Forum Replies Created
What I have become perplexed by is the virtue-signalling, groupthink being displayed by people whom I believed were much more discerning than they appear to be. The applause for each other over receiving the vaccine which is plainly ‘untested’ in the traditional sense of the word and may be less than the panacea (to make an understatement) they are cheerleading it is. They believe with their hearts that this is the road back to ‘normalcy’ and have zero questions or concerns about it. They have complete and utter trust in the-powers-that-be with little to no skepticism. I may be the only one of the group that forgoes the vaccine train they are on. I lost trust in the ruling class some years ago and have zero reason to trust them with this.March 11, 2021 at 1:19 pm in reply to: Mass Vaccination Amidst A Pandemic Creates An Irrepressible Monster #70944
So we are doing the exact opposite of what is best for us in the long run? Unfortunately, nothing surprising there.
It reminds me of this passage from Donella Meadows in her book Thinking in Systems: “…a clear leverage point: growth. Not only population growth, but economic growth. Growth has costs as well as benefits, and we typically don’t count the costs—among which are poverty and hunger, environmental destruction and so on—the whole list of problems we are trying to solve with growth! What is needed is much slower growth, very different kinds of growth, and in some cases no growth or negative growth. The world leaders are correctly fixated on economic growth as the answer to all problems, but they’re pushing with all their might in the wrong direction. …leverage points frequently are not intuitive. Or if they are, we too often use them backward, systematically worsening whatever problems we are trying to solve.”
“The greatest shortcoming of the human species is our inability to understand the exponential function.”
Dr, Albert Bartlett (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_VpyoAXpA8)
Canada’s Green Party is selling the same narrative (we have a federal election today so it has been a top news item recently). I have been berated by some fellow online commenters when I suggest the story being sold to the public is along the lines you are suggesting: a disingenuous story that leaves out not only the complexities of what is being shared, but the virtual impossibility.
No where do the politicians who are suggesting a total ‘green’ transformation of the economy (and, yes, a growing economy with jobs for everyone, free post-secondary education, and elimination of inequality) challenge the status quo narrative of chasing the infinite growth chalice.
Not only do these people seem to not understand (or are just ignoring) the biophysical limitations of what they are suggesting, but they totally misunderstand the economics as well. I like what Charles Hugh Smith wrote today on his site, Of Two Minds: without changing the way we create and distribute money, we change nothing! A credit-/debt-based fiat currency requires we pursue infinite growth.
Perhaps something along these lines: Edge of a Revolution by Canada’s Nickelback: https://youtu.be/6xaKgGUwynU
I am constantly frustrated (but not surprised) but the number of people who believe with all their heart that a shift to ‘renewables’ is not only possible but can be done without missing a beat of our energy-intensive, high-tech world. This seems to be the result of several factors: hope, misguided terminology (e.g. ‘clean’ energy), and reduction of cognitive dissonance–to name a few. Many fail to understand that we cannot keep chasing the infinite growth chalice pushed on us by corporate/government institutions but need to reduce our energy consumption significantly, and this means forfeiting a whole host of ‘conveniences’ and sociocultural ‘norms’ (expectations?).
Most people I know personally aren’t even aware of the conundrum, and would rather not know. As Nietzsche suggested, “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”
As archaeologist Joseph Tainter asserts in his book The Collapse of Complex Societies, when a society no longer has the reserves to help offset what might otherwise be considered a recoverable disaster, collapse is not far off…
Living in the midst of one of these epic bubbles (Greater Toronto Area), it is frightening to experience on so many levels. While I can’t help but hope the crazy asset price inflation in housing continues for a few more years (at least until my wife retires and we can take advantage by selling our highly over-priced home–we could probably get about $1 Million for our 1500 square foot home we purchased for $210,000 in 1995–and move out of the GTA where we could purchase 4 or 5 homes of equivalent size/quality), I see the downside also.
My children have little to no hope of ever being able to afford purchasing, let alone renting, in the GTA without going into deep, unsustainable debt. With the increased ‘values’, our local Town is pursuing development of suburban homes and retail plazas like there is no tomorrow, paving over very limited farmland at a pace that boggles the mind.
I have been opposing this development for some years but the cognitive dissonance and propaganda surrounding the ‘growth is progress’ narrative is astounding and virtually impossible to counter. In fact, my local councillor seems far more interested in backing the plans of a developer to place increasingly dense housing in our area despite the backlash from virtually all local residents (one can’t help but wonder whatever happened to representing the wishes of voting citizens over the monied interests; I know, it likely has never existed except in our conditioned minds).
My town lives in a somewhat enviable position in having a good chunk of arable land remaining, but it has been disappearing at an alarming rate the past decade or two and I see no end in sight. Such short-sightedness is not in short demand here in Canada where the power-brokers are pursing the growth narrative with all possible speed. It’s such a shame.
Infinite growth on a finite planet, what could possibly go wrong?
Infinite growth on a finite planet, what could possibly go wrong?
I’m reminded of what Bradley Cooper’s character in the movie Limitless states: “…there are no safeguards in human nature. We’re wired to overreach. Look at history, all the countries that ever ruled the world. Portugal with this big massive navy. All they got now are salt cod and cheap condoms. And the Brits? Now they’re just sitting on a dank little island fussing over their suits. No one’s stopping and thinking, hey, we’re doing pretty well. We got France, we got Poland, we got a big Swiss bank account. You know what? Let’s not invade Russia in the winter. Let’s go home, let’s pop a beer, and let’s live off the interest.”