Monday, July 30, 2018

The Climate Crisis is The Number One Issue This August


-by Michael Wolkowitz

The cable network with the most credible, compelling progressive narrative today is not MSNBC, CNN, or BBC 1. It is The Weather Channel

Before dismissing this, as I might, as old or no news, first please consider this:

I realize what I say might be obvious be heavy handed and not surprise any of you. If so, all the more reason to keep reading. We all experience the climate crisis and recognize how important it is. On some levels in certain moments in time we are shocked stunned and saddened. But we are not making nearly big enough a deal about it. We are not treating it with urgency, immediacy, or currency. To help perpetuate biological life on this planet, we need to get more focused, put more energy behind it and be screaming from the rooftops.

Don’t worry about the elections and conventional wisdom-- this can and will make a lot of political hay this year (as to real hay-- the farmers already know they need more of it than they can yet for this coming winter). At this very moment there is nothing theoretical or hypothetical about this-- it is in our faces. Is there pristine science to connect specific events to the larger trends-- who cares?!? Certainly not the people who hold up snowballs in the winter as proof that it is all a lie.

Over the last 15 years or so I have mostly heard experts talking about what will happen “by 2030” “by 2050” and “by the end of the century.” The change we are now experiencing moves at an increasingly an accelerated (though not exponential) rate. If it is not going to get dramatically worse, for another 12, 32, or 72 years and we are amidst what the last 15 years have wrought, what the hell does really bad look like?

People throughout our country must be pushed to connect the dots among 1) the horrifying and huge weather events all around the country (and those less significant parts of the globe too), 2) climate change/crisis and 3) the Republican Party of Denial... it I a major opportunity we can capitalize from now until Labor Day and beyond. Let’s not waste it.

It really is the biggest existential issue of all. World War III is underway:
It is not the World War III of Dr. Strangelove with mushroom clouds followed by nuclear winter, billions wiped out in a matter of moments and the rest over no more than weeks or perhaps months.

It is a World War III with much slower more tortuous and drawn out pain death and destruction ahead. Those same billions will ultimately be wiped out, but it will take decades.
In the history of the planet we call Earth, the difference between weeks and decades is entirely statistically insignificant. On any timeline they are the same little tiny dot-- not even a tiny segment of line, just a dot.
Many of the other truly important issues we focus on politically are driven or made worse by the climate. Some of them will just be washed, burned, or starved out of existence. Dead people do not need civil rights. Dead societies do not need to be civil.

Today, the mainstream media is rife with this. Just take a look at relatively random string of videos on the BBC.

The commercials are all kinds of filmmakers chance to make a disaster movie. Simply using any given day’s footage on BBC.

The speeches write themselves.

Wildfires are everywhere:
And it is only the beginning of the season
They burn north of the Arctic Circle
Bring new phenomena like fire tornados
Render the British Isles, emerald no more, just plain brown.
Everywhere. Though in some places the bigger issue is

Too much water everywhere:

...massive floods
Too little water everywhere else though in some places

Water is just plain weird

...shrinking ice sheets
...rising oceans
...receding glaciers
...rivers turned into dry ditches
All those events are killing people, destroying communities, permanently altering the biosphere, and impressing us with powerful and out of our control nature is.

Other issues?

From the deeply ridiculous like using public money to fly private planes, botched attempts to set up back-channels to the Kremlin, making money at a hotel down the block, or getting conned by Sacha Baron Cohen...

to the genuinely abhorrent like children ripped from their mothers arms, #Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, universal health care and family leave, or our onward marching ever more expensive military-industrial complex.

There is plenty to talk about, plenty that matters, plenty that needs to be addressed now.

But if we do not talk and act about softening the inevitable blows of the climate crisis, all those issues will be inconsequential.

  We have gone from global warming to climate change. We should already have gone from climate change to climate crisis. Unless we work hard and fast and get lucky we will have to go from climate crisis to world war three.

Advocacy groups, think tankers, politicians (not a dirty word), journalists, humans:

Please peak with one loud voice about this while the atmosphere is literally filled with flames and smoke, and the water rises and rises and vanishes and vanishes with no good end in sight.



At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is it the no. 1 issue? Depends on who you ask.

If you ask the climate and other scientists -- a nano-minority among americans -- this is the ONLY issue humankind should be concerning itself with.

If you ask the moneyed who own and operate most governments, it's an annoyance. It will potentially prevent them from amassing all the capital on earth (and wherever else we invade in whatever few years we still have). And even as they are being asphyxiated, their no. 1 impulse is to MAKE MORE... no... ALL THE MONEY. Hint: these sociopaths and psychopaths dictate public policy.

If you ask American voters, you get two different stories. The right's single issue is hate and whom to kill en masse. The left's single issue is how to prevent the right from winning every "election" without regard to how horrible their party is.

In THIS "democracy", a non-moneyed nano-minority cannot ever win elections nor influence policy.
In THIS charade of a democracy, where the money can affect any election result it wants, even a majority of citizens that might be swayed to understand the scientists' understanding won't win elections with any regularity since their "party" is under the jackboot of the money.
In THIS shithole over the past few decades it has oscillated between anti hate and hate depending on how miserable each has always been. The hate wins after the anti-hate does nothing. The anti-hate wins only after the hate performs miserably or worse.
In this terminal society, the money gets electoral turmoil because they own both parties and no matter how miserably horrible either side performs, the one thing they do is serve the money's greed.

And besides, it's already too late to affect any sort of remedy for climate crises. This is one thing we didn't figure out soon enough to fix it, even if there was the will to do so... which there is not.

The lack of will to fix it, then, proves that humankind is not worthy of saving.

You need look no further than the usa. While the world is burning and drowning... we argue over walls and our hatreds and who is and is not too expensive to live, all while the moneyed count their ever-increasing piles of capital.

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only four days ago, you posted that same video at the end of this blog post:

Surely you don’t believe in that nonsense, do you? It’s techno-hubris on steroids!

Photovoltaic solar power is indeed the technology of the future, but it will have to come in the form of decentralized power generation--not large central solar power stations on earth, much less in space.

The advantage of having the sun’s rays hitting solar collectors directly, instead of being filtered through the earth’s atmosphere, would be more than cancelled (a) by the cost of generating those microwaves and then turning them into power on earth, and (b) by the fact that the atmosphere isn’t exactly transparent to microwaves, either!

All power plants require routing maintenance, too. And how can we afford sending astronauts on those missions?

No, Howie, Chip Proser’s vision is sheer lunacy!

At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite this honest presentation, one of the founders of The Weather Channel, Meteorologist John Coleman, was a major climate change denier.

I was living in Chicago in 1967 when Coleman correctly predicted blizzard conditions and heavy snowfall (we ended up with 23 inches) while all of the other weathermen in Chicago weren't paying attention to the signs. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that his stance on climate change was ignoring the signs. Maybe moving to San Diego dulled his observational skills?


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