Wednesday, July 13, 2011

how does it feel?

Transitionvoice | Joined by wholesale environmental collapse and also by the acceleration of global climate change, the systemic collapse of western civilization is under way.

In fact, it becomes more difficult with every passing day to ignore any of these three phenomena, despite the ongoing irrelevant spew emanating from politicians and the media.

Economic recession? Check, since 2000. Economic depression? Check, since 2008. Rampant “natural” disasters? Check, with increasing frequency. Climate chaos? Indeed, only the willfully ignorant can miss it.

When it rains it pours

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is what simultaneous, systemic collapses look like. We’re awash in tell-tale interactions between climate change, “natural” disasters, and the industrial economy. A parched planet blows through major cities, obscuring the sun even as record-high temperatures are eclipsed. Fire and flood are on the rise. We used to be able to exert a modicum of control over the latter two phenomena, back when climate chaos wasn’t exploding and the industrial economy wasn’t imploding.

On the other hand, we used to contain nuclear power within nuclear power plants, too. Well, except the occasional Hiroshima and Chernobyl. Now it’s Fukushima, Fort Calhoun, Cooper, and Los Alamos, and all at the same time.

The official line — “Notification of Unusual Event” — is becoming paradoxically common. Our collective, societal ability to keep the plates spinning is no longer a justifiable assumption.


nanakwame said...

Lem: Practically not. I was never a member of any political party. I am in a way a liberal, I am on the side of Popper in his antihistoricism and I believe that there are no other ways of perfecting the human condition except by taking very little steps. All other methods can bring only a lot of misery.Interviewer: I have a question relating to your mention of Karl Popper. Many of your novels have the structure of a mystery that goes unresolved--I'm thinking, for example, of The Chain of Chance, The Invincible, The Investigation, Solaris, and especially His Master's Voice. You seem to be making the philosophical point that the solutions that are proposed are merely subjective, ad hoc explanations, projections on the part of people who will never understand the actual, ultimate cause of the mystery. This view seems to me to be compatible with Popper's argument that science advances not by proving hypotheses but by disproving them, by seeing if over a period of time they fail to conform to experience. In His Master's Voice you also have a discussion of the difference between Kant's "thing in itself" and "thing as perceived." Do you think science can really progress, in the manner described by Popper, if scientists never get any closer to understanding the "thing in itself"?

DD, now with email said...

I just saw a presentation (in part) on an art high school in Northern Italy that had this exact image painted on the wall. Instantly thought of this post. From Banksy to the Lega Nord.....

Before Y'alls Time - But We Don't Have Any Voices Like Carl Rowen Any More...,

LATimes  |   If you’ve ever heard that soothing voice or read those scholarly sentences, you’d know it’s him. Syndicated columnist Carl Row...