Neil is a friend who goes back a number of years. We agree on a number of things but disagree on others.
That makes for an interesting exchange of views.
Neil sees himself as a liberterian. I am all for freedom but also want a social order where the powerful are held in check.
My response to Neil’s Rant – Part 1
Bloody hell Neil!! Fifteen thousand words is a book!
I shall do my best to respond to things as they come up.
Straight away we hit this major crisis that you brush off as a global conspiracy. Global warming. How you can think this is a conspiracy is beyond me. Why? What is the ulterior motive for all these diverse governments wanting to do this? What do they gain?
I can clearly see why the oil, gas, fracking, cement and steel industries might want to buy off bent scientists. They make big big money out of pollution. But all the governments around the world??? They hate each other. They couldn’t conspire if they wanted to.
You glibly brush over the devastating effects of global warming. That’s easy to do when living in a temperate country. We have our floods, heatwaves, droughts and, like this year, messed up weather, but we don’t get the full impact. For us it’s an inconvenience. We don’t get the massive floods like Pakistan, China and Bangladesh, the huge forest fires like Greece, Australia, California and Portugal. We don’t get terrible droughts like South Africa, Ethiopia, Texas and Spain. We haven’t had unbearable temperatures like they are getting in Africa, the Middle East and now in Europe. But that does not mean we aren’t going to be badly affected.
As more areas become uninhabitable due to arid conditions there will be mass migration. Millions, perhaps billions, will no longer be able to live in these extremes. They will either move or die. We are already suffering from an influx of immigrants. This is the thin end of the wedge. Who can blame them.
Food prices will soar. Crops will fail. We, as a planet, will not be able to feed a population of eight billion.
With the melting ice and warming seas we can expect more extreme weather, higher winds, storms and a substantial rise in sea levels. As most major cities are at sea level this will mean catastrophic flooding and billions spent on flood defences. New Orleans is testimony to what happens when that fails.
This is without consideration of the massive impact on nature and the delicate ecosystems already stretched due to the impact of human beings.
I know you always put people first Neil and take nature for granted but, as a biologist, I can tell you that it is not as simple as that. We are part of that ecosystem. Our food, oxygen and the chemistry of our own bodies depends on a delicate interaction of millions of species. Soil, on which our crops depend, is a living interaction of millions of organisms from bacteria, fungi, thrips, insects, nematodes and worms. Pollination is dependent on insects. Our health depends on the commensal and symbiotic organisms that inhabit our bodies. What we eat and how we interact with the world affects that balance. We are only beginning to understand how it works. Gut bacteria can affect your mood, your thinking and your health. They live on what we eat. We cannot live apart from nature.
And that is quite apart from the joy of interacting with wild life.
We already live in a vastly impoverished world. Our ancestors lived in a far richer world. We have the rump of nature; of what was. The teeming herds, flocks and shoals have gone. We have the vestiges.
I move on.
You make the point that mankind seeks to ‘make its mark’. That is certainly not the case. We are hunter/gatherers. All humans were hunter/gatherers. There is hardly any evidence of the hunter/gatherer societies that filled the planet. That is because they did not seek to leave any mark. They lived in some kind of harmony with nature (even though they wantonly and stupidly hunted all the mega fauna to extinction). Black Elk talked of walking through the landscape without leaving so much as a footprint and castigated the whiteman for wanting to make everything that lives crawl.
It was with the advent of farming, ‘civilisation’, huge populations, cities and nations, that we started having powerful leaders, politics and religions, and narcissistic power which made individuals want to ’leave their mark’.
That’s an aberration.
As for politics; we might be on a slightly similar wavelength, but with vastly different reasoning.
I agree, the world is run for a powerful elite for their own benefit. We are given the least they can get away with without provoking a revolt. The system was set up by the rich for the rich. Politicians are bought and sold. Profit for the wealthy is all that matters. They deal with megabucks; we get the crumbs. They do not care about the impact of what they do on people, nations, or the planet; as long as it makes them very rich.
That means most (not all) politicians are crooks, in it for themselves. They seek power and wealth. They are bought off and controlled by the wealthy.
However, this is where I think we digress.
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but your solution is to devolve into small autonomous communities, each controlling itself.
My solution is much more global. I want complete scrutiny and accountability. I want the bank accounts and all communications open to scrutiny. I want the elite and politicians held accountable.
You always claim not to have exterminated any species and that you are innocent. That is not true. We are all guilty. What we have with species destruction and global warming is an incremental damage. Your defence does not hold.
If a fatal dose of a poison is a million moles and one million people all deliver 1 mole so that the person dies, it is no good all those million people all claiming innocence.
By living we impact on the environment. By using power, eating and moving about we add to the destruction around us. Of course, some individuals have far greater impact than others.
Under your system there would be no accountability for the international organisations, nations and individuals who are presently plundering, exploiting and killing with impunity. We’re beset by wars, tyrannies, massive pollution and environmental degradation. These greedy, power-mad nutcases require controlling and being brought to justice.
War, exploitation, tyranny, pollution, crime and poverty have no national boundaries. If we retreat into our own communities we leave them to do what they like. They are bad enough now; with no controls they would be beyond all levels of bad.
The only way of dealing with this is a fully accountable, fully scrutinised global government.
And yes, I can see all the dangers involved with that, but……