The world will become the one Hobbes feared


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.



More in Letters to the Editor

Focus gun control on assault rifles

Editor, Mr. Fred Stillwell’s recent letter in which he attempts to create… Continue reading

Banning all guns isn’t the answer to mass shootings

Editor, In reply to Sharron Gray’s Feb. 3 letter to the editor,… Continue reading

Thankful to community for festival support

Editor, Island Shakespeare Festival presented its first indoor production in January at… Continue reading

Thank you for urging responsible climate change action

Editor, Thank you for your editorial urging responsible action in confronting climate… Continue reading

Irony in Navy, civillian responses to security

Editor, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island just concluded a two-week drill which… Continue reading

Roundabout isn’t safe solution to traffic

Editor, The Washington State Department of Transportation has not put traffic counters… Continue reading

Concerned with safety of island and country

Editor, I was concerned about the Feb. 7 article “Law will allow… Continue reading

Clarifying a few seed-related facts in article

Editor, Thanks so much to The Record for helping spread the word… Continue reading

Good job county for implementing ban

Editor, I want to take a moment to express my appreciation to… Continue reading

Demo gardens a great asset at Greenbank Farm

Editor, In addition to the many amenities of the Greenbank Farm, a… Continue reading

Churches seek help in affordable housing plan

Editor, We need affordable housing on Whidbey Island for our younger people… Continue reading

We may find ourselves as subjects, not citizens

Editor, Over the years as a student and teacher of history and… Continue reading