I like Leo. I think he’d be a great guy to hang out with. His performances are deep, human, troubled, moving, and unglamorously brave and honest.
That said, I’m not worried about climate change, or his fascination with it.
His new film claims to have already “offset the carbon” from its production. (By doing what? Planting a tree? A few trees? No, probably paying somebody.) That’s why I think global warming promoters are so silly.
Here’s what Leo might feel deep inside but doesn’t quite want to glean yet, or let all the way into his talented mind. Ready? Well, here it is, without the green-washing or hope-selling:
Industrial civilization will collapse. Nothing will change that. It will happen globally, in fits and starts. It is not reversible by buying capitalism’s version of “green products.” It is a done deal, a fait accompli toujours. It’s been inevitable for 50 years.
We’ve built the largest, heaviest, most greedily oil-hungry set of nations in towering and sprawling cities, served by endless flowing rivers of oil and gas… we’ve placed them in the tallest branches of the highest trees.
What happens when that oil becomes heavy, sticky, thick and too expensive to transport up the mile long trunk to the metropolis? Does the city “downsize” and “climb down the trunk?” Have you ever seen such a thing happen?
No. The city is abandoned, the millions are refugees looking to remember how to farm land that is now farmed by mega-tractors on Monsanto fields. See the mass death coming.
So, don’t worry about climate change or CO2. Energy failure will get here long before a penguin comes to our door with tears in its eyes asking us to use a better quality of soda container.
The movie, well-meaning as it is, is also delusional. It’s a documentary without any how-to. Does it show you how to leave the city and set up communal farms in the rural suburbs around rivers and streams?
Haha. No no! Who would ever WANT to do that?? Only the crazy people who believe that Industrial civilization is going to end abruptly and painfully, in fits and starts and precipitous drops all across the westernized world. No, no, we’ll be able to “fix” it by purchasing “green” and “CO2 friendly” and “Non-GMO” products at Trader Joe’s. No need to miss work! No need to miss the beach! Everything’s gonna be jussst fine!!
The DiCaprio fronted film does not offer real solutions – because there are none that anyone wants. It does offer Elon Musk’s fantasy technobabble and wishful Star Trek thinking as a solution. Musk has played the international “debt and borrow for green projects game” like a champion. His products aren’t sustainable and won’t make a difference in a collapse. Areas now being courted as project regions for new solar are, in fact, dead zones. The American southwest is a massive dead zone, harboring a hundred million people in a bleak and merciless desert that is only kept afloat by pumped and stolen oil and water.
In a collapse of one of but a few lifelines, the die-off can begin.
The Real Message
There is a solution, of sorts, and no one likes it. It goes like this: If you want to survive, abandon all hope of saving the western world, and get to a medieval set point now, today, with very little relying absolutely on the products of western civilization.
Are you hoping DiCaprio’s halfway look at reality will magically open enough eyes so that the boulder cascading down the peak oil mountain toward western industrial civilization cries a little tear and reconsiders, because we’re such nice people, underneath it all?
Fuck it. We’re cooked. Get out of the Metropoles if you plan to live. If you don’t, enjoy the spoils while they’re here. What else is there? Truly, eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow… we die.
We can predict where the pennies will fall first – the western desert cities, the mega cities, those which have no business existing without 100% daily oil output from Ghawar. “Bye bye, love.” Bye, bye ’50s dreams. Bye bye.
The Activist’s Prison
This movie isn’t real because it is just another form of activism. And activism is the biggest trick that’s ever been played on the world at large.
We were once told that we could protest to make a change. Do protests change the flow of oil? They never have. They don’t stop war or commerce, and they require oil to exist. Protests are a kind of activity for the bored, if somewhat aware, the indolent and unhappy (who are not seeing the larger global economic picture.) This kind of Leo activism is just misspent celebrity. It’s another ‘reality show’ for the stupefied masses to click their phones in “support of,” to “like and share” in the prison of Facebook and Twitter.
My review of the global warming activist movement? IT’S A BIG FUCKING LIE.
The only useful videos are those that show you how to build a house out of stone and clay that you find locally, or how to plant an orchard, or that perhaps in the shortest form possible explain, without bullshit or Tesla hopeful lies, that this system can only collapse, and any who are awake must get out of the western trap now.
But people don’t want to sit in comfortable houses watching movies about how to live in uncomfortable hovels or shared homes that they have to repair by hand and retrofit to accommodate a lack of fuel and electricity.
But We Need It Delivered With HOPE!
Ah, but this is a hard message! People need to have messages soft-peddled so that they can absorb them. Well, we’re getting to the sink or swim part of this lifetime in America. I don’t know what to tell you. If you need sugar, it’s all around you…Go to Target. Wal*Mart. Whole Foods. The world is coated in sugar.
The reality is, sugar-coating doesn’t sell the message. It sells sugar. The public will not hear what it does not want to hear. This is a species wide problem, built into our genome. The species is built to be delusional and to huddle around a going chieftain or set of customs.
Our chieftain is Hollywood, our customs: commerce, television, argument, fake television debate, and 24 hour shopping online.
You will not be able to change that. None of us can.
Reality doesn’t impress the 99%. And Leo’s movie, whatever he intended, will get some clapping from the Hollywood set at award time…just as Michael Bay and James Cameron team up to bring you the best Transformers-Avatar crossover that you’ve ever wet your Underoos dreaming of. Not to mention, did you know there will be at least 3 Star Wars adventures coming your way soon?
To quote George Luca’s broken mind: Yipppppeeeee!
Nothing changes until it actually does, and people are the last to respond.
If you want to know what the chances of society somehow organically reorganizing itself in a productive way that avoided all loss, bloodshed, panic, disease, warfare, scapegoating, looting, hoarding and extreme violence….I’d say you’d have a better bet by carrying a personal, single-use cyanide pill for the next few years, in case reality starts biting too hard.
If you really want to measure the human species against the 7 billion person tall skyscraper of petrol-eaters and imagine that humans – we humans – will be clever, thrifty, capable, well-organized, well-considered, mathematically-minded, and communally-disposed enough to do the ten hundred thousand modifications, and whole-sale swaps and removal of the machinery that keeps this industrial faucet pumping into the ocean drain….
I think that “die-off” or at least “die-back” is the much more thermodynamically logical, efficient and likely solution. Swing it across the razor of history, and I think you’ll find plenty of examples of the rapid dissolution of societies that ran out of energy.
All that said, those who want to live with a burning fire in their chest and ready muscles able to work at all hours… get to higher ground, and don’t worry about the asinine Hollywood documentaries that tell us half truths about what we already know.
All the rest is entertainment. Strictly entertainment. A bread and circus as the capitol falls.
Enjoy the disaster while it’s here. This kind of structure isn’t convertible to “sustainability.” We live among the ruins of the future.
You want to survive… get out while you can.
Sincerely, your friend, Liam.
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Questions for the Author:
Question: Liam, last we heard, you were undergoing a mysterious and invasive, debilitating and immensely crushing set of neurological and muscular symptoms. How are you today?
Answer: Shit. More troubles, endless shit. Concerns about my ability to get through the neurological shitstorm that came on four months ago after dentistry. Diagnoses proving elusive. The love from friends, a very very few dear and precious friends, has kept me going. Without them, a very specific few, I’d be long gone by now.
But note, without the oil state, I’d also be long gone, as would most of us. Love is immensely important – but doesn’t change the fate of nations dependent on thermodynamics of a massive worldwide industrial Gordian knot.
Q: Is your negativity about the state of the globe related to your own health?
A: Probably to a degree – in the sense that I’ve seen how America lives, drives, eats, goes to hospitals, relies on 10,000 mile shipping channels for EVERYTHING that we use.
But otherwise, no, this is what I’ve been feeling for years, and the last four months, immersed in studying the history of the world – from Babylon, Greece, Rome to the Middle Ages… to the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, age of Voltaire and age of Napoleon, and the Victorian era…up to our own petroleum-laden century – has inured me against fairy-tale Disneyland happy endings for a mammal that destroys all it touches, when it’s powered by heavy machinery.