When craziness is too much

When craziness is too much

Sometimes the craziness is too much, it blows your synapses away. You are left in a bucket of incredulity.

Cop this quote from the former Australian PM Tony Abbott reported by SBS online from a summit in Hungary trying to explain the real threat to the existence of his kind…

“It seems to me that it is not so much our failure to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but our failure to produce children that is the extinction reality against which we really need to work against”

Tony Abbott, Former Australian Prime Minister

Let’s just pause a moment.

This blatant click-baiting is trying to trick us that even though Australia failed to reduce emissions, that’s not the biggest problem. That accolade goes to our inability to produce enough white people.

Seriously, enough white people. You are kidding, right?

At first, I thought that I should write the obvious rebuttal that we are already reproducing 8,000 people per hour. An hourly net increase into the grand diaspora of the world, and it should matter little what tribes they come from. There are more than enough people to go around and satisfy every neoliberals wet dream.

Only when we last looked, the distribution of people and resources is uneven across the world. This means that some places will be crowded and run out of resources. And when the population growth rate is high, crowded places will become difficult to live in and people will want to leave to find a better opportunity. Emigration is inevitable and these people have to go somewhere.

Do you want to live in these crowded places? No, neither does Tony.

But then I thought again.

This kind of craziness is too common compared to the proportion of people who might actually believe the nonsense.

Here is a fascinating graphic from Statista chart of the day

What it says is that less than 1 in 20 people actually deny the existence of climate change in most developed countries. A party representing this minority would never win an election and yet the rhetoric from the deniers remains powerful in the social mix.

This is what Abbot and his cronies bank on.

They know their opinions are not shared by most but that is not what matters. Influence is the game and, no matter there are kids on strike and a 16 year old girl calling out the UN, these noisy minorities are good at it.

It turns out I can’t push the incredulity aside. It is gut-wrenching because these people are incorrigible.

What I have to learn is that numbers are not enough.

Did the Daleks really mean it — Do we?

Did the Daleks really mean it — Do we?

“Exterminate! Exterminate!”

So shrieks the violent, merciless and pitiless cyborg aliens that Terry Nation invented to populate the Dr Who television universe. These complete metal-clad gits demand total conformity as they seek conquest of the universe and the extermination of what they see as inferior races… just like the Nazis.

Engineered by Davros to have nothing but hate in their souls, the Dalek is the archetype villain that can only be stopped through destruction. Be or be killed. Throw all that anger and disgust toward the source of hostility and exterminate them or they must destroy you. No half measures.

Jeff Sapprow thinks that our current global environmental crisis embodied by warming and biodiversity loss is an ‘extermination event’ and claims that the people killing nature know what they are doing.

Here are just two snippets from his piece in the Guardian.

In 1988 George HW Bush promised on the campaign trail to fight climate change. “I am an environmentalist,” he declared. “Those who think we are powerless to do anything about the greenhouse effect are forgetting about the White House effect.”

Jeff Sparrow

HW wasn’t an environmentalist and the White House? Well, it is just a residence with ineffectual tenants. No matter than some were well-meaning.

“In 1997 the world’s leaders signed the Kyoto protocol, with Bill Clinton declaring “a commitment from our generation to act in the interests of future generations”. More emissions have been released since that agreement than in all of previous history.”

Jeff Sparrow

Yes, in all previous history.

The last twenty years have seen us all burn, belch and clear to release more greenhouse gas than the combined efforts of all the people gone before. The Daleks would have nodded if they could.

That we have done this with intent, along with the habitat conversion, pollution and resource depletion that goes with it, is a bold call. Did we do it to exterminate and control the universe or just to make a buck and fuck?

The evidence is that we have not been blind. The warming and the loss we have known about since the 1950’s making ignorance a poor excuse. If we knew what was happening, then we knew what we were doing.

Obviously we knew (know) that we were (are) pillaging but our intent was (is) probably personal.

We each want a better life for ourselves and, maybe at a push, for our children. Better means more food, a bigger house, bolder cars and streaming services. Those in less blessed places just want some food and a bicycle. Either way, it is personal motivation, not exactly global domination at the expense of the weak and inferior that guides our behaviours.

However, it is bold to say that our intent is to exterminate.

The Dalek caricature strips back any mediating emotions to leave hate as the primary source of power for raw hate is blind and ruthless.

Surely we have some mitigating emotions within us. There is a kernel of goodness in there. We connect, love and live amongst each other most of the time. That you can dial 000 and get help remains quite remarkable evidence that we are not all bad.

Indeed, when my tooth broke this week and my wife booked a dental appointment for the next day from her phone at the beach it was awesome. Then when the treatment was super high-tech and the dentist first-class fixing the tooth within 24 hours I knew I was both fortunate but also grateful.

So I do not believe it is an extermination event, even though it looks like one.

Humans are not pitiless cyborgs but we are easily led by the stupid, ignorant and morally corrupt. The result might be the same.

I’ll leave with a reminder from Jeff Sparrow’s piece of how fine the line is between the two motivations.

“How petty, how small, how childish do those politicians with the temerity to attack Greta Thunberg look! She speaks for science, idealism and hope; they embody an ignorance or cynicism so deep as to constitute depravity.”

Jeff Sparrow