Like all civilizations careening toward collapse, we have become hostages to complex structures, and ever more intricate specialization, to exploit diminishing resources. Technocrats rule us. They only know how to serve the system. They cannot critique or challenge it. They are devoid of creativity or the ability to think independently. They will plunder and squander resources to serve global capitalism, even as these resources are being destroyed or exhausted. On some level they are idiots.
The Anthropocene Age — the age of humans, which caused mass extinctions of plant and animal species and pollution of soil, air and oceans — is underway. I fear it is irreversible. The pace of destruction is accelerating. Sea levels are rising three times faster than predicted. The Arctic ice is vanishing at rates that were unforeseen. Even if we stop carbon emissions today it seems likely that carbon dioxide concentrations will continue to climb to 550 parts per million. And this assumes we actually confront the crisis today, which we show no signs of doing.
The combined assault of soaring temperatures, submerged coastal cities, mass migrations, war, species extinction, monster storms, declining crop yields, droughts and famines will define much of the planet. A pervasive and ruthless security and surveillance apparatus, along with heavily militarized police empowered to use indiscriminate force, will turn industrial nations into climate fortresses to keep our refugees — we are already seeing this in Europe and along our border with Mexico — and make sure a restive and desperate population inside these fortresses remains frightened and under control. It will become the world Hobbes feared.