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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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The Demise of Hopium

The Demise of Hopium

Hopium (n)

  1. Irrational or unwarranted optimism. [YourDictionary.Com]
  2. That deranged condition in which a person is deluded into thinking humanity will survive omnicide. [DoomforDummies.blogspot.com]

I am not here to re-litigate the inevitability of the near-term collapse of global industrial civilization and the obvious consequence that billions of humans will suffer terribly as a result. Collapse is the endpoint of overshoot and overpopulation and it has already begun. While the speed of this collapse may be altered by various projects, plans and efforts, the end result will not change. Exponential growth on a finite planet is unsustainable, period. (If you need a reminder of what’s coming, review this article.)

Hopium pervades the climate change and environmental movements. It festers in every green industry, boils in the rhetorical language of world bodies like the UN and IPCC, is demanded in academic journal articles and grants, and lands like a heavy-handed thud as a tool of suppression by the media and popular authors. Hopium is a psychoactive medication, an addiction, a coping mechanism and a group therapy session. Hopium offers escape from the nightmarish reality the planet is plummeting towards. Hopium is a delusional distraction, fostered by mass media, politicians and academics. And hopium is harming us by creating more suffering and restricting free choice.

The rhetorical catalog for hopium includes the use of a phrase like “we need to …” or “we must …”  or “if we don’t …”. These phrases divide humanity into “we” (good) and “others” (bad).  The point is to identify a goal or policy that if achieved will mitigate collapse, a group who are willing to pursue the goal and a group who are obstructing the goal. Implicit in all such rhetoric is the belief that mitigating collapse is possible…

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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