My latest post stirred considerable interest, as indicated by my email in-box as well as several thoughtful comments online. Although I tried to be clear about my position, questions continue to flow in, suggesting my no-holds-barred approach lacked clarity. I’ll try again in this post, recognizing that my position is so nuanced it is likely …
A reminder about online comments is given by John Michael Greer in this week’s version of his blog. His primary point, that our information age is actually dependent on physical substrate, reminds me of the cognitive dissonance running so deeply among the American populace. Example A is the magical thinking that we’ll create new alternatives to oil, despite the absence of any such alternatives so far, even when the price of oil skyrocketed to $147.27. Example B is the magical thinking that we need to keep the cars running at all costs … which means, of course, at every cost to the planet and even our own species. Example C is the magical thinking that our economy is necessary to our survival, when in fact it is a grave threat to our survival.
The second reminder appeared in the cover story of the local counter-culture rag. It’s a compelling story, told sufficiently well to evoke tears as I read it. It’s a reminder that we can do many things to help others and ourselves as the world comes down around us.
Yesterday I delivered a presentation to a room full of Honors College students, peppered with a few faculty and administrators. The response was overwhelmingly disappointing. Seems nearly everybody in the room — and in the country, for that matter — wants to keep the current game going, no matter the costs. They don’t view civilization as a problem at all, evidence notwithstanding, and they think the solution to our fossil-fuel dilemma is to drive less and bicycle more.
I take heart, knowing the bloated cow of economic growth grows ever closer, ever more dangerous (and ever more odorous) with each turn of the imperial wheels: “Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.”