Why block the road?

Why would you block the road, causing people to be late for work, just to make a point?

Let me start out by elimination. It’s not because I’m “woke”. It’s not because I’m an “extreme leftist”. It’s not because it’s “fun”. It’s not because I have nothing better to do. It’s not because I’m a saint, I’m a flawed individual. It’s not because I’m a professional activist. It’s not because I want to make the lives of police officers miserable either.

Rather, it’s because we’re failing to address an existential threat to civilization. It’s because we’re in the process of triggering a chain reaction, that will create the sort of climatic conditions that will result in billions of deaths over the next century. You don’t have to be a saint, to want to try to stop that.

Throughout history, plenty of mediocre selfish people found themselves faced with extreme cruelty and injustice and decided they could not go along with it. That’s me. An average flawed dude, who happens to enjoy reading scientific literature and discovered the existence of a profound injustice.

You don’t have to be a saint, to feel terrible when your drunk driving led to someone’s death. Similarly, when people in Uganda are suffering severe droughts caused by my own way of life, that upsets me. That’s not virtue signaling, that’s a normal human response.

So why block the road? It’s because my government promised they would stop subsidizing the very activities that are causing this existential threat to civilization, but failed to deliver on their promise.

So far, all the normal traditional polite methods of making your point have failed for us. Climate activism has been around for decades. What did it achieve? You can see the answer for yourself.

The oil companies have known since at least 1959 that they are creating a problem. Since the 1970’s they have known how it would unfold. Since 1989, when Hansen warned the world, politicians have known. Since 1990 we have had international conferences to stop this problem, with no success. In 2013 the Dutch government promised the subsidies for fossil fuels would end by 2020.

They did not end. So as a result, anytime I pay VAT, anytime I pay capital gains taxes, anytime I pay income taxes, I’m made complicit in my government funding the irreversible annihilation of the climatic conditions that made our civilization possible.

You can see the consequences of that in Maui, where people have to run into the ocean to escape the smoke and flames of their town burning down. You can see the consequences in Libya, where thousands of people are missing after an abnormal tropical-like cyclone triggered by abnormally warm sea temperatures caused dams to fail.

You can see the consequences in Greece, where crops were wiped out and agricultural production on 23% of their farmland will suffer for the next five years, from mud full of salt flooding out over their agricultural fields.

You don’t have to be leftist, or marxist, or socialist, or feminist, or anarchist, or adhere to any other progressive ideology, to understand that we’re faced with an emergency situation, that has created an existential threat for civilization. You just have to understand that we are dumping a chemical pollutant into our atmosphere that has the ability to trap heat.

You could be a Traditionalist Catholic, a MAGA Republican, a Shiite cleric, a conservative Hindu, a Mormon polygamist. None of these worldviews should prohibit you from understanding that changing our atmosphere by burning fossil fuels that took millions of years to gather beneath our soils in the timespan of a few decades can have catastrophic consequences.

This should not be a left-right issue. This should be the kind of situation you see when your neighbor whose guts you hate has a fire at his house and his eight year old son is standing on the balcony crying for help. That’s the sort of issue we’re dealing with. In such a situation, the normal response is to do whatever you can, to get the boy away from the fire. In such a situation, people who have nothing in common unite to do what needs to be done.

You can guess for yourself what would happen if we went to some designated area where we are allowed to protest against fossil fuel subsidies. You would not be reading this post. Your media would not be writing about this. People would not be talking about this. The government would ignore the protest, like it ignores so many other protests.

If someone is willing to get sprayed by a water canon and dragged over the asphalt to make his point, that makes you pay attention. If someone is willing to be the subject of gossip by his neighbors, that makes you pay attention. That makes you wonder: “Why would someone choose that?”

The answer to that question is simple: We’re able to read and we’re able to think. So that’s what we did. We discovered something absolutely horrifying. We discovered an insane injustice. An immense cruelty. One about which there is no true doubt left. You can debate who committed the Russian apartment bombings. You can’t debate the fact that CO2 traps heat.

That’s why the road is blocked.

37 Comments

  1. It’s a catch-22: either industrial civilization continues and billions of Ugandans die from droughts, or industrial civilization stops and the surpluses that support the billions of Ugandans end (with their death)…

    … unless you believe in some pie-in-the-sky green shit, which is so obviously a scam that it would be hard to take you seriously.

    • >It’s a catch-22: either industrial civilization continues and billions of Ugandans die from droughts, or industrial civilization stops and the surpluses that support the billions of Ugandans end (with their death)…

      1: There are not billions of Ugandans.

      2: Uganda is a net agricultural exporter:

      https://www.afdb.org/en/documents/uganda-country-food-and-agriculture-delivery-compact

      They don’t depend on Western aid to eat. This seems to be a widespread right wing myth, that African nations would witness a population collapse if it weren’t for the West.

      3: You have a low IQ.

      • Per Bloomberg (Jan. 24, 2023), “the continent of Africa imports over 100 million metric tons of cereals at an annual cost of $75 billion, the African Development Bank said in a statement.” A ton of rice would feed about 4 people for a year, so grain for 400 million people a year is imported. That is about one in three people in Africa (since there are about 1.2 billion people in Africa).

        I am seeing that “a major part of African farmlands is used to grow crops such as coffee, cocoa, and cottonseed for export, while the staple crops of the African diet, wheat, and rice, mainly come from outside of the continent.” I’m seeing it claimed that Africans could actually grow “much” of this imported food, and also grow indigenous grains. But then they would not have cash from cash crops. It would be an enormous transition.

      • Obviously I was being glib by saying there are billions of Ugandans, and my point isn’t about Uganda or Africa per se. Do you not agree that the green revolution–enabled by its industrial predecessor–has enabled the world’s population to explode by billions? Do you think that historical agricultural techniques could be as productive at the scales needed to support the billions that you so ardently wish to save? True, we know more about agronomy now and I’ve heard claims that regenerative agriculture is more productive on a per acre basis, but that assumes a level of individual ownership and closeness with the land that modern society has selected against. Is it possible to RETVRN? Maybe, but as kareninca says, it would be an enormous transition made all the more unlikely if we Just Stop Oil ™.

        • I spent about five years trying like crazy to grow veggies in my community garden plot using only vegan input, or at least only cruelty free input (e.g. bat guano). I had a lot of gardening experience from growing up, but I couldn’t manage anything but fruit bushes and green beans. It was the most pathetic plot in the garden (which has since been turned into a parking lot here in Silicon Valley). The old Chinese guy who had the corner plot secretly used chemical fertilizer, which was forbidden, and he had a huge yield. I tried to get him to at least grow organically; I offered him some free steer manure, but he rejected it with polite contempt. At the same time, there was a woman and her boyfriend who also grew without animal input, and they had the very best plot; it was fabulous. But they used staggeringly expensive soil amendments and they were both professional gardeners. I think a quick transition would lead to mass hunger and death.

          • Yes, I probably spent ~$500 in leaf mold, peat moss (verboten!), and other amendments on my two garden beds. Bumper crop of tomatoes and zukes though… The rest ended up deer/squirrel food… :/

          • I drew the line at human urine, partly because I knew a guy at a different community garden who used his urine to fertilize and to scare away rodents. He would lug in gallons of it. He was/is a MD with a doctorate doing medical research so he actually believed “the science” of the time, which held that human urine was sterile and contained no microbes at all. Yes, that was actually believed; it was a certainty; unquestioned.

            His method did work and he had a great yield but his plot reeked all of the time and I couldn’t have gotten away with that at the other garden. Alas it has since been found that actually human urine isn’t even slightly sterile; it is just that the scientists of twenty years ago didn’t know how to look for the microbes that are in it. So whatever weird ailments he had then are now spread in that community garden’s soil, but it doesn’t much matter, since it has been turned into a golf course.

          • yeah, my 2 dogs would pee in our small plot in our old house and kill everything (except the tomatoes which grew like crazy but didn’t flower due to nitrogen imbalance). i think it’s pretty true that urine fresh from the source is sterile in healthy people, but as soon as the microbes from the air settle in (does no one have a fish tank anymore?) it’s decidedly not sterile any more…

        • You don’t have to reverse the green revolution.

          You just have to take away cars, meat, air conditioning and suffrage from low status white males. That unironically solves most of the problem.

        • “Do you not agree that the green revolution–enabled by its industrial predecessor–has enabled the world’s population to explode by billions?”

          No. Population exploded by billions in the 20thC because of reduced mortality, mostly childhood mortality, but also mortality in general. It was not caused by increased food supply. Study basic demographics.

          “Do you think that historical agricultural techniques could be as productive at the scales needed to support billions”

          Yes. And demonstrably so. Low-tech, low- or no-fossil-fuel, low- or no-chemical traditional agriculture feeds the great majority of people on planet earth right now, today. Just as it always has. The idea that we need industrial fossil-intensive chemical-intensive agriculture is a Big Ag talking point and a lie.
          https://www.etcgroup.org/content/who-will-feed-us-industrial-food-chain-vs-peasant-food-web

    • “or industrial civilization stops and the surpluses that support the billions of Ugandans end (with their death)”

      Give me a fucking break. Africa has been looted for centuries by the global North, and it continues right up to the present moment. The scale of the looting is phenomenal — many many $trillions. Ugandans are not kept alive by industrial civ surpluses; the opposite is true. This is all well-documented fact.

  2. Another great article.

    Under a “business as usual” scenario in which greenhouse gas emissions continue at current rates, how many years do you think we have left before irreversible “tipping points” are reached, triggering amplifying positive feedback loops that will then cause runaway warming beyond our control?

    I’m curious about this because the book I am currently reading (Hansen’s “Storms Of My Grandchildren”) was published all the way back in 2009. What do the latest, most up to date models and data tell us?

    • Actually, never mind my question. I did some digging around and it seems that the general consensus (according to the IPCC, UN, WEF etc.) is somewhere around the end of this decade we reach the point of no return.

      But anyways, in relation to your response to my question about how many years of researching climate change it took to arrive at your sobering conclusions, I find it fascinating that you were once skeptical like the LSWMs who comment on this website. Here is a quote from you back in December 2018:

      “My expectation is that we’re going to dramatically overshoot two degrees of global warming, but in contrast to what people assume, it’s not going to cause a global catastrophe, because the models used to predict catastrophe tend to assume that civilization is a placid actor utterly dependent on the stable conditions of the Holocene rather than an anticipating self-augmenting agent that adjusts to changing global conditions. If we notice the coral reefs around us are at risk of dying during an oncoming heatwave, we respond by spraying atmospheric sulfur into the atmosphere. If we notice shellfish are struggling to grow due to ocean acidification, we grow seaweed next to them to reduce the effect of ocean acidification.”

      https://www.rintrah.nl/the-abolition-of-the-apocalypse/

      This was back when you were still buying into the “peak oil” argument. If you were able to change your perspective on the seriousness of the climate crisis as new evidence presented itself to you, then hopefully the climate change deniers in this comments section can change their mind too.

      • Yeah, that was me trying very hard to convince myself of something I wanted to believe. But in the five years since, nothing good has happened.

        • Also, in the years since then, it became clear that the severe effects of climate change are kicking in decades earlier than originally anticipated. So yes, I’ve had to change my mind.

          • In 2100, the world will have 1 billion people, half will be Africans, and the global median age will be 22. The solution for climate change has already been dispersed and the second part of the binary biological system mass injected. It is done now. From this point forward there is no need for consensus or agreement or any behavioral change. The global population will slowly reduce, thus solving the problem.

      • I can speak from experience, the hairy armpit pierced environmental protest girls are the most insane sex partners. They are the best you will ever have. They simply love stiff penises in any shape or form and they never say no to an opportunity to receive one, irrespective of the circumstance or the location. All that you have to do is give them that look, and 30 seconds later you are fucking in some forest somewhere behind the tree you are trying to save. For this reason alone I encourage all LSWMs to get into the protest movement. You will not regret it.

        • Isn’t sex great? Men look down on every woman they have sex with. Women resent every man they have sex with.

          And when your whole planet is going to shit, when thousands of bodies are flushed out into the ocean and you want to do something about it, well that’s another great opportunity… for sex! Ha all those protesting women sure love the penis in vagina thing! Opinions? I don’t know if they have one, don’t really care either but they’re sure great material for the penis in vagina thing!

          What are we here for again? Oh yeah it has something to do with the corpses that keep floating out into the ocean, but anyway where was I, SEX SEX SEX!

          • And every once in a while you get a woman who was sexually abused as a child (one in four is the estimate) and seeks out promiscuous sex to reprocess the trauma… but hey… YOU TOTALLY SCORED BRO! There is nothing undignified about it at all!

            Don’t you just love being used? I sure do, when it’s for the PENIS IN VAGINA THING!

    • Having worked in the field, no one really knows. There are too many unknowns, there are greenhouse gases states do not even count in their inventories. Nor are those inventories great, often measurement and assessment are partially contracted out, done by companies or years behind.

  3. It’s also people getting their dog to the emergency vet. Or getting to a hospital 15 miles away, which I did yesterday, so that I could get the unit key from an acquaintance who was/is in there for liver growths before visiting hours ended so that I could retrieve her pet lizard and pass it on to someone before it died of neglect. I spent five hours yesterday wondering if I’d find a dead or living lizard. If I couldn’t have gotten to it I would have gone insane. People aren’t just going to fucking jobs.

  4. Brah, you’ve talked yourself into joining an apocalypse cult. That’s a well established tradition with a long, ancient history. (LOL) The most salient point about all of them though, is they’ve never been right, not even once.

    On its face that’s totally fine, but these tactics make life harder for ordinary people, and alienate everyone you come across.

    • Of course the apocalypse never happened. If it did, we wouldn’t be around to talk about it!

      In other news, I’ve never been struck by a train while running across the rails, so I’m going to keep running across!

      • By contrast, if you instead were constantly blockading the departures of some billionaire’s private jet, not only would you only be alienating a tiny number of people, the rest of us’d probably all be cheering you on.

  5. Yes, the govs in the EU, and EU itself, subsidise the worst types of agriculture – industrial size, massive corn and wheat monocultures. This is not only bad for the environment, but also results in people being incentivised (through price) to follow an awful fast carbs diet.
    But subsidising fossil fuels! How come that? Gas prices are heavily taxed, including for carbon tax (recently upped significantly in Germany).

  6. Rintrah, you are a somewhat pale version of Derrick Jensen. He is a sworn enemy of industrial civilization and wants it brought down, actively, and as quickly as possible. The billions of human deaths resulting would be unfortunate collateral damage for a greener world where wild salmon are thriving once again, and collapse was inevitable anyway, sooner or later.
    You on the other hand, claim to want to save civilization and billions of human lives by stopping oil and meat eating. But this is impossible. Not going to happen. A massive human population inherently warms the planet and appropriates the resources for human ends. Derrick’s vision, although more brutal than yours, is at least honestly based in reality.
    And to nitpick your excellent writing a tiny bit, you keep misspelling “cannon.”

    • The anprims are just tiresome LARPers.

      Negative emissions are possible. Biochar, seaweed plantations, accelerated weathering of olivine, carbon sequestration, oceanic iron fertilization, these things are all possible.

      But that will first require a fair price of carbon.

      With every years that passes it will get more difficult. We’ll soon reach the “let’s buy a few years for ourselves by blocking the sun” stage of retardation.

      But negative emissions are possible. They’re not cheap, they run into scaling limits, some will have negative side-effects. But it’s possible for us to have negative emissions. Of course the longer we wait, the more negative emissions we’ll need, as natural ecosystems will begin to release carbon too.

    • “A massive human population inherently warms the planet and appropriates the resources for human ends.”

      Malthusian rubbish. What is warming the planet is the excesses of the rich, primarily the golden billion of the OECD. The top 20% or so. The other 80% contribute very little or even nothing to climate and environmental stress. This is clear-cut statistical fact, and takes only a couple minutes to verify. It is not my opinion.

  7. I came here to retrieve some of your earlier writings related to COVID, which were excellent. Thanks for those. While here, I took the chance to read your recent articles and felt very disappointed to see the direction you have taken recently. I won’t go into it in great detail (what’s the point), but you are throwing around a lot of insults, which destroys your credibility, and in some parts you seem almost hysterical. By your reckoning I would be a low status (and yes, white, sorry about that) male simply because my position differs from yours in some aspects, and I probably have a low IQ as well and I’m not worth listening to, just like how all those scientists (and your local Dutch farmers) on the other side of your views are probably total morons.

    I don’t want to make assumptions, but the immediate impression is that you now come across as a deranged leftist.

    By the way, I lied when I typed “YES” to your silly declaration.

    Good luck with it all, don’t get run over after gluing yourself to the road.

  8. Why did you block the road?
    Because as everyone else you like to shit on people who can’t shit back on you. Simple as human psychology. Go block the roads of c-suit managers at Trifigura or Blackroc. Even better the gates of the politics who enable their predations. But i guess they won’t hesitate to let loose on you their security details. At the end it is way better to shit on the normies, right? Everyone and his autistic EITC descendant friend knows that when you shit on the normies enough at the end the ellites will consent to everything. I read it in Fairytale Collection

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The patients in the mental ward have had their daily dose of xanax and calmed down it seems, so most of your comments should be automatically posted again. Try not to annoy me with your low IQ low status white male theories about the Nazi gas chambers being fake or CO2 being harmless plant food and we can all get along. Have fun!

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