Sunday, December 01, 2019

The "Age of Fire" - It's Here

You have to work really, really hard not to see it, this Age of Fire. You have to be really, really young not to remember a world where this wasn't normal.

Wildfires are a new reality from the tropics extending well inside the Arctic Circle.  Some of them are deliberate. Brazil's rightwing nutjob, Bolsonaro, has looked the other way as settlers torch the Amazon. In Indonesia, the jungle forests are being burned off to clear the land for palm oil production. Most of them, however, are wildfires, a knock-on effect of man-made warming.

What you're seeing now is just a preview of what awaits our children and grandchildren. It is their future or at least one part of it. It is our legacy.

I won't quote from it at length but this article from The Guardian reveals the scope of what we have done to our younger and future generations. It is beyond grim. It is sobering. I urge you to read it.

What the article brings home, however, is that mankind is now in a war for survival, a war that pits us and our hopes for a viable future against some very well connected, very powerful arsonists out to burn it all down.

Most governments continue to move at glacial pace and turn a blind eye to the nine other mega-threats threats menacing humanity. Why? 
Because a worldwide counter-revolution is under way, intended to paralyse action on climate, environmental loss, extinction, toxic air water and food. It is financed by “dark money” from a terrified fossil fuels sector through shady institutions. It pours hundreds of millions of dollars into global propaganda to discredit climate and environmental science, seduce government and deceive the public. 
More sinister still is the growing control of the fossil fuels lobby over governments and the world media – not only in floundering western democracies, but also Russia, China, Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia.
Now a new UN report says fossil corporates plan to ramp up carbon emissions 50% to 120% by 2030 beyond the limit for a safe human future (1.5C degrees). Despite the renewables boom, fossil infrastructure investment has rebounded in 2019 after three years of decline, the International Energy Agency says. On the face of it, the fossil lobby has turned the tide.

There are only three motives to so hazard civilization: greed, malice and ignorance. Either the returns are so great that fossil executives are willing to cook their own grandchildren, or they are blind to the risks. Since these are technical people, the latter does not ring true: oil majors like Shell and ExxonMobil have revealed in court they understood exactly what they were doing to the planet for nearly 50 years. Ignoring it, they then sought to deceive humanity while ramping up carbon output. 
The world is dividing into two opposing movements: the concerned “survivors” – the young, the old, the wise, the educated, the informed and the pragmatic – and the cynics backing the very global system that will precipitate collapse
Some scientists’ estimates for how many lives collapse will cost range from 50%-90% of the human population. The number is not knowable because human behaviour, as war, cannot be foretold. The process starts with famines and water crises, both already in evidence, leading to refugee tsunamis and multiplying conflicts.
These forces and their political collaborators, our elected Quislings, are bringing the word to the cusp of collapse.
It is time to speak the unspeakable. 
Without urgent action to terminate fossil fuel use, return the planet to a state of ecological health and address all 10 mega-threats in an integrated way, our worst fears will become our fate. Collapse becomes inexorable. 
Doing nothing or too little sentences humanity to collapse – economic, societal, even existential. It is time to discuss this, openly, honestly, truthfully.
This is a fight for survival and you have to pick sides. No more wishy-washy nonsense about pipelines promising a Green Nirvana. That's horse shit and we all know it. You know it. You can see it. You can smell it in the air, even gag on it. You can't escape it.


Owen Gray said...

Our darker angels rule the roost, Mound. It really will the The Fire Next Time.

The Mound of Sound said...

It's been said that nations that become petro-states undergo a powerful transformation. The collective conscience falters. We extirpate incompatible principles while clinging to images of a noble past. Some of us even prattle on about our "cherished Canadian values" as though petro-Canada is not radically different than the Canada that pre-existed it. Canada once cared about the plight of vulnerable peoples.

Anonymous said...

Well said Mound, well said.