"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

National Blog Action Day is Here!

Now that the big blog day is here, I find I have very little else to say. I certainly am not going to try to convince anyone that climate change is real. In my opinion, anyone who isn't convinced by events hasn't been paying attention or is in the grip of denial.

We are all, of course, still in the grip of denial. As a nation, as a world. We are closing our eyes tighter and tighter to the painful reality. If we can still change the trajectory of our future (and I'm not at all sure that we can), it will take a massive restructuring of society as we know it, in all nations, in all areas, for all people. Many people say it can't be done. Many people would rather live in denial than take on the hard work of changing the world.

Many people are in despair. I often despair. I have not made the changes I know are necessary in my own life. I have taken small baby steps, and tried to convince myself that those have some effect. I am preparing for the worst, as best I can with the resources that I have. I have given in to panic, and have spent my time thinking about how I can mitigate the devastating effects for my own children, how I can create some kind of stable island for them.

That is not enough.

I - and all of us who give one tiny little shit about our planet's future - must work to overcome both denial and despair. We must stand together and shout, loudly, to our elected officials that we DEMAND action. The strongest possible action. There are links at the end of this post that can guide you in contacting your senator, in organizing events, in making changes in your own lifestyle. I urge you - I beg you - to follow them and get started making your voice heard.

But before you do, take a look at what is on the line. Take a look at the immense beauty that has been given us by our creator. Take a look at what has been entrusted to our care.









Act now | 1Sky

23 comments:

AnyEdge said...

AHH. Look at that Walrus! Kill it with FIRE!

Really though, very nice post.

Aimee said...

How can you say that when your own FATHER is a walrus?

AnyEdge said...

My FATHER!!?? AHHH! Kill it with FIRE!!!

Milkweed said...

Beautiful. Thank you...

AnyEdge said...

OK sis, worst case scenario: mankind is wiped out inside of 500 years.

What's the problem?

Aimee said...

if you can adopt a long term viewpoint like that and identify with the macro level, nothing, I guess. The earth itself has been through massive extinction events, including one which wiped out approx 99.9 of all life. And regenerated. No doubt it will do so again. But while I try to adopt that viewpoint as much as possible (I find I can't sustain it very long), I am more worried about the short term catastrophic upheavals as humanity embarks on massive resource wars, possibly including the use of nukes, mass migrations, and the ugliness that attends them, famine and thirst. Many parts of the world are under severe stress already, especially as regards fresh water and drought. Resource wars have begun, again, mostly over fresh water, although they are often disguised as something else. Sudan springs to mind. I expect to see these types of events spread and intensify within ten to fifteen years. And even though most of those events will likely be happening in places far from me, they will impinge quite heavily - if indirectly - on my lifestyle and that of the children. (Totally leaving aside here humanitarian concerns and concentrating solely on selfish ones, since I anticipated that your next question would be "so what? you live in the richest most powerful nation on earth.") People who have the wherewithal to migrate will be migrating here, among a few other choice locations around the globe. That will cause unrest, possibly severe. I expect water and energy costs to soar, even here, as population rises precipitously and we lose the glaciers and snowpack on which we depend for some 75% of our fresh water and rivers fail to produce the levels of hydroelectric power we are accustomed to. As time goes on and stresses on the local and national governments accumulate, I expect that many of our infrastructure systems will fail altogether or become intermittent.
I could go on (or you could read one of the many governmental reports that treat climate change as a national security issue) but I don't need to. The short answer is, I am responsible for the safety and well being of very young children, and I anticipate that the world is going to be a very, VERY difficult place to live in by the time they are young adults. I cannot anticipate with accuracy HOW the world is going to change, I have only broad outlines, which I described for you above. Now there's your scenario: what would YOU do?

AnyEdge said...

I just can't accept the premise of the question. I think it is about as likely as a meteor taking out the eastern seaboard. Possible, sure, but not worth planning for.

I think if we obsess over apocalyptic scenarios we end up doing a far greater diservice to ourselves, by not preparing for the world we're going to actually live in. Unless you prefer to live in a homestead than to take advantage of society. In which case, by all means, go for it. But it strikes me as absurdly unnecessary. The direst of all scenarios is that arctic sea ice will be gone in a decade (you're going to owe me $20 in a few years.).

I think beiong self sufficient as a lifestyle is admirable and laudable. I think doing so because you believe that the highways will soon be controlled by thugs in gun-barrel bristlin jalopys would be hilarious if it weren't so extreme.

Aimee said...

Okay, you think I'm a crackpot then. That's okay, it's no skin off my nose. I think you are in deep, dangerous denial, along with a whole lot of other people. The things I have outlined are ALL going to happen; the only question is when. Perhaps my timescale is dramatically incorrect, but the fact of environmental degradation and out of control population is not. Entropy is a law that applies to the social sciences as well as to the physical, y'know. And I am not by any means isolating myself from society; my kids go to school, I shop at the grocery store, I vote, I have friends... blah blah blah. I plan to take advantage of society as long as society holds. With luck, that will be my entire lifetime. But I am making some preparations in case not.

AnyEdge said...

Yeah, I don't think you're a crackpot, I think you have a dramatically accelerated timeline.

The things you describe will all happen, eventually, if nothing is done. However, we have, as a people, a track record of making change when it is necessary. In fact, we have a track record of very little else. Human history is the history of change in response to necessity.

I do not believe that it is even close to too late to maintain a surviveable society. I think it is far far more likely that we will succeed as a society than that we will fail.

I think it is more likely that we will colonize other planets than perish on this one.

I'm not in any kind of denial. I agree that things need to change. I think you need to see world as on the brink of apocalypse for some reason. I suspect if you were very religious, it would be the second coming soon.

Entropy is deeply misunderstood in the physical sciences, and even more so in the social sciences if it applies at all, which is deeply unclear. Nevertheless, entropy only increases so long as there is no external energy source.

There are LOTS of energy sources in society. I think you're one of them.

Penelope said...

I'm on aimee's side. I'm partly saying that because she's far better prepared than I am and I plan to zombie her place (that's zombie the verb). In all honestly, if I had to guess I'd say that I don't expect our part of the world to get "very very dificult to live in" in the ways aimee describes, for another 50-ish years, maybe that's just because it's too hard to picture happening while i'm still responsible for caring for children. But i'm certain that as the eventuality of what's happening becomes impossible to deny it will become prohibitively expensive to prepare for (solar power, land, tractors, guns, whatever) so it does make good and reasonable sense to start preparing now, teaching ourselves and our children how to live off the land. But I'm not quite ready to cash in their college funds for bunkers and guns. Which BTW, aimee's not doing either.

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