Gut Rumbles

March 29, 2005

we're all gonna die!!!

This is a long article but worth taking the time to read if you enjoy tales of eco-gloom and doom. I think it's all complete bullshit, but that's just MY humble opinion.

It has been very hard for Americans -- lost in dark raptures of nonstop infotainment, recreational shopping and compulsive motoring -- to make sense of the gathering forces that will fundamentally alter the terms of everyday life in our technological society. Even after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, America is still sleepwalking into the future. I call this coming time the Long Emergency.

Doesn't the writer remind you of an Old Testement prophet? "Lost in dark raptures" ... "gathering forces"... "sleepwalking into the future." That rhetoric surely scares the shit out of me. REPENT, ye sinners, lest you be cast into a pit of fire for all eternity!

Some other things about the global energy predicament are poorly understood by the public and even our leaders. This is going to be a permanent energy crisis, and these energy problems will synergize with the disruptions of climate change, epidemic disease and population overshoot to produce higher orders of trouble.

Weren't people saying the same thing back in the 1970s? It was bullshit then and it's bullshit now. And the writer lost all credibility with me when he threw the word "synergize" into his babbling. That's one of the words I hate.

Most of all, the Long Emergency will require us to make other arrangements for the way we live in the United States. America is in a special predicament due to a set of unfortunate choices we made as a society in the twentieth century. Perhaps the worst was to let our towns and cities rot away and to replace them with suburbia, which had the additional side effect of trashing a lot of the best farmland in America. Suburbia will come to be regarded as the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world. It has a tragic destiny. The psychology of previous investment suggests that we will defend our drive-in utopia long after it has become a terrible liability.

I have one thing to say about that statement: HUH?

I'm not optimistic about the Southeast, either, for different reasons. I think it will be subject to substantial levels of violence as the grievances of the formerly middle class boil over and collide with the delusions of Pentecostal Christian extremism. The latent encoded behavior of Southern culture includes an outsized notion of individualism and the belief that firearms ought to be used in the defense of it. This is a poor recipe for civic cohesion.

BWHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! Excuse me. I have to go blow my nose after that one. What does this dickhead know about the "latent encoded behavior of Southern culture?" I'll guarantee you that we have more "civic cohesion" in Effingham County, Georgia than you can find in Washington, DC. Blithering idiot.

Read the whole thing if you have the patience and you don't develop headaches easily.


"I have one thing to say about that statement: HUH?"

I'll translate: Damn those evil suburban people who dare to aspire to own land, buy three cars, and raise a family in a five bedroom mansion, the mortgage payments for which are roughly half of what I pay to rent my one bedroom walkup on the upper west side.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on March 29, 2005 11:34 AM

There was only one nugget of truth in that article: "America today has a railroad system that the Bulgarians would be ashamed of. " I've watched with near-horror as the rails have been ripped up, and here in Florida, converted to "eco-friendly" bicycle paths. You can't haul large heavy cargo behind a bicycle. (Insert image of a hundred cyclists in spandex & silly helmets yoked to a single boxcar. In the rain.)

Plus the author ignores - it would be fatal to his point - the work of Burt Rutan and the other private reusable spaceflight startups. Solar power satellites aren't a new idea, and only need low cost access to orbit to be profitable (according to people much smarter than me). 99% of the energy in our solar neighborhood is off our home mudball, and as far as we know there aren't any sheiks, emirs, or presidents-for-life to force unsavory deals on us out there. It won't solve the transport fuel problem, but we can have electricity up the wazoo if we're willing to go get it.

Posted by: Stu on March 29, 2005 12:43 PM

What this article ignores is what got this county where it is today: CAPITALISM.
When or rather as oil becomes too expensive other alternate sources become viable such as what Stu above me said, solar satellites beaming microwave energy to the earths surface. Plus many hundreds of scientists are working on fusion power too so I'm not ready to throw in the towel on civilization just yet.

Posted by: RWM on March 29, 2005 08:34 PM
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