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Fantasy and Fatality in the Facebook Era: A Lamentation for My Father
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
Seven weeks ago, my father died - abruptly, unexpectedly, and prematurely. I say that as a simple matter of fact because despite my utter heartbreak, no amount of euphemisms or platitudes will change the reality of the situation.
The mobilization against climate change continues to build, gaining new social layers beyond the initial circles of environmental activists and tending toward a systemic critique of capitalist productivism with its underlying competition for profit. Particularly significant is the fact that young people are joining the struggle. On March 15 more than a million people, a majority of them youth, went on strike for the climate around the world in response to the call by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. The movement is very deep, although at present it is limited to the major countries of the Global North. It reshuffles cards, upsets agendas and puts all the actors — politicians, trade unions, associations, social movements — on notice to answer two fundamental questions:
- Why are you not doing everything possible to limit to the maximum the terrible catastrophe that is growing day by day, and to do so in compliance with democracy and social justice?
- How dare you leave such a mess to your children and grandchildren?
Capitalism not only owns global warming, there’s a big red mitigation arrow pointed at the heart of today’s rampant capitalism, which is eerily similar to the loosie goosie version of the Roaring Twenties, but with a high tech twist.
After all, somebody’s got to pony-up for climate change/global warming mitigation. Who better than deep pocket capitalists?
“It is time we consider the implications of it being too late to avert a global environmental catastrophe in the lifetimes of people alive today.” (Jem Bendell)
In other words, the world is coming to an end.
Of course it is… but when?
Professor Jem Bendell’s brilliant seminal work, “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy” d/d July 27th 2018, claims the time is now, within a decade, not sometime in the distant future. Not only that, he suggests embracing this transcendental experience that’s colloquially known as “End Times.”
Without more rigorous news coverage, few indeed will know that Nordhaus and Romer are epitomes of neoclassical economics, that 20th century occupation isolated from the realities of natural science. Nordhaus and Romer may deserve their prizes for economic modeling, but each gets an F in advanced sustainability.
Some scientists say it’s necessary to save the climate. An indigenous-led opposition says it will only save the fossil fuel economy.
The most hazardous global warming risk for society at large is widespread loss of grain production because of a synchronized worldwide drought. It would be a colossal killer. It’s happened before, known as The Great Drought 142 years ago.
Unmistakably, droughts feed off global warming and world temps are heading up, not down. Thus, droughts are intensified by temperature increases. If the same conditions as the drought of 1876 recurs, it would likely be a nightmarish scenario.
Only a revolution can save us. That’s the take home message of the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released on 8 October.
It has been said that science fiction is not about the future, but a way of commenting on the present. With that in mind contemplate a vision of New York City in 2140. The seas have risen, and downtown Manhattan is flooded like Venice. The streets have become canals, and boats have replaced cars and busses. Skywalks between buildings have replaced sidewalks. The wealthy have fled uptown, living in “superscrapers” made possible by new building materials.