Did you see this article when it was circling about the other day? “Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’?” It’s a pretty grim outlook, and is clearly the trajectory that we are on. From that, “These factors can lead to collapse when they converge to generate two crucial social features: “the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity”; and “the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or “Commoners”) [poor]” These social phenomena have played “a central role in the character or in the process of the collapse,” in all such cases over “the last five thousand years.”
“Commoners” and “Elites”? Well, yes. It certainly seems we’re quite a way down that path. It has a kind of teen dystopian novel feel to it, doesn’t it? Is it strange that I’m okay with the collapse of civilization? I’m kind of over it. We do too much damage. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there was a race of aliens watching us destroy our planet and plotting how to wipe us all out before we kill the planet. More power to them. I am over us.
So I say, as I sit in my heated home in front of my computer. Really, though, I’d rather be saying poems around a fire than broadcasting them via some binary magic I don’t even begin to care to understand, and I’d rather put my efforts into the work of survival, gentle survival, in step with the Earth, than continue to be so complicit in its demise.
Realistically, though, I’m very happy where we are, with all our trappings, so what I can do is vow to take measures to ensure our family consumes less of the world’s resources, and support candidates and policies that continue to address income inequality, and hope that we make it another couple centuries.
I do get weary of it, though, civilization. That reminds me of this Mary Oliver poem,”The Old Poets of China”. “Wherever I am, the world comes after me / It offers me its busyness. / It does not believe / that I do not want it. / Now I understand / why the old poets of China went so far / into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist”.
I totally want to creep into the pale mist too.
Collapse can be avoided. Not with splints and prescriptions,
but with an urgent and pulsing return to the roots of our sharing.
It will be a long way back.
We will have to stop all our carrying and dig much smaller holes. We will need to adopt a doctrine of honey and fresh water. It will take sore feet and strong backs, the sore voices of the artists and farmers of nations all calling for the same thing,
the giving of our blood to the earth, which only seems fair, now.
A shortie tonight. It just is. I’m truly frustrated with the formatting on wordpress too. There must be a way to turn off the double space, but I don’t know what it is. Meh. The collapse of civilization. What do you think? How long have we got? Happy Monday!