2016-10-14

Permaculture and the Megamachine

The other day I gave a comment, saying that, with so many tipping points crossed and so many self-reinforcing feedback loops already triggered, there is not much hope mankind would survive the oncoming steep temperature increase. The reply was that the gloom-and-doom preachers just don't know how much CO2 permaculture techniques were able to sequester. There are two points I wish to address.

First of all, with all the criticism I use to direct towards scientism - the belief that science alone can define the nature and contents of reality - we all depend on the results of scientific research in order to evaluate what is about to happen. Apart from the rather anecdotal observations from our own environment scientific data is the foundation for climate discussions. One can interpret it in various ways but the figures as such are already awe-inspiring. With previously relatively conservative scientists like Peter Wadhams now pointing out that we are effectively effed, I think it is not adequate to dismiss the messenger as a doom-and-gloom fearmonger. That goes especially for McPherson whose intention is not spreading fear or defeatism. He expressly encourages people to actually live for the things or the people they love rather than continuing to trying to uphold the zombie obedience to the machine which created the mess in the first place.

Which brings me to my second point. Most of the permaculture scene, like all the rest of society, does not question the origin of the many crises this planet is currently going through. These people are still looking for technical solutions when it was technology - and the mindset of separation and control behind it - that has created those crises. Even if we solved the climate issue - which I doubt because we will not stop wanting to grow, and therefore wanting to produce stuff, and therefore using more energy, and therefore producing more heat - there still is mass unemployment, mass poverty, mass extinction, desertification, dying oceans, diminished forests, resources depletion, overpopulation, criminality, war, nuclear waste, plastic pollution, child labour, inflation, ... you name it. All of this is inherent to the thing that Mumford called the Megamachine, civilization. None of it will go away as long as the notion of separation from, and control over nature prevails, a notion which lies at the very heart of civilization. Civilization HAS to end, or the price we pay is our planet going Venus.
If there is any hope for survival of life on Earth it will not lie in doing, for it was doing that brought us here; hope lies in the collapse of belief in the ideology of control. Hope, though, is part of the collective illusion that prevents us from seeing reality as it is rather than the way we wish it to be. Awakening to the true nature of existence is a task that has to be picked up by each person individually, and it implies surrendering to the possibility of complete annihilation, without fear. Fear of death kills everything.

Grief, yes, we will grief for the loss of loved ones - butterflies, bluebirds, sequoias, relatives, friends, last not least ourselves. And it will be for the love of these that life may find a way. 

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