Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXI


Teotihuacan, Mexico (1988). Photo by author.

This Contemplation has been prompted by an excellent post by Erik Michaels of Problems, Predicaments, and Technology (a site well worth the time exploring), and is my comment in response to it.

Excellent insights, Erik.

I have similarly found that the vast majority of those that post and comment on Degrowth sites/pages tend towards a significantly watered-down version of what likely needs to happen if we are to be able to mitigate, to even a marginal extent, the consequences of our ecological overshoot.

Sometimes it’s about taking from the ‘advantaged’ and redistributing to the ‘disadvantaged’; sometimes it’s about ‘clean/green’ technology; sometimes it’s about reducing our consumption; sometimes it’s about replacing ‘capitalism’ with a more equitable economic system; sometimes it’s about…the list goes on.

But it is rarely, if ever, about the degree to which our systems have to change for any kind of noticeable impact upon our trajectory. Such voices are not only ignored/denied for the most part, but contemptuously attacked in some cases. I’ve had my Contemplation posts, for example, deemed too radical for some to allow for their site/page; and in other cases the ad hominem abuses abound as I’m perceived as a shill for Big Oil, or against human progress.

But perhaps it’s as Arthur Schopenhauer stated: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

The idea that we are completely and utterly fubar is not one many people wish to contemplate. And all those psychological mechanisms we have to fight off anxiety-provoking thoughts kick in strongly in the face of such a prognosis — especially denial of reality.

The idea of the widespread adoption and distribution of electric vehicles and non-renewable, renewable energy-harvesting technologies are perfect examples. And as I point out in my latest Contemplation, and you discuss, the bargaining about these consists of denial about: the role fossil fuels play in their production; the mineral limits imposed by existence upon a finite planet; the ecological systems destruction being carried out to produce them.

Our elite are crafting narratives that the industries they control/profit from can ‘save’ us and the masses are gobbling it up in their attempts to reduce their cognitive dissonance. And, unfortunately, many in the ‘degrowth’ movement seem to be amongst those wanting to do the ‘right’ thing but being led astray by faulty storylines.

As I conclude in an upcoming [now published] Contemplation: “…it’s perhaps also no surprise that the dominant story-telling apes amongst us in our large, complex societies have crafted narratives that the institutions that they control/direct/influence are almighty and powerful; never mind those biogeophysical limits and their nasty consequences over there, our technology and ingenuity will reign supreme no matter the problem encountered. Criticisms and naysayers be damned!

Here, take the blue pill already…”

If you’ve made it to the end of this contemplation and have got something out of my writing, please consider ordering the trilogy of my ‘fictional’ novel series, Olduvai (PDF files; only $9.99 Canadian), via my website — the ‘profits’ of which help me to keep my internet presence alive and first book available in print (and is available via various online retailers). Encouraging others to read my work is also much appreciated.



Steve Bull (

A guy trying to make sense of a complex and seemingly insane world. Spend my days pondering our various predicaments while practising local food production...