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Re: SC34

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January 18, 2007 09:55PM
http://www.michaelpbyron.com/PROLOGUE.htm

We live at the decisive moment in all of human history — decisive not only

for one culture or another, not only for the “developed world,” but for all of

humanity.



In a vivid metaphoric sense, civilization is now in a condition analogous to

that of the astronauts on the space shuttle Columbia as it reentered Earth’s

atmosphere on the morning of February 1, 2003. An eerie videotape of those last

moments was found amid Columbia’s debris afterwards. Onboard Columbia, the

lights are on, the air is circulating, and all seems well.



The four astronauts, seen on the flight deck of shuttle, marvel together at

the sight of the white-hot plasma flowing outside around them. They are

unaware that this plasma is patiently eating away at the damaged left wing of

their spaceship. There is only one hint of the slowly unfolding catastrophe: the

ship’s guidance thruster begins firing ever more frequently and thunderously, as

the computers that are actually flying the vehicle sense the asymmetric drag

caused by the eroding left wing and vainly try to compensate for it.



The sights and sounds of these repeated thruster firings are clearly evident

in the videotape. The laws of physics, those immutable and cold equations of

nature, have decreed that in just moments all seven astronauts aboard the

Columbia will die catastrophically. No sensor sounds the alarm because the

sensors had already burned up. Although the disaster is unfolding in slow motion

around them, the astronauts have no direct way to detect it. All still

appears reasonably normal as the tape abruptly ends..........



Civilization at this very moment is in nearly the same situation. The

world-spanning industrial civilization now seems doomed to certain catastrophe........................

......................As industrialization based primarily upon these fossil fuels has spread

across the planet, a globalized economy has emerged. We seem to be standing at

the very summit of human achievement with power over nature, and with

wealth and opportunity for all. A closer look reveals that we have arrived not

only at the summit, but also at the edge of a precipice — a yawning chasm in

human history. Civilization’s foundation is fatally insecure.



All of civilization is predicated upon one mostly unspoken assumption:

that limitless supplies of cheap hydrocarbon energy will always be available.

Corollaries to this core assumption include the assumptions that, if hydrocarbon

energy ever does become scarce, markets will instigate the development

of substitute sources of energy; and that science and technology will be able to

rapidly develop these substitute sources of energy. A third assumption is that

human actions have little or no effect upon the weather, and on Earth’s ability to

maintain the conditions necessary for human life to flourish. Finally, it is presumed

that the political leadership will respond quickly and adequately to

problems which affect mankind’s very existence.



Unfortunately, ALL of the above are false. The global hydrocarbon reserves

which we are so recklessly squandering took several hundred million years to

accumulate. Once they’re gone, they are gone forever. The current high-energy

industrial civilization can only occur once in the lifetime of the planet. What

comes next is anyone’s guess, but the adjustment period, at least, is likely to be

disastrous and if no adequate adjustment can be made, then the initial disaster

must lead to a dismal end for mankind.....................

......................Humanity stands facing a historical chasm. A great discontinuity is about

to separate the future from the past. Ahead lie decades and perhaps centuries of

turmoil and tumult.



Those who control the global corporations, with their eyes only on the

bottom line, bear the ultimate responsibility for the impending collapse of civilization.

Even now, citizens are increasingly reduced to politically-disempowered

consumers. The now near-total control over the consolidated and corporatized

media gives them control over the public’s understanding of reality, and ensures

that most citizens are sleepwalking towards doom..................

Most will only wake up, when they are finally overtaken by the storm of whats coming.....................
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SC34

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