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August 3, 2021

Here & Now #75 Summit is the pits

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Earth. October 2014.

The G20 Summit is a gathering of fools.

Come on. Can you really believe that constant economic growth on a wee planet is an answer to anything except the question ‘What is the surest way to destroy human civilisation and take down most species with it?’

These people, who are welded like rust to the lie of progress, are stooges for a failing system that has brought us to the very edge of societal collapse. (Yes, I know you don’t want to hear it.) These (mostly) blokes, with nooses already hanging round their necks, will talk the old talk, desperately shoring up the collapsing edifice with buckets of debt and a gush of spin.

They will speak a non-human language, a syntax of lies; a language that celebrates pollution and defines ecological catastrophe as a by-product of wealth generation and a contributor to GDP.

The G20 is a meeting of fools who support the fairy tale of progress, victims of the Wall Street web they have spun.

But we know it has failed.

Take a step back and look at where we are. We lucky ones, we survive on a burgeoning debt taken against a future that is already bankrupt. Humanity consumes 25 per cent more (and rising) of the world’s resources than the Earth can replace. And economic growth can fix this? No, the economic system created this mess.

The fiction of progress, which entails humanity’s separation from nature, has been exposed and is there for us all to see. Ecocide is not a good look. Not when you understand the basics of Humanity 101: We are part of the natural world and depend on it, Stupid.

We lucky ones, we talk about sustainability and watch Q&A. We go to protests and then for coffee. With our green philosophies and organic wine, we scratch that annoying itch that never goes away, gaining momentary relief. But the green movement, like everything else that has stood in the way of the great deception, has been absorbed into the system, adding just a bit of colour where needed to keep the delusion active; to keep a false hope alive, to keep us all in line.

But sometimes, in a quiet moment away from the shrill ululation of modern society, we feel a shiver scamper through us like a frightened wallaby; we feel the hot breath of reality raise the hairs on our neck; we feel the darkness upon us.

We live in the shadow of an awful reality: It’s over.

This past year – despite the talk, the protests, the science – humans have poured more carbon into the atmosphere than ever before, the rising global temperature already fingering the methane gas trigger that will blast us to hell.

Animals are disappearing, forests are shrinking, the oceans are turning acid… well, we all the know the rave.

Led by fools who can say ‘Coal is good for humanity’ without cracking a grin, the last resistance to the awful truth mounts its most desperate and dangerous denial even as the whole bloody thing comes tumbling down. But still we stay blind, because it’s just too much…

The unlucky ones, they already see.

Their homes under the coconut palms are drowned in a rising ocean; their rice paddies in the delta salted by the encroaching tides; their jungles flattened, rivers toxified, seas dying.

Let’s get real. It isn’t progress. It isn’t.

And the fools are coming to Brisbane to talk their nonsense, to sell the toxic fraud to the fearful, to buy just a bit more time until the inevitable collapse makes such gatherings impossible.

There. I feel better. Freed from hope.




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  1. Well said S. So if systemic breakdown is a real probability (and it is), how do we prepare to find our way through it? Humanity has faced collapse many times on our evolutionary journey, but never on this scale. What have we learnt?

  2. from Beyond Hope by Derrick Jensen

    A WONDERFUL THING happens when you give up on hope, which is that you realize you never needed it in the first place. You realize that giving up on hope didn’t kill you. It didn’t even make you less effective. In fact it made you more effective, because you ceased relying on someone or something else to solve your problems—you ceased hoping your problems would somehow get solved through the magical assistance of God, the Great Mother, the Sierra Club, valiant tree-sitters, brave salmon, or even the Earth itself—and you just began doing whatever it takes to solve those problems yourself….When you give up on hope, you turn away from fear….


  3. One of the best article ever. Thanks for pointing out the shine of dreams and the fog of hope, for simply stating what is.

  4. Nicely skewered Sonny. I gather the G20 is still squabbling over the guest list (Putin etc . . . )

    And congratulations on your giving up hope. Another habit kicked! M Gardner says it all: “we begin to do whatever it takes to solve the problem ourselves”. (I’d start by re-learning to grow a bit of food. Just in case the financial clowns exhaust the farm land — and we see our food supply declining, while our population is exploding.)

    Thanks for a nicely written piece.

  5. This meeting is just a junket, a mutual [pleasure session] by the “leaders, pissing into each others pockets, at a great cost and inconvenience to the Australian taxpayer in general and the unfortunate residents of Brisbane in particular. Any actual work would have been done already by the public servants of the countries involved and any actual conversations could have been arranged on video conferencing.

  6. hey S ,well written & seen.
    but theme– (the evil ones) are very much like us , just with a bit more fear, greed & opportunities.
    understanding the naked truth about the environment and human foolishness, -I am still the same, do the same??
    Yes, even the hope that there is something I can do, has all but gone.
    (except hiding near the end of the world )
    this brilliant global machine that we are all part of, has plenty of everything, but NO BRACKES !!$$
    this intricate woven net of life and climate is going with the beat and intensity of the times,
    a bit wild, out of control, wet and dry and just plain moody.
    Still- sometimes I get the hitch
    that every moment is as perfect
    as that moment can be at the moment

    and there is still hope , like S- we could suddenly lose unconsciousness’


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