We are Addicted: Can the Drug Solve Global Warming?
by Brock A. Shaver
Not "rated" by the Author.
edited: Saturday, February 03, 2007
Posted: Saturday, February 03, 2007
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We are addicts, and we enjoy it. We're sure the drug can solve climate change. We don't know what it's like not to be addicted. We're civilized.
The market is a magical thing. It is a living, breathing organism, that, left to its own devices will naturally provide for all our needs if not interfered with by government.
It is 'natural' and 'alive.' It is the magic of the marketplace. The price of gas, food, and iPods will settle on a price based on all the components cost, supply and demand. For those smart enough to understand this magic and harness its incredible energy and creativity, it's wealth is boundless and its benefits astounding. The Vanderbilts financed railroads. The Rockefellers supplied oil. The Fords gave us cars. The Gates gave us computers.
They saw what was in the magic of the marketplace and conjured up the lifestyle that 600 million Westerners enjoy today. Since the Reagan era, we have enjoyed a long and massive prosperity as we freed the marketplace from the controls and slavery of government interference. Freedom and creativity made this thing called the market flourish like never before. Government just had to get out of the way. Humans, freedom, creativity and the market. What could be more natural and alive to provide the best lifestyle and more wealth than the world has ever seen for the masses? Hopefully the other 90% of the world's population will soon have this magical formula working for them.
It has worked so well, we are sure we can use this model of the market to solve global warming. We can buy our way out of it with the right technology and the market responding to the wishes and fears of consumers.
Right now we buy our water in bottles and our dirt in plastic bags. If we package it and sell it, climate change can be stopped. We just have to convert it into a commodity and make it sexy enough to purchase, or as pain relief. New massive industry awaits in this new market for millions of windmill generators for electricity, hybrid cars, and pipes to funnel greenhouse gas emissions deep into the earth. This environmental disaster will be very good for the economy. And shifting our economy is no big deal. Look at how much we have changed in the last hundred years. It's all good.
That's pretty much the only way we know how to relate to reality. We have been so thoroughly co-opted by the money economy that there is no other way to approach the problem. Global warming is not about Nature, it's about humans sustaining their lifestyle through treating the Earth as free raw materials. We have replaced Nature in our consciousness. The larger reality that we must deal with is the mysterious marketplace that responds to human needs of supply and demand. We depend on it to get money to buy our food to survive, not on our family farms. Without money we are dead. So money and trade is the only way we know how to approach climate change, as a business opportunity. Change is the only constant, their mantra goes. This is the next wave.
Global warming as a commodity. That's how it's being sold right now. And people are starting to buy it, and demand it. That's how we relate to the Earth. We don't actually relate to the Earth, but the environment, the thing we trade with money. It is more about fear for our own lifestyles. We have lost our connection with Nature in any real way. It was Hurricane Katrina and the Indonesian tsunami that made us wake up, not to Nature, but to the environment. How do we control this new situation to our security and comfort?
We feel so good right now about our lifestyles, our society, our wealth, democracy, medicine. Life is so good, and we want to spread it to the other ninety percent of the humans on the planet so they can be happy too. Unfortunately there is this global warming thing, but it's not an impediment but a bump in the road to making this all happen. With the right technology, we can stop climate change and give all humans a Western lifestyle. It's all about us, our fears and hopes, not about Mother Nature. We have no relationship with Her. Everything is an object outside of human life. Our relationship to something that is truly real, greater than us, and alive is the market. That mammoth force give us our jobs. We can see the dollars in our wallets to prove it. The magic of the marketplace to solve everything.
Civilization by definition is an addiction culture. Addiction, by definition, is a dependency on something unnatural. Modern life is totally dependent on what is unnatural. Money, business and science have converted reality into a survival system where everything in our lives is unnatural, manufactured, 'things' that keep us alive not through our personal connection with the natural world, but the processing of that world into cars, homes and food through the syringe of the trade. Money, business and science make it happen. We do not have daily contact for our survival through direct contact with the natural world. It has no meaning to us, outside of a concept, the 'environment.'
And like all addictions, we think we can control it until it is too late. Then we see the size of the monster and that we cannot really control it. It's called 'bottoming out.' We haven't reached that stage yet. We still believe in our drug to solve all our problems, because we do not have a connection with natural reality. It makes no sense to us. The drug keeps us alive and happy. It has worked well in the past. There is no reason to believe we cannot go on tweaking it to produce the 'good life.' Just keep doing what worked in the past. The magic of the marketplace will do it for us. It is alive, free and creative. Let humans naturally work in this environment and everything will be fine. Money, business and science are our 'pushers.' We are dependent on them. The perception of the numbers in money, business and science will keep us sedated. We can buy our way out of global warming through technology.
A god is something alive, conscious and much bigger and more powerful than the individual. The market is the modern paganism that Christianity always complained about in ancient times. It was the belief that we could control a god, this invisible spirit, to help human concerns. The Church told us that we could not do this with the true God, and wiped out traditional spirituality based on these premises. But now we have a different version. It's called the market. It's magic let's us feel free and able to tap into it, not be subject to its dictatorship.
But deep down honesty tells us that we are rooked. Big powers must give leadership to invoke the market to solve climate change, and they are only now starting to think about it because opinion polls say the people want it. Even Churches are getting on the bandwagon, lest they be out-of-step with their customers. And that is just for the 10% of the world's population that make up the West. How do you control the rest of the world in the wake of the lessons of the war in Iraq? The only superpower on the planet cannot control a little country like that. Is there any power on earth that can conjure up the technological steps necessary to stop climate change in its tracks? Or do we still believe the god of the market will solve it all? We feel the old drug of the market starting to stir on this issue. But is it enough to give us the kick of security and comfort that it has done in the past?
Or will we have to wake up soon and realize we are actually addicts, and realize for the first time the drug we are on? We no longer have a relationship with the reality of the Earth. We can't even form the perception, it is so strange, let alone make it 'real' in our daily lives. We are going into a phase of the addict now that still believes in his drug's salvation qualities. But the true costs are only now starting to dawn on us, though we still think we can negotiate our rescue using the drug that got us into the mess in the first place. We do not know how to live without it.