After all the fanfare, the grandstanding and the fact that the elaborate Glasgow summit was so universally hailed as the last chance saloon for dear old Mother Earth; it's all fallen a bit quiet again. And yes, all our worldly problems persist with few solutions, of any great substance, having actually been formulated at the summit. Sure, there have been plenty of pledges but we've heard all those before - at the last gathering!
Of course, the political classes will continue to declare that Cop26 has been a massive success story with plenty of facts, figures and statistics being aggressively massaged, contorted and jiggled about to fit various narratives. Standard, you might say.
But I'm afraid that I really can't help being overwhelmed by a sense of crushing cynicism whenever I hear politicians or environmentalists wax lyrical about our poor ailing planet or 'the environment.' That's because I fervently believe that the trajectory of our collective futures, as inhabitants of our one and only earthly home, is way beyond the remit of the suited and booted fraternity or the dreadlocked brigade. All I see, from politicians and activists alike, is just a whole lot of grandstanding, showmanship along with great tsunamis of often disingenuous sentiment. Tired old rhetoric, frankly.
Green energy revolution
Vast sums of money lies at the heart of the so-called green energy revolution, in just the same way as it lies at the heart of the fossil fuel industry. Providing 'green' infrastructure is just as massively lucrative as peddling fossil fuels but it's also a pretty dirty process and it's quite incredibly un-green.
It's just not the done-thing to call out 'green' energy as a lot of smoke and mirrors. Sure, we need alternatives to fossil fuels because they're all finite. But having a critical view of anything that's deemed 'green' or calling it out as being anything but 'green' is often perceived as a case of absolute heresy.
But, just one of those mighty wind turbines rises 500 feet from the ground. They sit on around 1000 cubic metres of concrete and 150 tons of fabricated steel. Those massive blades are made from 36,000 lbs of fiberglass and balsam (each) x 3. The whole thing will have already consumed enormous amounts of fossil energy just in the process of being manufactured and erected. And the world needs millions of these things just to keep the lights of our current cities glowing. All of that infrastructure just to stand still in other words.
Of course, wind turbines are obviously mechanical devices so they eventually wear out. They have a useful life span of around 10 years, by which time they'll probably be obsolete.
By scratching beneath the surface, it soon becomes abundantly clear that many of the very same billionaires and large, global corporations are in fact behind these 'green' energy projects. They're out there to make vast fortunes in exactly the same way as they have been whilst peddling fossil fuels to an energy hungry world. They simply disguise themselves behind wholesome looking leafy logos and happy-clappy green emblems in order to try and sell us the notion that somehow, someday we can all still enjoy the exact same benefits of our fossil fuelled existence whilst living in some kind of fresh aired, uber-green, salad bowl nirvana. I'm really sorry to burst any bubbles - but that's very clearly delusional.
Oil companies have invested mind boggling sums of money into green energy solutions. Whilst huge 500 foot wind turbines, wave machines and solar farms might currently be supplementing fossil derived energy, they're a long way from being a truly viable alternative when you consider how much energy the world consumes. Surely, it cannot be feasible for huge 'green' wind machines made by industrial civilisation to save us from industrial civilisation?
A perfect storm
Humanity appears to be facing a perfect storm. We have a rapidly growing population that requires vast quantities of food, water and energy just to survive. Because we all aspire to thrive (not just survive) all those resources and our means to supply them sustainably are coming under increasing pressure. And our leaders have been turning a blind eye.
All this kind of talk must come over as being highly intense and overwhelming? Perhaps many of us try not to think too hard about such uncomfortable subjects and just get on with the rather important and often complex business of running our daily lives. But if everyone stopped thinking about these issues, it could well prove to be a harbinger of our collective doom.
Frightening as all this might sound, I still believe that change is possible. The kind of change that comes by looking at all the facts objectively, dispassionately and logically. That might involve a bit of nose-pinching and perhaps even a tad of butt clenching, because it might well mean getting away from habits such as allowing our sensibilities to be clouded by matters such as political allegiances. Whether we consider ourselves to be left-leaning, right-leaning or maybe something in between; it must now be abundantly clear that propagating infinite growth on a finite planet amounts to suicide?
The elephant in the room
But, there may yet be a way out of all this. We must first accept that our human presence on this planet has already far exceeded sustainability. Collectively, we're the elephant in the room. All of us will therefore eventually have to take a lead when it comes to genuine environmentalism within the context of our own lives and think about how we consume and manage resources.
One thing is clear, we cannot just blindly trust our future generations to politicians or leave it all to the greedy hands of the billionaire fraternity. All they've done to date is plunder precious resources in order to generate vast profits. Wealth of a magnitude that could never realistically be utilised within the constraints of a solitary human life-span. Some of these personal fortunes have often been created at all of our expense, environmentally speaking.
Whether we like it or not, less will have to be accepted as the new more. Instead of blindly feeding the tired old narrative of 'climate change' and therefore further enriching those who currently promote it with near religious fervour, humanity will one day wake up to the plain, simple fact that it isn't the carbon dioxide molecule that's wreaking all the havoc. It's us.
The ailments of our world are not down to just one cause. There are numerous comorbidities at play. But in each case, quite regardless of the symptoms, humanity itself appears to be the 'bug'. We're all guilty of contributing to our world's ailments as one gigantic collective. We've inadvertently become a species that's out of control. An all-consuming population that's stumbling headlong towards a human-made apocalypse. Architects of our own demise.