Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sorry to Piss on the Parisian Parade

It's been difficult figuring out just what to write about global warming, the now concluded Paris climate summit, and what lies ahead.

Part of my difficulty is that goddamned enormous Memory Hole that, in recent years, has grown to the dimensions of the hole in the Ozone layer. Shit happens and then, a week later, it's forgotten.

Nobody dwells (damn few even recall) the Living Planet Report, 2014, or even the Living Planet Report, 2015. Those consecutive reports found that terrestrial and marine life on our planet has declined by 50% over the past four decades.

FIFTY PERCENT. Half the life - plant and animal - on the planet has vanished over just forty years and, really, almost nobody gives a shit, much less a second thought. Why, if you did think about it you might have to consider what that could mean to your grandkids in a decade or two. Better we just spike the whole thing.

So what are we doing about it? Nothing.

How often do you revisit the warning last December from the UN FAO (food and agriculture organization)? Has that got you riled up? Probably not, especially if it too has disappeared down the Memory Hole. Here's a reminder. The report warned that, within 60-years we - mankind - could have exhausted almost all of our stocks of farmland. SIXTY YEARS. Hell, I've been around longer than that.

So what are we doing about it? Nothing.

Overpopulation. We've gone from an all-time record human population of one billion to 7+ billion en route to 9+ billion in just 200 years. TWO CENTURIES. It took human civilization 11-thousand years to grow to one billion and barely two centuries to expand that seven fold.

So what are we doing about it? Nothing.

Overconsumption. We're plundering the Earth's renewable resources at a rate 1.7-times the rate of replenishment. In other words for more than a third of the year we're dependent on the planet's declining reserves. Sort of like needing $150 worth of groceries every week on a $100 a week paycheque. In an environmental sense it translates into collapsed fish stocks, increasing contamination of our surface water resources (lakes and rivers), the emptying of our groundwater aquifers, and so much more.

So what are we doing about it? Nothing.

That's not a very inspiring track record is it? Especially when it comes to as vexing yet threatening challenge like climate change. We don't like even talking about these things much less doing something about them. That's because all of these crises demand change in the fundamental modes of our organization - social, geopolitical, environmental, economic.

The thing is they're all interwoven. The same two or three threads run through each and every one of them and, no matter how unwelcome the solutions, it's clear that we can't solve any one of them unless we're prepared to solve them all. It's one giant bundle of knock-on effects. Each impacts the others and, likewise, is impacted by all of the others.

So what are we doing about it? Nothing.


Anonymous said...

Why oh why isn't over population being considered? Because Religion and men must exercise their pecker and women are responsible for contraception.

Anonymous said...

Anon, some women actually want children, some even want more than 1 or 2.
Recently, I came on some comment: "having children is the worst thing one can do to global warming, planet etc."
I am a reasonable person, let agree on "having more than 1 or 2 children" statement.

lungta said...

i have returned here several times today
basically haunted by my inability to offer any resolution or comment
since the 60s i have been outraged and followed every loss and destruction
i think i am outraged out
harnessing the collective will on any front falls
when any given link fails
those of power with a finger on a button that end all good works
personally i feel that there is enough in the pipeline not active yet
which will push this all to an ugly end
thousand of years of deleted uranium, GMO foods just coming into play, 50 million new patented chemicals starting to mix, the end of effective antibiotics.....
sadly the human mind is unable to grasp the complexity
we may need divine intervention, alien assistance or a technological computer overlord
"you can't prove it won't happen"...bender from futurama
the local elite just aren't going to do it
enjoy the ride
i just can't wait to see what happens next

Dana said...

Empty, meaningless gestures really.

Which increasingly seems to be the only actions governments are capable of.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Dana - have you read Ralston Saul's "The End of Globalism"?

Dana said...

Probably not but th4en again I don't remember the titles of all the Ralston Saul books I've read.