‘Day of Infamy’ — Climate Change Calling Card

December 7, 2011

Today 70 years ago one of the landmark events of world history — the Japanese attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor — a horror-hole episode leading to a massive worldwide war which killed 2.5 percent of the planet’s inhabitants or about 60 million people.
Europe had been at war for a couple of years, but after Pearl Harbor, the shit really hit the fan.

If one is interested, the best read on the attack is John Toland’s old masterpiece, The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945, although told from the Japanese perspective.

Pearl Harbor also displayed an astonishing blowback (to the Japanese): How the US way-quickly booted itself up to wage war, from sitting on our ass to full-blown, break-neck-running in a matter of seconds to tackle the problem.
A similar situation nowadays required for a foe that will make all of WWII look like a walk in a springtime park — climate change, which if not acted upon, the world’s causalities won’t be just 2.5, but 100 percent.

(Illustration found here).

The approaching climate calamity is so humongous, so overwhelming and so quickly-coming that pussy-footing around won’t work anymore — no more small talk at chaotic conferences.
David Roberts at Grist:

This cannot work.
At least it cannot work if we hope to avoid terrible consequences.
Why not?
It’s simple: If there is to be any hope of avoiding civilization-threatening climate disruption, the U.S. and other nations must act immediately and aggressively on an unprecedented scale.
That means moving to emergency footing.
War footing.
“Hitler is on the march and our survival is at stake” footing.
That simply won’t be possible unless a critical mass of people are on board. It’s not the kind of thing you can sneak in incrementally.
It is unpleasant to talk like this.
People don’t want to hear it.
They don’t want to believe it.
They bring to bear an enormous range of psychological and behavioral defense mechanisms to avoid it.
It sounds “extreme” and our instinctive heuristics conflate “extreme” with “wrong.”
People display the same kind of avoidance when they find out that they or a loved one are seriously ill.
But no doctor would counsel withholding a diagnosis from a patient because it might upset them.
If we’re in this much trouble, surely we must begin by telling the truth about it.

The awful truth is it might be too late already, but maybe not.

Five years — the amount of time reportedly left to take hard-core action before all the bad shit locks in and there will be no escape, leading to irreversible climate change.
Last month, the most thorough analysis yet of world energy infrastructure revealed the clock is indeed ticking down.
Via The Guardian:

“The door is closing,” Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said.
“I am very worried — if we don’t change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum [for safety].
The door will be closed forever.”

And there ain’t getting out of that windowless room except through that door.
And we’re not joking — if we were joking, it’d go something like this: ‘Horse walks into a bar, bartender asks, Why the long face?

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