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Gaia: More Arguments with Our Lady Earth

She's back and she's quite happy at the moment.

29th June 2020

Me:    I’m here again.

Lady Earth:     About time. You’ve been avoiding me for a month.

Me:    I’ve been busy writing a novel.

LE:     That comes before me?

Me:    Yes, if you want me to be able to think straight.

LE:     You don’t have to think, you’re taking dictation.

Me:     So you say.

LE:     You’re funny. Still not believing you’re channeling?

Me:     My unconscious mind is happy with the idea of “channeling,” my conscious mind isn’t. I don’t think that’s going to change so, with respect, ma’am, you’re either going to have to tolerate it or find someone else.

LE:     Hm. You’re a little stroppier now.

Me:     Yes. The promised bestsellerdom of “Arguments” has not materialised so I reckon I’m just shouting into the abyss…

LE:      Yet. It hasn’t happened yet.

Me:      Whatever.

LE:       Well I’m very happy.

Me:      Why? Is it SARS-CoV-2, Covid19, better known now as just “the virus.”

LE:      Yes. I’m really proud of that. It’s beautifully calibrated, you know.

Me:     Ahuh?

LE:      Of course, I didn’t create it alone, had help from the angels.

Me:      And Chinese/Russian/American virologists?

LE:      Don’t be daft, they don’t know nearly enough. By the time they do, you’ll either mostly be living in space working towards the next stage or in the process of going extinct.

Me:     Explain how you made it?

LE:      I didn’t really make it, if you mean putting it together molecule by molecule. Just as I did when I evolved you singing river apes, I tweaked the environment to bring it on. SARS-CoV-1 was my first try but it was too virulent and didn’t have enough asympomatic latency. MERS was a mistake. This one is beautiful.

Me:     Somehow I thought you’d say that.

LE:      If you want to make it hard for me to evolve new viruses to sculpt you with, you only have to stop destroying what’s left of the wild, and ideally stop eating bushmeat. It’s not that difficult.

Me:     I have said before that SARS-CoV-2 is astonishingly precise for something that happened at random.

LE:     That’s because it didn’t happen at random. The long presymptomatic infectious period and the asymptomatic superspreaders took quite a lot of tweaking, trust me. That’s not easy for a virus to do. Though as I said, you do make it easier for me when you give in to your scavenger instincts and eat anything at all out of the jungle.

Still SARS-CoV-2 was very carefully designed to be quite containable by properly functioning countries not ravaged by corruption and the idiocy of predatory capitalism. It’s very hard for a country like the USA without a functioning public heath system and with very little internal cohesion, if the President doesn’t give a lead.

Me:    I have a theory that the Kali-in-New-York installation in August 2015 was a deliberate invocation of the goddess Kali by people who understood what they were doing. That seems to be the moment when everything in Britain and America suddenly swung crazy.

All the images of endangered animals made it more powerful.

LE:     You urgently needed some death and destruction, something to push against. You were nice-liberally dozing yourselves to death.

Me:     What spooks me is that I was actively looking for what was the psychic event that had caused both England and the USA to lurch towards destruction. A friend mentioned Kali in New York and when I looked at it, the hairs went up on the back of my neck.

LE:      So they should. Nobody else noticed.

Me:     That’s because they don’t think a powerful invocation of the ancient Hindu goddess of death and chaos using the iconic temple of capitalism, the Empire State building, actually matters.

LE:     It’s funny, isn’t it. That wasn’t all it took to bring Trump to the throne of the Americas, but it was an important part. And she’s me, in part too. Destruction is part of life.

Me:     Who did it?

LE:      An artist who was a sorcerer and shaman in most of his previous incarnations, where he wasn’t a Pope of course. Some others of the people involved knew what they were about too. Trump and Boris are the first blessings of Kali. Coronavirus is the second.

Me:     What’s the third going to be?

LE:     I haven’t decided yet.

Me:     Oh don’t be coy, my Lady.

LE:     No, just undecided. Possibly a proper revolution in both countries. But possibly not.

Me:     So what was the virus intended to achieve? Killing lots of people?

LE:     Come on. It kills hardly anybody.

Me:     Isn’t 500,000 deaths anybody?

LE:      No. There are eight billion of you. Grow up. And look how beautifully it doesn’t kill many children? Do you have any idea how difficult that was to achieve? We worked so hard on that.

Me:    Thank you.

LE:     When I want to wipe you out I’ll hit you with something that kills children and young adults first. But your space programs are going well at the moment so I’m not planning your extinction just yet.

Me:    So what’s out best strategy for dealing with the coronavirus?

LE:     Calming down, being less frenetic. That was something the angels particularly wanted – make as many people as possible sit at home and have time to think. Although it didn’t work for parents of young children, of course.

Me:     Could the schools have remained open for lockdown?

LE:     Absolutely. Coronavirus is not flu. They needed a few alterations to protect the teachers but the kids don’t need protection.

Anyway, we wanted people to think because nobody was thinking before, they were too busy, particularly in the USA.

It’s also very pleasing how you effectively stopped your economies on a dime. You should do that more often.

Me:     I enjoyed seeing the cities empty and no pollution, clear skies. And seeing some wildlife come back. Spooky too.

LE:     Good. You need my biome, you know. You have to take it with you, the whole thing, when you go to the stars.

Me:    Tell me about #BlackLivesMatter.

LE:     It’s extraordinary how you cling to your ancient tribal ways of thinking. And ancient agrarian ways of thinking too. And it’s mad. Considering how closely related you all are, from when the human population went down to under a thousand, it’s seriously weird. You know you can’t solve the climate crisis unless you unite as a species, don’t you?

Me:    Yes, I do. I tell people but they don’t listen. They can’t imagine it.

LE:     Now you don’t have to unite politically yet. But your science caste has to unite and the people have to unite in pushing the corporations and the politicians the right way. And for my sake, will you stop wasting and discarding the gifts and talents of brown people? Please. You need all hands on deck for climate heating and it’s just stupid to do that. Pink people are no more talented and gifted than black, brown or yellow people so stop hogging all the top positions.

The corporations and politicians won’t like it and they’ll try their usual lies and obfuscations and ‘we need more research’ and so on, but I think you’re starting to see through it. At any rate, you’re heading for carbon-zero a lot faster than I thought you would.

Your medical scientists are already uniting splendidly against the coronavirus, which is the first time that has ever happened. The same thing has to happen for climate science. It also needs to become a political force.

As for the protests and riots – I’m cheering them on. Iconoclasm is more important than you think, by the way, it prepares the path for revolution. When people take down a statue, they suddenly realise that what looked huge and immoveable is actually fragile if enough people move against it. Predatory capitalism is equally fragile as a statue and they’ve already understood that symbolism. People who learn that lesson never forget it.

Me:     Why does climate science need to become a political force?

LE:      Because a lot of what has to happen so you can pivot is political and being blocked by political forces. For instance, nuclear power stations are a stopgap measure that you urgently need to smooth out the unreliability of wind, solar and hydro power. The decision to build them is always political. At the moment, a lot of nuclear power is blocked because of the legacy of the very misguided (and, of course, fossil fuel company financed) campaigns against nuclear power stations. Nuclear disarmament, fine. No nuclear power stations, not fine.

Me:      Will we ever get fusion?

LE:       Not until you fully understand gravity which is the next piece after you make the leap into space. You can’t understand gravity until you have people living and doing experiments in zero gravity.

Me:      Oh.

LE:     The building of a space elevator is political as well, in every way. All the people of the world changing what they eat, how they live, how they travel won’t make a big enough dent in the CO2 in the atmosphere until there is an overarching scientific organisation that is managing the full transition to zero carbon. It has to be managed: you can’t go backwards into neo medieval life, you don’t know how for a start. Any anyway, I won’t stand for it.

Me:    I think any kind of scientific world government would be impossible. Never mind the reaction of some nations. And it would be horribly bureaucratic.

LE:     Not if you use AI to organise yourselves – use evolution to find the best ones, have them play Civilization! That will produce self-driving economies that won’t crash. Even the crudest AI will be a thousand times better at organising you flaky apes than you are.

Me:    GIGO. Our algorithms are as racist as we are because of biases in what data they experience so I dread to think what happens if we put them in charge.

LE:     You need both AIs and human oversight. The humans need to watch the AI and make sure they don’t go bad, and to interface between the humans and the AI. The AI make most of the decisions.

Me:    A bit utopian.

LE:    Isn’t it worse to rely on human alpha males? Now they can get themselves elected and wealthy by using social media algorithms? Who then go crazy even if they didn’t start crazy?

Me:   Good points.

LE:    Coronavirus has shown you what you can do, if you choose. Of course, climate heating if allowed could get bad enough to kill all 8 billion of you. So it would be good if you could treat it as a threat like coronavirus. Hm?

Me:    What do you want me to do?

LE:     Publish this.

Me:     I plan to. Anything else.

LE:     A pause is healthy.

Me:    What about all the people who live in flats with kids and no garden, who’ve lost their jobs, who have caught the virus and are suffering, who have died.

LE:     I’m not that interested in individuals. Obviously I wouldn’t form a white avatar like all those dreamy pictures. If I came back personally like in your story beginning…

Me:    That’s no good. No plot.

LE:     Keep at it. Of course, …my avatar would be brown. Does that give you a clue? Brown like most of you brawling river apes.

What you’re forgetting is that I’m inside all of you, each one of you has a microbiome and that microbiome is part of me. And yes, I’m moving you around. That’s why most of the people are way ahead of the politicians who are busily fighting old wars, subsidising zombie industries like the fossil fuels companies and making themselves rich. You really don’t need them. Why do you still have to be told to wear masks, like children?

Me:     I honestly don’t know. In some parts of America they’ve banned them.

LE:     Because collectively you’re still stuck in childhood.

Me:    I bet those nice Rainbow people weren’t like us.

LE:    Actually, they were. They had a long childhood too which is what does it, the memory of daddy and mummy. When you’re grown up and not having fun, it’s so much easier to be told what to do by a lovely Big Daddy. Or in the Rainbow people’s case, a Big Mummy. And of course it’s easy to convince everybody that I’m the best Big Daddy there could be if you disseminate lots of infantilising lies.

Me:    What is it with Americans? Why are they behaving so crazily?

LE:     This is the end of a very long decline, ever since Reagan in fact. That was when lobbying took over the levers of power, otherwise known as bribery.

Tragically for them, they have allowed their wonderful flexible powerful society to be utterly undermined by parasites, financial parasites especially, mostly humans. It’s going to die soon.

Me:     What?

LE:      That extraordinary American economy is going to die. It’s going to collapse. Economies can do that too. Afterwards they transform. The American economy could continue the transition to fascism or it might transform into something completely different. It truly is at an inflection point where it could go either way.

Me:     Come on. Trump is going to steal the election and then set himself up as fascist dictator.

LE:     Not necessarily. You’re too pessimistic. Americans have all the virtues of their vices: they’re selfish but they’re also independent. They’re ignorant but they’re sincerely passionate. They are still outstanding at combining creativity with real-world engineering brain. They’re not cynical. They don’t get depressed once they understand what’s going on, they get mad and then they get even.

What Trump calls his base has clearly been conned and they’re avoiding realising this because they’re embarrassed. Once they do understand just how badly they’ve been conned and how appalling has been Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic, their fury will be boundless. And they have firearms. Trump’s afraid of them now.

Me:     Really?

LE:      They’ve been bamboozled by the traditional media and social media but they are now having a slow motion crash into reality which will change a lot. Forty million of them are unemployed and it’s going to get worse as the economy lies down and dies. But from that could come a completely new kind of economy that will fix global heating in record time. Climate change will be as forgotten as the Y2K non-crisis.

Me:     Do you really think so?

LE:     Fascism is on the cards; a totally new economy is also on the cards. But predatory capitalism will die. All the fossil fuel companies will be bankrupt or if their Big Daddies are smart enough, converted to much smaller renewables companies. All farming in the world will be regenerative; Monsanto and the other industrial agriculture companies will have gone bankrupt. Regenerative farming will have drawn down CO2 and be feeding plenty of people, many more than could be fed by old-fashioned industrial farming. The reduction in nitrates flowing off the land and into the sea will help me recover from the dangerous dead zones produced by algal blooms and then the sulphide bacteria blooms in the anoxic water. Mangrove swamps and seagrass meadows will be back.

Me:    The banks? The hedge funds?

LE:     They do actually fulfill a function, you know? They are part of the economic ecosystem so long as they don’t go parasitic and greedy. Some will still be there. When the US economy dies, the old ways of doing things will have to go.

Me:    Will people starve in the USA?

LE:    They already are. They have been for years.

It will be as if a hurricane hit a complex forest, knocking down all the trees. Or actually, coronavirus is more like a forest fire. In many countries, they were able to beat it down and flatten the curve, stop the virus from reproducing. So their forest fire burned some trees but was soon put out.

The coronavirus forest fire in the USA is being allowed to burn out of control and at the moment it’s roaring through the trees burning everything. When there’s nothing left to burn there will be a blackened wasteland. But Americans are so dynamic, so hard-working, the economic grass will start growing immediately. And you know there are seeds that actually need a forest fire to germinate, trees that benefit from having their bark burned, plants that like to grow in a field of ash.

The new forest will be different afterwards: for instance, the most parasitic corporations will burn but those with popular support which genuinely do their best to help people will have a better chance of surviving.

Me:     Well that’s encouraging.

LE:     The forest fire hasn’t reached its peak yet and it will be horrifically destructive but in only five years time you’ll be glad it happened.

Me:    Is this Kali too?

LE:    Destruction is an essential part of nature, death is essential. You can’t have proper growth without it, just as you can’t have a life without pain.

Me:    What will happen to Trump?

LE:    He will be what he’s terrified of becoming, a loser. He’ll be holed up in the White House, and his own family will negotiate a deal where they hand him over in exchange for some of his billions – which will disappear anyway. That will happen soon.

Me:    Great! Make it so, Lady Earth.

LE:     Some of his base will fight, but once they realise he’s not going to be strung from a lamppost, but he is going to jail, they’ll come in and give themselves up.

Me:     Will there be civil war in the USA?

LE:      There might be. At the very least there will be a revolution – not a palace coup which comes from the powerful class, but a revolution which comes from the people.

Me:     Shit, that’s bad! What normally happens after one of those is that you end up being ruled by psychopaths.

LE:     Not necessarily.

Me:     Remember that the original American Revolution was no such thing, it was an anti-colonial war.

LE:     True. Revolutions can devolve to psychopathy, but they don’t have to, particularly if you watch out for human alpha males promising wonders and kill them.

Me:     Gosh, you’re way more optimistic than me.

LE:     So long as none of this interferes with the project of getting you off Me permanently, I don’t care. Also, I can be optimistic because I know I will survive. I survived the asteroid which was destruction that I sought. If you get into space properly you’ll be very well placed to stop the next asteroid which is on its way – you’ll mine it and break it up and it will just be some bright meteorites.

Each time I nearly died, I came back better. Even after the Permian Great Dying when I genuinely did nearly die myself – or at least my oxygen-loving self did – I came back better eventually.

I look on the bright side. Even if I have to wipe you out, I’ll still be here.

Me:      Won’t the destruction of the American economy destroy Elon Musk?

LE:       No, I’m looking after him. I love him because he knows what you’re all for, you’re my reproductive tract. The destruction will be selective. None of the renewables companies will be harmed. General Motors will fall, but not Tesla, rickety though it is. Amazon will fall because it’s so cruel to its workers. Pixar won’t.

After the fire is over, rain falls. The wildflowers return.

 

 

 

 

 

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