Planning Out the End


“The idea that economics will aid us in thinking through the problem of the destruction of the natural world… commits us to the assumption that our world ought to be governed and guided by technicians. It is part of the thinking that says, “If only the politicians would listen to what we scientists have to say!… The scientists will save us if only we’d listen to them, respect their authority, follow their instructions.”

They can maintain this while gloriously ignoring the fact that the world we presently inhabit was conceived by science, designed by engineers, and implemented by technicians. It starts with the rapidly beating heart of the four-stroke engine inside your automobile, and then radiates out in what is laughably called urban planning, the world as designed for the convenience of the automobile …  Of course, behind all this there is the global energy infrastructure, burning off methane waste, spilling its toxic cargo on land and shore, and destroying the people who have been cursed with “oil wealth.” Looming over everything, guaranteeing it, is the grim visage of the warrior, the global oil police known as the military…”

Curtis White in an article on “sustainability’s seemy underbelly” at Tin House. (via Harper’s)

Seth Fischer's writing has appeared in Best Sex Writing 2013, Buzzfeed, PankGuernica, Lunch Ticket, Gertrude, and elsewhere. His Rumpus piece "Notes from a Unicorn" was listed as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2013. He will be a 2014 Lambda Literary Emerging Voicing Fellow and was a 2013 Jentel Arts Residency Program Fellow. He also teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles and Writing Workshops Los Angeles. Find more writing of his writing at, or reach him @sethfischer. More from this author →