If you believe your life depends upon water coming out the taps and food showing up at the grocery store, you’ll defend to the death the system that keeps water coming out the taps and food showing up at the grocery story. News flash: If your life depends on that system, you’re a very unusual human, especially historically, and you support a culture of death. And you’re sorely mistaken, besides.
Start by studying these premises. I mean really studying them. Pick them apart. Find everything wrong with them. If you cannot refute them, then you support the culture of life. Welcome aboard. Now please help me bring it all down.
If you can refute the premises of Endgame, please do so. I’d love to keep the current game going, knowing I am not sanctioning murder by doing so.
The problem is ecological overshoot, as a handful of ecologists have been saying for decades (thereby echoing Malthus). We’ve far exceeded the human carrying capacity of the planet. As a result, we threaten every species on Earth, including our own, with extinction by the end of this century.Currently, there is not nearly enough food to feed every human on the planet, even at the expense of nearly every non-human species. Actually, tens of thousands of people have been starving to death every day for a few decades, but they’ve been beyond our imperial television screens. Will somebody out there please explain to me how supporting the industrial economy gives life, instead of destroying life?
The root cause of the problem is complex, but it can be reduced to a few primary factors: agriculture (i.e., western culture), industrialization (the epitome of western culture), and their contribution to human population growth. The genus Homo persisted on the planet some 2 million years, and our own species had been around for at least 250,000 years, without exceeding carrying capacity. We actually lived without posing a threat to the persistence of other species. During those good ol’ days, humans had abundant spare time for socializing and art, spending only a few hours each week hunting, gathering, and otherwise feeding themselves (i.e., “working”). Contrast with today’s humans, and how much time we spend working (and rarely enjoying that work, if talk around the water cooler is any indication. Agriculture leads to food storage, which leads to empire, which produces slavery, oppression, and mass murder (all of which were essentially absent for the first couple million years of the Homo experience). Lives were short, but happy by every measure we can find. In short, without agriculture there is no ecological overshoot. The human population explosion is effect, not cause. The industrial revolution exacerbated the problem to such an extent we’ll never be able to recover without historic human suffering. We are only beginning the witness the impacts of reduced energy supplies on the industrial economy, and we’ll be squarely back in the stone age, fully unprepared, within a very few short years.
At this point, our commitment to western culture (i.e., civilization) is so great that any attempt to power down will result in suffering and death of millions (and probably billions). Nonetheless, it’s the only way to allow our own species, and millions of others, to persist beyond century’s end and squeeze through the global-change bottleneck (which, as we know, resulted from industrialization). Every day in overshoot is another day to be reckoned with later, and therefore another few thousand humans who must live and die in Hobbesian fashion. There are no decent solutions. A collapse in the world’s industrial economy is producing the expected results, finally, too late to save thousands of species we’ve sent into the abyss, but perhaps barely in time to save a few remaining species, including our own. If you care about other species and cultures, or even the continued persistence of our own species, then you support our imminent return to the post-industrial stone age. Such a return saves the maximum number of human lives, over the long term.
When you realize the (eco)systems in the real world actually produce your food and water, you’ll defend to the death the systems that produces your food and water. I’m in that camp. How about you? What do you support? The industrial culture of death, which sanctions murderous actions every day? Or the culture of life?