Today's weak signals are getting stronger, as the extensive range of perils facing the planet start to bite. Another day, another drama. A chunk of prime waterfront in Byron Bay falls into the Pacific. The shrinking glaciers in Tibet threaten food supplies in India and China, which produce half the world's wheat and rice. Aquifers, islands and rivers seem to be sinking. Water water everywhere, and not enough to drink. The collapse of the Tigris Euphrates river system has been swift, the water falling by three-quarters in less than a decade. Rice and wheat fields are scorched, forlorn fishing boats sit on dry canals. Are you scared yet?
While serving with the military in Iraq, an American soldier has reported how awed he was by the people's agricultural ingenuity. Vast irrigation canals feeding off the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers are indeed a marvel and a unique and powerful blessing to Iraq. That was then. Now the impoverished farmers and fisherman flee to cities in search of work.
This grass roots conservative blogger believe's Iraq's water problems are the result of Christians being persecuted and martyred in Iraq by violent Muslims (that's a twist). He cites the Bible: The sixth angel voices his commands and four demons (fallen angels) are loosed from the Euphrates River in Iraq. A total of 200 million swarm on the Middle East from the Orient and the Euphrates dries up so that the kings of the East can cross over to fight the Battle of Armageddon .
For this Christian soldier, the Book of Revelation confirms the Euphrates as a focal point in the imminent war to end all wars. That Iraq and its infrastructure have already suffered a swarm of soldiers from the West, of which he was part, doesn't seem to have entered his mind.
In June, yet another swarm attacked Iraq. "People are terrified and are leaving their homes," a local medical administrator told The Independent "we knew these snakes before, but now they are coming in huge numbers. They are attacking buffalo and cattle as well as people." A portent of Armageddon? More likely the result of the reptiles losing their natural habitat among the reed beds as the rivers sink. However, the more you bone up on the range of threats facing humanity, the more you feel the horsemen of the apocalypse breathing down your neck, even if you don't believe they exist.
Scientists are not immune to apocalypse vibe. In his new book The Vanishing Face of Gaia, James Lovelock suggests climate change could kill billions of us in a flash. Instead of a leisurely process with oodles of time to drive to Paris in a sports car with Anna Wintour on your lap, the transformation to a hothouse world will be abrupt. Temperatures will jump over the course of a couple of years to a scary new normal that will have us sweating. Those of us left will be wearing dungarees and fighting over the last lentil. Just thinking about it makes me nervous and my pulse race, so why am I licking my lips? Adrenalin. Trumps marijuana every time. It's free, it's legal and helps you turn back flames. A brush with disaster can be exhilarating, as I have elsewhere noted , which is why apocalypse porn is on the rise. There's a boom in gloom and doom, a subliminal mood of bring it on.
WHO WILL HAVE A FIELD DAY?
Norms are cracking, standards slipping. Ten years ago, who could have predicted that the leaders of nations once regarded as civilized, would create an archipelago of torture chambers and that half of the electorate would approve? Especially devout Christians. Even stranger, is that the torture is pornographic, featuring prolonged nudity, simulated orgies, acts of sodomy, the use of prostitutes and menstrual fluid, enemas, nappies, electrodes clipped to testicles, penis tattooing, etc, much of it captured on video. These days, the world's biggest producer and distributor of BDSM movies is probably the CIA.
Meanwhile, as the eco system falters and disasters escalate, how will people behave? 1.Climate change deniers will continue to assert that global heating is not connected to human activity and quote the fossils. 2. Politicians and some industries will gradually curb emissions, explore renewables, think positive and avoid upsetting consumers and/or the electorate it will be too little too late. 3. Religious nutters will have a field day, messianic cults will thrive. 4. Climate scientists, naturalists, biologists, perma-culturalists, hippie realists, etc, will ride bikes, go vegetarian, build networks and adapt to a turbulent post carbon future.
Mmm. Let's be frank. The western way of life is unsustainable, unjust and often vacuous. The global problems battering our shores cannot be solved by consumer capitalism or endless wars. As Ted Trainer argues there's zilch possibility of the living standards of everyone on earth rising to rich world per capita levels of consumption: think energy, minerals, timber, water, food, phosphorous etc. It is our reckless gorging that generates the alarming tapestry global crises. How many of us have truly grasped the magnitude of the overshoot? Such a lavish lifestyle would not be possible if rich countries relaxed their grip on world resources which we wont so most of the world's people are condemned to deprivation.
This view does not resonate in Parliament, the pulpit or the press. As the situation worsens, there could be an abrupt impact on mental health, perhaps a pandemic of personal, spiritual, and psychological crises, notes Sara Anne Edwards. She is preparing people to face a series of continual losses from the trivial to catastrophic, most likely for the rest of their lives. For example, going shopping, one of the more popular ways we in America deal with unpleasant feelings, will ultimately only aggravate, not ameliorate our growing concerns. Nor will traveling, partying, or of course, turning to drugs, alcohol and other addictive substances. The tornado is still coming and we still know it, even if we want to deny it.
THE PROPHETS CONFERENCE
Floods, Fires, Famine and Fox News what's next? More unsettling omens. Canterbury Cathedral is falling down, its pillars held together with duct tape and the entire structure on the brink of collapse. Like so much else.
According to cosmic outriders, we've only got three years left. The oft repeated date of destiny is December 21, 2012 Big Bang, farewell! Why? Because it says so on the Mayan Calendar. No it doesn't, say experts, it's found nowhere in the ancient texts of Mayan literature. Over the years, scores of books have whipped up a frenzy of delicious fear, warning that the entire solar system appears to be heading for a dangerous interstellar energy cloud. The edgy Terrence McKenna was persuaded that a mathematical algorithm gathering data on the future, seized up at year 2012 and unexpectedly collapsed into a vortex, rather like Terrence did himself. A "prophets Conference" will be held in Cancun, Mexico, on January 2010. All welcome. It's aim is to explore a radically different, more optimistic interpretation of the Mayan prophecy. Instead of predicting a physical destruction of the material world, the prophecy could refer to a dramatic upward shift in global consciousness. If only.