||[Dec. 14th, 2009|02:20 pm]
Leaving behind us, for the moment,
the people still mired in the denial and anger phases,
what will all this quibbling over details achieve
if we don't address more pressing problems
with the basic function of our society?
What is the point of deciding
exactly what actions are required to avert climatic disaster,
if the structures we depend on to carry these actions out
are incapable of doing so?
The concept of carbon trading
is a distillation of our delusion,
a succinct symbol of our expectation
that we could somehow be saved
by a continuation of the behaviours which led us here.
Let's put aside the question of exactly how we quantify
the damage done to the planet by various emissions
(a problem as thorny as the measurement of IQ, say,
even if we had a time machine to look back from 2100
to know precisely the extent of various feedback effects).
No, we're told, the market can decide such messy details.
Well, it's done a bang up job so far, hasn't it?
The market's sensitivity to long-term consequences
is certainly, uh, remarkable.
Tell me, what is the point of sticking a dollar value
on a tonne of carbon in the air,
if the currency we use to measure it is meaningless?
Demystify the market - it's nothing more than
the manifestation of our value systems.
If most of us act like selfish, short-term-thinking arseholes,
the market will reflect that.
We can tell each other our behaviour
creates all the value we like,
but when reality refuses to cooperate,
our money will be worthless.
Wake up. The current market structure
is doing exactly what it was designed to -
leading us docilely back into serfdom.
The situation calls for something more than
switching settings on the machine,
something other than another rule reshuffle.
We can't expect our nation states to manage it,
they're owned now.
It's not even enough to declare the US dollar valueless, say.
We need the guts to cut through to real-world assets,
declare all those title deeds null and void
which were stolen by usury, fractional reserve banking
and other such pyramid schemes.
Until we reclaim our own production,
how can we choose to carry it out sustainably?
Long before we can address the problem of climate,
we'll have to figure out what we're going to do about energy.
Before we can get access to that, social change is needed,
and that'll take courage.
If we don't feel in danger, we aren't being realistic.
If it doesn't cost us anything, it isn't working.
Carbon trading is, more or less, a holding technique to try to stop things from getting drastically worse while we try to find a more effective way to attack the problem.
Whether a more effective way can be found without significant social change is another question, really.
a holding technique
Hm, indeed. A holding tactic, I would put it.
A smoke screen to convince the bulk of the population
to remain inactive for just another decade.
We're being held off until
the biosphere reaches the "fucked it now" stage.
That is, when we're looking at an ocean, say,
on which we no longer bother to map dead spots,
we map only the few remaining living spots,
then we're more likely to feel helpless despair,
more likely to accept mega-industrial last-ditch projects,
like feeding people with vast algal mats,
or spewing further billions of tonnes of shit into the atmosphere.
Continuation of corporate power assured.
What is a corporation?
A corporation is a machine
onto which we've fobbed our difficult responsibilities.
Decisions which a social creature would find hard to make,
the corporate robot can make impassively.
This is why they're such sociopathic fuckers.
But it's an illusion, a lie.
We work for them, we buy their products.
True, they've learnt to manipulate our social instincts.
Our desire to mimic and belong to the group
enables us to perform atrocities we never could alone,
and claim that we were just doing our job,
pretend it's not theft and murder,
just a chance famine or whatever.
Let's be honest though,
these giant killer-robots we've built
have gotten out of hand.
Even if we ignore our sociable instincts,
and are content to pillage the labour and resources of far away lands,
we have to admit that these things
have enslaved their own makers too.
They have no fond nostalgia for their homeland,
if they did, they got outcompeted.
So we're all in the shit now,
Them is Us.
Which adjective implies that this way is effective at all.
It'll be effective in doing what it's designed to do,
move wealth up the pyramid,
especially if the World Bank and their ilk
get their clutches on all those green taxes.
Social change is not an unrelated question here.
It is the means to effective action.
Social instincts are not just some quaint tradition from our past,
they are the distilled wisdom of
billions of years of genetic evolution,
the techniques by which organisms not only compete for their niche,
but find equilibrium within their niche.
Memetic structures have to learn the same lessons.
Hierarchy grows like a cancer then collapses its host.
It's incapable of finding equilibrium for long.
What we need to learn socially
is how to resist gangsterism without becoming gangsters,
how to outcompete empire without losing equilibrium.
The way to kill a corporation
is to stop working for it, stop buying its products.
Which means reclaiming our production,
keeping it decentralised and defensible,
so they just can't come and burn it down.
This is the war which has been growing for 60 centuries,
and the deciding century is this one.
If we're thrown off by a simple smoke screen,
I would not think much of our strategic abilities.