The Lemmings

Edward Taaffe
7 min readOct 2, 2022


Go with the flow, we were never a permanent fixture anyhow.

The Ant eater advised you to climb on a log and hope you wind up somewhere better. Well since that day in 2019, things have changed or become clearer if you prefer and the likelihood of finding that better place vanishes fast.

The changes affecting our world are in full swing with or without our consent and for many of us, the end approaches.
For many more of us, mostly younger ones, it’s a tough set of changes to everything we ever took for granted, changes that haven’t even been designed yet, but made unavoidable, nonetheless.
We’re not talking about fiddling about at the edges. This is akin to changes that left us with pyramids and lost cities to stare at in wonder.
Imagine if Henry 2nd of England came back from the dead tomorrow and had to make sense of it all. We’ll that is the scale of changes we are talking about and he wouldn’t be pleased either..

The primary challenge is that humans don’t let go. If Robin hood were still alive, he’d be holding up drug dealers with his bow and arrow. It’s just how we’re made. We can handle huge scientific discoveries, take computers in our stride, but swap the office for a spare room and the moans are endless, or the car for a bicycle and you’re asking for real trouble.

Look at UK in 2022, more than 1000 years after the Normans invaded. Parliament can’t make law without the presence of a medieval mace.
A grumpy old man who gets his boxers ironed and can’t shave without a servant has to give otherwise intelligent people, permission to govern themselves and judges with the power to end life in every sense that matters, wear wigs. Harmless you may say, but just how emotionally and logically crippled does that make us.

Americans still salute freedom as though the Brits hadn’t gone home nearly two centuries ago and they still haven’t found a new Raison d’etre. They have more people in prison than any nation on earth and yet, their main guiding principle is freedom.

I could go on, but you don’t need more convincing, people don’t like to, or want to change, regardless how important it is.

Here’s the deal and you won’t like it.

Earth can’t go on supporting this population. It’s falling anyhow, but not fast enough and will rise a little first.

In any case, men or women didn’t invent nature. It didn’t read King James’ Bible, or the Koran or study Biology. Let’s simplify this, nature has no rules it just does what’s most convenient and there is no purpose to any of it. It’s a whole lot of little things each fighting for their own survival and for the moment at least, the happy sum of all that activity is a very beautiful system that supports us, one that, it seems, we never merited.

In other words. If we hadn’t polluted the Oceans they’d eventually have been carbon saturated anyhow most likely. If we hadn’t burned carbon, it would eventually have to slow down a little anyhow. Sooner or later, the earth will run out of momentum. Nothing is permanent.

So here we are. Blame is irrelevant, but what we do can still change things for a while, or perhaps not.

· Large areas of earth are burning up and the fires, apart from damaging vital nature, are also creating carbon in the atmosphere.

· On top of that, millions are already homeless from wars and drought.
Drought is speeding up fast.

· Last week a cranky old spook took it on himself to create the biggest Methane release of all times into our atmosphere out of anger over a gas pipeline and just as decent people are beginning to take the urgency of our problems seriously and make big efforts.

· We can’t keep using fossil fuel, we have at-best a decade, maximum two, to stop entirely, but even stopping within a decade, we have to reduce our consumption immediately and keep reducing quite dramatically to reduce the permanent damage. We also have to rapidly replace/repair environmental damage on land and at sea that we’ve already done. Most countries including especially UK being in a very cold climate, have mode no effort to reduce demand via insulation a cheap and fast payback measure with a big impact.

· How long this has to go on depends on how quickly we can replace fossil fuels as our energy source. Perhaps cooking can continue, but definitely not transport nor heating nor cooling, not data swamps, nor silly games for overgrown boys. In other words is very urgent and we may even be too late anyhow.

· War, there can be no usage of oil for tanks, bombers, ships, or the likes. Can you really se this happening?

· In-fact, most exporting will have to stop other than via sailing ships. Global supply chains are over, finished. It’s near impossible, not feasible. Some low bulk or very important items will be worth it, but not many. These impacts will be enormous.
Stop eating meat, but have avocado flown across the globe. No that won’t work.

· Rockets to space to say wheeee! You guessed it. Not happening, possibly not even for satellites.

· We still have to find answer to many needs like storage of power for when sun and wind are not helping.

· Locally produced food is essential now. UK probably can’t produce anywhere near enough and Winters could be grim. Also forced vegetables and tinkered-with meat is too dangerous and forget artificial fertilisers even if they didn’t come from crude oil.
My grandad grew organic spuds at approx. 12 tonnes per acre. His son adopted fertiliser and yields went to beyond 30 tonnes and then some. Perhaps that gives an insight into life after oil.

Before we ever get to solutions, there will be 4 or 5 times the current number of starving people in boats arriving, probably running from cannibalism or looking for victims even.

War and the fossil -fuel problem.

Governments won’t even try to negotiate and fix this new problem, instead they’re preparing for war, war that will require enormous amounts of fossil fuel.
War will sort the population problem too and keep the same clique in charge, but destroy most of the population. That’s the strategy developing in the slimy think-tanks.
Don’t count on much else. Can you imagine the great powers agreeing to put off their little hobby until we have an alternative fuel. I didn’t think so.

A wise old military man explained to me how the military brain works, but a wiser one explained that sooner rather than later, someone will pull the nuke switch with a dying hand and it all won’t matter anymore.

He explained the “Dead hand” mechanism designed into nuclear weaponry to recognise that your nation’s been nuked and to automatically destroy the rest of the world. It’s all programmed just waiting for one silly error and we’ve almost done that a few times. Don’t count on war being over while people survive.

Right now, in the very heart of this crisis, the US is at war with Russia, primarily it seems, to create a market for US shale gas in Europe. They have to maintain the high price to make shale profitable while preventing anyone else from supplying Europe. Some would argue this, I have no problem with that, I don’t believe it matters anyhow. I read Bidens words that if it went ahead the US would put an end to Nord Stream pipeline. I remember not so long ago when he visited Europe to explain that Russia was just getting Europe dependent on gas and then he’d weaponize the gas. But at that very moment Russia was investing heavily in an extra pipeline. Not the move of a country that the Americans described. Then US convinced Europe to stop buying Russian gas and made an offer to supply US gas. That’s about as out in the open as it could be.

Oil & gas cost $1.1bln p.a for the Iraq war. Ukraine so far has used around $40 million in oil and gas by comparison, enough to heat 20,000 homes for a year.
That is happening in the middle of a fossil fuel endgame, such is the determination of earth’s richest nation to help solve earths problem.

If you think it’s just the gas war, forget it. Do you really think that the AMIC the most powerful organisation on earth is going to scrap all its toys and design new ones when the fuel problem has been solved? All logic suggests that the new solution to energy should be coming form the MIC about now had they been takin it seriously, but they have clearly not.
Do you really think such people are answerable to Presidents even if he cared or knew what day it is?

How would you start over.

If we do survive as a race and you surely must by now realise how unlikely that is, then
In 2060 or so , a young generation will venture out of hidey holes and start wondering how to get it all moving again and how to avoid more of the same.

Where would you begin?
If we haven’t poisoned the environment entirely, things can pick up fairly quickly, but don’t count on it. Its more likely that survivors and surviving life is permanently very damaged and doomed, just becoming extinct slowly.
A mostly empty planet already beginning to heal and a century to go before populations become destructive again, if they were reasonably healthy, they could even risk cutting the odd tree for fire.
Before long however, there will be a huge mob of us manipulated by a handful of politicians, themselves answering to an even smaller group of oligarchs and they will be well on the way to Armageddon all over again.
Are we actually worth saving at all? frankly I struggle to see it.

I propose, we should just carry on as we are. It’s best for earth.
What did rabbits or bluebirds, or trout ever do to deserve us?
I forgot, they won’t survive either.



Edward Taaffe

Ed is a technical consultant and writer in the areas of Digital and Products. He writes here on random subjects that catch the eye.