Since the Industrial Age kicked off three hundred years ago, our glorious species has been gleefully pillaging and polluting the planet with the impunity most often reserved for maladapted viruses– the kind that unknowingly kill their host, and themselves as a result of their fanatical zest for life. But before that happens, the smart virus will jump to another host with the intention of evolving a more sustainable relationship, one that doesn’t end in suicide.
So are viruses smarter than humans? Cause the test results are in, and it seems our host, this blue green planet we live on, isn’t feeling so hot at the moment. You might even say she’s pretty pissed at this point, and showing signs of flat out fury.
We stand at a precarious crossroads. The effects of industrialization have reached scientific certainty, and yet, an utterly irrational desire for growth in perpetuity has lead us headlong toward the equivalent of environmental DEFCON 1.
Destruction is imminent at this rate, albeit at a much slower and painful pace than all out nuclear war. To clarify, this is the destruction of us as a species, not Mother Earth herself . She’ll be around for millions of years after we’re all dead and buried and recycled.
And yet, all of the hubristic, mostly white males in power still lack the imagination to even consider an alternative to the current system. It’s going to be unbridled, unregulated, bottom-line thinking till the oceans boil and clouds are black with soot– great grandchildren be damned.
You’ll find two books in the anthropology isle of your local digital bookstore that breakdown the similarities of all empires in decline. “A Short History of Progress,” by Ronald Wright, sheds a bright light on the logistics of how all Golden Ages end in ash. And Joseph Tainter’s, “The Collapse of Complex Societies” is a similar page turner which will leave you dumbstruck that we know as much as we do about it all and still can’t modify our behavior.
You know the premise by now: we’ve created a system based on the impossibility of an eternal supply of natural resources. Unfortunately, there are no new land masses left to loot, or oceans to flush poison into. Everything just accumulates from here on out. But instead of even a minor adjustment to the economic game plan, we chose to dig deeper and push harder, with the singular ambition of keeping that balance sheet in the darkest black. It’s get-as-much-as-you-can-get-right-now, regardless of screeching alarm bells and super-sized hurricanes and historically harsh winters and mountains of terrifying evidence from nobel laureates. The central question currently being debated today is still, “How and when can we get more?”
Treat a friend like that, or your car, and see how far it gets you. Can’t everything around us continue to work with just a little less? What would an investment in awareness yield down the line? What are the profit margins of conservation?
Is it bleeding heart liberal to suggest not pathologically red-lining every single resource on earth that we can make a product out of? Yes it is, you commie, socialist, loser. Now shut up and pass the pick ax, drill bit, exhaust pipe. Time to take another hit.
As we look to space exploration, the last frontier, our viral-minded mentality remains perplexedly unevolved. “What planets out there will give us the most? What can we bring back and mark up to keep this poison-spewing juggernaut on earth churning?” The 2009 film, “Moon”, with Sam Rockwell, is a story about a lunar mining operation for a deep crater mineral that will help the earth solve its power problems. We’ve stripped mined and fracked the earth to death. Thank goodness the moon’s so close!
Initial analysis concerning the colonization of Mars has unironic parallels: the likely abundance of rare metals like platinum, gold, silver, as well as deuterium, or heavy hydrogen, which is five times more abundant than on earth, could be used to replace coal. Hey, awesome! There’s a whole universe out there to exploit!
Even better is the latest cosmological hypothesis which claims that there aren’t just innumerable exo-planets, and galaxies to eventually travel to and plunder, but whole other universes! A few cutting-edge physicists have postulated that our universe, all 13.8 billion observable light-years of it, is just one of many. And all of these multiverses are sitting in individual super-duper- major-massive black holes (my term) which protect them from whatever’s on the other side.These individual black holes are so big that they leave room for infinite expansion, which our universe has been doing since the Big Bang.
It’s Big Capitalism’s wet dream come true. If these renegade physicist turn out to be right, then there are innumerable super-duper–major-massive black holes holding innumerable other universes all contained in super-duper-whopper-Mothership universe.
A good visual is to imagine an infinitely large wheel of Swiss cheese. The Mothership universe is the entire wheel, and the holes within it are where all of these individual multiverses like ours sit. And more so, it’s possible that all of these black holes interlink like one-way portals to each other. It’s all connected.
And though it can’t be proved just yet, it should be enough for every near-sighted capitalist to breath a sign of relief that there are more than enough resources out there to infect with the virus of economic expansions in perpetuity.
Keep the blinders on fellas. And full speed ahead!