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Global Warming: Is Al Gore a Deceptacon?

By Billy | August 5, 2011

This post is the end result of feelings I felt from this article on Global Warming.

To be honest, I didn’t read it all. I didn’t even read most of it. Frankly, I don’t care whether global warming is real, fake, a deceptacon, werewolf, or Al Gore. I don’t care if it needs to be known as Global Climate Shift, and I don’t care how many parts per million I walk around in every day. These things are irrelevant and distract us from the point we would all be better served looking towards.

It should be recognized that eventually this world will get too hot. Humans won’t be the cause or solution to this, and it won’t even be a problem. We are, after all, just a rock in a galaxy in a Universe. The sun will melt the earth, and if it doesn’t, the earth can just wait until it’s sucked into the Milky Way’s black hole. In any case, we sure as hell won’t care about it, and “life will go on.” Life, here, indicating simply just the fact that Things is happening. As long as Things happens, which it always will, we can’t say, in the grandest sense, that good or bad even come into play.  In the beginning (בראשית) there is no mention of badness. Things just were, then things were different and that was good, and things were differenter and that was good, and things will change again and it will be good. I think this is a pretty solid way to look at our Universe. They just Is (and be, and Things), so I’m going to look at it as Good.   They’ll be that way without our help to think of them as good or bad.  All I mean to say is that the planet doesn’t care how hot we make it. It didn’t care when we started doing stuff, and it won’t care after we die out.

So. Getting the colder aspects of Process Theology out of the way, let’s think about something for a moment.  The destruction of a forest isn’t a “bad” thing, since the Universe is filled with explosions or creative and destructive nature every moment — an infinite array of it, too — and that’s not good or bad, it just is. However, I’m not connected to any of the stars that are already burnt out and I don’t care too much about them. I am connected emotionally to trees and forests I’ve gotten to know, and even trees and forests I haven’t gotten to know. That’s not even considering the people I’ve met and will never meet. Of course I have an appreciation for their life.

I don’t know if my fondness of the perpetuation of plant and animal life is evolved, culturally constructed, divinely imbued, or delusion — but it’s there. Not only is it there in me, but it’s so present in me that I believe it’s present in you — whoever the heck you are. I’m willing to bet you have a desire to preserve life — and that any disregard you have for another life or life-system stems from unawareness of how you are connected to it and therefore how important it is to you. Be that the case or not, it is likely more important, or at least valuable to you, to preserve life than whatever is gained from the destruction of it. It doesn’t matter why this is the case, it is just so.  You want to create, contribute to, and benefit the planet (if not the entire Universe), even if it’s only because you’ll benefit most from it.

So, this is why you shouldn’t care about Global Climate Warming Shift.

Firstly, it’s unempowering: all of us are worse and more powerful than any of us. This is the bullshit we’re made to choke and chew on and through the current mode of thought. Your ancestors, your parents, your peers, everyone but you is collectively destroying everything. But you, you are singlehandedly responsible for and powerless about just about every aspect of that. So you’ve switched to a Prius? Well the Chinese still exist, so you’re just cutting your losses now. (I’m not gona say anything about lithium mining, I swear) Not only is the monster indomitable, but it’s imperative that you fight it. “We are about to lose a battle and there’s practically nothing you alone can do about it, but if you don’t do it anyway, it’s all your fault. Now get out there and get eaten by that dragon!” I’d rather try reason with the dragon and get eaten with my dignity and self determination, than go through the motions in a battle I’ve lost heart for. Global Warming isn’t a problem you can solve alone — and the second half of this sentence is the next point I’ll make — it’s not a problem that can be solved by being afraid.

The problem that global warming gets at is perpetuated by the fear tactics of the currently mainstream environmental movement. The current story goes that we are too powerful, too fast, and too smart for our own good. We need to subdue ourselves and trap all our potential and convert it into dismantling energy so that we don’t accidentally blow ourselves up with our own awesomeness. No. Let’s get some things straight. If we do happen to be powerful enough to destroy our amazingly balanced and beautiful planet, then we’re probably awesome enough to fix the things. If our economists and politicians are wily enough to trick people into believing capitalism is sustainable, then surely they are wily enough to trick people into thinking it’s cool to create worthwhile products and share yourself with the rest of the world for the sake of the lovely human contact. I can’t believe this paragraph came out of me trying to write about the badness of fear-motivation. I actually think politicians and economists will disappear as we start to really figure things out. SO

Fear and unempowerment… It doesn’t help us to be afraid of our future or be afraid of our capabilities. The reason we started unsustainable practices is because we were afraid. We were afraid we wouldn’t make it on our own so we started stockpiling. We started doing things that weren’t necessary for the sake of a feeling of security. When we find our solution to the causes of climate shift (remember, I don’t actually care if it exists), we will realize that the solution also encompasses a solution to our fear. This is because the things that cause global warming are caused by fear. Eventually it might come down to fear of cold, hunger, or bodily harm — but eventually we will see that our current method of fear-control (industrial farming, nuclear bombs, strip mining, you choose) is attacking our symptoms not the cause of fear. Maybe we need to learn as a species that sometimes you die. Maybe that would end a lot of the murder. I don’t know about all that, but I do know that this fear-motivation has gotten us into our current “what if we kill our planet?” worry-mode, and it won’t get us out. Back to the point above, empowerment and confidence will get us out. Not only will it save us, but it will make it much more enjoyable.

Now. Everything I’ve talked about so far has appealed to a more ethereal aspect of the global warming thing. These next points are the things that got me to stop thinking about global warming, even though I had been growing more and more concerned with it. There was no slow deflation of worry, just a transfer of energy. It all started when I read about a robot that had been designed to dig through landfills. Apparently it has become cheaper to dig through mountains of human “waste” than to dig through normal mountains looking for things to put in our cell phones and computers. We’ve only been using these computer parts for a couple decades and it’s already become quite hard to find in nature. The article I read didn’t make it seem like a simple task to find — it’s cheaper to do a lot of work digging through garbage than it is to find it “conventionally.” So anyway, I started to think that maybe the world was not totally infinite (though Russia is. I’ve been thinking about travelling around in Russia and… Russia is the only thing in the universe that is Infinite, and it doesn’t have lithium or gold or coal, it just has space and cold). Go figure. The world turns out to be finite. So we have created an economy that values perpetual growth and perpetual consumption (not just consumption, but more consumption than ever before… forever) while using finite resources (space, gold, coal, water, what have you). Can you think of anything else that consumes exponentially? I can. Cancer. If they had more letters in common, I’d think of a marvelous blend of the words Capitalism and Cancer, but instead I just need to say that they have the same philosophy towards (or away from) life.

Global warming is caused by spending tomorrow on today. It is caused by a wild industry that produces wildly inferior products that nobody needs, whose price is increased because it came from half way across the galaxy and is compounded by the fact that you have to buy a new one every six and a half months. Global warming is a symptom.  Focusing on the symptom is not helping.

Fear and unempowerment have caused us to feel alone. This also goes the other way. Feeling alone has made us afraid and unempowered. This aloneness should be conquered from two directions, as well. We should stop feeling so alone, unempowered, and afraid by realizing that we are not alone, by realizing that we are powerful, and by realizing that we are, in fact, courageous. It should also be combated by doing things to put us closer to our neighbors; sometimes that involves being afraid and being without personal-power. I have never felt so alive or connected to my world (and its inhabitants) as when I have actually needed them. It was during the most hungry, cold, and shelterless days that I found the most strength… given to me by someone else!  Our solution to being needy and afraid is to simultaneously accept that we are needy and afraid, and realize that we don’t need to be needy or afraid. In every case, it’s the being OK with it all that is most vital. When you’re in need of a place to stay, some food to eat, and a dry pair of pants, you suddenly become a piece of the bigger picture. You suddenly are injected into a community, once you allow yourself to reach out into it. The herd only moves as fast as its slowest member, whether or not the people* in front want to realize it. Someone in the back will help you out, and suddenly you have enough strength to slay that dragon.

(I really want to stand on my soap box and go on about the spiral of capitalism and what we’re actually doing with our lives, and I want to go on about industrial agriculture, fake soil nutrients, strip mining, forest gardening, tractors, monoculture, green washing, and many other things I feel strongly about that are related to this, but I won’t. I really want to avoid the fear and just leave it as mostly thoughts about causes. My solutions involve dreams of building robots out of junk I find and breeding domesticated brown bears (don’t know how that will fit in to the overall plan yet… hopefully the robots and bears aren’t in the same story, but stay tuned. If you see news articles in ten years about unstoppable robot brown bears, that’s me), and I don’t think my solution is right for you. My solution involves loathing fields of wheat and corn, and not being able to justify picking weeds out of the dirt. That’s me. I don’t want you to work like me. I want you to dig through your own feelings and find what your motivations are, and I want you to discover whether you truly enjoy being motivated by them. I think a deeper examination of our motivations and goals will happen to alleviate our worry about global warming, and do so in a much more enjoyable and sustainable fashion than worrying about stuff.)

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