after several hours of discussion with a dear friend this weekend, some things have really been on my mind. mostly, what i see as the impending doom that is our future, globally but also in the united states. i'm no 2012 believer, but all signs are telling me, life as we know it is on its way out.
the international energy administration (iea)- which from my understanding is a fairly conservative international organization- has changed its expected global peak oil date from 2020 to 2012 this past winter. we are so far from any sort of post oil consumptive society, and remain so dependent on oil for our basic needs (like food), that a steady increase in oil prices really will likely have detrimental effects on life as we know it. on security, well being, our ability to survive.
we've seen more and more extreme natural disasters. like the 8.8 earthquake in chile, or the 7.0 in haiti. we're had volcanic ash turning europe into a tunnel of darkness (yet, the only discussion about it is the ability to fly. why is that?). flooding, drought, heat waves.
man made disasters. like the oil spill in the gulf of mexico that will undoubtedly contribute to the unreal rate of extinction we're currently seeing across our world.
all of this to say, it's scary. we've been raised our whole life being told if we go to school, get an education, a job, a house, a steady income- that we'll be fine. we'll have everything we need. we'll be comfortable and never hungry. in fact, we'll need a membership to a gym because we'll be eating so much it will make us ill. but what happens when that isn't true? when a college degree won't mean anything (does it now?) other than 4 years spent learning things that won't help me and those i love survive. what good does learning about microbes or the history of the environmental movement do if i can't grow my own food and preserve it? if i don't know how to fix a whole in the roof, or build a house without store bought oil made products (or with them, for the matter)? if i can't take care of my basic needs (which, i can't) what can i do?
and in a way, what am i doing working on coal issues? i feel like we've already lost the battle. i feel like it's too late. while i do believe we should still try, try for sake of that chance i'm wrong and things will be fine, fight to preserve our dignity, fight because we don't know what else to do. but in that process, are we also failing to prepare for this impending doom? this apocalypse? if folks (like me) in the valley can't provide for themselves, then to what effect is it to stop exploitative coal mining practices? i fully intend on doing everything within my power to improve this world, and the world to come, and feel like my future endeavors are part of that. but is it short sited to fight coal issues? are we so far gone that we should work on food security? (i'm not sure).
feeling pessimistic on this raining may day (the day after the under celebrated may day), i'm preparing to delve into studying. to spend several hours of my day, and days to come, preparing for a multiple choice test that will give me access (or prevent access) to a piece of paper that society has placed so much value on (a diploma). the expectations are telling me, get your degree. and get it with a high gpa. higher education is the cause we're fighting for. you need it to get by. but now that i've spent (wasted?) four years working towards this piece of paper, was it worth it?
'the schools we are going to are reflections of the society that created them. nobody is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them. nobody is going to teach you your true history, teach you your true heroes, if they know that that knowlwdge will help set you free. schools in amerika are interested in brainwashing people with amerikanism, giving them a little bit of education, and training them in skills they need to fill the positions the capitalist system requires. as long as we expect amerika's school to educate us, we will remain ignorant'
(Assata: an autobiography- by Assatta Shakur)