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The Climate Crisis Doesn’t Go Away If We Focus on Other Things

The United Nations just issued a report on the existential issue of climate change. Phrases such as “Humanity is on thin ice” are not new, but coming from the Secretary-General of the U.N, who presented the report, it should be given great credence. The report stated that a goal of limiting a worldwide rise in temperatures to 1.5 degrees, is “achievable, but would require a quantum leap” in actions, to get there.

We are aware of this, and we respond with various emotions. It feels as if we are watching a train approaching a cliff where it is about to get so close that it will inevitably fall off, and no one does anything to stop it. In this case, it is not nothing, but obviously, according to the U.N. report, it is not nearly enough.

This is where we need some body which has the power to effect necessary measures. The U.N. was a great hope of humanity, but pretty much inevitably, it has devolved politically into two blocs which stymie each other; the veto that Russia has, keeping this body from enforcing edicts, or punishing any nation. We all live on this planet, and presumably have some connection with everyone else, but the war between democracies and totalitarian countries has made collective global effort impossible, which is insane, if we takes a step back and look at it from a wide view.

It is horrifying and depressing to think about what goes in the psyches of so many people, most of them the ones who run trillion-dollar industries, which refuses to allow them to contemplate the ever-growing danger, the point where the planet cannot be saved for living beings. One could conclude that it is a combination of insane greed, stupidity, a sense of omnipotence, that the problems will not affect them, because they are so insulated, and they have the illusion of control.

Maybe they are people who do not care a bit about what happens after they have passed on. Maybe they are confident that they will go to some afterlife where none of this matters. Maybe they don’t believe in one, and don’t care what happens to everyone else. Most of them have children and grandchildren, but I guess they don’t care about them.

Or maybe they have such delusions of power and invincibility, that they are confident that like the Mad Hatter and March Hare at the tea party, they can just shout “clean cups!,” and relocate to another planet, to rule over that. Whatever madness they suffer from, it keeps them from doing what desperately needs to be done to somehow reduce the emission of fossil fuels, which are most responsible for the rise in temperatures, the higher sea levels, and the extreme weather events we see every month.

Of course, being good at or lucky at business, does not make one intelligent in anything else. There are so many other people in the world who I would rather have making crucial decisions, then these oil trillionaires and timber tycoons who keep destroying the earth’s precious natural resources. That is one of the major flaws in how the human race evolved. There are tens of million of decent people who would want to do something positive about climate change, but the people who have the power to do it, mostly have no interest in giving up any of their profits to at least try to accomplish it

President Biden, Vice President Harris, and the Cabinet, are aware of the dire crisis, and try to do things to ameliorate it, though not always. There is the issue of the Willow Project in Alaska, which seems to pose a major threat to natural resources and climate, and was something which Biden had said he would not in general allow, but now apparently will. The matter is apparently complex, former Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland seemed to be in favor of it; there are various opinions pro and con. But at this point, I think that the climate situation is so exigent, that we would be a lot better off giving up some oil to save the human race.

Talking about it does not do much good. The Republicans, owned by the corporations, and opponents of anything which might cut into their profits, stand in the way of massive efforts to curb emission of fossil fuels. I don’t know how to ever get through to them, when fires get worse, the hurricanes increase, shorelines are eroded, and they just shrug. What it would probably take is a massive Democratic sweep in the elections, as in 1936 or 1964, leading to majorities which would pass such bills. But even as unlikely as that is, there remains the Supreme Court, filled with social darwinist corporatists who are prepared to strike down any such laws, as an overreach of federal power, an illegal “taking.”

We, the voters, let this happen. Not all of us, certainly. But when Gore and Hillary kept warning that the Supreme Court, with its power to control so many aspects in this country, was at stake in the elections, far too many people did not listen; and far too many media people didn’t care, or want to care, and so they focused on fashion choices, or sighing during a debate, or emails, rather than the survival of the human race; and of the animals and birds and sea creatures, and the all-important bees. It is still not too late, but there are many impediments to even try to fix it. But we have no choice but to try, whatever we can do as individuals or collectively; and to demand that the news media focus on it.