Archive for apocalypse

It all comes down to The Lorax

Posted in Climate Change with tags on April 7, 2010 by ajtriplett

Over the weekend I was looking at Dr. Seuss books for my daughter.  The Lorax!!!  Why didn’t I think of this before! If you haven’t read it or need a refresher, do it now…… The Lorax

I wish I would have came across this sooner.  Reading this story made me go back to my notes on Diamond, factors that lead to failure, and root causes.  This is such a good example– I had to share.

  • Before the problem arises— The Once-ler is a man that saw the beautiful Truffula Trees, but, like Diamond suggests, the Once-ler was desensitized to the possibility of disaster.
  • Failure of  perception—-The Once-ler cut down one Truffula Tree, created a Thneed, and thought that would be the end of everything.  WRONG.
  • Radical behavior— The Lorax came and warned the Once-ler what was happening,–the Brown Bar-ba-loots, Truffula Fruits, Humming Fish, and Swommee-Swans were all sent away because one tree turned into several and the once plush environment was now bleak and dead.
  • Why no solution—- By the time the Once-ler cut down the last Truffula Tree, he did feel guilty, but it was too little too late.

This story is us, America, the world in a nutshell.  Like the Once-ler, we exploit beautiful habitats until there is nothing left.  We see it going on in front of us, but think….. If I don’t do it…. someone else will.

I also think it’s important to point out all the environmental literature out there for kids.  The Lorax was published in the 70s and today the TV is filled with environmental thinking for kids…. Dora the Explorer, The Simpsons, Sesame Street and tons more.  Being smart about how we treat Mother Earth is being pounded into their heads.

Even with this information being shoved into our faces from infancy, will it actually make a difference?  I like to think so.

When all is at it’s worst…make it better

Posted in Natural Disasters, Religious Roots, Risk & Fear, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 10, 2010 by juneaudale

The Parable of the Sower… Dark, Bleak, Dystopic, Beautiful. In this narrative set in the future where the world (California) has become a state of  collapse from environmental degeneration, scarce resources, poverty,  drug induced pyro sociopaths, murderers and survivors, a young woman  escapes her destroyed community after her family is murdered. Lauren who experiences “Hyper-empathy” decides to migrate North with other survivors in desperate search for anything better where her privately developed religion “earth seed” can take root and flourish.

This is a tale of survival, of poverty, of racism. It is a cautionary tale because the future presented as Butler states “is alarming but possible.”(pg337) It has hints of Millinarianism, of colonialism and an eluding towards an apocalyptic apparition of final demise. It is a tale of loss, of pain, passion, love and so much ever present that swims deep amid the human condition. But most of all,  Parable of the Sower is a lesson in morality. As a parable defined, it is in short “a short tale that illustrates universal truth.”  As mentioned, Lauren, the main character possesses  hyper empathy syndrome which was passed on to her in the womb by her mother through the abuse of a drug named Paracetco .  She literary feels the pain and joys of others . However, it is this “hyper empathy”  ultimately that leads her to truth. Her empathy acts as  her moral compass. Acting on impulse for Lauren comes with it much greater and deeper consequences and so she must choose correctly. Through constant hardship, struggle, intelligence and empathy,  Lauren slowly and patiently weaves her image of god that will in time and in hope, transcend  her blend of various ideas, philosophies, and observations  into her own “earthseed” religion. The ever present reoccurring truth identified throughout this narrative as expressed by Lauren is “change.” In her earthseed verses,  the “true one and right one”(pg 24) Lauren “keeps coming back to”(pg 24)  states “God exists to be shaped, God is change” (pg 25)

Her world as so vividly portrayed page after page demonstrates the power of change. It is the only definable reality for her. It is her ultimate truth. And from her world as horrid as it is, she takes that truth and shapes  and sculpts it into her own vision. It is her vision of hope  and survival of the “earthseed” to “eventually take root in the stars.” It is her chosen path to resist. For in her words ” resistence isn’t always safe, but often necessary”(pg134)and in the end when all is at it’s worst…a change is made, and she makes it better.

Charles’s Job Part I

Posted in Rhetoric, Risk & Fear with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2010 by Conor

Charles’s eyes fluttered open. He lay on his cot, the lights slowly rising as the sensors in the cot’s frame detected his increased heart rate and breathing. Sleeping in wasn’t an option. He sat up, groaning, and swung his spindly legs round, placing his feet on the cold concrete. Shuffling into the ablutions chamber, he mumbled “Eucalyptus” into the Uni-Port in the wall and listened to the glockenspiel’s clear notes ringing in the chamber. Leaning his head against the wall, mist spraying all over his brittle and spotted skin, Charles thought about his dreams.

Fragments swirled through his head, half memory half the ineffable motivation of the unconscious. He remembered the summit, the meeting where mankind was supposed to save itself. He remembered Dr. Daniel’s speech to the summit, and the world who, where there was still electricity, sat around their computers streaming the talks and waiting for the promise of sanctuary from the poisoned air that attacked them and the droughts that starved them and the tainted water that made them sick. Charles had been briefed on her speech before she made it, had the matter explained to him, its reasoning and necessity.

She had developed the first colony of the air-scrubbing bacteria that fed off the poisons in the air, cleaning it before it entered peoples homes. She had resurrected the idea of the home as a safe haven, as the family castle that was safe to sleep in. The world loved her. They loved her like Christians loved Jesus because she was their savior, their shining star in the quickly darkening sky. And she, Dr. Daniel, was about to tell the people of the world that they were going to die.

Because they were. She was the one chosen to make the announcement because the world would believe her. The PIC wanted as much widespread acceptance as possible. Her job was to destroy their hope, to crush it, and to facilitate their passing. She described the various government programs designed to kill gently and with a small measure of dignity, while the people began the global wailing.