Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Global War... ning

What's my view of eVTOL development and the electrification of our homes and cars? I view it as a concerted global effort at rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, and Earth the Titanic. Moral of the story, Titanic's still there on the sea-bed, surviving its passengers. Or in conclusion, we're fucked.

Well I'm not personally, having like most people I imagine viewed the current state of affairs as a sort of pool-party that we'll all be paying for later once we wake up. By way of illustration, what connects the two traffic jams above? One is a China-funded effort in Kenya to expand the use of airliners and cars in and around Nairobi and the other is people in Louisiana trying to escape the knock-on effect.

I emerged from university having learned nothing except maybe the feeling that Hitler had it right about the uselessness of academics, despite having got it wrong about all else. One thing I do recall however from a glancing study of Geology and Geography is that unlike our modern selves, the world is decidedly binary: it flips from one state to another by a series of positive feedback loops if we piss it off sufficiently.

Which we've done. I imagine that realistically we would have to forego the use of cars, aeroplanes and the internet right now to have even a hope of averting a hell-hole of a future, and that's not going to happen, for as the Taliban have shown we lack the moral authority and our politicians are all exemplars of its lack.

How's it connect to Istanbul here? Well it's where Dan Brown's book Inferno ends, whose anti-hero an academic who intends to release a pathogen because his opinion is that the world is doomed by over-population... pointing out as he goes that the Great Plague which eliminated half of Europe invigorated its culture and led to a renaissance and scientific method that improved our lot in the long run. (He wrote this prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, incidentally. Perhaps that's where they got the idea?).

Which brings us back to oil, and the fact three of Exxon's retired scientists explained how the oil business itself knew of the global-warming effects of using hydrocarbons as far back as the 1960s. One explained he'd always believed over-population was at the root of the problem, or specifically our over-consumption... its high-priest a brat on YouTube opening endless boxes of toys.

Our billionaire astronauts believe the solution lies in exporting civilisation beyond the planet... like having to rebuild the Titanic from within the rowing-boat you escaped on.

Fear not, however, lighter arrangements of deck-chair due here soon...

p.s. probably sounds really bad, but I've always wanted to experience a hurricane.