Can we adapt cooperatively and evolve collectively? Can we use this profoundly challenging situation as an opportunity to grow?
And ecological collapse — the sixth great extinction of life on Earth — is already well underway, since the loss of the world’s great mammals some 12,000 years ago and continuing with the expected loss of half of all animal species by mid-century, and the onset of runaway climate change that will render much of the Earth uninhabitable by humans, and require another Great Migration of the survivors toward the poles. Almost any climate scientist will now admit, off the record, that this extermination and climate upheaval cannot be prevented or significantly mitigated. So now the question becomes how we can prepare for, and adapt to, collapse and the end of civilization culture, not how we can prevent or lessen this collapse.
Ruppert’s friends dismiss the notion that he killed himself as “a final offering of flesh” in preparation for end times. Instead, they told me that suicide was a preoccupation for Ruppert — an impulse that emerged whenever prospects seemed bleak.
“Put succinctly, the HANDY study found that, given our present circumstances and the current intransigence of the Elites, a preventative strategy that attempts to evade a crisis in one part of the problem causes a crisis in the other part of the problem. The Elites can neither continue exploiting the poor to maintain wealth and power, nor can they create sufficient wealth to elevate the poor out of poverty without doing irreparable damage to ecosystems. Motesharri and his colleagues found that under conditions “closely reflecting the reality of the world today . . . we find that collapse is difficult to avoid.” Not surprisingly, the report was not well received.”
When civilizations start to die they go insane. Let the ice sheets in the Arctic melt. Let the temperatures rise. Let the air, soil and water be poisoned. Let the forests die. Let the seas be emptied of life. Let one useless war after another be waged. Let the masses be thrust into extreme poverty and left without jobs while the elites, drunk on hedonism, accumulate vast fortunes through exploitation, speculation, fraud and theft. Reality, at the end, gets unplugged.
Could we learn to regard collapse not as a firm prediction but as a scenario worth exploring? After all, the Pentagon has contingency plans for events that are arguably less likely and less devastating.
Edge-Dwelling: A Social Ecology For Our Time: Part 5: Shamans, Midwives, And Hospice Workers, By Dianne Monroe
Beyond the edge where what we know and don’t know meets lies the Unknown (with a capital U). It’s a wild place that stretches the capacity of our human consciousness. This edge space is inhabited by a very particular kind of Edge-Dweller – those willing to hold the hugeness of even our ability to know, the horizon of human consciousness.
What we see and what we cannot yet see, what we know and cannot yet know, become the edge places from which we create new ways for humanity to live as part of our Earth community, weaving from the frayed edges of what we leave behind a bridge to the potential and possibilities of what we can become. These qualities and abilities enable us to do a dance of co-creation, visioning and building the future out of and together with what exists today.