The Epic Human Journey: Part 2, Summer

Here comes the 1000-year dark age

Who’s to blame?

ROY LICHTENSTEIN

Our planet is currently heating up fifty times faster than it has at any point during human civilization. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs doubles its profits and ExxonMobil’s CEO, Rex Tillerson, goes home smiling with a 15% raise – pulling in $40.2 million.

As sea levels rise and the Arctic permafrost begins to bubble, Tillerson announces that ExxonMobil is doubling the acreage it is currently exploring. Shale oil bonanzas are appearing everywhere and Australia’s Arckaringa Basin has $20-trillion worth of recoverable crude reserves – more than Alberta’s tar sands.

As the hunt for more oil and gas escalates, thousands of scientists around the world including dozens of Nobel winners warn us that if we continue doing business as usual, the Earth will experience temperature changes that humanity as we know it simply cannot endure.

Yet despite the math, the evidence, the common sense, most our intellectual elites are still calmly sipping their lattes … reports of record temperatures, unprecedented flooding and forest fires pop up almost daily, but these narratives are somehow disconnected from the larger story of planet Earth in peril. Distracted by fiscal crises, the growth imperative and maintaining power, our Obamas, Harpers, Camerons, Putins and Rudds pass no urgent climate legislation … Big Oil prevails by paying off legislators and funding disinformation campaigns whenever their business model is threatened.

Meanwhile the Federal Reserve keeps pumping $85-billion of stimulus a month into the financial system to keep the capitalist corpse twitching.

It’s a crazy do or die moment we’re living through and the big bang at the end of it may well shock us all.

Remember when unexpected blips started popping up on Wall Street in 2010? The Dow Jones plummeted 600 points only to recover twenty minutes later. It happened again in 2012 when 150 stocks spiraled 10 percent in seconds. And last April 23 the Dow suddenly lost 130 points in two seconds. What triggers these blips? An oil spill? A natural disaster? A rogue algorithm? An errant tweet? A hacker?

Could the mother of all blips be just around the corner? One fine day – maybe tomorrow morning – will this human experiment of ours on planet Earth spiral into the abyss and stay there for a thousand years…?

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Anonymous

blip... blip... blip... bliiiiiip
Awesome article. I find the idea of financial heart failure alluring (and quite possible).
Yet I fear for something else: a painfully slow convalescence, a decaying system that trashes the environment during hundreds of years to the point that high tech own by monopolies are the only path available for human survival. Far from a bad sic-fi film, this is a very likely scenario if you take into consideration current investments in water desalinization plants.
On a different topic take a look at this: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/07/10/2275611/federal-judge-authorizes-chevrons-sweeping-subpoena-of-activists-internet-data/
To sum it up, a judge approved the email data collection by Chevron of thousands of activists in Ecuador. This is huge and very important to digital activists all over the world. On one side, metadata is not being controlled by government security agencies, or even by private security agencies, now companies are getting direct access to internet data as well. On the other side, the only defense possible at the moment rests with the data of some americans involved in the collection (as americans they are covered by the fourth amendment and therefore the collection is anti constitutional... at least in theory). That is bad since internet is an international phenomenon and privacy rights should be considered a basic human right.
Finally this is a wake up call to all the digital activists all over the world: just like the palantir orb used by the wizard Saruman the White in TLOTR, when we look into the screen, evil is looking back at us.

anonymous

there are signs of progress everywhere too, don't know about the states but in europe the switchover to renewables is happening at an amazing speed, at an energy conference last week a speaker who'd just been visiting the government in khazakhstan with the british prime minister said they've got a great interest in going green despite sitting on enormous natural gas reserves and are asking the british gov for help with this.

Anonymized

There was a recent understanding that significant oil reserves were discovered in California. Enough to alleviate the dependence on other reserves. Other than that, market levels appear to be peaking again. Maybe they'll crash. And there may be considerable fallout from whichever political crisis or natural disaster is heading on its way down the corridors of the future.

Anonymous

I accidently stumbled into adbusters cuz I Wikied levi's wich led to converse wich led to ...erything happens for a reason

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