Why Defeating Climate Change is a Complete Waste of Time and Money
Climate Change and Human Extinction
It’s simply, really.
Humankind has reached the end of the road.
Armageddon isn’t going to come in one big nuclear bang, or even several hundred thousand of them.
It’s going to come gradually, over a period of about another eighty years, and then those few that remain are either going to adapt to a harsh environment, finding food where they can forage and learning to live on the high ground, in caves, where violent storms, floods, and other weather unfriendly disasters cannot find them.
Bandwidth, radio, movies, flying cars, gold and diamonds, Rolex watches, or new civilizations in distant galaxies will all be things of the past, perhaps, one day, to be discovered by a new species.
I see it all so clearly, but then I always have seen the future more clearly than others. And like Cassandra of long distant past, I, too am mocked.
After all, won’t a carbon tax, electric cars, recycling, or geo—engineering solve the problem?
Not at all, I say.
That’s rather like using a bandage (plaster in British English) on a bullet wound.
Why is that?
I’m not going to go into the climate science here. If you have two cells in your brain and any form of acceptable education, you know that we are destroying our eco-system, and that because we are dependent on our eco-system for our air, our food, and our water, when it is destroyed, then so are we. As a species, we cannot survive without those bare essentials.
Earth's Eco-system Versus Our Economc Eco-system
Rather, it’s the other eco-system that is destroying us – the one that needs to be destroyed, but that we keep at all costs, as if our lives depend on it.
That is the economic eco-system.
Most people think that an economic system is all about business, and that if business fails, it’s the economic system that is failing.
That’s a very biased view of an economic system.
An economic system is a system of production and distribution. It doesn’t have to involve business or profit. Business and profit is simply one more system of producing and distributing the goods it produces.
That’s the eco-system I am talking about.
We’re depending upon it, and that’s why politicians the world over, are being bribed, bullied, and bought wholesale. On the one hand, they profit from it, and on the other hand, they see that food and shelter and protection and every conceivable need of mankind is met by the way business produces and distributes goods.
Real leaders, of course, would figure out the problem, and then they would figure out a working solution, and then they would present both the problem and the solution to the people – no matter how uncomfortable that solution was – and they would do it in such a way that we-the-people would realize that we would have to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done.
The World Needs To Be On a War-Time Footing in Order to Reverse Global Warming
We Have Politicians Not Leaders.
We have politicians instead of leaders. Politicians, like business owners, like power and money. They’re not in it to server humankind. They’re in it to empower themselves and reward themselves. The bottom line is that if someone puts themself forward for any sort of leadership position, there is a 98% chance that person is doing so for personal gain. Real leaders do not put themselves forward. Instead we-the-people look around, see who is doing a good job, and elect the person who we think has proven to be the one who solves the problems and presents a safe and sustainable way forward.
Of course, on rare occasions, someone does come up through the political system with a genuine need to provide leadership. You can figure out who they are, because they aren’t rich, and they serve their constituents well.
The bottom line, however, is that we don’t have the kind of leadership that would inform we-the-people of what needs to be done, and then get it done.
How Our Current Economic System Works
Firstly, I guess I need to explain why I think our economic system (our system of producing and distributing goods) is at the heart of the problem.
An eco-system is a whole lot of stuff that work together. You know - like bees pollinate plants, and we grow the plants in order to provide ourselves with food. And then if the bees die, we die because the plants die, and we don't have food.
Or maybe a couple of countries detonate a dozens of nuclear bombs, and this causes a thick layer of clouds (debris) in the skies, and then the sun doesn’t shine through, and then the plants don’t grow, and neither the animals nor we have food. So we die.
So our economic system also has some components on which it depends, so I’m going to put them down here in bullet form.
- People like to be admired and obeyed. The more people have of these commodities, they higher they are on the pecking order. This is called status.
- The way to obtain status is to have lots of money. Money gives people power. So the more people desire to be admired and obeyed, the more they seek status, and the more they will do anything to get more and more money so that their status gets higher and higher.
- The best means of obtaining money are through criminality and through business (I’m not quite sure that they aren’t the same thing, but the purpose of this essay is not to discuss that.)
- Business isn’t that difficult. It requires money in order to set it up and keep it going until it is profitable. (So that’s why mostly the upper middle classes and the rich tend to be successful in business.) It requires that one believes profit is an ethical undertaking, so that one can charge people more than the goods cost to produce. It requires that one is okay with paying labour less than it is worth. That’s because, without these two beliefs, it would be impossible to believe that business is an ethical enterprise. There are only two ways of making a profit (what is left over after all salaries of owners and workers, future investments, running costs, etc. are paid), and those are to overcharge on goods and underpay on wages.
- Many people aspire to run their own businesses (driven either by survival as they cannot find jobs and/or the need for status).
- As all the basics have been taken care of (providing food, shelter, clothing, etc.) by the many businesses already producing those things, it requires that business now move into producing non-essentials.
- In an ever increasingly competitive environment, businesses are more and more dependent on brainwashing (advertising, public relations, indoctrination, etc.) potential buyers with the reasons they ought to buy electric cars, ‘environmentally friendly’ fashion, eat cereals for breakfast, drink Margaritas or live in a one mile square house at the top of the tallest building in the world. The human brain, having evolved to believing anything that is repeated frequently, believes all this garbage, and voila! People will buy and buy and buy until they have so much stuff that they need bigger and bigger houses. And so it goes.
- Denim dye has destroyed entire rivers. The extraction of oil has destroyed the environments of numerous species. The production and discarding of plastics is busy destroying our seas. I could go on, but you know the score. You know that the production of goods which are not necessary for the survival of our species, but are necessary to sate the power and status-lust of many individuals, has increased to the extent that it is poisoning our environment.
- In other words, our economic eco-system is destroying the eco-system of our world.
And all of this started because some people love to be admired and will do anything to get that admiration – including destroy our planet.
The Case of the Billionaires
This brings me to the case of the billionaires. People are always asking why they want to have more and more and more when they already have so much.
The answer is simple when you take status into consideration. They are competing with each other for more and more status. So, yup. Yes. Bill Gates competes with Jeff Bezos for status. Warren Buffet competes with Michael Dell. Carlos Slim Helu competes with Larry Page. Jim Walton competes with Mark Zuckerberg. And so it goes.
They have lost complete focus of the ball. They don’t’ even consider that right at the bottom of the mad obsession with increasing wealth lies a fragile ego. Then, again, twenty percent of CEOs are sociopaths, so they really don’t care about the consequences. They may even delight in them.
Perhaps, at the bottom of this mad rush to make Mars a suitable habitat for mankind is their certain knowledge that the earth is dying as a result of excessive industrialisation.
Of course, it doesn’t occur to them that it’s a lot cheaper, and success if far more guaranteed, to just clean up the earth.
The Case of the General Public
Of course, as the French and the Russians did some few centuries ago, we could always take out these people. It’s been done routinely in the world, and it’s no accident that people like billionaire Nick Hanauer warns his fellow billionaires that the pitchforks are coming.
That, however, is not what I want to say here.
Consumers are as much to blame as business people, and for the same reason. They want to be approved by others. They think if they wear a particular brand name, they will be admired. Worse than that, there are so many unthinking people in the world that some actually admire others because they wear a particular fashion brand. This is the power of influencers. They play on that characteristic.
So we have this cycle.
People want to be admired by others. However, it is not the admiration of just one person they want. The weaker and more fragile their egos, they more approval, admiration, and status they seek. So they copy those who have already attained that status in the vain hope that some of that status will come their way.
From Richard Heinberg in "The End of Growth."
All of the solutions to our growth-based problems involve some form of self-restraint. That’s why most of those solutions remain just good ideas. ...the economic pain gripping the United States will not actually be the fault of immigrants — or China, Muslims, environmentalists, or even terrorists. Nor is the essential problem Big Government. ...climate change is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen.
What I Think Needs To Be Done
Essentially the only way to defeat climate change is to stop the mad obsession with increasing production. However, the production won’t stop because too many people are concerned about their status.
The way to stop the production is to change the economic system (a system of production and distribution).
Essentially nobody will change the economic system because there are too many vested interests. There is the fear of loss of status, and for those at the very bottom, the fear of loss of jobs.
This can all be very easily overcome. Sure, there’ll be enormous changes, but that is the price of us not going extinct. It really depends on our priorities.
So Here’s What Needs to Be Done
- We need to be educated that we cannot continue to live the lifestyles we do. Certainly, we can continue to have our high-tech lifestyles, but we cannot insist on new fashion items every six months or upgrading our phones every two years or living in a one square mile house with twenty bedrooms and its own private theatre. This needs to be a massive advertising campaign to inform people just how close we are to our species going extinct. They need to be told we have less than a dozen years before we hit the point where we cannot reverse the process.
- With the changes listed below in mind, the governments need to make provision for all the people, as people will face starvation and desperation as we redesign the economic system. There will be massive loss of jobs, and there will be products that will not manufactured anymore (who needs another plastic copy of Darth Vader or Iron man?).
- The first step is for government to pay for a massive, high-tech, safe, cheap public transport system. This would involve airships (like zeppelins), bullet trains, bus services, cabs/taxis, etc. Every area of the city and small towns would be on the map, so that nobody would need a car.
- Personal ownership of cars would be banned. By doing this, it would cut down the need for fossil fuels to such an extent that many fossil-fuel providers would go out of business. That is a good thing. Some fuel would still be needed, but not as much as previously.
- The next step would be to institute Universal Basic Income. The reason for this is that as business starts shutting down, many people would be without a job. Much research has been done about the effects of Universal Basic Income. In those areas where poverty is rampant, it has proven to be 100% positive. About 1% used the money for drink or gambling. The rest used it to educate their children, invest in a home, start a small business, etc. The idea that if people are given money they will grow lazy and dependent is a myth. It has been put out there by the super wealthy in order to ensure that they don’t pay high taxes. People do not become lazy and dependent when they are given money. Instead, they become creative. Creativity is the natural habit of mankind – not laziness. Providing UBI for humanity would herald in the greatest period of creativity and innovation that mankind has ever known.
- Once UBI is in place, it’s okay to make sure that all businesses that are responsible for selling (distributing) products which produce pollution or landfill value are closed down and banned. So this would be the second positive step towards stopping global warming (the first being the lesser usage of oil).
- The last step in gearing our world towards a better future for all of mankind, and for that future to be 100% sustainable is the creation of a new type of economic system. It would not be based on profit making. It would not result in inequality. Instead, it would be based on a scientific evaluation of what products need to be produced, how much needs to be produced, and how to distribute them. It would be resource based (i.e. does the earth have enough of that material without it being depleted). I believe we have more than enough intelligent people on this planet to figure out a new economic system.
Billionaires Warns Fellow Billionaires that The Pitchforks are Coming
Do you believe that climate change is a threat to the survival of humanity?
Why I Think Defeating Climate Change is a Waste of Time and Money
Of course, none of this will happen. People will try every which way but lose in order to keep the current economic system (and their status) in place. They are not willing to lose their one square mile of housing, their importance in the world, or anything else. They will try, and are trying, and keep trying to find solutions that don’t upset the economic system. To me, that’s all a waste of time and money. It’s not going to work. It’s too little, and it’s not the real problem. The real problem is the economic system.
As I sincerely don’t believe there is any way to prevent our extinction other than changing our economic system (and I’m far from alone in that view), I guess I’ve finally made peace to let it all roll out.
Farewell, world. Einstein was right. “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.”
© 2019 Tessa Schlesinger