December 15, 2018

The Basic Ecological Flow of Modern Civilization


Over the long run the ecological measure is the one and only real measure for life on Earth. All the artificial measures of Babylon which currently seem so powerful, which often seem even to have superseded the measure of life itself, are ephemeral. The best example is the most extreme example. The fakeness of money, which through global financialization claims to be the most granite reality of all, is just the most extreme fakeness of a civilization whose adamantine towers are always just one breeze away from toppling. These measures of rock built on sand are measures only for the very short run, however long that seems to the victims, and to we ecological dissidents.
And so ecology is the only reality-based measure. What’s the basic ecological cycle and flow of modern civilization?
1. Extract fossil fuels (and fossil water, fossil phosphorus, minerals, everything which can be exploited for productionism), mine all “resources” (anything and everything including human beings is nothing but a resource), theoretically renewable or not, such that it renders them non-renewable.
2. Put all this into motion as aggressively, chaotically, destructively as possible. (Their ideologues call this “creative destruction”.) Force everything and everyone to participate in frenzied action to no purpose. What is the ecological purpose of any action characteristic of civilization? None whatsoever, other than destruction for the sake of destruction. Damage, ravage, poison, destroy the ecology. From the point of view of ecology, the only reality-based measure, almost all civilized hominid action serves zero purpose but destruction.
A simple ratio demonstrates this: Look at any hominid and tally what he takes from the Earth, and what he gives to the Earth.* In the case of almost any civilized hominid it’ll be difficult or impossible to discern in what way he’s anything but a pure parasite. And in almost all cases gratuitously destructive as well, a vandal as well as a parasite.
3. As the waste product of the pointless frenzy, fill the atmosphere with greenhouse gases and other wastes, fill the water with pollutants, accumulate plastic and other wastes in the oceans, suffuse the general environment with plastics, industrial and agricultural poisons, and every other kind of waste. For as long as the ecology functions, some of this waste biodegrades, some only very slowly, some, especially plastics, maybe not at all. The more waste accumulates the greater the pressure on the ecology to break down and cease function.
There’s the ecological essence of modern civilization: Extraction of non-renewable “resources”, pointless orgy, massive and terminal buildup of waste and toxification. The ecological measure is the only real measure, over the long run. For civilization it’s a suicide race. Which will come first: Resource depletion, the orgy going to nuclear war or total pandemic, general ecological collapse? Which mode of death: Starvation, shooting yourself, poisoning yourself.
The only real questions are, once the nightmare’s over and what’s left behind is a Learian desolation, how much will be left for Gaia to use to rebuild, and at what stability or chaos of a new phase state.
This is the long run history of the future. There’s a popular Keynes quote, “In the long run we’re all dead.”
Yes. And “Homo sapiens” is determined to make that long run as short as possible for itself as a species. In its civilized form H. domesticus it wants to make life itself extinct. The suicide race also is a homicide race – how much of Gaia can civilization murder before it kills itself. And what can ecological dissidents do: To defend and conserve until the clock runs out; to fight back; even to speed up the clock.
*To anticipate trolls or even honest questions, here’s what I give to the Earth: On all the land available to me I grow food according to agroecological principles (aka organically). Beyond directly growing food I’ve been active in the community food movement, dedicated to restoring natural modes of food production and distribution, for almost ten years now. I’m a writer and educator, director of two community gardens, have worked at a farmers market and at our herbal medicine garden. In these ways I act and propagate ideas toward restoring these more ecological modes. All voluntary aspects of my life are on Gaia’s vector.
I would like to be a full time farmer if I had my rightful place on the land. Civilization encloses the land for only idle or destructive purposes. I’m foreclosed by the religion of money (Mammon), the religion of property, the police. This is to explain how civilization forces limits on how much any of us who isn’t rich or otherwise lucky can give.
I offer Gaia my writing, I propagate the necessary ideas to whatever extent I’m able and anyone’s listening. I do all I can to speak to fellow mammals amid the underbrush, calling upon us to wait out the dinosaurs, destroying their eggs whenever we can. I do the maximum I can do. And I engage in no high-impact, high-GHG actions except under duress. I’m conscripted into driving a car; if I could abolish the car completely I’d do so in a second. If I could press a button and cause all fossil fuels to disappear immediately, I’d do so in a second.
I envision the coming ecological restoration of humanity, the coming natural community which includes humanity as fully giving and receiving participant. And until then I do what I can to envision the ideas and organization we need today, in order to endure and carry through the little that’s worthwhile, and take whatever action we can.


  1. I have a few questions for you:

    Do you want earth overgrown with vegetation over the whole planet? Would you want mild temperatures across more of the planet rather than hostile extremes of cold, heat and dryness? Would you like milder temperatures across the year, rather than the hostile polar extremes that we encounter, merely by remaining in one spot throughout the year? Would you like to see more rainfall? Would you like to see the climate stabilized, with hurricanes and other events not able to generate? Would you like to see biomass explode on planet earth at an exponential rate? Would you like to see food of such abundance that no one has to work again, thus collapsing many exploitive industries? Would you like to see a free raw food vegan diet available to anyone and everyone on earth, with all them having to do is step outside and do five minutes of foraging for enough to eat?

    Would you like to see epigenetic effects of higher temperature, much higher CO2 and abundant water leading to our food sources dwarfing us, instead of the other way around. Would you like to see an exponential explosion of plant and animal life on planet earth, to shame even Cameron’s visions of Pandora? Would you like to see sea levels drop, due to massive growth of giant trees and attendant ecosystems holding massive stores of water in their bodies? Would you like to see a drop in the murderously too strong force of gravity acting on us, as more mass of the earth is contained in a massive ecostructure that is higher than the tallest mountains. Would you like to see the earth not restored to a denuded popular vision, but blossoming into a destiny so glorious it is unimaginable but has been glimpsed by such as James Cameron?

    There is a reason the elites are afraid of earth blossoming, aided by adequate amounts of CO2. There is a reason they are demonizing CO2. It heralds their end, when earth becomes a decent planet, not the denuded shithole that you think is nature, and normal. You are buying into the elites demonization of the molecule of life, based on phantom fears.

    Comment by Anarchore — December 18, 2018 @ 1:18 pm

    • So you’re part of the religion which considers nature “hostile” because it doesn’t infinitely coddle you and give you a new pony every day. That’s all I need to know about anyone.

      As for the rest of your rant, you understand even less about ecology, agronomy, and the climate crisis than Trump.

      And in case you didn’t notice, the elites are doing all they can to force as much CO2 and every other greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as possible. So self-evidently their goal is this CO2 and heating maximum. What world are you living in where the elites want something different?

      Well, obviously you see yourself as one of the elites, infinitely above mere humanity and the mere Earth. This site is dedicated to fighting for natural communities (inextricably entwining human and non-human, as ecology always does, as the Earth always does) and against all squatter elites, of whatever superficial political tendency. (Politics is Dead, and all so-called “political” people are nothing but types of reactionary, still stroking the graves of their fantasies for the modern civilization, which turned out to be nothing but an unmitigated abomination.)

      BTW the answer to all your questions is an absolute NO. I want to see Gaia freed of the orc onslaught, I want that onslaught to end completely, and I want the Earth to then heal itself at whatever new homeostasis it’s able to attain. Most of all I want your kind of deranged megalomania to cease to exist forever.

      Comment by Russell Bangs — December 18, 2018 @ 1:46 pm

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