Evolution demands short-term thinking focused on individual survival. Most attempts to overcome our evolutionarily hardwired absorption with self are selected against. The Overman is dead, killed by a high-fat diet and unwillingness to exercise. Reflexively, we follow him into the grave.
We have ripped minerals from the Earth, often bringing down mountains in the process; we have harvested nearly all the old-growth timber on the continent, replacing thousand-year-old trees with neatly ordered plantations of small trees; we have hunted species to the point of extinction; we have driven livestock across every almost acre of the continent, baring hillsides and facilitating massive erosion; we have plowed large landscapes, transforming fertile soil into sterile, lifeless dirt; we have burned ecosystems and, perhaps more importantly, we have extinguished naturally occurring fires; we have paved thousands of acres to facilitate our movement and, in the process, have disrupted the movements of thousands of species; we have spewed pollution and dumped garbage, thereby dirtying our air, fouling our water, and contributing greatly to the warming of the planet. We have, to the maximum possible extent allowed by our intellect and never-ending desire, consumed the planet.
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.
Back to the television. Kulture calls.
I will be the first to register when I see an advertisement for the conference of my dreams. This conference focuses on the collapse of industrial ‘civilization.’ Such a collapse would wreak havoc on my 403(c), my 401(k), and my IRA. But it might save a few of the species and cultures that have managed to elude our iron fist, and that’s worth much more than the few dollars in my retirement funds.