Delusions of Grandeur

November 8, 2014

The Republicans took control of both houses of Congress here in the US midterm elections this last week – to Republican cries of joy and Democratic moans of despair across the country.

President Obama ordered 1500 more troops to Iraq to “advise and retrain” the Iraqi troops already being advised and retrained by the first 1500 troops we sent when those Iraqi troops that we’d spent the last decade advising and training failed to make a proper showing as they came up against ISIS and threw one more monkey wrench in the Empires dreams of, well, more empire.

The fragile ceasefire between Kiev and the rebels in Ukraine’s eastern provinces has broken down – warming the hearts, no doubt, of Congressional hawks and members of the military-industrial-arms complex across the nation.

The remains of Typhoon Nuri will hit the Aleutian Islands this weekend, buckling the jet stream further east, later this week, and allowing arctic air to flood down and across the Midwest and eastern United States– to the despair of those of us who did not expect and will not delight in this too early taste of winter.

The IPCC, in its Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report, said, this week, that if we want a 66% chance of keeping global warming under two degrees centigrade, we must reduce fossil fuel use to zero by 2100 – no doubt leaving oil producers and oil dependent countries everywhere rejoicing in the belief that this means they can wait until 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2099, to actually do something about it.

Thus, life proceeds apace in the dying American Empire and its hapless global suzerainty and there seems precious little that we or the Empire can or will do at this point, locked-in ideologically to our oil dependent model of constant growth, to change the course we are on.

The Empire is well on its way to the fate of countless empires before it; the civilization built around it will, in its turn, collapse as other civilizations have, long before ours arose.

There is no guarantee that enough of the web of life that birthed us remains for another civilization to rise out of the ashes of this one.

Nor is their any indication that we are special; that the universe is, somehow, bound to preserve several billion bits of cosmic detritus wrapped in flesh and full of their own self-important delusions – one species among millions of other species on a small planet in a solar system circling a medium sized sun, in the back waters of the arm of a spiral galaxy set among the births and deaths of billions of other galaxies and star systems spread across the vastness of cosmic space-time.

What we need is some perspective. We are not exceptional as a people; we are not indispensable as a nation; we are not even particularly smart as a species – having polluted our air, water and food sources, squandered our resources in pursuit of a belief system that enriches only a small percent of the planetary population while impoverishing the majority. And in destroying the habitats of millions of creatures with which we share the earth, we’ve destroyed more of our own habitat than we can ever recoup.

Sadly, I have no expectation that next week’s news will be much different that this week, or last week, or the week before that. I fully expect that our delusions of grandeur will continue on, until reality intrudes and they can’t, any more.

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9 Responses to Delusions of Grandeur

  1. Aubrey Enoch says:

    All this Near Term Extinction stuff with all the hand wringing and anguish and OMG cubed is on the wrong track. Hello people, this is the 6th mass extinction, not the first.
    It is not the 2nd mass extinction.
    It is not the 3rd mass extinction.
    It is not the 4th mass extinction.
    It is not the 5th mass extinction.
    Am I getting a bit repetitive?
    That is the point.
    Mass extinctions are repetitive and this is the 6th, which comes after the 5th and before the 7th. This is the 6th one in the past 500 million years. That’s an average of 83 million years between mass extinctions. The last one was 65 million years ago so it’s not like we just had one and here we go again.
    Us Earthling humanoids think we’re sooo special. And you might say that we are somewhat unique in that we get to be first hand witnesses to a once in 60 million year event. We carry on about the 4th of July …..238 years ago, and Christmas…..2014 years ago, and Halloween……3 or 4 thousand years ago, and here we are having a once in 60 million year event and no one is celebrating??
    We’re all watching that stupid television and going to stupid movies when we’ve got STARWARS, THE ROAD, DOOGIE HOWSER, ANIMAL HOUSE, and 1984 all going on at the same time right before our eyes.
    We don’t need smarter inventers to produce a perpetual motion machine. We don’t need smarter biologist to make a vaccine for Ebola. We need smarter writers to create an atmosphere of joy and celebration for this great event. Where are the innovative marketers when we really need them? Everyone is all ate up with numbers…… Dow is down 400. Royals win 4 in a row. McElroy shoots a 68. CO2 is at 400ppm. Mississippi State is number 1. This is 1 in 60,000,000.
    Extinctions are currently happening at thousands of times the background rate. And we Humanoids are the cause. Congratulations to my fellow Americans. We are leading the pack. We are the most consumptive and emissive of all the 7 billion Earthling Humanoids that are creating this 6th mass extinction. Think about it. Rejoice. It’s something to tell your grandkids about………… no wait??????

    (this rant and rave kinda popped out after see that thing about committing suicide on NBL. If it’s too stupid and needs to be someplace other than here I understand. I’m an old maintenance man and this Zombie Apocalypse is a new world of opportunity. Lots of stuff needs fixin’)

    • theozarker says:

      LOL Aubrey, unfortunately for us, (or some would say, fortunately for the remaining animals,) this current web of life is the one that supports us and we are just as likely to be one of the victims of extinction as any other of the animals if we keep on destroying it. Sigh, ya buy ’em books and ya buy ’em books, and all they do is chew the covers. 😦

  2. eugene says:

    For an old man who thinks the same, you are music for my ears. It’s a comfort to know there are others in my corner of the mind. I stay away from people who, to me, bubble with unbridled optimism or some form of religion that all will be well and there is some magical solution, as yet unknown, that will arrive at the 11th hour. They find me way to “gloomy” to be around. Personally, I’ve found serenity in my apathy.

  3. eugene says:

    Aubrey, I’ve added you to my list. Love your sense of humor.

  4. theozarker says:

    Hi herc. I think that’s why I love to garden. It never bores me with trivialities.

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