Climate Change — ‘Greatest Tragedy is the Absence of a Sense of the Tragedy’

May 8, 2017

Absolutely-gorgeous this near-noon Monday on California’s north coast — bright sunshine and a wispy-ocean breeze with temperatures feeling good, too.
Supposedly we should spike at about 65-degrees, maybe later this afternoon.

Unless the winds crank-up again — over the weekend there was some lashing gusts, reportedly on occasion at more than 50-mph. Just out walking my youngest daughter’s Borgi, ‘Kuru,’ on Saturday afternoon was a bit tedious at times, experiencing a wind-tunnel effect. Not so rough yesterday, but still obvious.
Hence, this morning’s way-more feathery breezes…

As the T-Rump’s arrogant incompetence is getting top billing on Capitol Hill today, Barack Obama, fresh off getting the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in Boston yesterday, is in Italy to attend a food security/climate change summit — he’s scheduled to give the keynote address tomorrow.

The contrast of our age. As we approach a possible end to humanity, the white noise of bullshit and a lot of mankind’s indifference to what’s most-likely the greatest threat ever in all of history has carried us to the precipice of unimaginable calamity.
And if all the real-time climate events taking place right now, and the studies indicating reasons why, are any indication of the schedule of coming shit, we don’t have that much room.

A really-good read on the situation comes from Clive Hamilton, an Australian public intellectual and Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics and the Vice-Chancellor’s Chair in Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University, and this edited extract at the Guardian last Thursday of Hamilton’s Defiant Earth: The fate of humans in the Anthropocene.
Key points:

After 200,000 years of modern humans on a 4.5 billion-year-old Earth, we have arrived at new point in history: the Anthropocene.
The change has come upon us with disorienting speed. It is the kind of shift that typically takes two or three or four generations to sink in.
Our best scientists tell us insistently that a calamity is unfolding, that the life-support systems of the Earth are being damaged in ways that threaten our survival.
Yet in the face of these facts we carry on as usual.
Most citizens ignore or downplay the warnings; many of our intellectuals indulge in wishful thinking; and some influential voices declare that nothing at all is happening, that the scientists are deceiving us.
Yet the evidence tells us that so powerful have humans become that we have entered this new and dangerous geological epoch, which is defined by the fact that the human imprint on the global environment has now become so large and active that it rivals some of the great forces of nature in its impact on the functioning of the Earth system.
This bizarre situation, in which we have become potent enough to change the course of the Earth yet seem unable to regulate ourselves, contradicts every modern belief about the kind of creature the human being is.
So for some it is absurd to suggest that humankind could break out of the boundaries of history and inscribe itself as a geological force in deep time.
Humans are too puny to change the climate, they insist, so it is outlandish to suggest we could change the geological time scale.
Others assign the Earth and its evolution to the divine realm, so that it is not merely impertinence to suggest that humans can overrule the almighty, but blasphemy.

So today the greatest tragedy is the absence of a sense of the tragedy.
The indifference of most to the Earth system’s disturbance may be attributed to a failure of reason or psychological weaknesses; but these seem inadequate to explain why we find ourselves on the edge of the abyss.


(Illustration above found here).

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