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What A Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire

What A Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire is a 2007 documentary film about the current situation facing humanity and the world. It discusses issues such as peak oil, climate change and the effects of global warming, population overshoot and species extinction, as well as how this situation has developed. The documentary features supporting data and interviews of Daniel Quinn, environmental activist Derrick Jensen and academics such as Richard Heinberg and many others. The tagline of the documentary is, “A middle-class white guy comes to grips with Peak Oil, Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Population Overshoot and the demise of the American lifestyle.”
– Don Hooligan: What a Way to Go; TSWabbit: What A Way to Go: Richard Manning; Daniel Quinn; Derrick Jensen; Paul Roberts; Chellis Glendenning; Richard Heinberg; William Catton; Thomas Berry; Ran Prieur; Sally Erickson; Jerry Mander.
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What a Way to Go: Derrick Jensen

So many people are so very, very unhappy. And they want this nightmare to end. And they don’t recognize that the death that they want is a cultural death, and is a spiritual and metaphorical death.

Denial takes tremendous energy. And if you have to work really, really hard to not acknowledge the fact that this culture’s killing everything, you’re not going to have much energy left over.

I think one of the best lines I ever wrote was that forests precede us and deserts dog our heels. When I think of – or when you think of – the plains and hillsides of Iraq, is the first thing that you normally think of cedar forests so thick the sunlight never touches the ground? I think for most of us that’s not the case. But the first written myth of this culture is Gilgamesh cutting down those forests to make cities.

I realized, as I was writing the newest book, Endgame, that I’d been bashing civilization for probably, oh, ten years now. And I’d never defined it. I didn’t know what I was talking about. And so I define it in that book as a way of life characterized by the growth of cities. I’ve defined a city as a collection of people living in numbers large enough to require the importation of resources.

“Once again it doesn’t matter, you could have this huge transformation of the heart and if you still require the importation of resources [because your population is breeding and/or consuming above ecological carrying capacity limits]; then your life must be based upon violence, because if you require the importation of resources, what that means is that trade will never be sufficiently reliable, because if you need a particular resource, that you want to trade the next village over for, but they won’t give it to you, then you’ll take it cause you require it. Which means we could become the most enlightened beings on the planet, and [if we continued to breed and consume above ecological carrying capacity limits] it wouldn’t matter, the US military would still have to be huge, because otherwise how are we going to get access to our oil, that is under somebody else’s land? – End of Empire79: Derrick Jensen: Civilization and Enlightenment; What A Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire.
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