Monday, January 31, 2011

Threading the Needle

My response to another article on Culture Change:
Arab World's Turmoil May Spell Sudden Petrocollapse
found at:

As I try to imagine how people will react to the collapse of civilization, to famine and epidemic, to the unavailability of drinking water (technical pump and energy format), to extreme cold and heat, to the loss of transportation and communication, to hopelessness and desperation... and fear... I wonder if there is any way we can avoid adding brutality to this misery. Some experiences of famine have resulted in weakness, in passivity - which conserved what little vitality there was, rather than in aggression and fighting. However, long before people reach such stages of acceptance and optimization, in situations where catastrophe looms yet 'defensive capacity' is still an option -- the horrible capabilities of humanity have emerged. Ultimately, if our species avoids premature extinction, population will fall to sustainable proportions. The question of how we'll get there... as kindly and gently as possible -- or after passing through the worst hell we can construct, haunts my imagination and fills it with anxiety. In these circumstances the emotion of fear is evidence based, and if we don't harness it to rationality and use it to motivate a quest for the softest landing we can obtain, it will darken our nightmare. But I know which strains my imagination more -- the easy to picture apocalypse, versus the difficulty of threading the needle to an eventual heaven on Earth.