Dark Mountain Facts

Everything We Take for Granted Is at Stake

I have been out of Santa Barbara County for 10 years working overseas. You might remember my series of articles in The Independent entitled “Meeting the Pacific.” Well, I travelled across Europe and the South Pacific, searching for innocence. I never found it.

Here are a few facts:

Fishing has had more impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems than oil “spills." Land-use developers along the coast destroyed wetlands and nurseries to the sea. Polluters and major energy industries, including land developers, along the coasts, even with the California Coastal Act, destroyed coastal and offshore ecosystems. Fishing wiped out trophic webs and destroyed marine systems well beyond any oil impact, with the blessing of state and federal authorities. There is plenty of science that supports this. All the major oil developers left town because of the regulatory burden. But we are left with smaller oil companies who are less able to cover the costs of decommissioning and enhancement, per the regulatory requirements.

Yes, the Trump administration wants to open up offshore areas for drilling. But the state allows existing rigs to be used to slant drill into untapped oil reserves. Are you ready to fight that battle?

So when the UN says we have 11 years to change our lifestyles, they are saying you eat wild fish, you eat produce that travels the entire globe to get into your salad bowl, you use water transported (as a cost of 30 percent of our carbon budget in California), that your oil is shit and creates hell on this planet in too many ways, and that if you continue to think about nothing more than your kids, their cell phones, their entertainment, with no understanding of the relationship that exists of demographic population growth and per capita resource use (and your family, your need to have children, your need to consume the hell out of the planet) then, yes, we are lost. It doesn’t matter what I do, if you don’t care.

No, I am not Marc McGinnes. I have less faith in love and hope.

I hope to be honest. It is not about great philosophies of awareness … e.g., Aldo Leopold, or great local activists, or about what an executive director thinks and writes about. It’s not about science or government or some principle that is profoundly based on the value of justice for all. It is about life. In the light of toxic awareness and toxic information, I do not think we can move in the roughest and right direction, but within the next 10 years, everything we take for granted is at stake.

Yes, a teenager has a right to complain. Yes, there will be litigation and victories in the courts. Yes, the villains will be exposed. Yes, the heroes will celebrate their worldview and philosophy of change; the religious and faithful will continue to speak words of compassion and kindness. But, it will not suffice.

Dark Mountain is here. Dark Mountain speaks. Dark Mountain means the end of humanity.