or fuck your Thunbergs and other false Jesuses

Fridays for the Future, Extinction Rebellion..streets around me are full of hope and excitement for activism, young students going to demonstrations and coming back with badly designed flyers and a general conversation at workplaces and university cafeterias about that friend that has gone vegetarian or vegan. Oat milk replacing cow milk, soya and legumes taking the place of meat. There is no problem for a society to shift towards healthier and environmentally conscious avenues, but the dialogue with which we're immersed in this transition bothers me more. For now, it is mostly a narrative in the educated classes of developed nations making them united for a cause that is suitable for some armchair activism and subtle lifestyle changes in their otherwise saturated, mono-dimensional lives. This is what it feels like, something greater than themselves, a replacement to a God and money they have seen dying over the years.

Yes, money is dying in a way. It offers nothing that we don't know and the rush of making and spending money has become predictable, turning ourselves into self-optimizing machines in the process. The areas for insight in the developed world are few, almost every aspect of daily life has been made efficient with precision. This is no space for humans as it has been too desensitized, it is hard to believe that we as a species ever came from the jungle to having domesticated plants and some millennia later be where we are. In retrospect is cause for the discontent, money asks too much from ourselves to be in possession of it, and we have to drive ourselves bone dry to achieve its objectives.

This lifestyle dysfunction turned towards a very real problem of climate change creates interesting avenues for discussion and how this problem can be solved with a Utopian tinge. It is the same reasoning for the counter-cultural movements that happened in the West (I have absolute contempt for this word. West of fucking what?), coupled with the booming businesses of yoga, mindfulness and organic food. This brings me to the point, where did the opposites for all these modes of living arise in the first place? Considering India as an example, one sees that the country was introduced to fast food, economic liberalism and unchecked expansionary capitalism as a response to a globalized world view first created by the powers in the developed world. Now, the fancy pants in Europeans capitals boast about their all-grain vegan diets and lactose + gluten free milkshakes while on the other hand India gets hooked onto greasy burgers and deals with the problem of unchecked capitalism taking over the psyche of its residents.

Then comes along, conveniently, the issue of climate change and the fad of activism in the West. People dance behind wagons playing deep techno, screaming in between the need for a better planet. Sure, this activism is for the greater good. But the good has to happen within the domain of the system they are living in — the protests and demonstrations still happen in a very controlled space under the auspices of the local police and perhaps the local intelligence community. So the change first appears in form of corporate acceptance where companies greenwash at every possible instant: at bus stops signs, petrol stations and inside supermarkets while buying oranges in winter. The irony is not visible as this messaging is confirming one's own beliefs but a taking a deeper look one sees the invisible hand of capitalistic trickery in play.

A time will come when political action will be taken against polluters and new trade deals will be signed under the pretense of the environment. The rules will be written by the polluters and the blame will be shifted to all those barbaric people in the developing counties. India should not consume so much coal, Indians should not be throwing plastic in the water, Indians should not follow the American dream and buy a car and whatever the fuck they need. This would create an optimum business creating situation where the polluters find new technologies to tackle with the problem they have created in the first place. Then they will shove it down everyone's throat in a rent seeking push to fatten their bottom line and the circle exists where these rich countries become richer with the blame fair and square always on the countries that are historically poor because of colonial and economical conquests of these rich countries in the first place. It is in this context the armchair activism of the average Westerner is problematic, it aims to solve a problem without tackling the inherent system within which it functions, because who wants to let go of the luxuries of living in a hyper-capitalistic society? Capitalism always tries to find newer methods of profit generation and the climate crisis is a cow waiting to be milked and slaughtered.

The effects of this activism is not yet seen in India but for now there is rampant deforestation and a reliance on energy guzzling devices and cars. That is a symbol of prosperity and changing this view just when it has come within reach will seem hypocritical. The aims of the Thunbergs and your local café hipsters it should not involve holding colorful placards but engaging people across the world in conversations. What the climate crisis is about is essentially a problem with consciousness itself — we have at some point forgotten our origins as animals and have gone so deep in immersing our make-believe reality that we forget that the planet is a home shared between millions of species. It is not going to be solved through sanitized protests that don't involve all the stakeholders and by that it means looking beyond borders and creating a common culture of understanding and some foundation in economics.

Our enemy is not the polluters but the system itself. As people, we have a common cause ahead of us, this should not become another trope for unequal exploitation as that would be the perfect recipe for global strife. Technologies should be freed of their patents and the knowledge of our future should be free for all. Remember that the planet does not have borders, we do.


With the undue value placed on human beings and human life in general, we sanctify ourselves more than we need to. The idea of what it is to be a human and the value of oneself is very moralistic and detached to the idea that we are at the end of the day animals living in an ecosystem with other beings. The myopic nature of our selves deceives us often to the reality of the world we live in.

There is a population controlling mechanism for most animals on this planet. It can be in the form of predators, disease and natural calamities. Man on the other hand is immune to such happenings, at least on a mass scale. The largest threats to mankind currently are related to stress, eating habits, lack of exercise and mosquitoes. War and strife kill people but not on the scale that is threatening the survival of the human race itself.

Climate change possess that unique possibility that keeps the question of mass-population in threat. With ever increasing technological innovations and the growth of hypercapitalism, inequality, spiritual discontent, boredom.. it is important to question ourselves, how long will this world exist in the shape and form it does? When will the next big change happen that will revolutionize the way we live, not in the form having a new technological advance like a cellphone but a more moral change to the way we live, interact and consume. Sure, cellphones and the internet have contributed to a lot of societal changes but the change has been cosmetic in the way we absorb information while providing tools for more capitalistic and governmental scrutiny of who we are and how we consume.

The present system of how the world operates does not have a perinnial viability, there would be a radical change that will alter the way humans live. In the years that have passed it has been religions, technology and societal systems but the capacity for future developments in these areas are bleak. Sure, a man can live 20 years more and there could Coporation-states but is that what we strive to be? At the same time the population demographics are only going to increase and that too in parts of the world that are under-developed (depending on the universality of the metrics) and still opening to the widespread consumptory disease that must fuel the money making machine. If the entire nation of India, China and a few handful African countries consume the same way as Western countries do so now, it would be a catastrophe on levels even unimaginable now.

Man killing another man is steeped in guilt, justice and morality which is fair, considering our cognitive capabilities. But this lack of any danger also feeds our arrogance, as one can observe that the same people who pollute and destroy are also the ones who call for restraint. I was once at a Climate Change demonstartion where there huge vans with loudspeakers that were going around the city blasting music with people smoking cigarettes and consuming mass produced goods like there was no tomorrow, supporting the same companies and systems that got us into the mess in the first place. This duplicity goes unnoticed and people who go to the extreme and practise some variant of veganism, go full 'alternate' in their lifestyles while conforming to a lifestyle fad, end up consuming a product made by Coca-Cola or Nestle and carefully marketed to not be identified as the parent brand. Though the choice is commendable, the real corporations that pollute escape scrutiny. Corporations in the end are run by humans that might exhort the same fashions that they sell. The intersection between money and morality is one seeped in a lot of truth concessions.

The next big change would not be aiming for net prosperity if it is based on the same rules as and systems as of now. To reshape the current command centers would need a fundamental changefor which no short-term thinking politician or civilian will step up to. In this case a natural disaster is the best hand one can expect, as it effects large population centers a majority of the world's regions. This would also wall-off the places that better adapt to the climate crisis than the ones that do worse, just like any other refugee situation. These climate refugees will be plundered, slandered and eventually slaughtered by the then existing state/commercial establishment without impunity, as when the scarce resources are in question, morality becomes a luxury.

It is in this case that there is a possibility for reorganization. If a power like the US or China is directly impacted by climate change, there will a huge gap in the political landscape of the world, meaning whoever is in power next will be the ones who decide what is going to happen with the planet. Or such a federation will not rise and there will be buffer zones of uninhabitability (like the possibility of Bangladesh and Maldives ceasing to exist while Sub-Saharan Africa turns in a furnace) which act like buffer borders, cutting off the global supply-chain networks. This would make the return of self-dependency a central focus and the powers of global industry are reduced to nil. This is important to go back to a state of relative self-dependency while also the people should be very well aware of the history of the past world to make sure that the dependency on a cut-throat capitalistic world is not made for a few luxurious upgrades. The society need not be some kind of Communist termite hole as well, this would be a world very conscious about the people who live in that space and who are very aware of their surroundings and what they consume. This back to basics approach focuses just on the necessities for survival and not the full menu of things, as in the final calling man will realise that it has been a purposeless pursuit anyway.

So eat your cows, travel by planes, take your SUV everywhere, buy single use plastics, turn on the airconditioner to energy inefficient settings and buy the shares of Saudi Aramco when they go up on sale. Make conscious choices for making this planet uninhabitable, that might be our only ticket out.

#anticonsumerism #globalwarming #climatechange