Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

‘Remarks on Utopia in the Age of Climate Change’

with one comment

…from Kim Stanley Robinson.

So the question of history returns. How do we act on what we know? The time has come when we have to solve this puzzle, because the future, from where we look at it now, is different than past futures. Before we just had to keep on trying to do our best, and we would be OK. Things seemed to slowly get better, for some people in some places anyway; in any case, we would keep trying things, and probably muddle through. This is no longer the case. Now the future is a kind of attenuating peninsula; as we move out on it, one side drops off to catastrophe; the other side, nowhere near as steep, moves down into various kinds of utopian futures. In other words, we have come to a moment of utopia or catastrophe; there is no middle ground, mediocrity will no longer succeed. So utopia is no longer a nice idea, but a survival necessity. This is a big change. We need to take action to start history on a path onto the side of the peninsula representing one kind of better future or another; the details of it don’t matter, survival without catastrophe is what matters. In essence the seven billion people we have, and the nine to ten billion people we’re likely to have, exist at the tip of an entire improvised complex of prostheses, which is our technology considered as one big system. We live out at the end of this towering complex, and it has to work successfully for us to survive; we are far past the natural carrying capacity of the planet in terms of our numbers. There is something amazing about the human capacity to walk this tightrope over the abyss without paralysing fear. We’re good at ignoring dangers; but now, on the attenuating peninsula, on the crazy tower of prostheses — however you envision it, it is a real historical moment of great danger, and we need to push hard for utopia as survival, because failure now is simply unacceptable to our descendants, if we have any.

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. It is similar to asking an alcoholic to quit drinking if he loves his family. How many will quit ? As far as running this planet, it is time the experienced and knowledgeable grandmothers took charge in a practical way. Stop pretending you care, and do the right thing, ignoring the old pleasures like flying everywhere, and spending money on new clothes when the old ones are still very comfortable and useful.. we have become dummies, and can be manipulated into spending money we do not have. It is the same at any level, and I believe the women who have had to contend with multiple problems, could and should be in control. It is time for the BOYS’ CLUB to give up . We will have money in the bank in no time, and everyone will be taken care of. Simple !!

    mary dicerni

    December 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: