What Dan Allen writes below is what many scientists and ecological activists are thinking and saying privately. Read his entire post at resilience.org for context, since this slice of the article seems rather harsh and cruel from this small excerpt. From the point of future generations what we’re doing now will be seen as monstrous as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao: How many future people are we killing if there’s a slow crash and there’s enough time for a few billion more to be born and the land, air, and water are brought to the point that a later crash means that no humans or very few survive in abject conditions? How many people are we killing in the future to consume as much as we can NOW?
Given the reckless, greedy, rapacious behavior of the corporations, I’ve wondered if the 1% were aware that we and most other multi-cellular species could go extinct, or come close, if we continue to exploit and destroy the water, soil, and air much longer. Their actions seem to be designed to bring on collapse. The financial system is corrupt and unreformed, on the brink of crashing. The infrastructure is falling apart, and future generations won’t have the energy to rebuild it, or even maintain what we have. But I think most of the economic and political leaders aren’t doing this intentionally — they truly believe that human ingenuity and free markets can find a solution for all problems, it’s as if they believed in a “Market God”. Energy makes everything possible — people who lived before us were just as smart, if not smarter than we are living so close to the edge of survival — but they didn’t have energy to build whatever the hell they wanted to like we do now.
Dan Allen. 11 Dec 2012. Extirpation Nation: How much of the US will be habitable in 50 years? Resilience.org
,,,the global industrial economy needs to rapidly and deeply reduce the burning of fossil fuels, starting RIGHT NOW. And not just you or me or our communities or our regions, but the WHOLE DAMN GLOBAL INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY. And …this requires a rapid collapse of the global economy beginning NOW.
..While neither you nor I can initiate such a collapse, as the collapse gets rolling, there may be important emergent roles for some ‘lucky’ individuals in making sure the collapse proceeds rapidly enough. Namely, there may be crucial points in time and crucial human players and crucial bits of infrastructure within the maelstrom of scrambling cities, towns, citizens, politicians, economists, farmers, engineers, manufacturers, military conquistadors, etc. who can keep the collapse collapsing on pace. Maybe you or I will be one of those players.
And yes, I know this is contentious philosophical terrain here. There will be human suffering during rapid collapse – but, I argue, orders of magnitude less suffering than if we don’t collapse rapidly enough. And I do realize this is a controversial topic among even those valuing the future integrity of the ecosphere, so I’ll just direct people to Derrick Jensen’s Endgame for the philosophical underpinnings here. God speed.