We’re Losing the Battle for the Future

Yesterday I shared the Story of umair haque and Eudaimonia. His recent article elucidates many of the concerns related to environmental disaster and climate refugees I’ve been writing about for a long time (so he must to be right ! )

The following is from the Peace and Social Concerns Committee of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) that was approved yesterday.

Global chaos from rapidly accelerating environmental devastation is highly likely to occur, breaking down our economic, social, and political systems. As air and water temperatures increase, water supplies are drying up. Widening areas and severity of drought are decreasing crop production and forcing people to flee. Rising oceans are creating more climate refugees. The trend of increasing numbers of more ferocious wildfires, hurricanes and other storms are expected to accelerate. All kinds of infrastructure will likely be destroyed, creating more climate refugees, many migrating to the Midwest. How can we prepare our own communities for these disasters, and plan for the arrival of climate refugees?

Peace and Social Concerns, Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) 2021

So if the future isn’t “the future” — if the myth of constant growth, progress, and expansion, driven by miraculous labour-saving technology — anymore, then, well, what’s in store for us? The answer to that’s pretty simple. Regress is.

What does a world crossing the threshold of runaway global warming have in store for it? You might imagine that people will unite in some kind of grand, noble revolution to save the planet, but unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. Instead, the opposite is.

People will flee from Fire and Flood and Plague Belts. As they do, entire economies will begin to collapse, and societies implode. Think about a Napa Valley that can’t make wine. Factories that can’t produce things, homes which can’t be insured, basic infrastructure systems — transport, food, water, energy — which no longer work. Bang. Game over. Entire regions and cities just wink out. As they do, economies grow depressed, while prices skyrocket. If you have a sense that that’s beginning to happen already, you’re precisely correct.

As huge waves of “human capital flight” — read mass migration — ensue, the political result will be, sadly, that today’s nationalism becomes tomorrow’s fascism. Look at how fast Britain — once the envy of the world, gentle, kind, friendly, expansive — fell into a catastrophic nationalism that utterly wrecked its future. Depressed economies need scapegoats. Demagogues arise to point the finger at anyone remotely foreign, different, other. The future looks ultra-fascist, at least to those who’ve studied history.

Do you think any nation will be happy to welcome, say, a million climate refugees? When it’s own systems are already buckling, because the planet’s boiling? When it’s own regions are flooding or burning or both? Of course not. It’ll be fodder for demagogues, who’ll blame the migrants for the woes of the pure and true.

Meanwhile, living on a burning planet is going to continue basically driving much of the human race verifiably insane. Take a look at how fast and hard bizarre delusions spread. It’s not just Facebook — that’s just the mechanism. It’s that life is incredibly stressful, to the point that many of us can’t cope. We need the delusions, just to make through another day. Much easier to hate someone slightly different from you than work together to solve real problems. Much easier to descend into superstition and fanaticism and fundamentalism than think through the plight we’re in these days.

Faith in the future is one of the linchpins which held our civilisation together. The myths of technological progress, economic growth, and living standards rising in tandem forever — eternally — are what sold the thing known as “the global economy” to the world. Only now they appear to have been proven badly wrong. The people dismissed as “pessimists” and “alarmists” in the 70s and 80s and 90s — ecologists, climate scientists, economists — appear to have been exactly right.

We’re Losing the Battle for the Future | by umair haque | Jul, 2021 | Eudaimonia and Co (eand.co)

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