The Great Disruption

This is the Paul Gilding book Mary Manous has long been recommending, and I finally read it. Believe me, there is no better way to understand my view that worrying about a little coal dust along the tracks is so minor as to be a bit of a joke, compared to the lunacy of spending on coal-export infrastructure when we’re on the brink of international chaos. I think Gilding would say the chances of China ever getting to burn that coal are slim to none. Gilding is extremely persuasive, and the daily news just keeps adding to the case he makes. They’re killing dairy cows in CA this week because of the drought in the Midwest and its effect on corn, for example. I am so ready to re-do my (meager) investments, and get out of coal and oil! Hoping McKibben or somebody has some recommendations. Really, Gilding has made me think, should I sell my condo? my PT rental? immediately start persuading my condo-mates to create solar arrays and gardens atop our building?
I should say, I don’t mean we shouldn’t be opposing coal trains, just that to me, the reasons to oppose it are even bigger than we state at the local level, of course.
Read this book! The scariest part is that he’s so reasoned. He’s not a fear-mongerer, it’s just that the facts are grim. Foundationally, the problem is we’re trying to maintain growth in a world that already requires 1.5 earths to support us. We SOON will have inadequate water, food, and energy. Imagine the starving refugees.

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One Response to The Great Disruption

  1. Mary Davies says:

    Oh, he’s actually convinced we can rise to the occasion, but unfortunately, human history shows we don’t rise until the occasion is literally in our faces (which many of us think it is, but, for example, the presidential debate last night demonstrates how rare we are!) We CAN redistribute wealth, and reduce energy use, and ramp up solar, but it’s going to be a lot harder after things go bust. As McKibben says, the crash of the fossil fuel industry will make the housing debacle look like a picnic.
    Wait, I’m writing this comment to say how hopeful Gilding’s book is, so you won’t be too bummed to read it! And it is hopeful, along the lines we sketched in our role-playing on Sunday: we know how to fix this; we just need to get fossil fuels out of the way and get on it.


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