Dmitry Orlov

March 31, 2008. The Collapse Party Platform.

If the entire country were to embrace the notion that collapse is inevitable and that it must prepare for it, a new political party might be formed: the Collapse Party. …This government would then want to implement a crash program to dismantle institutions that have no future, create new ones that are designed to survive collapse and save whatever can be saved….

I am particularly concerned about all the radioactive and toxic installations, stockpiles and dumps. Future generations are unlikely to be able to control them, especially if global warming puts them underwater. There is enough of this muck sitting around to kill off most of us. Many nuclear power plants have been built near coastlines, for access to ocean water for cooling. These will be at risk of inundation due to extreme weather events and rising sea levels caused by global warming. At many nuclear power stations, spent fuel rods are stored in a pool right at the reactor site, because the search for a more permanent storage place has been mired in politics. There are surely better places to store them than next to population centers and bodies of water. Nuclear reservations — sites that have been permanently contaminated in the process of manufacturing nuclear weapons — should be marked with sufficiently large, durable and frightening obelisks to warn off travelers long after all memory of their builders has faded away.

There are abandoned mine sites at which, soon after the bulldozers and the excavators stop running, toxic tailings and the contents of settling ponds will flow into and poison the waters of major rivers, making their flood plains and estuaries uninhabitable for many centuries.

Heinberg, Kunstler, Foss, Orlov & Chomsky on A Public Affair

We need to get started and I think part of getting started is getting this mental difficulty where uncontroversial facts are too distressing for most people. So you cannot actually speak about them in public. Very few people, I have found, can get past very simple statements of fact about energy, about the climate. Really can’t talk about it and this is peculiar to the United States to a large extent. I’ve seen similar things in Russia, for instance, where climate change denial is pretty rampant, but in Europe, for instance, people are much more receptive, and much more able to deal with the facts as they are and then base their decisions on them than here in the United States. I’m not a mental health professional so I can’t really offer any advice on that. I rely people being able to take facts on board and if they can’t do that, then I can’t work with them. That’s a big problem for me right now.

We should not expect any sort of preparation or any reasonable program to emerge at the national level. So my hopes right now are that it is possible to convince some people who have financial resources to invest in the remnants of industrial production that will be needed to bootstrap into a new mode of local production, cottage industry, to provide for people’s needs when the imports are not there and when the local supply chains is all that remains because the global ones have gone away. It remains to be seen whether it is possible to talk sense to people who have access to financial resources. I’m not convinced that that’s going to work, but I don’t see what else would.

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