Friday, January 19, 2007

Response to Catastrophe: The Kumbaya Crowd

All across the Web, in various guises, you will find someone's response to Peak Oil, Global Heating, collapse, environmental destruction, everything but overpopulation perhaps, goes something like this: we all need to get together, and recognize the problem. We need everyone to get involved. The problem demands a unified response, which is __________________. Awareness and education will wake people up. If we all join hands, and sing Kumbaya together, we can make a difference and it will all be ok. As longtime readers may suspect, this is not Chaos' mantra. We will never "get together" on these issues; unity among 300 million Americans, much less 6.5 billion people worldwide, is fantasy. For a fine example of the contrast between the two approaches, check out this article and debate between Jan Lundberg, a bicycle advocate, and Dmitry Orlov, oft-quoted expert on collapse. Chaos supposes one could substitute the terms "idealism" and "realism" for the two points of view in this debate, but it is useful at this moment (or some other time, perhaps, for procrastinators) to consider on which side one falls. For the record, Chaos admires those who aspire to make a difference, but this in no way undermines the opinion that the coming issues will be insurmountable, are manifestations of overpopulation, which no one can or will do anything about, and those who attempt action are merely nibbling at the edges.

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