We Have No Hope Of Stopping Climate Collapse
Our entire climate strategy is the idea that a watched pot doesn’t boil, that if we keep writing reports and ‘consuming consciously’ this will do something.But it won’t. Go watch a pot for a few minutes. It boils.
We have been watching the planet-pot simmer for decades. The IPCC has been writing reports for 32 years. The UN has been having climate conferences for 27. In all this well-watched time, emissions have only risen. Now little bubbles of disaster are reaching a rolling boil.
1° of warming has already happened. 1.5° is being baked in right now. We are going to exceed 1.5° with fossil fuel infrastructure as-is. None of this shit is hypothetical, it’s all baked in.
The eternal law is this: if you light shit on fire it gets hot.
The planetary pot is at 99°, we’re turning up the gas, and just pretending like boiling doesn’t happen. Cause we wrote some reports. Cause we made pledges. Cause we feel bad about it. Like physics gives a fuck about our feelings.
There’s this crazy idea that people need to feel hope about climate collapse, or they won’t feel motivated to do anything. But this isn’t hope, it’s hubris. It isn’t motivation, it’s procrastination. And it simply isn’t working. By insisting that people today shouldn’t feel uncomfortable, we are making the future for every coming generation unlivable.
The truth is that you shouldn’t feel hope right now. You should feel grief. You should feel anger. You should feel a hopeless, impotent rage. If you don’t want to feel those things, I understand, but that’s about you, not the situation.
The situation is that the climate has already collapsed and is only becoming more and more unstable. The truth is that our goose is already cooked and the best we can do is alter the method of preparation.
We’re constantly told that we need give people hope, but hope itself has been corrupted into a marketing slogan. Case in point, Barack Obama.
The ‘hope and change’ President increased oil production every year, and asked people to say ‘thank you’. Now he’s doing Netflix specials about national parks, while his successor Joe Biden opens up more drilling on public lands. Such is the corruption of hope and change.
As the dead genius Mark Fisher said, “Climate change and the threat of resource-depletion are not being repressed so much as incorporated into advertising and marketing.” Just turn on the TV and watch. You can wash away the guilt of climate collapse by consuming the right products. Even British Petroleum is now ‘Beyond Petroleum’.
Capitalist ideology in general overvalues good beliefs and absolves actual bad behavior. As long as you believe the right shit, you can keep doing wrong. As Fisher said (channeling Zizek):