Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Industry Leaders Warn of Existential Threat


Today leaders of the world’s largest transportation companies held a public forum at a hotel near WICO headquarters in London to protest the imminent extinction response as an existential threat to their industries and the world.

Expansaerospace CEO Mark Luke summarized their concerns in opening remarks to over 400 attendees and nearly a million online observers: “The goals and strategies being considered by the world’s governments would decimate our collective ability to move people, products, and resources as needed to maintain even a semblance of global civilization. Humanity might not go extinct, but the world we create won’t be worth living in.” Revealing his opinion of the entire effort, he added that “the last time global GDP was at the target provided by the whackos at WICO was sixty years ago, when there were two billion fewer people than what they say we’ll have at the end of this experiment thirty years from now. If isolation is as bad as they told us yesterday, or worse, then what they want us to do will make it unavoidable.”

Among the attendees was a group of energy industry representatives who co-opted the meeting after the first hour. Renewable energy icon Ronald Wingate announced a partnership between his conglomerate Expansivtek, the two largest oil companies, and the top three biotech companies to promote a research and development project called Evolution over Devolution. “ED will create technological solutions that provide all the needs of a growing population at a standard of living that builds on the work of past generations instead of spitting on it.” Wingate defended the late timing of the announcement: “We have been incubating this project for five years, and it’s just a lucky coincidence that it is ready now to help our friends and customers in transportation and other sectors of the economy that would be hurt by doom-and-gloom extremists who have hijacked the debate over our future.”

In a statement following the forum, WICO Secretary General Decatur sharply disagreed with the dominant characterizations of the crisis and strategies based on WICO’s recommendations, and rebuked the notion of Wingate’s ED as a viable alternative. “I must remind everyone, once again, that time is of the essence,” he warned. “We are collectively hurtling through a minefield toward a cliff, and we don’t have the luxury of trying to build an airplane as we go instead of putting on the brakes and attempting to defuse the mines.” 

Reality Check

Luke’s description of projected GDP and population match simulation of the baseline strategy. His concern about resulting isolation are exaggerated but something to think about, given that the scale and complexity of transportation would be much less – like virtually everything else in a sustainable future that relies on natural systems.

WICO’s call for detailed strategies is acknowledgement that without preparation the present economic order (on its world and ours) would likely react to strong economic contraction like a deep depression with a lot in common with the early stages of collapse. 

The portrayal of the energy industry’s reaction to reducing consumption is based on observed (and previously experienced) reactions to similar proposals.

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