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Thu Jun 26, 2014, 04:58 AM

Sustainability is destroying the Earth

"Green jobs. Green products. The sustainable economy. No. Thereís no such thing. The whole of the global economy is unsustainable. The economy runs on the destruction of the natural world. The Earth is treated as nothing but fuel for economic growth. They call it natural resources. And a few people choosing to remove themselves from this economy makes no difference. For as long as this economy exists, there will be no sustainability.

For as long as any of these structures exist: electricity, mains water, global economy, industrial agriculture Ė there can be no sustainability. To achieve true sustainability, these structures need to be dismantled.

Whatís more important to you Ė to sustain a comfortable lifestyle for a little longer, or the continuation of life on Earth, for the natural communities who remain, and for future generations?
...
I know what I want. I want to live in a world that is becoming ever more alive. A world regenerating from the destruction, where every year there are more fish, birds, trees and diversity than the year before. A world where I can breathe the air, drink from the rivers and eat from the land. A world where humans live in community with all of life.

Industrial technology is not sustainable. The global economy is not sustainable. Valuing the Earth only as a resource for humans to exploit is not sustainable. Civilization is not sustainable. If civilization collapsed today, it would still be 400 years before human existence on the planet becomes truly sustainable. So if itís genuine sustainability you want, then dismantle civilization today, and keep working at regenerating the Earth for 400 years. This is about how long itís taken to create the destructive structures we live within today, so of course it will take at least that long to replace these structures with alternatives that benefit all of life on Earth, not just the wealthy minority. It wonít happen instantly, but thatís no reason not to start."

http://deepgreenresistancenewyork.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/sustainability-is-destroying-the-earth/

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Sustainability is destroying the Earth (Original post)
ellenrr Jun 2014 OP
postulater Jun 2014 #1
liberal N proud Jun 2014 #2
GliderGuider Jun 2014 #11
DetlefK Jun 2014 #3
defacto7 Jun 2014 #7
DetlefK Jun 2014 #8
defacto7 Jun 2014 #12
muriel_volestrangler Jun 2014 #9
GliderGuider Jun 2014 #10
Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2014 #4
A Little Weird Jun 2014 #5
defacto7 Jun 2014 #6

Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 05:26 AM

1. K, read later.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 05:51 AM

2. Ending consumption is impossible

So sustainability is about finding less destructive ways of producing for the consumption.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 12:43 PM

11. You can't call that approach "sustainability"

 

Last edited Fri Jun 27, 2014, 04:26 PM - Edit history (1)

It's just unsustainable over a slightly longer time frame.

"Sustainable" in this context means the ability to continue doing what we're doing indefinitely (i.e. forever), while not introducing any systemic risk to the web of life we are part of, and upon which we are absolutely dependent.

Anything short of that isn't "sustainability", it's self-delusion.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 06:06 AM

3. What exactly are we supposed to "start"? Does the author have an idea what he demands?

The author is railing against a fake "sustainability". This means, he is railing against such things as recycling, wind-power, solar, hydrogen, fusion-research... This whole shift from "evil" to "less evil" is to be replaced by a complete reorganization of human civilization into a form that can sustain either less population or a significantly lower level of comfort.

What exactly are we, as normal people, as a tiny fraction of 7 billion people, supposed to do to start a historic cataclysm?

Are we supposed to denounce energy-saving technologies, quit our jobs that use up so much electricity, leave our apartments that were built with unsustainably produced cement and dead trees, and move to the countryside to start a new life, one with nature, in an agrarian society?

Are 7 billion people supposed to do that?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 12:37 AM

7. "What exactly are we supposed to "start"?"

Without sarcasm... Start anything and everything that makes you feel we are reclaiming the planet to make it better for the future. It's all about an ideology of survival. Even if there's no value, we just do it anyway.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 03:59 AM

8. It's not "anything".

He explicitly condemns steps that help the environment AND support the current industrial-economic model.

Energy-saving light-bulbs?
Nope, they are made in a factory.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #8)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 04:31 PM

12. Understood,

but I am expanding or diverting from the OP. I do not see any step to stem the tide of destruction as a realistic answer but as a placebo. We should work hard for progress as if it matters and also take aspirin as needed.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 06:19 AM

9. No, I think the author wants people to attack the industrial infrastructure

to bring down industrial civilisation. The idea is to prevent anyone from having industries that can mine, build dams, solar panels, turbines, electricity and communications grids, powered vehicles, and so on. They are all dangerous, to the author, and must not be allowed.

The author(s?) think the chaos this would produce is a price that has to be paid for the sake of the planet. They seem to think that once industrial civilisation has been destroyed, no-one would want to start it again - or that they and their successors would be able to organise to prevent it.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #9)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 11:48 AM

10. Good critique, bad proposal

 

The DGR and other anti-civ folks have a very good critique of the causes of our predicament. They clearly understand the role of civilization, politics and technology in creating the problems we now face. What they do not have is anything resembling a practical general response. IMO that failure is because there simply isn't a practical response that would give us the desired outcome, whether it's their desired outcome or anyone else's.

The same objection applies to proposals from the technocrats, the spiritual transformationists, the social justice activists, the political gradualists and all the other groups. People hate thinking that they (we) are in an inextricable bind. That discomfort gives rise to all sorts of magical thinking about possible responses.

The adult thing to do would be to face the facts and accept that there is no good general solution, that the only practical responses are at the personal/small community level. An adult would prepare themselves to be as psychologically flexible as possible, in order to deal with all the unexpected shit that the world will be throwing at us over the next few decades.

Unfortunately, there aren't many adults in this world. Most people prefer to cling to any possible "solution", no matter how outlandish, rather than face the fact that we've unintentionally but irreversibly fucked the biosphere and our own species into the bargain.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 06:47 AM

4. First world claptrap...

...and another illustration of the silliness of the Internet: the more extreme the position, the more attention it gets, and so positions get more extreme because vanity is the driving force behind most human action. See Ecclesiastes.
Which explains the increasing polarization of politics too. At some point I suppose there'll be a check on the spread of idiotic nonsense like this, but I suppose it'll take a while until it jumps the shark, as they say, for most people.
In the meantime I suppose you can walk around saying "We're doomed!" or something.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 07:22 AM

5. I wonder how many people he thinks will sign on to his movement?

I'm guessing not many.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 12:28 AM

6. The author is both right and wrong.

From my vantage point the assessment of our global infrastructure is on the mark, the assessment of sustainability is also within realistic bounds. It's also important to make necessary changes to "everything" if we want to survive as a species or even have a viable planet. The error is not in the assessment or the attitude, where it fails is in a reality that no one wants to face or admit; the proposed answer to the dilemma will never happen. The human race or civilization as we know it has reached a point where failure is imminent.

After a point probably in the 18th century or maybe in ancient times depending on your take, we were destined to die out and humanity will do that sooner than later. With our best efforts we can extend that demise to a point or maybe not. This is not to say we give up and die, that is not my point. We as a species fight to live and that is part of our evolution but it is also what makes us more redundant as an earth organism. We fight too much, we take and do not give back. Our brain probably developed too quickly for some catastrophic reason and we have never evolved to fit the scheme of successful animals. With the size of the population, the extremes in ideology, technology that is beyond our ability to control, inability to be part of the whole, and no global will to survive that trumps momentary greed, we do not have the ability to be more than a blip in global time.

The ocean is where life began and the ocean will reclaim us because of our shortsightedness. The ocean will destroy us just as it wiped out 99.999% of all life forms at least 5 times in earth's history through chemical changes. We have accelerated its normal meter and all we can hope and work for is an extension. But that hope and work is more an ideological attempt to apologize than realistic hope for revitalization of a planet that is virtually trashed to hell.

If this is too much to take, it's understandable. We are compelled to feel by left brain evolution that our human existence is eternal and for some that is a good way to find peace and to stay the course. But for those of us that want to see ourselves for what we really are and the planet for what it really is in the cosmos, this less than hopeful scenario is necessarily our lost game.

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