[LINK] Surviving Climate Change

jore community at thoughtmaybe.com
Thu Jan 22 17:11:37 AEDT 2015

Hi there,

Some more notes for where things are going discussion wise:

On 22/01/15 11:56, Jim Birch wrote:
> The impacts of continuing along the current path are clearly disastrous.  I just can't see it wiping out the human race.

Yes it is disastrous, as we see. But the logic of the second part makes
no sense to me.

The disconnect:  90% of the large fish in the oceans are gone. This
culture did that. The last remaining old-growth forests are being
plundered this minute to serve the economy over the real world. This
culture did that. There's dioxin in every mother's breast milk. Again,
us. This culture eradicated top soil in the 1950s and ever since then,
agriculture has been running on fossil fuel which is in drawdown. That's
not redeemable. This culture's growth economy is literally killing the
world and systematically poisoning it before our very eyes. For
instance, 250 species went extinct today thanks to this culture and
these activities. What makes you think we cannot kill ourselves too? 
What makes you think that we can kill a planet and live on it too?

The second point I'd like to argue is:

On 22/01/15 11:56, Jim Birch wrote:
> Biology is all about exploitation.
No it isn't. And here's why:

>  ... look under any rock or in any ecosystem and you see warfare, uneasy truces and exploitation.
There are many problems with this. The first is, if you look under any
rock or in any ecosystem searching only for exploitation, then
exploitation is all you'll want to see and will see. Surprised?

The second is that it simply isn't true. There are many complex
relationships in a biotic community. Most built on cooperation and
mutual aid. It's what makes life possible. Do I even have to argue
this?  For example, you yourself are made up of some 70% water and
bacteria and other organisms that don't share your DNA. You yourself are
a process. Is that an "uneasy truce"? All of this is cooperating,
working together to keep you alive, to make you you.

But to go back to the central problem with this view: What about looking
under a rock and seeing it for what it is---a living biotic community?
Or, more likely, a living biotic community most likely in draw down,
most likely fighting back for it's life---the life that this very
culture is destroying?

Life essentially wants to live after all---which is why there are many
complex relationships in a biotic community. Look around for proof.
Hippos and their cleaning fish friends taking care of each others health
and wellbeing. Fungus that grows throughout a forest nurturing many of
its plant "competitors" and being a "chemical messenger" for the
community it lives in. Is that "warfare" or simply being nice to your
neighbours because that's what helps keeps you alive in the long run
(and evolution is a long run)?

See? This all falls apart when one looks at the real world without the
exploitative lens of this toxic culture. And this is precisely one of
the first things we must all do to decolonise our hearts and minds of
this nonsense---the nonsense that is killing everyone and everything.

Or, let's try it again.  A possibly better metaphor: You look under a
rock for exploitation. You (this culture) take those beings from under
their rock, away from their family, from their loved ones, away from
their natrual habitat, and put them into captivity, just so you can
study the way they behave, so you can ultimately prove your
prejudice---that it's a warzone and it's all exploitative. You inject
them with drugs to test for various things, to look for their "selfish
genes" and then plop them back under the rock, which, human impact has
altered or changed the habitat of significantly (think pesticides for
example). Do you really think that you would perceive their behaviour of
wanting to live, of fighting back in the face of what you'd done to them
as being exploitative? Whom commodified whom? Whom is really exploiting
whom? Or to make this more analogous, what if you threaten to kill them
(or more analogous yet, even began killing them on mass)? What would
their behaviour say about your behaviour?

Anyway, there's so much more to this ecology 101 lesson that many other
more qualified people will be able to do so many orders of magnitude
better than what I'm trying to do here. The main point I'm trying to get
at though is that this notion that biology is exploitation is one of the
reasons why we can kill this place. As we see.  For one thing, it's the
epitome of the capitalist mindset---one which is by definition out of
touch with physical reality. Again, as we see. And it should also then
be way too clear by now that it's this world view of domination and
control over the world that is one of the things that helps us
rationalise our destruction of the living world.

The second problem flows on from there: and that is that this entire
underlying view is a human supremacist view, a view formed and
perpetuated by this culture---a culture based on domination,
exploitation and control, which of course means it sees everything in
terms of domination and control and nothing else exists.  Nothing could
be further from the truth however, and again, it's the clever trick of
this toxic culture to have us rationalise it's destructive behaviours in
this way.

Still need more? It's baked into the rhetoric:

On 22/01/15 11:56, Jim Birch wrote:
> Species that didn't maximally exploit their environment are
> no longer with us.
No. What about the 250 species that went extinct today? Did they go
extinct because they didn't "maximally exploit their environment"? I'd
say not, but more that we killed them as they were trying to survive
while we are killing the very world we need to live because "our brains
are so big" and "we're so superior." (sarcasm)

> This is built into the DNA of us and everything else.
No it isn't. Again, what about everyone else and other beings who cooperate?

> We didn't develop big brains or cooperation or anything else to be nice
This is the classic one.  What about indigenous humans whose cultures
are *BUILT* on cooperation (not least because they would die without
it), and still exist on the planet to this day, despite the genocide and
attempted assimilation by this death culture?  Do we really need to talk
about this?   The second part is, our so-called "big brains" don't mean
we're superior. We're not.

>  or
> something we developed them to be even more successfully exploitative.
Nope. And we're back to where we started: It's this culture of humans
that are exploitative, not all humans. It's this culture that inculcates
the exploitation and rationalises it, as we see.

> ...  It isn't culture that made us exploitative,
I guess my main point is that I'm trying to argue that it is.

Anyway, taking this all the way back to the beginning, "surviving
climate change" is entirely predicated on how soon we stop this
exploitative culture from killing the planet by any means necessary.


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