Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thankfully, 2017 is ending. Now, I worry about 2018!

In the old country, everybody is ready to blame everything on global warming.  For the most part, they have a good point: The facts of global warming are very much a part of daily life.  Temperatures are warmer than usual. Rains are erratic, and it is often a deluge when it comes down.

This December has been so warm in Chennai that the only ones happy about it are the elderly, who otherwise would have by now brought out their sweaters, monkey caps, shawls, and ear muffs.

"Only Americans don't recognize the reality of global warming," this guy said, as he calmly negotiated the traffic at high noon.

"No, only one party in America does not recognize the reality."

Up until a year ago, I could imagine having conversations and debates with the maniacal loyalists of that party. And I used to. A lot.  Not any more.  The guy who hijacked that party and stole the election with the help of foreign agents did not miss a beat, tweeted this about global warming:

Seriously, this is the president that 63 million selected for me too?

The reality is that climate weirding made 2017 memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Transnational corporations and the most powerful militaries on Earth are already building to prepare for higher sea levels and more extreme weather. The FIRE complex—finance, insurance, and real estate—knows exactly what 2017 cost them (natural and human-made disasters: $306 billion and 11,000 lives) and can calculate more of the same in 2018. They know that the radical alteration of Earth’s climate isn’t just something that’s going to happen in 100 years if we’re not careful, or in 50 years if we don’t change our economy and moonshot the crap out of science and technology. It’s here. Now. It happened. Look behind you.
It is simply beyond my imagination how educated folks can so systematically engage in denial when everybody else is worried about the very issue.
Rich people living behind walls they think can’t be breached by any rising tide, literal or metaphoric, made this disaster. And then they gaslighted the vulnerable into distrusting anyone raising the alarm. The people who benefit have made it seem as if this dark timeline was all perfectly fine.
As the economist Herbert Stein stated in a different context, “if something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”  The denial cannot go on forever.  Here's to hoping that the stop will begin in November 2018 itself.


Ramesh said...

Yeah I heard about the tweet on NPR (I don't read anything about his nonsense mutterings), but I do listen to NPR radio and can't escape something or the other about what he said.

True to form. He continues to display his idiocy in full measure.

I have no doubt that things will change in the US on this issue, even inside the GOP. Already , various constituencies are acting independent of the federal government - companies, some of the states, etc etc. Even fossil fuel companies are belatedly doing "something" at last.

The problem with the idiocy at the top is that there will be no fair balance between the responsibility of the US for having been a significant creator of the problem in the past and the issues the developing countries will have in balancing growth and the environment in the future. But then its never a fair world and countries like India will simply have to suck it and move on. At least out of sheer self interest, India must drive environmentally friendly energy sources, just as China is doing. If these two do a good job and Europe maintains the high ground it currently occupies, then maybe it might, just, be manageable.

Sriram Khé said...

"At least out of sheer self interest, India must drive environmentally friendly energy sources, just as China is doing."


But, as an American, I am more than disappointed that the US is giving up leadership on many fronts, including this. I simply do not understand why 63 million voters, including some past commenters here, favored such a retreat!