Chris Martenson is a rare journalist with a wide view and deep understanding that is able to connect the dots between ecology, economy, energy, and human overshoot.
Martenson’s free video course titled “The Crash Course” is the best place to start for someone wishing to get educated on our predicament.
Martenson yesterday published an excellent essay surveying the collapse of ecosystems that is underway around the world.
Many people are expecting some degree of approaching collapse — be it economic, environmental and/or societal — thinking that they’ll recognize the danger signs in time.
As if it will be completely obvious, like a Hollywood blockbuster. Complete with clear warnings from scientists, politicians and the media. And everyone can then get busy either panicking or becoming the plucky heroes.
That’s not how collapse works.
Collapse is a process, not an event.
And it’s already underway, all around us.
Collapse is already here.
Be very skeptical when the cause of each new ecological nightmare is ascribed to “natural causes.”
While it’s entire possible for any one ecological mishap to be due to a natural cycle, it’s weak thinking to assign the same cause to dozens of troubling findings happening all over the globe.
As they say in the military: Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. But three times is enemy action.
Martenson covers a lot of territory in his essay:
- million fish die-off in Australian rivers
- one third of bats dead in Australia
- wild horses and camels dying in Australia
- kauri trees in New Zealand dying
- baobab trees in Africa dying
- squid catches collapsing in Japan
- 98% decline of insects in Puerto Rican rainforest
- 86% decline of Monarch butterflies in California
- seabird collapse in the Baltic Sea
- 50% decline of ocean phytoplankton
- seagulls gone in Maine
- worldwide amphibian collapse
- depleting the Colorado river to grow cotton in a desert
- elites denying all of the above
I’m seeing a similar ecological collapse in my front yard that I documented here.
Martenson concludes with some wise words:
The bottom line is this: We are destroying the natural world. And that means that we are destroying ourselves.
I know that the mainstream news has relegated this conversation to the back pages (when they covered it at all) and so it’s not “front and center” for most people. But it should be.
Everything we hold dear is a subset of the ecosphere. If that goes, so does everything else. Nothing else matters in the slightest if we actively destroy the Earth’s carrying capacity.
At the same time, we’re in the grips of an extremely dangerous delusion that has placed money, finance and the economy at the top spot on our temple of daily worship.
Any idea of slowing down or stopping economic growth is “bad for business” and dismissed out of hand as “not practical”, “undesirable” or “unwise”. It’s always a bad time to discuss the end of economic growth, apparently.
But as today’s young people are increasingly discovering, if “conducting business” is just a lame rationale for failed stewardship of our lands and oceans, then it’s a broken idea. One not worth preserving in its current form.
The parade of terrible ecological breakdowns provided above is there for all willing to see it. Are you willing? Each failing ecosystem is screaming at us in urgent, strident tones that we’ve gone too far in our quest for “more”.
We might be able to explain away each failure individually. But taken as a whole? The pattern is clear: We’ve got enemy action at work. These are not random coincidences.
Nature is warning us loudly that it’s past time to change our ways. That our “endless growth” model is no longer valid. In fact, it’s now becoming an existential threat
The collapse is underway. It’s just not being televised (yet).
From here, there are only two likely paths:
(1) We humans simply cannot self-organize to address these plights and carry on until the bitter end, when something catastrophic happens that collapses our natural support systems.
(2) We see the light, gather our courage, and do what needs to be done. Consumption is widely and steeply curtailed, fossil fuel use is severely restrained, and living standards as measured by the amount of stuff flowing through our daily lives are dropped to sustainable levels.
Either path means enormous changes are coming, probably for you and definitely for your children and grandchildren.