The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be
Living Through a Time of Cosmic Changes
Why did you decide to be here now – living at the nexus point of galactic changes, in a planet-spanning technological civilization of competitive tribes and nations struggling to share Earth’s common wealth? Why did you decide to appear at the midnight of one epoch and the morning of another, when everything our species knows is hanging in the balance? Did you want to be in on the biggest party the planet has known, or did you come here to witness the birth throes of a newly transformed Humanity on a thoroughly altered Earth?
If we can learn to occupy our rightful place in the web of life without usurping the seats of others, we can become the wise governors of the planetary kingdoms and phyla that we have always longed to be. We haven’t quite destroyed the ecosystem yet; nonetheless, we’re all in for a wild roller coaster ride on a ghost train without safety belts, and with perforated airbags filled with CO2, formaldehyde and sulphur. Everything we’ve known is changing fast and catastrophic change is approaching.
Global warming is but an overture in a symphony of cosmic cycles which will culminate in the impending endgame of the current age, when the fat lady known as Mother Nature will sing a new anthem in the new dawn’s wan light. The same stars shine upon us all, and we all live inside the atmosphere of the Sun. Earth is a gyroscope spinning within the gyroscopic field of Sol’s system, and the vast electric sphere of the solar orb is the main driving force behind all the current and impending alterations in our planet’s climate, magnetic field, geological integrity - and all the habits humankind has developed to survive the past twelve millennia. The entire Holocene has been but a short hollow scene between the overarching acts of great glaciations – a brief bright candlelit moment of warmth sandwiched inside the long slow cold times fore and aft, when merciless icebergs will crush our temperate civilized ships of state.
This warm interglacial period that has sustained and nurtured us for more than ten thousand years is drawing to a close; this is the real issue facing our self-centred species, and all other considerations will soon be inexorably drawn into the wake of this unprecedented threat to our survival. We have been born into a time of changes so extreme that everything modern civilization has experienced thus far will soon seem like a cakewalk by comparison. Our current milieu of financial catastrophes, corporate greed and political ineptitude will be viewed with strangely nostalgic hindsight in coming decades. We’re experiencing the dawn of a new epoch as a disarmingly slow motion film of a monumental train wreck – with enough time to examine and pore over every detail of a massive collision of overpopulation, misdirected technology, willful ignorance and cosmic cycles as the dangerous curves all meet at a fateful nexus.
We live on the fragile crust of a spinning time-bomb and no imaginary bearded father figure is going to save us – but we have the tools to save ourselves, if we recognise the multiple threats bearing down on our children and change direction while we have a few moments of precious preparation time. The titanic inertia of our global civilization can still be directed away from the approaching iceberg, if we stop merely rearranging toxic light bulbs and recognise what each of us really has to do.
A list of the current and coming changes reads like apocalyptic science fiction and the implications are so overwhelming that many will simply turn away in disbelief, while others will shrug their shoulders and avoid the real issues entirely while getting on with busyness. Some will prefer to leave the problems for their children to deal with. What will you do when you wake to the truth? Will you remove the screens from your own eyes, before removing your brother’s sunglasses?
Everything we citizens of free modern societies (or gangster-run dynastic kleptocracies, to call them by a more accurate title) take for granted will soon come to an end. Corporate clowns won’t solve anything by juggling fictitious carbon between themselves – carbon credits are viewed by the owners of dark satanic mills as just another way to turn a profit out of continuing to pollute the planet. We need to understand that the changes we face are far vaster than such marginal deckchair tinkering can possibly deal with. We need to regulate and enforce the industrial Ancient Mariners out of existence while we build a brave new sustainable vessel whose broad decks are filled with interconnected ecological lifeboats. There are plenty of jobs in the alternative route to survival, and the present course will lead to no work - or workers - at all.
The storm on the horizon is not confined to this planet. The solar system is changing – Mars and Jupiter are showing signs of planetary warming and the heliosphere (the Sun’s envelope of charged plasma which encompasses the planets) is shrinking at an apparently unprecedented rate.
The invisible waves our solar system is cruising through are growing choppy and the swell is rising. The sunspot cycle has shifted, refusing to conform to the cycles humans have painstakingly recorded for thousands of years. The Earth’s magnetic field is weakening; new magnetic poles are forming in totally new locations as our entire solar system makes rendezvous with the galactic plane. You don’t have to believe this on faith – take a look at the research yourself if you like; there’s plenty of truth out there for the seeker to find, in reputable scientific journals and online repositories.
Global warming may be partially attributed to changes in the Sun’s field and its attendant effects but the Sun is part of even larger gyroscopic systems. The impending reversal of the Earth’s geomagnetic poles is a result of our solar system’s periodic intersection with the ecliptic of the Milky Way galaxy. We’re entering a perfect storm, and we have to work together if we’re ever to emerge from the mouth of the serpent at the end of this precessional cycle.
However, humans are contributing to global warming in a marked way, pushing life’s envelope beyond the regional effects of cosmic weather systems. Our industrious beavering is putting far more CO2 and other more devastating greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than natural processes can deal with – particularly when we’ve been cutting the heart out of those same natural processes and turning the planet into a desertified industrial wasteland. We’ve been hacking holes in the lifeboats and selling the resultant woodchips for pennies for far too long.
Yet all the carbon dioxide spewed from all our filthy smokestacks is the merest by-blow of an incredible raft of toxins being pumped into the air we all breathe and the water we all drink, and the food that sustains our children. We’ve been tainting the biosphere with industrial poisons and outright biocides for far too long, and the time to clean up our act is truly upon us. New green energy sources, transport systems and industrial processes are waiting in the wings and it’s time to wheel them onstage now – while the corporate colossi are falling from their clay pedestals and their old rustbucket technologies are being cast onto the scrap heap of history.
We can revitalize the real economy by rebuilding our civilization from the ground up – build up our real estate with ecologically sound lifestyles and aspirations. It’s time to forget the con job of the old eCONomy – which is based on nothing more than overblown and power-drunk tyrants inspiring CONfidence in a system of never-ending growth, of all things. What a laugh – and yet all the pokie players, mortgage holders and credit card debtors in the world have willfully fallen for the same old ruse again!
Most wage slaves have been working like blind moles tunneling toward a precipice, making imaginary profit from worthless, suicidal and destructive toil. No wonder the executives of the world are laughing all the way to their Swiss bank accounts; they know that real capital, like common sense, is a rare commodity indeed. Unlike junk derivatives, variable imaginary currencies, worthless stocks and missing pension funds, the real wealth of the world – minerals and soils, an immeasurable diversity of plants and animals, clean air and water – are the priceless wellsprings from which all wealth flows.
The real ECOnomy is based on a far more a solid footing than inflated figures on fictitious computerised legers. The real ECOnomy is what we need to work with now. Everyone on the planet can enjoy the benefits of our current advanced societies – democracy, freedom, health care systems, rule of law, social safety nets and security – half-formed and relative as they may be – without destroying the ecosystem or robbing our children of their future. We can build an interconnected synergy of technologies that can raise the standard of living of everyone on Earth while repairing the damage we’ve wrought; we can’t do anything but transform our industries and clean up our act if we have a hope of surviving.
If we want to rein in the biggest elephant in our collective living room – overpopulation – without resorting to draconian measures, we must recognise that the need for smaller families automatically requires adequate social welfare systems, to take the place of the myriad benefits and ongoing support provided by the large family groups of the past. Paradoxically, all the controlling patriarchal corporations and matriarchal nanny states will have to open their jewellery boxes to their prodigal sons and prodigious daughters - and release their children from bondage and dependency – if they want to keep their national families whole, hearty and together. Any other course will incite a well deserved mutiny.
If we want to be truly realistic we must realise that our civilizations have been built on the blood, sweat and tears of ourselves, our parents, our grandparents and all our long-suffering ancestors. Everything we have created is truly our common wealth, and every citizen is owed a dividend by the corporate entity of their profit-taking nation – who usually takes more than half of their earnings in taxes (note the similarity of the words ‘taxing’ and ‘taking’).
Receiving payments from the state is no longer a disreputable matter of accepting charity. It isn’t a case of less motivated unfortunates sponging on society’s more productive members. Social justice, universal endowment and equity are dreams whose time has finally arrived, if we recognise our chance; the only alternative is a prison planet of slave labourers and greedy overseers.
Pensions and other welfare payments are a right - not a privilege – already earned by the incessant work and endless taxing of all our ancestors – and the exploitation of the planet’s resources - for uncounted generations. If we don’t share the wealth and dole it out more evenly the corporate clowns will simply bury it in Switzerland, and there’ll be nothing left to help when the excrement hits the air conditioner! It’s time we recognised that we’re all owed a guaranteed basic wage *, and accept our due with happiness and farsighted grace. The work ethic is laudable in its place, but living for the sake of working is an outmoded and deadly lifestyle which too many people have failed to transcend. It’s time for a new ethos.
Hands up anyone who realises the implications of the terms ‘automation’, ‘production line’, ‘redundancy’, ‘layoffs’, ‘cyclic recession’ - or ‘freedom’, ‘creativity’, ‘fulfilling work’ and ‘leisure time’? We need to become a far more creative little species if we’re to pass on our vast treasury of diversified genes through the next ice age – after all the massive earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, coastal alterations and other mind boggling changes that will occur when this warm little interglacial draws to a close over the next human lifetime.
An ice age? Isn’t the world overheating? Everyone knows the ice is melting. Everyone knows that glaciers are disappearing at an alarming rate. Many are aware that these same glaciers (and shrinking snow-melt in the currently shortening winters) are the great trickling dams which sustain many of the greatest rivers of the world. Think about the Ganges, or the Nile, the Rhine or Rhone, Yellow or Yangtse; take a look at Google Earth. All our fresh water supplies are disappearing fast, and many of these rivers will be essentially gone in a generation. Well before that happens the food will run out; in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s running out now. Palm oil plantations and unsustainable biofuel production are only small parts of the problem. Those the easiest parts of the coming changes to understand and deal with…
When the River Runs Dry
After an interim warming period when the rivers and wells run dry, the world will be catapulted into an ice age. The water vapour flung into the atmosphere by warming processes will ultimately fall as mile-thick ice sheets on newly forming poles. Sea level changes will drown coastlines far more rapidly than our partially complete sciences currently predict. This alteration in the datum will trigger massive earthquakes and vulcanism – whose incidences have been increasing logarithmically for the last century – and the subsequent global axial shift will ignite every fault line on the planet. Increased albedo (reflectivity) from massing cloud cover and volcanic outpourings will rapidly lower the feverish global temperature as the temperate regions are gripped by unprecedented drought.
There’s no way to soften this blow, or to understate what we’re going to face; we’re already approaching the end-run, but have just enough time to prepare. Axial tilt is likely, along with a sudden inundation of all coastal areas that will make greenhouse seal level rises seem like a tiny ripple by comparison. Higher altitudes will be swept by unimaginably devastating winds and destructive storms will scour much of the planet.
The only route to survival – and to thriving in the coming times – lays in recognising the truth, and in cooperating to create a far more resilient civilization than the tottering behemoth we’ve cobbled together so far. We can’t afford to waste our time feeding the coffers of warmongers or working on the destructive ‘jobs’ of their interlinked toxic industries any longer. War and other equally pointlessly productive pastimes must end now, before their waste and wastes consume us all. Such infantile behaviour can no longer be tolerated, and we can’t spare any more of the enormous time and resources that have already been frittered away, playing competitive games for the entertainment and profit of egocentric oligarchs and maladjusted ideologues.
S0-called survivalists must realise that everyone’s guns must be beaten into plowshares, and that no lone gunmen or militant militias can long survive in the times to come. Raising the new humanity will require a global village, not the same old spear-carrying camp following shtick – although it will come to that, if enough of us don’t act together in time. There are doubtless very few modern women who would hearken back to the sleet-blown days and freezing nights of bombastic patriarchal tribal hooligans with anything other than a sense of dread and foreboding.
Freedom requires prosperity and plenty, and failing to act will make slaves of us all.
Naturally, most people will ignore all these warnings and be distracted by the endless entertainments vying for attention in our modern pre-apocalyptic dystopias. But maybe – just maybe – you’re one of the visionaries who truly understand and care about what’s really happening in this frantic self-mutilating world of innocent fools and predatory conmen. Maybe you’re one of the ones that will breathe a sigh of awe and relief when you look back on the rollercoaster ride we’re about to go through. Maybe you’ll do more than just read and talk, and will actually walk the work.
We all need to start planting trees – preferably food-bearing trees – yesterday. If you can’t think of anything better to do, putting down roots in a survivable location – with a permanent water supply, well away from the coasts or polar regions - is a very good idea. The most survivable latitudes lie between zero and thirty degrees from the equator. High altitudes will make for temporary refuges at best, and ‘dormant’ or active volcanic regions must be avoided at all costs.
Most cities are unmitigated deathtraps, and living nearby to a large population centre may be very unwise. Build your dwellings and other structures with floods, famines, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and exoduses in mind, wherever you may be. If you want to learn how to live for a long, long time, begin to think with the perspective of an old growth tree – and listen to any local wise indigenous people who can bear to speak with you. It’s time to put down roots for the long term, with people you can live with for a long, long time. Do you know anyone like that? Are you someone you can live with forever?
It’s all a very big ask, I know – preparing for climactic events that may not occur for generations. Yet you know in your bones that the new world-age is coming – don’t you? You may well ask ‘when’? A more profitable line of inquiry would be to ask yourself, ‘What can I do right now to help myself and others?’, or even ‘Who am I, really?’ Living in a beautiful place with your friends and loved ones is reward enough in itself – and now is the best and only time and place in which you can actually live.
It’s actually possible to alter the cycle of glaciation without resorting to crass technological fixes (which will cause more trouble than they’re worth). It’s even possible to alter the solar cycles themselves; but we need to learn far more about ourselves and each other - and learn to evolve into the advanced entities we have the potential to be - if we’re to pursue these farsighted grail-like goals.
The future isn’t what it used to be, but nothing is written on stone until it’s already come to pass. Take advantage of this great time of changes to alter the tack of your own destiny and ride through the coming storm to emerge unscathed, along with your loved ones. That’s the best we can all hope for, and all we really need. That’s what life is – caring and sharing.
Good luck, bon voyage, and happy trails, amigos… may you live long and prosper!
* One of the arguments for a basic income was articulated by the French Economist and Philosopher André Gorz: "The connection between more and better has been broken; our needs for many products and services are already more than adequately met, and many of our as-yet-unsatisfied needs will be met not by producing more, but by producing differently, producing other things, or even producing less. This is especially true as regards our needs for air, water, space, silence, beauty, time and human contact..."From the point where it takes only 1,000 hours per year or 20,000 to 30,000 hours per lifetime to create an amount of wealth equal to or greater than the amount we create at the present time in 1,600 hours per year or 40,000 to 50,000 hours in a working life, we must all be able to obtain a real income equal to or higher than our current salaries in exchange for a greatly reduced quantity of work...
"Neither is it true any longer that the more each individual works, the better off everyone will be. The present crisis has stimulated technological change of an unprecedented scale and speed: 'the micro-chip revolution'. The object and indeed the effect of this revolution has been to make rapidly increasing savings in labour, in the industrial, administrative and service sectors. Increasing production is secured in these sectors by decreasing amounts of labour. As a result, the social process of production no longer needs everyone to work in it on a full-time basis. The work ethic ceases to be viable in such a situation and workbased society is thrown into crisis"
Andre Gorz, Critique of Economic Reason, Gallile, 1989
Note from Wikipedia – see http://www.basicincome.org/bien/aboutbasicincome.html
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