Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Change the world or the end of the world

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which predicts at least a 5-degree Celsius increase by 2100 as its worst-case scenario, if business continues as usual with no major mitigation efforts. ScientificAmerican has said of the IPCC: "Across two decades and thousands of pages of reports, the world's most authoritative voice on climate science has consistently understated the rate and intensity of climate change and the danger those impacts represent." 

There is nothing to indicate, in the political or corporate world, that there will be anything like a major shift in policy.

“There are a handful of corporations that control more than 90 percent of the media in the country, and to only a slightly lesser extent, the world…There's no financial benefit to pointing out that people's lives are short. Instead, there's financial benefit to selling products that people don't need, can't afford and just contribute to further lining the pockets of the CEOs of the corporations. So I think it all comes down to the corporations exerting such profoundly strong control over the messages we are receiving everyday…” explained Guy McPherson, professor emeritus of natural resources, and ecology and evolutionary biology, with the University of Arizona.

When asked “how long do you think humanity has before extinction occurs?” he answered  “ it's difficult for me to imagine a scenario where we'll survive even a 4-degree Celsius [above pre-industrial baseline] temperature rise, and we'll be there in the very near future, like by 2030, plus or minus. So it's hard for me to imagine we make it into the 2030s as a species... if somebody has a bunch of food stored they might be able to persist on that for awhile, but climate change leads to social breakdown….” 

Guy McPherson is telling us we're going extinct very soon and informs us there's nothing we can do about it. Perhaps he may be unduly pessimistic. He may not have his timings exactly right. His projections however may not occur if we refuse to continue on the projected path towards our own extinction for corporate profits. Nothing will change because people don't believe there is an alternative to change to. If we wanted change we could do it very easily, immediately. It is  just that we don't realise that capitalism is responsible and that socialism is a feasible possibility.  People could demand change, we could force change... but we don't. And THAT is the real problem. We are being led to extinction by those who are ignorant of the consequences of their own inaction and willing complicity.

We will all benefit when we understand and insist upon ending the current economic system, including the injustice of stealing a livable climate from our progeny. The ultimate irony is that we may achieve a just society only to find that it's too late to restore a livable climate.

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