Farmers in the Netherlands are protesting against emission cuts, like a drug-addict avoiding rehab. America is desperately fracking its veins, and even going to Venezuela to score. Germany is hitting that black rock again, they’re reverting to coal. Fossil fuels are a hell of a drug, and the world just can’t quit. In fact, we’re going into violent withdrawal.
I too once thought that we could ‘just stop’ fossil fuels and honestly, I was wrong. People are protesting for fossil fuels, not against them, and it’s totally understandable. If any government actually tries to make the emissions cuts they should be making, people will cut their heads off. Elites have certainly gotten us into this situation, but we can’t just quit cold turkey now. We’re fucking addicted.
Addicts can know perfectly well that they’re on a bad path and still keep going. They’re not dumb, it’s a perfectly rational calculation. Should I feel better right now or spend years maybe getting my life back together? It’s hard to think about the future when you’re just trying to get through the day. So fuck it, take another shot. That’s where our civilization is at now.
We know that fossil fuels are bad for us, but if we stop them we immediately feel worse. I know because my country, Sri Lanka, has involuntarily gone cold turkey and it’s fucking awful. Our livelihoods depend on oil. Our food requires fertilizer (often made with gas). Hell, we need natural gas to even cook our food. Now we can’t move. We can’t cook. We can’t eat. Withdrawal from fossil fuels is fatal. I know. My people are fucking dying.
Europe is also being involuntarily withdrawn from fossil fuels, because their American rulers feel like it. Now prices are inflating there, Germany is running a trade deficit, and this winter a lot of people are going to be unemployed and cold. And Europeans are historically violent people. They don’t usually deal well with deprivation. The ongoing protests in the Netherlands are just the start.
People have long asked why don’t governments ‘do something’ about climate collapse, and this is why. Because doing something sucks. Yes, politicians make money from keeping us hooked on fossil fuels, but we also overthrow them if they stop. In the end, they just do what politicians do. Lie to us, like we want them to. “We can quit any time, in fact, we’re right about to”.
The only big country ‘doing something’ about climate collapse is China, which is investing more in renewable energy than almost everyone else combined. While western oligarchies debate shit endlessly while doing nothing, China’s CPC actually exercises control over the economy, which you need to actually do something about a fundamentally economic problem. China is the only government serious about kicking fossil fuels, which involves basically taking methadone for a few decades while you wean yourself off it.
Russia is at least the honest asshole in these geopolitics. As Vladimir Putin said: