I don’t know about you, but I have very little invested in United States capitalism, United States empire building, or really anything to do with the United States. I am human. I am an Earthling. I think, feel and metabolize like every other sentient being on this sickly planet. We seem to be a species on the path of self annihilation and I want no part of it.
One can become paralyzed with fear by reading of all the terrible ways in which the relative calm of the last 10,000 years geologically and meteorologically is becoming disrupted due to anthropogenic climate disruption. Polar ice caps melting, desertification, acidification of the oceans, overfishing, superweed and superbug breeding through monoculture farming, freshwater aquifer depletion, sea level rise, bee colony collapse, biodiversity loss, radioactive contamination of the air, sea and land. Shit; pick your poison. Its somewhat of a privilege to be a witness to such a pivotal time in the history of my species. We have the ability and technology to save ourselves, but may lack the fortitude to do so. Collective denial I suppose.
So, when I say I want no part of it, I know very well that I’m a contributor. Even with my half hearted attempts at a responsible lifestyle. Instead of recycling more, I try to produce less garbage by not buying packaging. I bike to work. I don’t buy much of anything other than food and utilities. On the scale of the average American, I’m probably on the low end of resource/energy consumption. Compared to the typical Norwegian, I’m a gluttonous monster.
I’ll do better, not because it’s the “green” thing to do, not because it’s popular, not even because I would feel guilty otherwise, but because it’s the way I want to live. There’s a popular idea today that we each need to reduce our impact on the environment. Daft! We all need to create a much larger impact on the natural environment, but in the positive direction. Human beings are considered drains on natural resources, polluters of the commons, CONSUMERS for goodness sake! (Sometimes it feels like I live in an apocalyptic B-Movie.)
Should I move off to some far off idyllic cabin in the woods in search of peace and spend my days foraging for food and chopping firewood in these…our end days. Sounds nice, and a few years ago it was my main plan to live self sufficiently, not as Grizzly Adams, but with many comforts provided by technology and the ability to communicate with the world from a cabin in woods at satellite internet speeds. There I would sit gnawing on a radish from my garden, sipping on some home brew growing ever more cynical about the state of the world; eventually becoming a bitter old man that never did anything to make the world a better place.
No, I dodged that bullet. I’m cynical enough as it is. Moving to a nice city where some like minded folks are creating beautiful works of art and standing up for those that need help fighting the good fight, has really improved my hope for humanity. I need more sense of community. I think a lot of people in this city feel distanced from others. Most people want a sense of community. Friends that have their backs and catch them when they fall. We haven’t done the best at making friends. Part of that is our social awkwardness.
Hell, I don’t know. I’m all over the place here. I guess what I’m saying is that there is a lot in the world to be worried about and pissed off at, and when it seams impossible to fix the world, when there is an obvious threat to our survival people act indifferent towards the notion or are themselves so cynical that they refuse to consider any point of view or social movement with distrust and hostility; the best option appears to be a cozy fetal position on the couch in a dark room while all this just blows over. Well, it’s not going to just blow over, not in my lifetime nor yours. These problems of ours are here to stay until enough citizens of Earth take some control of their future. Their future. Them. They will do it. Well, I’m not counting on it. Dark days are ahead for us all, even the fabulously rich. I feel somewhat honored to witness this period of human history, but also terrified.
I think I have a good general idea of what exactly the sickness is that befalls our species and our planet. I wish I knew less, but here we are. Perhaps a few Crayons inserted forcibly up the nasal canal will remedy my worries. Oh well.
I don’t know how to avert collapse. Economic, social or environmental. It’s difficult to avert because we are already in the midst of a catastrophe and don’t even know it. All I know to do right now is build myself a collapse resistant lifestyle. Not collapse proof. We all breathe the same air, more or less. The water quality varies depending on distance from industry. Political and social turmoil, although bubbling strongly under the surface of some of the seemingly calmer regions of the world, could very well breakout into full blown riots and desperate resource wars. One thing is certain: Groups of prepared people will fair better in the future as they always have. So I say, prepare yourself. It’s going to get a little bumpy.
We are a weakened society, dependent on an insecure infrastructure. It didn’t have to be this way, but it is. The time for reform has probably long passed. It will be hard, but hopefully something good can come from the shock of our collective stupidity. Time to look at the things you need: food, water, shelter, comfort, security, and eliminate the things you don’t. Build strong community ties with other people that have long term goals of survival and distance yourself from those that defend the current paradigm (and are likely to become angry and irrational when it breaks down). Human beings will do what we do best: survive.
Myself, I want to stay small and mobile I’d like to focus on my passions and share them with the the rest of humanity the way we all could live in another time when democracy takes hold. Developing our own humanity for the betterment of all, building a resilient, anti-collapse society.