Global warming is speeding up faster than most people realize, because of its nonlinear components:
- A feedback loop accelerates rapidly — the bigger it gets, the faster it grows.
- A tipping point is a qualitative change that causes abrupt huge quantitative change.
Heat has begun killing our crops; soon we’ll starve. But civilization’s end won’t stop the feedback loops; continued warming will kill even the preppers.
Ecocide is an inevitable side effect of markets. Our rulers can’t see it coming, because in the past their power and wealth always protected them from the consequences of their actions. Their insanity was proved a few years ago, when the Arctic started melting. That should have been a wake-up call to ban fossil fuels. Instead our rulers hurriedly signed a treaty specifying which nations could extract fossil fuels from which parts of the Arctic. Too late, the rich will discover they can’t eat money.
Money is influence, so we have plutocracy, and only a semblance of democracy. We’ve always known that, but in 2014 Gilens and Page proved it statistically. The only way to end rule by the wealthy class is to not have a wealthy class, but that requires sharing. Indeed, any kind of trade favors the trader in the stronger bargaining position, making him stronger still, increasing inequality, creating poverty and plutocracy.
Power corrupts, as we see all around us: Bosses bully workers, guards torture prisoners, and police shoot the poor. Politicians lie to start wars, mass murder for profit. Some even talk of “winning” a nuclear war. Hierarchies, even so-called “meritocracies” and “representative democracies,” concentrate power, yielding corruption. We’d be better off with horizontal networking, caring, understanding, consensus.
Capitalism pays people according to how much they control. It pretends to pay them according to how much they produce, which may seem “fair” in some uncaring, mechanistic way. But if we cared about each other, we’d follow Marx’s formula: “from each according to ability, to each according to need,” with no connection between ability and need. Our culture of separateness is corrupting all of us, not just our rulers: Competition kills empathy, resulting in alienation, racism, sexism, random shootings. But people like community and cooperation; we should change our way of life to that.
Life as we’ve known it is ending. Being clever was not enough – we need to become wise, and create a different and better world. That begins with identifying and spreading our best ideas. Join the conversation.
2018 Aug 3, version 3.06. The print version fits on 2 sides of 1/2 sheet.