I was really moved by Dr. Guy McPherson’s latest video. Yes, he’s still talking about near term human extinction. No, it ain’t fixed. No, it probably can’t be fixed. But he’s no longer the methodical, analytic individual I first encountered when watching his videos from 2012. I think he’s playing to an audience of his acolytes, and he is just laughing at the absurdity of it all. And some in his audience are laughing with him. He even stops at one point to call out someone in his audience stepping on a laugh line. “For once, I’m not the most cynical person in the room”.
Lots of other things going on. In fact, too many for me lately. On the personal front, I’m overwhelmed by a number of different things including lack of paying work and other issues. My writing has suffered as well. I recently came up with a genius idea for a new play–turning the old Jerome Lawrence/Robert E Lee play Inherit The Wind on its head and making it about global warming. But I realized that it would take several years to realize. Who thinks we have the time? Do we go through the motions as if nothing is happening? Do I go for certification to do teaching on some specialty, knowing that it has very little chance of paying off?
And mostly, it’s about others not getting it. I went to a meeting on the ten year anniversary of a conference held to address the perilous place we were in under W and his wars and what the response should be. It was a room full of committed, caring people, many of whom have done the research and the time in the streets. And I suspect that many of them have no friggin’ clue how close we are to having it all blow up. People are apparently going off to stay with Guy McPherson in Central America (not for free, mind you) primarily to find kindred spirits to talk about what’s coming. There was an amazing quote unloaded on Trump in August from the President of Finland. Nobody–nobody– in media touched it.
President Niinistö “If we lose the Arctic, we lose the globe. That is reality”. (joint WH press conference with President Trump 8/28/17)
It’s not clear how the Arctic Ice scenario will play out, but what’s known is that ice levels, after rising a bit early in September, are now declining at a time when the ice is usually increasing in mass. The issue is that anything under 1 million square KM is functionally an ‘ice-free’ Arctic. It was something I wrote about earlier this year. Watch the above video for explication. We’ve only temporarily dodged the worst-case on ice.
And again, as I’ve said before–this isn’t a problem that our electoral system can solve. Even if you think the situation is not completely dire NOW, it’s obvious that letting the status quo continue until Inauguration Day 2021 is not viable–that we’re losing time to even try to think about fixing climate collapse (assuming it’s possible). In the book AND THE BAND PLAYED ON (a history of the early days of the AIDS crisis) Randy Shilts reports a confrontation between Don Francis of the CDC and his superiors. And in the scene (dramatically played out on the HBO documentary), Francis explodes with frustration when all of his suggestions to curb the explosion of the epidemic are met with lukewarm alternatives. He finally says something to the Effect that ‘please give us a number for how many people have to die from this before you take action’. But it’s not clear that even the numbers of dead will impress the people in charge that we’re skidding into extinction. Naomi Klein argued that even mass deaths from Irma and other disasters will not change the thinking of the WH or the people in charge vis climate.
sometimes you just have to laugh to keep from crying.