12 November 2018

Creatures of the binge

So the carbon binge has two phases, coal and oil.  (Which is not to say we've stopped using coal, but to say we've stopped using it for maritime propulsion.  Strait control, commerce, control of trade, yargle yargle.)

The coal phase started sometime in the eighteenth century; if you want to stick it to the first run of the The Rocket or some other date, you can, but the core point here is that we're looking at a couple hundred years; eight generations.  Everyone alive in the North Atlantic economic network, that network, its culture and its institutions and its implementing mechanisms, are if not uniformly than universally creatures of the binge.

This is going to end.  How it ends is (somewhat, a little) optional.  That it shall end is in no way optional; we are in an historical lacuna.

We're not going to keep much of anything.  Keeping "reliable food" -- not the social reality of reliable food, already deeply frayed, but the material possibility of reliable food -- is going to be a lot of work.

In a lot of ways, the great political problem of our age is to get widespread acknowledgement that we're going to have to pick a future, and work for it.  We don't have the option of keeping anybody's status quo.  An awareness of this has leaked into everybody's understanding, but is not acknowledged; it's all still lurking in the land of unsaid things.

"My social status is unknown" is unbearable; note that nigh-all of the political movements doing destructive horrible things function to create social status out of nothing and to be highly reassuring about the fixed nature of the social status of the participants in the movement.

It'd be a thing to get a conscious effort going to produce a reliable source of post-Carbon-Binge social status that doesn't rest on oppression.

1 comment:

JReynolds said...

Sometimes I like to think that on the (first) year that global famine deaths hit 100,000,000 because of general agricultural failure, people like Doug Ford and other pro-carbon shills will be tried for crimes against humanity. Or simply lined up against a wall and shot.

But I don't hold much hope for that. Besides, by then it won't do any good.