Contributing Editor L. W. Nicholson asks the author: Is there an alternative to collapse? If so, what is it?
Theedrich Yeat: My own view at this time – subject to future revision depending upon new information – is that there is no way to avoid collapse. As I see it, the political givens are too rigid. Tainter pointed out that other civilizations (the best documented being the Roman Empire) were compelled to exhaust their supports because of their own dynamics. In my view, the U.S. Constitution has been twisted into a suicide pact. We also have a population-control mechanism called “moral obligations.” This allows the Camp of the Saints to browbeat the masses into “compassion” with ThirdWorlders, thereby permitting political bribery organizations such as the agribusinesses and high-tech firms to use America (and the First World generally) as a dumping ground for excess ThirdWorld population – to say nothing about passively accepting the massive illegal-alien smuggling operations. Such “moral obligations” are a net drain on the energy subsidy of Nature.
Another contributor, “b,” said today, “A human civilization/society which does not include a ruthless exploitation of other humans would not be recognizable as human. And would probably be destroyed by invaders in no time flat.” Well, we are going to be destroyed by the invaders because we do not have the metal to expel them. (“Ethnic cleansing” – shudder, shudder!) And too few recognize the limits to growth.
Next week I will re-list the main alternatives I have collected from this group as possibilities for some aids to survival for some of us. But I expect that by 2020 the U.S. will have turned into a military dictatorship and most of us will be on our own.
L. W. Nicholson: Thanks for your answer to my questions, “Is there an alternative to a Global Collapse,?” and, “If so what is it.?” Your answer to the first question, that you believe there is no alternative, answers the first question and makes the second a moot question. Your answer may very well be correct. I regret very much to have to say that, but an alternative to a collapse does seem to be the most difficult of all the problems the human race has had to face in all of recorded history. It seems that we humans have worked ourselves into an impossible situation and will soon be in a desperate need of answers that may not be available. However there is some work being done that may lead up to a possible solution, if there is one. There is the Energy Resources List, and others, who are trying to make us aware of the Energy, and other, problems. If they are successful in this effort to make people aware, they will have reached one goal. Then they will be faced with another which, at this time, seems beyond their understanding, That is simply, what do we do next? People can be aware of many things but if they don’t have any idea of what to do about it they will be stalled at this point.
This problem is a physical problem first, it is the physical world that is being raped of its resources, many of them wasted in the production of useless products that serve little, or no, useful purpose, in wars that are unnecessary, in the transportation of 3,000 pounds of steel, plastic and rubber, to move one or two people across town, to take one child to school. These, and other such wastefulness, has brought us to the brink of disaster at a rapid rate during this technological age. Since this is a physical problem, it follows that if there is an answer it will certainly be a physical solution. This, then, is the area in which we must search. Nature is a given fact of life, the laws of thermodynamics are not repealable, all the million, or so, human laws are. If we can find a physical answer to our problem, then any man-made laws, customs, beliefs, opinions, or traditions must be changed or ignored until they fit the physical requirements.
The 2nd postulate of science is that nature is uniform, that is a tree doesn’t suddenly change into a fish, or a sandy beach into an oil field. All the changes, evolution, in nature occur in strict accordance with the laws of thermodynamics and man is not an exception. We have no choice but to live, or die, in this natural world. We can build all our little beliefs or customs around some fantastic ideology all we please, however when compared to nature’s laws they are useless. If we can’t learn this then we are a temporary species.
Ron Patterson: L.W., You got everything right except the location of the problem. You describe in great detail foolish and wasteful behavior of our society, and then you completely ignore what you have just written and proclaim the problem as ìphysical” and suggest that the solution will also be physical. No, it is not a physical problem, it is a behavioral problem and no physical answer will suffice.
But, sad to say, I have absolutely no suggestion as to how the problem could be solved. I do not believe human nature can be changed. People cannot be made to see the error of their ways until it is too late, and it is already too late.
So I guess your suggestion is really as good as any. Suggesting a physical solution to a behavioral problem is every bit as good as suggesting that no answer exists. Both will have equal results.
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