After my last post on Eco Investing, i thought it might be good to say something about the evolution of my view / position on the whole up coming ecological disaster.
As long time readers <cough> might recall, a few years ago i tried to work through, on a very basic level, what i considered the issues and likely outcomes for our ‘civilisation’. The place i ended up in wasn’t particularly hopeful, and can be summarised as:
- the current order of capitalism, under which we all live, is optimised to destroy the environment
- the likelihood of those who benefit from said destruction actually making the sacrifices / changes needed to forestall the biosphere moving into a new state is highly unlikely
- the combination of the order of capitalism and human nature are self-reinforcing, and is only likely to be broken in a dislocation – incremental changes just won’t cut it
These realisations lead to a period of what can charmingly be called ‘existential gloom’… which, as you might imagine, made me a little cynical and withdrawn. I’m pleased to report that this has now passed, and I’m very much at peace with it all.
My current understanding and expectation is that the world is a chaotic system, which we are pushing to an extreme. Such systems react in unpredictable ways, often moving very rapidly into a new stable state, which cannot be predicted from the initial state. The idea that the biosphere is a predictable, ordered system, is reassuring, but, i’m pretty sure, wrong. When change does come it will be unimagined, unexpected, unstoppable. Given our nature we will attempt to tinker to restore the balance we have known, with the usual unforeseen and terrible consequences.
So there we go. It’s too late. Not only did we refuse to act until it was too late, but when we do react it will be with the kind of hubris and certainty that got us where we are today. Our actions will only make it worse.
As i said, i’ve now come to terms with this outcome. The time for fighting is long over; let the waves lap against the shore.