I started this blog (BROOKLYN CULTURE JAM) back in 2012. I did it after HOW TO STOP THE EMPIRE, a solo play I’d done for Occupy Wall Street ended up on YouTube and I started getting hundreds of Friend requests on Facebook. I figured this was a good place to publicize my plays and also talk about the issues that drove Occupy Wall Street. Unfortunately, Occupy couldn’t take the constant pressure from officialdom and though I continued to protest after the police raid on Zuccotti, my interest waned.
That changed in 2014, when I had a radio show and was covering the run up to the People’s Climate March here in NYC. I interviewed Dr. Guy McPherson on radio and his vision of the future is both horrifying and realistic. I started writing about him on a regular basis. And his projections for the future were not outlandish, but real.
So with the Good Doctor’s permission, I wrote a play based on his work titled PLANET HOSPICE (Now Planet Phuckett because there’s a punk rock group named Planet Hospice). I’ve performed it about 20 times and it makes people depressed, but I thought I owed it to people to let them know the future we’re all facing. I couldn’t Get audiences in Atlanta Fringe. My next known performance is in February. I wonder what the turnout will be like.
And here we are, five years after my first radio interview with Dr. McPherson. The message from Dr. McPherson hasn’t changed very much, and more of his colleagues have joined him in dire predictions as time has passed. And it has sunk in that there’s no happy ending (non massage parlor) in the offing. And I took a break starting this September when I was doing acting work. and that cycle just ended. And during the summer, I toured in the Fringe circuit and I found out that nobody really wants to address this extinction thing we’re facing. And I’ve been stalled on a film project I wanted to do around my play PLANET PHUCKETT, which documents our plight. And I also joined Extinction Rebellion for their Young People Strikes.
But as the months have rolled by, It’s become more and more apparent that the situation of our dire end is baked in. Even if we could cut CO2 emissions to nothing (we can’t because of the McPherson Paradox) and even if we could prevent the meltdown of clathrates from freeing billions of tons of methane (and we don’t know how), and even if we could continue to grow crops at temperatures that botanists will tell us are too high for plants to photosynthesize, history is against us. There’s ample extra CO2 already in the atmosphere to seal our doom.
And that’s the problem I have with the climate ‘activists’. It’s nice that you want Chinea and India to stop putting CO2 in the atmosphere (see McPherson Paradox on that impossibility), but if China and India stopped burning fossil fuels, and the US stopped using fossil fuels, we’d still have enough CO2 in the atmosphere to put us into another Pliocene era. And that’s ditto for your American friends you’re trying to convince to become Vegan Luddites. We have a couple trillion tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. That will stay in the atmosphere long enough to guarantee mass extinction. We don’t have the science to do anything substantial to prevent climate disaster. And I think it’s disingenuous to get people to risk arrest and other unpleasantness over global climate disruption (or let’s call it what it is–pending Mass Extinction), when it should be obvious to what passes for the activist leadership that the trillions of tons of CO2 guarantee that nothing we do right now will save us.
The carbon that’s going to doom my future isn’t from that car I had in college. It was baked into the climate by my great grandparents’ purchase of their first Model T. It dribbled into the atmosphere with every cannon the Union put out for the Civil War. Every mile of railroad we laid worldwide carried a burden of global warming that we carry to this day. It will take multiple centuries for the CO2 to degrade to the point where temperatures fall back to where they were when Shakespeare presented at the Globe. We’ll all be gone before the temperature from the CO2 ticks back down.
I think there needs to be some recognition of that reality. I’m sorry, but if you think recycling and driving a Prius will save us, you are going to be sad.
I don’t know if I’ll give up my blog altogether, but it’s become too sad and wearying to keep writing about this. I can probably write about my plays (I’ll have a production of my play Planet Phuckett before spring). I’m probably taking my play GOODNIGHT LBJ on the road this summer. But I’m pretty much done with posting about pending human extinction. We can talk about other things. A writer friend with stage four lymphoma will write about anything but the specifics of his malady. I understand that. In the meantime, Dr. Guy is one of several people putting news out even as the clock ticks down.
Thank you. Well said. I have been a member of Nature Bats Last for a few years, but never read your blog until this. It is good to not be alone in this knowledge, to hear it stated eloquently. That ‘s all. Thank you. My partner and I are old, our 60s. We are doing what we did in the 80s right now. Spending the winter busing around Mexico. Seeing old places and saying goodbye to our planet and our lives. Porque no?
Thank you very much for your compliments. I too have seen my sixtieth birthday. One of the links on my story was about making the last trips to see friends who haven’t yet accepted the future as we have. Safe travels.