Climate Cthulhu: A Post-Modern Horror Story Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

is October 2019, dearest motherfuckers, and we are living in a horror story. To say that these are apocalyptic times seems to be a gross understatement. The Biblical notion of Armageddon, what with the gnashing of teeth and pillars of salt, seems almost quaint in our age, like some new attraction at Disney World where the Dipping Dots are served up to the kiddos by friendly leather-clad catamites. The Thunderdome looks like a goddamn jungle gym when compared to the Lovecraftian horrors of climate change. Mankind itself is being stalked by a colossal beast of our own creation with tentacles reaching far and wide across the globe.

From the sinking islands of the South Pacific, which are being swallowed whole like pills by the sea, to the frontiers of Alaska, where the once long frozen tundras are being set ablaze in massive god-size funeral pyres. From the tropical jungles of Central Africa, being erased from the globe by a tidal wave of rapidly expanding Saharan dunes, to the urban jungles of South Asia, where the sun burns so hot that the pavement of the streets themselves melts like ice cream in an oven and the sadhus shrivel up like burnt jerky on the blistering sidewalks. This beast has killed millions. This beast has slaughtered whole civilizations, liquidated glaciers the size of continents and murdered entire seasons in cold blood. Spring and Fall have been burned from the fucking calendar and Winter is next. This beast is just getting started and soon the dog days will last forever, or at least until forever too falls victim to this environmental Cthulhu. Howard Philips shrieks as Mother Nature wails. Ladies and gentleman, we are fucked. The killer has us cornered in the attic and their will be no final girls in this slasher nightmare.

This beast of which I speak, call it climate change, call it global warming, call it whatever the hell you like, is the bastard creation of a Doctor Frankenstein which too goes by many names; globalism, capitalism, neoliberalism, consumerism, industrialism, imperialism. All just different genres of that fickle vice known as modernity, a fork in the road of human evolution where the brightest monkeys fooled themselves into believing that their self-serving technology made them superior to the rest of the living world. As usual, Marx was right and Marx was wrong. Marx was right to observe that capitalism, one of modernity’s more garish offspring, thrived on the nihilistic, almost vampiric thirst for constant expansion. He was wrong however to assume that capitalism’s insatiable hunger would inevitably lead to its own demise. There is another, far more unsavory, end game for the capitalist beast besides the karma of popular revolution, and that is a mass murder-suicide by expansion itself. Marx never imagined, even in his most fevered dreams, that humanity could be so ruthless as to destroy itself with toxic pleasure and use the old Kraut’s beloved industrialism to do it. It took mad men like Theodore Kaczynski to see that coming. Now Ted sits in his concrete tomb in Colorado, too sickened by his own vision to even snarl “I told you so!” to the once smug guards who’s homes are now on fire in the Rockies.

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About the Guest

Chip Knappenberger is assistant director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute. He has over 20 years of experience in climate research and public outreach, and has published numerous papers in the major atmospheric science journals on global warming, hurricanes, precipitation changes, weather and mortality, and Greenland ice melt, among many other areas.