Listening to the pollyanna prophecies of “Transhumanist” soothsayers like Ray Kurzweil, you’d think that we’re protected from Hurricane Harvey and extreme weather. You’d think we’re 100% assured of defeating Global Warming. No worries, be happy! The omnipotent god of technology will somehow come to our rescue just in the nick of time. Just like the U.S. calvary always does in Hollywood movies. To save the white cowboys from scalping by you know who.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Harvey and Houston show us that extreme weather — one of the nightmare results of global warming — is already upon us. And the U.S. calvary of technological solutions is nowhere in sight to save Houstonians from Mother Nature’s scalping.
In addition to its fancy for capital punishment, Texas is probably most notorious for denying the scientific fact of global-warming. The current Republican Texas governor is a denialist. So is the former Republican Texas governor Perry who now heads Trump’s Department of Energy. Texas’ motley crew of U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators are a scandal. From Senator Ted Cruz (who ran for President) to the lowliest Congressman, they’re all card-carrying Global-Warming Denialist. In a state where Christian Fundamentalist churches have no problem disbelieving Evolution and believing our world was conjured in six days, it’s not a stretch to deny global warming, or to deny that it’s mostly caused by humans.
Denying Global Warming does not protect you from it, nor from its dire consequences. Like extreme weather. Just as refusing to believe in gravity does not protect you when you jump out of your window. Unfortunately for you, you won’t fly like a bird, as gravity will assert itself, belief or no belief, and you’ll find yourself falling toward the ground,
Alienation exists because of the yawning gap between our needs and our control over nature. We think we’ve closed the gap. We fool ourselves into thinking we’ve mastered Mother Nature. Until a Houston gets hit with a Hurricane Harvey.
The unprecedented flooding in Houston and Texas (for the U.S., that is) is a rude reality check. It’s also Exhibit A for the alienation resulting from our lack of power over nature. It was the kind of alienation suffered by the primitives and by many poor societies even now. Before Houston, there was great flooding in Bangladesh which killed over 1,000 people. But it registered barely a blip in the Western media. But Texas. Houston. That’s different. Them people, though they do talk strange, walk strange, and fancy huge margaritas, are more like most people working in the Western media.
What with the great scientific and technological advances of the 20th and 21st centuries, economists and others have claimed that the role played by a hostile and untamed Nature in our Alienation is dwarfed today by economic factors.
But Hurrican Katrina and Hurrican Harvey prove them wrong — dead wrong!
While scientific and technological advances have given us more control over Nature than ever thought possible, it’s still very unsatisfactory.
We are still at the mercy of Nature.
Although we have sophisticated technology and science to forecast hurricanes, typhoons, storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, when Mother Nature throws its weight against us and brazenly commits “crimes against humanity,” all we can do is run, evacuate, and hide until its homicidal frenzy subsides.
Ray Kurzweil claims we can stop global warming with ever-ascending technology. But Hurricane Harvey rains on his technopian parade. We can only forecast a Hurricane Harvey. When has our technology been able to prevent or stop even a modest thunderstorm?
This is not to say we’re anti-technology. We’re ImmorTalists after all. We’re for life-enhancing life-saving technology. But unlike Ray Kurzweil and the so-called “Transhumanists,” our immortalism doesn’t make us believe in the fantasy that technology will always provide the cure and the solution, hallelujah, to whatever problem we face, whether cancer or global warming, and always just in time to save us.
Adapted From Cure Disease, Old Age & Death: The ImmorTalist Manifesto by Elixxir. Hardcover.
Copyright by Elixxir 2001-2017. All Rights Reserved.
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