Everyone knows that when a blogger wishes to resuscitate a moribund blog, the best way to do that is by reading and commenting on a difficult text. I well remember the eager clicks and fervent commenting from our last reading of Unbundling Water Rights. For the next while, as I can bear it, I will be reading and commenting here on Prof. Jem Bendell’s paper Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy. This paper lays out his thinking that ecologically-induced social collapse is imminent and unavertable. I cannot find fault with his argument, nor do I see pockets of robustness that he has overlooked. I have been heartbroken since I read it, as he knew his readers would be.
Back before 2012, I read a lot of post-apocalypse fiction. Some were pretty good stories and I thought I had decent odds, post-apocalypse. You have no reason to know this, but I have some mild actual skills unrelated to blogging. Then some bad stuff happened, and I lost the western illusion that I was favored by chance and that stories all turn out well. Then some other stuff happened and I felt horribly vulnerable and in deep need of society and complex economies the way we have them now, thank you. It was several years before I was willing to return to post-apocalypse fiction. I’ve now read a few more, including the water-related ones. My current preference is for Carrie Vaughn’s Bannerless series, partially because it describes the fall as piecewise and slow, with workable remnants. As I read Professor Bendell’s paper, I hope for that scenario.
I have noticed a theme in other fiction I’ve read in the past year. I notice a streak of women committing satisfying, righteous but extrajudicial violence against asshole men. I gotta say, it fills a need. I just got caught up on a contemporary fantasy series, in which humans live in small enclaves in a world controlled by the usual monsters (werewolves, vampires) and much worse. It was medium-good, but I kept reading. In every book, the human wrongdoers ignore environmental rules and want to expand beyond their limits. When they persist beyond one warning, they are immediately slaughtered and eaten. Is it possible that I am so starved for accountability that I want to see environmental extractors dismembered and eaten at the onset of the second infraction, left in bloody scraps by extremely literal all-powerful monsters? Yes! Yes, it turns out! I read all seven volumes of accountability porn. I have not encountered that genre before, but I won’t be surprised to see more of it.
In the days to come, OtPR will go piecewise through Dr. Bendell’s Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy, wishing it weren’t so persuasive.