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Say Goodbye

27 Dec

I’ve just watched Leonardo De Caprio’s The Eleventh Hour, and I thought I would post my thoughts about, well, everything.

I also watched An Inconveniet Truth years ago, and after watching it I was struck by a feeling of amazement, hope, and yes, sadness. After watching it I really believed that there was still hope, that everything would work out in the end. But after The Eleventh Hour… Well, let’s just say that some current events have broken that feeling of hope.

I’m not going to tell you what Climate Change and Global Warming are, what they mean, how we can stop it, why we should, etc. That’s been done before, and with a much bigger impact and more eloquence than my few words could ever achieve. I’m not going to tell you about the changes I’ve made in my life to leave a smaller carbon footprint, because, other than walking to work every day, I haven’t changed anything, or done anything, other than talk passionately to people about my opinions regarding what we, as a species, are doing to the world. None of that would help, anyway. We are, without a doubt, so anesthetized against this kind of information that we don’t want to hear it anymore.

It’s not new anymore. It’s not groundbreaking anymore. It’s got absolutely nothing to do with the fact that we have to live; we have to work to work every day, we have to worry about our incomes and how to spend them, we have to think about what we’re going to eat and how, we need time to plan our entertainment so that we won’t be bored anymore – and this last is only because we are technologists, now, not people. People talk to each other; technologists communicate.

Nope, all I’m going to say is this: Say Goodbye.

After you’ve read this, go outside and go and look at a tree. Probably close to 90% of you won’t be able to do that, because you’ll have to walk to a park to look at a tree. But if you can, go look at it and say goodbye to it. Tomorrow or next week, next month or next year someone will want to put something more beautiful and useful than a tree there. Hell, it’ll probably be a garbage can.

If you can, go and look at the sunset or sunrise. Can you see it nicely through the smog? Didn’t think so. Maybe you can turn off your TV, radio, internet, XBox, Playstation, Gameboy, PSP, MP3 Player and listen to the sound of nature; but if you turn that off, all you’ll hear are the occasional siren, music pumping, perhaps a fan cooling the air, and definitely the sounds of trucks and cars. Nature – what’s that?

Look at everything around you that didn’t come out of a factory, off an assembly line; there may just be a potted plant you can latch onto. Maybe.

Or you may have pets. They’re animals, right? Their ancestors came from the wild, right?

Or maybe, just maybe, you’re a bastion against the dark, living off the grid, growing your own food, enjoying the clean air of being in the middle of nature and its beauty.

Do you live in a tree? Do you sleep under the stars?

Nope. We need walls and windows and a ceiling because we don’t want nature to touch us. We don’t want anything near us that doesn’t entertain us or sate our hunger. Soil is dirty and it has things in it that bite. We’re allergic to grass. Bark is rough and ugly. Someone probably urinated or defecated in that lake, I’m not swimming there! No, it’s okay, thanks; if I want to see a rain forest I’ll change the channel from HBO or Fox to National Geographic, and look how cute that Orangutan is!

And meanwhile, during these moments in which we watch the news, hear the reports of environmentalists, or even, perhaps, go on a peaceful march against corporate greed, we sit in homes that killed billions of organisms when they were erected, we drive cars (because we have to get to work) that spew toxins into the air, we buy products that, while being manufactured, created 35 truckloads of waste for every one truckload of usable goods.

We blithely allow everything that allowed us to rise to the heights we have achieved be destroyed.

So say goodbye to it all. Go look at everything that grows without help from us and say goodbye.

And say your goodbyes because, and lets face it, we will not change. We must wear clothes, we must eat, we must feel safe in our homes, we must earn money, we must drive cars and fly planes and travel on boats and ships (and my, isn’t that water so blue), we must do all these things. We don’t have time for conservation! It’s too much effort to live green! How will I watch Lost or Heroes or Smallville or 24 by living green? Living green is for people who want to make a point and get in the news!

Put it this way: will your life, as you live it now, suffer if you had to start living green? Of course it would. You would have to endure mosquitoes and rain and dust and insects, you would have to hunt or grow your food, you would have to sit around a fire and tell stories in place of reading books or watching TV or playing Playstation. And guess what? All those corporations that we hate know this. They know you will never be able to live without what they provide – why? Because they make it so.

So how do you think you can change this? How the hell are you going to affect change? How are you going to spread the message to the world that everything we know will die unless we change? You won’t, because since the Industrial Revolution we have been bred to destroy and consume, taught to destroy and consume, because its the only way we can make our lives better. You don’t have to suffer that headache anymore, friend; here’s a pill you can swallow. You don’t have to go to sleep as soon as night has fallen – there’s electricity. You don’t have to worry about that pipe dumping shit into the ocean because the ocean is sooo fucking huge!

Well, like I said, say goodbye to it all. Soon, most probably within our lifetime, the image of the last polar bear in the wild will be seen on our televisions. The bear will probably drown -there wont be any ice left in a couple of decades- or he’ll be shot for his pelt – imagine how much that would fetch at auction!

Say goodbye, because we are not in control. You aren’t the CEO of an oil company, are you? You aren’t running a logging operation in the South American rain forests, are you? In fact, are you in any position at all to effect change? To slam your fist down on a table and shout, “Fuck you, we will change the way we do things!” No, you aren’t. You just like me, a consumer who must consume to live.

Watch these incredible documentaries and understand them for what they will become – the final voices of a world shouting, “We tried! We really did try!”

We can’t be saved anymore, and we cannot save.

Say goodbye.

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5 Comments

Posted by on December 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

5 responses to “Say Goodbye

  1. edifanob

    December 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Dave,
    what do you expect from human beings? The so called “pride of creation”!

     
  2. Mike Southern

    December 28, 2009 at 2:54 am

    Do we need to “save the earth” from ourselves? Perhaps. I’m certainly not saying we shouldn’t be better stewards of our planet… but maybe we’re losing some perspective in the process.

    Have you seen all the hoopla about the book “Time to Eat the Dog,” which talks about the carbon footprint of pets? New Scientist did an article back in October about this topic; you can find it by searching for the book title — the article is called “How Green is Your Pet?” Simply put, it says that medium-sized dogs have a larger carbon footprint than an SUV. To quote the article, “As well as guzzling resources, cats and dogs devastate wildlife populations, spread disease and add to pollution. It is time to take eco-stock of our pets.”

    So, what are we supposed to do? To remedy the situation, the only real solution is to exterminate our pets. You see, pets won’t simply vanish harmlessly if we stop keeping them. Unless we kill them all, they will simply roam free. Ultimately, this kind of logic leads to the planned extinction of entire species. And where do we draw the line? What species will we allow to live, and which must die?

    Personally, I find the idea that a creature’s value lies in its carbon footprint to be an incredibly shortsighted oversimplification of how an ecosystem works.

    So maybe I’m overly optimistic, Dave, but I’m not ready to say good-bye yet. The people making these documentaries aren’t necessarily the best people to listen to. Take Al Gore and his Inconvenient Truth documentary. Go to Google and type in “gore’s inconvenient house” and check some of the sites that come up. I found one for KTRK-YV in Houston, Texas that should be a trustworthy site. (I know we can’t just accept anything we find on the web.) Here’s a quote from a Feb 2007 article on the site:

    “Armed with Gore’s utility bills for the last two years, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research charged Monday that the gas and electric bills for the former vice president’s 20-room home and pool house devoured nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours in 2006, more than 20 times the national average of 10,656 kilowatt-hours.”

    This was after Gore received an Oscar for his documentary. An inconvenient truth indeed!

    Look, I’m not saying there’s no problem. All I’m saying is that it’s still too soon to give up. We aren’t doomed until we do.

     
  3. Mike Southern

    December 28, 2009 at 2:56 am

    That should have been KTRK-TV, YV. Sorry for the typo.

     
  4. Dave-Brendon de Burgh

    December 28, 2009 at 5:13 am

    Hey Mike, I have to admit that I don’t like Gore one bit; he had absolutely no business talking about himself and his life and family while trying to get us to seriously think about Global Warming, still can’t stand watching AIT because of that. It’s not surprising to me at all that Gore’s house consumes so much power…

    I agree that these guys aren’t the best people to listen to, but these are the programs that everyone bases their opinions on, and that seems to be the trend – having an opinion without actually doing anything. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Why I’m ready to give up and ‘say goodbye’ is because we just aren’t able -whether because of the civilization we live in, how we are brought up, whatever it is- to change our perspective and look at the world differently. I’m pretty damn certain that humanity will survive – we’re devious and intelligent enough to find ways to survive – but billions of us will die, no doubt there.

    But hey, maybe something will happen that will wake us up – I doubt it strongly, but stranger things, right?

    Thanks for visiting and commenting. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I still owe you a mielie-pap recipe, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Edifanob: Yep, the pride of creation alright. And the avatars of destruction, too… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

     
  5. Mike Southern

    December 28, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Oh no, I haven’t forgotten the mielie-pap recipe! But I know you’ve been having problems, what with the computer and all, as well as the holidays.

    I don’t comment all the time, but I do keep up with your blogs. I have them listed at my site — I have a list of golf blogs I check, and “My Other Blog List” that lists you, Ana White’s woodworking site, and some favorite webcomics, among others.

    And I agree that perspective is the problem. But the beauty of perspective is that it’s a grassroots movement. Even corporations change when their customers speak with their cash! All it takes is for a few people to actively get a more balanced view out there — the internet is ideally suited to this — and perspective will begin to change. It’s that lack of balance that has undermined change thus far (like the whole dog’s carbon footprint thing).

    Once common sense starts showing itself (and why do they say it’s common when it isn’t?), things will start to change rapidly… at least, that’s what I believe. Call me crazy. ;-D

     

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