Tuesday, December 6, 2016
The Growing Intensity, And Frequency, Of Extreme Weather
This topic has been a regular theme for my posts. And not just because it indicates how little we are doing to stop the causes of increased CO2 into the atmosphere. Thinking about what is coming, difficult though that may be, is important because it underscores how structurally unprepared we are to handle the realities once they become a regular feature of life here, as well as the rest of the world.
For me, it is simply one more, very important, reason why we must begin now to change the economic operating system we currently have. We must do this not only because it is a major part of why we have pollution in the first place, but it is also why we will not be able to handle the difficulties communities across the nation will be forced to suffer through.
The simple fact of the matter is that a cost based economy; one that is already strained by turmoil all around the world, as well as the costs of curbing current pollution, will not be able to handle either the direct costs of ever more damage (cleanup, rebuilding, and lost productivity in the meantime), or the increasing instability, and uncertainty, that such rapidly recurring catastrophe will entail. After all, things are dicy enough with markets already skittish by a world strained with increasing population, rising oceans, and decreasing resources. And with everything interconnected as it is, if you increase stress events of one type, you will be creating the conditions for more event occurrence of other types.
We focus so much on jobs, and keeping the vicious circle of mass production and mass consumption going, we forget to consider that maybe our real jobs should be simply keeping each of our communities going, no matter what hardships befall them. To do that, however, will require a complete rethink of how production, and the distribution of that production, is accomplished.
It is one thing to declare that Capitalism is obsolete because of the reality of technological change, but it is quite another to understand that it has always been based on punting the true costs of what it does down the road. How else can it be when you are always so focused on this quarter, or one or two quarters into the future? As well as to be primarily concerned with cash flow and profitability all the while. Nature, however, has been keeping a quite visceral connection to these costs and is soon to be doing a great deal more than just busting kneecaps to remind us of payments due.
You sit comfortable now, wherever you are, reading these posts and you either dismiss them out of hand because you either don't believe the argument, or because you see little you can do about it, other than donate some money, here and there, to an environmental cause, or because you think just buying green now will do the trick. Buying green is certainly better than doing nothing, and it's understandable, with bills to pay, and deadlines to meet, that you see little else you can do about it. But I assure you this is not the case.
You can talk to people who haven't read these posts, or are little informed of the actual threat we face. You can talk to them, pass along the questions asked here, and encourage them to talk to the people they know. I say this because the only way real change is going to occur is when enough of understand that we can't keep doing things as we have been. That we have to stop paying the bills. Stop meeting the deadlines. And stop the cycle of disconnected work, and mass consumption. No easy thing to be sure as it would then require us to engage each other locally, to figure out how we can meet our needs in a new way. Basically it's not an "occupy Wall Street" kind of protest but rather an occupy, and take over, your own town, village or county, all across the nation. And as radical as that may seem, it will be as nothing compared to the radical realignment of priorities that nature is going to force upon us regardless of what we do, or don't do. And regardless of what political party, or ideology, we profess to follow now. That is real and that is coming. Better get your head out of the sand before you, and it, are washed away completely.