Saturday, November 7, 2009

As we crumble

"Little that we have taken for granted is likely to come through this century intact."
The Dark Mountain Project has as it's goal "uncivilisation". This does not involve a fixed set of objectives but the process of recognising and responding to our dramatically changing future. A future without the abundance that we in the west have come to expect and manifestly co-opt from the world.
Literature, art, and other expressions of culture commonly characterise modern times as "a struggle to reach the mountain top" or "standing on the shoulders of giants", or we contemplate "Oh how far we have come!". Somehow while we all admit to human frailty but seem to blindly accept the idea that as time moves on we inevitably become less brutish and more enlightened. We lionise the present but do we think with favour about our future? Do we truly comprehend what our present is predicated upon?
Larry Elliot of The Guardian contends that the fall of the Berlin wall represents the beginning of the pre-eminence of capitalism, a mere twenty years! He paints a picture of a veritable steeple chase of obstacles set before the globalised economy without getting into the likely constraints supplied by depleting resources like oil, coal, silicone, and the rare metals on which our affluence has come to depend.
We battle and poison religious, social, and political relations over oil and many say we will do the same over water. We destroy lives for food. What else? How will we respond to true constraints? Where will we who have known only unconstrained growth for sixty years find the resourcefulness we need to endure?

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