We’re living in a moment of shifting realities, it’s as if we are living in a post-Apocalyptic novel whose main character is in total denial. As if in our simulated probability systems we’ve seen the shadow on the screen of futurity, but are turning a blind eye against it, closing off the future, digging into temporal security systems to stave off the inevitable. Civilization has become a Temporal Security System guided by vast counter-intelligence programs to ward off the actual and real future scenarios of disaster ahead. Our Western Civilization has been accumulating wealth without wasting it in a Potlatch excess and celebration for hundreds of years, and now that the bill is being presented by the natural owners of its wealth, humanity is faced with the truth that it has entered the festival of death without a mask, naked to the forces that are now imploding toward collapse and dissolution. Even as we dream of exit and escape into transhuman and other modes of immortalism, the earth around us begins to call in its note, extract its pound of flesh and bring us to a harsh and inevitable realization that we must all pay the piper in the end. Earth is presenting humanity with a bill it will not be able to refuse, escape, or exit. One that may spell its doom if it does not come up with the exacting tribute and price asked.
A Counter-Shock is necessary to awaken it out of its boredom and apathy, to energize it to action… but, to do that we may need shock therapy, but not the kind that puts the patient into a coma, but rather one that awakens its actual and virtual passion to live again, seek out its solidarity and collective intelligence in the face of such temporal dislocations. A passion to come together and unite our warring world against an actual not fantasy opponent. Our own part in the ignorance and misguided shaping of this future must be recognized, diagnosed, and a world wide shift in action: a new combination of sacred unification and secular determination to face this challenge without falling into irrationalism and mythicized imagery; and, yet, it may need the one thing we have yet tried: the empowerment of all the arts in all their various forms and technics to counter this global formation. The combination of technics and arts, craft and engineering from both local and global, aboriginal and advanced societies.
In a recent paper Five Propositions | Critiques for the Anthropocene they discuss the recent attempts within current critical re-framings of our present predicament under the designations of the capitaloscene (Moore, 2015), the plantationocene (Haraway et al, 2015), the cthulucene (Haraway, 2015), the anthrobscene (Parikka 2014), anthro-obscene (Ernstson and Swyngedouw 2015), and even the anthropo-not-seen (Cadena 2014). One of the critical issues is that the global media backed by the hegemonic reach of globalized capitalization controls the message, presenting and shaping a narrative of fracture, disequilibrium, and diffuse signals that squander rather than gather together the underlying data of our earth’s destruction and the current Sixth Extinction that is well under way.
As the paper suggests the “general Western media narrative at the moment is one of threat and crisis. The present condition sees a tendency in economically ‘developed’ nation-states toward shutting down, toward border policing, moral panics around asylum seeking, terrorism, and natural resources. In general there is a move toward stricter control in the face of ‘disaster’. While there are ecological and economic changes occurring at a rapid rate, there is an urgent need to avoid preemptive and speculative future catastrophising.” Yet, I wonder if it is not better to actually present such catastrophic scenes through novels, films, and aesthetic relays that is needed? The notion of sweeping the disaster scenarios under the carpet seems erroneous at best. Their notion is this:
The hyper-focus on what might happen to the ‘developed’ world in the future distracts from what is happening already, and has been happening, for decades. A recent report from an ex- NASA scientist predicted a sea level rise of 10ft over the next 50 years, which sparked a flurry of concern over coastal cities in ‘developed’ countries such as New York and Florida, being underwater. While such concern is not misplaced it sits in stark contrast to the lesser attention given over to climate processes such as urban flooding, drought and ocean and soil acidification already affecting hundreds of millions of people inhabiting low-lying atoll islands (such as Kiribati and Tuvalu), low lying coastal deltas (including Bangladesh, Vietnam and Egypt) and mid-continental drylands (central Asia and Kenya and Somalia in Africa, for instance). It also hides the fact that disaster response is always more favourable to those bodies deemed appropriate and valuable even in ‘developed’ territories – the racist responses during Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy being clear instances of this. This obfuscation takes attention away from the structural and colonial underpinnings of anthropogenic change and its effects.
So the point is that we’re in it, it’s not some probable future scenario we need to be concerned with but rather the real and actual present danger of what is already happening in our midst. We need to change the narrative, re-shape the mainstream media, create a counter to the hegemonic ideological lies and envision a future worth living in, shape a collective vision of action and possibility wherein the people of earth unite rather than explode into fractious, bitter enclaves, and reduce themselves to thuggish wandering and warring denizens of a dark and treacherous apocalypse. Otherwise as the West has always done it will pass by the utter devastation that is ongoing.
Great Barrier Reef Dying
Already the Great Barrier Reefs of the planet are bleached and dying. As National Geographic reports:
Climate change, however, is posed to eliminate these pulses of warmth, exposing the Great Barrier Reef—a necklace of 2,900 individual reefs strung along Australia’s northeast coast—to high temperatures with a lesser chance of preconditioning.
The effects could be devastating. If greenhouse gases continue at the current pace, the reef’s corals could be bleached to death by the 2050s. The reef is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, six of the world’s seven marine turtle species, and 30 species of whales and dolphins. What’s more, the UNESCO World Heritage site is a tourism powerhouse, supporting about 70,000 jobs and pumping more than six billion dollars into the Australian economy.
If emissions continue growing at their present rate, the researchers’ models show that protective pulses essentially will cease when baseline ocean temperatures are 0.5 degrees Celsius warmer than today’s—a target that is likely to be hit in the next 40 years. At the same time, single bleaching events without the practice runs would increase dramatically.
The one-two punch potentially could kill off an average individual reef in the Great Barrier Reef as early as the 2050s, though the scientists caution that warming’s effects will vary greatly from location to location.
Greenland’s Ice-Sheet Melting Early
Greenland’s massive ice sheet has started its annual summer melt earlier than ever before, according to stunned scientists who said they had to recheck their calculations before releasing the results. CNN reports:
Nearly 12% of Greenland’s nearly 656,000 square miles of ice saw some melting this week, the earliest date on record for the start of the summer melt season, according to scientists with the Danish Meteorological Institute.
Melting from Greenland’s ice sheet is also likely contributing to colder sea temperatures south of the island, and could have dramatic impacts on ocean circulation and even inhibit hurricane production.
Such melting is an expected byproduct of climate change, according to scientists. Temperatures are going up around the world, but nowhere as much as in the Arctic, which has seen record warmth this winter.
Climate Change and the Planetary Boundary
What if the biosphere is already under stress by “planetary boundary” or the capacity of the planet to support life? Then what? As Counter-Punch reports:
As for global warming, a non-consensus school of scientific thought, consisting of a small minority of scientists, believes the ecosystem is at risk of collapse within current lifetime. These scientists do not pull punches. Rather, they tell it like it is, as they see it.
Whereas, most leading climate scientists are not willing to honestly expose their greatest fears, as discovered by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! while at COP21 in Paris this past December, interviewing one of the world’s leading climate scientists, Kevin Anderson of Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research, who said: “So far we simply have not been prepared to accept the revolutionary implications of our own findings, and even when we do we are reluctant to voice such thoughts openly… many are ultimately choosing to censor their own research.”
Straightaway, we know from one of the world’s leading authorities that climate scientists are censoring their own research. They are low-balling. Consider this; imagine trying to get a “research grant or private funding” for work that exposes the dastardly truth. That’s the quickest way forward to an unemployment line of sour-faced scientists.
Not only is global warming contributing to the prospect of ecological collapse, a study by 22 biologists and ecologists claims the world is close to a “state shift” that will trigger ecological collapse. Here’s the issue: Already >43% of ice-free land has been converted for crops, livestock, and cities. But, the study shows that when more than 50% of landscape is lost, i.e., the Planetary Boundary, the ecological web can collapse.
“We summarize evidence that such planetary-scale critical transitions have occurred previously in the biosphere, albeit rarely, and that humans are now forcing another such transition, with the potential to transform Earth rapidly and irreversibly into a state unknown in human experience,” Anthony D. Barnosky, et al, Approaching a State Shift in Earth’s Biosphere, Nature 486, 52-58 June 2012.
Climate Profits: World Bank Seeks to Profit and Impose Control over Third World Nations
In a report on the World Bank site one sees how the globalist agenda is to control both the narrative of Climate Change and drive further profits into its belt using Third World countries to impose its new carbon capitalism:
As the impact of climate change gains presence in our everyday lives, many countries have engaged in efforts to mitigate the emission of global greenhouse gases (GHGs) in innovative and cost-effective ways to scale up emissions reductions and foster financial flows, including through so-called carbon market instruments.
To support, facilitate and build “readiness” for such instruments, the World Bank established a grant-based global partnership of developed and developing countries that provides funding and technical assistance for the collective innovation and piloting of market-based instruments for the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions.
This platform, called the Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR), is celebrating its 8th Assembly Meeting in Mexico City, the capital of one of the countries that has established an agenda to prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change as part of its national plan for the next years.
Once again the Capitalist West seeks to make a large profit off the poorer countries of the South.
Climate Change: Third World Disruptions
As the BBC reports:
Glacier melting in the Himalayas is virtually certain to disrupt water supplies within the next 20 to 30 years. Floods and rock avalanches are virtually certain to increase. Heavily-populated coastal regions, including the deltas of rivers such as the Ganges and Mekong, are likely to be at risk of increased flooding.
Economic development is likely to be impacted by the combination of climatic change, urbanisation, and rapid economic and population growth.
Forecast changes in temperature and rainfall are likely to reduce crop yields overall, increasing the risk of hunger.
The presence of lethal diarrhoeal diseases associated with floods and droughts is expected to rise in East, South and Southeast Asia and rises in coastal water temperature could exacerbate cholera in South Asia
Australia and New Zealand
Ongoing water shortages, notably in southern and eastern Australia, are likely to get worse by 2030.
Ecologically important regions such as the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu National Park are likely to lose a significant part of their wildlife before then, by 2020.
Some coastal communities are very likely to see an increased risk of coastal storms and flooding.
Temperature rises of 1C-2C are likely to bring benefits to cooler areas, such as New Zealand, in the form of longer growing seasons and reduced energy demand. Greater warming is likely to bring a net negative impact – such as increased risk of drought and fire.
Increasing temperatures and decreases in soil water in the eastern Amazon region would lead to replacement of tropical forest by savannah. Species extinctions are likely.
Drier areas are likely to see salinisation and desertification of agricultural land, with falling crop yields and livestock productivity reducing food security. However, soybean yields are likely to increase in temperate zones.
Sea level rise is very likely to bring flooding to low-lying regions such as the coast of El Salvador, Guyana and the Rio de la Plata estuary. Increasing sea temperatures are likely to impact coral reefs and south-east Pacific fish stocks.
Changes in rainfall patterns and the disappearance of glaciers are projected to significantly affect water availability for human consumption, agriculture and energy generation.
Sea level rise is likely to worsen floods, storm surges and coastal erosion, with impacts on the socio-economic wellbeing of island communities.
Beach erosion and coral bleaching are likely to reduce tourism.
There is strong evidence that water resources in small islands are likely to be seriously compromised.
Increased invasion by non-native species is likely.
The Health of the planet and peoples will decrease. Projected climate change is likely to affect millions of people, particularly those with low capacity to adapt, through increases in malnutrition and consequent disorders. This will have implications for child growth and development; increased deaths, disease and injury due to heat waves, floods, storms, fires and droughts, the altered burden of water-related diseases; the increased frequency of cardio-respiratory diseases due to higher concentrations of ground level ozone, and the movement of some infectious disease carriers into new regions. vectors. Climate change is likely to have some mixed effects, such as the expansion and contraction of the range of malaria in different regions. In some places, climate change is likely to bring some benefits to health such as fewer deaths from cold exposure.
In a recent chilling assessment, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that human-induced changes in the Earth’s climate now lead to at least 5 million cases of illness and more than 150,000 deaths every year.
Temperature fluctuations may sway human health in a surprising number of ways, scientists have learned, from influencing the spread of infectious diseases to boosting the likelihood of illness-inducing heat waves and floods.
Now, in a synthesis report featured on the cover of the journal Nature, a team of health and climate scientists at UW–Madison and WHO has shown that the growing health impacts of climate change affect different regions in markedly different ways. Ironically, the places that have contributed the least to warming the Earth are the most vulnerable to the death and disease higher temperatures can bring.
Sixth Global Extinction Under Way
Scientist Build a Case that Sixth Extinction Underway:
Even conservative calculations show the world is in the midst of a sixth mass extinction that’s being caused by our species — and is likely to lead to humanity’s demise if unchecked, scientists reported Friday.
The scientists’ analysis, published in the open-access journal Science Advances, follows up on more than a decade’s worth of warnings about a rapid loss of global biodiversity. Many experts say the loss has risen to the scale seen during five previous global extinction events — the most recent of which occurred 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs died off.
The claims provide the theme of Elizabeth Kolbert’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Sixth Extinction.” But such claims have drawn skeptical responses as well. The skeptics say it’s difficult to judge the “background rate” of extinctions, as well as the current rate of species extinction.
Climate Summit Report
In 1992, at the UN Earth Summit in Rio, Fidel Castro gave an impassioned speech about the ecological debts owed to the global poor. His words remain hauntingly prescient:
“An important biological species is in danger of disappearing due to the fast and progressive destruction of its natural living conditions: mankind. We have now become aware of this problem when it is almost too late to stop it.
It is necessary to point out that consumer societies are fundamentally responsible for the brutal destruction of the environment. They arose from the old colonial powers and from imperialist policies which in turn engendered the backwardness and poverty which today afflicts the vast majority of mankind. With only 20 percent of the world’s population, these societies consume two-thirds of the metals and three-fourths of the energy produced in the world. They have poisoned the seas and rivers, polluted the air, weakened and punctured the ozone layer, saturated the atmosphere with gases which are changing weather conditions with a catastrophic effect we are already beginning to experience.
The forests are disappearing. The deserts are expanding. Every year thousands of millions of tons of fertile soil end up in the sea. Numerous species are becoming extinct. Population pressures and poverty trigger frenzied efforts to survive even when it is at the expense of the environment. It is not possible to blame the Third World countries for this. Yesterday, they were colonies; today, they are nations exploited and pillaged by an unjust international economic order. The solution cannot be to prevent the development of those who need it most. The reality is that anything that nowadays contributes to underdevelopment and poverty constitutes a flagrant violation of ecology. Tens of millions of men, women, and children die every year in the Third World as a result of this, more than in each of the two world wars. Unequal terms of trade, protectionism, and the foreign debt assault the ecology and promote the destruction of the environment. If we want to save mankind from this self-destruction, we have to better distribute the wealth and technologies available in the world. Less luxury and less waste by a few countries is needed so there is less poverty and less hunger on a large part of the Earth. We do not need any more transferring to the Third World of lifestyles and consumption habits that ruin the environment. Let human life become more rational. Let us implement a just international economic order. Let us use all the science necessary for pollution-free, sustained development. Let us pay the ecological debt, and not the foreign debt. Let hunger disappear, and not mankind.
Now that the alleged threat of communism has disappeared and there are no longer any more excuses for cold wars, arms races, and military spending, what is blocking the immediate use of these resources to promote the development of the Third World and fight the threat of the ecological destruction of the planet? Let selfishness end. Let hegemonies end. Let insensitivity, irresponsibility, and deceit end. Tomorrow it will be too late to do what we should have done a long time ago. Thank you.”
Yet, sadly no one took this advice, so that now we may already be past such change, and into another change that our grandchildren will face – an impossible future in which life is lived in the midst of ruins, floods, and utter despair. Is this what you want for your children and grandchildren?
Read their diagnosis: http://www.geocritique.org/five-propositions-critiques-Anthropocene/