Sunday, March 23, 2014

On The Origin of Catastrophe

The Sixth Mass Extinction is Underway.
The insatiable and pugnacious need to pervert meaning and reality tends to show up in psychotic denialist's rhetoric near the dates of the releases of IPCC official reports of climate change.

Especially when those reports evince the strong consensus among scientists.

A consensus in the scientific community concerning the reality that Oil-Qaeda has led us to create the Damaged Global Climate System.

Those denialist perverted propaganda mills, borne of infected minds know of two aspects of our cultural amygdala which recoils at the notion of something fearful, such as impending death.

One of those aspects they use in their propaganda is that it must happen to us or our extended self to qualify as a "catastrophe," or on the other hand, that it must happen to an enemy for it not to be considered to be a catastrophe.

Let's begin to dissect their demented propaganda infested minds by first taking a look at the meaning of the word:
ca·tas·tro·phe [kuh-tas-truh-fee] noun

1. a sudden and widespread disaster: the catastrophe of war.

2. any misfortune, mishap, or failure; fiasco: The play was so poor our whole evening was a catastrophe.

3. a final event or conclusion, usually an unfortunate one; a disastrous end: the great catastrophe of the Old South at Appomattox.

4. (in a drama) the point at which the circumstances overcome the central motive, introducing the close or conclusion ...

5. Geology. a sudden, violent disturbance, especially of a part of the surface of the earth; cataclysm.

(Dictionary, "catastrophe", emphasis added). We can readily conclude that the definition of the word "catastrophe" qualifies to describe some events ongoing now (Air Pollution Kills 7 Million Annually).

The word "catastrophe" also describes many oft-repeated human events of history:
A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."

The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharri of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.

It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:
"The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent."

By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilisational decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, Population, Climate, Water, Agriculture, and Energy.

(Exploded Planet Hypothesis - 2). The way the word "catastrophe" has been used in literature and even in common conversation also illustrates that in our world we have already had climate change catastrophes, and will continue to do so.

That is because the definition of the word "catastrophe" does not require being the worst of anything to qualify as a "catastrophe":
"Jimmy Fallon and I play regularly at the Bayonne Golf Club in Jersey. He's eighteen holes of fun. Any time we play he has moments of brilliance, but also moments of utter catastrophe." - Mario Batali

"Certainly I'm still mining my experiences as a journalist. I think it's no coincidence that all three of my novels basically are about how people act in a time of catastrophe. Do they go to their best self or their worst self?" - Geraldine Brooks

"There was a time when the community that was on the Net was homogenous and civilized. Now it's not. We're in the middle of chaos. It may calm down. But the alternative is that there's a total meltdown of the system and that it becomes unusable. That would be a catastrophe." - Robert Cailliau

(Brainy Quotes). Nevertheless, on a somewhat more serious side of the meaning of the word, the "the great catastrophe of the Old South at Appomattox" is remembered in the minds of some as a catastrophe because it happened "to us or our extended self", but that same event is celebrated by others because it "happened to an enemy" (see definition #3).

Those definitions of "catastrophe" do not work in a global context, because it happens to "us" and to "them", so the denialist mind perverts the meaning of the word to hide the global aspects even where the word "catastrophe" might aptly apply.

A global catastrophe under the definition of the word certainly would be "any misfortune, mishap, or failure" that affects the global population or our entire civilization (see definition #2).

A rogue global climate caused by global pollution can fit the bill.

Today and now is a new epoch, the sixth mass extinction epoch, and it applies to all members of the human family around the globe (On The Memorial Daze - 2).

Catastrophe has not been a rare event in the past, and the sixth mass extinction catastrophe now taking place isn't a loner either, in terms of "that meaning" of the word "catastrophe."

It is, however, so rare as to be the first and only time that the leadership of the human species has utterly lost its mind to utterly reject the warnings of over a hundred years, but to instead head into a mass extinction event because it is afraid of a mass extinction (The Exceptional American Denial).

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