Photo: NASA. Typhoon Haiyan, intensified by global warming, downplayed by sellouts.
hat will our singular planet look like when our barely born century expires? We probably wouldn’t recognize it if we could see it now. But we can see it now, and we’re refusing to look. Because we know it will be apocalyptic and revolutionary. We also know it’s our fault.
The future we simultaneous witness but refuse to accept hinges upon the twin terminology of terra and terror. One is the destabilized Earth we call home, the luckiest rock we know spinning through space. The other is an inflammatory cipher weaponized for control and exploitation of the lucky rock’s incredibly shrinking bounty. From continents to seas to metropoles to slums, mass extinctions and resource wars have terrorized our global citizenry and climate stability with hyperreal simulations and propaganda.
And then there are the catastrophic terrors waged by terra itself, as Mother Earth smothers us in our overdeveloped cribs for defiling the natural wonders of her astronomical probability. From our still new but quite fucked 21st century to those in the warming weirding beyond, we puny humans are engineering an exponential planetary crisis that could transform Earth into a Venus way ahead of schedule.
A trophic cascade failure for the ages.
[Hypoxiated dead zones fence in continents of the developed world. Eat that. Photo: NASA]
We created this singular acceleration, but it is our children, and theirs, who must either adapt with velocity or be doomed to dystopia. They may already be. The only way to find out is to energize a singular acceleration empowered by hearts and minds much more humane and ambitious than our own.
I’ve been covering this existential nexus for many publications over the years, sporadically collating my articles and planning my features and mashing it into a more lasting exegesis on the destabilized worlds we’re creating. It won’t be pretty, but it will be pretty informative.
It’s called Terror and Terraformation, and it co-stars envirogees, on the run from exponology, crafting innovative capture strategies, all in an unraveling cli-fi of nightmare and promise.
Start your dive into what I’ve already written here on Morphizm. If you’re interested in more, MAKE CONTACT. We share the same wondrous planet. We share the same fate, for better or (much) worse.
“Things are moving way too fast. We are out of control.” — Michael Stipe, speaking to Morphizm of acceleration and devolution…
From Climate Hacker to Hero: An Interview With Bidder 70 Tim DeChristopher
An environmental idealist stops an illegal oil and gas auction by bidding for parcels he can’t possibly afford. Savaged by an exponentially accelerating climate crisis, a once-proud nation rewards him…by throwing him into a hole.
Along the vertiginous fall, he tumbles through a dystopia that denies his rights, then creates a case against him out of thin air. He fumbles through a prison complex way too in love with mind-raping solitary confinement. Eventually, he emerges a free man, resolved to wreak electoral vengeance against those who sold him out. Good thing the cameras were rolling.
But the bizarre arc of Tim DeChristopher‘s life — documented in Bidder 70, opening Friday in New York and parts outward, often with him in attendance — is sadly far from singular. Pop-cultural analogues can be found from Carroll to Kafka to Hitchcock (especially North By Northwest‘s hacked auction) and beyond. But back here in our far more surreal Reality, there are too many compromised political prisoners to count.
“One of the things I found out while I was locked up was that the injustice involved in my case was not unusual,” DeChristopher told me by phone after wrapping up a two-year sentence last month. “By any means. In fact, it’s the status quo for how our legal system works.”
What Is Precrime? Our Nationalist Pastime
[A version of this article, which costars dystopian futurists Alan Moore and Douglas Rushkoff, appeared on AlterNet.]
From its nationwide mass shootings to lethal detonations of its prepositioned industrial WMDs, America’s embattled National Security Agency — and its domestic and foreign digital dragnets like Stellar Wind, PRISM and other psy-fi boondoggles that have been hoovering public and private global data for decades — has nevertheless still evidently not been surveilling enough of neither Us nor Them to predict or prevent terrorist attacks.
And that’s before you even get to the more spectacular violence of presidential assassinations (JFK, turning 50 this November) and of course 9/11, which exploded our exponentially expensive surveillance state for the well-connected profiteers of the Cheney administration and its craven Bush Doctrine. From large to small, all of these epochal destabilizations, cruelly rebooted as preventive wars empowered by precrime at home and abroad, have become nationalist pastimes.
Five Ways Elon Musk’s Future Industries Could Change the World
[A version of this article appeared on AlterNet.]
Hey, what are you up to these days? Elon Musk is helping build a future to save our globally warming asses.
Of course there are less direct ways to put that, but we’re in a planetary emergency careening 67,000 mph through space. It’s long past time that we electrified Earth’s fleet, or created a nationwide solar infrastructure. Or built a emissions-free mass transportation system that can hurl us from L.A. to San Francisco in minutes? Or a planet-hopping rockets and pods that launch Earth’s panoptic populace into a much-needed cosmological attitude adjustment? Something else we’re desperately going to need to survive mass extinction?
A gifted visionary, engineer and capitalist, the fortysomething Musk, founder of Paypal, has long dreamed like us of such crucial advances — and then somehow went out and made them real. and real profitable. All while the rest of us have been working on … what?