Death Becomes Us
After contemplating Paul Krugman this morning and the amazing persistence of zombie ideas for the first time I truly understood why death is so necessary and vital for life, a paradox that for many of us leaves us feeling ripped off. Just when we learned enough and accumulated enough it’s time to croak. What the hell? The answer comes through some amplified observations of Krugman and a correct interpretation of earth time, not human time.
Our earth is very, very old at around for billion years, with we think the first signs of life at an equally ancient 2 billion years. Yet in all that vast amount of time the earth can still change very quickly relative to the delicately balanced biological requirements that life demands. To see how this works know that currently we as a planet are in ice age cycles, if left alone the planet will cool and in 10,000 years—the merest eye blink of eye blinks in earth time—the northern ice shelf will dwarf Manhattan and crush half of it, while Canada will simply be gone under the ice.
What will the United States look and be like under such an environment? Completely transformed, of course, mostly unimaginable to most of us. How will we do it? We will change, naturally, without all the zombie ideas that could have killed us or held us significantly back. Humans have an amazing capacity to keep zombie ideas alive, but death does the trick.
Krugman states the zombies stagger on for political purposes and appeals to prejudice, which is true as far as it goes, but the base underlying reason for it all is plain old human fear. One of the great political zombie ideas of our time is the laughable proposition that climate change is a hoax, the earth really isn’t warming and if it is, hey, we humans didn’t do anything!
Our environment has changed dramatically right under our feet—just as it has for billions of years, and we must change or perish. The great problem for life is of course we learned and adapted and grew in one environment we so foolishly thought of as static with our ridiculously warped and incorrect sense of time, we can’t change quickly enough, so we need a fresh infusion of life to learn the new rules while the outdated models are disposed of. Brutal, but very effective.
Are the men and women who control the oil companies ever going to accept the answer that burning fossil fuels no longer works in any sense, that we can no longer do it? Transitioning to electrons for everything is an easy, simple human evolution as far as learning and difficulty goes, but all those structures for power, wealth, prestige, material goods, and political position tied to oil and gas, they’re gone, all gone. No tar sands, no pipelines, no tankers, no middle east to get militarized about, no gasoline, no oil changes, all gonzo.
Hard to imagine? Heh, know it, either that happens or we all perish into an environment where life has a chance to start all over in a new form in the ooze and rubble. The humans in control of this vast oil structure would be terrified of abandoning it, they would never, ever give up all that they know and possess, even if it crashes the earth all around us. Well, life has learned very well with 2 billion years of experience how to handle this, get rid of the current outmoded generation and bring in fresh ones with fresh learning in the changed environment.
Zombie ideas stay alive because humans are terrified of the truth or simply will refuse to accept it. The earth changes disastrously because of burning oil and gas. Will life get out of the way the generations of humans who are so disastrously adhering to burning fossil fuels before new adapting brains can keep the human genes going in an earthly viable way? We’ll find out.