Monday, May 31, 2010

We've Really Done it This Time

The idea being propagated in some quarters of the mainstream media to nuke the leak in The Gulf of Mexico, if comments at The Oil Drum can be taken as authoritative, is tinged with the stuff of fantasy if not downright madness. In the meantime, this catastrophe is fast surpassing all other man made disasters in anyone's memory. Early on, I mused that this event might ultimately bring down The Obama Administration. Well, forget them, this event might set the ball rolling to bring down our entire civilization and more. Broadly speaking, man and animal kind, and the ecosystems that are essential to our collective well being, not to mention the planet's, will likely be suffering mightily from the effects of this horror for a very long time.


Debra said...

I looked at the link, and read down through part of the comments.
Stuff like this is interesting.
"We" had a big discussion on naked capitalism on the nature of belief in science... (that's MY title for the post, not Yves', by the way...)
I think that I can fairly say that the Gulf situation is a case of... "this has never happened before" (unlike currency bustouts, as it turns out...), so that NOBODY, like NOBODY knows what to do to fix it.
As an animal, people, tree, rock, simply Earth lover, I wish that we would kick our collective addiction to oil and natural gas, and think that we are going to have to because...1) it is running out 2) as a "tool", it has wreaked serious havoc on our beings 3) we are going to destroy the earth to extract the last drop, something the equivalent of fouling your nest. (Animals don't foul their nests, I think... where do you GO once you have fouled your nest ? You take off for another nest to foul ? We are LIGHT YEARS away from being able to do that right now...)
The shrill, adamant DEMAND that our "leaders" take control of the situation FROM ALL QUARTERS, liberal, Republican, whatever, are evidence to me of just how far the American people have ALREADY traveled down the road to totalitarianism.
At this point... we can only have faith in the ability of a few well placed people to do all in their power to stop this tragedy.
Wherever they may be, with BP, with the government, with Sandia Labs, etc.
Would a bomb work ? I don't know. NOBODY KNOWS, at this point.
Our collective ego can not tolerate such.... UNCERTAINTY, huh ?
THAT'S what amazes me, Edwardo.
Our...stifling desire to be taken care of...
Excuse me while I get my bicycle ready to do my bi weekly market... This afternoon I will hop on public transport to go into town, too...

Toby said...

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. OK, BP are trying different ideas to plug the leak, but the methodology of consuming everything our planet has to offer without paying anything like sufficient attention to sustainability is madness, or at least a flaw in our collective 'nature' when it comes to long term thinking. We have needed to 'go green' since the 70s, but have been totally incapable of realising our addiction to the controlling influence of money as ultimate arbiter is causing terrible harm. Money has always been a mere abstraction of value, not a store, and that is where the penny has got to drop. We should not be sweating about the financial costs of our endeavours, but about the environmental and societal costs and benefits. Money has to take second or third place to those far healthier priorities, but how? Where is the debate?

Unless we get this leak plugged, then debate deeply how such idiocy as unsustainable consumption and perpetual growth economics can remain unquestioned in the main stream -- and change direction dramatically -- we are risking self-destruction. The GOM disaster remains a potential extinction level event, and yet BP are managing the whole affair as a PR problem, trying to keep their stock high! To dwell on this is to become enraged. My hope is that the catastrophe wakes us up sufficiently, and in combination with the financial crisis, forces us to take a new look at how we humans do business on the planet that supports us.

Anonymous said...

It looked like even Yves Smith was endorsing the nuke final solution.

It looks like there is no real solution, but to just give up on sanity itself and say let's start nuking things really would take things to a new level of craziness.

And what's next to nuke - an unruly volcano? Economically useless and worthless populations? That's really not much more crazy once you embark upon the initial premise.

I think this system is by now, if not literally insane, highly mentally unstable.

I don't know if that's actually better, since it might render a faster self-destruction more likely, or worse, since who knows how much damage it'll do in its death throes.

Debra said...

I have been plugging Jacques Barzun's "From Dawn to Decadence, 500 years of Cultural History in the West" as a really great read by someone who is a humanist/generalist, and a great historian of ideas.
Where we're at ? This is what decadence looks like, guys.
We may not be running around, like Caligula, getting fellated by newborns, but then maybe even Calligula is rather tame next to our predatory capitalism mindset...

Edwardo said...

Toby, I hear that definition used quite a bit, and it fits well enough for neurotic behaviors, but not so well for psychotic ones, at least with respect to how I understand the different ways one can be less than fully sane. Be that as it may, as much as I agree with most of your response, I believe your premise that:

"BP are trying different ideas to plug the leak"

is mistaken. BP does not want to do what is necessary to cap the oil volcano-calling it a leak is a widely used misnomer that we have unfortunately and somewhat unconsciously been lulled into using-for obvious reasons. There is, in my view, and this will require a lot more ink to be spilled, something deeply sinister about this entire episode.

To wit:

Once again we are in the position of having to accept that incompetence and/or venality are the proximate causes of this catastrophe, but somehow, just as in the case of 9/11, where it was incompetence and apathy that were said to have allowed that debacle to occur, that line just doesn't smell right.

If i didn't know better, and, frankly, I don't, I would imagine that this disaster, which does have the capacity to be an ELE, is designed to effect a very sudden shift in how our nation functions such that what remains of our civil society and Republican government gets tossed for something quite nasty.
The urban myth FEMA camps may turn out not to be a myth after all.

And speaking of FEMA, It's funny, or not so funny, that we have not heard word one from the infamous FEMA, but I am beginning to wonder if they will re- emerge with a vengeance sometime between now and the end of Hurricane season as part of a massive and none to gentle "relocation" of people who inhabit The Gulf Coast states.

Obama, bought and paid for coward that he is, has allowed the "government" to collude with
BP in their profit at all costs mode. That's the benign-if you can call that benign- explanation for the Don Corleone "How did things get so bad" predicament we find ourselves in.

A less benign narrative will have to be pieced together if we start to see people getting roughly "herded" in large numbers.

Debra said...

Edwardo, I don't know what shrinks in the U.S. consider to be madness, but then again, three years ago in the U.S. my little bro was walking around pointing out ANY quixotic behavior of ANYone on the streets to his kids as... NOT NORMAL.
Worrying about WHICH label to stick on this behavior is a smokescreen..
Most people have the rather mistaken idea that being neurotic makes you... less crazy than being psychotic.
This is an unfortunate assumption, because... being neurotic just makes you crazy in a DIFFERENT way than the psychotics.
If people bothered reading Sigmund they would realize that the neurotic/psychotic labels are not an excuse for Manichean stereotyping à la "neurotic = good, psychotic = bad...That's... reductionist pseudo scientific thought. Which seems to be rather... widespread in the U.S. these days, while we're at it.
In this emergency, the government, at least, seems to be acting like governments always tend to act (remember, for future reference that I am an anarchist...) in situations of emergency. (This, by the way, is one of the reasons why I do NOT idolize "the rules" as though they were a golden calf.)
Government is naturally about social control.
I think that the idolatry of money and profits has made it quite simply difficult for many of us to... IMAGINE that something besides money and profits EXISTS.
Like... widespread denial.
This is really sad.
But, I keep stubbornly insisting that scientific materialism has convinced us that sentiment is for suckers (or at least we are not supposed to do business while allowing our feelings to show).
And the effects of this are showing up.. in the attitudes, perhaps, of the BP management, and government officials, but ALSO in our own interpretations of what's going on in this tragedy.

Edwardo said...

Normal? What's normal. "Mental illness" exists on a continuum, or at least it does by my runes. Neurosis can be quite severe or relatively mild. Mild psychosis? Not so much I would've thought. Labeling everything is the province of the DSM which was foisted on the mental health industry by the insurance industry the last I checked.

Debra said...

Now... one of these times I am going to do a post on labeling, over at Toby's.
Labeling is part of classification.
Look where that started in our civilization.
And guess what ?
Name calling is labeling, too...
Can't escape the effects of language.

Edwardo said...

I like my labels to have all their ingredients listed on the back with accurate amounts as to fat, sugar content, calories, and sodium.

Debra said...

Ah, Edwardo... you never told me you were a closet encyclopedist at heart.
Take heart. There is LIFE after encyclopedism.
And maybe even.. a CURE for it...

Edwardo said...

I was kidding.

Debra said...

i was too....