Monday, January 21, 2019

Who's a Cassandra?

I realize that I post a lot of items about climate change that aren't very appealing. In fact many of them are pretty dark.

Yet when it comes to gloom and doom, I'm still in the amateur leagues. There are sites, such as climate scientist Guy McPherson's "Nature Bats Last" that I shun like the plague.

Recently I've added Chris Hedges to that "no go" list, at least when he's on about climate change. There was a time when I would go to the TruthDig web site every Monday morning to read Hedges' latest but he's getting too dark even for me. His piece today is pure apocalyptic dreariness.

It may not be apparent but I'm not for throwing in the towel. I believe that we can salvage human civilization, or at least a kernel of it that we can nurture for future generations, if, as a global species we want that. I'm not convinced we're up for that enormity of a challenge because it would mean bringing human civilization back well within the finite boundaries of our planetary environment. That would mean a 60 per cent reduction in population, resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, all of which are trending in the opposite direction.

It's a cause still worth fighting. We need to continue pressing for change, a return to sanity and basic human decency. We've discounted these things that make us human for far too long. We need to realize that we can't survive without them.


the salamander said...

.. umph ..

The story goes.. the last thing left in Pandora's Box .. was HOPE
Which in my not so humble view is about where we find ourselves today. Another soothsaying is Hope is not a useful strategy.. Yes yes.. wordplay.. At any rate, I prefer to be an informed person.. not ignorant, not partisan, open minded.. and so on. To my good fortune, I can read.. deeply or lightly, quickly or slowly.. I have no fear of rereading that which I 'don't get' on 1st read. I can put down a book for years and pick it up again.. Huckleberry Finn is a good example. So same deal with hard science.. I need to work at it. Or economics. Or political posturing. Or political opinion. I don't want to shrink from a reality based perspective.. so I don't see a 'cassandra' at work.. in your work. I see a realist to be respected. Just as I do with Andre Derocher re polar bears.. or Andrew Leach re Big Energy or Norm Farrell re BC corruption or money laundering.. its often 'read in and weep' but what the hey.. Do I need or read the preening of Jason He virgin cowpoke Kenney ? Nope. I don't need pretension, I need grim reality.. So have at it Mound. Lower the boom as required. Canadians can & must take the heat in the kitchen..

The Mound of Sound said...

Sal, a good half or more of my current reading list comprises vintage books. Pierre Berton from the 80s. John K. Galbraith from the late 50s. Carl Sagan from the 90s. "The Meaning of Modern Life" from 1907. I find these books invaluable in making sense of what's happening today. Thought, freed of the conventional wisdom of the here and now, can be much more enlightening. Writing that foretells what is to come takes on far more meaning and worth when those predictions are matched up to what has actually ensued over the intervening years. There's no joy in it, to the contrary it is disheartening to read what were not so much predictions as warnings of things that have come to pass, warnings that were unheeded. It allows us to see the bone-headed arrogance that prevails at the highest levels of our society.

Anonymous said...

Reduce our population by 60 percent? Hmmm that smells politically incorrect in The Current Year. I mean we'd have to address the population explosion in Africa for one...