On the terror/global transformation book front: Here’s where I confess to my unsteady mind. Perhaps I’m not alone in this, but it seems the controls in the upstairs roost have been a little gummed up.
This mind has begun offering a strange suggestion to itself that I (that is the mind communing with its be-meated self and intangible awareness) am viewing this life from the end to the beginning. Not that I have a vision of that endpoint, mind you. Instead it’s best described as an unshakable feeling that what I am viewing in the present moment is somehow already memory.
Thankfully, it’s not fatalism at work either. Life is still powerful with choice and the potential for immediate, personal action. Time, which many have long accused of being more elastic than our chronometers would suggest, somehow subtly slides back and forth on the third rail juncture of memory, the present moment, and that general sense that what is to come has already been.
I like it like that. Otherwise, I suspect I would be thinking differently.
But it would be incorrect to absolve too quickly assumptions of Doom. I am a child of the Doom Generation. Or perhaps a precursor to it. Raised on Mutually Assured Destruction and flowering on a diet of Global Warming, I am one of those whose core is programmed, who finds himself agreeing (as Laurence Joseph writes in Apocalypse 2012) “Armageddon just feels like it’s meant to be.”
I’m not wacky to start Holy War in Jerusalem or anything. Not hip on stockpiling guns. Or canned food, even. But as the years ahead narrow in on that touchstone date of 12.21.12, thousands of years of doomsday conjecture and assertion are demanding my attention.
I’ve recently dispensed with two books on the topic, Daniel Pinchbeck’s 2012, The Return of Quetzalcoatl and the above-referenced offering by science writer Joseph. Pinchbeck’s, a skillfully managed, though deeply subjective tripnotic experience culminating in an uncomfortable assertion of saviordom status by the author/subject. Joseph’s is more a compendium of “what-if’s” and unsteady collection of prophetic ruminations.
While I thought I’d be dumping the both of them and restructuring my life in a way that Doom & Gloom would finally be stored away in the trunk for the foreseeable future, Joseph accomplished this much: He talked me into peering a little deeper into solar maximums and space debris — maybe even, God help me, the “Bible Code.”
Daniel’s book wasn’t necessarily the “scathingly funny appraisal” of our End Times condition. Nor was it nearly as footnoted as I would have liked. Pinchbeck was immensely engaging, and is probably a deeper thinker on the subject, but crashes ignobly (though I hope not irreparably) into Ego.
While we certainly don’t need premonitions or prophesy to steer us into global chaos — we seem to be getting along quite nicely fueled by extractive economies and middle-class ambitions, thank you — it does add that narcotic spice, the sense of higher purpose, to the mix. I’d hate to think we were burning down the house simply out of sheer stupidity.
Meanwhile in Poland, we’ll see where climate chaos rates in a world increasingly racked by financial turmoil.
From CNN’s SciTechBlog this morning:
Hosted by a nation with one of the most coal-intensive economies in the world, the Poznan meeting is the second of three global gatherings to hammer out a “shared vision” and agreement on reducing greenhouse gases to replace the less-than-spectacularly-successful Kyoto accord. By design, Kyoto focused on industrialized nations, leaving developing-world giants like China and India on the sidelines. The U.S. chose to sit it out as well. Neither the Clinton nor Bush Administrations forwarded the Treaty to the U.S. Senate for approval. China has insisted that developed nations not only need to take the first steps, but also need to provide financial and technological aid to the developing world before real climate gains can be achieved. To date, the U.S. has been unwilling to jump in while little is asked of India, China, and others.
So, a stalemate between the biggest greenhouse culprits continues. As scientist Mark Levine of the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs told Congress, the U.S. and China are trapped in “a vicious circle in which neither country will act boldly unless the other acts first, and neither appears willing to act first.”
Here in SA? The fight for clean water continues. Check out the San Geronimo Valley Alliance’s new website and planned January fundraiser to raise money for legal fees to fight SAWS’ proposal to drop treated sewage into the San Geronimo Creek, which drains into the Edwards Aquifer.