Merry Apocalypse

Termipeitto: The End is Nigh

Christmas is a time for family, tradition, good food and coming together to remember what is important in life. Right? Wrong! Christmas has been hijacked by the Dark Side and now is ‘the retail event of the year’ or, put another way, the peak of the annual consumption calendar, or, put another way, exactly what is killing the biosphere.

We used to bring plants and greenery into the house as part of a pagan nature worship ceremony. Now we chop the tree down, stack imported plastic tat under it and when we are done throw the lot into the bin. Well it seems sometimes you get what you pay for because our perversion of christmas, like our perversion of life in general is a one way ticket to oblivion. We are hungry ghosts and our desperate attempts to be fulfilled by consumption is a drawn out mass suicide.

kaboom1976: Crashmas

“Gather round children, Daddy has re-morgaged the house and bought a bundle of goodies…  stuff your ears with tissues so you don’t hear the wails as we gouge out nature’s eyes. Watch these cartoons so you don’t see us dig up nature’s sacred heart and impale it on the shopping mall’s spire. Stop crying children! This is what we wanted! Wasn’t it!?”

This festive season the suicide economy works like this: disposable products are manufactured in the East; shipped to the West, sold, and then disposed of. Then the vast ships return empty to do it all again, all the while burning millions of tonnes of precious oil .

The relationship between China and the United States says it all. Last year the USA spent $455 billion over christmas. The biggest retailer in the USA is Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart buys 91% of their consumer goods in China (no surprise the US trade deficit is currently $440 trillion). In order to get these across the Pacific Wal-Mart have had built some of the largest vessels this planet has ever seen.

Emma-Maersk: the world's biggest container vessel

These vast, incredibly fast ships (31 knots ) were commissioned by Wal-Mart for the sole purpose of getting all their goods from China . They hold 15,000 containers.  Longer than a US Aircraft Carrier (which has a crew of 5,000) the full crew of these emblems of our era is just 13 people on a ship. These behemoths are emblematic of the consumer culture we have created which is feeding off the living fabric of our planet. They are totally juxtaposed to a sustainable economy.

Christmas presents on route

Globalization has shrunk the mighty Pacific down to an earthly river Styx. Charon, the ferryman of Hades, now uses Maersk to transport death and the money isn’t a coin in the eye but digital transactions wired at the speed of light between banks that would collapse were it not for the billions we pay in tax; handed them by governments because they are ‘too big to fail’ (Check the video below: Taming the Vampire Squid). The whole system is a self-perpetuating rip-off and it is all driven by good-old, trustworthy, consumer demand… so keep watching those adverts… and buy, BUY, BUY!!

This is one of three ships  presently in service, with another two ships commissioned to be completed in 2012. Aside from destroying local, sustainable economies the major catch here is that the annual carbon emissions of Maersk is 40-50 million tonnes of CO2,  which, by coincidence, is the same as its country of origin, Denmark!

Greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping currently account for around 3% of total global emissions and are predicted to grow fast in the future. Indeed, all the world’s governments are working hard to boost this trade because this is how they measure their success… economic growth. You have to feel sorry for the hapless ‘negotiators’ trying to square that circle in Cancun… or perhaps they know the whole thing is a joke. Governments have just found another arena in which to compete for resources.

So, this christmas, think of Jesus and keep shopping like crazed little robots and when the Apocalypse comes early don’t be surprised… we sponsored it.

5 responses to “Merry Apocalypse

  1. The consumer culture is being shoved down our throats. Industry creates the need for goods we do not need (updated gadgets, plastic tat – because they have to improve on last year’s sales), pile them high, sell them cheap, then say that this is in response to consumers demand. Same with the supermarkets and cheap food. They shaft farmers to maximise their own profits, then said that they have to do this because consumers want cheap food. Oh, and this forces farmers to use intensive techniques, bad for the environment.

    I believe that no one (well, perhaps a few) wakes up wanting to destroy the environment, and create a worse future for their children. If there was real choice, people would make the right decisions (about consumption, environment etc). But there is no real choice. If we wanted to sock it to the earth-rapers, a national campaign to boycott consumption at Christmas would hurt.

  2. HERE’S THE DEAL: Get a mortgage, use your home as an ATM by re-mortgaging based on a rising property market (housing bubble), use the cash to buy shit you don’t need & be so busy with retail therapy that you just get high ( on buying a supercargo of Chinese consumer goods and the boat goes back empty to get a fresh load, trade deficit balloons in the crack-addled ‘West’ and the surplus burgeons in Asia . For 25 years bonds went one way: up. So layer upon layer of debt could be fuelled by the bankers. In the words (well, at least as I recall 😉 ) of the CEO of Citibank in 2007 (Chuck Prince): ‘As long as the music keeps going, we can continue this fraud, we can continue to perpetuate this Ponzi scheme.’ But the music stopped. And we now have an unwinding of this failed debt. Check out Ireland and Spain – this will take years and years to sort out. (Germany is an exception, and will shortly leave the Eurozone. They don’t ‘flip’ real estate for a fake profit. They make profitable shit, like cars.)

    OMG – what if we run out of cash to buy more useless crap?!

    Merry Christmas – see you at the barricades.


  3. Fifteen of those cargo ships pollute as much as 760 million automobiles and not one dang turnip on Jenkins Hill in Washington D. C. is talking about that cause they are all to dang busy trying to shove that Carbon Tax Bill up the @ss of the American taxpayers.

    The American people are to blame….unlike in China where Wal*Mart puts less than 5% foreign in their stores there. They are so proud of the fact that they post it under “About Us” on their China web page.

    Take the time to also read “The Flow of Trade in a Global Economy” by Lance Winslow and those paragraphs within about Wal*Mart.

  4. Back in form Ecohustler, good to see. I think the danger is in focusing solely on one brand (WalMart), they are all guilty, but the most important point is SO are we. It is looking for a change in Consumer habits, as with banking habits that wioll bring about real change.

  5. I realise that self loathing is fashionable these days. Especially among the sickly white liberals. ‘Rampant consumerism’ may seem distasteful (as I’m sure it reflects the bloated image you see when you look in the mirror in the morning) but it is merely an extension of the real world. ‘Produce and consume’ are the tenets of survival. Duh. finding the balance between them is one thing but rejecting them outright is just pathetic. Before you start ranting about Planet Walmart or fat Americans, take a look around your home and breathe a sigh of relief you don’t live in the streets of Calcutta. You people have too much time on your hands. Go out and enjoy the fruits, the freedoms, and yes, even the excesses of capitalism while you still can. Try not to hate yourself so much. It reflects poorly on us all.

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