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CONTRIBUTION · 19th January 2014
MWPR
Released in 1972, the opening track on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, was "Five Years".

This Video, linked here, called The Twin Sides of the Fossil Fuel Coin by Guy McPherson - details everything David Bowie wrote about. McPherson's website Linked here, might spark the readers interest with the title Nature Bats Last. And Nature is now up to that proverbial batters plate.

Five Years may be an optimistic guesstimate.

The following is an essay written at the same time McPherson's video was produced. It is a written summary of a snipit of the incredible video. Watch the video! linked here.

What are we fighting for?

In my latest essay in this space I mentioned two phenomena worth fighting for: the living planet and freedom based in anarchy. I surrender. I no longer believe the struggle matters on either front.

I no longer think we’ll save the remaining shards of the living planet beyond another human generation. We’ll destroy every — or nearly every — species on Earth when the positive feedbacks associated with climate change come seriously into play (and I’ve not previously considered the increasingly dire prospects of methane release from Antarctica or the wildfire-induced release of carbon from Siberian peat bogs).

The climate-change data, models, and assessments keep coming at us, like waves crashing on a rocky, indifferent beach. The worst drought in 800 years in the western United States is met by levels of societal ignorance and political silence I’ve come to expect. I would be stunned if this valley — or any other area in the interior of a northern-hemisphere continent — will provide habitat for humans five years from now. And climate change is only part of the story.

My trademark optimism vanishes when I realize that, in addition to climate chaos, we’re on the verge of tacking on ionizing radiation from the world’s 444 nuclear power plants. Let’s ignore for now the radioactive waste we’ve left lying around without a plan or already dumped into the world’s oceans. When we choke on our own poison, we’ll be taking the whole ship down with us, spewing a global blanket of radiation in the wake of collapse. Can we kill every single species on Earth? Apparently we’re willing to give it a try, and I will not be surprised by our “success” at this omnicidal endeavor.

Onto anarchy. Few people understand what it is, and even fewer support it. As a product of cultural conditioning, the typical American confuses anarchy with terrorism. Considering the near-term exit of Homo sapiens from this planet, it seems a bit ridiculous of me to express concern about living outside the absurdity that has become mainstream.

Color me non-judgmental. Continue to fuck the planet and our future, and see if I give a damn. Actually, saying we fucked the future without offering so much as a kiss, as I wrote back in January, is an insult to four-letter words everywhere. Minor efforts to sound the alarm, including my own, fade to insignificance when compared to the juggernaut of global imperialism. These efforts have long been irrelevant; it’s my awakening that is new.

And color me sad, of course, at the societal path we’ve taken. Swept up in the pursuit of more instead of better, we’ve become the waves approaching the rocky shore.

We had an opportunity to return to our tribal roots, as others have done when civilizations collapsed. Consider, for example, the survivors from the Olmec, Chaco, and Mimbres cultures, all of whom chose tribalism when civilization failed. Tribalism worked for two million years in a diverse array of situations. It worked before and after civilizations arose in specific regions. For many decades, our version of civilization has been successful only for a few individuals of one species, yet we keep tinkering with the system long after it’s failed.

Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, we’ve come to believe industrial civilization is the only way to live. As we’ll soon discover, it’s the only way to die, at least at the level of our species.

Inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s eponymous poem, I offer the following requiem for Earth.

If Earth could sing with a female voice.
Her strength would be evident, though her tone might waver.

Could she withhold judgment against one of her own,
through all we’ve done to her, and our brethren?

We lived in her bosom from which we were born
for two million years not forsaking our home.

Then we became something different from all we had known,
and in the gasp of a breath we destroyed it all.

Can you blame her for judging us, considering what we’ve done?
She gave us every chance to turn it around.

Now we’re all done and she’s endured our abuse,
including pillage, plunder, and rape without any excuse.

All she can sing in that mournful tone is sorrow for the power she unleashed,
through us and thus dispassionately onto herself, destroyed by one of her own.

She must ponder how our hubris overwhelmed our humility
in concluding about our recent selves: They didn’t like it here.

Watch The Video, linked here,


And another to view, the solution McPherson briefly mentioned is detailed by Dr. David Martin.
Watch it here. Another of one of the very best entertaining and educational videos one might ever watch.

These videos are thorough, honest and free of hyperbole. Straight goods from straight, yet entertaining, presenters. We would all benefit from taking the time to comprehend these easily explained situations related to the end of our species.


If interested - listen the Bowie's "Five Years by clicking here

For clarity to the song we have copied the lyrics below.

Bowie, only 42 years ahead of his time!

Pushing through the market square, so many mothers sighing
News had just come over, we had five years left to cry in
News guy wept and told us, earth was really dying
Cried so much his face was wet, then I knew he was not lying

I heard telephones, opera house, favorite melodies
I saw boys, toys, electric irons and TV's
My brain hurt like a warehouse, it had no room to spare
I had to cram so many things to store everything in there
And all the fat, skinny people, and all the tall, short people
And all the nobody people, and all the somebody people
Never thought I'd need so many people

A girl my age went off her head, hit some tiny children
If the black hadn't a-pulled her off, I think she would have killed them
A soldier with a broken arm, fixed his stare to the wheels of a Cadillac
A cop knelt and kissed the feet of a priest
And the queer threw up at the sight of that

I think I saw you in an ice cream parlor
Drinking milk shakes cold and long
Smiling and waving and looking so fine
Don't think you knew you were in this song

And it was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor
And I thought of ma and I wanted to get back there
Your face, your race, the way that you talk
I kiss you, you're beautiful, I want you to walk

We've got five years, stuck on my eyes
Five years, what a surprise
We've got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, that's all we've got

We've got five years, what a surprise
Five years, stuck on my eyes
We've got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, that's all we've got

We've got five years, stuck on my eyes
Five years, what a surprise
We've got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, that's all we've got

We've got five years, what a surprise
We've got five years, stuck on my eyes
We've got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, that's all we've got


Five years
Five years
Five years
Five years