Nothing lives that doesn't also die, an outcome guaranteed by the fundamental laws of nature that govern both energy and complexity. Civilizations, including our own, are no exception. As our strategy for energy capture fails and the sink costs of our furious growth catch up to us, we can reckon from first principles that we are already sliding down the backside of the entropy loop. Very soon, the present economic and social order will permanently fail.
But this is good news. We know from climate science that continuing our present course ensures the planet will be uninhabitable, maybe as soon as mid-century, certainly by century's end. And we know from recent history and the already unfolding crisis that this civilization is not capable of turning from that omnicidal course. Consequently, the time has come to embrace the collapse of industrial capitalism, indeed to celebrate it, and to turn with anticipation of a better life to the building of a post-industrial world. Our return to a level of energy consumption comparable to that of the 18th century will be a shock with grievous side effects, but it can also—if we choose—mean a return to community, to culture, to popular sovereignty, and to a livable pace of life with hope for the future of mankind.
It's time to enjoy the end of the world.
This presentation by Green Party of Virginia General Secretary B. Sidney Smith is being sponsored by the Greens at Virginia Tech.