Red pill or blue pill or ignorance is bliss?

Forum for general discussion of Peak Oil / Oil depletion; also covering related subjects

Moderator: Peak Moderation

boisdevie
Posts: 460
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:48 pm
Location: N Lancashire

Red pill or blue pill or ignorance is bliss?

Post by boisdevie »

Am I the only one who finds it hard to cope? I'm pretty sure we're well on our way to environmental armageddon and I"m surrounded by people who either don't realise or don't care. I switch from feeling angry, resentful, despairing, resigned.
How do you all cope?
User avatar
UndercoverElephant
Posts: 11272
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:00 am
Location: south east England

Re: Red pill or blue pill or ignorance is bliss?

Post by UndercoverElephant »

boisdevie wrote:Am I the only one who finds it hard to cope? I'm pretty sure we're well on our way to environmental armageddon and I"m surrounded by people who either don't realise or don't care. I switch from feeling angry, resentful, despairing, resigned.
I personally went through that stage a very long time ago. It involved spending a few weeks in a psychiatric hospital. It was even more lonely then, because almost nobody understood. There was no Powerswitch. No internet even.
How do you all cope?
I got used to it. I still feel angry sometimes, but after "resigned" there is no point in resentment or despair. You just have to accept it, because it is the way things are. It's very sad and it is going to get very bad. All you can do is try to concentrate on doing whatever you can to sort out your own life, try to help your friends and family do the same, and try to raise awareness more generally.
User avatar
emordnilap
Posts: 14636
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: here

Post by emordnilap »

That's it. Focus on what you can do, not on stuff that's outside your control, otherwise you'd despair. It helps to not have a tv or mobile phone and to be allergic to adverts.

It also helps to have specific projects and aims. Well, it helps me. And a good variety of projects, so there's always something you fancy doing to keep you occupied.
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
User avatar
PS_RalphW
Posts: 5917
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Cambridge

Post by PS_RalphW »

I remember SUV drivers used to get me mad. They were selfish, aggressive, dangerous. Then I realised they were the losers, who would find themselves stranded with a 2 ton heap of rusty iron in a few years, and no muscle tone to walk home. I started feeling sorry for them.

Most people still don't get it. Most never will.
marknorthfield
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Bracknell

Post by marknorthfield »

There is no easy way, and I feel for you. Knowing how serious the climate situation is - with the risk of tipping points etc - is a complete headf***. But the pain of acknowledging this is a grieving process, and if you've ever gone through that in another context then hopefully you'll realise that it can become less intense over time, even if the pain is always somewhere there beneath the surface and able to surface at unpredictable moments.

A blog I find useful for helping to see the big picture for humanity and put things in perspective is John Michel Greer's weekly The Archdruid Report. Sure, it's from a US perspective, but that hardly matters considering the wide-ranging nature of his musings. His current article on 'biophobia' is typically fine. In it he happens to coin two imaginary drugs to illustrate a point: 'hopium' (inevitable progress) and 'despairoin' (inevitable apocalypse). Of both he is equally dismissive. He writes:
I’ve suggested in the past that one of the things the paired myths of inevitable progress and inevitable apocalypse have in common is that both of them serve as excuses for inaction. Claim that progress is certain to save us all, or claim that some catastrophe or other is certain to doom us all, and either way you have a great justification for staying on the sofa and doing nothing. I’ve come to think, though, that the two mythologies share more in common than that. It’s true that both represent a refusal of what Joseph Campbell called the “call to adventure,” the still small voice summoning each of us to rise up in an age of crisis and decay to become the seedbearers of an age not yet born, but both mythologies also pretend to offer an escape from life, in the full, messy, intensely real sense I’ve suggested above.
The blue pill may well be equated to 'hopium', but I would argue it is a mistake to see the 'red pill' as 'despairoin': an excuse to do nothing. Try to see it as a call to adventure, as Greer says. Grow food, learn practical skills that might come in useful later, if you're a musician or a writer use that as a platform to engage people, get to know your neighbours, forge community links, hassle your elected representatives, get involved with a local transition (or start one); hell, even do what I'm trying to do and get involved with local politics if you feel so inclined. Action soothes the anger and despair, and it creates reactions in other people (and people beyond them) that you cannot possibly guess.

It's one thing to stay informed via the internet, but too much contemplation can easily spiral into hopelessness. Equally, too much activism can burn you out if you're not careful. Don't forget to make time to laugh and love. Both are massively important.

Personally, I find real ale and cycling help quite a lot! :)
User avatar
emordnilap
Posts: 14636
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: here

Post by emordnilap »

marknorthfield wrote:Personally, I find real ale and cycling help quite a lot! :)
Heh heh. Sadly good beer is not easy to find over here in Ireland but I know what you mean. I've just been reading Ellie Bennet's Blood, Sweat and Gears, about her experience cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats. It should have been called Blood, Sweat and Beers. :lol: Very envious of her 'top 50 beers' en-route. Well, jealous full stop.
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
kenneal - lagger
Site Admin
Posts: 12608
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:35 am
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Contact:

Post by kenneal - lagger »

I first found out about "Resource Depletion" forty years ago and found it a great and exciting challenge and treated it as such. We are still working towards the time when we can say "Bring it on!" and know that we could survive untroubled but we could now survive a crash but with a drastically reduced life style and, for a time, nutrition level.

While we don't have to do some things we don't. When we can see us having to do certain things we will. We won't know many of the things that we will have to do until confronted by them as we don't know the way that the inevitable crash will come. We just have to be as prepared as we can be for whatever confronts us.

In the meantime I post here and kick my MP's butt on a regular basis. He still talks to me so perhaps he sees where I'm coming from. He is, thankfully, one of the greener Tories though.
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
marknorthfield
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Bracknell

Post by marknorthfield »

emordnilap wrote:
marknorthfield wrote:Personally, I find real ale and cycling help quite a lot! :)
Heh heh. Sadly good beer is not easy to find over here in Ireland but I know what you mean. I've just been reading Ellie Bennet's Blood, Sweat and Gears, about her experience cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats. It should have been called Blood, Sweat and Beers. :lol: Very envious of her 'top 50 beers' en-route. Well, jealous full stop.
My dad mentioned this book to me not too long ago... I really should check it out. Thanks for the reminder. Yes, cycling trips with pub stops is pretty much the ideal holiday. Luckily I have a partner who feels similarly, even though we haven't been any more ambitious for a long distance trip than the coast to coast thing up north so far.

Interestingly, he's someone who takes the 'we can't do anything about it's approach to climate change, which has caused a smidgeon of friction, but at least he goes along with (most) of my green ideas. I can imagine a scenario with some couples where a lot more heartache could result if one is keen to take action and the other not...
User avatar
nexus
Posts: 1305
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 10:57 pm

Post by nexus »

Having a partner who is 'onside' when it comes to green stuff goes a long way and like you, I find it helps a lot. :)
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Frederick Douglass
stumuzz
Posts: 899
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:19 pm
Location: Anglesey, North Wales

Post by stumuzz »

Don't take life too seriously.

If you are attracted by doom and gloom, then that is what you will get.

If, like myself, you find the current epoch the most exciting time, then you will know the next thirty years are going to be a roller coaster. Enjoy.

Watch this,
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/progin ... sling.html
User avatar
UndercoverElephant
Posts: 11272
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:00 am
Location: south east England

Post by UndercoverElephant »

stumuzz wrote: If, like myself, you
own twenty houses, practice law, and are being rewarded handsomely by the system that currently exists,...
woodburner
Posts: 4127
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:45 pm

Post by woodburner »

Please explain how things are going to be so rosy with the "lower birth rate" when the UK birth rate over the last few years is higher than any time in the last 40 years.

To illustrate the short sighted stupidity of economists
But some economists argue that there are advantages in having more children.

Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said: "The medium to long-term benefits are substantial.

"The people who are being born now or the immigrants who are coming here now will help pay for our pensions and public services in the future."
Portes is not the only short sighted one
These data will warm the hearts of those of us who believe every birth to be a miracle that deserves to be celebrated, and that human beings, as the US economist Julian Simon used to say, are a society’s ultimate resource - – but the numbers are also bound to horrify those neo-Malthusians convinced that our islands are already too full to be able to cope with a much larger population.
The Government should resist the temptation to pander to the latter group. Instead, it should wake up to the magnitude of the baby boom and use it as a catalyst to kick-start its stalled supply-side economic reforms. The Malthusians are misguided, but doing nothing would guarantee a social disaster, squander a new generation’s life chances and blow a unique opportunity to transform the UK’s prospects.
Last edited by woodburner on Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:56 am, edited 3 times in total.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
kenneal - lagger
Site Admin
Posts: 12608
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:35 am
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Contact:

Post by kenneal - lagger »

First generation immigrants usually have a higher birthrate than the indigenous population. The following generation usually falls in with the indigenous norm. We have to control immigration.
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
User avatar
biffvernon
Posts: 18539
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Lincolnshire
Contact:

Post by biffvernon »

kenneal - lagger wrote:First generation immigrants usually have a higher birthrate than the indigenous population. The following generation usually falls in with the indigenous norm. We have to control immigration.
There's a non-sequitur. If the goal is slowing the global population growth we need to invite all the fertile people from the parts of the world with the highest birth rates to come to Britain so that their following generation's birth rate falls in with the indigenous norm. ;)
stumuzz
Posts: 899
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:19 pm
Location: Anglesey, North Wales

Post by stumuzz »

woodburner wrote:
Please explain how things are going to be so rosy with the "lower birth rate" when the UK birth rate over the last few years is higher than any time in the last 40 years.
Depends on where in the UK you are standing. The birth rate would appear to be a problem when viewed from the south of England. When viewed from the Edinburgh to Thurso road, a quadrupling of the birth rate would not make that much of a difference.

As, the Professor from the BBC programme pointed out, when most people talk about population they get it wrong.

Things will not be so rosy in Asia/parts of Africa, but then we do not live there. Thank our lucky stars we live in the UK where compared to Asia/Africa life will be easy.
Post Reply