Global Environment Outlook

The UN just published their 2007 Global Environment Outlook.

In a phrase, it is “beyond depressing.”  All 567 pages, or so, which I only uncritically and rapidly previewed.  I already know it.  So does everyone else.  Let’s face it: Population size has surpassed Earth’s carrying capacity several times over.  The atmosphere, oceans, rivers, and lands are all collapsing.  Rising demand meets failing supplies.  In the best of all possible scenarios, millions if not billions must die.  Perhaps we will all die.  Problem solved.  In the meantime, population growth drives extraction and economic growth.  Economic growth drives consumption, as well as our politics.  Globalization simply accelerates the process.  The oil is collapsing, so we start wars over the commodity that is killing us most.  What can we do about it?

I have no idea.  I quit driving.  It will be three years in January.  It’s a pretty useless thing as a lone act.  I know for certain that until this war in Iraq ends, the conversation cannot change to more useful discussions.

Arendt’s thesis of the banality of evil is interesting, but stupid.  People don’t simply commit evil because they are told to, or enter “agentic states” under the influence of authority, as Milgram suggested.  Serious conflicts of interest entice, enjoin, and entrain people to behave in evil ways.  Then people become further transformed by the institutional traps.  Such is Congress.  Their inaction on the genocide occurring in Iraq is evil.  Nancy Pelosi, while not Adolf Eichmann, is nonetheless evil for being a bureaucratic collaborator with evil.  Much the same can be said of the rest of Congress for enabling genocide.  What they know is bad enough, but if only they knew the full extent of that evil.  It’s difficult to believe that many don’t already know, and are therefore fully committed to the world domination scenario of carrying capacity.

When the full scale of the collapse strikes, it will be the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and then some.  That, too, will be considered evil, but it will have been a preventable evil.  Some of it will happen no matter what, because of what we have already wrought, through our own selfish somewhat ignorant and wholly unthinking narratives and conflicts of interest.

Nothing will happen until we stop this war.  Continuing the war only deepens our problems, and kills time and opportunities for preventative action.  Quit being evil, Nancy, and impeach the fuckers. 


  1. I’m perfectly willing to scale down my standard of living with respect to conspicuous consumption.  I already do that.  Congress and the “powers that be” simply do not think that will sell on main street.  Main street is going to have to drag Congress into action.

  2. I  remember seeing a photo from Beijing years ago that showed city streets filled with bicycle commuters. In that photo, there were very few cars. I was hoping to visit one day and witness it for myself.  Well, I missed that chance.

    Today, 1000 new cars enter the streets of Beijing each day.  I’m sure the same figures or higher ones could be cited for some large cities in India.

    I was hoping the US would adopt the views of these large nations and cut back from the use of 70% of the world’s oil. Instead, they have  adopted our policies.

    Good news?  I wish I had some.

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