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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

the bunker state

I got through my tour in Iraq one day at a time, meditating each morning on my inevitable end. When I left Iraq and came back stateside, I thought I’d left that future behind. But then I saw it come home in the chaos that was unleashed after Katrina hit New Orleans. And then I saw it again when Sandy battered New York and New Jersey: Government agencies failed to move quickly enough, and volunteer groups like Tekam Rubicon had to step in to manage disaster relief. Now, when I look into our future – into the Anthropocene – I see water rising up to wash out lower Manhattan. I see food riots, hurricanes, and climate refugees. I see 82nd Airborne soldiers shooting looters. I see grid failure, wrecked harbors, Fukushima waste, and plagues. I see Baghdad. I see the Rockaways. I see a strange, precarious world. Our new home.
-- Roy Scranton, New York Times


Despite the coming of this strange, precarious world, the coming infrastructure of the bunker state rejects publicly (though almost certainly not privately) the very mechanics of anthropocenic climate change. So a disavowal paves the way for the reconfiguration of US domestic government into the central committee of the deep petrostate: the institutionalized political expression of the ‘dark money’ networks that have been combating climate science for well over a decade now. The irony, of course, is that the pursuit of the petrostate, smuggled in under the patriotic sloganeering of “drill, baby, drill” and “American energy independence” will only serve to exacerbate, in the long run, the very forces that are being disavowed. In their will to power, the detached doyens of the bunker state play the role of diggers of mass graves.