I didn’t find the first fifteen minutes of this Keiser report particularly special (unusually), but I was interested in the interview in the second half (you can fast forward to roughly halfway to watch this with the video slider.)
In this interview, Max talks to Guy McPherson (a Professor Emeritus) about peak oil, anthropogenic climate change and American debt. These are subjects that I am trying to learn more about because I am not sure where I stand on some of these issues. I have seen many discussions that appear to be completely polarised into one camp or the other, when it comes to the first two subjects.
For example, reading what British politicians have to say about renewable energy sources and carbon taxes only convinces me that they are operating a huge scam and are keen to jump on the gravy-train, not least because –
a) various family members of British politicians at the highest level, as well as Royal family members and many other significant people are known to be ‘earning’ money in the form of rebates for operating wind farms
b) they continually talk long term (to be expected in some obvious ways) on this issue, but not on others. For example, politicans talk about how we will all be burnt to a cinder or drowned by rising seas by 2050 if we don’t all panic right now and pay 20% more tax, but on every other issue they only ever openly think short term (IE they make sure that all large bills are due just after the next election, so that the political party merry-go-round passes all of the payments for the current incumbents’ profligacy onto the next bunch from the current opposition)
c) in the same manner as b) above, they conveniently ignore the fact that every single day we are financially indebting our children, grandchildren and many generations more into the future, as if it doesn’t matter one iota or isn’t actually occurring, yet when it comes to climate change, all of a sudden they are really concerned about future generations and the consequences of our current actions – (ExRat note – you either care or you don’t, you can’t have it both ways and care selectively about future generations, depending on the particular issue)
d) their speeches and articles are often full of bad science, fuzzy logic and complete and utter BS
e) scamming and manufacturing pocket-lining gravy-trains are what politicians do best
So I was interested in some of the things that Guy discussed. In a slightly depressing and pessimistic tone (common with this subject, for obvious reasons) he explains how a decade ago he decided to finish his primary investigations into climate change as he had already deduced that as a species we were heading for extinction.
After taking six months off to feel depressed and listen to Leonard Cohen records (I made that last bit up), he then considered that because the ‘titanic of peak oil was about to hit the iceberg of climate change’ all might not be lost, because the former could solve the latter by reducing emissions.
It was interesting to note Guy’s comments about why he gave up his work at university in Tucson, Arizona to move to New Mexico in order to live a different, more sustainable lifestyle. He describes Tucson as a city which is the classic apex of empire because Tucson must take it’s resources from outside of it’s boundaries just to survive.
He mentions a phrase that resonates with me and my thoughts on some of the hidden benefits of adopting an attitude that some ignorance is bliss, when he says, “once you see it, you can’t un-see it.”
He explains how it became difficult for him on a moral level to talk about the costs and consequences of industrialisation in his job, while living in a city that is the apex of empire. As someone who fled the city to the coast myself for somewhat similar reasons I can identify with this, although my reasons were more to do with feeling uncomfortable with the vibes given off by my fellow ‘industrialised’ city dwellers, as well as a desire for general change, some personal space and a longing to be close to the ocean – amongst some other things.
For example, I have developed a deep connection with the ocean as a kind of living, breathing entity which I enjoy connecting with every time I get close to it, or in it. I have a gut feeling that some of the ‘well of universal knowledge’ (that people like Napoleon Hill refer to in their books) can be accessed via the ocean. I don’t really know why, I just kind of believe it.
This interview presents a type of dilemma that I have run into many times myself when trying to find truth and educate myself about what is really going on in the world and the dilemma is that it is easy to find myself utterly deflated, frustrated, depressed (insert relevant adjectives here) when hearing intelligent and knowledgeable people explain how screwed we all are.
There can be an underlying feeling of helplessness and that things are out of control and that those with any sort of control are unfortunately psychopaths who ignore the consequences of their nest-feathering activities in terms of how it affects everyone else and the future of the planet and our species and due to this scenario, it’s self-perpetuating because the only people likely to join those psychopaths at the top are more psychopaths. But regardless of this, the dilemma is that I still want the truth and I still want to know what’s really going on.
It’s also plainly obvious how this affects other people, for example when you try and have a conversation with them about these issues. In my experience, the average person will violently oppose anyone else who appears to be in danger of ruining their ‘ignorance is bliss’ approach to day-to-day life. I understand this reaction, because there is not much worse than an unwanted ‘chicken little’ character who brings down everyones mood by repeatedly trying to make them understand that ‘the sky is falling.’
Due to this, I am careful not to ram these subjects down peoples throats and make a point of warning them and probing for acceptance along with the desire to learn more before presenting this kind of information to them and striking up a conversation about it. This is a difficult balance, because at the same time the most effective way to make a difference for someone like myself is to try and gently nudge people down the same road of self education, because it is my opinion that increased knowledge, when gained in a carefully managed way, is likely to lead to a better quality of life and that although the ‘ignorance is bliss’ approach has it’s merits in certain carefully selected areas, it does not as a general, or blanket philosophy.
I hope that you find my thoughts and explanation interesting or useful, along with Max’s video. Keep calm and carry on. 😉