our numbers to match that of any other predatory beast of our relative size and weight, giving up even the stone-age instruments, to return to a pristine purtiy of a ?state of nature?.



As for me, I reject any such redemption, and so shall be punished by the global warming/planetary freezing/meltdown/waterworld/doomsday-meteorite/end-of-days, like the rest of us.

Thank you.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    I figure this thread will fill out like so:



    We are doomed, DOOOOOMMMEDDDD.



    or



    Those who think we are doomed are friends of the terrorists.



    I incline towards the former, but think the child abuse analogy is lame. A better one might be heroin use: it is killing you, but it feels sooooo good.



    . . . he says as he plans his next trans-Atlantic flight.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    fellowshipfellowship Posts: 5,038member
    Trust Jesus...
  • Reply 3 of 26
    existenceexistence Posts: 991member
    We're all going to die. It's true!





    As for humanity, after we get a space-based electricity generation system or better yet, viable geothermal energy extraction, we should be relatively OK. After we have such a stable power source, humanity can go subterranian and completely avoid severe weather.
  • Reply 4 of 26
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    Environnemental issues are important, but it's this kind of crap, totally emotional and unlogical, that lead me to avoid those people.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Immanuel Goldstein

    that is definitely the kind of retrograde mediaevophilia, where necro-millenarists as well as post-neo-luddites would feel cosy.



    I don't know what he's talking about, but it sure is fun to read! Necro-millenarists?
  • Reply 6 of 26
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Fellowship

    Trust Jesus...



    whatever happened to arguing about religion? those seem like pleasant days long gone. it's all politics, politics, pick your party line around here now. i mean, global warming shouldn't be a right vs. left issue, but it is, like everything else. sigh.
  • Reply 7 of 26
    faust9faust9 Posts: 1,335member
    That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane -

    Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn -

    world serves its own needs, don't misserve your own needs. Feed it up a knock,

    speed, grunt no, strength no. Ladder structure clatter with fear of height,

    down height. Wire in a fire, represent the seven games in a government for

    hire and a combat site. Left her, wasn't coming in a hurry with the furies

    breathing down your neck. Team by team reporters baffled, trump, tethered

    crop. Look at that low plane! Fine then. Uh oh, overflow, population,

    common group, but it'll do. Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its

    own needs, listen to your heart bleed. Tell me with the rapture and the

    reverent in the right - right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright

    light, feeling pretty psyched.



    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.



    Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign tower. Slash and burn,

    return, listen to yourself churn. Lock him in uniform and book burning,

    blood letting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate. Light a candle,

    light a motive. Step down, step down. Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh,

    this means no fear - cavalier. Renegade and steer clear! A tournament,

    a tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives

    and I decline.



    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.



    The other night I tripped a nice continental drift divide. Mount St. Edelite.

    Leonard Bernstein. Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs.

    Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom! You symbiotic, patriotic,

    slam, but neck, right? Right.



    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine...fine...



    (It's time I had some time alone)
  • Reply 8 of 26
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by faust9

    Feed it up a knock,



    "Speed it up a notch"
  • Reply 9 of 26
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by progmac

    whatever happened to arguing about religion? those seem like pleasant days long gone. it's all politics, politics, pick your party line around here now. i mean, global warming shouldn't be a right vs. left issue, but it is, like everything else. sigh.



    Of COURSE it's a political issue. If global warming is true, it means that we need to change LARGE amounts of the way we live our lives. People don't want to do that, and there is an unbelievable amount of money at stake.
  • Reply 10 of 26
    faust9faust9 Posts: 1,335member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by midwinter

    "Speed it up a notch"



    Nope. http://www.remrock.com/remrock/lyric....html?song=its



    its "feed it up a knock".
  • Reply 11 of 26
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by faust9

    Nope. http://www.remrock.com/remrock/lyric....html?song=its



    its "feed it up a knock".




    Bizarre. Absolutely bizarre. Surely someone got that wrong--maybe Stipe messing with someone's head?
  • Reply 12 of 26
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by midwinter

    Bizarre. Absolutely bizarre. Surely someone got that wrong--maybe Stipe messing with someone's head?



    Stipe got it wrong, duh.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    faust9faust9 Posts: 1,335member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by midwinter

    Bizarre. Absolutely bizarre. Surely someone got that wrong--maybe Stipe messing with someone's head?



    I've seen REM a couple of times and they've gotten the words wrong at least once. Stipe has said he regrets ever writing the song because REM can't (couldn't) do a concert without performing end of the world. Its a herd song to do right every time but most people don't catch it when they screw up...
  • Reply 14 of 26
    faust9faust9 Posts: 1,335member
    Or:



    Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray

    South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio



    Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television

    North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe



    Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom

    Brando, "The King and I", and "The Catcher in the Rye"



    Eisenhower, vaccine, England's got a new queen

    Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye



    CHORUS

    We didn't start the fire

    It was always burning

    Since the world's been turning

    We didn't start the fire

    No we didn't light it

    But we tried to fight it



    Josef Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev

    Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc



    Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, dacron

    Dien Bien Phu and "Rock Around the Clock"



    Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team

    Davy Crockett, "Peter Pan", Elvis Presley, Disneyland



    Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev

    Princess Grace, "Peyton Place", trouble in the Suez



    CHORUS



    Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac

    Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, "Bridge on the River Kwai"



    Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball

    Starkweather, homicide, children of thalidomide



    Buddy Holly, "Ben-Hur", space monkey, Mafia

    hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no go



    U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy

    Chubby Checker, "Psycho", Belgians in the Congo



    CHORUS



    Hemingway, Eichmann, "Stranger in a Strange Land"

    Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs Invasion



    "Lawrence of Arabia", British Beatlemania

    Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson



    Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex

    JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say



    CHORUS



    Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon, back again

    Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock

    Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline

    Ayatollolah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan



    "Wheel of Fortune" , Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide

    Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz

    Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law

    Rock and Roller Cola Wars, I can't take it anymore



    CHORUS



    We didn't start the fire

    But when we are gone

    Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on...





    This is a little easier and more logical.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by faust9

    I've seen REM a couple of times and they've gotten the words wrong at least once. Stipe has said he regrets ever writing the song because REM can't (couldn't) do a concert without performing end of the world. Its a herd song to do right every time but most people don't catch it when they screw up...



    I don't doubt it. I saw the Green tour in what, 87? 88? although Document was the last album of theirs I bought (after owning nearly everything from Murmur up). Document seemed to be a serious turning point for them, a step into the big time and, at the time, it seemed they weren't too happy about some of the requirements.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    talksense101talksense101 Posts: 1,737member
    Just when the thread was starting to be an argument, you had to start discussing music and put out the fire.



    Traveling across the Atlantic for meetings when you have video conferencing and the Internet available is a waste. Automobiles are OK as long as the manufacturers create machines that are efficient. Personally, I think that a frugal lifestyle with minimal dependence on global economy would help if we run out of oil tomorrow. Encouraging and developing local economies / industries will help as well.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    crazychestercrazychester Posts: 1,339member
    hehehe.....



    Nope it's feed it off an aux speak.



    It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)



    That's great it starts with an earthquake birds and

    snakes an aeroplane and Lenny Bruce is not afraid.

    Eye of a hurricane listen to yourself churn world

    serves its own needs dummy serve your own needs. Feed

    it off an aux speak grunt no strength Ladder

    start to clatter with fear fight down height. Wire

    in a fire representing seven games a government

    for hire and a combat site. Left of west and coming in

    a hurry with the furies breathing down your neck. Team

    by team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered cropped.

    Look at that low playing! Fine, then. Uh oh,

    overflow, population, common food, but it'll do. Save

    yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs,

    listen to your heart bleed dummy with the rapture and

    the revered and the right, right. You vitriolic,

    patriotic, slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty

    psyched.



    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.



    Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign

    towers. Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself

    churn. Locking in, uniforming, book burning, blood

    letting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate.

    Light a candle, light a votive. Step down, step down.

    Watch your heel crush, crushed, uh-oh, this means no

    fear cavalier. Renegade steer clear! A tournament,

    tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions,

    offer me alternatives and I decline.



    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.



    The other night I dreamt of knives, continental

    drift divide. Mountains sit in a line, Leonard

    Bernstein. Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester

    Bangs. Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom! You

    symbiotic, patriotic, slam book neck, right? Right.



    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel

    fine...fine...



    (It's time I had some time alone)





    I have no idea which version is right (do R.E.M. really know themselves?) but this is my fave.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    jimdreamworxjimdreamworx Posts: 1,063member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by crazychester

    I have no idea which version is right (do R.E.M. really know themselves?)



    I've heard Stipe in an interview talk about his misheard lyrics, and sometimes he likes the misheard versions better, and starts using them in live shows.
  • Reply 19 of 26
    pfflampfflam Posts: 5,053member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Fellowship

    Trust Jesus...



    Trust Jesus . . . fill her up . . . premium
  • Reply 20 of 26
    pfflampfflam Posts: 5,053member
    I'm going to risk the displeasure of some of you and quote a long article . . . but it should be read, it is good and points to several books coming out soon that look like they should also be read.



    A very good review of several soon to be published SCIENCE books:







    "BE AFRAID, BE VERY VERY AFRAID



    At least for the moment, ''The Day After Tomorrow'' -- 20th Century Fox's new movie about catastrophic climate change -- has reawakened public anxiety over global warming and broken through the thick crust of American denial. Unfortunately, the movie does for climatology only what ''Independence Day,'' also directed by Roland Emmerich, did for cosmology. It delivers summer blockbuster thrills and the kind of hyperbole -- a tidal wave pounding through Manhattan -- that makes the whole problem easy for skeptics to dismiss. All across the country, ''The Day After Tomorrow'' has started debates the movie itself cannot resolve -- debates, all too often, between the prejudiced and the ill informed.



    As it happens, several significant new books on the environment are also about to appear, or will be published later this summer, and they could settle the debate right now -- if people take the trouble to read them. They range from anecdotal, first-person accounts of vanishing Peruvian glaciers and Pacific islands slipping beneath a rising ocean, like Mark Lynas's High Tide: The Truth About Our Climate Crisis (Picador, paper, $14), to profoundly sobering studies, like James Gustave Speth's Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment (Yale University, $24). For the most part, these books don't advance new arguments, because the arguments essentially haven't changed. As Speth writes, ''Our use of fossil fuels -- coal, oil and natural gas -- together with deforestation have increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping 'greenhouse' gas . . . and thus begun the process of man-made climate change.'' This is not news. According to Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers and Dennis Meadows, the authors of the updated Limits to Growth (Chelsea Green, cloth, $35; paper, $22.50), the ecological burden of humanity had already outstripped the carrying capacity of the earth two decades ago -- as the first edition of this book, originally published in 1972, warned it would.



    What is news is the nature of the evidence. There are signs that global warming and environmental degradation are accelerating much more quickly than anyone expected even 10 years ago, and thus our ability to reduce the scale of climate change is swiftly diminishing. As Speth argues, ''Our first attempt at global environmental governance'' -- the international efforts leading up to the Kyoto Protocol -- yielded very little, thanks largely to opposition from the United States. ''Our second attempt,'' he writes, ''may be our last chance to get it right.''



    The question that haunts Speth's book -- all of these books, really -- is, why? Why have Americans refused to face up to the evidence of global warming? The answers are both political and economic. But Ross Gelbspan, a former Boston Globe reporter and editor, makes the case that the news media are also guilty. In Boiling Point (Basic Books, $22, to be published in August), he argues that on matters of scientific fact, journalists employ an essentially unfair idea of ''balance'' -- treating global warming as though it were still a matter of open conjecture, with equal weight on both sides. As a result, the story of global warming as reported in the American press largely reflects the political manipulation of the story, not the science. Accurate coverage, Gelbspan writes, ''would have reflected the position of mainstream scientists in 95 percent of the story -- with the skeptics getting a paragraph at the end.''



    To most scientists, global warming is a truly successful hypothesis. The evidence overwhelmingly shows, as predicted, that human behavior is altering the climate, with potentially catastrophic results. And yet it seems strangely difficult to scare or reason or argue Americans, the critical audience to reach, into recognizing the truth and acting on it. The world's population is trapped in a malign paradox. Instead of taking the lead, the United States -- the country with the highest emissions and the most excessive consumption, as well as enormous potential to produce innovative energy technologies -- knows and seems to care the least about global warming. Short-term self-interest is a powerful buffer against reality. So is the lobbying of the fossil fuel industries and the complacency of an administration that lives in thrall to them.



    As the object of our collective fears, the environmental fate of the earth isn't nearly as rousing, or as pinpoint precise, as our old fear of the Bomb. The Bomb was hard to beat. We'd already seen what it could do at Alamogordo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Bikini. We'd watched Peter Watkins's ''War Game'' and read Jonathan Schell's ''Fate of the Earth.'' Only a few people had the Bomb, and none of them were you or the next-door neighbors. Your personal decision not to drop the Bomb had no effect on the problem. In time, the people who did have the Bomb came to understand that having it meant they couldn't use it. Using it would have meant a sudden break with history, a cataclysmic rending of reality as we knew it. Fear of the Bomb was also easily aroused. It was a fear of death, charring, radiation sickness and of something much larger too: the evisceration of society and global environmental destruction, all of it spiraling outward from that first incendiary flash. Once the powers-that-be found the will to step away from the nuclear precipice, the threat diminished abruptly -- though it will linger as long as the Bomb exists.



    a new Manhattan Project to develop low-impact energy technologies and a revolutionary commitment to global equity -- it too promises social and economic collapse. Climate change is a slow Bomb, and it has already been detonated. You and I and the next-door neighbors are all part of the problem. And even if we all shifted course immediately and began sharply reducing the causes of global warming, it would take many years before those actions began to register significantly. All the more reason, of course, to begin now -- to have begun 30 years ago.



    We are well past the threshold of inevitable change and on the cusp of climate destabilization. As Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich note in One With Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future (Island Press/Shearwater, $27), ''Extreme weather events, such as heat waves and fierce storms, have become more common and are appearing in places where they have never been seen before.'' Concerted international action could help mitigate the worst effects, and many nations are well ahead of the United States in facing the issue. But the hardest part is assuming responsibility for the future. James Speth has served as an environmental adviser to Presidents Carter and Clinton. He writes that our absorption in the present -- our selfishness -- is in conflict with one of the ''central principles of environmental ethics -- the proposition that we have duties to future generations.''



    The prospects for controlling our impact on nature are not good. What it will take isn't just a change in habits of consumption, yours and mine, or an international protocol, or smaller cars and better mileage. It will take an enormous reduction in carbon dioxide emissions over the next few decades -- a far cry from the minor cuts proposed in the Kyoto Protocol, which President Bush has rejected anyway. What stands in the way is custom, ignorance, sloth, greed and fear.



    In a way, the true puzzle of global warming isn't the mechanics of man-made climate change -- the feedback loops, the damage to the ozone layer, the shift in oceanic oscillations, the melting of the ice-caps, the desertification of formerly productive agricultural lands. Those can be studied and understood. The true puzzle is human nature. In every one of these accounts of climate change and environmental degradation, the authors note the inertia of the global system, whether they're talking about economic or climatic models of the future. But there's another kind of inertia built into the system too, and I know no better account of it than a passage from Isaac Asimov's ''Foundation,'' the opening novel in his classic series about a science called ''psychohistory,'' which combines psychology and statistics. ''The psychohistoric trend of a planet-full of people contains a huge inertia,'' says Hari Seldon, the ancestral hero of the foundation. ''To be changed it must be met with something possessing a similar inertia.''



    This is a way of saying we live as we have always lived. Sometimes -- like now -- nearly everyone is aware of dramatic changes in the world. Yet we continue to live in the assumption that we can ride out the changes without changing ourselves, coasting, as we have always coasted, on the historic wave of human development. What it will take to wake us up is a wave of equal size traveling in the opposite direction. That wave is already on its way."
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