[This informal interview is about Dan Bloom’s [quiet soft-spoken] advocacy for the creation and publication of guides, manuals, encyclopedias and other written materials for people living in the last days of humankind 20 to 30 generations from now, maybe as soon as ten generations from now......that will help them and their loved ones prepare for and learn how to lie down and die en masse when the time comes....... and to die with grace and dignity and a new kind of spiritual awareness of what was happening to them and why.
Read with caution and take away whatever you wish to take away from it. Or, don't take anything away from it at all, if it is not your cuppa tea.]
Everyone from Katharine Hayhoe to Eric Holthaus and Nathaniel Rich and David Wallace-Wells and David "Cautionary Optimist" Roberts and Michael ''Hockey Stick'' Mann and Richard Pauli and my good friend and teacher Andy "Dot Earth" Revkin and ace essayist Kate "Courage" Marvel and Bill ''Billion ''Dollar'' Gates and Sir David "Garden of Eden is No More" Attenborough ....and 99.9 percent of all climate activists and climate scientists seek and want and crave and demand solutions and fixes and messages based on hope and optimism to realize their dream of stopping runaway global warming before it is too late. They think they have the answers, or that with time the answers and solutions and fixes will come and they therefore contiinue advocating for more positive optimistic answers. And that's cool. For them. Not for me.
Q. Was there one teacher or writer who inspired you to go down this road?
BLOOM: Yes, James Lovelock, the British chemist and co-author of the Gaia Theory of Earth. Back in 2006, he spoke quietly of all this I am speaking about now,, and I have been thinking about it all since then 24/7.
Q. Do you expect any people to join you in this effort?
BLOOM: One or two. Not many. A handful. But over time, over the next 100 years, I fully expect this idea, this movement, to grow worldwide.For another 500 years as well.
Q. Do you expect to be attacked for these ideas here on Twitter or Facebook or by personal emails?
BLOOM. God I hope not but know how the internet works these days yes. Yes, Comes with the territory. But I won't mind the mockery, the criticisms or the angry tweets and the people who will BLOCK me on Twitter. This happens with new ideas. At first. I am fully ready for whatever comes into my mailbox or Twitter feed. But good things will happen, too.That is what I am looking for.
Q: So how exactly do you see this project moving foward?
BLOOM: Well, the people invovled, writers, poets, artists, acdemics, scholars, psychologists, anthropologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, futurists, science fiction experts, journalists, editors, a whole gang of people from all walks of life....a very small gang at first....we will write and prepare guides, manuals and videos and novels and poems and statements and manifestos and diary entries geared for readers in the distant future, say 100 to 200 to 300 to 400 to 500 years from now. And the point of all this is to show compassion for future generations worldwide, our descendants, so that they can better accept and adjust to what will be happening to them and their world, their environment as catastrophic runaway climate change impact events get closer and closer to them.
Question: And who will be in charge of this project..... as time goes by?
Dan: Well, I am just getting things going as a cheerleader and a futurist. But others more expert than me in seeing into the future will take charge and I am actively looking for them now. And it will continue for the next 30 generations, like a generation ship but this generation ship will not be in outer space in some sci-fi novel or movie but right here on Earth with real people doing real work to create these materials I have outlined above.
Q: And you are serious about this?
Dan: I am.
Q: and what do you hope to achieve wth this cockamamie project?
DAN: I hope that it will serve a purpose for future generations. We shall see. If nothing else, it's start. It's a new way to have HOPE for the future. But I don't expect most people or readers here to "get" it and want to be a part of it. I think we will need 10 years of PR and online organizing to get this project up to speed. And by then i will be 80 and most likely dead. Others will carry on. And over the next 500 years a small group will keep the flames burning. THE COMPASSION FOR THE FUTURE project has been born. Let's see what happens next.
SEE ALSO WHAT DR VOX aka DAVID ROBERTS was saying back in 2006
Gaia theorist says we’re all doomed
(The paper also has a follow-up piece that does little but point out the existence of the original piece. Oh, and another follow-up piece, doing the same. And, um, another follow-up piece, in case you missed the first three.)
I’m not really clear on what Lovelock thinks he’s trying to accomplish. Does he think people aren’t more concerned about global warming because environmentalists haven’t yelled loud enough? Haven’t been apocalyptic enough? Haven’t painted a vivid enough picture of the end of civilization? Does he think becoming even more melodramatic — "before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic" — is going to snap people awake?
I’m mystified by this attitude, which seems to be widely shared. Just shouting, louder and louder and louder, isn’t going to do anything. Lovelock’s latest piece is not going to reach anybody who’s not already sympathetic. Public opinion polls show that the majority of people believe in global warming and believe it’s human-caused and believe it’s a threat. What are they supposed to do? Panic? They need to see pathways, from where we’re standing now to a place where it will be OK. Lovelock offers no such pathways.
This kind of street-corner "the end is nigh" stuff has, in my humble opinion, largely exhausted its usefulness.
Here are some of the points:
I have to tell you, as members of the Earth’s family and an intimate part of it, that you and especially civilisation are in grave danger.
We are in a fool’s climate, accidentally kept cool by smoke, and before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.
So what should we do? First, we have to keep in mind the awesome pace of change and realise how little time is left to act; and then each community and nation must find the best use of the resources they have to sustain civilisation for as long as they can. Civilisation is energy-intensive and we cannot turn it off without crashing, so we need the security of a powered descent.
… the notion that there is land to spare to grow biofuels, or be the site of wind farms, is ludicrous. We will do our best to survive, but sadly I cannot see the United States or the emerging economies of China and India cutting back in time, and they are the main source of emissions. The worst will happen and survivors will have to adapt to a hell of a climate.
So let us be brave and cease thinking of human needs and rights alone, and see that we have harmed the living Earth and need to make our peace with Gaia. We must do it while we are still strong enough to negotiate, and not a broken rabble led by brutal war lords.