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Monday, 9 March 2015

World War E

The storm raged for 40 days and 40 nights, only Noah and his Ark remained to see the new dawn.
Triffids shuffled through the abandoned City of London lashing out with their needles to kill the blind stragglers of the apocalypse.
The zombies overwhelmed the ill equipped troops at the battle of Yonkers.
The Ringwraiths trawled the shire.
Now our world stands on the brink of radical collapse and we choose to ignore the issue.

World War E

By

Alexander Gordon Jahans

Last year I was freaking out because I had a dissertation defining sharkploitation to write and my parents chose that as the perfect time to announce their separation. I thought life couldn't get any worse.

Now here I sit undergoing a body horror caused by a lack of testosterone my parents are somehow still living together and I feel like the Kingfisher as the world and economy around me seems set to collapse.

Someone once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same shit and expecting things to change but that insanity is change. A spreading fault line leading to a massive eruption of destructive change. I see this everyday, in history podcasts, in gaming journalism, in political journalism, in economic journalism, in climate change, in my family and in my cat Roninomikin Skyweasel.

I love Ronikin, he is very loyal, loving, fluffy and sweet. He also likes to maul my hand.

Everyone finds that hilarious.

I see the faultline spreading with each bite and claw though. I see the restraining bolt on radical destructive change being worn away piece by tiny piece. He serves as a fantastic reminder of the fragility of the world we call normal.

There is a myth that the economy is booming, that the rich are having the time of their lives and so the apocalypse of climate change must come because money is so sweet but here's the secret: Capitalism and materialism is doomed with or without the very real issue of climate change. 

I wrote recently about the need to transfer smoothly into a post scarcity society and if we continue at this rate that is where we are headed. We have virtual reality, 3d printers and enough technology and unemployed people to make use of said technology to undermine the basis of materialistic capitalism. In the old system a book or a tv show had value because materials were used up to make the product and even the very rich had to pay for time since making money was still very much a physical act of labour and production. Now once the costs of production have been accounted for digital products can be distributed at virtually no cost to anyone. I repeat once something is made there are no further costs to selling in practically speaking. So time is money. Except that time spent to create the product is worth so much less as now any out of work idiot with the internet can create something people can enjoy as a piece of media. There is an entire sector of internet users who make money playing video games and talking over them. I for one prefer this to conventionally made media and I don't have to  pay for it because in theory the advertising pays for it. Advertisements to people who choose to watch people play videogames, because that makes sense.

With the approach of the Virtual Reality Revolution Materialism in the real world starts to make less and less sense. So as far as I am concerned there is no doubt that if Climate Change were not a factor and the world could continue as it is money would fast become meaningless and the super rich would be ultimately powerless. There is no version of reality in which the MegaCorps of today can last into the future.

Climate Change is a factor though, it is the shadow we have all seen coming for such a long time and tried so very hard to ignore. Some of my friends even still ignore it, pretending this is not our problem to bare. It shouldn't have been. My parents' generation should have sorted it for us but they procrastinated and passed the buck onto us, a generation so disillusioned that our messiah is a comedian who can't see the point in voting and racists have thus taken control of most of Europe. I say this not as a condemnation but a lamentation.

I don't want this. I don't want to fight for survival on a planet my species fucked up and is continuing to fuck up as we waste our last chance to save human civilisation on making money that will be worthless in both a post-scarcity future and a post-climate-fuck-up world. I have breasts growing on me because of abnormal hormones, my family is disintegrating after decades holding together and my interests are each going through clusterfucks as they entire a new world of awesomeness. I don't want this. I don't want to be this guy. I felt like committing suicide these past few months and that was before I got the climate change wake up call.

We are clusters of cells clinging to the skin of a planet that is whizzing around the sun as the empty expanse of space reaches onto eternity. The chances of alien life existing, even at the lowest estimates are so large as to ask the question "Where are the Aliens?" The answer was feared to be that each succumbs to its own cold war but now I dread that the dead silence of space is a sign that a significant number of alien civilisations reach this point of briefly continuing to have a comfortable existence or surviving climate change and each chose the former.

We have a chance but we need to give our governments the teeth to save us. Renationalise transport, housing, gas, electricity and control imports and exports. We need, as a global entity, to abandon pollution causing practices, no matter how profitable. The survival of the species is at stake. The irony is that the downsizing that is needed in order to survive will keep capitalism and materialism relevant. Switching from high carbon fuel sources to low carbon fuel sources will create jobs and with borders more strictly controlled to limit high polluting air travel industries that were outsourced abroad will make money in each of our countries again. What needs to happen is hard and expensive but it can happen and needs to happen.

Tomorrow I start my week without internet or electric lights as part of my #565ClimateChange challenge 565 being the amount of carbon in gigatons we can afford to pour into the atmosphere before we are irreparably fucked as a global species.

I hope this blog post will serve as sufficient warning and motivation for people to get off their arses and do stuff about climate change. Make a fuss, write petitions, write letters to your local government representatives, make great and moving art, picket fossil fuel corporations, donate to climate change industries. Make some noise and let the world know that we will not lie back and wait for the apocalypse. We will fight it and if we fail at least we can say we tried.

This is a time when many are in denial, thinking somebody else will deal with the problem, well they won't, not unless we make them. This is not somebody else's problem, this is ours. This is not some far off abstract threat that does not concern you. This is a clear and present danger to life and property that you can do something about. Please don't let the apocalypse come because humanity was too lazy to turn off the light.

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