Shayla Scheitler – GEOG 360: Week 4

Reading: The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse

  • “The fear of the future, of science, & of technology…we are exasperated by our own proliferation & can no longer stand ourselves.”
    • True – at this point, people who are environmentally aware are just angry at the human species in general & frustrated with finding solutions to reverse our damage.
  • Ecologism is a political force. It encompasses morals. It drives change. It contains problems & solutions within itself. It wants to progress.
  • 2 ecological processes:
    • 1.) Rational, broadens our outlook, democratic, tells us about damage we’ve done by industrial civilization.
    • 2.) Nonsensical, narrows outlook, totalitarian, silences human guilt.
  • Catastrophism constitutes anticipated remorse
  • Accusation: Revolutionaries want to erase the past & start over.
  • “Either capitalism dies, or Mother Earth dies.” That’s very uh…radical.
  • Voluntary Human Extinction Movement – individuals who have decided not to reproduce themselves.
    • There’s a difference between deciding not to reproduce for the good of the population of the world, & therefore Earth, & deciding not to reproduce for the aim of human extinction. This is extremely radical.
    • “I love my children too much to give them life.”
      • I get the direction of this quote, but it doesn’t make logical sense.
  • “Global warming deniers are on a par with Holocaust deniers”
    • This is a very bold statement, but I firmly agree with it – I just don’t have the guts to say it openly.
  • “Cataclysmic ecology reflects the triumph of guilt, Children must pay for the errors of their elders – progress, development, consumerism.”
    • This is evident in the tension between the Baby Boomer generation & the Millennial generation. We tend to just blame all of our problems on their generation, but we should take into account that we’re still progressing in industrialization & in technology.
  • “Supporters of nuclear energy, but also & especially supporters of breeder reactors & factories for processing waste, are in no way better than President Truman when he ordered the bombing of Hiroshima. They are even worse, because today…they know what they are doing; he did not.”
    • Once again an extremely bold political comparison, but it’s pretty accurate. We simply understand the negative impact of nuclear energy, while in Truman’s time, he was not aware of such impacts sourcing from the bomb.
  • “I shall never say that I have a right to vote superior to that of a mosquito.” & “Easy to say for [someone] who has never suffered from malaria.”
    • Philosophically, we’d like to consider us as equal to all inhabitants of Earth, but it’s just not logical – we are superior in the way that we have advanced cognitive thinking.
  • “There is no wisdom of the ‘first peoples’; they were just as brutal & destructive of the environment as we are, but obviously less numerous.”
    • Burning of forests, relentless hunting, savage agriculture, etc. We’ve always had an impact on Earth, but the problem is our impact in relationship to our population.
  • In order to preserve nature, we think it’s ethical to separate ourselves from it. Which is illogical, since we’re inhabiting nature & therefore part of it. I feel like people who see cavemen as part of nature more than ourselves today.
  • Everything has a price. With every action for the good of the environment comes a negative response.
  • “Man is a cancer on the Earth…a throw away species like the civilization he invented.”
  • “The enemy does not come from outside , it resides within our system & our consciousness.

As a whole, I really enjoyed this book. It was extremely politically & ethically radical. I found it very brave of the author to speak these bold statements. The book touched on many ways that we use logic to address our impact on the environment, ex. humans should be eliminated, humans should be separated from nature, our generation is violent towards the Earth compared to our descendants, etc. I felt that the entire text was a criticism, but in a very necessary way.

Current News

3 new species of snailfish have been discovered in the depths of the Atacama Trench! Scientists temporarily named them pink, blue & purple Atacama Snailfish. Clever. Astounding. Witty. These fish adapt to the deep waters with their translucent & small bodies, gelatinous structure, & absence of scales. Looks like a glorified water slug. Cute, though. 🙂

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