Saturday, April 21, 2007

Doomsday... is you is or is you ain't?

Climate change makes moot past environmental issues precisely because it isn't about an obscure species or remote place. It's about us, and our fate. It is about the real possibility of the unraveling of modern civilization. - Hal Clifford - Los Angeles Times
David Seaton's News Links
This global warming thing either is or it isn't: if it is true, then, if we are not very careful, and even then, we will probably all end up living under a regime as restrictive as the cold and corrupt German Democratic Republic portrayed in the Oscar winning, "Lives of Others" or, if we are lucky, the Cuba of Fidel Castro (where at least the music is good and you can get laid).

Certainly "freedom" as it is envisioned by American libertarians is not going to be on the menu; just as it wasn't during World War Two. The sooner people confront this logical conclusion of Global Warming and begin to debate it, the better. DS

Forget the whales -- save the Earth - Los Angeles Times

Abstract: Environmentalism is dead.(...) Traditional environmental concerns have been trumped by a single, overriding problem: global climate change. Henry David Thoreau asked, "What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" Environmentalists today face a similar question. Why fight for a local or even national cause when a global change could erase any victory? Preserving a beach ecosystem becomes meaningless if the coast is obliterated by a rising sea. Putting polar bears on the endangered species list is risible if the Arctic ice cap melts away to nothing each summer. If you are a dyed-in-the-wool environmental activist, that funny feeling you have is the ground shifting beneath your feet. When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposes building two new dams in the Sierra, as he did in January, and argues that if California is going to have enough water, they are necessary to compensate for an expected reduction in the state's winter snowpack, how is a good green to respond? Once upon a time, there was no target so quick to be challenged by the Sierra Club & Co. as another dam — and these dams certainly will be challenged. But Schwarzenegger is right; we should be doing what we can to prepare for climate change, and while I don't know if those dams are a good step, I do know that the governor's argument signals a new, brutal calculus for environmentalists. Already, old-school environmentalists Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, and Stewart Brand, who created the Whole Earth Catalog, have embraced nuclear power as a lesser evil than climate change. Are environmentalists entering an era of wrenching hand-wringing as they choose among evils? I hope not. Instead of triage, the right response is to accept the hard truth that the only thing that matters is controlling global warming and preventing catastrophic climate change — and then to fight like never before to do that. The dedicated, single-focus activists who make up so much of the environmental movement may, in the future, still be able to save the redwoods, or the Mexican gray wolf, or the whales — but only if we save ourselves first. It is ironic that what's killing old environmentalism — so long derided by its critics as elitist, fringe and special interest — is a problem that is, at last, both universal and personal for every human on the planet. Climate change makes moot past environmental issues precisely because it isn't about an obscure species or remote place. It's about us, and our fate. It is about the real possibility of the unraveling of modern civilization. When a cause becomes the central concern of a society, it ceases to be a cause. It becomes an organizing principle for an era and its people. Environmentalism may be dead, but we're all environmentalists now. READ IT ALL


kelly said...

There is a viable and logical "solution" out there, as proposed by Daniel Quinn in his writings:

"Something BETTER than civilization is waiting for us. Something much better--unless you're one of those rare individuals who just loves dragging stones."

I'm currently on my 4th Quinn book - I can't get enough of his imaginative and challenging ideas and his method of bringing anthropology, sociology, economics, religion, politics, history together.

If Quinn's vision catches on the planet and its inhabitants can look forward to a future "beyond civilization".

Quinn's writings can be found at

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

A reporter once asked Ava Gardner, "Ava, what man would you like to be stranded alone on a desert island with?"

The goddess replied, "With the best goddamn obstetrician in the world!"

kelly said...

and he better not be shooting blanks...