“So today the greatest tragedy is the absence of a sense of the tragedy. The indifference of most to the Earth system’s disturbance may be attributed to a failure of reason or psychological weaknesses; but these seem inadequate to explain why we find ourselves on the edge of the abyss.
“Yet the bookshops are regularly replenished with tomes about world futures from our leading intellectuals of left and right in which the ecological crisis is barely mentioned. They write about the rise of China, clashing civilizations and machines that take over the world, composed and put forward as if climate scientists do not exist. They prognosticate about a future from which the dominant facts have been expunged, futurologists trapped in an obsolete past. It is the great silence.”
“Our cultural relationship to movement is backwards: we champion (and financially reward) sedentary occupations at banks and think tanks while scowling at physical labor. The basic message is that if you have to use your body to earn your daily bread, you’re not worth much bread.
Yet we have a biological requirement for movement that’s starving due to these sedentary positions.”
I love talks like this. Regarding the source of our current (oops, apocalyptic) predicament, she hits the nail on the head. She even has a great comparison to other imperialist species (ants). Those who believe we can machine our way out of this super-brain/super-idiot predicament should takes notes. Same with those who think that after the crash of our civilization we will magically acquire humility and cosmic balance and can simply return to Eden with storybook ideals of a rural agriculture existence completely intact.
Anyway, this is a great talk and I wish there were more like it. We will have no hope of not repeating our mistakes unless we can clearly define those mistakes. And Prof. Krall goes a long way in helping carve out that definition.
“For anyone who grew up in the Cold War, the apocalypse was a simple yes-no question: either it was coming, or it wasn’t. Many people I know who grew up before the end of the nuclear arms race describe this as oddly freeing: there was the sense that since the future might explode at any point, it was not worth the effort of planning. Climate change is species collapse by a thousand cuts. There will be no definite moment we can say that yes, today we are fucked, and yesterday we were unfucked. Instead the fuckery increases incrementally year on year, until this is the way the world ends: not with a bang, not with a bonfire, but with the slow and savage confiscation of every little thing that made you human, starting with hope.”
The “Wind and Solar Will Save Us” story is based on a long list of misunderstandings and apples to oranges comparisons. Somehow, people seem to believe that our economy of 7.5 billion people can get along with a very short list of energy supplies. This short list will not include fossil fuels. Some would exclude nuclear, as well. Without these energy types, we find ourselves with a short list of types of energy — what BP calls Hydroelectric, Geobiomass (geothermal, wood, wood waste, and other miscellaneous types; also liquid fuels from plants), Wind, and Solar.
Unfortunately, a transition to such a short list of fuels can’t really work.
“What would you say if I told you that the climate crisis already happened? That real-world ecosystem collapse takes place at different times in different places. Billions of people have already starved to death or been displaced by climate change. The future is here — it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”