We were warned for decades about the death march we are on because of global warming. And yet, the global ruling class continues to frog-march us towards extinction.
As Gandhi did years before, we must rebel by marching to the sea to make salt, and by striking. The entire country of India was shut down all at once. By organizing, we can accomplish the same thing. A day, a week, a month without spending any money or paying bills or going to work would send a clear message. There are simply more of us than them. We need to be willing to take the risk needed in order to create change. We may fail, but we cannot afford to not at least try.
This bit of writing should be dispersed far and wide. Hedges has finally written to the very core of the matter. And that illustration by Mr. Fish… well what can one say about that. And for those who come and criticize Hedges for not having any solutions, he said it as simply as one can: Massive Civil Disobedience is all there is left. I for one am blessed to have someone to read as honest as one can be named Chris Hedges. Kudos to you Chris.
Thank you for this pointed and searing piece Chris. Long time lover of your work.
Joining the folks who see collapse as inevitable at this stage. Preparing means accepting, deeply, first the futility of struggle. Resistance to cancer doesn’t cure cancer... it delays death by a bit. Often at a terrible cost. At scale this resistance will be astonishing and mostly wrongly deployed. There will be much resistance and gnashing of teeth as systems continue to a) fail and b) tighten their grip on the people in response to this failure.
My working brothers and sisters, grounded in the material world (and wary of the trans humanist garbage heap we are being sold), would do well to stop focusing on the ruling class and start supporting one another. There will be no rescue from above. No more in the coming years than there was in New Orleans. We are one other’s keepers.
Good time to start community building and ark building for the challenging years ahead￼. Once you accept death -- our own and the system’s -- the work becomes joyful. Especially when done with others. Be the seed of what comes next as the long winter arrives.
Tangentially related, I do wish there was more suspicion of the pharmaceutical industrial complex in your work. Why people are so quick to spare that utterly corrupted system the scrutiny rightly aimed at the rest of the world destroying machine continues to astound me. Our faith in the germ warfare story (and of our supposed mastery in that forever war against life itself) is laughable in reality but very deep among the global monied class. But then again so is our fear of death￼.
Deeply grateful for your voice and your work🙏
With such hell awaiting us, it would seem to me that to bring children into this world is absolute child abuse.
So, if one understands correctly, we must drastically reduce global population in order to save the world and it's really just a matter of the means of this reduction. Is this human culling to be the result of the presumed negative environmental impact of 'global warming' (or the new, preferred moniker of 'global climate change') of the more purposeful plan to withdraw/withhold energy and food resources to mostly poor people.
It seems the 'global elite' are very much on board with this line of reasoning and are fully prepared to implement policies that withhold the food and energy needed to support the soon to be ~8 Billion people on the planet and we should expect to see a stealth campaign of widespread, rapid depopulation in the global south starting right about now.
Typically, starving, freezing, baking populations with little left to lose rise up against their governments and all hell breaks loose. We are very close to this precipice now. If we don't collectively manage food, energy and enlightened democratic governance soon, we will massively depopulate. The trigger for this is 1000X more likely due to wide scale nuclear exchange than 'Global Warming'.
Extinction Rebellion are self righteous exhibitionists and poseurs merely proposing genocide by different means with the goal of saving the planet for right thinking, low carbon using vegans.
The warnings actually go back to the early/mid-seventies. Wally Broecker at the Columbia Univ. Earth Institute coined "global warming" in '75. "Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?" Wallace S. Broecker. Science. 8 Aug 1975. Vol 189, Issue 4201. pp. 460-463. But it really doesn't matter how long the warnings have been around because as Roger Hallam frames it, "Our culture is in massive denial." An outgrowth of the Disney-fication of reality -- an arena in which the USA has led the way for many decades.
Every year 10 times more people die from cold than heat. The 1920s were the hottest years, and yet they are ignored from the data because they are inconvenient to the politics and religion of global warming. The global warming faithful continue their speaking in tongues of the coming apocalypse and yet their predictions are always wrong, their magic climate models have to be calibrated every year.
And most importantly, they claim that their mission is to save humanity from the crisis of global warming, and thus they justify forced scarcity that would kill billions if allowed to take place.
There is a bunch of energy today that is created by option-A. It is relatively affordable and covers 85% of the energy needs of humanity today. There is no option-B to replace it. If the global warming fanatics really wanted to save humanity by eliminating C02 emissions, they would be focused on increasing the option-B alternatives (like nuclear) instead of attempting to destroy all option-A before those B options are ready.
Meanwhile all this fear-based hand-wringing about hot temperatures isn't helping. By the way, people need inexpensive electricity to run their air conditioners you dopes.
You would think that rulers would at least take steps to adapt to this new world--abandon Miami and other cities soon to be under water, abandon cities that will bake in a lifeless environment, enable all people to secure birth control, or reform food distribution methods to minimize mass starvation--but they do nothing, pretending everything will be all right (as soon as everyone drives electric cars!). Is their inaction due to greed or to contrived ignorance about the true state of affairs? In the end, I suppose it doesn't matter.
The lessons of being given a terminal diagnosis are clear: it is only when the diagnosis is given, the emotional grappling with the finality of it completed so that it can be truly accepted, that the important questions can be asked. It starts with "what now?" Only then will responsible actions occur, actions that are oriented around the truth, the terminal diagnosis. It necessitates giving up what the Australian activist Margi Prideaux calls "Hopium," the addictive substance known as "But wait! There's good news, too. If we only [insert techno or political solution you have heard of here] then all will be well." It means looking at the present and the near future with clear eyes. THIS article is what a clear eyed account reveals to the courageous gaze. It is a hard truth to accept. I was born at the beginning of one of the best of times in the United States, I am living through its collapse now. It will be just as bad as Hedges predicts. And I immediately face the tremendous helpless grief that comes with an unavoidable terminal diagnosis. This grief will be with us on the journey now, it is not something that can be dealt with and moved on. And as Adrienne Rich once put it, "There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors." And then, as with all terminal diagnoses, we roll up our sleeves and begin to deal with what has been set before us.
And yet, clueless politicians keep getting elected who will work mightily to accelerate our path toward catastrophe (ex.# 1: dirtbag trump). Do so few people have the imagination to extrapolate these heat waves intensifying, you know, like they have been for years, to the point where people start dying by the thousands, with no place to go? What do you do when the temperature continues to climb over hundreds of square miles? This looks like a natural progression to me. This process was announced to the public by Dr. James Hansen in the US Congress in 1988. I remember. Don't get me started on large scale crop failures, which are not out of the question either. In the end we seem to be merely stupid animals, and that will be our end.
The pathology of cultural suicide which led to global the climate crisis is linked to the recent Supreme Court decisions on reproductive rights for women, as well as their views on gun control.
Rational people must look upon these forces, from Pelosi to Manchin to McConell, and Shell, Chevron, and Reyethon, et al, as we would the mentally ill. I don’t even know if that tiny minority of oligarchs which are threatening our (and their) species can be held responsible. We must take responsibility and action, and stop blaming these sick fools. Isn’t that what it means to be rational?
"The result will be mass death with victims dwarfing the murderous rampages of fascism, Stalinism and Mao Zedong’s China combined."
Why leave out the millions upon millions dead from European colonialism and the genocides in the Americas Indonesia, and Africa? Why leave out the ongoing mass murder campaign of the American death cult and its statelite states in multiple countries? Also the millions attributed to Mao are from anti-communist western sources and political foes of the Great Leap Forward. Anyone who believes numbers from the CIA or their cut outs... or from the capitalists and war criminals of the west is gullible in the extreme. There were millions of deaths... however, many were caused by famine.. of course Mao was responsible for some or a lot of this, but we can never be sure just how many because of the lies and propaganda narratives of the west. I suspect Stalin's numbers are also massively inflated. Quote below from: https://mronline.org/author/josephball/
"U.S. state agencies have provided assistance to those with a negative attitude to Maoism (and communism in general) throughout the post-war period. For example, the veteran historian of Maoism Roderick MacFarquhar edited The China Quarterly in the 1960s. This magazine published allegations about massive famine deaths that have been quoted ever since. It later emerged that this journal received money from a CIA front organisation, as MacFarquhar admitted in a recent letter to The London Review of Books. (Roderick MacFarquhar states that he did not know the money was coming from the CIA while he was editing The China Quarterly.)
Those who have provided qualitative evidence, such as eyewitness accounts cited by Jasper Becker in his famous account of the period Hungry Ghosts, have not provided enough accompanying evidence to authenticate these accounts. Important documentary evidence quoted by Chang and Halliday concerning the Great Leap Forward is presented in a demonstrably misleading way.
Evidence from the Deng Xiaoping regime Mao that millions died during the Great Leap Forward is not reliable. Evidence from peasants contradicts the claim that Mao was mainly to blame for the deaths that did occur during the Great Leap Forward period."
"It is not as if we were not warned. It is not as if we lacked scientific evidence. It is not as if we could not see the steady ecological degeneration and species extinction."
Yes, but it IS as if humans don't want to give up their unnatural lifestyles and conveniences, even to save life on Earth. Human attitudes toward the natural world, along with lust for material things and unnaturally comfortable lifestyles, are the problems, not lack of knowledge or information. Humans have known since the late 19th century that unnaturally emitting massive amounts of greenhouse gases would warm the atmosphere, they just don't want to give up anything in order to do anything about it. Instead, people fantasize about a Green New Deal or other types of phony nonsense that won't fix global warming or any other environmental or ecological problems. The only thing that will fix global warming is to eliminate industrial living, because that's what's causing it.
"The ruling oligarchs will retreat to protected compounds where they will have access to services and amenities, including food, water and medical care ..."
No, the ruling class will suffer just like everyone else. They may be able to save things like food and water for a short period of time, but if the Earth becomes unlivable, they won't be able to live either. This is one of the problems when leftists attempt to analyze and comment on environmental issues. While the ruling class and other rich people are a huge problem, they're not the only problem. Anyone who has more than 2 kids and anyone who consumes more than they need -- basically, all of us in modern society -- is part of the problem too. "Voting, lobbying, petitioning, donating to environmental lobby groups, divestment campaigns and protesting to force the global ruling class to address the climate catastrophe proved no more effective than scrofula victims’ superstitious appeals to Henry VIII to cure them with a royal touch." Yes, because those aren't the solutions. The solution is to quit consuming all this stuff, starting with petroleum and petroleum products, and including beef. If people did those things, they could eliminate or virtually eliminate the ruling class as a side benefit to fixing global warming.*
"There are three mathematical models for the future: a massive die-off of perhaps 70 percent of the human population and then an uneasy stabilization; extinction of humans and most other species; an immediate and radical reconfiguration of human society to protect the biosphere. This third scenario is dependent on an immediate halt to the production and consumption of fossil fuels, converting to a plant-based diet to end the animal agriculture industry – almost as large a contributor to greenhouse gasses as the fossil fuel industry – greening the deserts and restoring rainforests."
Tropical rainforests cannot be "restored." They have been evolving for 200 million years, because the tropics don't experience ice ages. The trees and plants in tropical rainforests have been growing there for so long that the soil is depleted of nutrients, and at this point the trees and other plants grow out of each other, not out of the ground. Once you cut a portion of a tropical rainforest, it's gone forever. Natural (i.e, native) deserts, as opposed to the ones caused by humans (which began thousands of years ago in the Middle East because of killing trees and destroying forests) should not be "greened." They should be left in their natural state. Human-caused deserts, on the other hand, should be restored to whatever ecosystems they were before humans destroyed them.
"We knew for decades what harnessing a hundred million years of sunlight stored in the form of coal and petroleum would do to the climate."
In 1896, Swedish scientists Svante Arrhenius and Arvid Hogbom discovered that humans were adding CO2 to the atmosphere at a great rate, and it had been known for decades that CO2 was a greenhouse gas that trapped heat in the atmosphere. Therefore, humans have known for over 100 years about this problem (though these scientists didn't realize how bad the problem was, because humans were not emitting anywhere near the amount of greenhouse gases then that they are now).
"Civilizations, as Tainter writes, are 'fragile, impermanent things.' Collapse, he writes, 'is a recurrent feature of human societies.'"
Yes, because civilization is not the proper way to live on this planet; living in small groups as hunter-gatherers is. The last portion of Tainter's comment is inaccurate: hunter-gatherer societies don't collapse, only agricultural civilizations do.
"The global ruling class has forfeited its legitimacy and credibility. It must be replaced. This will require sustained mass civil disobedience ..."
The only "civil disobedience" that will work is a major reduction in human consumption of fossil fuels and anything directly or indirectly created from them. Hypocritical street demonstrations and even civil disobedience will not have any effect on those in power without relevant corresponding actions on the part of the protesters, and we should have learned that lesson long ago.
* To be clear, I think that it was too late years or maybe even decades ago to stop human-caused global warming, and it seems pretty obvious that we've been in a feedback loop for a while, where the results of global warming are causing more global warming. I never give up hope because we can't know for certain and you never know what might happen if you keep trying, but the realistic outlook couldn't be more grim.
The hand strangling the baby reminds me of Grover Norquest's wish to he and others:
"Who famously said he wanted to shrink government to a size where he could drown it in a bathtub."
But my wish, as well, which I am quite certain that; you Chris, Earl Shorris, Bernie Sanders, AOC, Cornel West, and particularly William Robinson would share in his forth-coming August 2022 book, "Can Global Capitalism Endure?" --- goes all the way back to the triplet of Empire's modern development:
1. Dumping 'Negative Externality Cost' on "others" in order to deceive and make massive faux-profits.
2. Employ the pyramidal scam of "Accumulation by Dispossession" to become, as we are now, "We're #1", "We're #1", "We're #1" in having the highest/worst GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY in the world.
3. And finally, to employ that massive trove of stolen Wealth to feed this: Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal Child-Killing & War-Starting EMPIRE, controlled by the ‘Ruling-Elite’, UHNWI, <0.003%ers, TCCers, arrogantly self-appointed "Masters of the Universe", and "Evil (not-so) Geniuses" [Kurt Andersen] — which hides Empire behind their totally corrupted dual-party Vichy-facade of faux-democracy.
The sum of which is this pyramid of Empire:
There has been over a century of dumping fossil fuel “Negative Externality Costs” on our planet that made trillions in faux-profits, which should be ‘clawed-Back” from those UHNWI and ruling-elites who gorged on those looted, hoarded, and unproductive phony profits.
This is now the major way that the ultra-rich and their global corporations and banks loot the entire world, which is now just one fully integrated but well camouflaged and Disguised Global Crony Capitalist EMPIRE, as Prof. Robinson first and most accurately diagnosed and described as early as he did:
“The U.S. state is a key point of condensation for pressures from dominant
groups around the world to resolve problems of global capitalism and to
secure the legitimacy of the system overall. In this regard, “U.S.”
imperialism refers to the use by transnational elites of the U.S. state
apparatus (hard & soft powers) to continue to attempt to expand,
defend, and stabilize the global capitalist system. We are witness less
to a “U.S.” imperialism per se than to a global capitalist imperialism.
We face an EMPIRE OF GLOBAL CAPITAL, headquartered, for evident
historical reasons, in Washington.”
Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity, 2014 Robinson, William
Cambridge University Press.
Chris, Earlier. In 1908 Heidegger begged humanity not to harness the energy of the sun. Once done, Feynman saw only ignorance of the deed. He said "It's over." I joined honeybees in 1977, my cries met "They sting." I made a movie of the vacant-eyed in 1982. Today they swarm, cry and buy, under my windows. Our junkie empire strikes bottom and nods. We are not change if we are chumps. ever S
I can agree with parts of this editorial! But when is the last time That You and Your government stopped an earthquake, or changed the ocean currents ,or stopped the sun rays? I do believe "never" . So I will put it to You and others, Who controls the climate? Not You or I! As I believe in Our Maker, God , it is He who controls this environment. Not Man. What man can control are His or Her emotions, for lack of a better word, and understand that it is God calling us back to Him. Not our man made ideals. I suspect that many will poke holes in My comments. To be expected. Faith is a big word!