This sort of thing has happened often in the history of life on earth. Humans are not anything special.
We could land softly, with a healthy stable sustainable population, without all the flames and drama and messy death, but I'm not sure humans are actually intelligent. Maybe we are some kind of proto-intelligence, but even that seems less and less likely every day now.
An intelligent species, even one with a very dim sputtering spark of intelligence, would not destroy the natural ecosystems it depends on for its own survival.
I've played around with various ideas here on DU, most recently in Kentuck's "What is Money" post.
If we must have money, I think the power of huge banks ought to be much reduced.
"New" money out to be created primarily for the benefit of "We the People" and "Old" money needs to be skimmed off the top by taxes before it grows stagnant and corrupt, buying politicians and sucking the life out of the overall economy. Inflation ought to be controlled entirely by taxes, but people who are making a minimum living wage should not be taxed at all.
An oligarchy, as we now have, is comparable to a eutrophic waters.
The eutrophication of the Potomac
River is evident from the bright green
water, caused by a dense bloom of
The so-called "science" of economics ought to be based on ecological principals. Unfortunately the economists latched onto the language of Newtonian Physics (Isaac Newton himself was warden of the Royal Mint in his later years) and fucked up the world badly. This civilization will probably not survive the distortions and misallocation of resources that are a direct consequence of these economic ideologies.
To put it simply, Mother Nature doesn't measure anything in dollars or any other currency. Most of what we humans do for "money" is destroying the natural and social environments that support us. That's why this civilization will collapse.
There is no choice. You cannot economically power electric steel, aluminum, and copper refineries, or most other modern heavy industry with wind or solar.
You cannot power your electric cars or high speed rail economically with wind or solar.
Most of us do not make enough money to power air conditioning in our homes or big box stores with wind or solar energy. Certainly not our automobiles.
I don't make enough money to buy an electric automobile or the solar panels to power it. I feel happy when I pay off a single medical debt. My credit rating is in the toilet. My credit cards were canceled years ago because I mistakingly brought my wallet to an Emergency Room. (Advice from Hunter: If you ever have to visit the E.R. throw away your wallet first. Aim for the nearest storm drain if you are bleeding or suffering chest pains. You are already in a place beyond money. Here in the U.S.A. the Fates own you once shit happens. And you will quickly learn your "good" insurance sucks.)
I'm not fond of nuclear power so that's why I'm a Luddite. My most excellent means of transportation are walking and sailing. Bicycling and horses are pretty good too, for you more modern sort of folks. I figure if I don't have shoes I'll grow calluses. It was good enough for my ancestors who ALL managed to walk or sail away from trouble and reproduce.
Humans populated the entire planet without fossil fuels. I like to think we could choose much lower energy lifestyles without abandoning the very finest fruits of our technologies. I don't tend to buy things. I pay for an internet connection, I have a trash-canned single core computer running Linux, and here I am.
We could throw away the cars, the airlines, the air conditioned big box stores, the parking lots, all the fossil fuels, our "consumer society" entirely, and keep only the good stuff like medicine, high education, arts, and world wide communication networks. That would be a better world, but I have zero expectations it will happen.
The shit storms will continue.
The rough-and-tumble of General Discussions is fine with me. No reason to "hide."
I don't think there's any way to save capitalism (whatever the hell that is) or this world economy. Politically the only thing we can do is lay the foundations on which a less energy intensive society can grow as Mother Nature disposes of this current civilization.
Humans are an innovative species that has experienced exponential population growth. It's happened before in the history of earth, and it will happen again. Some sort of stability will be achieved. If we humans can't establish a stability that suits us, Mother Nature will impose one on us, one that probably won't be to our liking with a lot of us suffering horribly and perishing young.
In ten thousand years none of this shit will matter. In a hundred thousand years earth will be as wild as it's ever been. Our "civilization" will be little more than a peculiar layer in the geological record.
I've got a vision of a radical socialist ecologically sound utopia and there's no arguing with that. It will happen or it won't. If it doesn't happen then the human population will collapse, we will revert to something resembling the cultures of our very ancient ancestors, and the world population of humans will be about what it was 20,000 years ago. Or else we will be extinct.
Tuition would be free, food and housing would be free, and it would accept students from every state and U.S. territory. It would also accept children of undocumented workers who graduate from U.S. public high schools and plan to become U.S. citizens.
Majors and certifications would be somewhat limited to subjects where there is a public need, for example primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, teachers, other professions now often open to H1-B visa workers, etc., etc.
It would be a place where students from wealthy to impoverished backgrounds, students of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds, could interact with one another and learn how to work together. Since this would be one of the goals of the university, I think it should be a single campus, to prevent geographical segregation.
Upon graduation there would be no obligation but to go out and make the world a better place.
Profile InformationName: Hunter
Current location: California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 37,954
About hunterI'm a very dangerous fellow when I don't know what I'm doing.
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