Michael James suggests that the severity of climate change trends combined with the inevitability of business as usual global inertia renders fully-automated patches such as Justin Murphy’s as pure fantasy. Deeply adaptive salvagepunk retropatches are offered as a reality calibrated alternative.
The grubby fingered, Scrapheap Challenge frontline of collapse is prefigured by the fraying of the neurotic interiority of contemporary life worlds on economic, geopolitical and economic registers. From precarity and austerity to ‘flare-ups of religious zealotry and racialized xenophobic fervor…. everywhere in this unevenly distributed globalized civilization dissolution and alienation seem to be the prevailing tendency.’
The genesis of the Anthropocene can be traced back to the invention of the steam engine. The diffusion of carbon into the air is accompanied by the laying of tracks on the earth, striating the globe and railing against the vagaries of Patch Space. Patches are prior to space, productive of space. From an anthropocentric viewpoint, from the ground, Patchwork takes care of itself, but in terms of the conatus of increasing airborne carbon, Patchwork is piecemeal, under regulated and high maintenance, like the washing instructions for a quilt.
For the purposes of Global Warming, striated space is silky smooth, rolled out, combine-harvestable, soylent-digestable. Humanism is instrumentalised as the attendant feature-group operating system for material terrasmoothing. Allowing a population explosion, the speciesism of human fungibility, a form of stereotyping, explains the concomitant inhumane treatment of animals, which, far from manifesting a cold practical instrumentalism is often excessively and impractically cruel. The same is true in the case of slavery, where the horror of treating fellow humans as animals drags up the horrific weirdness of our total contempt for animalkind.
On the ground, things don’t run so smoothly, with attempts to still racism and religious persecution always tightening their grip within Global Warming’s speciesist horizon. Making this point is interpreted as an attitude problem as Mencius Moldbug and Kanye West have experienced, when attacking the 1st and the 13th amendments respectively. Their arguments are precisely homologous. Moldbug talks of a weak defence against the separation of church and state merely strengthening the virus, allowing an insidious form of secularised Calvinism to thrive, just as Ye speaks of a trapdoor in the abolishment of slavery, ushering the mass incarceration of black people. The Angel of History’s wings are caught in the hinge of this trapdoor, suffering piling up exponentially at its feet.
Another person accused of having an attitude problem for standing up to the Cathedral is Richard Attenborough. Jordon Peterson has said that anyone who is worried about overpopulation should simply do away with themselves. The Carbon Footprint is the means by which Global Warming has solved the problem of Utilitarianism, providing a quantifiable moral metric optimising for the maximum carbon to be sequestered from the maximum amount of beings. Your position in a crypto-Calvinist striated world is embedded rather than emitted, it won’t die with you.
Returning to the thesis then, the thesis that we don’t have time, but from the ground rather than the air, the question becomes: does Global Warming have enough time? Medieval plagues sweep through tent cities as techgiants smother heresy but at the same time fragmentation abounds in every direction to a degree that can scarcely be described as business as usual. Trump and Brexit signal a new more multipolar world whilst the massive exponential trend of veganism attacks speciesism from the other way, potentially terraforming the planet to an even more severe degree than Global Warming has. For Global Warming, freedom and independence are the worst.
If Deep Adaptation is a good coinage for what Global Warming has been doing to us all along, we have the next dozen years to invert the prescriptions of resilience, relinquishment and restoration. Might we be difficult customers, stubborn, less inclined to bouncing back? Are we too quick to let go of what we have whilst trying to restore what we have lost?