Second, so many things are happening in this world that have been happening for a long time that have brought us to this moment that, without the larger context of ‘how the fuck did we get here?’, we will continually misdiagnose what ails us. The daily give and take between Republican and Democrat played out on the TV and on our social media feeds is only so much noise when larger trends doom us.
Top of the list is, of course, climate change and environmental degradation, which I lump together under the banner of wrecking the planet for fun, profit and shareholder value. Global climate change is underway and, quite honestly, we really can’t do all that much about it at this point. Perhaps, sometime around the time we were busy trying to impeach Nixon we could have had a global awakening and changed our ways as a species, but besides CAFE standards, the EPA and Earth Day, we don’t have much to show for 40+ years of effort. The Paris Accords really just amount to a hail mary pass with seconds left on the clock. The current state of solar technology, while good, would have been better 35 years ago, before Saint Ronnie of the Ray-Gun took Jimmy Carter’s panels off the White House roof and declared such panels and public transit and sweaters passé and un-American, especially with all that valuable petroleum under the ground of so much of his voting public to be extracted and burned.
And our ruling elites know climate change is real and have known for a long time, but their agenda (long term: return to a medieval social structure, complete with castles to keep out those all desperate losers hardest-hit by climate change; near term: by hook or crook wring as much cash as possible out of the current system in order to finance the building of these fortress communities and acquire the security personnel to protect them) is of course hidden by obfuscation and lies (‘cuz, ya know, jobs. Or something) to buy them time enough to carry out their plans. The American GOP is the only sizable group on planet earth who even so much as doubt the truth of climate change. The fact that everyone involved, from the oil execs who have incentive to lie all the way down to the average Trumpkin voter who is congenitally unable to admit anyone to the left of Barry Goldwater has ever been right about anything throughout the whole of human history, plus Jebus is coming back, and ain’t no G’damn hippie gonna tell them they can’t drive their 9mpg SUV. In other words, most cannot admit climate change is real for any number of reasons and the few who kinda, sorta could admit that things are probably getting bad and going to get worse already think the Rapture is just about to happen anyway, so why bother to build a better future?
Which brings me to the next thing on my list of long-term trends: the end of petroleum and the impending collapse of industrial civilization. If you don’t know what Peak Oil is, google it. Read up on it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.