Michael Klare: The Race for What’s Left

Michael T. Klare, one of the great resource writers, outlines the “death wish” we are involved in, as we mine and drill the planet in a desperate attempt to maintain our unsustainable lifestyles. It’s more than possible that we will change the planet beyond recognition, in even attempting to do so.

Read Michael’s full article at TomDispatch.

“And don’t forget the final cost: If all these barrels of oil and oil-like substances are truly produced from the least inviting of places on this planet, then for decades to come we will continue to massively burn fossil fuels, creating ever more greenhouse gases as if there were no tomorrow.

And here’s the sad truth: if we proceed down the tough-oil path instead of investing as massively in alternative energies, we may foreclose any hope of averting the most catastrophic consequences of a hotter and more turbulent planet.”

It’s a warning for the ages…

In the following interview with Dr James Skelly, Michael takes the subject further, but I’d like to preface the video with a few thoughts from Albert Bartlett’s Laws of Sustainability.

Ninth Law: When large efforts are made to improve the efficiency with which resources are used, the resulting savings are easily and completely wiped out by the added resources consumed as a consequence of modest increases in population.

Tenth Law: The benefits of large efforts to preserve the environment are easily canceled by the added demands on the environment that result from small increases in human population.

Eleventh Law: (Second Law of Thermodynamics) When rates of pollution exceed the natural cleansing capacity of the environment, it is easier to pollute than it is to clean up the environment.


Twelfth Law: (Eric Sevareid’s Law); The chief cause of problems is solutions. (Sevareid 1970)


Fourteenth Law: If, for whatever reason, humans fail to stop population growth and growth in the rates of consumption of resources, Nature will stop these growths.

Sixteenth Law: Starving people don’t care about sustainability.

Eighteenth Law: Extinction is forever.

Therefore, sustainability is not possible, within a system that is not in itself sustainable, by a breakaway group, that is itself dependent upon the unsustainable system surrounding it to exist. Thus, come societal collapse, there is no such thing as a “resilient community”; not without guns, enforcers, high walls and lots of bullets.

So, “community resilience” is semantic nonsense. Conflict is inevitable. And collapse is increasingly assured, if we continue to proceed as we are.

More, from Michael T. Klare:

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