Spin Doctor has always dealt with the controversial aspects of life, especially this past year.
Time to crank it up even more.
Here’s a piece on growth, nature, and the future of intelligent, sophisticated, technologically-driven life. It’s not a conclusive piece, and comes at odds with previous (and future) Spin Doctor positions, but the aim is to explore the issues at hand from all angles, contradictions notwithstanding.
Expediting A Process
Nature. I’m in favor of the preservation of nature because, as far as we know, it’s unique in the universe. Earth, as it stands, with its forests and trees, oxygen atmosphere and potable water, and its millions of life forms and the ozone layer that shields us from solar radiation – all this makes Earth a miracle.
Still, I contemplate a world where humanity exists without nature as we know it. It’s possible, and in the making.
One look at the rate of global development, the projected population growth, the anticipated global warming repercussions, the use of water reserves and timber, the mass extinction of life — they all point to an irreversible process, a route down overconsumption, depletion, and desaturation.
If such is the case, if this is what the future holds for us, we need to brace for it. Consider the necessities and prepare accordingly. Plan for a post-nature world.
It’s not so bad when you think about it. Not when you really think about it.
So let’s think about it. What will happen if we keep growing to the point where nature wilts away? Lots of bad stuff in the first few thousands of years (hundreds of thousands of years?) during which time the term ‘hell on earth’ will be appropriate. Polluted waters, little oxygen, hostile climates, and all kinds of volatility. No harmony, no balance, and plenty of parasitism. No beauty and plenty of rot, stink and putrefaction.
Nature will resurface and the planet will regenerate itself, as it does after every environmental catastrophe
But that will set the stage for a regeneration. Acting like compost to a resurgent soil – tonic to a hideous soup – the rot will ferment, mature and become potent, generating new life. Nature will resurface and the planet will recover, as it does after every environmental catastrophe, no matter how total it seems to be at the time.
This is the way of nature, and always will be, until the sun goes out for good, at which time life on earth will either cease to exist once and for all, or will be so different to today’s, it’s meaningless to contemplate it.
What is equally meaningless is worrying about the end of days before the sun goes out. And so’s worrying about nature for the sake of nature. People claim we must ‘save’ the planet, but that’s silly, a smartypants way of acting conceited and self-important. Nature doesn’t need our help to survive. We’re inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.
In fact, it’s we who need IT. We rely on the planet for life as we know it …
So when we say ‘save the planet,’ what we mean is ‘Save Our Selves.’
The Truth Behind Environmental Catastrophe
We need to save ourselves, not the planet.
How? We need to be careful. In order to preserve nature in a way that sustains life on earth – in a way that sustains us in turn – a mindful and deliberate conservation is in order.
But that’s unlikely to happen, since we’re most likely to grow mindlessly (see coming article on how this may be necessary – consider the notion of ‘catharsis-cum-replenishment’). And since life as we know it seems to have reached its limit, setting the stage for extraordinary change i.e. for life as we DON’T yet know it, here’s an idea: let’s burn through nature’s resources as fast as we can, as deliberately as we can, expediting the procedure.
In other words, let’s go nuts, throwing caution to the wind. We might as well live our lives to the fullest rather than scrounge our way through time. Who the hell wants to save a morsel of energy here and a scrap of nature there so we can live a few years extra, expending minute fractions of our resources each day to be able to say that we got to live one more miserable hour? Let’s not live like hibernating monks. Let’s turn the engines on and go out with a blast.
This way we’ll have a good time doing so, ripping through the present, consuming every last unsustainable shred of it to approach the future faster; so that we may get some sense knocked into us earlier, during which time we’ll find a way to change our ‘growth’ paradigm.
Yes, there’s method to the madness, after all. This isn’t an all-out surrender, or a screw-it-let’s-die scenario. It’s a tactical move, designed to strong-arm us into the future.
Fact of the matter is, what we’ve been doing thus far isn’t working. Clamping down on ourselves, pretending to be saving our precious resources, it sounds good and noble, but we’re kicking the can down the road. It prolongs our pain and misery. The only way to bring about lasting change is to set everything on fire and lay everything to ash, out of which a new forest will grow.
In other words, since change doesn’t come without necessity, necessity must be enforced.
When All Is Said And Done
The strategy is tricky. It might work, it might not. We might end up with nothing other than a huge burnout. We may poison ourselves and die.
‘Quality over quantity.’Better have fewer years with full potential, with the chance to set ourselves up for something better, than many years crawling on the floor of our existence…
But in times like these I remember the adage, ‘Quality over quantity.’ Better have fewer years with full potential, with the chance to set ourselves up for something better, than many years crawling on the floor of our existence, sucking on the dregs of a leftover paradigm, desperate to preserve a way of life once lofty and promising, now pathetic, droll and unfulfilling.
If our all-or-nothing, all-out strategy doesn’t work, we’ll perish in a magnificent blaze, and that will be the end of it. We’ll have tried, at least, going out on our own terms, not like monk lepers under siege.
Or, and here’s the kicker: We may survive after all. We may linger on, in a post-apocalyptic Earth, adapting to a new New World, a nature-less world, one where life as we know it doesn’t exist, and where all the rules have been rewritten. We’ll start from true zero, with an epoch to our (offspring’s/offshoot’s/successors’) disposal.
Better that than living a life as we know it at a miserable level, measuring every move, scrounging our way through, looking at the future through a glass ceiling, gawking but not touching, desiring but never attaining, tightening that belt. We’re better than that, able to risk it and have a chance. The bacteria can adapt to almost everything, they’ve been around for eons, and so could we, if we stopped fearing the end. Nothing great ever started with, I’m scared. We’re extraordinary creatures, almost supernatural in our ability to manipulate our surroundings. Our capacity has reached epic proportions. We’re developing artificial intelligence and cyborg life, game-changing interfaces and circuits. Our technology operates on ontological levels, and the material it’s made of, the stuff of the future, is the stuff of the post-apocalypse. It doesn’t subscribe to current parameters, doesn’t need nature as biology does. Nature, like it or not, may have to go, so that the next branch of evolution can grow to its full potential.
It’s a staggering thought.
From your socratic Spin Doctor,
Eyes open, mind sharp.