I’ve been ruminating on the whole NSA freak out and a few questions strike me.
One: What is terrorism? There is not one standard definition that all of our federal security forces are working from. And states have adopted their own definitions as well.
Two: How do you fight something when we don’t know what it is?
Three: How big is the threat? Here in the U.S., we lost 3,000 people on 9/11. The Boston bombing was horribly maiming, but the total body count was low. In between, we’ve had many mass shootings, which no one is calling terrorism.
Four: Have we lost our collective fucking minds? To be spending what we’re spending, in time and actual money, to fight something we don’t even have a definition of and which has killed a relatively low number of people, is patently ridiculous. And yet, otherwise bright people are debating how much of a surveillance state we should have to combat a threat that isn’t.
We are so much more likely to be killed in a car accident than by terrorism, and what’s more, the powers that be know this! This is not rocket science. Even I can “grok” this.
The real threat – climate change – goes unaddressed. Imagine if the resources currently at work on a low level threat were working on a high level threat. Why, that would be cause for hope! Hope that the threat of human extinction could be avoided.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am a doomer. Because it will never happen. The weather now, remember, is from emissions vented decades ago. Since then, they have steadily climbed. If we haven’t yet passed that dreaded tipping point, it is in sight. Yet, no recognition of the threat, no urgency.
Look around you. Western states are dry and burning. Midwestern states have had flooding and big ass tornadoes. Wheat and corn crops are taking a hit. How many people are affected by these things? How much damage, dollar wise and other wise, is being caused by climate change? Yet, no response. We’re worried about terrorists.
The threat is right in front of our noses and yet, we don’t see it.
I’m not the first person to notice this. Ugo Bardi put up a wonderful presentation about why our brains are so limited in threat assessment and so I’ll put the link here and you draw your own conclusions:
In my view, another reason is simply that the powers that be have realistically assessed the situation, concluded that there is no politically viable solution and have opted to ratchet up the destruction in order to siphon off every last dollar from an exhausted Earth.
Think about it practically for a moment. Every year, we’ve spewed more CO2, more pollution, more of everything into the atmosphere. Since the advent of industrial civilization we’ve been spraying, digging, drilling, clear cutting and burning at a mighty rate. We have done an amazing thing: We have altered our atmosphere and our weather.
We are seeing only the beginning of the consequences now.
When people finally begin to wake up, to see what governments working hand in glove with corporations have wrought, they might be pissed. That ain’t gonna happen until the power goes out, by which time, the reason for the NSA and the private prison industry and renditions and gulags and targeted assassinations will become crystal clear.
So, with that knowledge in mind, and knowing that climate change is only part of the problem (overshoot of carrying capacity being the other – and no one in elected office will ever speak anything remotely close to the truth on that), what “leader” or more properly, “corporate representative” in their right mind would tell people that the fossil fuel party is over?
Can you imagine it?
Not only can you NOT buy that boat/jetski/snowmobile/other fossil fuel burning toy, but we’re going to ration automobile fuel and ground all air travel effective immediately. We’re going to carefully crash industrial civilization so that some human beings might live past the crisis we’ve inflicted upon ourselves.
Nah, not gonna happen.