Brief Interlude

Yes, “By all that’s holy, think about what you do!” we cry as the ageing gas of past fires thickens with the new – smothering the living mass beneath. Once, a vast complexity of species inhaled and exhaled, creating a singular being – a terrain and its atmosphere.
Only connect. We must instantly end the burning, so that the singular being, of which humanity is but one small part, can continue to live and breathe. All the offered dispensations – sequestration, regeneration and so forth, are futile, unless first, we end the burning.
Once we have put out the fires of both life and fossilised life, then we can look around to discover how best to live inside what remains of living cycles and within dramatically shrunken energy supplies. We’ll learn from our terrains, how best to eat and excrete, live and die, sing and let sing and by our rations of soil and settlement, to make appropriate tribute in return.
First, we have a great upheaval – all that the fires have given us must end – the family car, aviation, massive shipping, suburbia, commuter culture, the super market, internet shopping, profligate manufacturing, super-human weapons of war… All those things need energy and materials beyond the capacity of a regenerating Earth.
Claims for the virtue, or vice of various farming systems; of people’s diets; of techniques for “sequestration” and “regeneration”, are all futile if they distract from the urgency of what we face. That is, abandonment of the ways we live today and rapid adoption of ways, in which both work and pleasure are walking distances from everyone’s door. Having removed the need for personal transport, we can more easily find ways to live within our means. In countries such as the UK, personal transport is by far the largest consumer of energy. In many parts of the world, it is the least. In the UK, only a hundred years ago, it was also the least. For most, it was zero. Then, manufacturing outstripped everything. Manufacturing is created by household demand. There, we have two simple lessons. Most say, it’s an impossible and inappropriate lesson. If they are right, then they must accept the mass extinction of nearly all the species, among which, our own has evolved. That means our own extinction. This is not far off. It has already begun. I think that even seventy-year olds, such a as myself, will live to see great tragedies unfold. It is too late for a planned transition. Every year, since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, CO.2 emissions have continued to rise – dipping slightly in recession – shadowing the expansions of GDPs and GWP. Today, they are over 60% higher than in 1992. Very soon, they will double. Anyone who looks to governments and corporations to find solutions, is plainly crazy. The household holds all the cards.

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2 Responses to Brief Interlude

  1. “Anyone who looks to governments and corporations to find solutions, is plainly crazy. The household holds all the cards.”

    Really? I agree with the first sentence, but I question the second. ‘Holding all the cards’ implies a degree of power that most householders (mortgage-holders?) do not feel. Maybe you’re saying they have that power without knowing it?

    I can’t help but think of the grip of the financial system on people’s everyday lives. We live under a system of empire, where surplus from each level is extracted upwards. Breaking free from that, retaining some of the surplus for the common, is extremely difficult.


    • bryncocyn says:

      Ah – by household I meant family and all the roads leading from it, such as ancestral and parental guidance. It is the heart of the maintenance of resources and of proper social behaviour. I considered household – its rationing of fair shares – as the true economic pattern, which could be replicated in macrocosm and yet remains inured from the ephemera of the times surrounding it. That some cannot afford to rent a house, while others have many houses accumulating value, cannot sully the idea of a family home – and of universal right to have one. There is almost nothing, which I consider right in the current system of empire. I say to householders, when making moral decisions, why do you so often defer to the amoral provisions of that empire and its education system? Would you behave that way at home and among friends? Instead, why not behave that way – by your filial codes, when out and about in wider society?

      As for property, monopoly, enclosure, usury, profit… that is precisely the world we must somehow shrug off to replace it with the values of home. Is that not anarchism in a nutshell?

      Perhaps, I should have been more careful with the use of the word, but still, as you know, good house-keeping is the heart of economics – linguistically, philosophically and practically!


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