Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse (Grauniad content)

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  • Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse (Grauniad content)
  • IHN
    Member

    And this ∆ , people, is why we’re ****.

    All too often, rebellion that threatens the status quo is stifled, no matter how damaging or corrupt that status quo may be…

    CountZero
    Member

    Great article, thanks. Getting rid of the Tories would be a start.

    No, it wouldn’t. Getting rid of Trump and the Republicans would be a start, they’re systematically dismantling every positive ecological development that’s been introduced in America over the last decade or more, selling off public land for oil and coal, in highly sensitive environments. They’re actively encouraging the expansion of coal-fired power plants, discouraging the expansion of solar power generation, all on a scale far greater than anything our tiny little island could match.
    Then there’s the global loss of forests, which is exacerbating CO2 growth, as well as being an environmental disaster from the loss of habitats.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Great article, thanks. Getting rid of the Tories would be a start.

    No, it wouldn’t.

    Count you misunderstand a start, it has to start somewhere in the UK it can start there, it’s what we can do, the US can start it’s thing – we can’t directly but we can through pressure and shame. We could deal with the UK government and it’s rubbish decision to freeze fuel duty and inability to punish car ownership, or it’s lack of support for big nuclear generation. Successive Uk governments have dodged the tough questions on energy security and supply, they knew this day was coming and they knew that a serious decision or 2 10 years back would have made the UK a very different place. Sat through a futures plan of the NW energy coast around cumbria, it would have transformed that areas economically and environmentally but no action was forthcoming.

    My primary hope is that human technology hasn’t got good enough to keep us alive by the time the environment is well and truly ******.

    Hopefully, some less complex species will manage to stay alive. Maybe their descendants will make better custodians than we are.

    finephilly
    Member

    @ stumpyjon did you know 97% of aluminum cans are recycled material? It is economic to recycle ALU in the UK due to the transport and refinery costs (we have no smelters or bauxite mines).

    Govt is there to provide public services, right? in this way, they can subsidise plastic recycling and promote reuse.

    Reduce, reuse and recycle is the mantra. Don’t give up all hope just because you accidentally put a staple in the paper bin.
    Start a project at work, bring a bag scheme.

    Precious plastic is an open source recycling/ reuse platform – check it out…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    (we have no smelters

    Shit best tell the lads in Fort William the bad news when did that happen 😉

    finephilly
    Member

    OK. I was wrong about the smelters! see the bit about staples though. I think we should focus on the overall ecology rather than petty details like ‘oh you made a mistake there’ I’d rather be recycling and doing something for the planet and making mistakes than watching it happen and saying oh shit when my house gets flooded or average temps hit 30 degree’s.

    Premier Icon jaminb
    Subscriber

    i heard something on the radio yesterday that went something like “it is better for millions of people to do a bit (for the environment) than have a few that are perfect”.

    I have to say that the protesters and Hammersmith Bridge falling down have been far more effective than the congestion charge at improving my cycle into London yesterday and today.

    kayla1
    Member

    Reduce, reuse and recycle is the mantra.

    I totally agree but trying to get someone who is aspirational and has been sold the idea that more is better to believe it is difficult.

    Punishing car ownership and use is a good idea to start with, that might force more cars off the road and slow the manufacture of new ones.

    So we cut down, work less, manufacture less, earn less but we’re buying less. What do we do when the amount of money we can earn is no longer enough to cover the bills? People are feeling squeezed now but still have to find the rent/mortgage/bills money each week.

    What about social housing groups? Run locally and worked by the people who live in them instead of subcontracting it out to companies with shareholders. I’d work one day a week if it covered the rent on a basic, liveable house.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    OK. I was wrong about the smelters! see the bit about staples though. I think we should focus on the overall ecology rather than petty details like ‘oh you made a mistake there’

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-47143459

    The reason I know is that there is a new project on at the moment that will be producing wheels from the smelter up there, it should deliver a significant energy saving over current production methods.

    lapdog
    Member

    I know I will get flamed for this but I think JP has a point. Humans are obsessed with stories of upcoming apocalypses. It goes right back into our earliest mythologies and religions and crops up throughout our history. Either real – the plague, world wars, or imagined – the last judgement, the coming ice age (predicted in the 1970s), nuclear holocaust, Y2K…..Or look at the enjoyment we get at the endless stories and movies about coming apocalyptic destruction (normally starting in New York). We love talking up and imagining the absolute worst.

    Humans are incredibly adaptable. I predict chaos this century but I also reckon we will work our way out of it. A bit like every century previously. Whether it’s through technology or a major catastrophe that wipes out lots of us to allow a new start or who knows? Humans will survive. The only certainty is change.

    I am not saying we should be complacent though. We should fight as hard as we can against it but I suspect there’s little we can realistically do. The fight will help form the emerging world. It’s not the end of the world though it will just be a different world we end up with in the future.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I’ll bring this one back again

    , nuclear holocaust, Y2K…..Or look at the enjoyment we get at the endless stories and movies about coming apocalyptic destruction (normally starting in New York). We love talking up and imagining the absolute worst.

    Given thos 2 were man made take a look at how much work went into averting them, how much effort was directed into preventing them causing harm.

    Humans are incredibly adaptable. I predict chaos this century but I also reckon we will work our way out of it. A bit like every century previously.

    lapdog, I’m not here to ‘flame’ anyone. But would like to engage in debate.

    It’s certainly comforting to imagine that we are ‘working our way out’, as evidenced (?) by ‘every century previously’. Yet try as I might I cannot remember reading of previous century where we were experiencing mass (anthropogenic) extinction of plants and animals — ie

    the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years. We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

    You say:

    , nuclear holocaust, Y2K…..Or look at the enjoyment we get at the endless stories and movies about coming apocalyptic destruction (normally starting in New York). We love talking up and imagining the absolute worSt

    Really? Seems to me that we also find false comfort in homes and cinemas by simultaneously scaring and reassuring ourselves with filmic schlock-horror parables. Parables that more often part-hair as they pass over heads. Yes, they are ‘it’s-only-a-movie-monsters’ – yet still we aren’t really connected to the reality of what is happening now? Burning orang-u-tans for our biscuit enjoyment is not a crowd-puller for movie dorectors, at least not nearing the same scale as those never-ending filmic masterpieces such as ‘Mr Fantastical Always Saves Everything In The End. Redux #27’

    Forget discussing the importance of plants, and that we have just now lost 68% of medicinally evaluated plants to extinction. I can partially understand finding comfort in escapism, but it seems an art is being made of it. We in the ‘developed world’ most often live in a bubble, ie from windscreen to tv screen to phone screen to computer screen and back. A closed circle.

    We get glimpses of (say) deforestation and pollution on the odd documentary or news-clip. Then it’s back to the fantasy-fest of fictional drama and partisan prattle. We think we can sign a petition to solve it, but woe betide us giving up our biscuits or making loose leaf tea instead of using nylon bags. What are we, eco-nuts??! Uncivilized? What’s a few rainforests? Whhy do we need amphibians, mosses, insects, weeds and (let’s face it, other primates) anyway?

    Or maybe, if the majority of ‘disaster’ movies we watched were on-the-ground documentaries chronicling the actual destruction of the living world rather than escapist fantasy then maybe we would be in a better position to work it out. Even then I think by now we are too detached for it to mean much.

    Mary Shelley (I am convinced)’ when writing the novel that I’ve long considered to be the ‘perfect parable’could never have foreseen it being quite so fantastically dumbed-down. Could not have foreseen it being made for movies, to be stripped of the message yet (in a move beyond all irony) pulped entirely into a ‘post-modern Prometheus’. An unintentional anti-sequel to her genius parable. A what?

    A plastic mask of an empty man, now merchandised for decades and still sold in millions along with countless plastic-pumpkins etc, all manufactured in the world’s most toxic sweatshops. As the real seasons are in chaos, our now abstract seasonal festivals are marked with mass-production, rapid mass-consumption and immediate waste of mostly plastics, petroleum and palm oil. We are disastrously disconnected.

    So how do we ‘work our way out’ of this one? Any ideas? Maybe begin with some (or one) of your examples from a previous century? Do you have one?

    avdave2
    Member

    I can only see technology answering the CO2 issue. I cannot believe that enough of us haves will reduce our energy consumption by anywhere near enough and I cannot see the have nots moderating their own aspirations by anywhere near enough.

    Whether that technology can be developed and put into action quickly enough is an unknown but it at least has however slim a small chance of success.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Whether that technology can be developed and put into action quickly enough is an unknown but it at least has however slim a small chance of success.

    Most of it is here already, we can generate huge amounts of energy without mass CO2, we can build transit systems on electric (again generate with low CO2) problem is that is expensive and sometimes unpopular.

    Most of it is here already, we can generate huge amounts of energy without mass CO2, we can build transit systems on electric (again generate with low CO2) problem is that is expensive and sometimes unpopular.

    It’s going to take till what, 2040 to complete HS2 because….NIMBYs and planning etc. By which time we will be 10 years away from the date set in the Paris accord. China would do it inside 5 years, my old man saw them tunnel straight through a hill/mountain and bridge a valley in a matter of days.

    I don’t hold up any hope for us getting our act together with a clean integrated transport system. We don’t have the guts to make the hard and unpopular decisions that need to be taken.

    Considering how slow we are. mitigating climate change now without impacting everyone’s living standards is like planning for no deal brexit tomorrow.

    Considering how slow we are. mitigating climate change now without impacting everyone’s living standards is like planning for no deal brexit tomorrow.

    Indeed, the general consensus seems to be we are past the point of reversing the damage and can now only prevent new damage, but only if we are quick.

    I’m not sure that we should be using the Chinese as an example of getting things done quickly though, they generally do it at the expense of the environment.

    I’m not sure that we should be using the Chinese as an example of getting things done quickly though, they generally do it at the expense of the environment.

    Yes, but you can be sure that if they decide to make their entire transport system run on clean electricity – it will be done practically overnight.

    Where as we need to be planning 100 years ahead it would seem. Good luck doing that in a democracy that votes in a new parliament that is dominated by short termism, every 5 years!

    doris5000
    Member

    I assume you would all be the same sort of nutters who were building bunkers in the 70s and 80s, or preparing for the end of days in the medieval period.

    …….

    Before you start heckling me,

    Classic!

    Don’t heckle me, you simpleton ****! It wouldn’t be fair! 😆

    Yes, but you can be sure that if they decide to make their entire transport system run on clean electricity – it will be done practically overnight.

    Historyy would suggest otherwise. It may be done overnight. They may power it with electricity but it won’t be clean. It will either use the dirtiest (I.e. cheapest) coal they can find, or by burning garbage and e-waste they import from elsewhere, in factories with zero emission controls and workers with no PPE. They are able to do things quickly and cheaply precisely because they don’t have the kind of regulations that prevent damage to people and the environment.

    It’s a bit like the argument that it will destroy our economy if we have to do things in an environmentally friendly fashion. It may do short term harm to the economy but doing nothing will surely destroy it.

    They are able to do things quickly and cheaply precisely because they don’t have the kind of regulations that prevent damage to people and the environment

    There is a huge difference between global environmental damage and uprooting some villagers and wrecking a few tributaries etc.

    If regulation starts to impede on the ability to respond to global impacts then what is the point?

    As I said, hard decisions need to made quickly and so you have just highlighted my point.

    There is a huge difference between global environmental damage and uprooting some villagers and wrecking a few tributaries etc.

    You are joking, I hope?
    The difference is basically time. That sort of thing is what got us here. What does it matter if you block a river or plant a few trees where there used to be a gorilla habitat? you start doing the damage right away and when everyone does it for 50 or 100 years you have done the kind of irreversible global environmental damage we see now.

    The point of regulation is to adopt best practises so that one solution doesnt merely do damage in a different way or a different place.

    Good decisions need to be made in a considered fashion. More haste, less speed.

    Premier Icon neil the wheel
    Subscriber

    Evolution is smarter than we are. This is my only long-term hope for the world.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    sorry missed this, so did one here https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/the-extinction-rebellion-actions-in-london-and-worldwide/

    what can you do?

    on a personal basis (I’m assuming that educating girls and empowering women doesn’t apply to readers here)
    * plant based diet, be strict about food waste
    * stop flying
    * join and work with a group pushing for political/society wide change

    pretty much everything else on a personal level is just frippery, don’t kid yourself that recycling beer cans will stop it. it’s a global and (inter)national level problem.

    lapdog
    Member

    Malvern rider I am not pretending to have any answers of course. I do believe humans seem to revel In apocalyptic disaster scenarios though. It’s not just movies – that was only an example. Most religions have it – Christianity has the end of days, Judaism and Islam have similar. Look at the late art of Michaelangelo, Bosch, Goya….These are not escapist ideas but deeply embedded in the psyche of people in the past.

    Previous centuries have certainly had apocalyptic times when it seemed like the world was coming to an end – the various pandemics are the best example – the Black Death killed 75 million in Europe alone. Then there are the wars. In terms of ecological devastation we have it as well. My home country New Zealand was devastated by mass burn offs across vast tracts of the country prior and post colonialism which made a lot of the fauna extinct (Moas being the best known example). There are no lessons from this for today’s world other than we are still here.

    What’s happening at the moment is horrific – the plight of orangatuns, rhinos and elephants from poachers, etc, etc. the destruction of the rainforest and subsequent reduction of eco diversity is hugely concerning for the future. We must battle against this of course.

    All I say is humans are adaptable and will survive. Technology is breathtaking as well – DNA manipulation, the possibilities of resurrecting extinct species, the elimination of disease (smallpox for example), etc. who knows what our future holds. It will be different but the world will survive. I don’t think it will necessarily be totally dystopian either but we will see.

    You are joking, I hope?
    The difference is basically time. That sort of thing is what got us here. What does it matter if you block a river or plant a few trees where there used to be a gorilla habitat? you start doing the damage right away and when everyone does it for 50 or 100 years you have done the kind of irreversible global environmental damage we see now.

    The point of regulation is to adopt best practises so that one solution doesnt merely do damage in a different way or a different place.

    Good decisions need to be made in a considered fashion. More haste, less speed.

    Disagree. For one, there aren’t that many globally important species in the UK in the same way that a mountain gorilla is and considering how utterly different the UK is to it’s preindustrial state – very few species that couldn’t weather a rapid expansion of public transport. The world needs to be developed in places that are already ecologically ****, like the UK and people need to migrate out if relatively undamaged areas so they stay wild. It is for example, utterly pointless to build a massive rail infrastructure in the DRC when these people could live in the developed north in urban environments.

    Secondly, the carbon footprint makes ecological issues in the UK pale in comparison. Thirdly, we certainly don’t have to be taking every nimby villagers opinion into account.

    At the end of the day, if we really want to contribute to lowering carbon footprint – the UK needs to find a way of building HS2 sized carbon neutral transport projects in 5 to 10 years instead of 25.

    I don’t know where to start. You do know that environmental concerns extend past simply carbon? And that there is so much interconnectedness that you can’t just look at the UK in isolation?
    Bees, for instance, may not be globally important but they are disappearing everywhere, including the UK, and without then there won’t be much food to eat, because they are the main pollination vector.
    And those villagers are often doing farming in a pretty environmental way and are often displaced to grow palm oil to meet the UK’s, among others demand, which just destroys native habitats.
    Not to mention the fact that rainforests are really good at removing carbon from the atmosphere, which slows artic ice melt, which postpones the point at which the UK ends up half under water.

    There’s a reason they say think globally, act locally.

    Trains don’t do too much to effect the bees do they? That’s habitat destruction for agriculture, pesticides and leechables. But you knew that yeah?

    The idea that the world should be creating islands for humans in areas that are already ecologically pretty ****, is not new. The UK should be one of those islands/prisons/mental institutions for humans.

    Trains don’t do too much to effect the bees do they? That’s habitat destruction for agriculture

    The bees was an e.g. but you knew that, yeah?

    If you build the train where there was agriculture, the train will affect the bees. But you knew that.

    Some people might say the UK is already well on its way to a prison/mental institution…

    kayla1
    Member

    The UK should be one of those islands/prisons/mental institutions for humans.

    You could make the case that it’s already happened; just a look around at all the twatty cars on tick being driven bumper-to-bumper to 40 hour a week jobs in order to keep up the payments on them, the vape shops (vaping FFS! WTF?! There’s a **** brilliant use of resources, eh?) popping up like weeds in high streets, zombies shuffling about staring at their phones waiting for ‘likes’ to appear, trees being cut down in order to build retail parks. It’s ****, properly ****.

    CountZero
    Member

    So the clear answer is to shut down clean public transport systems in a city that already has pretty strict controls on what vehicular traffic is allowed in, then?
    Stroke of genius, that. #rollseyes

    Some people might say the UK is already well on its way to a prison/mental institution…

    That’s why I propose turning it into a giant version of Hong Kong. London from here to the Scottish border – sensible people can live north of the border but we’ll make the masses think that it’s like **** Game of Thrones north of the wall. Rebuild hadrians wall on a grander scale and depopulate and deindustrialise the developing world through mass immigration, start a transport building program that makes the Manhattan Project look quaint and piss off all the gammons as well! We can attract everyone by giving away free apartments in wall to wall 300 story high rises, free iphones and 70 quid a week in benefits.

    Those of us who like the vast outdoors get passports, the others – who like nuuuu shiny iphonez get locked on the island.

    Maybe we can nuke the stupid **** from orbit as well.

    kayla1
    Member

    Maybe we can nuke the stupid **** from orbit as well.

    It is, as the poet said, the only way to be sure.

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