There is no debate: our planet’s rapidly changing climate is now a fact of our everyday lives.
Unpredictable and extreme weather events are becoming more common and more frequent worldwide, and both their unpredictability and their extreme nature is increasing over time.
Flood waters rise higher, tropical storms blow harder, droughts last longer and wildfires burn with more intensity, and all of the above happens more frequently and in seasons when we would not expect any of it to occur.
We know that we are currently witnessing what’s described as the earth’s sixth mass extinction event. The last time such an event occurred, to the best of our knowledge, was when the dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago.
The last time the Earth experienced changes in climate as dramatic as what we are witnessing today coincided with an earlier mass extinction event, some 250 million years ago, which is believed to have essentially wiped the slate clean and killed off up to 97% of the Earth’s species at the time.
Species are disappearing and ecosystems are collapsing as global weather events defy predictable patterns and the rise in average temperature accelerates.
One of the key themes that I continuously explore through this podcast is the idea that human culture is a reflection of its environment.
Thus, it is my belief that we are currently witnessing the collapse of human civilization due to rapid and catastrophic changes to the global ecosystem caused by civilization itself.
Humans are responsible for our rapidly changing climate and our rapidly declining ecosystems. But not all humans, and not just any humans. A relatively small group of civilized humans who worship at the altar of the limitless free market did this.
100 corporations are responsible for over 70% of greenhouse gases emitted in my lifetime, since the mid-80s. More than half of all emissions can be traced back to just 25 corporate entities.
So please, explain to me again why I personally should feel guilty for drinking out of a disposable coffee cup or using a plastic toothbrush or showering with hot water for more than 5 minutes. Your decision to drive an electric car or eat less meat has no effect on the system as a whole.
Individual consumer choices are essentially irrelevant when stacked against the consumption of energy by corporations and governments.
You did not cause climate change, or the sixth mass extinction event, and you will not solve them through your individual choices as a consumer. If consumption itself is the problem, then we are never going to solve it by consuming more stuff, even if that stuff is significantly less bad than the more conventional stuff.
Will anthropogenic climate disruption inevitably lead to the extinction of Homo sapiens?
Only time will tell.
But for those of us who are tuned in, we can’t ignore the deafening silence from the canaries in the coal mine any longer.
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Today’s theme song is called “Ocean Water Sea Bright”, written and recorded by me especially for this episode. Subscribers who pledge $5 or more on Patreon can download this tune along with all the others in my ever-growing podcast music archive, including my most recent full-length album, Bliss.