so much needing preservation

skimming over the replies on this thread created even more despair — -particularly McKibben’s “must preserve the internet” — -I really couldn’t decide if that was meant as a joke!

Maybe it was…but there seems to be an odd concept flying around that we can somehow pick and choose the best bits of the civilisation we have constructed, and just discard the rest, leaving us with a perfectly viable existence that we can enjoy forever — -just a few minor inconveniences here and there, (and they will happen to other people far away) nothing more.

Pre-oil. our planet supported 1bn — now there’s 7.5 Bn. Meaning 6bn people don’t have a future. I’d call that more than a minor inconvenience (for them)

Quote from above: Many vital things must be preserved during collapse if we are to avoid another Dark Age. Among them is the need to preserve science itself as a set of institutional practices, communities of expertise and storehouses of knowledge.

I kinda hate to point this out, but our current mode of existence is entirely dependent on a colossal input of surplus energy. That energy input gave us the science and technology on which our lives depend.

Can we please rid ourselves of the fantasy that technology will provide us with fresh sources of surplus energy?

Our civilisation machine does not run in reverse

Then we get to the laughable comparisons between ourselves and previous “empires” that they rebuilt and regenerated, and therefore so will we.

Every civilisation prior to our own ran at the speed of hoof and sail — -that was their limit of consumption. Greek, Romans, Eygptians could not consume our future, yet we have a childlike naivety to imagine we can rebuild/redesign what we have now.

We started the ‘great burning’ and so consumed the planet itself, and any resources by which our ggggrandcildren might have restructed something. We have burned their future and consigned them to a permanent dark age.

They might have access to the knowledge we now have — — but stretch your blinkered imagination to the technology necessary to make a hypodermic needle, or the necessary medication by which it is used. A blacksmith will fashion a plough — -but will not be able to produce the fine tolerances to make an engine.

Our food and water is delivered by engines, in case anyone has missed that point. Previous civilisations had no choice but to live within walking distance of food and water. Part of our delusion is that we do not need to.>

co-author of The End of More, in paperback and kindle on Amazon email

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