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Alien Anthropology

The Worst-Case Climate Scenario is Occurring

Don’t be fooled into a false sense of security by the fact that a worst-case climate apocalypse is intimately terrifying on a scale exceeding any story that humanity ever told itself and is so far beyond our limited experience that we more readily characterise it as myth or fiction. At the scale of disaster we are currently facing, it may be that it is quite simply and literally beyond human comprehension to understand the depths of irreversible damage we are inflicting upon our world and upon ourselves. The catastrophe is so immense that we colour it with the idioms and tropes of popular imagination and narrative culture, as though these shallow metaphors could ever capture or characterise the nature of this terrible and wicked, mindlessly complex thing that we have made. The aggregate entropy of civilisation is rising like a swelling tide and like a runner who feel themselves toppling iver forwards, we find ourselves and our wasteful economies compelled to run ever faster to just stay upright and solvent. Mark my words: this will not end well.

Context: Climate change ‘hitting harder and sooner’ than forecast, warn scientists ahead of UN meeting

The coming storms and endlessly cascading cacophony of natural disasters that will beset us on all sides are so vast that even imagination will be beggared and this, to our own regret, is entirely of our own making. Even now, while we still possess half a chance of extricating ourselves from this mire and those bureaucracies and self-propelling organisational rationales that assert wisdom apposite to the task of solving all our problems argue the finer points of parochialism, anachronistic governance and faltering carbon economies, the intelligence and scientific tools required to do what must be done actually already exist but the status quo (such as it is) autonomously shudders and blindly stumbles along in abject denial from error to error and misery to misery. Beyond ideology and politics we are all in this together and, without doubt, we will all go down together.

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