Monday, September 3, 2012

A World Without Oil

Bruce Mau doesn't want to imagine a world without oil since it would be boring and bad for his business model, so you shouldn't try to imagine it either. Instead you should just keep saying "yes" to unlimited profits for corporations like General Electric and Coca-Cola (his customers), because that's personally thrilling (and profitable) for him. Despite overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that we either stop burning fossil fuels or stop existing, 1) we should keep on burning them anyway, because it's smart and sexy, and 2) the resulting global ecological collapse will be magically avoided by better product design. There's no shortage of self-serving collaborators, but even by postmodern standards this is a monstrously irresponsible proposal.

It wasn't enough to wreck the ocean, exterminate countless species, and plunge Earth's climate into chaos. Now we should declare total war on future generations by slurping up every last drop of oil, so that ingenious designers can fly to conferences and ride around in cool-looking cars. Obama-style grass-roots pretensions aside, this is just regurgitated technological utopianism and boosterism for limitless growth. Cornucopian fantasies are perennially popular, especially with robber barons. As our situation deteriorates, escapism is increasingly indistinguishable from schizophrenia. Humans may be an intelligent species. We'll soon see. If we're intelligent, we'll stop burning fossil fuels. If we listen to greenwash from corporate toadies and roast ourselves, bacteria will inherit Earth a little ahead of schedule is all. If you find naivete and narcissism abhorrent, you're not entirely alone. Check out Dan Miller's A REALLY Inconvenient Truth instead. 

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