Regardless where you choose to spend your post-carbon years, a few things are necessary: water, food, shelter, and community. Piecing together an existence that supplies each of these elements will not be easy, but I think creative people will be able construct a life worth living. A few people will even thrive, helped along by the knowledge that the collapse of American Empire is wonderful news for the many species and cultures with which we share the planet.
It’s been quite a ride, but the party’s about over. We rush headlong off the world oil-supply cliff next year, and the subsequent series of recessions and runaway inflation will spell the end of the Empire. Not to mention safety, security, and civilization.
Seems Ben â€œHelicopterâ€ Bernanke is living up to his nickname. But instead of kicking green leafy material out of helicopters, heâ€™s rewarding big banks that packaged bundles of hallucinations into financial â€œproducts.â€ Bernanke is taking a page from Alan Greenspanâ€™s cheap-money strategy, the one that got us into the financial debacle that turned every house into an ATM for its owner, while turning the U.S. dollar into an international joke.
Dubya should be justifying his lust for war by invoking this Jeffersonian line in every speech: “In war, they will kill some of us; we shall destroy all of them.”
Our last best chance to make it through the ever-tightening bottleneck is to bring down civilization. Although Peak Oil will bring down civilization within the next decade, maybe sooner, we can and should hasten the collapse along.
We have, to the maximum possible extent allowed by our intellect and never-ending desire, consumed the planet and therefore traded in tomorrow for today. And we keep making these choices, every day, choosing dams over salmon, oil over whales, cars over polar bears, death over life.
It is not at all clear that humanity can be saved (or, for that matter, is worth saving). Evolution drives us to breed, drives to procreate, and drives us to accumulate resources. Evolution always pushes us toward the brink, and culture piles on, hurling us into the abyss. Nietzsche was correct about our lack of free will — as Gray points out in Straw Dogs — free will is an illusion. It’s not merely the foam on the beer: it’s the last bubble of foam, the one that just popped. It’s no surprise, then, that we are sleepwalking into the future, or that the future is a lethal cliff.