All the fools sail away

We bring you beautiful
We teach you sin
We can give you a piece of the universe
Or we will disappear
Never to return again

And all the fools sailed away...
– from the Dio album 'Dream Evil' (1987)

You may have noticed that I wrote recently that I am preparing for a collapse before 2020 and I wonder somehow what you made of it. The statement itself may appear confusing, even ludicrous, especially when you know me closer or followed my blogs: I'm not at all a prepper. I don't store canned food in the cellar, I don't build bunkers, I don't hide out in the mountains. When the time comes I'll just perish with the rest of the community of life, likely early on. This is not something I'm looking forward to. I didn't buy into a death cult. Life has become such a joy to me recently, but this was made possible with the emergence of the understanding only that living happens from moment to moment, with no guarantee there will ever be another. Preparing, to me, means that those moments of presence become the dominant, or the only, way of being, and that I'll be able to contribute to other people's wellbeing this way, especially when it matters most: in the end.

2020, yes, that's quite a risky prediction. It leaves very little time for coping with the bleakness of a no-future future. If I still broke my head over shallow moral issues I'd be afraid of whipping people into a – possibly unjustified – panic. But I don't, and people are denying the probability of extinction anyway, so there is no panic to be afraid of. The risk that I'm turning myself into a laughing stock is way more real, although I'm not afraid of this, either. If I were wrong, there'd be an off chance that, within the extra time, we curbed the worst consequences of our culture's destructiveness, yet it also meant the prolongation of trillionfold suffering until the time civilization had actually reached its limits. It meant that, instead of being grateful for getting to live another year, self-acclaimed skeptics could continue to spew their cynicist acid like they always used to, and yet another round of global exploitation would unfold. Doomer dude was wrong. How convenient.

2020. Few people pretend to know the schedule of future history; I certainly don't. I'll not assert I'm right while everyone else is wrong. I don't want to be right. Equally, I don't want to be wrong when I look at the ever increasing pollution of water, soil, and air, when I observe the steep decline in social coherence, social justice and social peace, when I hear the drums of war drown out all other utterances. Global debt rises exponentially; so does human population. I see boreal forests burn up, temperate forests dry out, tropical forests getting clearcut. I see record melting of ice caps at both poles, both on sea and land, sea currents changing directions, reefs bleaching, and overfished littered oceans turning acidic and deoxigenized. Temperatures soar all over the planet, breaking records, megadroughts devastating large parts of several continents. The destruction of the ecosphere, hundreds of animal mass death events per year, also hundreds of species extinctions – per day! – and all this goes on for day after day after day while politicians speak after business managers who claim that economic growth is more important than lives. This is also what most activists from the green movement promote when they are proposing ways how to make money from 'saving the world'. Shopping for good conscience we succumb to Hannah Arendt's banality of evil. We are so brainwashed, we will never even consider starting 'right now' with anything, certainly not anything that is radical in nature. At a time when everything develops 'faster than expected', lip service to concern has become the last nail in the coffin of mankind. That's why we're fracked is a done deal to me, and it doesn't really matter whether it happens tonight, or until 2020, or a couple of years later. I am talking near-term, I am talking inevitable. I am talking about mankind breaking everything including themselves, neither be willing nor able to stop the killing frenzy.

2020 is not a date to point at and say, 'You'll see!' Boy, I wish everybody would see already, though most of us never ever will. 2020 reflects my understanding that things have become so unsustainable, people have become so mentally sick, problems have become so numerous, conditions have become so dire that the breaking point seems to have arrived.

I'm flying!
Employing the well-matching shipwreck metaphor we are past the iceberg, with a capital leak in the hull through which sea water presses into numerous sections. Some of the crew who notice the damage are beginning to drill more holes into the hull – for the water to flow off again, they say. Others are trying to get the captain to slow down the ship a bit which would reduce the amount of water coming in, but the radio is blocked with gossip, and some public-relations employee is praising the insurmountable Rolls Royce engines, inviting all passengers to enjoy the phantastic convenience on board. The only valuable piece of information received is the fact that the complete emergency rescuers team has joined the plumbers, for fixing a broken toilet flusher in the King's Suite. The first mate, with the help of the purser, is plundering the safe while the staff are accusing each other of having stolen pencils from the chart table. The captain is sending a team of housecleaners around; they collect used tissues from recycle bins in each cabin to be stuffed into the fissure in the hull. Some people are still discussing where the annoying amounts of water are coming from and why it is so f***ing chilly. But most of us attribute our cold feet to a broken thermostate we believe we should fix somewhen soon. As the icy water quickly reaches our necks it is hard for me to imagine how the illusion of controlled normalcy could be upheld for much longer; certainly not until 2100. The sinking of a ship, like the decay of natural systems, is an exponential process that ends suddenly, cataclysmicly. Now you float, now you don't.

For the third class – the Third World – the race for life boats has already begun while the folks on the upper decks still discuss the weather over a glass of Martini. And don't you worry; even God couldn't sink this ship! Nevermind them building last resorts in New Zealand, underground bunkers in the Rockies, fortresses of solitude in the Arctic, seed banks in Scandinavia, and spaceships to Mars.
There is no running away from karma, though, and to be among the last of men alive will constitute the ultimate punishment for those who took it onto their shoulders to drive the boat into the berg.


kevonz1 said...

An excellent article but this Kiwi would prefer that the authors don't keep mentioning that Aotearoa N.Z. is the place to bug out to!

Avas Admin said...

Jurgen, Your vision arises from looking without prejudging what will be seen. I appreciate that. It does reduce the blow-by of hope and fear and distraction. The date is not important, as you say. The trend is important and is very hard to obfuscate when you look. Our undoing so soon is the result of discovering fossil fuels. We are having a difficult time un-discovering them.

As you I conjure that there will be survivors at least it will appear that way for quite some time, because an event
and even a series of events world wide will not effect every region in the same way. I blather on. . .

The most cogent part though is how we carry ourselves. That is the realm of preparation that awakened travelers work with. So glad to work it with you. Sorry to be coming on another email. Can't help it here at the ambulance. I continue to work on these issues also. The new book may be of help, f we are still reading in the near term.

T H Pope

pax said...

Dear kevonz1,
sorry for having invited rich bitches to your country. Next time I'll advertise Tasmania instead ;)

Dear T.H.,
the trend, right. Just came to my mind that those following the trend are trendy, those being aware of the trend are so not cool... Feeling nerdy today. Don't say you're blathering when it's me who is.
I concur that going extinct will take us some time, though likely not too long. Radiation might be a real bugger for those who'd like to eat or breathe. The only hope is that we overestimate the consequences of 400+ meltdowns. After all, there are fungi inside the Chernobyl sarcophagus. Life's resilience - so amazaing!
So yes, asking the question what all that means to each and every one of us (especially ME, hehe) is of foremost concern, and I am very glad too, that there are you, and others on the journey for whom this is not just "interesting", but fundamental.