Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In Search of Accurate Information

Over the years I have learned not to trust the professional information-mongers. The corporate media, for example, reflects the interests of their nihilistic corporate masters, for whom destruction of the planet is merely business as usual. Even people on “our side,” such as professional environmentalists or environmental organizations, give slanted or incomplete information.

Let’s consider three of my favorite eco-dudes: James Howard Kunstler concentrates on peak oil and the financial meltdown, while downplaying global warming. Bill McKibben addresses global warming, but downplays its inevitable impact. Al Gore promotes the conversion of the American energy infrastructure to renewable energy with low CO2 output, while ignoring the glaringly obvious fact that American culture is utterly incapable of making it happen. In all three cases, they have built a career around the information they are promoting. Going beyond their self-imposed information boundaries would prove irrelevant -- and in fact destructive -- to their careers.

Even scientists tend to be very conservative in their projections for the future. Nobody wants to be too far out in front, and risk being saddled with the title, “Doctor Doom.” So they tend to hold back, remaining safely within the herd. But scientists are reality-oriented at heart, and are capable of revising their hypotheses as new data come in. This is why their newest projections have the total Arctic melt-off happening sooner than predicted only a couple of years ago. And next year’s predictions will reveal a situation even more dire, and so on.

Regarding the environmental crisis in general, I find the website Common Dreams (www.commondreams.org) covers it all. I’m particularly interested in the comments to each article. People who post comments on Common Dreams are left-leaning (moreso than Daily Kos), and not shy about expressing their opinions. These people have no writing careers to protect, so they don’t have to edit what they say. They just blurt it out, nasty and raw. Their prognosis? We’re screwed. Which is exactly what I said in my post, “The End of the Biosphere as We Knew It.”

When attempting to predict the future, we most commonly take present trends and project them into the future. This is accurate to the extent that we have good information about present realities, and becomes less reliable the farther into the future we go. But we can also assume a future event (for example, the massive Methane Fart which has already begun) and work backwards. Working both forwards and backwards can give us a more accurate fix on what to expect.

What we can expect is the rapidly-approaching denouement of what can be called the Tragedy of Civilization. According to this hypothesis, we took the wrong fork in the road 10,000 or more years ago. Theoretically, at least, we could have utilized our new, enhanced intelligence capabilities and followed what could be called the Path of Magic, where we would live within the Kingdom of Heaven, where moth and rust don’t corrupt, where like the lilies of the field we neither sow nor reap. In other words, to become cutting-edge, shamanic hunter-gatherers.

Instead, we took the Path of Civilization, with its emphasis on agriculture, technology, and war, all of which are based on the illusion that the ego is separate from Reality. This, by the way, is the true meaning of Satan. Satan, as you recall, is the dude who fancied himself God’s equal, and got cast out of Heaven for his presumption. He now lives in Hell, poor guy. All this kind of stuff is symbolic of the everyday reality we humans find ourselves in. God and Satan, Heaven and Hell, sin and redemption, are all right here, right now. Except that the religionists, as one would expect, have gotten it all wrong... either subtly wrong, or spectacularly wrong, depending on the religionist.

This blog is starting to get interesting... at least to me. At this rate, will I ever write that orcharding article?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mister Gordon..

Thank you so much for putting your thoughts to print.... Your perspective is multifaceted and delightfully thought provoking.

Keep up the good work!


6:36 PM  

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