Should we deprive people of all hope? I’ve been thinking about this these past few days. Because hope is the worst. And, as we all know, it’s the last to die. Maybe we can finish it off somehow? Covertly poison it. Attack it, when it turns its back at us. As long as we will all still have hope, not much can be done. Imagine that some important guy, lets say Obama, has all the necessary data. Researchers draw up some fancy charts and graphs explaining in great detail the prognosis for the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and to what levels to oceans will rise. Here we bid farewell to Hawaii, here New York becomes New Venice. Obama sits at his desk, cries a bit, and then pumps another billion dollars into the arms industry. And what is he thinking at that moment? “Fuck the flood in Luisiana, I never really liked that state anyway, what’s important is that we’ll finish off those guys wearing flip-flops in the desert. After all they’re the ones threatening American dreams, not the Koch brothers or the relentless desire to eat meat.” So, no. I don’t think that’s what he actually thinks. Actually I think that Gen. Keith Alexander comes to him and says: Don’t worry, buddy. We’ll build a perpetuum mobile, we’ll have an unlimited source of energy and you’ll soon be able to tell the oil barons to go fuck themselves. Maybe you’ll even be able to introduce your whole Obamacare, although I honestly don’t know why bother.
So what do normal people think? Those that I’ve met think for example that scientists exaggerate. Not so long ago they predicted that London would be flooded by tones of shit because of the excessive number of horse cabs. And what happened? Cars were invented. Scientists could say that London is still being flooded by shit but in a gaseous state. Air pollution will soon exceed smoking on the charts for factors leading to lung cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. But didn’t we just say that scientists exaggerate? Luckily there are other brave scientists who instead of exaggerating and depriving people of hope keep working on lovely new nuclear reactors. Or even more exciting things. At least we hope so. So maybe we should be deprived of that hope?
People also think that it’s impossible for a man to do so much harm to nature in such a short period of time. We’re too weak for that. The ocean levels may be rising, but hasn’t the world always been changing? Maybe various species are dying out, but we need to eat something! And on this point I do agree with people. It’s difficult to prohibit people from eating. Although on those that could use this kind of prohibition, we can’t even impose taxes, much less make them go on a diet. Prohibiting things is easier when it comes to poor people. And that’s nasty.
Not having to look too far, the Australian government is trying to discourage people form smoking. So a pack of cigarettes costs about $15. I couldn’t believe it, as producing a packet of cigarettes costs a few pennies (in Australia maybe a bit more, due to high labour costs). But it’s true. If you’re rich it makes no difference. But when your’e poor it’s quite a lot. Thanks to this idea some people may actually give up smoking. But as far as I know, when it comes to oil, the restrictions are much more lax. It’s funny how the government that is doing its absolute best to destroy the Great and oldest Coral Reef completely, takes such good care of its citizens. They care so much that soon all that will be left of the ecosystem will be citizens with healthy lungs. Well, maybe not so healthy, because of the air pollution. But at least it won’t be from cigarettes.
Maybe it’s just easier to impose taxes on those who burn tobacco than on those who burn oil? All in all, awareness of the harms from smoking has become widespread. So maybe the awareness of the fact that consuming oil is not such a good idea will also get to into every house? The trick is that even though living without smoking is perfectly possible to imagine (and billions of people do this), living without oil seems a bit trickier. Maybe a few guys on the desert in flip-flops can, but probably not even them. Their flip-flops have to be made of something. And if it’s not human skin it’s oil.
Now I’m going to get some beer. Korean, because it’s the cheapest here. It’s cheaper to import beer from Korea, where the labour cost is low. Air pollution comes along as a free bonus. Air is also free. Maybe it shouldn’t be?